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Wedding Photography: Rain Isn’t Always A Disaster

Wedding Photography: Rain Isn't Always A Disaster

Many a spring bride fears rain on her wedding day, but precipitation doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doomed! In fact, the Italians believe that rain on the wedding day is a sign of good luck! Not only is rain a sign of growth, nurturing, blessings and fertility, it allows for some gorgeous photographic opportunities.

There is always the possibility it can rain on your wedding day, especially if you live in an area that has large amounts of rain, or where it often rains fo periods of a time during the day. This is where you need a highly experienced wedding photographer to come to your aid, use the weather and get the most out of the pictures. Photographers in Melbourne, Seattle, London and Edinburgh are no strangers to these conditions and agree that rain on the wedding day does not mean that the special day is ruined.

Image by Darin Collison

Image by Darin Collison

There are many ways in which rain can enhance your wedding photographs and their lasting memories, here are some fantastic ideas to consider bringing up with your photographer and planning for the “just in case” on and ahead of time.

Necessary Props for Rainy-Day Photos

Your photographer can only work with what you provide. With this in mind, you will want to have ready a rain kit for both the wedding and the reception. Here are some items you will definitely need for gorgeous rainy-day photos:

  • Plastic bags and a pure white, plastic dropcloth. You will need a lot of plastic bags for posing on wet ground. Any time a pose calls for a knee or hand to be put down, cover the grass with a bag first. The presence of a bag can be edited out much easier than a sodden grass stain. The white drop cloth is essential if the bride would like any seated, outdoor poses without ruining her dress.
  • Several clear umbrellas. While it may seem natural to bring along black umbrellas, clear ones will actually help the quality of the photographs by allowing more light to reach the subject. It also will not throw color or shadow onto your face as a colored or black umbrella may.
  • A prop umbrella. If you intend for the umbrella to be showcased in a some photos, choose one that includes your colors. If you can, choose one that is large enough for yourself and your groom so that you can use it as a canopy for some romantic couples shots.
  • Lots of white hand towels. You will need these to wipe away any droplets that interfere with your photos. White is best because it will not leave noticeable colored fuzz, pills or bleeding colors on formal attire. You may want to bring extras, especially if there are going to be children present.

Take Advantage of the Skyline

No matter how dismal the sky may seem, a talented photographer can use it to good advantage. If the sun breaks through the clouds, this creates the perfect backdrop for a wide variety of photos. Fluffy storm clouds can be lightened in editing to appear very beautiful. Should a rainbow emerge from the mist, make sure to call it to your photographer’s attention, as this special moment can be captured forever in your wedding photos. Conversely, if there is lightning far off on the horizon, a carefully-timed photo can turn a simple kiss photo into an electrifying, once-in-a-lifetime shot of you and your beloved.

Get Gorgeous Wind Shots

While wind is sometimes seen as an enemy during photography, you can use it to your advantage to get some stunning shots. If your rainy-day wedding includes wind, discuss multiple and rapid photographs during gusts. Sometimes, your hair and dress will cooperate with the wind to make for a jaw-dropping image. Of course, you may want to try this after your more formal shots are completed, especially if your hairstyle is complicated

Look Indoors for Natural Lighting Opportunities

If you are getting married in an old church with beautiful stained glass, try some photos posed indoors as the light streams through. The purposeful colored light patterns from stained glass can bring a new radiance to both your dress and your skin. You can also scout for indoor locations with clear glass that have natural light exposure, which can allow you to get some intimate shots without the rain or wind being a factor.

Incorporate Foliage and Water

Rain nurtures outdoor plantings, and can even make their colors appear more vibrant. Look around the venue for outdoor plantings and arrangements that will benefit from the rain and use them in your photos to add pop and interest. Should there be any bodies of water or reflection pools on the grounds, a light rain can add a beautiful shimmer that makes for a stunning backdrop.

Use Steam and Fog

The steam rising after fresh rainfall can add a mystical fantasy element to your photos, as can filmy wisps of fog. The lighting of such shots can be tricky, so try working in both shade and full ambient light to create different moods. If the sun is shining strongly, you may also be able to catch rainbow prisms in the air’s moisture depending on the angles used. As fog and steam can dissipate quickly, it’s important to take many shots while the opportunity exists. Don’t forget any children in the wedding party, as their relatively short stature can make low-lying fog a mystical wonderland for photos. Adults can also kneel or sit to take advantage of ground fog or mist.

Trash the Dress

While it remains a controversial act, some brides have no problem with trashing their dress near the end of the event to create stunning photographs. You can use rain on your wedding day for this purpose should the end state of your dress not concern you. You may decide to stand in a downpour with your hair and gown drenched, framed by gorgeous clouds and lightning. You may want to pose on the grass with your gown pooled around you, or wade into water for a beautiful shot of you reflected in the water. If you do decide to try these shots, make sure your makeup is waterproof! Also, if you haven’t yet purchased your dress, there are dresses available that are less likely to be destroyed by water and grass stains than others. It is a topic worthy of further research if these edgy photographic opportunities appeal to you.

Spring brides need not fear a rainy wedding day. By working with an experienced and talented photographer and coming prepared, your photographs can be exquisite works of art you will display for years to come!

Nada Ljubinovic is a content writer who enjoys sharing her passion for photography and her learnings with others. Nada continues to be inspired Melbourne Wedding Photographer

By Nada Ljubinovic
All content is owned by the author, except where noted
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9 Responses to “Wedding Photography: Rain Isn’t Always A Disaster”

  1. Interesting post, thanks for sharing 🙂 I’m just getting into wedding photography and I’m reading up on all variations and complications and things that can go wrong on the job – and how to fix it. This was helpful

    Posted by Barry | July 5, 2013, 07:03
    • Cheers, Barry – glad it helped 🙂 Hopefully Nada (author of this post) will stop by and reply you personally, maybe with a few more tips!

      Posted by pixelogist | July 5, 2013, 16:13
  2. Cool post 🙂 Thanks for sharing the ideas and info – much appreciated. I could use a few of these tips in this weather we’re having over here

    Posted by WG | July 5, 2013, 15:42
  3. Hi Barry, sorry its taken me so long to reply 🙁 really glad you like the article 🙂

    Have you been able to put some of the tips into action Barry?

    Posted by nadaljub | July 9, 2013, 17:41
  4. Yes, you are right! It is not that bad if it rains on a wedding day. There will always be an experience that comes out of the blue. But with the fact that it really happens, then it is better to think positively and creatively! Otherwise, the upsetting mood just ruins the entire occasion, which happens once in a life time. Meanwhile, the most important part is the successful ceremony despite of an unpleasing weather condition.

    Posted by Product Photographer | July 26, 2013, 04:54


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