Perks of a Cloudy Photoshoot
That’s right y’all, today we’re talking about PERKS of a cloudy photoshoot! If you’ve got a photo session booked, or particularly an outdoor mini session, and are worried about the weather – please allow me to put your mind at ease.
Aside from actual rain or, you know, storms… your family photos can be just as amazing in LOTS of weather conditions!! Keep reading to see my list of cloudy session perks, with real examples from a cloudy and NOT warm set of family fall minis – which, spoiler alert, were totally packed and turned out AWESOME!!
The perfect day does not exist
Ok I’m not a big math person, but if I recall from back in college, there’s some math concept with limits where sometimes the answer is “the limit does not exist” – do not ask me to explain or give any context to that at all. Seriously.
What I DO know for sure is this – the perfect day sometimes also does not exist. Important note here: every family who shows up to their session prepared and with good attitudes, regardless of circumstances out of their control, MAKES for a perfect day!! But my point is, even if the day looks “perfect” (whatever that means to you), what if your kids just are not feeling it… or somebody’s nose is running… or your husband leaves work late… or…
That list goes on forever. When you book a photoshoot or mini session, there are a LOT of unknowns and variables!!! The weather being ONE of those, and also the one you (and I) have the least control over. You can control your preparation (read the emails!), your attitude (deep breath… it’s going to be great!), your outfits, and many other things – but you don’t have a lot of control over other aspects. Like how your kids feel that day, or things that may come up unexpectedly.
And NONE of us can control the wind, rain, or sun!! Believe me…
So… what to do??
First, a few tips from me to you, to hopefully put your mind at ease prior to session day.
- Don’t check the weather early. This is a big one!!! I have worked outside in a number of capacities, one of which being “swim lessons teacher” (don’t inquire, I’m retired…) and it just does not do any good to check the weather a week ahead of time, let alone more than that. All that will do is stress you out, which none of us wants. A few days out is the earliest you can reasonably check the weather, and if you have a session with me you’ll get emails saying we will make a call the day before or day of!!
- Relax. I know, easier said than done. But following the previous tip will go a LONG way here, trust me! And as mentioned in the previous section, there nothing either of us can do about it anyway! As a mega control freak, I find that it makes me feel more at ease to KNOW I have no control (rather than thinking maybe I can control it if I try hard enough…). Take my word for it. KNOW that you can’t control it. And we will work it out, one way or another.
- Read below for reasons NOT to worry! With a photo session, most of the time the only reason to cancel or reschedule is for storms or active rain. Wet is totally workable (a line you’ll see in emails from me), and cloudy can even be preferable!! I totally understand having that sunny session in your head, I really do. But it just is not doable to have that every time. Notice I didn’t say “unfortunately” there, because I don’t think it’s unfortunate!! Keep reading to see why.
Perks of a Cloudy Photoshoot
You had sun in mind when you booked your session, but it’s looking a little overcast (or a lot overcast as with these minis!). Should you be disappointed? Worried? I say NO way!!! Listen I love the sun too. I’m from the south, I love a good tan, and the sun/lighting is pretty important for this line of work… so I really, really get it.
But just because it’s covered doesn’t mean the sun isn’t there for you, and just because it’s cloudy does NOT mean your photos won’t be just as beautiful!! Trust me on this – I’ve been doing this for a while, in all sorts of conditions, and there are some benefits to clouds. Some photographers even prefer it! I’m in the both/and camp here: sun is great, clouds are great too! Here’s why
The first or our perks of cloudy photoshoots – the lighting is super even! Around here, there are LOTS of locations and venues that include beautiful mountain or valley views. If you find yourself in such a place, you may actually want to HOPE for clouds! It can be pretty difficult for the photographer to expose for a brightly lit valley AND your faces (which may likely be shaded) at the same time.
A session in a location like our fan-favorite Mountain Cove Farms (the location of these minis!) can really benefit from cloud coverage! That way you can see way down in the valley just the same as where we’re standing to take your photos, and that’s a great look!!
See all those smiles above? Notice how the light is nice and even across everyone’s face (and the valley behind them), but no one is squinting. Nobody likes a squint. Unless it’s a toddler with a larger than life “cheese”, which everybody loves. Big perk of clouds, we get nice bright faces with NO squints.
Side note: I won’t make you squint in the sun either 😉 But, it is easier when there are clouds to help us out!
Comfortable temperature (usually)
Ok I say usually, because for the first time EVER my fall family minis were actually a little bit cold. That’s not normal, y’all. But in keeping with our theme here, even cooler temps are OK!! Especially for minis but even for full sessions, typically in the fall most people want to wear fall clothing anyway. Huge thank you to all my 2023 fall minis participants who were total troopers!!!
However, especially here in the south this is typically among the perks of a cloudy photoshoot as well! If you’ve booked a summer session, you may once again want to hope for clouds. That coverage can really cool things down and make you significantly more comfortable!! And usually not too cool…
With sunny sessions (which I also love), one downside is we are fairly limited on directionality of shooting. Remember what I said about squinting… we don’t like to do that. Not to get too inside baseball here, but I will have a preferred direction to shoot in whether we have sun or clouds. One potential hurdle of those “perfect” days with the white puffy clouds? If the sun comes, and goes, and comes, and goes, we may spend some time changing directions to achieve the look I’m always going for!!
Solid cloud coverage eliminates that variable – I know which way I prefer for you to face in cloudy conditions, and if they’re nice and stable, we won’t have to change back and forth! That said, it is MUCH easier on a cloudy day to change things up and take a request for a photo in a different direction from my usual preference. If there’s a certain background or angle you really want, we can likely make it happen on a cloudy day!
Just as beautiful results
Believe me here – I promise you, if I didn’t feel confident that I could deliver beautiful photos to you in different weather and lighting conditions, I would not be writing this post!!! If you asked me to choose a favorite session ever… well that would be really hard. But even if you narrowed it down somehow, I really don’t know if my favorites would be in sun or in clouds! Very likely some of both.
My job is to prepare you for your session, guide you through the experience, and deliver a beautiful gallery. I promise you I can do that just as well on a cloudy day as a day full of sun!! Your “job” is to go through the prep with me, come to the photoshoot with a smile on your face and in your heart (just as important!!!), and relax while you wait for the results. They’re going to be beautiful. Clouds or sunshine.
One last perk… we’ll have fun either way!!! Whether it’s a family mini session, a full family session, or any other type of photos we take together – I truly desire for you to enjoy the experience, and treasure your photos forever. That’s what this is all about!!! See above, lots of fun was had at this chilly, cloud mini session!!!
It’s settled – there ARE perks of a cloudy photoshoot!!
Are you convinced?? I hope so!!! I wouldn’t lie to you. In case you need a little more, please enjoy these highlights from our very cloudy, fairly chilly, Fall Family Minis 2023!! A huge shout out and thank you to ALL participants – you were amazing!! It is so flattering and always such a pleasure to have SO many families come out for a mini session, I’m so glad you all love this one as much as I do!!
And to our great friends at Mountain Cove, another BIG thank you!!! This was year three of hosting fall family minis at Mountain Cove and it is truly what the people wanted. Your beautiful location is all over this blog and website, I’m so thrilled to have such a wonderful and beautiful location to offer to clients!!!
Take a look – just a few of LOTS of great smiles from this awesome, cloudy day!!!
Looking to book a mini or full session??
Thanks for reading to the end!! While we can’t plan the weather, we can plan for a lot – and we certainly look forward to LOTS of types of skies during any session! Remember these perks of a cloudy photoshoot the next time you’re booked for one!!