Elja Trum

A rainy day in the studio

friday 2 june 2017, 15:15 by | 1,002 views | 0 comments

When the weather is bad, you can always use your studio. However, you can also turn this the other way: create a rainy day in the studio, despite perfect weather outside.

Model Danien

With model Danien I went into the studio to create a moody portrait of a girl looking through a window on a rainy day.

I used a big clear plexiglass plate as my window. I already had one of these laying around in the studio. If you don't have one yet, you might be able to get one at a local store or buy it online (as I did).

I'd go for a thickness of 3 millimeter. This enables the plate to stand without the need to create a big suspension rig. About 80 by 80 centimeters (or about 3 feet) would be big enough for this kind of shot. I used a plate of 1 by 2 meters (3 feet by 6 feet), but that's probably too big for most uses (and might give you issues storing it).

Plexiglass plate

As you can see I used some towels below the plate to avoid getting the ground soaked. To get the water on the plate I used a cheap plant sprayer. The sprayer allows you to variate the size of the drops by spraying up close or from some more distance.

Rainy day Danien

THe main light in my photos comes from an Elinchrom Litemotiv Softbox. I love the soft light it creates and the rounded shape works well for a round reflection in her eyes and in the water drops.

I placed the softbox next to the plexiglass plate and angled it a bit downwards. Most light came in from the front (and lighted the water drops) while a bit of the light passed behind the plate.

I used a black paper background but added a gridded flash behind the model (facing the background). This avoids the background from turning completely black and keeps Danien's hair seperated from the dark background.

When you position your light all you have to do is take a lot of pictures. Keep in mind the drops on the plate. It looks better when the eyes of your model aren't covered by the water drops. This allows the viewer of your photo to connect with the model.

Danien was a great model for this shoot. She had some great poses. It's often better to use a model with a bit more experience. They will need a lot less guidance.


I got the inspiration for this shoot from a video by Gavin Hoey, an excellent photographer who often posts video's worth watching. In the video below you can see how you can set up a similar shoot.

I created a Pinterest moodboard for this shoot. This helps you explain to a model what you want and works great for your own inspiration (during or before the shoot).

I found model Danien via a local Facebook group for models, make-up artists and photographers. A great way to find models.

Elja Trum

About the author

Elja has a passion for portrait photography. He is the author of a book on black and white photography and owner of Photofacts.nl, the largest Dutch blog about photography. You can follow him and his work on Instagram.


    Be the first to leave your thoughts.

Share your thoughts

Let op: Op een artikel ouder dan een week kan alleen gereageerd worden door geregistreerde bezoekers.
Wil je toch reageren, log in of registreer je dan gratis.
Show all articles about Studio

Get weekly portrait photography tips

Weekly portrait tips in your mailbox for free.
More info. Or keep informed via Twitter or Facebook.

Elja Trum

Portrait Academy; improve your portrait photography

Would you like to take better portraits? At Portrait Academy all we focus on are tips and tricks to create better portraits. Portrait Academy was founded by Elja Trum and Michael van Helden. The articles are written by us and by other bloggers. If you would like to help by adding your voice to Portrait Academy please contact us.
To make Portrait Academy work we're serving cookies. Check out our cookie policy. agreed

Don't miss out on our free ebook!

Get our ebook 25 Tips for Photographing Kids for free. You'll also get our weekly portrait photography tips by mail.