You and your couple have the most thought-out, brilliant plan for their wedding day, but what if Mother Nature has other plans and it starts to rain? While you could curse your luck (and the weather forecaster that did you wrong), there’s no point in wasting energy on any of that! Instead, seize the day (and an umbrella) and get to work with these tips and tricks you can follow to take amazing photos and memories even in the rain.
Prepare for How to Photograph a Wedding When It Rains
1. Revise the Wedding Photography Timeline With Your Couple
If rain is in the forecast for the wedding day, it’s important to take a look at the timeline and shot list you have created with the couple and brainstorm any changes that might be needed due to weather. If you have time, you can visit the wedding venue and take a look at any locations on-site that might be under cover and protected from rain. You can also talk with the wedding coordinator or venue coordinator and see if they have suggestions for areas on the property where you can photograph in inclement weather.
The most important thing to remember is that your clients may be stressing as much as you are! When you are discussing options with them, come to them with ideas already in place and remind them that their photographs in the rain will be amazing and beautiful and unique because you will work with the weather, not against it. You can even talk up the fact that they will have dramatic cloudy skies in their photos!
When you reach out to your couple with a new game plan, you can also offer them tips to help them prepare like have umbrellas handy and a hair and makeup artist on standby for touch ups. Also, suggest they have an alternate pair of shoes in case there is water or mud. Maybe they can even have some fun water-proof boots to show off! They might have their own ideas about shooting in the rain, so this is a chance for you to collaborate and listen as well. If they already have a plan in mind, discuss what additional equipment you may need to perfectly capture their vision.
2. Look for Areas of Cover
3. Use Umbrellas as Props and Reflectors
Pro tip: Avoid the ones with ugly colors, huge patterns or advertising on it.
4. Keep Plastic Bags Handy to Photograph a Wedding When it Rains
While most camera bodies, lenses and flashes are weather-sealed, you can never be too safe. A practical and inexpensive tip if you have no other choice is to use a plastic grocery bag and rubber bands to protect your gear from the rain. You can also keep gallon sized Ziploc bags in your bag. These can be placed over your flashes when you need to use them on a rainy day. But if you live in an area where rain is a frequent occurrence, think about investing in waterproof camera casings. You can find these on websites that sell camera gear like B&H.
5. Increase the ISO
6. Don’t Shoot Wide Open
Wedding photographers shoot most wedding photos with wide open apertures. If you are going to photograph a wedding when it rains, in order to capture the most drops, you’ll need more depth of field. So don’t be afraid to shoot at for example f5.6 or f8.0 or higher to open up your depth of field a bit more. Just make sure your shutter speed doesn’t end up too slow to hand hold, or if it does, bump the ISO up.
7. Back-Light the Rain Drops
8. Watch Your Shutter Speed
9. Find Reflections on Wet Surfaces
Use puddles to your advantage by finding interesting reflections that you can incorporate into your photos. Just beware – before you send your clients out into the rain for reflection photos, be sure to scout ahead and have a plan to minimize the time outdoors, especially if it is still raining!
10. Rain Brings Out Great Colors in Photos
One of the most wonderful things about shooting in the rain is how the photos come out with beautiful, saturated colors. The greens are greener, blues are even deeper and the wet driveway of the venue, which usually wouldn’t stand out, also looks amazing.
11. Make Indoor Photography Work for You
12. Include Rain as a Part of Your Couple’s Wedding Story
13. Watch for Epic Sunsets During Cloudy Days
14. Relax and Reassure Your Couple
The bride and groom are going to be looking to you for reassurance. Even if they agreed to go outside in the rain for photos, it still is going to be uncomfortable…and wet! So shoot quickly, efficiently, and assure them the whole time with your manner and body language that the photos are going to be awesome! Keep it positive and make sure they understand you are down to handle whatever mother nature throws at you.