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Welcome to my blog, where I share highlights of everything from my client's wedding days and portrait sessions, to recent features and our adventures around the world. 

Hi, I'm Alicia.

What Happens If It Rains: ALP Rain Policy

Mar 7, 2019

It’s hard for me to believe I’ve never blogged about this question on Bridal Business! It is, BY FAR, the number one question I get asked by almost every single client. Seriously, it was so hard to believe that I went back through over 80 Bridal Business posts just to be sure this wasn’t going to be a duplicate! So what is the question? 

“What is the plan if it’s supposed to rain the day of our session!?”


“I just checked the forecast for our session on Thursday and it’s supposed to rain, what do we do!?” 

And that’s a totally valid question! Rain tends to be enemy #1 of a photography session, so believe me, I get it! I force get my husband and I in front of the lens at least once a year, so I’m in this position frequently on the client side as well! So what’s the answer to this important question? Well, for me, I always reply with this: “When it comes to the possibility of rain, my policy is that if there is a 50% chance or rain or higher during the time we will be shooting, I will reach out to you to see if you’d like to proceed as scheduled, move to a different location (indoors or with cover), or find my next available date. Here’s the important thing: since the weather changes so rapidly, we will wait until around 6PM the night before (if sunrise… or 4 hours before our session, if sunset) our session to make a call! Trust me, I know it’s hard not to look until the night/hours before; but, I promise, 8/10, the weather will change a million times between now and then!” 


A traditional Cherry Blossom Engagement Session in Washington, DC featuring portraits at the Tidal Basin and Jefferson Memorial.


That’s a pretty straight forward response, but I just want to break it down a bit more so my clients and other brides/grooms can understand the intention behind it.

1. You’ll probably notice I emphasize “during” and that’s for a good reason! Often times, especially in the warmer months, rain showers tend to breeze through in a few hours and it will be clear before/after. If this is what’s predicted for the day of your shoot, we will still carry on as schedule — after all, a little evening shower doesn’t affect our sunrise session! If you’re someone who is overly nervous about rain/thunderstorms, this is one of the many reason I recommend sunrise as storms tends to hit less frequently in the AM. 

2. The next piece, and I even say how important it is right in the note, is that we will wait to make the final call until either the night before your session (if it’s a sunrise shoot) or 4 hours before your session (if it’s a sunset shoot). This is simply because the weather is SO unpredictable and is constantly changing up to the minute… we want to wait until as close to the session as possible so we have as accurate of a prediction as possible. Even now, in 2019, weather folks have no idea what’s ACTUALLY going to be happening more than a day or two in advance. Storms can take a turn as any point along their path, so again, I KNOW the wait is hard and unnerving, but it will be so much more accurate! I’ve literally had clients ask 5 days, 10 days, or even over a MONTH in advance based on long range forecasts or the Farmer’s Almanac, so I can’t highlight this enough!*There is one caveat to this part of the policy and that’s if my client is coordinating with another vendor (say, hair and makeup or a particular venue!) who needs more notice. I ask that let me know what sort of time frame the vendor needs and we can work around it! 

3. And, of course, your options!
+ Move to a Different Location: If we’re shooting in a location that’s either indoors or covered, the rain won’t be a bother to us one bit! I feel lucky to live in Washington, DC which is full of gorgeous monuments that are open on the sides, allowing in lots of beautiful natural light, but are covered on top so you are safe from the rain! If monuments aren’t your style, I have a few other options up my sleeve, so just ask!
+ Embrace the Rain: If the forecast is calling for scattered showers, it might be worth it to keep to our date as scheduled and embrace the rain! I have some clear umbrellas that I can bring and if we’re shooting in a location that’s covered (see above!), it won’t even make a difference! Cloudy/overcast days are actually great for photos as they tend to make everything else in the image pop!
+ Reschedule: Finally, you may prefer to reschedule! I know this may not be an option for everyone, especially couples who have a difficult time taking leave from work or are traveling from out of town. I also cannot guarantee the weather will be any better the day we choose to reschedule to! But if this ends up being the best option for you, I will send you my next available date(s)! As a heads up, depending on the season, my calendar my be booked 2-3 months in advance.  


Finally, I just want to mention that other photographers may choose to do this differently and that is TOTALLY okay! This is just what works best for my business and I’ve had to cancel/reschedule very few sessions in the past because it! This is why it’s vastly important to hire a photographer you trust so you know they won’t lead you astray! And for ALP Brides and Grooms, if you’re thinking about this because of a rain prediction on your wedding, I’ve got you covered in an entire post HERE as well! 

An elegant wintry wedding at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC.


Bridal Business

  1. […] skies but no chance of rain.  By morning, that had completely changed (see what I mean in my Weather Policy!? There is almost NO point in looking more than a few hours in advance).  Chances were hovering at […]

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