Don't you hate it when you have great plans for something outdoors, you've managed every last detail to perfection, and then, at the last minute, Mother Nature decides she's not on board and the weather ruins your plans?
My philosophy: stay flexible!
Outdoor photo sessions almost always hinge on the weather and that can be...disappointing. By the time this family called me for a photo session in December, they were pretty frustrated. The original plan was a fall session against the warm backdrop of the autumn foliage. After being rained out once and having a photographer cancel the second time, the autumn leaves were long gone and the plan had to change.
My suggestion was studio portraits. The lighting is easier for me to manage and the weather is irrelevant. So that's what we planned. My client (the mother/wife) had put a lot of thought and time into a Pinterest board of outdoor photos she liked and I was sorry that I wouldn't be able to replicate her ideas, but the weekend of their appointment, the weather was gross. It rained for like three days straight and I was really glad that we were going to be shooting indoors.
Then something amazing happened...
The rain stopped and a heavy fog rolled in. There were enough adults present that we could get the couch from the studio out into the yard and it was beautiful! We created a set that actually resembled some of what I saw on her Pinterest board. We did a set of photos in my back yard and another set in my neighbors' back yard. They are not warm and autumny. They are mysterious and wintery. The final product did not resemble Plan A or Plan B but I could not be happier with how they turned out!
It just goes to show that when you're creating art, it's best to keep and open mind because there is beauty all around.
December is a dark month and it was already getting dark by 3:30pm. There was barely enough light available but we made it work. I used a big white sheet as a reflector for the first set and for the second set, I brought out a studio light.
Because of the days of rain, the ground was super muddy. The created the challenge of how to keep everyone looking perfect throughout the shoot. Not only did the mom pick out two pairs of super cute shoes for her daughter, she also hand-crocheted the teal shawl. I was on high-alert the entire time about not letting any of it get dirty. We kept an eye on the shawl to make sure it didn't fall off and dad carried the five-year-old from set to set to avoid getting mud on her fabulous shoes.
I am absolutely in love with the way these portraits turned out and in the future I won't be so quick to assume that rain equals being rained out.