March 20, 2023 | Guides

How to create Stunning Family Photos on a Windy and Rainy Day in Ireland

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Article written by Deirdre Rusk Photography.

We all know how undependable Irish weather is and one of the first questions I get asked when booking an outdoor photoshoot is, what happens if it rains?

What if I told you that a windy and rainy day could make for some absolutely stunning family photos? It’s true! Here are a few reasons why:

Dramatic Skies!

One of the benefits of embracing the weather is that you’re almost guaranteed to have dramatic, moody skies. The wild and rugged landscape of Ireland is the perfect backdrop for stormy clouds, (and even the odd rainbow if you’re lucky!), creating a beautiful setting for your family portraits. Just be sure to bring an umbrella or two and some warm jackets and whatever you need to keep everyone comfortable in the wind and rain. 

Softer Light

Cloudy and overcast days create a soft, diffused light that is very flattering for portraits. Unlike bright sunlight, which can cause you to squint and create harsh shadows, cloudy skies create a more even, gentle light that helps highlight your natural beauty. 

Authentic emotions and Mood

Wind can add some movement and dynamism to your photos, creating a sense of excitement!

Let’s be honest, when its windy and rainy in Ireland, it’s hard not to feel a little exhilarated and adventurous. This kind of energy can make for some truly authentic and memorable family photos. Whether you’re running through the rain together, jumping in puddles, laughing while the wind blows your hair all over the place or snuggling up under an umbrella, this playful and fun atmosphere can help bring out the best in your family’s personalities.

I loooove the tones of the Irish landscape on a rainy dull day. The greens seem that touch deeper, coupled with grey or dramatic sky against the rugged landscape, it makes the photographs have more depth, they’re more emotive and have a certain mood and romance. Think Outlander Vibes!

Unique Memories

Finally, there is something undeniably special about having your photos taken on a windy and rainy day. Whether it’s the memory of battling the elements together on the rugged Irish coast, or the thrill of exploring an ancient ruin in the midst of a storm, these photos will remind you of a fun and unique experience that you shared together. When you look back on them in years from now you will be grateful for your decision to embrace the weather!


Now, I do want to mention that if it is too cold or if there is torrential rain or wind, it is sometimes better to reschedule your photo session, especially if there are young children involved. Safety and comfort should always be top priority. However, with a little bit of preparation and the right attitude a windy and rainy day can be a wonderful opportunity to create some truly stunning, unique and memorable family photos.

If you’re planning on having your photographs and the weather forecast is not looking great, don’t worry! Here are some tips to help you prepare and get the most out of your session:

Dress Appropriately

Be sure to dress in warm, waterproof clothing and perhaps bring a change of clothes in case you get wet. It’s a good idea to wear shoes with good traction, such as wellies or hiking boots. 

If your shoot is more dressed up/ lifestyle, be sure to bring am umbrella, and a warm coat or blanket that you can wrap up in between shots.

Encourage your family to bring wellies and clothes that they don’t mind getting a bit muddy!

Be Flexible

If the weather is particularly severe, it may be necessary to reschedule your shoot. But if it’s just a bit windy or rainy, don’t be afraid to go ahead with the session. Just be prepared for a little bit of adventure! Wind and rain can create stunning and dramatic photos, so try to embrace the elements and have fun with it! Playing in the rain or running through puddles can create some of the most memorable and authentic family photos.

Trust your Photographer

Tell your photographer your concerns and ask them for advice. Your photographer should be a professional who knows how to work with different weather conditions. Trust their vision and let them guide you through the shoot. With a little bit of patience and a lot of creativity you are sure to get some beautiful family photographs.

If you are a fellow photographer planning a photoshoot on a windy or rainy day, here are some tips to get the best photographs for your client:

Wear weather appropriate clothing

As a photographer, you are likely to be standing out in the elements for a few hours. Wear warm, waterproof clothing, good shoes and bring some fingerless gloves and a hat to keep warm.

Location scout beforehand

Its a good idea to scout the location before the session to make sure it’s safe and accessible for all. It is great if there is good parking and toilet facilities near by. Scout out potential sheltered areas that will provide some protection from the wind and rain. By scouting the location before it can also help you plan out your shots and compositions and get a better understanding of the lighting conditions.

Protect your gear

Invest in a good quality water proof camera bag, use it to store your gear when you’re not using it. You can also bring a rain cover or umbrella to protect your gear during the shoot. I always use weather sealed gear. Lens hoods can also protect your lenses from rain drops and reduce the amount of glare and lens flare in your photos.

Bring extra towels and a dry cloth. Towels can be used to dry off wet gear, to clean your lens and keep your hands dry. A cloth can be used to wipe down your camera and lens in between shots to prevent moisture from accumulating. 

You can always use a rain cover for your camera, you can find various rain covers online or you can even make your own using a sandwich bag or shower cap. To be honest, I have never used one, I find gear is sturdy enough these days to withstand the odd shower. But a cloth to wipe down your lens is an absolute MUST!

Bring Umbrellas

I always have a few clear umbrellas in my car boot in case the rain decides to show up on a shoot! They make wonderful props in photographs. They are see-through so you can make interesting photographs with them and they are super cheap to purchase.

Experiment with Shutter Speeds

Well, I recommend doing this no matter the occasion, I’m obsessed with shutter speeds and the difference they can make to the feeling and mood of your photographs. But on a windy day, experimenting with shutter speeds can really capture the movement of the wind in different ways. A slower shutter speed will create a sense of movement and energy, while a faster shutter speed will freeze the action.

Look for Interesting Compositions

Use the wind and rain to your advantage by looking for interesting compositions and incorporate the elements. For example, take a portrait with the emphasis being on the person’s hair blowing in the wind, make it dramatic and full of life or you could use the rain and the puddles to make interesting reflections!

Client Safety

Again, client safety and comfort should be top priority. Please reschedule your shoot if there are very young children involved, if it is too cold, or if there are dangerous weather conditions. Never ever schedule a shoot if there are weather warnings or if there are ANY safety concerns whatsoever.

If it is just your usual Irish rainy day, address any concerns your client may have and advise them on how to get the best out of their session.

Some of my most memorable and favourite photo sessions have been the ones where the weather has been the worst 🙂

Have fun and make the most out of it!


Find out more about Deirdre Rusk

Allow me to photograph your family in an authentic, natural way, capturing the love and connection you have for one another. I will guide you every step of the way because I truly want you to have photographs that are more than just memories, ph...

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