Sunny days, and what most consider "the perfect weather" are awesome, but some weather hiccups can actually create a beautiful challenge and push creative boundaries. Kristin and Alex asked if we should reschedule, since we were going to have around 12-20 mph winds. I said, nope. Definitely not! The result? Some of my absolute favorite shots were born on a day where we tried not to blow away. Check out Kristin and Alex's windy session shots, and some weather planning inside scoop below :)



My rule of thumb for navigating the weather is to "wait and see". Weather forecast are generally pretty inaccurate far out, so, Russian-Roulette-style, we basically have a 50/50 chance of getting lucky. Once we know what the morning looks like, and we have access to the hourly forecast, we can go from there. 

I generally reserve session reschedules for really nasty weather. If it's your Engagement session we're talking about, it's really fun to "work with whatever the day brings", especially since come what may, the Wedding Day will not be getting rescheduled due to a 15% chance or wind, so dreading the weather is entirely unnecessary. With a bit of planning (umbrellas? clear umbrellas?), going with the flow, and being up for some gusty or misty play, fun and unique shots are born (rain, shine or snow). If you're up for it, let's do it! 

We do not reschedule if it is to be gusty. I actually absolutely love windy sessions!! (Kristin and Alex's photos are proof why!) Wind creates motion, and adds a sprinkle of flavor to any pose. There is one caveat, though, you have to come ready to "flirt with the wind". Let go of the 'every hair in the right place and direction' idea, and let the wind direct the dance. It's actually really fun once you get into it.  

Rain can be kinda fun too! Nothing spells romance like cuddling up under a cute umbrella. You could go for fun and natural shots, running through puddles with colorful rain boots and coats on. Or, if you are really adventurous and into the sultry editorial flavor -- getting soaked and sprinkled on together -- now that is truly sexy! It takes a special kind of couple to pull this one off, though -- you know who you are ;) 

Practically speaking - In order to maximize inclement weather fun, here are some tips:

  • Plan on leaving your car warmed up and running, in case we need to jump in and warm up (I can do that as well if we pre-arrange)
  • Bring a change of clothes (especially shoes and socks), so you can warm up on the way home (much nicer to drive home dry) 
  • Bring an umbrella (clear or otherwise) 
  • Bring a blanket that's good in the rain - running / cuddling up with heads under the blanket shots are just darling!
  • Dress for success - awesome rain coats where you can throw the hoods on are golden! Wear rain boots or Sorels, dress warm. 
  • If you have access to a fun car / old van / a camper (airstream anyone?) - let me know! Possibilities are endless! (rain or shine ;)) An SUV with the trunk door up, blankets, hot chocolate - spells cozy times and super cute shots. 

If you're really not up for shooting in the rain, and sprinkly fun doesn't sound like fun at all, let me know and we'll find another day. 

For weddings, I generally check the weather a couple days ahead, and if it looks like we might have a chance of rain I suggest a last minute umbrella run (1 umbrella per couple in the wedding party will suffice, if you're getting a head count). Extras might be nice just for general need of umbrella, but those don't have to coordinate. 

If you're getting married in the winter, plan on dressing for the cold, it likely will be. I suggest leggings under the dresses, cute fur parkas or thick shawls (cute plaid anyone??), UGGs or boots, fingerless gloves or mittens, etc. Umbrellas are also awesome for rain or snow (picture a dusting of snow on those clear domes - darling!!). When booking a wedding in the "iffy months" (November / Winter) - consider that if it's really nasty outside we will be forced indoor for the majority of the pictures. Pick a venue that's picture-perfect, or as close as you can get, to be on the safe side.  

I give some leeway to families with kids when it comes to weather. For some families it's really hard to have fun with the kids when it's sprinkling outside, or if it's really exceptionally absolutely nuts kind of windy. Here again we wait and see till the day before / morning of, to have a more accurate idea. I generally do encourage everyone to wait it out. We'll get in touch if things look really hinky. 



  • CONFESSION - I SECRETLY WISH FOR A CLOUDY DAY - Sorry, I know you have visions of 'gorgeous and sunny', but I (and everyone else wielding a camera) wants overcast. Why? On a sunny day when the light is super bright we have to worry about harsh shadows (ex. Dracula shadows under the eyes), blown out backgrounds, people squinting, and the non-flattering streaky kind of lens flair. A dark background or good type of shade is sometimes hard to find, and there are less options overall for the right light + background combo. On a cloudy day we have more options of where to go, the light is perfect, colors pop, and things are overall easier to work with. So, relax -- if your day is overcast, that's actually perfection!! 
  • THE GOLDEN HOUR = MAGIC - i.e.: The 1 hour before sunset, up until sunset time - it's absolutely dreamy! On most sunny days (or post-rain evenings) as the sun is setting the light gets more golden, soft, directional, it's easier to work with, and flattering. The golden hours is where most photographers camp out for life, with undying devotion for the almighty magical lens flair. 
    PS. Technically the 1.5-1 hour before Sunrise is another Golden Hour option, but I've been hard-pressed finding people up for photos at 5am-ish ;) 
  • NO GOLDEN HOUR? NO PROBLEM - On cloudy or overcast days the sun might not set in its usual golden ways, but that's not a bad thing. As mentioned above - if it's cloudy, the light is perfect all day, so we can shoot anytime with flattering light.
    NOTE - If the day is unusually dark, we might just want to push up your session (or start 'sunset photos' a bit earlier) so we don't run out of daylight. Confer with me, I'm always paying attention to how things are progressing.
  • THE PERFECT INDOOR LIGHT = MORNINGS!!! - There is a reason why newborn sessions, getting ready shots, cafe e-sessions, and any photos indoor take place in the morning --- the light is dope! Later on the rays start peeking right into the windows, making things hard to work with, but mornings are perfect for indoor or at-home sessions. 
  • IF WE GET REALLY LUCKY, WE GET FOG - People in love surrounded by bluffs and fog. There's something sultry and mysterious about it. I'm totally crazy about fog, and it's one reward for going with a misty sesh - if we get lucky, there might just be that silvery fog. 

That's All Folks! Hope this helps take some mystery out of the weather and light, and how to plan for it all!! --- Ester