The Bridal Rain Portrait

Making the most of the English weather

Making the most of the English weather

This image was taken at a wedding on the 14th November 2015, and the weather was particularly foul.

My main aim was to ensure I lit as much rain as possible, and also provide an interesting composition for the two girls.
Behind the girls at a height of around four feet, there’s a Lencarta Atom 360Ws. This was married to the dedicated beauty dish but without the grid fitted. Bearing in mind I wanted maximum spill for a couple of reasons. Firstly to illuminate the rain, and also to provide a rim light to the girls and the ground either side.
If I had gridded the beauty dish, the light would have been reduced in output, it wouldn’t have spread enough for the full rim light on the girls, and nor would it have lit the rain to the same extent.
The output was set to ¼.

The key/fill light was provided by a Lencarta Safari II, mated to a 150cm folding octa with a honeycomb fitted. It was at a height of five feet and positioned camera left and a little further forward of my position. I was shooting from a crouched position to ensure I managed to get the reflection in the wet floor. The key light was also set to a ¼ output.

Olympus E-M1 1/10th sec ISO400 40-150mm f2.8 @f3.5 & 40mm

The slow shutter speed was to try and gain sufficient ambient light (a bit of a joke, TBH!), whilst trying to keep noise to a minimum with an ISO of 400

Things to bear in mind:

Use clear plastic bags for the light sources (An SB800 detonating in the rain will remove eyebrows far better than wax. Ask me about it sometime!)

Use something to weigh down or tether your lightstands. Umbrellas and softboxes make great parachutes, and will destroy your lighting gear in the slightest breeze.

Wear your waterproofs! Expensive suits look like any other collection of rags when you’re soaked to the skin. (yep, you can ask me about that too!)

Ensure your client has suitable weatherproof jackets. They can be taken off for the actual shot, but generally help to reduce the likelihood of a manslaughter charge.

My wedding work can be found at

My commercial work is at