Engagement Preview + When the Light's Not Right

Last night I got the chance to travel out west for Megan and BJ's engagement session outside of Hoxie, KS, and with this unseasonably warm weather we were all pretty pleased to be walking in comfortable air! The only drawback of the whole session: cloud cover! While I can definitely photograph my clients just fine with the overall open-shade that clouds provide, sunlight really allows me to manipulate the look of an image and pull my subjects out from their background. You could say sunshine is like a puppy that wants to play, making me feel like I have all the time in the world and a truckload of tennis balls. 

As you can tell from the above image and my Instagram preview, we did in fact end up catching a few rays! But to tell you the truth, I nearly gave up! Frame after frame of open shade passed by, but we never seemed to get that bright, unfiltered light that I love! It seemed like every time the sun was about to dip below the clouds, a new cloud would move in and block my light.

However, I let Megan and BJ know we were waiting... and that I was a little impatient! I kept watching my time knowing that beautiful ball of life-giving light could pop out at any minute! I photographed them, posed them, pushed for versatility in our location, and waited, preparing Megan and BJ, telling them where I wanted them to be when the light finally showed and that we wouldn't have much time.

With five minutes to go before the sun dropped below the horizon, the light finally came out. You better believe---I shot like crazy! It was a wildly rewarding moment! 

All that goes to say, here are a few take-away tips I have for you:

  1. Be patient. Don't give up because you think the clouds will never clear! It's always worth the wait, and typically means you only wait an extra 5-10 minutes. You don't want to have regret post-session!
  2. Know your sunset time. When you have a lot of cloud cover, it can be so easy to give up only to find you left your location just as the light got good simply because you didn't know when sunset time was and thought it was long gone! Be aware, and keep a time piece handy.
  3. Inform your clients. I told Megan and BJ that the second the light came out it would illuminate the scenery around them. My excitement built their excitement so that when the time came, they were ready to hustle to the best spots and were seriously on it

This is really such a simple tip, that I constantly even have to remind myself of! While I might be preaching to the choir, I truly hope this helps you push for your best images/moments/light/whatever at your next session!

Meanwhile, happy Wednesday friends!

Emma Wheatley

TOPEKA, KS, 66606