Rescheduling Sessions | How to Decide For Photographers

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!

“Hi _______!

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!




June 4, 2015


hi, y'all!

I'm Hope Taylor, an international Senior Portrait and Wedding Photographer based in Charleston, SC. I'm also an educator, international speaker, and the host of multiple sold-out workshops each year!





For access to free, exclusive educational content not found anywhere else, priority access to workshop registration and occasional discussion of chicken nuggets.



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