Come Rain or Shine
The star of today's image is a bride who knows what's really important in life. In the photo we see her umbrella in hand standing in a downpour with an enormous smile on her face.
I have yet to meet a bride who wants a wet day for her wedding. Most brides pick their wedding days hoping for nice weather. This bride was no exception. She had actually planned to go for a bike ride with her new husband later in the afternoon, after the ceremony.
Alas, the weather called for non stop rain for the entire wedding day, and this time the weather forecast was right! It rained cats and dogs from morning to night that day. Yet, look at that gorgeous expression on the bride above! She wasn't going to let weather stand in the way of enjoying her wedding day.
Fortunately, as part of my customer experience workflow, we had discussed options for good weather and bad. I call this Plan A and Plan B. A good weather day is Plan A and we discuss where outdoor photos will be so everyone knows in advance where to be and when to be there. We do the same planning for a poor weather day, (Plan B). Since I've photographed almost every venue around my region, I know all the best nooks and crannies for creative indoor images. (If you haven't photographed a venue for an upcoming wedding before, consider a site visit to get ideas for backgrounds.)
Rainy wedding days are one reason why I believe that every photographer who takes on weddings should be very experienced working with off camera flash. Every day we see amazing images on social media taken on gorgeous sunny days with breathtaking venues and landscapes behind the wedding couple. There is nothing wrong with that. I love great images taken with natural light. I do think however, that I must be able to work with more than just natural light if I consider myself a true professional photographer. I must be able to create amazing lighting where there is no great light.
I also make a point of using pro camera gear that is weatherproof so I'm not concerned about getting my gear a little wet on these kind of wedding days. Shying away from getting incredible moments like the one above for fear of your gear getting wet is missing out on great visual opportunities. I always pack along some clear freezer bags to cover my flashes as there's a limit to how much water I want on my gear if it's actually out in the rain.
I got pretty wet for the photo above but I didn't care. I had actually packed all my gear up and had said my goodbyes already. I was just slinging my strap over my shoulder when I turned and saw the scene unfolding in front of me. The bride was walking out to the parking lot alone while the groom was getting their rental car to pull around for her.
I unzipped my bag in record time and had my camera and long lens up to my eye as she was reacting to a comment shouted to her from some departing guests.
This image reminds me that if the bride can make the best of a day like this then I certainly can as well. No need to be bummed by bad weather. Instead we should see it as a challenge to do our most creative work. Prepare to wow and amaze your clients with your use of incredible lighting and posing. Allow the day to become a chance to flex your artistic muscles.
Sometimes we just need a little rain to be able to really shine.
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Don't let bad weather stress you out, instead create moments of beauty on less than beautiful days!