Apr 28, 2016

5 Tips for Portraits on Windy Days

What do you do when the day you have scheduled for a shoot has winds gusting to 65mph and you can’t reschedule?! 

Last month my good friend Trisha, with Trisha Shelley Photography, drove up from Gilbert, AZ to take pictures of Ione and to help me update my head shots. I had a place all picked out down by the creek, but the wind that day was ferocious. As in gusting to 65mph. It was awful. There was no way we were going to get anything decent at the creek, but she only had the one day here and so I worked and came up with a backup plan that I crossed my fingers would work. 
I got the key to the city racquetball court and just hoped that the three walls would give enough shelter to make this work. 
We got there with the last bit of light of the day amid the crazy wind and just hoped we could get in one good shot. There are 4 outdoor courts here so we found the one with the least graffiti and the best wind shelter and started snapping away. 
Trisha was great! We snapped for 16 minutes and got not just one good shot, but tons! I was so impressed! 
Even with the high walls, the wind wasn’t completely absent. It still swirled around us. I kept eating my hair and pulling it out of my eyes. But, it did also add in some beautiful effects! 
Here are a few tips to working in the wind! (All photos were taken by Trisha and edited by me)
1. If possible, find a wind block
The racquetball courts ended up being perfect! They blocked most of the wind, gave a uniform background, and bounced the fading light in perfectly! Utilize buildings, trees, and hills!
2. Face into the wind. 
The first thing we did to make the wind work for us as much as possible was to have me face into the wind. This blew my hair backwards for the most part, making me look (in my sister-in-law’s words) like a shampoo model. 
3. Hold your hair with one hand. 
Holding your hair, or running your hand down your hair works great! It gives your hand something to do, creates movement, and gets your arms in natural looking positions. And it might help tame the mane for a few seconds, just long enough to get a good shot.
 4. Look out of the wind while still facing into it. 
I know, that doesn’t make much sense stated like that. After a while of looking into the wind, your eyes start to water from the air and all the dirt being blown around. We still needed my hair to go out behind me, so we faced my body into the wind, swept my hair behind my shoulder, and then looked into the camera. This gets some good over the shoulder looks while still keeping your hair behind you and your eyes out of the wind.
5. Just have fun with it! 
Don’t stress. That’ll kill your creativity and the mood. Laugh it off. Play around. You’ll get good shots between the crazy hair moments, the flying shirt tails, and the dust in the eyes! 
Even with those tips that we used though, there are a number of shots of me pulling hair out of my mouth, off my eyes, and unwrapped from my neck. You will still get some bloopers for sure.

Crazy wind. Crazy hair. Crazy face. 

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  1. Ashley Ziegler

    April 28th, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    Beautiful! Beautiful!

  2. Kathleen

    April 29th, 2016 at 9:49 pm

    So pretty! ANYWAY!

  3. Melody Tenney

    May 4th, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    Thanks for the tips. It is always so windy here.