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  • Amanda Chesher

How to plan your session based on the weather

When people are planning their photo sessions they think of a bright sunny day with a cloudless sky! Birds are singing, the grass is green. But the thing is... sometimes, the sun can be your worst enemy when it comes to your photo sessions. Sometimes you will see a photographer schedule sessions that are only available during early evening hours. Why is that? Let's chat about how the weather can effect your photo sessions.

As I just mention, those bright sunny days are not always ideal for photo shoots. But why is that? And well the answer lies in that statement. BRIGHT. There is such a thing as too bright! When working with natural light, the photographer has no control over how bright or placement of the light. The sun sits in the sky, where it sits. No changing that. During certain times of the day, that can make the lighting situation pretty tricky. At peek hours of the day, the sun is the most powerful and the highest in the sky. This results in a combination of blown out highlights (think your forehead, nose, hair, being too bright) and hard, harsh shadows, which can result in raccoon eyes. If you are shooting out doors, it's best to look for locations with shade if you have to shoot during peek hours. The beach would not be a good idea. The best times to shoot are early in the morning or before sunset. This is referred to as 'golden hour', especially in places where shade is not readily available.

Overcast days can be a photographers dream, especially if there is no other option then to hold a session mid afternoon. This is because clouds act like a natural light filter. Think about when you visit a studio and the photographers lights have those large umbrellas over them.... that is essentially what the clouds are doing. This softens the sunlight so no matter what it is, you avoid those blow outs and hard shadows mentioned above. It basically creates even, balanced lighting.

To be honest, dreary, gloomy days that a little misted with rain are some of my favorite days to shoot! There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, the overcast! It bears repeating, it's perfect lighting. Another reason is the wet! The rain is going to darken the bark on the trees, the pavement and ground, making all that floral and fauna pretty pop! It creates a dramatic contrast that really makes all the plant life around you glow. Also the plants love it! So everything is going to look like a bright beautiful tropical setting and you and your family are really going to stand out.

A lot of people automatically think it runs your images. Now it if it is pouring out or there is lighting, then yes, we will need to reschedule. Too much of anything is never a good thing. We don't want you look drowned out. And lighting can be dangerous. Mud can be avoided. And embracing the situation can make amazing images. Bring umbrellas, or rubber boots for the littles. We are able to get traditional posed images, as well as some adorable playful ones.

In short, if you have to shoot mid day, plan for a place with lots of shade. If you want a field or beachy setting make sure you booking your session for early or later in the day (after dinner time frames). And if it isn't sunny or even a little drizzly, don't stress! It's actually makes for great images.

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