Photo Tips: Rain or Snow or Sludge

Photographers and bloggers give their advice for taking photos in rainy and snowy weather
Photo of close up of raindrops on window

Photo Courtesy Jose Fotano/Unsplash

The weather this time of year can be messy, but it’s still possible to create stunning photography even on rainy, dreary, or snowy days. With a photographer as a sister, I’ve seen firsthand the struggle of capturing moments in the rain or snow. It’s a lot of quick shots before ducking back into shelter, trying to keep the camera dry, and getting the snow or rain to look okay on camera. But even though it’s a little more work, there’s something beautiful about a perfectly captured rainy or snowy scene. To help you out on your own photography endeavors, I’ve asked bloggers and photographers to share their best advice. Happy photo shooting!

“Bring a dry towel to wipe off the camera periodically; bring an extra battery too, because batteries can die faster in the cold. Also, it may look bright outside with the snow, but if it’s kind of cloudy I try to keep my ISO at around 300–350—I adjust my shutter speed [from there]. You should also bring a little lens wipe in case rain or snow gets on the glass part of the lens.” – Grace Ballalatak, portrait and concept photographer, @gracieballalatak

“Keep the light [source] behind you. Photography is all about the light, and phone cameras (and any other camera set on auto) is going to take a better picture when the subject is properly lit.” – Casie Beldo, senior art director of Minnesota Monthly, @casie_directly

“Wear gloves! And buy weather resistant camera gear—If you’re cheap, buy an umbrella and bring a friend. If there are puddles, [try] shooting reflection shots!” – Daniel Gjengdahl, photographer, @drgjengdahl

“Find an indoor space with lots of big windows. The white of the snow will add light.” – Andrea Peña, Minneapolis-based beauty blogger, @thatandrealife_

“Shooting in the morning or late afternoon are the best times to avoid [chances of] direct sunlight. When the sun is directly overhead (between 11 a.m.–1 p.m.) it creates unflattering shadows on subjects. Scout out your photo spots via the web or reference books before the trip to ensure you don’t miss the perfect shot. There are also forums where other photographers are sharing the best vantage points and how to get them for specific spots.” – Sommer Stelzer, art director and photographer, @sommerstelzer

“Play with your shutter speed and aperture to get various shots and moods! This will not only create beautiful photographs but challenge yourself as a photographer. [You should also] interact with the person you’re shooting—they are your subject so use the rain to enhance their personality or the mood/style of photo you are trying to achieve.” – Sarah Pitner, lifestyle photographer, @sarahpitnerphotography