Here’s the deal with wedding photography in the rain. No one is an expert at it because no one would choose to do it all the time. While it can be fun to get creative with some inclement weather shots and fun lighting, there are complications that come with shooting a wedding in the rain so let’s talk through some of the problems and solutions.
when it was supposed to be an outdoor wedding and now you’re taking wedding photos in the rain
This I know from experience. It rained on our wedding day and getting married outside by the river with the wildflowers had been our dream. But let’s get real, we weren’t going to make our guests eat dinner outside cold and wet.
However, we still wanted our photos to capture the landscape and location we chose for our wedding. While we had an indoor back-up plan, it wasn’t at all what we imagined or wanted. I wish our photographer would have recognized that.
When it was supposed to be an outdoor wedding, the couple likely wants some outdoor pictures. That means you should probably encourage and support making that happen. There are a lot of ways to get creative and use the rain to your advantage.
attitude is everything so be excited for photos in the rain
If as a photographer you are positive and optimistic about the rain it will help your couples keep things in perspective. Then the rain becomes part of the story and part of the adventure instead of being the thing that ruined the day. Your attitude is contagious so even if you’re freaking out in the back room.
Show your couple that you’re going to make the best of their wedding photos in rain.
The best way to be in the position to convince your couple of this is to have some tools available to make the best of things.
Watch the sky and be ready for a weather window. But don’t stop shooting. You don’t know what the weather is going to do so shoot in the rain, shoot when the sun comes out, focus on staying present and telling the story no matter what that story turns out to be.
making the best of wedding photography rain
While rain can mean cold, wet, and uncomfortable it can also mean fun and adventure. You just have to have some ideas and a plan to deal with the challenges of rain.
Here are some of the ways you can make the best of wedding photography rain.
- Backlight the raindrops – makes for a cool effect
- Use an umbrella – keeps the couple dry and makes for a fun prop
- Explore reflections – get creative
- Play with shutter speed and depth of field – can you make the raindrops streak? can you shoot through glass with drops? play!
- Enjoy the colors and soft light – a rainy day does have some advantages, use them
Check out this love is in the air umbrella! So fun!
be prepared for photos in the rain
In order to be in the position to make the best of things, it helps to be prepared. This might mean making sure you have an umbrella in the car and a doppler downloaded on your phone. It also means getting flexible with the schedule.
In Colorado, and many other places, rain can pass quickly so it’s worth keeping your hopes up for a weather window. Having enough breathing room and flexibility in the timeline allows you adjust as needed.
We’ve had a handful of weddings where waiting ten minutes allows us to stick with the plan for an outdoor ceremony. Other times, it’s dumping rain and you have to use an indoor or covered back-up plan.
As for gear, don’t let worrying about your gear get in your way. We’ve shot in all kinds of conditions. It helps to have gear that you can trust and rely on.
We love the Shimoda backpacks because they’re waterproof and we’re not worried about setting them down anywhere. It never hurts to own a solid rain jacket, my most expensive clothing that is the best investment ever. This is a time to use your lens hoods and have lens cloths handy.
great wedding photography in the rain tells the story
Wedding days are not about perfection. They aren’t about pretending. They are about celebrating love, true love.
Love matters rain or shine. Rain is just part of the adventure and the story of the day. So tell that story.
Show the couple running through the rain, show the crowd with their umbrellas, and reap the rewards. Rewards? More about that in a minute.
We photograph a lot of outdoor and mountain weddings which means we’ve dealt with cold, wind, rain, snow, and more. The elements add an extra challenge for the couple and for us. And at the same time, the crazier the day the more memorable it is.
Most of the brides we work with aren’t afraid to get their dress dirty or their hair wet. They are just overjoyed to be celebrating their wedding day and the adventure makes it that much better. They will never forget running through the rain laughing and smiling.
reap the rewards of photos in the rain
What do I mean by rewards?
Well, after the rain comes the rainbow or the epic sunset. There’s nothing better than the adventure of rain followed by rainbows and sunsets and the joy that such things can inspire. I’ve never had everyone be more supportive of stopping the events in the middle in order to run out and get a picture with a rainbow.
Rainbows and sunsets make everyone happy. They feel lucky and they bring joy. They also make for epic photos to help show the ups and downs of the crazy adventure that is a wedding.
There are rewards to making the best of the rain. It’s best to never give up and it’s important to celebrate when you are treated for your patience. As photographers, we love the excitement that comes with interesting weather. An epic photo never happens on a boring day! You do have to convince your couple that there can be benefits to going with the flow and being flexible.
summary: wedding photography in the rain
- Be excited (attitude is everything
- Make the best of things
- Backlight the raindrops
- Use an umbrella
- Explore reflections
- Play with shutter speed and depth of field
- Enjoy the colors and soft light
- Be prepared
- Be flexible with the schedule
- Use a doppler and wait for it to pass
- Tell the story
- Reap the rewards
Hope you enjoyed these tips for shooting wedding photography in the rain. Yes, there are challenges but as we discussed there are also solutions and there are absolutely rewards. Be prepared to reap those rewards with a few skills in your toolbelt and reliable gear.
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About the Authors
Marc and Brenda Bergreen are Colorado-based photographers, focusing on weddings and commercial work. This husband and wife team is all about love and adventure, and their photography sure reflects it. Make sure to check out more of their photos on their websites (adventure | wedding), and follow Marc and Brenda on Instagram. This article was originally posted here and shared with permission.
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