I sit here writing this as a therapy of sorts. My 5 year old twins are busy with a pen and the latest “Toys R Us” flyer circling what they feel is life or death important to them. Every toy that they don’t currently have that catches their eye, some that they already have, but have forgot about, and pretty much anything princess or pirate that is contained within those pages is getting circled to let me know that they “need it”. So I sit here writing this post to tell you all about why I love rain on a wedding day, and why I actually look forward to it.
It’s All About the Style
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “overcast skies are like a giant softbox”. I heard that term used early on in my photography learning experience but I didn’t really know why that was important, or how to make use of that “giant softbox” in the sky. I’ll attempt to tell you why it’s important and how to use it to your advantage. It really comes down to your style of shooting. As a matter of fact, it’s all about your style.
So like I said, it’s all about your style. Are you a natural light photographer? Do you look for the soft edge that occurs where the shadow ends? Or are you a flash photographer? Do you add your own light to your liking? Of these two, I’m the latter. I try not to rely on chance. I don’t like to hope for natural light so I am almost exclusively a flash photographer. I add light. I control the shadows and the highlights. This allows me to create dramatic scenes like you see above. You can’t (or it would be very hard to) create a scene like this without the use of flash. For this reason, I stick to flash.
The general process to get these images to look like this starts with the ambient light. The first thing to do when approaching a scene like this is to hold up your camera and take a photo without flash. From there, you adjust your exposure until your background is beautiful and saturated. Generally I like to set my exposure to about 1 stop underexposed. This will add depth to the clouds and scenery. The next step is to add your light for the subject. For me, I brought in a Sb-700 camera right at 1/8th power. From that point I adjusted the power until Ben and Sally were lit beautifully.
What Does This Have to Do With Rain?
What does this have to do with the rain? Most brides absolutely freak out when they hear rain. Most brides get really upset and worry about how their day is going to go. I prefer the rain. I hope that a light rain comes through in the morning before the ceremony. I hope that there are beautiful clouds like in these images. When we have a “giant softbox’, we have the making of dramatic, saturated skies. All of that to say this; if there is rain in your forecast on the wedding day, keep calm, tell your brides that everything is going to be great. Tell them that you prefer the clouds, and that you’re going to take care of them. It instils confidence with the bride and we all know that a confident bride makes our lives easier. (by the way, Sally, the bride in these images didn’t freak out or worry. She was amazing and understood how great the images would look)