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Pittsburgh Weather for Outdoor Portrait Sessions

Let's talk about Pittsburgh weather

If you've lived in Pittsburgh longer than a day, you know that the weather here is VERY unpredictable. Our local meteorologists do their best, but things change rapidly and without much notice. My experience tells me that they usually err on the side of rain (Side note--do you think they do this so they look like a hero when it's nice out? I think so!). So... if your session day forecast is for rain a few days out, seriously do not stress! They will call for a rain day in the forecast even if it is for 10% in the middle of the night. Even if your session is later today and you are looking out your window at pouring rain, try to stay calm (let me do the work--I am staring at four different weather apps, dopplers, and the weather channel, stressing on your behalf!). Odds are very good that, regardless of the forecast, at session time things will be fine. The bad news about this is that sometimes we need to wait until fairly last-minute to postpone your session.

I will not have your sweet babe sitting outside in the rain! However, I am usually going to lean toward waiting it out to see if weather is acceptable (because 75% of postponed session dates I am sitting in my backyard enjoying the evening sunshine!). I realize on your end there are many factors involved--hair & makeup artists, family traveling from out of the area, and work schedules for example. You may have very important reasons for sticking with your date or for postponing with more notice. You also may have more or less tolerance for weather or more or less urgency for this portrait session. I can work with you--just let me know your situation.

Pittsburgh weather averages


Source: NOAA.gov

Outfit planning for Pittsburgh weather

When planning outfits for your session, consider that temperatures can vary 30 degrees from one day to the next in any season. Plan your outfits in layers, and be prepared for the full range of temperatures for each season. For example, this is what I would expect to be a range of session temperatures by season:

Winter: 35-65

Spring: 40-70

Summer: 58-88

Fall: 45-75

I recommend indoor sessions between December-April when there are young children involved.

Shooting in the rain, heat, or cold

If you prefer to move forward on session day despite an iffy forecast, I am able to shoot in light rain or snow and temps between 33-88 degrees. This can result in a beautiful session with texture from the clouds, fog, or even snow! I cannot shoot in thunderstorms, moderate to heavy rain, or extreme cold and heat. I prefer a much smaller range of temperatures for babies and young children (around 50-80 degrees) but will leave that up to your judgment as their parents and their tolerance for such things.

Postponing a session due to weather

You will be given the option to postpone your session within two weeks if anything makes you uncomfortable about the weather and your children's exposure, but I ask that we wait until fairly close to session time to make the call if you are able.

If the forecast is for 100% rain at session time and you are unable to be flexible the day of (work schedule, hair appointment, etc), we might talk about alternate dates as much as 24 hours before your shoot.

If the forecast is for 60% rain or below 24 hours out, then it is likely to clear up and we will wait and see.

Temperatures are much more accurately predicted, so we can talk about postponement the day before if we are looking at extreme heat or cold.

Postponing a session for other reasons

Things come up in life, especially when working with children and babies. If your child is too ill for school (fever, communicable rash, vomiting within 24 hrs, etc) on the day of our session, we will definitely want to postpone. Please keep me informed out of respect to my other clients (especially those with newborn babies) and my own young children.

If something else (a wedding, vacation, whatever) comes up on your schedule months ahead of time, I am happy to accommodate a reschedule. If it comes up 1 month or less ahead of time (2 months for fall weekends), that is where things get tough. My weekend evenings are limited to one a week and book out quite far in advance. If you postpone your session on short notice, I am unable to fill that spot. Please cancel on short notice only for a true emergency or illness. Thank you!

Postponed sessions happen within two weeks

Session postponements must be scheduled for a date within two weeks of your original session date. I am unable to accommodate requests to reschedule a session months or years past your original session date. Thank you for understanding!

Communicate with me

I want to create gorgeous images for you and have a fun and stress-free day together shooting. I have clear policies in place so that you know what to expect and to ensure that my business is running smoothly. There will obviously be exceptions to these policies and extreme circumstances. The best way to make sure everyone's needs are met is to communicate with me! I am generally easily reachable by text and email, or by phone if we can set up an time to talk a couple hours in advance.

Phone (call or text): 412-559-3889

Email: missy@missytimko.com or missy@powderbluephoto.com


Here is the fine print from your contract:

"POSTPONEMENT & CANCELLATION: Your non-refundable session fee is due at the time of booking and secures the date for your session. If difficulty arises (illness, overdue birth, etc.), we will reschedule one time as a courtesy. Please try to give as much notice as possible to avoid losses incurred by Powder Blue Photography. Upon missing your second appointment, you will forfeit your session fee.

WEATHER CONCERNS: If we are scheduled for an outdoor session, we are taking the chance that there will be severe weather on the date of your session. A slight chance of rain or showers usually results in a mostly dry session and beautiful images of partly cloudy skies, and we will also move forward if temperatures are cold but not freezing, so keep that in mind when planning outfits. We will reschedule in the event of moderate to heavy rain at the time of the session, temperatures below freezing, gusty winds, or other extreme weather (i.e., lighting, hail, etc). Photographer reserves the right to "wait it out" until two hours before the session to reschedule due to forecasted weather. Client has the option of moving the session to an indoor "lifestyle" session at home instead of rescheduling. Your new session date will be within two weeks of the original session date whenever possible."