FAQ: What happens if it rains on shoot day?

This has got to be the single most common question I am asked by clients booking photoshoots: “What happens if it rains?” Which is great because us Brits LOVE talking about the weather.

The short answer is: we rearrange. 

Luckily, here in Sydney we are blessed with year-round sunshine by the weather gods.  But sometimes, of course, we get unlucky. 

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).

A rainy day turned into a magical sunset on the Harbour for this extended family

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 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 day of your shoot.  Usually around 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 show a rain cloud.  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. 

It rained through every one of these shoots. Can you tell!? Of course not!

Sometimes, you might need to go ahead even if there’s a chance of rain. Maybe you have family visiting from overseas, or a huge extended family that’s impossible to organise, or a baby who’s about to make their appearance and won’t wait for a sunny day! In those circumstances – go for it!! We can create magic in the rain, just as we can in the sunshine. What’s important is that we freeze this moment in time, and capture these memories.

Finally, remember that there is no guarantee that if you postpone, you’ll get better weather.  A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, as my grandma used to say. Stay flexible, and keep an eye on my availability – especially this summer, I’ll be offering clients the opportunity to bring their sessions forward if we get a run of great weather.

Finally – I want to reassure you that I practice what I preach. An extended family shoot organised while we were all on holiday was plagued with wet weather. We didn’t care, and we have a fabulous gallery of memories with our favourite people!

Considering a winter shoot? See why I love them so much here.

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