I had such a great time taking these Otsego Lake rainy engagement photos in Cooperstown, NY with Emilie and Joe. As an upstate NY wedding photographer, one of the questions I get asked a lot is if we'll still take engagement photos in the rain, and the answer is yes and no. I try to keep an eye on the weather before all my engagement sessions and give you the option to reschedule if it's going to rain. While I won't do an engagement session if it's clear there will be heavy rain (the wonderful thing about engagement sessions is that, unlike wedding days, they can be easily rescheduled 😅) if there will be light rain and you'd like to go ahead with the session anyway, we can absolutely do that.
5 Tips for the Best Engagement Photos in the Rain
- Dress in layers
Chances are, if we're getting just a little bit of rain, there might be 10-15 minutes here and there during the session where we won't have rain (like during Emilie and Joe's engagement session). This is a great time to throw off those raincoats, get out from under those umbrellas, and get a few shots before the rain starts back up again. Dressing in layers is a perfect way to get different looks on a rainy day without having to work in an entire outfit change.
- Bring clear umbrellas
Clear umbrellas work SO well for engagement photos because they let in a lot of natural light. I always recommend these over regular umbrellas because this way we're avoiding shadows and color cast on your faces. Picture the sun hitting a green umbrella and you standing underneath. What you'll end up with is a slight green cast to your skin, and no one wants that. I always keep clear umbrellas in my car in case we need them, but your photographer may not, so it's a good idea to bring some with you. The umbrellas in these photos are clear golf umbrellas that I found on Amazon, but you can also find smaller bubble-style clear umbrellas at places like Walmart, Target, or JC-Penny. If you have the time to order them on Amazon, I definitely prefer these big ones though because they're easier to cuddle under without getting soaked.
- Wear appropriate footwear
Remember that when it rains, the ground will probably get muddy, so wear sturdy shoes that you don't mind getting wet. If you don't want to get your shoes muddy, you could also try to stick to paved walkways, but that can be tricky. It's also a good idea to bring an extra pair of shoes (and maybe another outfit) for after the session, that way you don't have to ride home in wet shoes/clothes.
- Hair and makeup
For engagement sessions on rainy days, waterproof makeup is always a good idea and you might even want to bring your makeup bag along for touch-ups just in case. When styling your hair, you'll want to keep the rain and humidity in mind. For example, when it’s humid, if I straighten my hair it gets frizzy and looks like I didn’t style it at all, but if I curl my hair when it’s humid, it may loosen up, but it still looks styled. The key is to know what works for you.
- Backup location
Nature is unpredictable, so it's always a good idea to have an indoor or covered backup location in mind (something with plenty of natural light) in case the rain gets too heavy. You'll want to do a little research beforehand and maybe even make some calls to local businesses to see if you could use their location (greenhouses and garden centers can work great for this!).
- Have fun!
Rain can actually create some beautiful photo opportunities, so don't be afraid to embrace it! If you'll be taking engagement photos in the rain, it's really important that you're down to be adventurous and go with the flow. Your hair probably isn't going to be perfect, you might have some raindrops on your shirt/pants, and you're going to get a little muddy and wet. If you can relax, embrace it, and have fun, then you're going to have a great session!
Looking for a photographer for your rainy (or not so rainy) Otsego Lake engagement photos?