how to take pictures in the rain.
The short version is "Don't."
The medium version is, "Steel yourself and do it!!! You'll be terrified about manslaughtering your camera the entire time but you'll end up with some of the best pictures you've ever taken!"
Here's the long version. You're gonna need a camera (if you have more than one, the one that is least precious to you), at least two umbrellas, a rain jacket you'd trust with your life, more plastic baggies than you could ever imagine being necessary (just for peace of mind), and an extremely tolerant model. My extremely tolerant model is this magical lady, Monika - a goddess among mortals.
We didn't initially set out to take rainy day pictures - I had a vision (that did not involve inclement weather), and I asked Monika to model for me. The day we picked out happened to have a forecast of light rain all day, to which we replied, "...why not?" and then ignored the long list of reasons that question brought to mind.
My vision involved this outfit (swoon), some wacky makeup (which, sadly enough, doesn't show up in most of these shots), and smoke (cue the Palo Santo sticks). The location I had in mind was a typically uncrowded stretch of Atlanta's BeltLine trail on the Westside. Walking to our first spot, I had my camera in a sealed plastic bag in my backpack, a hefty rain jacket on, and an umbrella in my hand. In my backpack I had props, a tripod, wardrobe change options, and the aforementioned unreasonable quantity of plastic bags.
One concrete piece of advice for shooting in the rain: narrow down your wardrobe options before you leave for the location. Carrying around extra clothes took up a bunch of room in my bag that made it harder to sift through supplies in a situation that already had zero wiggle room. When I was actually shooting, I held my umbrella in one hand (sometimes wedged it under my arm to shoot with both hands) and my camera in the other. Autofocus is far from perfect but it came in clutch. I had a couple dry towels that I used to wipe down my camera between shots. While shooting, I'd leave the rest of my stuff under any available shelter, or, when there was none, on top of my rain jacket and under Monika's umbrella. She used the umbrella walking to and from the car and between spots, but (did I mention her extreme tolerance?) mostly just got soaking wet.
(When I get caught in the rain, I look like a child who got lost in the mall and fell in the fountain. When Monika gets caught in the rain, she looks like this.)
Altogether, we shot at three different locations along the BeltLine. One positive of shooting in the rain is that it was atypically abandoned - we passed one diehard runner dude who gave us the well-deserved "what the hell are you doing" look, but he was the only other person we spotted. I was able to shoot most of these last shots from under the cover of a bridge, which obviously makes maneuvering a camera significantly easier.