Family photos in the rain: what if it’s raining at my family photo session?


by Zürich Lifestyle Family Photographer Kati

Mum hugging her two daughters for family photos at Katzensee, Zurich

I know it can be stressful when unexpected things come up, especially the prospect of rain at your photoshoot. You are not alone. This is one of the greatest worries most families have (apart from what to wear and whether the kids will behave).

But don’t worry – you don’t have to cancel your highly-anticipated family photoshoot. As an experienced Zurich-based family photographer, I understand that life can throw curveballs your way. Yet that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on capturing precious memories.

Let’s work together to make some adjustments and ensure that your photo session still goes smoothly.

After all, we only have so many opportunities to freeze time and capture our growing families together. So take a deep breath and let me help you make it happen, here in beautiful Switzerland.

expat family at LIndenhof, Zurich, being photographed by lifestyle photographer Kati, with Grossmünster in the background
little boy sitting in the snow, posing for a photo all cuddled up and looking so sweet, Switzerland winter photo session

The weather forecast is for rain on the day of your family photo session – what should you do?

Your session is scheduled for tomorrow and the forecast says it’s going to rain. Don’t panic though, there is no guarantee that the forecast will be accurate.

And anyway, I don’t believe in the weather forecast. I know, bold statement, but…

….more often than not, it doesn’t rain when it was forecasted, or at least not heavily. This means that in most cases, unless you are really worried, I will not cancel the session just yet. I tend to wait until an hour before the photo session and will reassess the situation.

If it doesn’t Rain but the Sky is Filled with Clouds

I know, most families dream of a sunny day. But too much sun is not always a good thing.

Especially in the summer, for a long time during the day, the sun is harsh and cold, and not flattering at all. So if you book in the summer, you better have your session very early in the morning or rather late at night.

Anyway, if it’s ‘just’ cloudy on the day of your long-awaited session, we usually go ahead with your family photo shoot. Because clouds act as an amazing light modifier for the sun. They make the light soft and even, with no harsh shadows.

family playing outside with their two kids, throwing leaves during a family lifestyle photo session in Zurich
And clouds can also make an excellent backdrop. Clouds in the sky have great texture compared to an all-blue sky that then looks rather empty in photos.

So don’t be disappointed when the sky is filled with clouds. Cloudy days are perfect for capturing beautiful, natural-looking photographs.

What if there is a Light Drizzle on the Day of Your Photo Session?

Kids playing with leaves in park Zurich

If it’s a light drizzle, I don’t mind going ahead with the family photo session either.

Wet grounds and surroundings are much richer in contrast, making your photographs more colourful. In most cases, you don’t even see the drizzle in the photos.

Plus, kids often don’t mind the rain. They love jumping in puddles and look super cute in rain boots.

So, unless you are worried about your hair getting frizzy or your kids getting cold, I don’t mind photographing your family in the rain.

If it’s Raining Heavily on Your Photo Session Day

If it is raining heavily, safety is my top priority. I don’t want anyone getting sick or injured because of bad weather. If the weather is too severe, we’ll reschedule the family photo shoot to another day and time. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Alternatively, we can take photos inside your home.

Taking Family Photos at Your Home instead on a Rainy Day

There are so many reasons why photos at home are also an amazing idea.

1. Capture a Beautiful Memory for Your Children of Their Childhood Home

First, it would be such a beautiful memory to capture for your children. Because if they’re small, they most likely won’t remember what their room had looked like at the time, what their bed had looked like, or what their favourite toys were.

So capturing photos of you and your children playing in your home will provide your children with many visual memories of their childhood day to day. They will love you for it.

2. Memorise all those Cute Little Details

The second reason why I often encourage families to have a photo session at their home is that the kids can have bare feet and we can take a delightful record of it.

I can photograph those cute little hands flicking through a book, or those gorgeous little feet dancing or standing on tiptoes to reach that toy high up on the shelf. That would be heart-melting, right?

And you never know, it might stop raining later and we can still go outside.

3. Create a Memory of Your Home at this Time in Your Life

Capturing photos inside your home, you’ll have a record of how you have lived at that time. Sure, some of you might say: ‘oh my apartment is not that beautiful’ or ‘it’s not that spacious’.

But I assure you, it will be a lovely memory. Because that is your life right now, and wouldn’t it be awesome to be able to look back onto it?

For example, later in life, you might be living in a more comfortable home or even a bigger house and it will remind you of what you have achieved.

4. Record all those Heartwarming Activities you do at Home together with Your Family

There are so many other wonderful moments we can capture in your home that are not necessarily possible outdoors.

You could be baking pancakes together, or you could be jumping on the bed together, or your little one could take a bath and we could capture the splashing.

You could build a hideaway together, you could play with those colourful unicorns which your daughter adores, you could drive together that favourite racing car which your son loves so much, or you could play the drums with your boy.

dad hugging his two kids, wearing the same outfit for photoshoot, Belvoir Park Zurich
newborn baby feet of a girl, in Birmensdorf Zurich

What if there is Light Rain or Drizzle on Your Day and we go ahead with Your Family Photo Session?

Embrace the Rainy Atmosphere

Rainy days can be just as beautiful as sunny days in Switzerland, and with the right attitude and a skilled photographer, you can have a great family photo shoot even when it’s raining.

How to Dress for a Rainy Family Photo Session

When it comes to clothing, it’s best to wear weather-appropriate clothing. For a rainy day family photo shoot, I recommend:

  • Rain jackets, rain boots, and even umbrellas to add to the overall aesthetic of the photo session.
  • Dress in layers, onion style.
  • Bring spare clothes to change into on your way home

For more specific advice about how to dress for a family photo shoot, read this blog post.

Creating a Special Mood and Intimacy on a Rainy Day

I like to take advantage of the rainy atmosphere and use it to enhance the mood of the photos.

For example, I might have you and your family cuddle under a large umbrella or run in the rain together holding hands. The rain can add a romantic and intimate feel to the photos that you might not get on a sunny day.

The rain can also create unique opportunities for photos that you might not get on a sunny day. Shooting near water can be nice as the rain creates beautiful ripples on the surface of the water.

Also, using props like rain boots, umbrellas, or rain jackets can create interesting and fun photos.

And you never know, it might stop raining and we get to an amazing rainbow.

Family having a photo shoot with rainbow in Zurich

Don’t Miss Out on Capturing Memorable Moments in the Rain!

Rainy days can be just as beautiful as sunny days, sometimes even funnier and unforgettable!

Don’t let the possibility of rain deter you from scheduling an outdoor family photoshoot. Just embrace the moment and unique atmosphere and create stunning memories.

I’ve also written an article on how to (or how NOT to) prep the kids for a family photo session. You can read it here.

Much love, Kati

Not ready yet?  Why not JOIN KATI’S YELLOW TRIBE for tips on how to take better photographs of your own family?


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