Wedding Photography in Stormy Weather – how to predict the weather, and what to do if it rains

Wet weather is always a worry for your wedding. No bride wants it to tip it down on their wedding day, and it’s a good idea to have a wet weather scenario planned. So how do you plan for the weather in England?The first thing to say is, don’t worry about it! Easier said than done, but your wedding is going to be wonderful whatever the weather.Be well informed. How often have you cancelled an arrangement because the weather forecast said it would pour, then the sun comes out? Basing your life on a weather report is a risky policy here in England. If the BBC say it will pour, the chances are there will be light intermittent showers. When I’m planning shoots I look at, which gives a fairly accurate idea of what the weather will be. Looking far into the distance on the morning in question is the best way to forecast the weather. If it is raining but there is mist on the ground in the far distance then I can be pretty sure that the rain will probably lift later in the day. If it is raining and there is no mist, I can expect it to rain all day. Also, the weather usually goes in phases. So if it poured yesterday and it looks the same today it will probably pour today. above: a preview from yesterday’s rainy engagement shoot, where a great deal of fun was had and we got very wet!Sometimes it is worth waiting for the weather, but mostly here in the UK you have to work with what you’ve got. A certain zen-like, the universe is on my side, please God, wait for the weather attitude has to be applied. And a bit  of carefully used flash! If it’s going to pour I’ll need my umbrella and my rug (to protect the subject’s clothes if need be). A shower cap for the camera and one for the flash! An assistant to hold umbrellas, And can we do some atmospheric rain shots? Could I use flash to give a sparkly effect of sunshine in rain? Will the clients be up for ‘doing rain’ – getting a bit wet in a gloriously romantic, Notting Hill style moment? Or are there windows, doors and archways that I could shoot through so that clients look as if they are outside but are actually sheltered?Some of the best photographs are taken in unusual light. I try to see the weather as part of the creative mix. I have only ever once cancelled a shoot because of the rain and generally I find that with a bit of creative alertness one can shoot between showers and get some amazing shots. If the worst does happen and we have to cancel your photoshoot, we arrange for it to be rescheduled.One magical thing is that I find that the sun often comes out just as the couple say, ‘I do’ on their wedding day. It is quite uncanny! And when the sun does come out after the rain, it is all the more brilliant for the rain that has gone before. The important thing is to embrace whatever weather you get and not allow it to mar your wedding. And remember that the nice soft light you get on overcast days is very kind and flattering!Tips for couples on preparing for a photoshoot where rain is forecast:

  • Don’t panic. Unless we’re talking serious torrential rain, it’s quite harmless. Just have the attitude that if need be you’re going to ‘do rain’. You can always have a hot bath later!
  • Take some anti-frizz for your hair if you are worried that it might be spoilt by the rain.
  • Remember there’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing: pack some wellies (ideally funky ones!), a raincoat and an umbrella that you like.
  • Make good use of an umbrella, preferably a colourful one, whipping it out of sight when the photographer is ready to press the shutter. (Wedding dresses can be great for this as you can often hide the umbrella behind the dress!)
  • Remember a good photographer can make pictures look as if there was no rain, or as if the rain is heavy and atmospheric.
  • Remember that an overcast day is your friend. The soft light will hide many a blemish!