June 14, 2018

How to photograph a wedding in the rain

Filed in: For Photographers

how to photograph a wedding in the rain
A forecast of rain on a wedding day can be a nightmare for brides and wedding professionals alike. And believe me, as an Annapolis wedding photographer, I’ve seen my fair share of rainy wedding days. With a little bit of preparation and patience, rain can be embraced and not feared! Here are some tried-and-true tips for photographing a wedding in the rain that can help any wedding photographer survive even the rainiest of wedding days.

1. Clear Umbrellas are Your Friend
Despite the weatherman’s best efforts, you never really know when it is going to rain, so I have a pack of clear umbrellas I keep with me at every wedding. These not only offer cover with no distracting colors or patterns, they match any wedding apparel and allow the light to soak through without casting any shadows. And lighting is important in any situation, but it’s especially critical when photographing on dark, rainy wedding days.

clear umbrellas for weddings in the rain

2. Protect Your Gear
It’s a no-brainer to try to find covered areas to keep your gear and photograph your clients, so I absolutely recommend assessing the venue and creating a rain plan to take advantage of covered areas. However, it’s not always realistic to only shoot in covered areas, which is where gear protection comes in. It’s always possible to have an assistant offer you shelter from the rain with an umbrella, but I recommend having a plastic camera rain cover on hand for when an umbrella won’t cut it. It’s a great peace of mind that your gear will be protected and also allows for free movement while shooting. To protect your backup equipment, a waterproof case is a must. I recommend this Pelican Case (and know from experience that it’s completely water safe!).

rainy wedding day photography tips

3. Bring Your Own Lighting Tools
While I thrive in the natural light photography setting, it’s unrealistic to expect the best wedding photographs from only natural light sources—especially on rainy wedding days! This is where artificial lighting tools come in. I bring along a flash and video light (see here  for my complete gear list), especially when shooting details or indoors, to emulate natural window light on a sunny day. This allows for consistency in my images and can help my camera nail focus.

4. Educate Your Clients
I highly recommend preparing clients for various scenarios that can occur on their wedding days. I provide my clients with educational blog posts about how to prepare for a rainy day so that we’re all on the same page ahead of time. This blog posts includes suggestions such as bringing shoes that can get wet and having candles for added glow, among other tips.

5. Prepare Mentally
Going into a wedding with a mental game plan is always key, but it’s especially critical when there’s bad weather or any added chaos. Have your portrait list set in your mind ahead of time and know how to direct your clients to instill confidence and ease the added stress of inclement weather.

For a more in-depth look at my tips for photographing weddings on rainy days, check out my video here.

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