Ever been in the middle of an important task when, all of a sudden, Mother Nature decided to pull a prank on you? Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Well, so was the case last spring when I was about to capture some perfect sunset shots on the pristine beaches of Hawaii for a high-end fashion spread. Now, who could’ve anticipated a sudden cloud invasion, turning it into a gloomy twilight?
Predictable as ever, weather can dive into the unconventional, especially when seizing those perfect photo clics. From the spontaneous, ephemeral beauty of a sunburst peeking through storm clouds to the unanticipated challenges of a sudden hailstorm, weather adds a unique flavor to every photoshoot.
When Weather Gets in the Way
“And…here comes the rain,” I winced, watching the once-golden horizon creep up with gray shadows. Immediately, the sprung-up storm brought shivers of anxiety – not for the fear of a good drenching– but a rising concern for the impact on the photoshoot.
A curveball in the middle of a closely planned photoshoot, like an abrupt weather shift, can either be a frustrating roadblock or an opportunity, depending on the angle you choose to perceive it from. Harnessing unforeseen weather changes during a photoshoot are chapters added into the ‘life of a photographer’ book that most people seldom read. Alternatively, it can also carve a path for reviving the same pictures with an accidental twist of nature’s flavor.
While this unexpected moment could have seen us pack our gear and abandon the project, we decided to ride the wave. Intriguingly, the topic of boudoir photography sprung up. Though not the anticipated theme, an abrupt shift to indoor photography could prove interesting in such moments, don’t you think?
Adapting to the Unexpected
Undeniably, such abrupt shifts can leave anyone dumbstruck but as they say, the show must go on! I quickly adapted, making necessary adjustments to lighting, settings, and positioning, transforming this ‘nuisance’ into an enabler of candid, unexpected shots that brought an unusual depth to our work.
Mankind’s attempts to control nature have always been in vain, and such is the case for photographers. All these experiences of unchecked rain and impromptu winds, made me realize, however meticulously one plans a photoshoot, it’s the unpredictable factors like weather that add an element of realness to our artificially created aesthetics.
For instance, imagine a model amidst a desert, armored in vibrant silks against a backdrop of brooding rain clouds. Was it a part of the plan? Certainly not. But did it achieve a level of drama no clear blue sky could have ever bestowed? Absolutely.
But don’t just take my word for it. Try to incorporate these unexpected changes in your next shooting plan, turning challenges into opportunities. Just remember – when life gives you lemons, trade them for coffee and continue shooting!
Equipments Are Your Best Friends
The saying, “Better safe than sorry,” rings particularly true for outdoor shoots. Rains can drench your spirits, but what’s more worrying is when your equipment is at risk.
Always carry protective covers for your camera and other equipment to shield them from sudden weather changes. Remember, your gears are your best friends on the creative journey, so ensuring their safety should be your utmost priority.
It’s equally important to maintain your compositional perseverance. The changing weather can result in striking lighting conditions – you might suddenly find yourself under a vast open-sky studio filled with dynamic, vibrant hues. Harness these changes; don’t fight them. Let’s not forget, some of the most timeless photographs were born out of unexpected amalgamations of weather and opportunity.
A photographer’s resilience in the face of change, be it torrential rain or winds strong enough to topple gear, is not unlike the resilience of a captain steering his ship through a storm. In the end, it’s not about the storm, but how we navigate it.
Embrace the Unexpected
So, next time when you’re in the middle of your meticulously planned photoshoot and the weather decides to crash your ‘picnic’, remember my spontaneous Hawaiian beach story. Do you packup and go home, or do you adapt and maybe even end up creating something transcendently beautiful? The choice, my dear reader, is all yours. Just remember – it’s not just about taking a good photograph; it’s about capturing a story.
And really, isn’t that what’s photography all about?
Until next shooting adventures, folks!