What do you do if it rains during a bridal portrait session?

I’m SOOO excited to finally be able to share these amazing bridal portraits of Clara!

Having beautiful natural sunlight is of course the most optimal situation, but what do you do if there’s a GIANT rain storm that rolls in 10 minutes after starting the session?

As a photographer, light is the most important factor in any session, especially a bridal portrait where you want lighting that makes the bride look her BEST.  We photograph bridal portraits on the Furman University campus quite a bit because of so many beautiful lighting opportunities, but this day we had the added challenge of an approaching storm.

We obviously like to come prepared with extra lighting just in case the sun doesn’t want to cooperate. This was one of those days where we pulled out the big guns with lighting.  Fortunately, Clara was super easy-going and didn’t let the bad weather get to her.  She let us get creative by using the dark clouds to enhance the photographs.

We got just a couple shots while there was still a tiny bit of decent sunlight…still used a portable strobe with a softbox to get these shots since there was very little light on the bride’s face. (For all you photography geeks out there, we used a LumoPro through a spot grid as a hair light and an AlienBee B800 in a large octabox as the key)

bridal portrait at furman through the cherry blossoms

We used the flowering trees to add a pop of color to these bridal portraits at Furman just before the heavy clouds rolled in.

Furman bridal portrait in the Spring

In a matter of minutes, the dark clouds rolled in, and we decided to play up the ominous sky as part of the composition.  It was a departure from the “pretty picture” approach, but the contrast of the dark storm clouds with a beautiful bride makes a striking photograph…turned out to be my favorite from the whole session.  We only got a few frames before running for cover…turned the lighting softbox upside down and used it as an umbrella so the camera gear wouldn’t get soaked on the way to the closest building.

Furman bridal portrait in front of heavy storm and rain clouds

The heavy storm clouds covered the sky, and we used a large flash to light the bride while letting the sky and surrounding area go dark. The contrast of beautiful bride against an ominous sky is very striking!

raining during bridal portrait session at Furman

We went for cover to wait out the rain, but it looked like this until it was almost completely dark outside.

When the rain finally let up, we ventured out from the covered walkway for a few final shots since it was almost dark.

bridal portrait in the rain with umbrella

The umbrella was used because there was still a little bit of rain falling, but we thought it was cool in the photo too.

bridal portrait outside at night

It was so dark outside by the time the rain stopped, since we were using a flash, these almost look like they were made in a studio.

Check out Clara’s wedding day photos. Check out Andrew and Clara’s engagement photos. View other bridal portrait sessions.