There are some things at a shoot or on a wedding day that you can't control. No matter how hard you try or how much you prepare you just can't change or prevent them. Thankfully there aren't many and most of them you can adapt to and work around without anyone ever knowing it was an issue. There is one though that every client is going to notice and may think about well before the session; the weather.
Since we primarily shoot outdoors (and have no plans of stopping) the weather plays a huge part in every shoot we do, whether it's an engagement session or a wedding day. The amount of cloud cover, precipitation, humidity, and temperature all have an effect on the session in different ways. The one it seems like everyone focuses on and fears though is rain and to be perfectly honest It's the easiest to work around a lot of the time.
One of those two photos above was shot on a super rainy day, the other was shot in full mid-day sun. If you look close enough and think about it long enough you can probably logic out which is which but the point is they both turned out just fine.
The question still comes up though what do we do if it rains? Well, the answer depends on how hard it's raining and how far in advance we know about the rain. If it's just a light mist or a short sprinkle we'll shoot through it and you'll never even notice in the photos. If it's too much to shoot through then we'll look for a covered area with great light to shoot under, and when the rain let's up, we'll finish up under open sky. The only time rain is going to kill a session totally is if it's unsafe and that we won't even try to work around. We'll reschedule because no photo is worth getting hurt for.
The best way for me to tell you about how we deal with rain is to tell you about Neil and Rozzanne's session last week. It was pretty much a worst case scenario type situation. As always before an engagement session or wedding I started checking the weather app on my phone (not the standard app, I have a more detailed one that I'm obsessed with) and saw that there was rain in the forecast for that night. Since there was the possibility of rain I made sure to watch really close so that I could be prepared. As we got closer to session time the rain chance went down slightly and moved even later. It was looking great and by the time the session started we were waiting for the sun to go behind a cloud periodically because it was pretty bright. Since we were working around bright sun I stopped thinking about the weather and just focused on making sure Neil and Rozzanne were enjoying the experience and that I was getting what I wanted. It wasn't until I took this photo though that I realized we might be coming up on a problem.
Right after taking that photo I looked at the back of my camera to double check exposure since I'd just made an adjustment and the very first thing I noticed was the clouds reflected in the window. I had been facing the wall for several minutes without a reflecting surface in front of me and hadn't noticed the storm building behind me. Rather than getting caught half way through an engagement session we decided that it was best for them to go ahead and change into their dressy outfits so that we still had plenty of time if we lost our good light early. While they were changing I quickly checked my weather app again and it didn't show any rain either forecasted or on the radar. I didn't believe the app entirely though. It really really looked like it was about to start pouring any minute. After they changed we started walking to the planned second location which wasn't covered either. About halfway there I had to make a choice. I'd felt a few raindrops already and the clouds were getting darker. It was either risk it or change plans. We changed plans. I spotted a small covered area in front of a building that would be okay for a pose or two but not good enough for half a session. I quickly told Aleah that I wanted to change the plan, to shoot here, and I'd be back. She's pretty accustomed to me running off on a tangent with very little information so okay, no big deal, she'll roll with it. While Aleah, Neil, and Rozzanne shot under an area that would at least keep them mostly dry if it started pouring I quickly walked toward an area that I thought would be most likely to give me something workable. To say that I was worried was an understatement. I needed to hold it together and not let our clients see that I was stressed but in my head I was having a major come apart. It only took a minute to find something, which was really good because less than 30 seconds after we got Neil and Rozzanne under that covering the flood gates opened and it poured. The light was great there and we got exactly what we needed. It even stopped raining about the time we finished the session so we didn't have to walk back in the rain either!