“It’s like rain on your wedding day…” Ok, as many people have pointed out since that song came out, that is not ironic. But it can sometimes be unpleasant and disrupt parts of your planning. And not just on your wedding day, either. Rain can complicate your engagement photoshoot as well. You might have your heart set on engagement photos in front of a gorgeous sunset. Or perhaps you dream of images of you and your future spouse in a field with a deep blue summer sky above you. Or maybe surrounded by sun-kissed flowers. And if it rains? All that goes out the window, obviously. The good news, however, is that rain can sometimes give you photos even more stunningly beautiful than those other scenarios. Engagement pictures in the rain have a unique charm that you might just come to appreciate.
Before we talk about what makes rainy day engagement photos so special, we would like to return to a point we made above. Inclement weather is an unfortunate possibility on the dates you pick for your engagement session. Because you will schedule your photoshoot months in advance, you have no way of knowing what the weather will be like on the day of.
And trust us when we say that bad weather can and does happen! In our time as wedding and engagement photographers, we have documented couples’ love stories in a lot of different climatic conditions. We have photographed two different weddings during record-setting blizzards. Working in the Nation’s Capital means we have documented a lot of marital events in the region’s infamously blazing summer heat. We have not ever had to photograph couples during hurricanes, tornados or torrential rainstorms, but we cannot say that any of those scenarios are an impossibility!
So what does this mean for you? It means you can and should try to plan for the possibility of inclement weather. (More on that below.) But at the end of the day, you will probably just have to roll with whatever life deals you on the dates you pick. And as we mentioned above, that is not a bad thing! The couple whose matrimony we photographed during 2016’s Snowzilla took this approach to a weather event that prevented many of their guests from making it to DC. Because they did not stress out about the disruptions, they were able to enjoy one of the sweetest, most wonderful marriage celebrations we have ever witnessed. Sometimes it just comes down to finding the silver linings in an undesirable situation.
Having a positive attitude about the possibility of rainy engagement photos does not mean you should not come prepared. Because there are some very easy ways to ensure that a session during inclement weather is enjoyable and gives you the stunning portraits you are looking for. With that in mind, here is what to do if it rains for your engagement photos:
Whether you take that advice or not, we are certain that you are going to love the idea of taking engagement photos in the rain. Why? Because those pictures end up being the kind you cannot take your eyes off of. Here is what makes rain engagement images so special:
One of the key ingredients in a truly unforgettable image is a hint of tension. Not between you and your future spouse, of course! No, just some elements that catch the viewer’s eye, that make them take notice. It can be a contradiction of some sort. Or a dramatic contrast between light and shadow. Or something in your body language that communicates action and motion.
It is pretty fair to say that inclement weather creates a bit of drama in a photo all by itself! When you look at an image like this, in which a couple is posing with a storm in the distance, you definitely notice the scene. You stop to examine the sky. You wonder how far it is from the couple. It occurs to you that they might get wet, and you try to guess how long they have before that happens. Before you know it, you have spent five minutes looking at just one photo. And that is the kind you want sitting on your mantel!
The second thing that you will love about these engagement portraits is the new creative possibilities the weather opens up for your engagement photographers. If you bring along the aforementioned clear umbrella, for example, they can set up artificial lighting behind you and use it to illuminate the umbrella. Photos like that can be hauntingly beautiful. Alternatively, they can aim the lights away from you, thereby illuminating the individual raindrops falling around you. That effect makes your engagement pictures in the rain really stunning!
Many people do not realize the effect that clouds and rain have on the colors of a setting. By blocking the sun, the clouds create a soft, forgiving light everywhere. That by itself is great for unforgettable portraits. Your engagement photographers do not have to worry about harsh shadows. You will be lit perfectly no matter where they pose you.
Perhaps more importantly, though, is how vibrant the colors get when there is an overcast sky and a bit of dampness on the ground. The greens of the grass in particular become quite rich. If you like the idea of images of you with lots of beautiful colors in the frame, then engagement pictures in the rain will be exactly what you are looking for!
This particular image is a great illustration of how magical engagement photos in the rain can look. We took it during a destination photoshoot outside of Hannover Germany. As you can see and the couple squeezed it in just before a storm lashed rain down on the area. The ominous clouds and streaks of rain in the distance give a definite sense of dramatic tension. Like we said above, you cannot help but wonder when they are going to get wet. There is creativity, though it is not the result of using artificial lighting. Instead, it is from the way we posed this couple at the intersection of two leading lines (the cornfield and the hedge). And finally, the rain and clouds brought out the richness of the greens, yellows and browns of this tableau. The result was a testament to how lovely engagement photos in the rain can be.
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Location: Altwarmbüchen, Germany.
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