When you’re an outdoor, on-location photographer, weather can just get in the way sometimes. Whether (pun intended) it’s rain on a wedding day, extreme temperatures or another curve ball from mother nature, the weather can really put a literal and figurative damper on your session — and you can’t always just cancel and reschedule. Sometimes you gotta have a Tim Gunn “Make it work!” moment. But it’s easier if you have a plan in advance.
So, today, let’s talk about the invisible disruptor: wind.
We love a little bit of wind here and there because it can add a lot of movement to photos, but it can also pose it’s own set of shooting challenges!
Here are our top five tips for shooting (and surviving) a session in gusting wind.
1. First, Reassure Your Client
For most clients, a professional photo shoot is a once-in-a-lifetime or (at most) a once-a-year thing. So they’ve likely invested a lot of time thinking about it, shopping for it and blocking off and arranging schedules for everyone who needs to be there to be there. They’ve probably invested a lot of money, too. Not just for us and our services, but also for their outfits, hair, makeup and more. So the first and best thing we can do is reassure them that a) wind happens all the time b) we have some tips and tricks to turn the wind into a POSITIVE and c) it’s not going to ruin session, but it might even make it BETTER.
2. Channel Beyonce (Just Maybe Not Her Maternity Photos!)
When posing our clients in the wind, we always want our bride’s hair to flow away from her face, not into it. So whichever way the wind is blowing, we have her stand in the right direction, so the wind is hitting her face first and then blowing her hair away from her face and out of her eyes. We like to call this “Beyonce Wind” (like the epic fan effect that makes Beyonce’s hair look fabulous when she’s live in concert). Just maybe stray away from every aspect of her maternity photos. Ya know, unless you wanna be on Ellen 😉 Since most guys have short hair (or at least shorter than their girlfriend, fiancé or wife) they’re not affected by the wind as much or at all, so the wind can hit their head from the back and not push it forward into their face. If the wind changes directions, so should our girl!
3. Have Her Hold Her Hair (or Hat!)
We use all the tricks to keep her hair from blowing into her face in a way that would make it look messy or tangled. If she has a hat, that can really help cut the wind. If not, it actually looks really cute when she just holds her hair back. It looks like she’s running her fingers through her hair, with the added benefit keeping it from getting in her face. You can also have the guy push her hair back at the temple (or cup underneath her chin) for some variety.
4. Have Her Hold Her Dress
If the girl is wearing a long dress or skirt, this makes for some killer shots in the wind! We’ll have our brides swish their dresses out in the direction of the wind, which is how we get the wind work for us, instead of against us! If you notice the wind is clinging it too closely to her body, make sure to flip her in a direction where the fabric is flowing away from the body, not towards it.
5. Alternate Poses Based on the Gusts of Wind
When it’s really windy, we do a lot of poses with our clients either facing each other and/or nuzzling and snuggling close. When they’re cuddling close together, the closeness of their bodies blocks the wind from hitting her hair directly and flying all over the place.
When the wind breaks (ha!) we have a second pose ready to go. Usually it’s a pose of one (or both) of them looking at the camera, since those are the hardest ones to to get in the wind. Don’t be afraid to give them a pose for when the wind dies down, then pose them for the gust of wind, and then tell them to jump back into the other pose when the wind dies down. Just explain why you’re doing it and they’ll totally be on board!
We hope this post makes your next windy session a breeze!