It’s a bright, sunshiny Missouri morning. But there’s snow on the ground. Ignore the fact it was 75 degrees a few days ago. Such is the life of a photographer living in a state where the jet streams cross. You get completely unpredictable weather. So, what’re you gonna do? Learn to love it.
Let me take you back to 2012. I woke up for a shoot and the sky was gray. And not the pretty kind of gray. It was like a grainy, gloomy, depressing color — with a weird tint of orange to top it off. It looked like it was going to pour any second. Nicole and her family were about to move to another state — and wanted some memories of their time in Kansas City. There wasn’t another day to re-schedule. So, I packed some umbrellas just in case, and we were off!
The key? Shoot without including the sky. Get up close, have a different background like greenery, train tracks, train cars, etc. Something where the sky doesn’t play a part.
We ended up going to a fire station. Nicole had complications with birth — and it was the firefighters who were her first responders. She teared up when I went inside and retrieved a firefighter. They even let the kids play in a firetruck. How awesome is that?
Ok, so we’ve talked about gloomy skies. What about wind? Like blow your hair in your face wind? The best tip is to face the wind. Then, it makes the hair blow back behind them. I call it the “model effect.” No fans needed!
In this shoot below, we were down by the water. It was so windy, but you can hardly tell!
Aight … now, snow. Oh, snow. Firstly, if the conditions are so bad that the roads aren’t drivable, or even if they are, but they’re slick — re-schedule. A photoshoot is never above someone’s safety. But, if the roads are fine — go play in it!
Use it to your advantage. Snow is so white and fun — nature’s perfect backdrop.
I try not to re-schedule shoots due to the weather, unless necessary. Otherwise, I’d be re-scheduling all the time. All of nature’s elements are workable.
Although, use your head. I did recently re-schedule a maternity shoot due to the snow. It wasn’t because of the roads, it was because I didn’t want mama and baby to have to brave the very, very cold weather. So, like I said, just use your head!
- All weather is workable
- Bring umbrellas. Rain shots can be really fun!
- If the sky is gray, shoot up-close, or shots that don’t involve seeing the sky.
- Use the wind to your advantage. Have the person face into the wind.
- Snow is awesome, it’s nature’s natural backdrop.
- Re-schedule if the roads are too slick or covered.
- Re-schedule if it’s too cold for children or pregnant mothers.
More of our “How To” series: