Recently I read an article on a young photographer’s blog about why she refuses to photograph her subjects on rainy days or cloudy days. She detailed several reasons why doing sessions on days that were raining or overcast were not ideal or wise, and even stated that she rescheduled or cancelled client sessions based on the weather being cloudy.
The whole time I was reading it, I kept wanting to get up and cry, “I would like to call a rebuttal witness!”
Well, I guess the rebuttal witness is going to be me.
In the first place, and I feel I should hardly need to say it, but if your photographer is asking to cancel or reschedule your session based simply on the fact that the sky is overcast, you deserve a better photographer. Drop them and find someone else. No decent professional photographer will ever cancel for something so easily dealt with. A pro knows how to work in any given lighting situation, even non-ideal ones. And get great results. Without making you feel like it’s a burden for them, and certainly without placing the burden on you by making you scramble to find another date and time.
Now, yes, certainly different photographers have different preferences which suit their own style best. Most photographers will schedule sessions at certain times of day because that’s the ideal time for the lighting they work best with. But we all know that we can’t control the weather, and so we learn to adapt. It’s part of our job. Wedding photographers in Orlando deal with a fair amount of rain. A fair amount of sunlight, too, but more often than not there will be some measure of clouds in the sky.
Now, in the second place…cloudy and even rainy days can be great to photograph in! There are some absolutely wonderful things about a cloudy day that photographers love. Heck, a lot of photographers will frankly pray for an overcast day.
All photographers know that what we do is about capturing light first and foremost. In fact, many will refer to light as the “bread and butter” of photography, and it is essential. The argument that some beginners will make is that sunlight is best because there’s, well, light.
But overcast days are hardly lightless! There’s actually a lot of light even with a decently heavy cloud cover. And this light, rather than producing bright glaring spots and deep shadows (which are highly unflattering), is evenly diffused to create a softer and more pleasing look. Photographers spend a lot of money on equipment to try and artificially create with light what a cloudy day does naturally.
On brightly sunny days, most photographers will actively search for places in the shade, so they can capture their models in a less contrasted light. On an overcast day, everything is in the shade, it doesn’t matter where you shoot. You can go anywhere! It offers a lot more freedom.
And there’s no need to squint! Don’t you just hate it when you’re trying to smile at the camera and all you can see is the glare of the sun? There are basically two options to protect your eyes — wear sunglasses or squint. With either option, you miss the eyes entirely, which is a great part of what a photographer captures. They are, after all, the windows to the soul. On an overcast day, you can keep your eyes wide open, which is much more compelling.
And because of the lack of harsh contrast, I have found that it’s easier to capture some of the richer and more natural colors for my bride and groom (or whomever I happen to be working with). The details often show up better, particularly with a bride’s gown — which, in direct sunlight, will often lose its texture and appear washed out and far too bright.
None of this should suggest that sunlight is somehow a terrible thing. Like any other photographer, I have my own personal preferences. And there are times when I like the glow of the sun, particularly in the earlier or later parts of the day, when the sun is much closer to the horizon and has more of an elegant and rich dynamic to it. I merely wish to express why photographing on a cloudy day can in fact produce exquisite results that you will love!
Overcast days, rainy days, they have their own rich dynamic to them. They are hardly flat and lifeless. So if you wake up on the day of your photo shoot to find that the sun is hiding and the clouds have rolled in, don’t worry! In fact, be excited. You will get absolutely fabulous photos, possibly even better than you realized. And if it’s raining? Well, I’ve got some umbrellas at the ready, and I’m a huge fan of dancing in the rain! 🙂
Getting married soon and looking for a professional photographer? Rain or shine, you will get beautiful, romantic, artistic images to remember the happiest day of your life. Visit the website and book your session today!