Engagement Shoots and Staying Dry

This is a blog post about shooting photographs in the rain for engagement photo sessions and also for photographers to get some tips about photographing people in the rain. Just because it is raining does not mean you have to cancel your engagement session! You can view the final shots at this session here:

Well it’s Spring but today there is quite a bit of rain. I am really sad we did not get too much rain this winter and am looking forward to sunshine this wedding season. Recently we did an engagement shoot in Saratoga and there was a ton of rain. Since the couple had rented the locations for the shoot and had their hair and makeup appointment set we could not easily reschedule so we decided to go ahead and do it anyways.

As an artist I used the rain as an advantage rather than a disadvantage. For one, overcast skies meant that I would have relatively even light, which is always a good thing. Rain also meant that literally no other people would be at the venues we were shooting at. That meant to tourists in the background and things to have to remove later. Whenever we do engagement shoots we want relatively few people in the backgrounds if any, so the rain on this day definitely kept all those people at home. Also, having the couple bring an umbrella to stay dry and also use as a prop allows for some cool shots that otherwise you could not get without the prop.

When using off camera flash as a backlight, what better way to show the rain than light it from behind! That’s right, the way to show rain in photographs is to light it from behind. Hence, when we did the shots of the couple with the flash behind them you can nicely see the rain. Photographers, if you are going to make your couple stand in the rain for a photo, at least be able to see the rain!

Sometimes the rain can start coming down really hard and no one wants to be out there so when that happened we went under an overhang. The light coming from one angle meant we had this gorgeous diffused wrap around light with a nice direction to it. It was a great spots for portraits and a nice break from the rain.

Finally, when shooting in the rain, use it for what it’s for…..Fun! That’s right, if you are already wet might as well get a little more wet and jump in some puddles and capture candids and emotion.

On a technical note, carry an umbrella with you and a small absorbent towel to wipe off your camera, lenses, and flashes. Mine were getting soaked during this shoot so I had to keep wiping them. Your shirt or sweater might not work as well so bring a towel. If you have an assistant that can hold an umbrella over you, even better.

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