Chuck Espinoza Photography

Los Angeles Based Freelance Photographer.
About this shot | head shots and portraits | Photography business

Taking $5000 in camera gear out in the rain

December 21, 2014

It’s been about a year in the works but I finally pulled off a shoot in the rain. I came across a great shot taken in the rain that motivated me to make my own photos. The results I made a few weeks ago were worth the wait. 

I started this process back in October of 2013. I emailed the idea and some reference shots to one of my go-to models. The first time we scheduled a shoot the weatherman was wrong. We tried again last February and the day before our scheduled shoot my model booked a job. I scrambled and found a replacement model willing to get wet.  I ordered a “rain coat” for my camera but it hadn’t arrived so my ideas were based on me remaining covered while the model suffered in the rain. The model showed up and so did the sun. The camera rain coat arrived a few days later.

This time I was prepared. I lined up a couple models and felt confident that when the weatherman says 100% chance of rain that the odds were in my favor. In the year that I had been thinking about this shoot my thought process and idea had changed. I was now prepared to take my DSLR out in the rain and I also packed my two underwater 35mm cameras. I was decked out in rain gear and entrusted my DSLR to this “rain coat”. A cumbersome piece of equipment that served its purpose for the hour I was in the rain but I wouldn’t have trusted it for much longer.

For my shoot with Taylor we charged Hollywood & Highland. I figured that the touristy traffic would be light and perfect for our shoot.  What H&H offered me was amazing lights and texture. The crowds were thin but still there. We started out safe under the cover of an umbrella and shooting under various overhangs. After about 30 minutes of relative comfort I asked Taylor to give up the umbrella. The rain had started to taper off and I learned that it was going to take a lot of rain to give Taylor the soaking wet look I had imagined. We never made it that far. By then the camera rain coat was showing signs of it’s fallibility so I packed it away and started shooting with the Nikonos. We burned through the 36 frames and then called it.

Taylor Olandt - Hollywood Blvd
Taylor Olandt – Hollywood Blvd
Taylor Olandt - Hollywood Blvd
Taylor Olandt – Hollywood Blvd

For day two I had two models liked up. Claire at noon and Adriana at 2PM. Both sent me messages that morning asking if we were still on because it wasn’t raining. I had faith and sure enough it started to rain….but then it stopped. I headed to Claire’s praying for rain yet seeing signs of blue sky. Claire and I figured we would make the best of it and shoot anyway. I told Adriana we would try another time.  We headed to Hollywood and Vine and shot around, and in, the metro station. The location and wardrobe worked but it wasn’t the reason we were there. We called it after about 30 minutes. As we were driving away we saw the first drops hit the windshield. It was a light and slow rain but I decided to turn around and wait for a few minutes. We parked and it started to dump. Claire didn’t get the comfort of the umbrella for long. I had her wading in the flowing gutter and sitting down on the wet walk of fame. The rain lasted about 20 minutes, enough for me to finish a roll of film and shoot a bunch of great shots with the 5DM3.

Claire Dellamar - Hollywood in the rain
Claire Dellamar – Hollywood in the rain
Claire Dellamar - Hollywood in the rain
Claire Dellamar – Hollywood in the rain

Time will tell what the film looks like but I learned that the camera rain coat is better served for photographers sitting on the sidelines shooting football games. Not photographers moving around changing angles and locations.

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