Photo: Erik Clausen
Waking up to rain on your wedding day might feel like a huge bummer, but the good news is, it can be great for your photos. "From a photography perspective, rain can make photos look really interesting and stylistic," says Laura Kleinhenz, owner & principal photographer of Docuvitae. "The clouds act like a big soft light box, which produces a consistently dreamy quality to the photographs." But getting those gorgeous pictures isn't quite as easy as just walking out and shooting away. Below, Kleinhenz outlines five tips to help you be prepared and ensure you get photos you love.
Bring an interesting umbrella and a classic one.
"Umbrellas are great props for wedding photos. Even on sunny days, some brides like to use parasols as accessories for their shoots," Kleinhenz points out. "Make sure you have a couple umbrella options on hand for your rain plan. A colorful, clear, or stripped one can add a really fun touch to your photos. But also make sure to a black gulf umbrella for your portraits. They can look so classic and sophisticated, especially in a city shoot."
Show your rain plan location to your photographer.
When you do your venue walk-through, don't forget to show the photographer your Plan B locations as well. "Ask your photographers for their recommendations," advises Kleinhenz. "Often they will see things that you may miss that can really affect the quality of the photos. For example, your backup ceremony location might turn out to have a busy background or sub-optimal lighting, and your photographer would be able to point out some alternate suggestions."
Look for indoor/outdoor spaces and areas with natural lighting.
Always look for locations that let in the most natural light. "Some of my favorite places to shoot are overhangs — for example right at the hotel entrance. It allows the bride and groom to stay dry and yet still gives the photographer access to great lighting. Other spaces that work well for shoots include rooms with big windows, rooftops that have some kind of covering, any kind of clear tent, or even hotel hallways as long as there's ample natural light."
Plan your outdoor shoots wisely.
"I find that it's best not to have your family and bridal party photos outside if the weather is less than ideal," says Kleinhenz. "Having to manage too many people — especially moms, in my experience — can quickly become very stressful. Instead, I like to do group portraits indoors and then sneak out with just the couple afterward. I usually advise them to do the indoor photos first and then bring a calming friend to assist with the outdoor shoot. Oh, and having an extra pair of shoes on hand is never a bad idea!"
Be flexible with timing and listen to your photographer.
The sky right before a storm comes in or right after it passes, can often make for a stunning and unique backdrop, says Kleinhenz. "Your photographer will be keeping an eye out for these opportunities and will want to take photos even if it's not during your planned session." Go with it and be flexible, she advises. "You'll be glad you were when you see the final photos."