Being a professional photographer or videographer lends itself to various impromptu and unexpected experiences on the job. The nature of the job is very fast-paced and being prepared for any of these unexpected circumstances is a crucial skill to have. So, in today’s blog, we are going to walk through all the different kinds of weather that you can experience during an outdoor photography or videography session and how you can excel in photographing and videographing your clients during such unexpected weather conditions. Along with the tips and tricks, we will also tell you what essential things you need to carry along with you in case the weather does not turn out to be in your favor. So, let’s check out the unexpected weather conditions and the photography and videography tips.

Let’s Start…

Cloudy or Overcast

An overcast day always brings about an amazing amount of diffused light. You can easily shoot in the middle of the day without getting stressed about the harsh lighting or the unwanted shadows. You can easily pay close attention to lighting the face of your subject or your clients in order to have the best shot captured during unexpected weather conditions.

Well, shooting in overcast conditions can also be a challenging task. Overcast skies are gray, which makes the entire setting a little more gloomy and a bit sad. So, in that case, you just need to look for stormy weather clouds that beautifully add a sense of place and dimension.

Rainy Day

You don’t need to stress if by any chance your cloudy day photography session or videography session turns into a rainy day shoot. You still have the chance to make the most of it and capture really stunning photographs or videos. As a little rain does not hurt anyone. Bring in some seasonal props like the umbrella and make it a part of your photography session. The pop of color will make the rainy-day photos more colorful and vibrant. While shooting during the rain, don’t forget about your equipment. Keep them protected. But, by any chance the weather is horribly bad, rescheduling the shoot is always a great idea under such complicated conditions.

Rainy day photographs and videos indeed tell an amazing story. So, all you have to do is to make sure that you are careful with setting the focal point. Well, your camera will often try to focus on the raindrops which will blur out the landscape in the background. This can be nice if it’s what you intended, if not, you’ll end up with a bunch of blurry photos. Whatever your choice, you just need to work around it.


There is absolutely no denying that shooting in the snow is indeed magical. It is pristine and beautiful as the white snow gracefully reflects making everything look so surreal. But, shooting in a blizzard, is not that fun and easy. Documenting your client in 10f degree weather is even worse, and more complicated. So, while you are shooting in the snow, you need to pay special attention to ice and hazards under the fluffy stuff. If you are shooting while it is snowing, you need to treat your camera as if it is raining. The snow starts to melt and then there are chances that the water can get into the inner workings of your camera body and lenses leading it to malfunction. Again, the snow reflects beautifully, all you need to do is to make sure that you are metering for your subject and paying special attention to not blowing out the white snow.

Extremely Bright Sun

There are photographers who think that the bright sun is every photographer’s nightmare for outdoor shoots. But, that is not always true. Well, a bright sunny day can help in creating beautiful light and being a photographer you can get playful with the shadows if you want to.

While shooting in bright sun, you will experience that your camera meter will want to expose for the super bright backgrounds which will cause your subject to be super dark or maybe a blown out backdrop. For the best shots during a bright sun, try shooting in the open shade. You can also use flash to make sure that your subject is lit without blowing out the background. A flash and the sun, well does not sound like a good combination, but trust us, it works the best. All you have to do is to expose your flash to light your subject while exposing it to the background. In fact, you can look out for natural reflectors around you such as a white building or a white sandy beach!

Stay Prepared For Anything and Everything

What started with a perfect day with perfect weather and great photos, just turned into a wild windstorm that posed tons of challenges that caused a change of course for professional photographers especially when they are shooting in the great outdoors. Luckily, being professional photographers we have years of experience to help guide you all through the rest of the photoshoot session.

When it comes to shooting outdoors, we always suggest that you always check the weather forecast beforehand to make sure that you have all the necessary elements needed. If the weather forecast predicts extreme weather, it is always best to steer clear and then try again later the next day. However, if by any chance the forecast is wrong and you absolutely need to shoot, make sure you are proceeding with the photoshoot session or a videography session with great caution and follow these photography and videography tips for unexpected weather conditions.

Always Shoot Suited to The Light

Whether it’s a cloudy day or a rainy day when you have to shoot or videography your client in the great outdoors, then make sure you are shooting suited to the light. Cloudy and rainy days are just not too great for bright, colorful, sunrise and sunset skies, but they do work well for certain kinds of subjects and also suit certain styles of photography. For instance, overcast days are just perfect for waterfalls, streams, and forest scenes. If your client has chosen any of these kinds of locations for their professional outdoor photography session, it will be a win-win situation for you both. During bad weather photography or videography sessions, a little bit of drizzle will beautifully elevate and enhance the quality of the scene, while darkening the bright rocks, and saturating the pristine and whimsical colorful foliage. A photography or videography pro tip here, make sure you remember to use a polarizer to remove the glare from wet surfaces so that the best of the outdoor colors come out gracefully in your photos or in the videos. There are certain intimate subjects that will work best in flat light as well, as do some wildlife subjects.

Make The Available Light Work For the Scene

Well, gloomy weather might not be what you thought when you decided upon shooting in the great outdoors, but there are times that it can easily enhance the mood and also the photos and videos. With just a little creativity, we can assure you that you will be able to find a way to make bad weather photography work in your favor giving out the best result to your professionally captured outdoor photographs or documented videos. All you have to do is carefully choose your shutter speed to bring all the creativity to your photos and videos.

Don’t Hurry! Just Wait for Breaks in Unexpected Weather

Even during the cloudiest of bad weather photography or videography days, we can assure you that you will often get short, unexpected periods of clearing which will result in great photography or videography sessions. All you have to do is to aim at the locations as much as possible and there you will be in a great position to take advantage of these beautiful brief openings for your photography sessions. So, don’t hustle through the unexpected weather, stay a bit calm and wait for all those beautiful little breaks as they will definitely elevate your photography or videography experience.

Shoot During The Twilight Hour For Beautiful Colors,

Of course, gray skies mean gray light, which for many outdoor shoots is not very flattering and appreciated. If you are shooting during the morning or evening twilight hour, however, it is pretty sure that your photographs or videos are going to have lots of blue light filtered through the clouds, much more during the rest of the day. Well, this type of bad weather photography or videography will definitely help add some very much-needed color to a pretty and surreal stormy scene. All you have to do is to remember to set your white balance to the daylight prester or cooler to keep the cool blue color, as your camera’s automatic white might try to warm up the scene and render it neutral gray. Having storm clouds with ample texture will add a lot of drama and character to the photos and videos making them look different and out of place!

Just Wait It Out

Sometimes the best thing to do during an unexpected weather photography or videography session is to sit tight and wait things out. Well, eventually, the weather will change, and the good light will return offering a great lighting setting for you to capture stunning professional outdoor portraits or document a video. A little bit of patience and some flexibility make a good combination when you are out shooting unexpected weather conditions.

Well, these were some of the great tips to capture during unexpected weather conditions. Now, let’s check out what are the mandatory elements that are needed to be carried along if you are shooting outdoors and suddenly the weather does not work in your favor for photography or videography sessions.

Equipment That Can Handle Unexpected Weather Conditions

The first and foremost thing that you need is a professional camera that can handle these kinds of unexpected weather conditions. Well, a weather-sealed camera is very much needed, but sadly, no weather-sealing is just perfect. In our experience, we think that Nikon and Canon cameras do fairly well with their full-frame series. In fact, the Pentax K1 is also supposed to be a great camera to shoot during unexpected weather conditions. Olympus with its master micro 4/3 line and camera lenses boasts of its weather sealing. Well, Canon and Sony’s professional cameras hold the potential to do a great job, especially under unexpected weather conditions. Just make sure that if you are shooting during unexpected weather conditions, make sure you are going for a camera that is weather-sealed over one that is not.

The next thing that you must have that can give the best results even during unexpected weather conditions is a sturdy tripod. A sturdy tripod helps a lot, especially during these kinds of scenarios. Travel tripods are normally too flimsy although there are various techniques to keep them grounded. In addition to that, you can also consider attaching an umbrella to your tripod if it is sturdy enough. It goes without saying that do not try this if the weather condition is windy!

And, lastly, being a photographer or a videographer, it is also important to keep yourself dry and also your spirits high. As there is nothing worse than having cold water running down your next and back. So, just make sure you are rainproof from top to bottom. Don’t forget to keep a rain jacket, trousers, and boots if the weather turns against you.

Invest In a Rain Shield

Whether you are shooting on a budget or not, it is always advisable to take greater precautions to protect all your camera gear and footage. This simply means investing in a rain cover to shield your camera and all the camera-related gear from rain and snow.

The great advantage of carrying a rain shield is that they do not weigh much and it is always a great idea to avoid ruining your camera gears and ending up with a hefty repair bill afterward. The camera shields just slip right over your camera and will protect against many elements such as rain, sand, and snow.

The majority of camera stores sell cheap rain covers that only cost a few dollars and wearing a poncho will definitely keep you and your camera bag dry during unexpected weather conditions. Trust us, these highly packable items will undoubtedly become your best friend when you will be photographing or videographing either in the rain, snow, or during a sandstorm. There are many drops of rain covers out there, so whatever suits you and your camera gear the best, go for that one only. Well, there is a DIY trick too: if by any chance you forget to bring one and are not able to find a camera store where you are shooting your client, just do some improvisation simply by wrapping a Ziploc bag around your camera and then secure it with rubber bands and poke a hole for the lens. Trash bags can be used as ponchos, too.

Instantly Switch To A Prime Camera Lens

Well, zoom lenses have various moving parts and this clearly means that they are more likely to get damaged either by sand, water, or snow. Whereas, newer lenses are weather-resistant, as they can still sustain damage if left exposed for too long under unexpected weather conditions. If you notice sand or water getting into the lends, just stop using them. If you continue to use them with water or sand in them, it may further damage the internal components and will leave you with a larger repair bill. So, it is always a wise idea to switch to a prime lens if you are going to shoot under unexpected weather conditions.

Make Sure You Are Changing The Camera Lens While Being Under the Cover

If you need to change your camera lens to try a different perspective for your photography or videography session, make sure to do so under a covered area free from the wind or sand, or rain. A car or some other kind of shelter will work for this. Just make sure that your camera is turned off and that no additional elements make their way into your camera body.

Keep Your Camera Safe and Protected By Covering It With Silica Gel

Moisture from rain or snow can easily cause your camera and expensive gear to malfunction. There is a simple solution to keep them safe. Silica gel. This gel costs as low as $7 online and works wonders to suck the moisture out of your camera bag.

Always Shoot in Intervals To Have The Best Shots and Videos

Unexpected weather can easily turn the photoshoot or video session into a high-pressure environment. So, just be sure to communicate the plan with your team and your clients to have the best photography or videography experience. If everyone is in agreement to continue, all you have to do is to space out the shots into intervals and keep the exposure to the weather limited. Just make sure to take frequent breaks to dry off, warm up, or clean the sand for the best results.

Don’t Forget To Carry Napkins and Microfiber Cloths

Getting water spray on your front element and filters is a very common problem with a lot of rain in the air, especially when you are out for an outdoor photography or videography session. If you are not using any kind of filter, you can just use your camera lens hood to shield you from most of the rain and moisture. So, if you are shooting into the wind, we can assure you that the lens hood trick will definitely help you. Don’t forget to carry napkins along with you as they are just best for swiping up the water. Sadly, at times they leave traces of paper on the lens and that is why microfiber cloths are the best to wipe off those small traces.

Use Frameworks For The Best Results

The unexpected weather conditions will put your experience and knowledge to the test. Well, extreme weather might also limit your ability to experiment or try new things either for photo shoot sessions or videography sessions. Instead, you have to rely on what you know. There comes a crucial photoshoot tip that is creating a framework for your process.

Staying Patient Is The Key To Shooting During Unexpected Weather Conditions

No matter what style of photography your client has chosen for their professional photo shoot session, composition, light, subject matter, and storytelling is what make a great and perfect photograph. Photographing during unexpected or bad weather conditions is no excuse to slack on the image just because the outdoor setting conditions are hard. To have a great photography or videography experience during unexpected weather conditions, you need to be in it if you are not in it, you will not win it. Being a professional photographer you have to ensure the elements and work around all the problems that mother nature is offering. Just adapt to the situation. Be patient, and solve the problems as they occur. With that being said, of course, you should not push yourself and your clients longer than you are comfortable with these kinds of weather conditions. Thunderstorms, hail, blizzards, tornados, etc. are really dangerous. So obviously, do not put your life as well as your client’s life at risk for a photo.

The Technique To Capture Great Photographs or Videos Under Unexpected Weather Conditions

If you are shooting under certain conditions where a constant spray or rain is hitting your lens, make sure to always set up the shot and composition in manual mode for the best shots and videos. When you switch to manual mode, you will have desired settings for optimal exposure, manual focus, and as high a continuous shooting speed as possible. But, if you have any changing exposure settings such as aperture or shutter speed, then going for this photography or videography mode will not work especially under unexpected weather conditions.

Join Our Community

We have more than 2000 members around the world

Join Community

Follow Us

Get the latest news and photo inspiration.