5 Tips for Capturing Rainy Day Portraits

More often than not, the word ‘rain’ can put a photographer into a panic. Fortunately, it can also bring a smile to your face, because while rain may wreak havoc on a wedding or other event, it can also help to create a very dramatic look for portraits. To help provide more insight into the exciting world of rain photography, Japan based portrait, fashion, and wedding photographer Ilko Allexandroff created this fascinating video:

Whether you’re intentionally trying to capture rain photography or you just end up with inclement weather during your photo shoot, a great photographer will know how to capture impressive photos no matter what type of weather they’re shooting in. Thankfully, with the proper precautions, rain can offer portraits an appeal unlike any other. To help make things a little easier, remember these five helpful rain photography tips:

1. Keep a Gallon-Sized Plastic Bag on Hand

It doesn’t matter if you are in a pinch or if it’s your preferred method, a plastic bag works wonders at helping keep your equipment dry. Always make sure to keep one on hand. You never know when you’ll need it.

rainy day portrait

1/125 second, f/2, ISO 200, 135mm with CTO Filter

2. Use Your Aperture

If the weather creates a dark overcast day, your photography can easily appear dark and gloomy. To help combat this issue, adjust your aperture to let in more light.

3. Go with the Flow

Although easier said than done, rain is not the end of the world. In fact, rain can create a unique beauty to your photography, providing you with the perfect way to break out of the typical routine and capture creative images.

water photography

1/125 second, ISO 250, f/2, 135mm, using only one light behind subject

4. Use Shutter Speed to Your Advantage

Any professional photographer can tell you how essential your shutter speed is in determining the quality of your photos. Since rain is constantly moving, you need to determine how you want the rain drops to appear before deciding on your shutter speed. For example, if you want to capture every single drop, use a faster shutter speed. Typically a good starting point is 1/250 second, and then work on what you want from there.

5. Experiment with Your Lighting

Use your flash and other lighting options to your advantage. Be creative and experiment to determine what works best for your ideas.

We’d love to see your rainy day portraits. Share them in the comments!

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