With summer weather almost in full swing, thunderstorms + torrential downpours are inevitable here in Virginia. As a senior portrait photographer, one of the hardest parts of shooting summer portrait sessions is knowing when to reschedule due to weather + when to shoot regardless of the forecast. Some days there is an 80% chance of rain + then it turns out to be a beautiful, sunny afternoon! Then, on other days, there is not a cloud in the sky + all of a sudden it’s severe thunderstorms + hailing! Virginia weather can be crazy, but my top priority is to always provide my clients with the BEST possible experience, even if that means rescheduling for a later date!
So, how do you decide when to make the call and how do you explain it to your clients? Here are a few tips that have helped me when it comes to deciding whether or not to reschedule:
1. Keep a CLOSE eye on the forecast:
In the summertime, especially here in VA, the weather can do a complete 360 at the drop of a hat! I had a senior session two weeks ago when there was a 0% chance of precipitation all day, and then an hour before the session we had a severe thunderstorm wanting + hail storms throughout the afternoon! Craziness!! On summer days, I make sure to check the weather once every few hours when I have a session planned for the evening!
2. If it’s over 60% chance, reschedule!
My “rule of thumb” is if the forecast is more than 60% chance of rain/storms, I go ahead and reschedule. The last thing that I want is for my senior to get their hair and makeup done, be all dressed + ready + then be stormed on while we shoot!! That’s never fun, and it’s always harder to reschedule halfway through a shoot than to reschedule before it ever starts!
3. Give your clients a “final decision” timeline:
In situations where there is a large chance of storms/rain more than a week before the scheduled session, I go ahead and notify my clients of the forecast and let them know that I am keeping a close eye on it. Then, I let them know when I will be making the final decision in regards to rescheduling!
I am so sad to be the bearer of bad news, but I just wanted to keep you updated and let you know that there is currently a 60% chance of storms in the forecast for this Thursday. I am keeping a close eye on the weather, because the last thing that I want to do is sacrifice the quality of your senior experience because of those pesky summer storms!! Let’s plan to make a final decision about rescheduling on Wednesday afternoon before 3pm. Does that work for you?”
4. Give them new dates:
If it becomes necessary to reschedule (which none of us like to do!!) make sure that your email includes a list of available dates that your senior can choose from! Don’t leave them hanging without knowing that you will be fitting their session in again as soon as you can!