Embracing Rain In Wedding Portraits – Image of the Week #439

Ahhh Ireland and the rain. There’s a reason that it is known as The Forty Shades Of Green and that reason is the rain. Ireland is also battered by the mighty Atlantic, you are welcome England for the protection from it!

The country’s wild and rugged nature, along with its dramatic coastline, has made it a popular choice for film and TV productions. This image from the hugely talented Esme Whiteside captures the essence of a romanticised Irish landscape, evoking a sense of a wild love story, akin to “The Notebook” movie poster.

Esme has skillfully balanced the harshness of the elements with a softness in her focus and editing. The couple’s embrace in the lashing rain is juxtaposed with a tender touch, creating a beautiful contrast. The framing of the image, with the darkness at the bottom, draws the viewer’s attention to the top section, emphasizing the couple’s kiss and their emotions.

There is an undeniable energy in the photograph, which was likely fueled by the circumstances and the extreme climate. Shooting real weddings often requires working with the given surroundings and adapting ideas to make the best of the situation. Esme’s ability to capture this raw and intimate photograph in challenging conditions demonstrates the importance of good communication with the couple beforehand, establishing trust, and creating spaces that allow for such intimacy.

Esme’s students that day likely gained a valuable lesson in working with their surroundings and adapting their photography approach. It serves as a reminder that sometimes the most extraordinary and emotionally charged instants can arise when we embrace the unpredictability of the environment and focus on capturing authentic connections.

Canon R6 | Sigma 35mm 1.4 ART
ISO 125 | f1.4 | 1/100
own preset

What Esme said…

“This was from one of my workshops in Ireland, I’d planned a hike into the Mourne Mountains, for a calm, relaxed, slow shoot in front of one of the epic lochs. Unfortunately, it rained relentlessly, so hiking was impossible. Instead, I found a location we could all park at, and get in and out of the car between shots. The rain was so aggressive that it felt like it would cut our faces, and wet through to the bone after even a couple of minutes. Tom + Ben were a previous couple of mine, and I’d chatted to them about the possibility of terrible weather, fortunately, they said they were totally up for a ‘notebook’ vibe. The willingness of the boys was absolutely integral to this shot – there is no way I could’ve got such romance and intimacy in such terrible weather without having a couple who totally trusted me, and could see the vision behind the craziness.”

The Tech Talk

“Shooting in rain is hard not just because of the possibility of broken gear, but trying to get sharp images! Not only does the rain wet your lens, but really hazes and fogs it up – which for this shot, I actually really love, I think the fogginess and haziness really makes it super dreamy, and adds to the romance, it gives it a bit of a filmy and nostalgic vibe. I wore one of my dads completely waterproof golf jackets for this and it was an absolute lifesaver, camera inside the jacket between shots really saved my gear!”