DEFINITIVE MOMENTS – RAIN 3/4

Rain On Your Wedding Day. Part III. A winter wedding in the North West.

We absolutely adore the North West. We had our first holiday together here in 1990 and spent our honeymoon in Lytham in 1994. After visiting every year, we moved to Lytham St Annes in 2008. It is a truly beautiful place to live, but it comes with a caveat – rain!! Preston was listed as the 2nd wettest city in England. So it’s no surprise that wedding photography in the North West may incur a spot or two of the wet stuff, especially during the Winter months. The main thing with taking wedding photographs in the rain is to embrace it and find a way of working with it. We see a rainy day wedding as an opportunity to take photographs we wouldn’t normally get on a dry day.

This photograph was taken during January near Clitheroe in Lancashire. As the bride arrived at church, the rain was fairly constant, which led to the inevitable huddle-under-an-umbrella situation. Trying to take pictures with the rain driving into the camera lens isn’t always a great idea, the better option is to find some cover and shoot from that. The church porch provided the respite from the weather and gave a different perspective on the bride’s arrival.

The porch window provided the compositional structure for the image. Shooting through it was a little problematic because of the raindrops on the glass. Fortunately, a large drop didn’t quite cover the bride’s face. Her expression is perfect for the situation and dad carrying the flowers while striding behind in the rain is just wonderful.

Rainy day tips for photographers.

It should go without saying that your equipment should be up to surviving a shower. Professional level cameras will be perfectly fine in a downpour. If you are unsure, check out the manufacturer’s guidelines. Ideally, your lenses should have rubber gaskets around the bayonets to stop water penetration into the camera body. We actually have specific lenses which we use just for wet weather.

Always use a filter on your lens when taking wedding photographs in the rain. It is better to rub a towel over a wet filter than a lens element. You can also remove it once out of the rain and carry on shooting without the loss of quality that comes from a dirty filter. We prefer high-quality Hoya filters as they last longer and don’t scratch as easily as some of the cheaper ones.

We always put a second body and lens inside the church when we first arrive so that it can acclimatise to the environment. One of the biggest issues with shooting in the rain is the inevitable condensation that forms on the camera lenses and viewfinders as soon as we move inside. A second body ensures we can keep shooting even if the main camera has steamed up.

A small hand towel is essential to pack in your bag, and if you use ThinkTank bags, as we do, then it’s a good idea to use the protective rain cover that is supplied with the bag.

wedding photo of a bride arriving at church in rain