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What happens if it rains on the day of my session?

One of the questions I get asked the most is… “What happens if it rains on the day of my session!?” Truth is, that happens A LOT here in the PNW – so I’ve compiled a blog post full of my tips & tricks to beating (or embracing) the elements! *hint* The photo above was taken while it was pouring rain!

First of all, I wait until the 24-hour forecast comes out to make any decisions about your session in relation to rain. The weather, especially in the PNW, can be extremely unpredictable, so I’d hate to cancel your session several days in advance and the weather turns out to be lovely! One thing I do ask my couples & families is if they have flexibility for the timing of their shoot. Sometimes the weather is calling for a less rainy morning (or afternoon) and we can move the shoot a few hours if possible (again, once the 24-hour forecast comes out). It can be very difficult to coordinate a time to reschedule your session, so I try to avoid switching the date if possible. Cloudy weather is actually great for pictures; I call clouds “nature’s diffuser” because they result in beautiful soft lighting!

Indoor Photo Session Location Ideas

My first suggestion is to consider somewhere inside for at least part of your session if it is a rainy time of year (particularly November through March in Seattle). There are SO many great indoor photo location options – the sky (well, the ceiling, I guess!) is the limit! Here are a couple of my favorite indoor photo locations:

  1. Keep it simple: your home! This is a great option, especially for little kids (and newborns of course!). We can play with toys, lounge on the couch, or even make a snack. I also love in-home sessions for new homeowners wanting to celebrate their space, or for people with pets that may not do well outside like cats or finicky dogs.
  2. Food & Drink: wineries, breweries, coffee or dessert shops. Sometimes having an activity for part of your session like grabbing a cocktail can take the edge off (literally or figuratively) and help you feel more relaxed. This is also a fun way to incorporate a favorite hobby or typical date – Kevin and I love going to local breweries together, so something like this would definitely be in our wheelhouse! Ideas include: Hot Cakes, Holy Mountain Brewery, or Caffe Umbria
  3. Transportation: ferry ride, King Street Station, Seattle Ferris Wheel. Another fun way to think outside the box for your indoor photo location is to take a ride! Consider places that offer great window light, or add a fun atmosphere to your session. Ferry rides allow for both indoor and outdoor options which is a plus – the Vashon, Bainbridge & Whidbey ferries are great because they are only  20-30 minutes one way!
  4. Nerd Out: library, bookstore, arcade, or record store. Do you guys like to browse around shops on the weekends? Tap into your geeky (aka awesome) side and think about exploring your favorite stomping grounds! Some of my favorites include Elliot Bay Books, Full Tilt Ice Cream, and Sonic Boom Records
  5. Museums: Chihuly (pictured below), Museum of Flight, Olympic Sculpture Park, Space Needle. Make your session a fun activity for the family! Museums are full of beautiful wide open spaces. While you will likely have to pay entrance fees (Olympic Sculpture Park is a great exception), sometimes it’s worth it! Do note that some museums do not allow photography – most say whether or not on their websites!
  6. Greenhouse: Think of some locations that have greenhouses or glass-covered areas – two of my favorites are Swanson’s Nursery or the Center for Urban Horticulture! These locations both have great indoor natural light, as well as outdoor options for photos.

All My Favorite Rain Plan Locations

Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery
Holy Mountain Brewery
Caffe Umbria
Elliot Bay Books
Full Tilt Ice Cream
Sonic Boom Records
Easy Street Records & Cafe
Chihuly Garden & Glass
Museum of Flight & T. Evans Wyckoff Memorial Bridge
Olympic Sculpture Park & Paccor Pavilion
Space Needle
Swanson’s Nursery
The Center for Urban Horticulture
Volunteer Park Conservatory
Washington State Ferries
Seattle Public Library – Central Library
Woodland Park Zoo
Union Station

Above: Kacey & Cole riding the carousel at Miner’s Landing

Below: Colby & Jaison enjoying a pint at a brewery in Ballard 

Above: Jessie & Darin at the Seattle Public Library

Below: Tara & Michael strolling the Olympic Sculpture Park (which has great indoor & covered options as well!) 

Shooting IN the rain!

Don’t want to be inside for your whole session? There are lots of cute ways to embrace the elements, and I am all about stomping in a few puddles. I can use the coverage of trees and building awnings to shield you from the rain. I have a clear bubble umbrella that I always bring to rainy shoots, or you can find something that suits your style beforehand! Grab some rain boots and a cute jacket and we’ll be good to go!

Above: Ann at Scarecrow Video

Below: Elly & JJ on the ferry to Bainbridge

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Finally, if it’s winter and it’s raining in Seattle, that means it’s likely snowing in the mountains! So let’s bundle up and head to the hills and get some fun photos playing in the snow!

I hope this helps inspired you to take photos no matter what the weather forecast says! If you’d like to get more tips & tricks like these in your inbox each month, subscribe to my newsletter here!


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I believe in all things bright, happy & colorful! Specializing in capturing the JOY of life's greatest adventures!

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