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Post Wedding Session Demo

Lesson 55 from: 30 Days of Wedding Photography

Susan Stripling

Post Wedding Session Demo

Lesson 55 from: 30 Days of Wedding Photography

Susan Stripling

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Lesson Info

55. Post Wedding Session Demo


Class Trailer

Day 1




Evolution of Susan's Style


Branding and Identity


Mistakes Made and Lessons Learned


Day 2


Introduction to Gear & Equipment


Lenses Part 1


Lenses Part 2




Day 3


Seeing the Scene


Seeing the Scene Q&A


Rhythm and Repetition


Leading Lines and Rule of Thirds


Rule of Odds and Double Exposures


Day 4


Intro to Business


Day 5


Financing Your Business


Day 6


Q&A Days 1-4


Day 7


Pricing Calculator


Day 8


Package Pricing


Day 9




Day 10


Vendor Relationships & Referrals


Day 11


Marketing w Social Media


Day 12


Booking the Client


Day 13


The Pricing Conversation


Day 14


Turn A Call Into a Meeting


Day 15


In Person Meeting


Day 16


Wedding Planning


Day 17


Actual Client Pre Wedding Sit Down


Day 18


Engagement Session Details


Day 19


Engagement Session On Location


Day 20


Wedding Details & Tips


Day 21


Detail Photos Reviewed


Day 22


Bridal Preparation


Day 23


Bridal Preparation Photo Review


Day 24


Bridal Prep - What If Scenarios


Day 25


Q&A Days 5-11


Day 26


First Look Demo


Day 27


First Look Examples


Day 28


Portraits of the Bride


Day 29


Portraits of the Bride and Groom


Family Portraits Demo


Family Formal Examples


Wedding Ceremony Demo


Day 30


Wedding Ceremony Examples


Different Traditions and Faiths


Wedding Cocktail Hour and Reception Room Demo


Wedding Cocktail Hour and Reception Room Examples


Wedding Introductions


First Dance


Wedding Toasts


Parent Dances


Wedding Party


Reception Events


Nighttime Portraits


Nighttime Portraits with Found Light


Post Wedding Session Demo


Post Wedding Session Critique


Wedding Day Difficulties


Post Workflow - Backing Up Folder Structure


Post Workflow - Culling Shots


Post Workflow - Outsourcing


Q&A Days 12-23


Post Workflow - Gear


Post Workflow - Lightroom Editing


Managing Your Studio


Post Wedding Marketing


Client Care


Pricing for Add-Ons


The Album Process


Balancing Your Business with Life


Post Wedding Problems


Parent Complaints


Unhappy Customers


Working with an Assistant


Assistant Q&A


Lighting with an Assistant


Q&A Days 24-30


Lesson Info

Post Wedding Session Demo

We're going to talk about the post session no one to talk very briefly about the post session first before we let you see blair and jeremy's actual posession itself. The first thing we have to answer our couple of questions, first of all, why? Why are we doing a post session? Why would you want to do a post session? What the world is the point of a post session in what is a posession anyhow for me a post session I don't want you to confuse it with that old trend of trash the dress this is not a trash the dress session, this isn't an opportunity for me to take the clients out and be weird. This isn't an opportunity to put them in a river, throw paint on them or light them on fire anything like that a post wedding session, be it the bride and groom together or the bride alone is simply a time for me to take the bride and groom out or bride alone on a day that isn't the wedding day and why the why of that? It really varies from client to client, and it can be for a couple of different rea...

sons, maybe it's because we simply didn't have enough time together on the wedding day, maybe it's because like in blair in jeremy's situation, it rained on the wedding day and it rained all day long on their wedding day so the portrait's that they wanted to do in washington square as a couple weren't able tto happen on the wedding day now, that doesn't mean that the thought that we talked about a post session they thought that we were going to get together later, that doesn't mean that I phoned it in on the wedding day. That doesn't mean that I didn't do my absolute best to make portrait of them both during the day and as you just saw at night, that doesn't mean that I can skimp or cut corners or anything because I know I have a post session to fall back on later and a photographer asked me the other day, how do you convince your clients to do post sessions so you can get the really creative stuff of them? My response is I don't need a post session to do the really creative things of them. I'm not doing the post session because I need it to supplement the work that I'm doing I'm doing it because it either rained or because based on time constraints and constrictions, we couldn't go to a location that the clients wanted to go to I'm doing it because their wedding was at night and they didn't see each other before the ceremony and they wanted to do portrait's during the day that's why my husband and I did a post session our ceremony was at seven o'clock at night we didn't want to see each other beforehand, and we wanted to go to cocktail hour, so in that instance, there's not a whole lot you can do other than get together on another day. I call it a post session instead of a day after session because I don't want my clients to believe that they have to do this session the day after their wedding. We did that, but for clients who are going on their honeymoons, but for clients who don't want to get dressed up right away or maybe have a brunch with family or something to do the day after, it doesn't have to be a day after session, blair and jeremy and I got together several weeks after their wedding to do their post session. All it means is it isthe sometime post wedding when do we do it? Well, I'm not talking about when, as in time of year or how short or how long after the wedding, I'm talking about time of day, and we're gonna talk about this in the extensive video that you're about to see about the post session, that time of day really matters, and if you have been with us from the beginning talking about the day that we did engagement session's time of day. Means something it's important to let your clients know what time of day is a good time of day for portrait's you don't have this control on the wedding day you don't have the ability to tell a client listen I want to be outside with you at three thirty in the winter if they've scheduled your portrait session with them at noon on the wedding day you don't have that much control but for an engagement session for a post session you can tell your clients what time of day you're available what time of day the light will be best and if you're getting together on another day to take portrait's to really optimize the opportunity why wouldn't you step in and suggest the best time of day to be outside where do you do these sessions well again it really do depends client the client for blair and jeremy we went to washington square park in philadelphia which is where we would have photographed the images of the two of them together on the day of the wedding had the weather cooperated you'll see several other post sessions that I've done on other days in a variety of different reasons we shot a post session one time at a prison the bride wanted to go there on the wedding day it was too far away it was too dirty it just simply wouldn't work out we didn't have the time so we did on another day you'll see a bridal session that I shot where kelly wanted to have portrait's done with a white stallion for a million different incredibly obvious reasons we weren't able to do that on the wedding day, so we got together on another day to make it happen and went to a location that we were able to get that exact portrait that she wanted. So the wear of it is something that I will very much leave up to my client, and sometimes the wear of the post session is the reason for the post session itself. How much does it cost cost? Exactly the same as an engagement session it's six hundred and fifty dollars and if you are a wedding client of mine, you will receive the edited, high resolution digital files delivered with the wedding images. If we're still within the six weeks post wedding timeframe where I'm going to be delivering their wedding images that takes me six weeks post wedding to get everything online for them, I'm going to deliver the post session to the clients at that time. If it's past the six week mark, then it tell them it takes about two or three weeks to get it online engagement sessions and post sessions or not something that I send off the sidecar post tohave edited for me. They're smaller sessions they have ah lesser number of images and it's a workflow that I'm able to take back myself and I don't have to send it out the wedding itself with six hundred, eight hundred images sometimes mohr is what I hand off to sidecar post so if I'm going to be editing these images, I am going to edit them myself just because I outsource doesn't mean I can't do it myself if I have to and then how do you sell it? I don't really try to sell these sessions all that hard I only sell them if I feel that the instance on the wedding day really warrants it if it's raining, if we have time constraints for all of the many reasons that I've mentioned already, oftentimes the post session comes up out of necessity or out of desire and I'm able to mention it to my clients and mention exactly what it is now it is on my price list, it has been introduced to them from the very very, very beginning, so they get to know what it is they kind of get to see what it is, but a lot of times it does come up when we're talking about the timeline, we're talking about the scheduling of the day when we're talking about I've always wanted to have a picture with a horse, this is how we make that happen so a little bit of time after blair and jeremy's wedding we did have a beautiful day we had the perfect time of day to be outside and we met up at washington square park to make those outdoor portrait's that they had wanted so badly on their wedding day actually come to life, so sit back, enjoy have fun at the post session and we'll see when it's over hi guys, welcome back. Um, as you know, on blair and jeremy's wedding day, we didn't exactly have the greatest weather or the most amount of time with the two of them together. So in that instance, when that happens with my client, since I haven't yet harness the power to change the weather, what I do do is offer them a post wedding session very reasonably priced, nothing too crazy, I don't want it to sort of break the bank or be something to turn them off price wise, but I know that a lot of people are drawn to my work because of how I use light, especially during portrait and on the wedding day, there isn't a whole lot that I can do to make a pouring, rainy day look like it does outside today, so I, uh, offered that to blair and jeremy as an option when we saw that the weather wasn't going to be great on their wedding day. And they took me up on it so here we are so happy you're gonna go day so we're the ones walking the dog kind of where the shadow hits the ground you're gonna start winning when you walk into the shadow area over there and you're gonna hold hands and walk towards me like really slow enjoying the sunshine and being overly joyous that it is not raining on you okay I think they're so incredibly happy that it's not raining um that I'm not gonna have to do a whole lot to get emotion out of them because they're really thrilled at the moment and this I mean this is like cheating this is like karma loving me for what we had to go through on the wedding day wow yeah this is this is all right whenever you're ready oh my gosh this is great and hold there for just a second guys hang on one second yeah good whenever you're ready just keep coming oh my god look at that that's so good those sessions are the greatest wow. Okay, this is we're off to kind of an amazing start so I actually bring you guys a little further down gonna put you on this side to the veil goes away from you um just enjoy the fact that it's not raining on you yeah holy sh moses all right from trying to get my lens out of the sun wow, look at that. This is perfect. My exposure was not perfect, but they're perfect and guys take maybe five big steps towards me and then just keep doing what you're doing. I still have too much, yep, right there, way too much sun in my lens for the wedding day, and I had an assistant. They would be holding a scrim over me, but we do what we can when I'm on my own says, gorgeous. This is gorgeous. They're so happy right now like sometimes with post sessions it's tricky to get emotion out of people, but they're just so thrilled that it's not raining on them, that this is the q thing ever. Ah, so because it's so incredibly bright outside and beautiful and wonderful, I'm actually on cloudy white balance. I know that sounds kind of crazy since it's not cloudy, but especially on the night cons cloudy quite balance really warms up the image. Oh my gosh, thank you gives it kind of that golden glow that I really like alright, I set my camera here and run away from it for just a second. All right? So we're throwing you out of the picture and leaving her in here by herself, no offense, so what you're going to dio give me this I didn't realize that I had to, like, hug you that hard. You just gonna kind of hold it kind of by the ends. Just bring it around you almost like you're holding a shawl. I know it's kind of legal, but it's sweet just you're gonna look anywhere but at me you're gonna look kind of out over here. Look over there. If you get tired of holding that, you could just play with your dress. Just play good that's so pretty and then just play with your dress. I know it's gonna feel completely absurd, but it's going to get like that? Get a little further back. Yes, you khun spin. I'm not going to stop you from spinning. You only get a little bit lower. Thank you. No. When they kind of clear around to the other side of you is, um, good spends as kind of melodramatic as possible. Yup. Ha ha ha ha ha! That's perfect. I'm shooting way more than I normally would. She's moving really fast. Keep doing exactly that. Yes. Good. This is so pretty. We're just gonna stay here all day. So what were you two d'oh? Have you stand in front of him? Have him give you a big squeeze then just look at each other however you're comfortable but you're gonna put your backs to the sun so I'm trying to do I'm trying to get her veil in the light but I don't want every single thing that I do to be just them staring straight at each other thiss iss suite I mean this is if I had my choice on every single wedding day this is when I'd be outside but not only do we not get that choice on every single wedding day for some people it rains so I'm trying to find a spot where I can get in the shade there we get keep doing what you're doing this is perfect had way too much light in my limbs had to get myself out of this out of the light a little bit so that it wasn't doing crazy flare things hey guys take like a baby step that way yup like that and then just keep things sweet I'm not trying to do anything crazy I know a lot of people do a lot of like fashion fortress or try to do kind of weird things and I'm not looking for the strangest composition aiken get are how can I make the oddest picture possible I just want really lovely pictures of people who love each other a lot and they kind of d'oh perfect let's keep telling me this is this is awesome oh, that's gorgeous! That is gonna be where it's at and just do exactly what you're doing shooting into the sun deliberately trying to get some flair here. It's really pretty also super bright so I might have to override my operative priority and go into manual that's four just yes, guys that's beautiful, so happy they agreed to this session is like this's just perfect right here that's gorgeous lean your heads and again together and just oh, think about happy hour and dinner out calling in sick to work perfect let's just hope that none of your students watch this video so what I'm doing here is I'm looking for there and seeing the reflection in the marble next to them and I like using the light and we're out here to use the light. However, if all I do the entire time is shoot the exact same light in the exact same in the exact same way, then how is that really any better than just shooting? Kind of one note portrait's in the rain all day long want to kind of open up a little bit and show a little something more? So you see what that guy's walking right there? I'm gonna stay here, you guys are going to go up there and starting kind of right here walk through that whole thing but you're gonna lead her so instead of walking side by side cause if you do I could only see one of you just have him like bring you through it exactly I'm gonna stay here all right and when you get up there just go for it part of the reason being we wouldn't talk for a second about permits we do not have a permit to be here today and there's a very specific reason why not because of the government shut down the websites that you had to use to get all of the permits were down as well so by the time the websites got back up and running when the government decided to go back to business way were unable to get a permit the park rangers were being really lenient with everybody right now just because of that but we still don't want to kind of egregiously flaunt that we're breaking the rules so we're being as cool as we possibly can handle point to them I'm on the path through the light sorry um yeah no no we don't have a permit it's not because I don't believe in getting them or I didn't want to pay for one or anything every time I shoot in this park I have a permit we've just never had the government closed down on us before and make permits ungettable okay there they go if this were a wedding day and I had my assistant with me, I would have sent sandra up there with her and put her on the phone with them me and put her on the phone so that she could shout to me they're talking to people, huh? Hopefully they go through the light and keep going ok, here we go they're kind of doing it wrong but they'll get there and if not I'll fix it keep going please look at me going okay? He gets that they get it from all the way over here I'm less likely to be seen by a park ranger which again they're being cool about it but we don't want to be jerks but it's still letting me get them from a distance oh guys, wait wait tourist would stop walking by it would be even awesome are okay he's gotta let her go a little way he's trying so hard to keep her warm that unfortunately he's blocking her from us entirely wait, who the only reason why I'm shooting so much is because so many people are walking by and the wind is going so crazy that's amazing it was amazing like like making me insanely happy amazing so we do a couple other things and then I'm gonna let you go so that you can warm up you know, walk down this path of amazing light like kind of towards that tree I mean, this is ridiculous like this is so good right now, um and just walk through stopping kiss whenever you want and then when you kind of start to turn that where that woman's coming this way, then just turn around and come back and I'm gonna crawl around underneath this bench for a little bit, but I will. I will see you as you go. Oh, this is cool tourists and light ground god blessem very nice and opening up a little wide way and then chasing a light some more finish it up and let them go home. So we did it, which was awesome and it went phenomenally well, which is also awesome and I wanted to talk briefly for a second about the post session because it's sort of a sensitive subject first of all, it's on my price list as an option, so the clients have seen it from the very beginning. We very first start talking to each other and it's also in my frequently asked questions, not the one on my website, but the one that's password protected that I sinned to clients while they're planning their wedding. Basically what it does is it lays the groundwork for if the weather doesn't cooperate the way we wanted to on the wedding day that this session is an option and the reason why I say it's a sensitive subject is because I don't want the clients to view the posession as something we have to do because either I screwed up the wedding day or because I can't shoot in the rain and blair and jeremy are actually a perfect example. I can shoot in the rain and we take the best location that we possibly could, and we did the absolute best that we could with it in keeping with my style, we were limited because it was raining so hard and because we were running a little far behind, those are elements that are not in my control, so I also knew that the portrait in the sun were very important to blair. She'd mentioned it in the planning process. She'd mentioned it at the engagement session in discussing the engagement session and I knew that she was really bummed out tohave her pictures in the rain on the wedding day, not because of anything that I did wrong or we did wrong where the day did wrong, but the circumstances just didn't really present themselves to give her what she wanted and also to be able to shoot in the light like you see right now the original plan on the wedding day was to be outside at about two o'clock in the afternoon and the light wouldn't have looked like this and she really wanted this so if before the wedding day you kind of laid the groundwork that the post session is available, it's available if the weather is not going to cooperate, it's also available if the timing on the wedding day doesn't allow us to make the portrait that they want, for example, let's say we're shooting a city wedding, but they're really in love with the shore, and they want to do some pictures of the shore. We didn't have time to drive an hour out to the shore and back, we could do it on another day, so we've already kind of planted that seed in their head that this is a possibility and as far as how to charge for it, I charge the exact same price that I do for an engagement session because in essence, it's pretty much the exact same thing, um, for clients that are not wedding clients who want this it's a different pricing structure, the files are included for the wedding clients because they have already paid for that in their wedding collection. For a client that isn't a wedding client, they pay a session fee, and they have to pay a fairly steep price for the files if that's something that they're interested in and as far as scheduling this it's tuesdays through thursdays. Sometimes the occasional friday we were able to work this in on a friday because I have a local wedding here tomorrow and I'm already in the area but it's again it's exactly the same thing as pricing scheduling for an engagement session just slightly differently a tired it's also great for something like this because the weather is what um made us have to do this post session if we woke up this morning and it was pouring rain I would have just called them and said, hey guys it's pouring rain let's schedule this for another day like an engagement session you khun schedule and reschedule to get the perfect light and the perfect time of day and as long as you've let your clients know that if we wake up on the morning off or if we're looking at the schedule for the week and the forecast says that it's going to pour down rain, chances are we are going to need to reschedule so much like within engagement session ah lot of times for engagement sessions the clients will take that time to do a hair trialling a makeup trial more so when you're doing a post session they probably definitely done hair and makeup so if I am going to try to pull the plug on the session and reschedule it again because of inclement weather, I need to get to the bride as early as I possibly can so that she could reschedule her hair appointment and re schedule her makeup appointment without losing her deposit or having to pay for it now if something totally freak you should happen if it had looked absolutely beautiful all week and we woke up this morning and it was pouring rain I would have given them options as two ways that we could have shot in the rain so that she could keep those appointments um but you have to be very honest with your client's hey guys if this is what you really want this came out of nowhere we can make it work but do you really want to make it work for your post session after we already made it work for your wedding day it's still not going to look like what you want so I really feel like a long as you educate your clients and you give them all of the information that they need as to what the session is and sort of how it goes down then if anything happens you have to reschedule it it has to get moved the weather goes crazy it's not a big surprise to them that you call tio ask him to push it to another day so one more thing that I wanted to touch on really quickly is time of day it's important when you're planning the schedule of the wedding but sometimes as we all know that sort of beyond your control you can't necessarily tell the clients when you want them to have their ceremony and at exactly what time you want to be outside with them you're sort of stuck um with the parameters of when their ceremony and the reception and everything are scheduled but when you're doing something like an engagement session when you're doing something like a post session time of day is extraordinarily important and you have to know things like when does the sun set and for shooting in the city you need to know not only windows the sunset but when does the sun go behind the buildings for example were in the exact same spot that we started the session in thirty five forty, forty five minutes ago and now there's no light whatsoever so if you're not sure what the light's going to do in a location and you really want to shoot there I see absolutely nothing wrong with stopping by and checking it out you don't have to get out of your car you don't have to wander the whole park but if I wasn't sure when the light left over here and left over there I could have come into the city and just driven around the park at this point in time and checked and what I'm looking for I'm looking for about thirty to forty five minutes right before the light is completely gone in an area when it's really really low it's really, really golden I would shoot it every single time if I could it's my favorite time of day but again weddings, you don't necessarily get to dictate that for an engagement session, a portrait session in a post session absolutely it is up to you to tell the clients when is the good time of day to shoot and a lot of times clients will come back to you and say, well, I can't come at that time I ve got work or I can't get out of work earlier let's go later let's go earlier and it's your job is the professional to say guys it's not really goingto work for what you want for what we're trying to achieve. We need to be outside at this time and hold firm blaring. Jeremy took um, half days at work to be here today and you know they were dedicated, it was really important to them, and if it is important enough to your clients, they'll make it happen so at risk of stating the absolute obvious, the time of year that you're shooting also dictates the time of day that you're shooting. If you remember back when we shot their engagement session, it was hot, we were wearing t shirts, we were all pouring sweat and we were shooting much later in the day you know, four o'clock in october is not exactly like four o'clock in june, if I'm shooting a post session or an engagement session in the new york or philadelphia area in june, I'm generally going to try to meet people at five thirty six, six thirty at night to do the session if I'm going to be shooting at this time of year. Three thirty four o'clock we started today at four we chatted for a while, probably started shooting it about four fifteen, and we were done around about five and literally two minutes after we were done, the light was gone there's still light outside, but not the light that I'm looking for. So thank you guys for being with us this far, all the way up through engagement, wedding and post session, and we still have a lot more to come, so stick around. Thank you for sticking with us. I hope you just enjoyed the video it's a little bit longer for your viewing pleasure, and now you finally got to see a chance t see me shoot blair and jeremy in the location that they wanted with the sunlight that they wanted, and as I've mentioned before, I didn't have to do this session, we got some great nighttime portrait's of them, we've got some great portrait's of them during the day time, but this was their desire this was something that they wanted and that I might be a pretty good photographer. But I can't change the weather yet. You know, maybe one day, if I get really good. But the only way that I was able to give the light and the location to them that they wanted was to do it on another day.

Class Materials

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Quicksheet Inside Guide (one large PDF file)
Quicksheet Inside Guide (zip file of individual PDF pages)
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Ratings and Reviews

Misty Angel

oh Susan, you are AWESOME!! I am not a wedding photographer (despite dipping my toe in this intimidating pool for one of my dearest friends), I shoot all forms of portraits and love sports too! Your '30-Days' has been the single most influential and educational moments since I started my venture into photography in 2009! THANK YOU! Your honesty, directness, bluntness, humor and vulnerability makes these 30-Days the most worthwhile time spent away from actual shooting; while simultaneously is the most inspirational motivator to push you out there to practice these ideas/techniques! #SShostestwiththemostest You raise the bar in this industry, not just with wedding photographers, but with all genres of photography! I wanted this course to learn about shooting and thought, great... I'll get a little bit of the business side too... OMG! I got it ALL! I'm dying! What an awesome investment in myself, my business and in YOU! PLEASE keep doing what you are doing! I love your new Dynamic Range, I feel that it is a wonderful extension of the work you do with Creative Live! I watch you EVERY DAY, every morning... I know that I continue absorbing your wisdom through repetition! I don't want to be you, I want to rise to your level! So thank you for the inspiration, motivation and aspiration! Keep on being REAL, its what we love about you! We embrace your Chanel meets Alexander McQueen-ness! :) Thank you for stepping into this educational space and providing us with your lessons learned so we can avoid the negative-time investment making mistakes... we are drinking your virtual lemonade!! HA! Like the others, whatever wisdom you offer in this medium, I will be jumping at the opportunity to learn from you! THANK YOU!


All the positive reviews say it all. When Susan took on the challenge of teaching this course it must of looked like attempting to climb Mount Everest...and she accomplished just that. Susan is a detailed, well-organized photographer and this clearly comes out in her teaching. Using repetition, clear instructions, a logical and well laid out presentation, she answers most any question you might have when it comes to wedding photography. I felt like I was having a private consultation when watching the course. She is real, honest, tactful, funny, and a gift to the photography community. Finally, her photography is professional and inspiring. Thank you Susan for the tremendous amount of work that you put into making this an outstanding Creative Live course for us all.


Wow. What a super, comprehensive, entertaining, informative course. Well done. I've taking a lot of photography classes and this one is definitely top of the list. Susan Stripling was very well prepared (and great job by the CreativeLive Team too). Terrific course. Susan shared so much. Thank you! P.S. Love the CL boot camp courses.

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