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, which almost always clears up by the day of. So... if your session day forecast is for rain a few days out, do not stress! Meteorologists will call for a rainy 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 the 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
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:
I recommend indoor sessions between December-April whenever 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 33-85 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 if anything makes you uncomfortable about the weather and your children's exposure, but I ask that we wait until fairly close to your session time to make the call if you are able. I prefer to reschedule for weather issues within about three days whenever possible—I only schedule two outdoor shoots per week so that I have this flexibility in my schedule and time set aside for you. Try to keep your schedule fairly open the week of our session so that we have some wiggle room if weather issues pop up.
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 family.
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 your session months or longer 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 a time to talk a couple of hours in advance.
Phone (call or text): 412-559-3889
Here is the fine print from your portrait agreement:
"POSTPONEMENT: Your non-refundable session fee is due at the time of booking and secures the date for your session. If minor difficulty arises (clothing doesn't arrive on time or other difficulty unrelated to health or weather), we will reschedule one time as a courtesy, within two weeks. Please give as much notice as possible to prevent losses incurred by Missy Timko Photography. You will be guaranteed pricing at the time of booking when your session is rescheduled within 1 month; any further cancellations will be subject to pricing at the time of re-booking.
Any cancellation for serious health reasons (eg, baby in NICU, broken bones, hospitalization, contagious illness) will be postponed to a date that works for you and your family, up to three months in the future.
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. Try to keep your schedule fairly open the week of our session so that we have some wiggle room if weather issues pop up. A slight chance of rain or showers usually results in a mostly dry session and beautiful images of partly cloudy skies. 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 a few hours before the session to reschedule due to forecasted weather. Your new session date will be within one week of the original session date whenever possible."