It’s like rain on your wedding day…Nope. Move over Alanis Morrisette, Oliver’s Travels is here to guarantee that you have perfect weather on your big day with nary a cloud in sight.
Rain here in Southern California is about the worst inclement weather we get. Driving slams to a halt and people scurry inside as if they may melt at touch of a raindrop. Rain on a wedding day though is not only ironic (according to Ms. Morissette), but can also put a damper on the best laid plans – wedding gowns get soaked, carefully done hair and makeup gets ruined and photographers have to get creative. But not anymore.
Currently, only available in France with plans to expand to Italy and the UK, Oliver’s Travels will clear the gray clouds away in a process called “cloud seeding.” Pilots and meteorologists will spend weeks planning how to abate the offending clouds from your day by sprinkling silver oxide into the sky. The chemical causes the clouds to drop the rain quickly and flee, just in time for the big day. The company’s website says that “there is no evidence that suggests cloud seeding creates any significant negative environmental impacts on the environment” and that it is a 100% guarantee that they can disperse the clouds (barring a natural disaster such as a hurricane). The service will cost only £100,000 (roughly $150,000 US Dollars), but as the site says, “you can’t put a price on perfection right?”
Because it takes about 3 weeks for the process (one week for the crew to be on call and a day for the silver oxide to work its magic), there are no refunds. So if it looks like your day will be sunny after all, well, you’ve just wasted $150k. NBD.
Rain or Shine
As wedding photographers, we have to shoot whether our clients have paid handsomely for a sunny day or there is a torrential downpour. Personally, some of my favorite images have come rainy day weddings. Take this gorgeous photo taken by Roberto Valenzuela at a recent wedding. He convinced the bride and groom to make the best of the pouring rain and made this amazing shot – keeping the bride and groom almost completely dry in the process.
4 Tips on Photographing a Rainy Day Wedding
1. Bring a PUH
If you aren’t hip with the celebrity lingo, a PUH is your very own Personal Umbrella Holder and it’s a must for a wedding day. Trying to hold a 5DMIII with a 70-200mm attached and then an umbrella, all while directing, shooting and trying not to get wet is rough. An assistant on a rainy wedding day is a necessity…and you can make them hold your bags and do all the dirty work you don’t want to do :)
2. Protect Your Gear
Yes, most of our pro level camera gear are weather sealed, but better safe than sorry. Try to make sure that your gear is as protected as possible under an umbrella or covering. The UNDFIND Bags come with a built in rain cover which has come in handy once or twice. I even know some guys that keep plastic bags with them to wrap around their equipment in case of rain.
3. Light It Up
To see raindrops more clearly in the images, you need to back light or side light them. Experiment a bit; there’s a sweet spot that will catch the light through the rain just right somewhere between the side and back light. Find it and the rain will glisten in your image just so.
4. Stay Positive & Get Creative
Sometimes your clients, most likely the bride, will probably be freaking out because of the rain. It is up to you to be positive, communicate with your clients, and reassure them that rain will just add an additional and memorable element to their day. Don’t be afraid to get creative – use a fun umbrella as a prop or like Roberto’s image, ask if you can use the car as a creative lighting solution. Rain brings with it lots of opportunities for reflections and can create some amazing images. So, stay calm and be relaxed. You’ve got this.
If you have clients that can or will drop $150k on the guarantee of a sunny day, then well…enjoy. For the rest of us, recommend getting a tent for a few hundred dollars, but don’t be afraid to ask your clients if they mind shooting in the rain for a little bit (make sure they have PUHs as well!) Then you can show them that rain on a wedding day isn’t all that bad.
Have any rainy day wedding stories or tips? Share in the comment section below.