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  • "Photographers deal in things that are continually vanishing and when they have vanished, there is no contrivance on earth that can make them come back again." ~ Henri Cartier Bresson

I just got back from NYC and even though the weather wasn’t the best, I always have such a great time up there!  I even got to see a flash mob in Central Park and a wedding party being photographed at the park in the rain.  It got me thinking about these rainy days and how we deal with them on a wedding day.  Over the course of photographing 100++ weddings over the last several years, it is rare that I’ve had to deal with rain on a wedding day.  Statistically I know that I should have encountered more rain than I have, but as I prepared for this blog post, the rainy weddings were so easy to pick out because they were far and few between.  I say this because I want to reassure you that the likelihood that you will encounter rain your wedding day is pretty slim, but as a bride and photographer, it’s better to be prepared than to show up the day of the wedding not knowing beforehand your game plan if it does happen to rain.  Hopefully some of the information provided is helpful should you find yourself in this situation on your wedding day.

  1. The first tip is to mentally prepare yourself for the possibility that there could be rain.  We all conjure up in our minds how our wedding day should be and like a movie, we play out the different parts of it in our mind and predetermine that beautiful sunset that surely will come.  This is something that all of us do, whether it’s our wedding day, our dream job, the perfect kids we’re going to have etc.  It’s part of life and we all do it.  We all think about how some future event will play out.  Instead of being fixed in your mind on a certain outcome, the best thing to do is to manage your expectations and hope for the very best, but acknowledge that the professional you have hired knows how to capture your wedding and deliver priceless images to you rain or shine.  Rest easy and let them do their job.Rain-Wedding-Photos_6952.  The second tip is to select a venue that gives you multiple photography options whether indoors or outdoors.  Make sure your photographer is familiar with the venue and has had the opportunity to scout the area for the best locations for photos should the need to shoot indoors or under cover, arise.  As a photographer, if you are shooting at a venue you haven’t photographed at before and you did not do a site visit prior to the wedding, plan to get to the photography location far enough in advance so that you can scout the locations and feel confident in your choices for the best photography spots.3.  This one may seem pretty obvious but it should be said, bring umbrellas!  Umbrellas are actually really cute props and I love them in photographs.  As a photographer, umbrellas are a must in case you need to stand out in the rain, while the bride and groom are under cover so that you can get the shot you need.  This has happened to me whenever there’s rain a wedding day.  I always end up out in the rain and in order to protect the gear, plastic gear covering and an umbrella are often necessary. For this next shot, I was literally standing in pouring rain at a distance from the bridal party in order to shoot them under cover.4.  Another great idea is to wear rain boots.  There are two aspects of the rain boots that are convenient.  First they can look really cute under a wedding dress 🙂 and secondly, if you don’t want to show the rain boots, in most wedding dresses you won’t even see them but your feet will be protected from any dampness on the ground.5.  Be flexible with the timeline.  With Chelsea and Andy’s wedding at Meadowlark, it was raining right when we were supposed to be doing formal photos before the ceremony.  We made the most of the situation as you can see from the photos, but we still were hoping to get out in the beautiful gardens for some photos.  The rain was really heavy and there was no practical way of photographing in the gardens before the ceremony.  Fortunately, during the cocktail hour, the clouds broke and we were able to steal away for a few photos.  If the weather is cooperating, be willing to trust your photographer and take the extra 10-15 minutes to get those shots that they know you will cherish.  I promise you won’t regret it!6. Lastly, when you are choosing your wedding photographer, look for someone that not only shoots in natural light well, look for a photographer that has a good grasp of flash photography and how to use it to create stunning portraits even in the most dark environments.  This is important because while you can’t control the weather, you don’t want the weather to dictate the quality of your wedding images.  If it appears that your photographer only shows naturally lit images, then ask for examples of their flash photography work.  Natural light photographers that don’t specialize in flash, sometimes struggle when a situation like this comes up.  If you are a photographer and need more help with your flash photography, I personally have loved learning from Justin and Mary’s lighting course.  I also recommend Zach and Jody Gray’s mastering off camera flash course.

Hopefully these tips were helpful to you, whether you are a bride or a wedding photographer.  If you have further tips or tricks to add, please leave a comment.  I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic!

Happy Monday friends and seize the day!

Shauna

 

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Alex and Matt were married this past September in the most idyllic spot that is Riverside on the Potomac.  This farm is literally on the Potomac River and it is connected to horse farms and rolling hills.  Every time a bride e-mails and says she is getting married at Riverside, I get a little giddy and excited because that’s how much I love this venue.  Alex and Matt met while they were in college.  They were set up on a date by Alex’s friend, I don’t think either of them would have thought that one single date, would lead to years of love and friendship, culminating in their marriage.  These two are so equally matched in every way and complement each other perfectly.  I loved their personal taste and style for their wedding.  The lavender and blues that the bridal party wore, were the perfect color combination and Petals and Hedges outdid herself with the florals.  It was an affair to remember for sure!

 

Event Planning: Tricia Christine Weddings | Florals: Petals and Hedges | Venue: Riverside on the Potomac | Photography: Photography Du Jour | Hair: Jordan K. Winn | Makeup: Phenomenal Faces | Videographer: Ginger Topham | Band: Significant Others | Caterer: Smokin’ Willy’s

One last portrait in the glowy sunlight, Riverside is known for.And just because, what could be better than one dress for your wedding day?  Two BHLDN dresses for your wedding day! And a little unintentional wedding guest wandering the grounds.  I really can’t resist a cute chicken!This barn…  ahhh!   I love this barn!

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Who’s looking outdoors and feeling ready for spring?  This girl most certainly is!  Winter in Virginia this year has been pretty blah and not even really a pretty snow to capture at all.  I love my snow photo shoots, but mother nature just hasn’t cooperated and so I feel ready to just move on.  The trees are starting to bud and you know when you look outside and you see the slightest twinge of red on the ends of the branches, spring is just around the corner.  It reminded me of the prettiest spring photo shoot I did at Tranquility Farm in Purcellville, Virgnia.  It is a relatively new venue and beautiful at that!  It’s historic, charming, and has a lovely barn.  Not to mention the flowering trees in the spring would make me want to plan my wedding date around them, they are so beautiful.  This venue is just a short drive from my home and I feel so lucky to be surrounded by such a pretty spot.  Enjoy!

Event Design & Florals: Event Studio | Venue: Tranquility Farm | Dresses: Ebrada Atelier | Cake: Shugar Shugar | Catering: Blue Water Kitchen | Sweets: The Boutique Bakeshop

 

Joe & Roxana’s wedding was by far my most colorful wedding of the year!  The marrying of two cultures together, Mexican and Indian, produced a virtual color feast for the eyes and was a fun start to my spring weddings this past year.  Joe and Roxana are some of the most genuine and kind people I have come across.  They are fun, intelligent, and it was clear by the guests that attended, that they keep their friends and family close at heart.  They were so fun to capture!  Here are the lovely vendors that helped to make their day perfect.

Lighting: Superlative Events | Florals: Bella Fiori | Venue: Ronald Reagan International Trade Center | Cake: Classic Bakery | Wedding Gown: Cristiano Lucci | Accomodations: The W, Washington D.C. | Music:

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Whitney and Robert are two very special people in my life.  Whitney is my cousin and was always like a little sister to me.  Although she lived in Texas and I grew up in Washington, my Uncle Dean and Aunt Joanne were good about bringing their children, Whitney and Travis, back home to visit.  Whitney was always so engaging and fun to talk to.  She had so much energy all of the time and I marveled at her enthusiasm and opinions at a young age.  She always knew what she wanted and was determined to see it through.  I can remember a sailing trip up to the San Juan Islands and I was tasked with watching Whitney.  It was fun to see her curiosity about the world as a child and her endless questions about crabbing, sailing, and everything under the sun.  Fast forward to her teenage years and Whitney came to visit us in Virginia for a summer.  Whitney was so good with my children and they loved spending time with her.  She was always patient and engaging them with questions.  Whitney is one of those people that when she walks into a room, you feel her presence and people are just drawn to her.   After successfully completing her nursing degree and buying a house, it was time to settle down with the love of her life, Robert.

Robert adores Whitney and it’s evident in the way he holds her hand, steals glances to make sure she’s okay, and is always the perfect southern gentlemen in word and deed.  Even though I don’t know Robert as well as I know Whitney, in the time that we have had to get to know each other, I’m impressed with his down to earth personality and warmth.  I am so glad my cousin found her person.  Congratulations Whitney and Robert!

A special thanks goes to Monica Evans Photography for assisting me in capturing this wedding!  Thank you so much!

Hotel: The Magnolia | Venue: Crystal Ballroom at The Rice | Event Planning: Eventology Weddings | Dress: Vera Wang | Flowers: SCF Events | Catering: Sam Buca | Band: Buzz and the Blue Cats | Second Photographer: Monica Evans Photography

 

Houston Wedding Photographer_503Funny story about this photo…  at her parent’s wedding, the ring bearer sneaked into the getaway limo after the ceremony and we continued that tradition here with the ring bearer, John.Houston Wedding Photographer_502

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