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Capturing Rainy Day Magic: A Guide to Stunning Rainy Portrait Photography

When you think about rainy weather, a portrait photoshoot might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but with some preparation, embracing the rainy day photoshoot can lead to some of the most beautiful and memorable photos.
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By Shoott Staff

Thu, Oct 5 2023

Couple standing under an umbrella on a rainy city street.

At Shoott.com, we're all about celebrating creativity, and if you’re facing rainy conditions, we want to empower you to capture beautiful portraits in the rain, which creates the ideal conditions for romantic, moody, or wistful vibes. In this blog, we cover everything you need to know, from ideal rainy conditions and preparing for your session to poses and safety tips! 

Ideal Rainy Day Conditions for Photos

Not all rainy days are created equal when it comes to photography. To capture stunning portraits in the rain, you'll want to keep an eye out for specific conditions:

  • Light Rain Showers: Light drizzles or misty rain create a soft, ethereal ambiance for some dramatic portraits. These conditions often result in raindrops clinging to leaves and hair, adding a touch of magic to your shots. If the conditions are right and luck is on your side, you might be able to also capture a rainbow.

  • Overcast Sky: People often think sunny weather is the best for photos, but many photographers strongly prefer overcast conditions as they act as a natural light diffuser, softening any harsh sunlight and providing even, flattering lighting on their subjects. So do not be afraid of overcast conditions - they help minimize harsh shadows and create photo magic.

  • Early Morning or Dusk: Shooting during these times allows you to make the most of the soft, diffused light and capture the serene beauty of rain-soaked surroundings.

Preparation is Key

When it comes to rainy shoots, lean into dressing for success and bringing the right props:

  • Wear a raincoat & galoshes: Great both functionally and aesthetically, dress for the occasion to keep you dry and to create fun and whimsical photos!

    A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog wearing a yellow raincoat sitting on a bench.
  • Bring a clear umbrella: Clear/transparent umbrellas also serve a dual function, keeping you dry while providing the opportunity for so many cute or romantic photo ops where your faces will still be visible.

    photo of a young girl on a beach under a transparent umbrella
  • Keep it colorful: Given the moodiness of rainy day conditions, wearing or bringing a pop of color (think: that traditional bright yellow raincoat or umbrellas of different colors!) will help create visual interest in your photos.

    A woman walking with a red umbrella in a park.
  • Play with your accessories: Depending on the weather or the location, you can wear or pose with decorative umbrellas, hats, scarves, gloves, balloons, flowers, etc to help heighten your photos.

    Three people holding hands and crossing a city street while one person holds a colorful umbrella aloft.

Posing Tips for Rainy Portraits

Be sure to share your goals for your session with your photographer - are you looking for something more dreamy, moody, romantic, whimsical or edgy? Communicating your goals allows your photographer to collaborate with you so they can suggest the poses, capture the angles, and find the backdrops that best convey the vibe you’re going for. Here are some of our favorite go-to posing tips and ideas for rainy day portraits:

  • Embrace Movement: Rain adds dynamic energy to your shots. Twirl, dance, kiss, sing, or simply walk in the rain to capture the essence of the moment.

    Couple sharing a romantic kiss on a rainy street with umbrellas.
  • Close-Ups: Capture the intimacy of the moment with close-up shots

    A couple embracing under a clear umbrella on a rainy day.
  • Reflections: Interact with your reflection in large puddles and windows to add depth and creativity to your portraits.

    A woman smiling as she walks across a shallow reflecting pool with trees and cars in the background.
  • Get wet: Ditch the umbrellas altogether and embrace the rain for a moody and more “raw” vibe.

    A young woman and man standing in front of a bridge, both with wet hair and leather jackets.
  • Play: Especially for those with kiddos - enjoy jumping in puddles!

    A joyful toddler playing in water on a wet urban surface.
  • Candid Moments: Sometimes, the best shots are unposed. React to and interact in the rain to create beautiful and authentic moments.

    A family of four with umbrellas smiling and walking on a wooden bridge in the rain.A smiling woman and a child holding umbrellas on a rainy day in front of a monument.

Conditions to Avoid

While rainy-day portrait photography can be magical, some conditions are best avoided for safety and quality reasons:

  • Heavy Downpour: Heavy rain can damage your photographer’s gear, make it impossible for you to pose comfortably, and/or result in blurry photos. When checking your forecast for the day you want to avoid rainfall of more than 0.3 inches per hour.

  • Strong Winds: Wind can turn umbrellas inside out and create too much chaos (and crazy hair) to capture successful portraits. It’s best to wait for calmer weather if the forecast is calling for frequent wind gusts over 20-30 mph.

  • Low Light: Dark, stormy days with minimal light can result in grainy or blurry photos. Unless your photographer is extremely confident in photographing portraits in low light or bringing additional lighting equipment, it’s best to shoot while there is still sufficient daylight for the best lighting conditions.

Safety First

While a rain shoot may be artistically enticing, we always want to emphasize these following tips for your safety and comfort:

  • Check Weather Updates: Keep an eye on weather forecasts to avoid being caught in a sudden downpour or thunderstorm. Avoid any flooding conditions or lightning - if these conditions are present, it’s best to move or reschedule your session.

  • Stay Dry: Photographing in rainy weather may result in you being wet and cold afterwards. Avoid trudging around in wet clothing all day or tracking water into your car or public transport by packing towels and a dry change of clothing.

  • Proceed with caution: Watch out for slippery surfaces. Wear appropriate footwear, tread carefully, and avoid standing in large puddles or using electrical equipment near water to prevent potential electrocution.

Conclusion

Overall, don't let a little rain dampen your spirits; embrace it and work together with your photographer to allow your collective creativity to result in beautiful photos. As an added bonus, rain often means less people out which is conducive to photos without crowds cluttering your shots. At Shoott, we believe that every moment is worth capturing, rain or shine, and we hope this guide inspires you to try a rainy day photoshoot.

Two young girls holding a clear umbrella outdoors.


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