What happens if it rains on photoshoot day?

This has got to be the single most common question I am asked by clients booking photoshoots: “What happens if it rains?” Closely, at the moment, followed by “What happens if we are in lockdown?” (Spoiler alert: the answer is the same).

Which is great because us Brits LOVE talking about the weather. Luckily, here in Sydney we are blessed with year-round sunshine by the weather gods.  But sometimes, of course, we get unlucky.  And the short answer is: we rearrange. 

I promise, I am not going to make you and your family stand outside in the pouring rain while I try to raise smiles out of cold and grumpy children.  That idea brings me absolutely no joy whatsoever.  If it’s raining on the day of your shoot, we will rearrange.  You will not lose your deposit. These things happen.  It’s an occupational hazard of The Best Job In The World (which 90% of the time has me soaking in warm sunsets on beautiful beaches).

As you can imagine, I spend an awful lot of time watching weather forecasts.  I don’t cancel too far in advance because some of the best sunsets I have ever seen have come after a huge storm.  The best golden glow doesn’t happen when you have a clear sky; it happens when the sun lights up the clouds.    And there is nothing worse than cancelling a shoot and then watching the sky light up pink and gold while I sob into a glass of wine on my sofa. (Dramatic? Moi?)

My wet weather policy is that we make the call together on the morning of your shoot.  Sometimes, we might even wait until lunchtime, if your schedule is flexible enough to do that.

Forecasts change constantly.  Realistically, they are rarely reliable more than 24 hours in advance of your shoot unless there is some enormous weather event coming. 

Weather apps (especially that iPhone one) condense an entire day’s weather into one icon.  If there is even the tiniest chance of rain for one hour in the morning, that icon will probably be a rainy one.  Which is actually really, REALLY unhelpful.

I look closely at the hourly predictions, the radar, and the weather trends on the day of your shoot.  If the greatest chance of rain is in the morning, then the chances are that sunset will be the best part of the whole day. 

Finally, remember that there is no guarantee the next date you choose will be better weather.  A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, as my grandma used to say.

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