How to Embrace the Weather for Your Photography Session

What’s one of the best things about hiring a San Diego wedding photographer from Chicago? I know how to deal with weather! Come rain or shine, heat wave or blizzard, I’ve got you! Don’t believe me? Check out this adorable ice skating engagement session for inspiration!

Snowy Engagement in Chi Town

If you’re familiar at all with Chicago, then you know about Cloud Gate – aka The Bean! This giant reflective work of art looks like a large reflective bean from afar, but up close you can experience it’s magic. This liquid-mercury-inspired bean is brilliantly shaped so that it showcases Millennium Park and the Chicago Skyline. It’s pretty amazing to see how it all fits so perfectly. As you might expect, this iconic landmark is often requested as a photo location for photography sessions. As a creative, I’m always happy to acquiesce because the reflective surface and skyline is pretty cool to photograph! Check it out below in Allison and Mario’s winter engagement session to see what I mean.

While they may not have expected a full-on blizzard, Allison and Mario envisioned a romantic snowy backdrop for their engagement session. I am shooting their wedding in November 2022 at Room 1520, so it will be neat to see how their engagement and wedding photos complement each other in matching seasons.

Chicago winter engagement session

When in Doubt, Skate it Out!

This winter wonderland shoot was completely intentional, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t come with challenges. The wind, snow, and moisture meant Allison and Mario had to be ok with the elements. Needless to say, they completely rocked it, damp hair and all!

We prepped the session with cocktails and cozy pictures at a local café, and that did the trick! It wasn’t hard to stay warm as I chased them around and documented their ice skating shenanigans, which photographed beautifully! I’m all about those authentic moments and lots of laughter – it’s the best way to capture the real you!

Chicago winter engagement session

Mother Nature is gonna do her thing – there’s not much you can do about that. BUT, you can use the weather to your advantage. Barring any natural disasters, I’ve photographed in just about every weather scenario, and most couple’s end up astonished by how beautiful they come out. Interesting weather scenarios can add extra character to your session if you can embrace it. Here’s what you need to know:

How to Embrace the Weather for Your Wedding or Engagement Pictures


Rain is not such a bad thing after all! Cloudy skies will create a natural softbox for your session or wedding. The diffused, consistent light removes any harsh lines and shadows and creates soft, romantic vibes that I adore! With cloudy days, there are no bad angles to work around! Plus, the roads look wet for that glam vibe you see in movies (hellllo cool night / blue hour). 

Clear umbrellas are the move here for weddings and engagement sessions. Not to mention, if it is your wedding day, we can’t reschedule – so let’s just go with it! In fact some of my all-time favorite wedding photos have been taken in the rain. Being that I worked in Chicago before moving to Cali, I have your back when it comes to rain and wind. I vow to bring clear umbrellas with me always. (Ok, I can’t do this on destination weddings, but I’ll be there to improvise with you.)

PS—Consider your wedding location so we can have an awesome backup plan, too! Be sure to research typical weather trends for that area if you’re unfamiliar.


Obviously sunny days are gorgeous, but it can get hot when we spend an hour shooting.  But again, it’s just perfect for those glowy vibes. Sunlight is especially great for capturing a variety of dynamic shots.  Everyone talks about golden hour, but what about direct light photos? You’ve probably been told to steer clear of direct sunlight, but if done right, those are *chef’s kiss*.  I happen to love a direct light moment, and there is always shade somewhere. Don’t forget to bring water!

Note: I do recommend having your ceremony in the shade, or keep the sun behind you for those awesome photos (and so you aren’t blinded). When you do your venue tour, don’t forget to scout out some great golden hour spots (I will help with that the day of, too)!


This one mostly speaks for itself. Roll with the weather rather than trying to brave the cold in a cute skirt and wedges. (i.e. dress accordingly—bundling up and sharing a blanket is super cute!) We won’t be dealing with this around LA, but I still wanted to throw this out there because I love this session. Who knows, maybe I’ll get the chance to photograph a couple’s session at Big Bear Mountain or Lake Tahoe during the ski season! (Pique your interest? Get in touch here to start planning!)

Chicago winter engagement session

Final Notes About Embracing the Weather for Your Photography Session

Remember, we can reschedule an engagement session if need be. For a wedding, hiring the right photographer will ensure you get great photos no matter what! Don’t forget to add some time to your schedule for sunset and night portraits—thank me later 😉 !

Hanna Walkowaik // LA + San Diego Wedding Photographer

Looking for a San Diego wedding photographer? I know a gal! View my recent work and connect with me here.