When you’re an outdoor photographer, it’s inevitable. Sooner or later, weather will get in the way of your session! We’ve all been there. As a photographer in the Windy City, I feel especially called to speak about sessions with high winds, because this is something I deal with almost every time I shoot in the city! Here are my top tips to make your next windy session a BREEZE (ha!!)
1. Don’t panic
Your clients will feed off your energy, so be sure to stay calm and collected and reassure them that things will be great. Oftentimes, clients invest a lot of money into their sessions, from booking you, to buying new outfits, to getting hair and makeup done. They also invest their valuable time into planning the session and coordinating schedules to be there. The best thing you can do in less-than-perfect weather is stay positive and friendly. Reassure your client that wind happens all the time, and you have some tricks to turn it into a positive, so their photos will turn out BEAUTIFUL!
2. Use the wind to your advantage
Have you ever seen Beyoncé in concert? (I haven’t but I’ve watched enough YouTube videos to pretend I have!!) Queen Bey actually has wind machines blowing on her during her performances, creating epic hair flipping perfection!! You can use wind the same way during your sessions. To achieve the look, place girls (or guys with longer hair) facing the wind, so their hair flows behind them and doesn’t cover their faces. If the direction of the wind changes, so should your client!
3. Have clients hold their hair
Ask your client to move their hair to one side, and hold onto it gently at the bottom. Not only does this keep hair from getting tangled and in the way, it also adds really pretty movement to your posing (it'll appear like clients are running their fingers through the hair). You can switch things up too! If you're posing a couple, have the guy push back her hair at the temple or hold under her chin to add variety!
(Pro tip: if you shoot in an area that’s often windy, like on the beach for example, you could ask your client ahead of time to pack a cute hat for their session and use that if necessary!)
4. Create a barrier
For couple's sessions, ask your clients to cuddle in nice and close. They can wrap their arms around each other, meanwhile holding down any flappy clothing, like a man’s dress shirt collar for example. I often use the guy’s body as a natural wind barrier to the girl’s. Bonus, the photos will turn out very sweet and intimate with all the cuddling going on!
Remember, weather is out of your control, and the best thing to do is embrace the moment and keep a positive mindset! I promise, the more you shoot in the wind, the more you’ll love the natural movement it adds to your photos!