How we handle: unexpected weather

Living in Pittsburgh, the topic of weather and how it relates to planning is always a big factor. Even if the forecast says sunny and a high of 75, there’s always the chance for rain, wind, and/or a sudden drop (or increase!) in temperature. The best defense is to have a plan, so here’s how we handle unexpected changes in weather and how you can be more confident on the day of your photo shoot.

Naturally, we’re very flexible when it comes to weather. After all, we work in Pittsburgh! We know unexpected weather conditions can make you and your family uncomfortable, though, and it’ll show in your pictures. Where’s the fun in that? We want your pictures to be memorable, not awkward.

In addition, we prefer not to reschedule. Getting the family together and coordinating everyone’s schedule can be a challenge. Plus, you’re excited on the day of your shoot and we want you to have a really fun time. We’ll do all we can to avoid making your effort be for naught!

Sometimes, all it takes are a few simple steps to getting great photos. But when unexpected weather conditions become an additional unexpected member of your family photos, here are a few ways we can work with it.

Heat and/or Humidity

Depending on the location you choose for your shoot, we’ll spend lots of time in the shade. Not only will you be more comfortable, you’ll get better photos as direct sun doesn’t make for the best lighting.

Also, breaks are key. Our sessions are all about having fun and playing, but being out in the heat can make that activity even more exhausting than normal. We noticed that some folks are hesitant to ask for a break because they feel like they should be using the whole time allotted for taking photos. However, comfort is essential to getting great photos! If you’re not comfortable and too hot, it won’t matter if we keep shooting through it; it’s unlikely you’ll be having the best time, which translates into subpar photos. Plus, we want to do the best work for you and taking a break in that heat sounds good to us, too!

When we do break, it’s a great time to rehydrate. We always bring a small cooler with us with water for everyone.

While we don’t want to tell you exactly how to look, we do suggest that you wear breathable, comfortable clothing. Any fabric that wicks away sweat quickly will go a long way to making you feel comfortable on a hot day.


Any season can be a rainy season, so you have to consider the possibility of rain during the day of your family’s photo session. Most of the time, we can work with it. A drizzle doesn’t phase us at all. Kids really enjoy running around in a light rain, especially if it’s a hot day. It’s a great chance to cool down! Puddles are fun to splash in, too.

During a slightly heavier rainfall, overhangs and park shelters are great. It’ll allow you to be creative and have fun while keeping the water at bay. This also allows you to get creative with umbrellas. You can play with different colored umbrellas and take advantage of some cute poses.

While we don’t like to reschedule, we’ll opt to do so when there’s a pouring rain if there isn’t an indoor backup location option.


We didn’t say snow here because there are so many fun things you can do in the snow: sledding, building a snowman, making snow angels, the possibilities are endless! If that makes your heart pitter-patter with excitement, let’s make a date!

We love to take pictures of you and your family bundled up outside with rosy cheeks and noses. Just look at this adorable winter session at the Pittsburgh Zoo with Marilyn, Chris, and Adelaide. These kinds of pictures make for adorable holiday cards and gifts for grandparents.

That said, there’s definitely a difference between snow and outright cold. There’s that old adage that “it’s too cold to snow.” People usually say that when the weather gets really dry and it’s approximately 20 degrees below zero. If it’s too cold to snow, chances are good that it’s too cold to take pictures outside as well. At that point, it’s not fun to be outside for more than a few minutes. We don’t want anyone to get sick. On top of that, camera equipment doesn’t like freezing temperatures, either! When it gets that cold, we must move it inside.

All of the Above

We’ve heard it before and we’ll hear it again: in my day, we walked to school uphill both ways in the heat and humidity with the pouring snow coming down around us. Our older family members were troopers, but they weren’t taking family photos.

Always have a backup location in mind. It can be your house, a museum, an indoor play area. We’re game for anything that suits your family’s interest. There is definitely a dearth of indoor covered places in Pittsburgh that are free, but sometimes the cost of entry is worth everyone being comfortable and ready for fun.