7 Photography Tips For Shooting Outfits In The Rain

How to photograph outfits in the rain
I’m certain I now have the undivided attention of every blogger in the UK: after the rain we’ve had this week, this is the post for you! Having to photograph an outfit post (or two) when it’s chucking it down outside is one of the most frustrating challenges a blogger can face. Sometimes you’ve just got to work with the rain, rather than against it, so read on for my top tips for how to get the best results in wet weather.

(If you’re a Southern California blogger you may want something else to read, so here’s a nice picture of a rainbow to gaze at instead. Unless you’ve already left us and have gone out for a jolly in the sunshine… I’m not bitter. Oh no.)

1. Lack of light is your enemy so face the direction of the sun

This may seem strange, as on rainy days there’s usually a blanket of cloud completely obscuring the sun. However, you’d be amazed how much light still comes from the direction of the sun, so ensure you’re facing that way. Otherwise you’ll run the risk of an underexposed face and/or outfit as the sky behind you will inevitably be ten times brighter.

2. Get a fab umbrella or two

Please – no boring black umbrellas! There are some beauties on the market – just make sure it’s a light colour underneath or reasonably transparent so that as much light as possible is reflected back onto your face. Some umbrellas have a plain colour on top and a pattern underneath, which will make a great statement in your photos (and you can get away with a darker colour on top with these). A fabulous umbrella is an accessory in itself, and will keep your outfit dry.

Photographing outfit photos in the rain: Get a fabulous umbrella

Shop these fabulous umbrellas if you want to replace that boring black one you’ve got…!

3. Use a tripod

Failing light can be a problem – the camera will probably have to slow down the shutter speed to get as much light as possible into the pictures. However, this can cause blur from camera shake, and if the photographer is grappling with an umbrella too, you’re probably going to end up with some pretty blurry shots. The tripod will free up the photographer’s hands, allowing them to hold an umbrella over themselves and use the camera simultaneously.

If you’re thinking of buying a tripod, my advice is to spend as much as you can afford (triple figures for UK prices is not an extravagance if you want a serious one that does the job). A tripod that’s too lightweight for your camera will run the risk of being blown or knocked over, which of course could cost you more in replacement camera costs. A heavy, sturdy tripod is more expensive but totally worth the investment… mine cost me nearly £100 in 1992 and is one of the best photography investments I’ve ever made.

A strange phenomena that I’ve found occurs when using a tripod in failing light (allowing you to use slow shutter speeds without blur) is that the quality of light in the photos is really unique and quite beautiful. It’s hard to describe, but if you try it you may see what I mean – it’s totally different to standard daylight.

4. Make a feature out of raincoats, puddles and droplets of rain

If you can’t beat it, join it! Rather than sitting around waiting for the rain to stop, it can be nice to actually see the rain in photos sometimes. Put your wellies on and splash about in puddles, or wear a fabulous raincoat. If the sun comes out when it’s still raining, that’s a golden photo opportunity right there – shoot slightly into the sun (don’t let the photographer blind themselves) and the raindrops will be highlighted by the sun and look beautiful. Take close up shots of the rain droplets on your jacket sleeves or bag, or photograph your wellies in the puddles.

Photographing outfit photos in the rain: Wear a hat, take close up shots of raindrops

5. Get a practical golf umbrella for your photographer. Cake too.

It may seem like I’m suggesting you get a huge umbrella to keep your photographer dry just to be nice, but really you need to make sure you protect your camera. Of course it’s a good idea as well to keep the photographer happy, so lure them into the rain with the promise of tea and cake for both of you once you’re back in the dry.

6. Wear a hat

Something with a wide brim, like a fedora, will keep the rain off your face and mostly off your hair. We tend to squint and generally screw our faces up if it’s being lashed by rain, so the protection of a hat is perfect to prevent unfortunate facial expressions.

Blue fedora & a tie-dye grey snood

7. Take shelter somewhere that’s near daylight

If you really don’t want to venture out into the rain, get creative with outdoor locations that offer shelter. You need as much natural daylight as possible, so stand near the entrances/on the edges of these locations for your photographs:

  • A bandstand (this is at the top of my list of locations I want to shoot in)
  • A cool bus shelter
  • A pedestrian underpass (as with all location shooting make sure you stay safe, some can be dodgy)
  • A warehouse or loading bay entrance
  • A shopping centre (not a mall) with covered walkways
  • An open garage doorway (without the car – it needs to be mostly empty)
  • The doorstep of a photogenic house (not a stranger’s house though, and definitely don’t pose on private property without the owner’s permission!)
  • The dugout on a sports field

Photo Tips | Location ideas for outfit photos when it's raining: Bandstand, Bus shelter, pedestrian underpass
Image credits: Bandstand / Bus shelter / Underpass


Above all – have fun in the rain! Working with the rain is easier than trying to battle against it, and I’ve wasted many hours waiting for the rain to stop when I’ve needed to get outfit photos taken. 

Have you got any extra tips for photographing outfits when it’s pouring down? Do let us know in the comments – and good luck!

Ideas for photographing outfits in the rain

Catherine x

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  1. 22 January 2015 / 8:27 pm

    Thank you, Catherine … so much for these particular pointers! Each one brilliant and true to your creative self. I've just lost my boring old brick-wall-under-my-front-porch background and have to get out and the open … and it's all rain ,rain, rain this year. Oh, the porch and wall are still there, but I've gone from my foggy old point and shoot to a Canon mirrorless compact system with an 18-55mm … too wide if I get my top to toe in the frame (I can't take a bit of wide angle distortion … I'm quite wide enough, thank you) and if I back off as far as I need to if I properly zoom, I fall off the porch. (There's a picture.)
    It will be good for me to get out and away, anyhow, and I'm going shopping for pretty umbrellas this weekend! I have a crackerjack wireless remote that I love, so that will help. I'm looking for a better tripod, too. The one I have is sufficient if Dan is pressed into service as tripod-minder in windy weather, but I'm taking your advice about a better one still. No law says I can't have two. Right?
    Thank you again. I'm not just informed by your post. I'm cheered and inspired!

    • 23 January 2015 / 6:32 pm

      Jan that's brilliant – thank you so much! It's true there are so many factors to consider when taking photographs, and wet (and windy) weather certainly makes it even more challenging. A really great tripod is something that you'll not regret buying at all – it's not just for blog photos but is perfect for family portraits and filming video too. Good luck with your new locations and tripod (and umbrella!) buying, and have fun!! C x

  2. 25 October 2014 / 1:36 pm

    Brilliant post! You should enter it in the weekly IFB contest. I'm new to photography, and posts that are written for specific situation in a "how-to" format are great! Now I just need to b somewhere that isn't a desert πŸ™‚ Agree with about tripods…mine was free when I got my camera and sometimes it doesn't hold my camera straight.


  3. 29 October 2013 / 6:58 am

    This is a helpful post now that I live in a substantially more rainy climate! How do you get your white balance to come out on cloudy days? I've heard cloudy days are the photographer's natural light box but yet when I put my DSLR on cloudy white balance my photos are wayyy too warm. My hair looks orange and my skin so sallow. I end up just doing Auto in the end and it works ok, but I wish I knew why my cloudy white balance is so bad. πŸ™


  4. 28 October 2013 / 10:23 am

    Great tips. Your photography is as good as your style!

  5. 28 October 2013 / 1:38 am

    Great post! I definitely had to make use of a few of these tips back when I lived in Brooklyn. Now that I'm in SoCal, not so much…


  6. 26 October 2013 / 3:45 pm

    I've only just discovered your blog via pinterest and I've read back through about a dozen pages already! This post is literally so helpful; I was really struggling to think how to continue blogging over winter with all the crappy weather we're no doubt in for so thank you so much for the tips:) I guess one of the best things about blogging is that so many different people can enjoy each others blogs – I'm only 15 but I love your style, writing and photography. Followed you on bloglovin and I'd love if you could check out my blog too!
    lily x

  7. 26 October 2013 / 11:45 am

    wonderful tips! i love taking photos in a light drizzle. anything more than that is too much! unless i have the rain coat and wellies. A tripod is a definite must have! xoRach

  8. 25 October 2013 / 7:18 pm

    Great pics, too!! Not gloomy at all, considering the weather conditions!! πŸ˜‰

  9. 25 October 2013 / 6:16 pm

    Haha, I took photo after photo with my timer and 7 year old photographer trying to get a good shot of the rain pouring off my umbrella. I was actually sad when the hard rain stopped, as I wanted more tries at it. :o) Thanks for the tips.


  10. 25 October 2013 / 5:43 pm

    OH, how nice! Thank you for this, Catherine. I usually write off the rainy days as "no post" days, but now I am eager to try some of this. πŸ™‚

  11. 25 October 2013 / 3:34 pm

    What a fabulous post. All I need now is a bit of rain.
    I learn sooooooooooooooo much with you, my gorgeous Catherine.
    Have a fantastic weekend.

  12. 25 October 2013 / 3:25 pm

    What a fantastic post. Thank you. I've just recently got a very good automatic camera (I'm not good enough to warrant a DSLR) and a decent tripod and am experimenting with all sorts of set-ups. This post has been really helpful. Love Liz xx

  13. 25 October 2013 / 3:11 pm

    I was looking forward to this post, Catherine and you really gave some great tips! I will especially keep the "face direction of the sun" and the tripod in mind since I need to buy one soon anyway.
    Besides the rain it is also the snow which I will be struggling with soon. Not the white winter wonderland + sunshine but the ugly sleet and darkness that comes with it. I need to find suitable locations for that period. As far as I can remember you have never shown inside photos which is another challenge I think.

    Thank you!
    Annette | Lady of Style

  14. 25 October 2013 / 3:00 pm

    These are excellent tips!

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