Minnesota Engagement & Portrait Photography | What To Do If It Rains

What to do if it rains on your photo shoot day | Minnesota Engagement Photos & Portraits

When planning for your engagement or portrait shoot, there are a lot of things we can control.  We can pick a time that will give us the best light (usually sunrise or sunset).   We can pick a location that is meaningful to you, or a new place that is scenic and will be fun for us to explore together.  I can help you choose what to wear, and pay attention to the little details like lint on your clothes or a hair in your face while shooting.

The one thing that we have no control over for your photo shoot is the weather.  It’s the reality of outdoor portraits.  I still love outdoor portraits more than anything.  I do my best to pick days with a good weather outlook.  Many times we are planning more than a week in advance for your portraits, to work with your schedule and mine. Any long range weather forecast might help us, but will not be 100% accurate.  Minnesota is a place with a rich diversity of outdoor shooting locations.  It’s also a place where the weather can change quickly.

So what should you do when it looks like rain on your photo shoot day?

First off, don’t panic.

Sometimes the forecast says 90% chance of rain, and no rain falls at the location of the shoot, while 5 miles away it’s raining.   If it rains on the way to the shoot, sometimes it stops by the time we arrive.   I try not to cancel a shoot unless the weather forecast is telling us it will lightning, hail, flood, spawn tornados, and be so unsafe that even driving will be dangerous.

Option One: We Shoot In The Rain

This is a good option if the rain is scattered showers, or is on it’s way out of the area.  Sometimes we have to wait out the rain in the parking lot for 15 minutes and then all is well.  I do not book back to back shoots, because I want to be fully concentrating on you, and leave time for rain delays.

  I have a wonderful clear umbrella that fits two people under it nicely.  This can be fun for engagement and maternity shoots.  If your kids have cute rain gear it will make for cute family photos in the rain.   My camera bodies are weather sealed.  I also have little rain jackets for them.

Half way through our photo shoot it started to rain, so we brought out the umbrella. Easy! The weather gave us a moody and romantic look. The grass and flowers became more vibrant in the rain too.

Option Two:  We Choose An Alternate Location

If our weather forecast says rain, I will check in with you the day before the shoot and talk about alternate locations.  We will still plan to meet at the shoot location, but change to the alternate location if it’s obvious that rain is on the way thirty minutes to an an hour before the shoot.

There are many indoor locations around the Twin Cities where we can shoot.  Your home is also an option.  A lot of people get nervous about photos in their home because I might see their dirty dishes or a pile of laundry.  All I can say is I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.  For a photo shoot at home, one corner of  a room is all you need.

What about a studio?  If you’ve hired a photographer because they specialize in location and outdoor portraits like I do, you will not be happy with studio portraits.  It’s worth making adjustments to get the pictures you want.  Even an alternative indoor location will make you happier than a studio shoot.

Option 3: Reschedule

I try my hardest to not reschedule a shoot, because I know your time is valuable.  However, if there is a warning issued by the National Weather Service indicating weather conditions are dangerous to drive in, or you have your heart set on your outdoor location, we can reschedule and it will be no big deal.  When I plan I always leave a little wiggle room for reschedules.

Now you know what to expect if rain is forecast for your Minnesota engagement or portrait session.  We have options and your pictures will still be amazing no matter what.


I’m a Minnesota Engagement, wedding and portrait photographer.  I’m based in Belle Plaine and travel through the Twin Cities, State, and United States.

You can contact me via email here.

To learn about wedding or portrait packages check out the Info page here.

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