Let It Rain

It’s always fun to just play. Finding time for shooting things like the above images is important to the growth of any photographer.

I called my friend and fellow wedding photographer, Seth one day and told him about this idea that i had. I wanted to shoot a relatively dark image (unlike most of my other work which is considerably brighter in tone) that featured rain that was back lit to create a stunning display of individual rain drops. I wanted to light the subject simply and dramatically. I originally thought of finding a model to come in and pose while I made the shot, but after talking to Seth about the idea, he suggested using himself as the model. Photographers generally don’t work well in front of the camera, but Seth was good at making the transition. He brought along a fantastic black trench coat and hat that helped transform the look of the shot to something darker and more menacing.

I set up before sunset and waited until the sky went dark to capture this series of images. The main light was an Elinchrom Quadra Ranger to my left, shot through a grid spot towards Seth’s face to control the light falloff. The back light was a Canon 580exii to illuminate the rain. I varied the composition in some frames to allow the flash to be seen in the background, and in others I obscured it with Seth’s body. The “rain” wasn’t rain at all. It was a run of the mill garden hose, clamped to a step ladder, and pointed upward. The falling water created the rain effect.

I thought about how bummed a couple can get if the weather doesn’t cooperate on their wedding day. So I tried to think about how I could incorporate this technique into a rainy wedding day. I think it’d be a pretty smooth transition, actually. I’d have the bride and groom hold the umbrella and set up the lights similarly, and you’ve got yourself a very dramatic image that will likely be a pretty fantastic shot for an otherwise gray, rainy day.

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