As I sit here and New York City is covered in ice and snow, I can’t help but think about all the brides who spend hours worrying over the weather on their wedding day. The weather, unfortunately, is one thing you can’t control (unless you’re Sean Connery in The Avengers) and stressing over it is not going to help. What you can do is be prepared and have a plan of action in the event that Mother Nature is not being agreeable. So here are some tips to make the most of a potentially bad photo situation:
Snow & Cold Weather
The biggest deterrent to taking pictures in the snow or when it is very cold out is the temperature! It may sound obvious but some couples just do not prepare for taking pictures outside. Get a cape or a shawl for the bride and a warm coat for the groom so that freezing temps don’t keep you from heading inside before you get your pictures.
If the snow is deep or still flying, you may also want to incorporate some tips from the next section…
Rain on your wedding day is supposed to be good luck, right? Well it also doesn’t have to ruin your photos.
If there is a possibility of rain, make sure you have an umbrella. Preferably, get a white or transparent umbrella. The reason being that colored umbrellas will cast a color on your face and clothes as light passes through them. So, for example, a red umbrella is going to cast red filtered light on you. If you want to do photos with your entire bridal party outside, you should have enough umbrellas for everyone – just keep that in mind!
Also, consider investing in some rain boots – for everyone who is going to be outside taking pictures. You can match them to your wedding colors! This way you don’t have to worry about ruining your shoes. Or just resolve yourself to getting wet…
Too Much Sun
This may seem like it wouldn’t be a problem, but when you are out in the middle of the day in the middle of the Summer you will think differently. While many people think that the more light you have the better and since the middle of the day is when the sun is brightest that is the best time to take pictures. Unfortunately, the overhead lighting casts harsh shadows on faces and remember – it is the HOTTEST time of day. You don’t want to be a sweaty mess in your wedding photos. My suggestion? Find some shade!
In the two photos above, you will notice there are some shadows on the faces in the one on the left, but the biggest problem was this couple wasn’t terribly comfortable. The sun was hot and making them squint. So we moved to a shady area – the photo on the right – and things were much better. Make sure whatever shade you choose that it is close to a sunlit area, the farther away it is the darker it will be, and that you don’t have ‘dappled’ sunlight coming through the branches of trees or anything similar. This can create awkward shadows and patterns.
If there is no shade nearby, your photographer should be able to use a reflector (bouncing the light at shadows to eliminate them), a diffuser (to soften the harsh light), or fill flash (to illuminate shadows) to deal with the problems of shooting in the middle of the day. But this becomes more difficult depending on the size of the group being photographed and will take more time or equipment. So keep that in mind.
If you can, schedule your photos to be taken near sundown when the sun is lower in the sky and produces a more flattering, golden light (as in the photos below).
You may be disappointed if the sky is overcast on your wedding day, and there is not much you can do about it. You can look on the bright side – clouds are nature’s light diffusers. They create a big even light source so you don’t have tons of shadows and you aren’t subjected to the direct heat and light of the sun.
And if your photographer is good with using off-camera flash, they create some dramatic cloud photos!
Thank you for reading. Please feel free to share this post with anyone you think it would help. And please let me know in the comments section if there are other situations you would like me to discuss.