How I Got the Shot(s): The Rainy Weddings and Engagements

When I was a student at the Hallmark Institute of Photography during Phase 1 (similar to the first semester) almost every time we had a shooting assignment outside it would rain. It rained so much my class had a hard time getting used to shooting when it was sunny out. Due to this I am no stranger to getting caught in the rain during a shoot.

Usually when it rains (or looks like it is going to rain) the client will chose to postpone the session (there is no extra charge for this). With some shoots (like weddings) or distant location shooting rescheduling can be difficult or impossible. When I first shot Sean and Melissa’s engagement session at Camp Anna Berens in Greenville, Michigan it was cloudy (making for a beautiful light in the forest) but the rain was holding off. After a few shots closer to our cars we ventured deeper into the woods. Then a torrential downpour started. Luckily they were good sports about it and had fun kissing and running thru the newly formed puddles. My gear is weather sealed so I had no problem continuing to shoot in the rain. The soft light diffused by the rain clouds and feathered by the dense forest made for beautiful light despite the circumstances.


Shot using a Nikon D600 with a Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8 Lens. ISO 3200  (higher than I usually like to use but necessary in these lighting conditions) 86mm f/2.8 1/50 of a second (longer than I usually use with this lens hand held but it was dark and still worked because I held the camera steadily).


Shot using a Nikon D600 with a Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8 Lens. ISO 3200 80mm f/2.8 1/125 of a second shutter speed.


Shot using a Nikon D600 with a Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8 Lens. ISO 3200 120mm f/2.8 1/160 of a second shutter speed.

Two months later Sean and Melissa would get married and have the getting ready and reception at the same place I had photographed them for their engagement session. And just like during the engagement session it rained. We had to make a few minor last minute adjustments (like where to have the group shots) but otherwise the wedding still turned out great despite the showers.


Shot using a Nikon D600 with a Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8 Lens. ISO 1250 105mm f/8 1/100 of a second shutter speed. Lit with a Yongnuo Speedlite YN560-II with Westcott Pocketbox 8×12 and triggered with Yongnuo 506N-II Flash Triggers.

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Photographer/Retoucher at Ryan Watkins Photography
Ryan Watkins Photography specializes in portrait and wedding photography catering to Clare, Midland, and Mt Pleasant, Michigan. Ready to travel.

Graduate from the Hallmark Institute of Photography and Highest Academic Honor recipient. 

Published in several magazines including Shutterbug, Digital Photo, Outdoor Photographer, and PDNedu. 
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