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Gear Q&A

Lesson 3 from: Creative Wedding Photography

Susan Stripling

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Lesson Info

3. Gear Q&A

Next Lesson: Indoor Lighting

Lesson Info

Gear Q&A

We have ah lot of time to take some questions please yes so particular liking an image like this and you're using of the light yes so your systems holding and obviously you're away we're in orly she like levitating there like what we're doing so well we bring a harness from the state not just getting that was so also if I could do that with lower it down on a string yeah all right, well you can if you can see kind of the light where the light is hitting and you can also see that it's hitting under her chin really strongly but not as much on her forehead this technically isn't my ideal my ideal would be to have her if possible like say you've got a bridegroom facing each other I would rather have her up and off to the side so that when the light hits it hits the face evenly and it doesn't go into the nostrils and you'll notice I've got her looking up the reason being if she's looking down because the light is behind her it's gonna go right up in her nose, which is really unflattering li...

ke who wants their nostrils all lit up like I don't um but my assistant is behind her skirt holding the light up so she was crouched down behind her like she's a walkover I hope I don't walk over here she's literally like right there probably making a scaly face curled up into the tightest ball possible she also will wear all black to weddings I don't care what you wear to a wedding like I'm not here to tell you that you have to like be a flat fashion plate or look fantastic or you know anything like that I'm just dressing to survive so I'm wearing all black she's wearing all black the light is deliberately on the client so even if she was spilling out a little bit on either side of her you're not going to see it for something like that but again I would really I would really rather have her sort of coming up in off from aside it's just more flattering on the face but we didn't have the space to do that and this is better than not at all and if we had I've grown a flash from like way over here directly on her I would have had to snoop the flash down really tight which would have been a completely different look or if I'd shot it with the flash bender or the stuff in it would've washed the room with light so this was kind of the best of our options and to have any more in studio questions before head over the I mean we've we've got some time we're good so please so in the church yes is your assistant following you around to be camera holder as well new sometimes mostly no um usually what happens during a ceremony again? She's not a second shooter and we're gonna talk on saturday about why I don't for a second shooter kind of the business ramifications pro and con of that mostly con, but I will give her my twenty four to seventy if I know that the aisle is long enough that I can shoot it with a seventy two, two hundred, that will be the only camera that I'll have for the processional what she'll do and this is the only time of day that I asked her to shoot anything she'll take the twenty four to seventy and go find where the bride is like where the bride and either her dad or whoever's walk her walking her down the aisle is and she'll stay with them and her goal is to really just get one or two pictures of the bride before she comes in and then she's my wide angle shooter during the ceremony official stand at the back she'll get like a twenty four she'll get like a seventy she's just trying to shoot the whole scene she'll go shoot it from like a corner if there's a balcony, she'll go get up in the balcony and she's just give me those wide angles to fill in and I'll take the seventy two, two hundred and as much as I'm able to kind of make a you around the church I'll never get on the altar even if I can I don't like to unless it's like a greek orthodox wedding when you're little you're expected to get up on the altar even if the videographer does I generally don't so I'm roving with the seventy two, two hundred sometimes the eighty five sometimes I'll like carried eighty five around with me if I think I might need it but most often than not know and I don't carry because I'm not changing lenses in and out a lot I'm not carrying like a linds bag or a shoot sack or anything like that over my shoulder. The only thing over my shoulder when I'm shooting a wedding is I got at the apple store it's like a little michael cores wallet it's about yea size and I just wear a cross body it's just for my phone credit cards cash car key and because I shoot in my cameras in the d for I have won sixty four gig card in the d three yes, I have one thirty two good card I'll shoot the whole day on two cards and a bunch of white guys just kind of looked at the bar when you get on the internet and you read horror stories about oh dear lord this happened to me at a wedding usually it's and then I lost the card you know, like I got home and I realized I lost my card wallet, I got home and I realized I had to pull a card out, and I accidentally reformatted it most of the problems that I'm seeing our cards that are lost or something that you've done in the frantic hurry to change a card. So because both of my cards my car, but try this again because both of my cameras have backup card slots, I feel very confident in shooting the whole day on one card. That way, when I go home, all I have to do is pull the cards out and download them for a very, very long wedding day or like a long wedding weekend. Sometimes if I'll go into a second card that's the other point of the cross body bag as I can take the card out and put it in the zippered compartment, and it doesn't leave my body. So yes, naomi so going back to the church, if you please hop a flash no, do you? Okay, so you don't at all if I can pop a flashover, pop it during the search. I'm literally losing my words. If I can pop a flash, I'll do it during the processional or the recessional. But almost never during the ceremony now if you do that, is it on your camera or would it be on a mon a pods with your sister juliana, monica and that's? When we're in the church tomorrow, I'm gonna show you what to do if you can't use additional light and what to do if you can't, then one of you will have to hold it because my assistant has three kids and couldn't really come out here for four days with us, but yeah, you have professional in recession, no problems with that, but during the ceremony, even if the light is not very good, part of me feels it's very disrespectful. The other part of me is they know what their church looks like like this is this is just what it looks like and to a certain extent I don't want to change the way something looks, especially during a reception like, I'm not gonna go crazy lighting all of the tables if the tables weren't all lit because I want them to look back at their pictures later and be like, well, this is really nice, but this doesn't look like my wedding. Yes, ma'am, so you obviously really intentional what you're lighting and when it comes to off camera, so how are you two seen to like something video versus using the flat really in question for the most part of it's a portrait if it's just the bride and groom together and it's something like this it's something a little more artistic it's going to be video light? If it's family formals be it indoors or outdoors, she both of them tomorrow, I'll shoot it with off camera flash if it's the formal portrait of the bride and groom because I always try, listen, I can stand here all day and tell you that my artistic vision, this and my artistic sensibilities that but there are picture you have to take. I have to take a fooling picture of the bride and groom smiling directly at the camera that's well, kind of studio lit and really professional and kind of formal because it is going to mean something to somebody. I'll use my off camera flash for that for an environment or environmental style portrait. If I can get away with a video light, I'm going to use it there if I'm doing a portrait of them in their reception room, if I'm doing something of the bride alone, ah lot of times I'll pull out the video light, and that really changed when I got that ice light, because it does look so much like window light, it's not what my next goal is to get another one and then ratchet together so fun I really, really just it looks like a window and I haven't found a video like that look that way before um first dances, parent dances, toasts, things like that it's almost always off camera flash because either I can't get close enough to them to video light it the ice light isn't meant for like a long beam of far away light, and also I just feel like it's really intrusive, like a lot of times we'll goto like receptions and the videographers will run up these massive lights and light the place up like monday night football. I don't want to do that like I feel like it detract from the experience of the guests, so I'd rather do a little flash burst than basically what I've got blazing in my face right now, right now in here, I know I would never bring something like this to our reception all that would be all awesome if I could actually, yes, anything else from you find people about gear no, please be the girl. That exception is the next section is light and then composition and we'll talk about your a bit there. But this is like technical question tony s so in terms of, like when you were at the reception and you're taking importance of the guests, I mean, I'm from kentucky so they like pictures ripping grins, my friend. So what lens will you use at that point? You you keep your since you have your twenty four, seventy and that okay, yes. So, yes and no, mostly yes, what you said? For the most part, sometimes my assistant will shoot cocktail hour for me when we're looking at those like, hey, can I get a picture of you guys tight pictures? We prefer doing that during cocktail hour because they're not sitting at a table. They don't have plates of food in front of them. Generally, one of them has not gone to the bathroom or to the bar or to the dance floor. They're grouping themselves in like groupings of people that they know. Um, so if I have the whole hour to shoot the reception room like if we haven't, we've done their porches beforehand, we're not doing them during cocktail hour all shoot with cocktail hour and the reception room. If we've got a really quick amount of time, sometimes I won't shoot cocktail hour at all in the client knows that we've talked about it beforehand. If we're doing portrait's during cocktail hour, right? And then I have to run in and, like, snap pictures of the reception that we got to go ah lot of the times my assistant I will actually split up and I'll give her the camera and say, listen, I gotto start the room you do from cocktail hour and then meet me in the room and we'll light the tables and so what she's got is the twenty four to seventy only the three of us I generally ask her to keep it somewhere around fifty to sixty millimeters for something like that we have an on camera flash it's the s p nine ten sometimes we'll hook it up to a battery pack usually not for cocktail hour because we're not going crazy it's just snap and then move when we put the flash on it um we'll talk about it in light a little bit as well instead of bouncing off the ceiling we actually turn it around and balance at one klick behind us that doesn't mean you have to raise your s o because you are throwing some power behind you but I picked that up from cliff as well kind of bouncing it backwards because it emulates natural light a little bit more it doesn't have that heavy flashed look and when you're not bouncing it off the ceiling when you balance it off the ceiling you'll notice the faces are really bright and then it gets dark down towards the middle of their bodies you're losing the light as it falls off down their heads so when I bounce it back we've got a little bounce forward and just a little natural bounce forward from the omni balance on top of it I'll have to bump up my eyes sometimes eight hundred sixteen hundred depending on the room and then I tell her to shoot all of them it like five point six all I want I want it lit and I want it in focus that's not the time for me to do something crazy artistic it's gonna get a picture of you guys thank you so much. Can I get a picture of you guys and I'll tell her to shoot two or three of the group like bang bang bang in case eyes are open and eyes are closed usually I'll get one usually with everybody and focus but it's very basic and she knows that when she goes into the room if she's having problems with the setting she comes and finds me and I just, um but it's just really easy stuff and if I don't get to do those gripping grins during cocktail hour, I will try during the reception as well to kind of make sure those happen I don't do a lot of them at the reception's table shots aren't really a thing anymore um they want him I don't mind doing them, but they're you know it's not a big request but if we haven't been able to grip and grin during cocktail hour, will grip and grin during the reception or if I know that I can't be there during cocktail hour all suggest buying the photo booth for me so they can opener in themselves during the reception. It takes a little pressure off when you know you've got a photo booth in the corner, and you're getting those, you know, people love those I love those for fun, yes, yeah, course the one click back in bounce backwards. Is that the same mentality? Let's say, we got a lot of outdoor weddings and it gets pitch dark and now there's nothing to bounce off, nothing anywhere? Yes, that's awesome. How my favorite for something like that? Sometimes if my background is totally crazy, dark, and sometimes like, if I'm in a reception and they haven't left the room and it's a little like we're in here and it's just like a pit in every single corner, I mean, listen, not everybody has a budget for a lighting package. I don't want to see my clients like break the bank and buy something they can't afford. I will help them, you know what I mean, and that's, what I'll have my assistant, maybe take the flash off camera and go off in the distance so, like, if I'm shooting you guys, what you guys are not seeing here is that they're sitting and then there's an entire back of, like, a dark room behind them. So if I'm shooting into you guys and I light your faces, the backgrounds gonna be gone, so maybe I'll put my assistant in the back corner of the room with our off camera flash on maybe, like, sixteenth power or eight power and just pop it at like, if you're here pop it at an angle towards you. So what it does is it kind of light the way towards you and then puts a little halo behind your heads, and I used to do that in beach wedding sometimes when we were outside, I'll do it on dance floors, if it's really dark, I'll do it tomorrow for you guys during the reception, a portion of the day, but sometimes just a little kick, and I'm not talking like full blaze, you know, full on full power just a little to show that something is coming from the background, something, anything. So you will do that, and additionally, to the own camera flash, you don't have as well, okay, yes. Yep, if I'm shooting dancing and I'm doing that and it's lighting the rest of the dance floor, sometimes I'll pull the power back on my own camp on camera flash so it's not his prominent but if we're shooting something like what you described like griffin grins outside or dancing outside where there's nothing you're like dancing with the ocean in the background it's like ten o'clock at night we'll just have the flash coming from often back in the background just to give kind of some dimension to the space and again it's there's no hard and fast rule for any of this and it wasn't until I learned my gear sort of inside and out that I started realizing that I could use it for other things other than what I was taught to use it for. I'm mostly picked up all of my speed light work from zack areas that his one light workshops which are crazy it's basically just a full day of here's one light what can you make with one light and that kind of revolutionized the way I started doing off camera flash I learned a bit from cliff I learned a bit from zach I picked up some stuff on the internet and then once I started putting those things into practice I was able to start doing things on my own I highly recommend it for you to try a new linds or a new lighting technique are new flash technique if you do it at a wedding I will come to your house and hit you upside the head don't try something for the first time at a wedding when a client is paying you to do it like I'll have photographers asked me there like we've got a wedding on saturday and it's really dark what should I do with my flash and like do it you know to do with your flash, then practice something new and take it to your next wedding don't try an experiment something on your client's time please that's not only getting destined to fail but it's a little disrespectful so my whole point of this workshop is that I do love my clients I think that it's an honor every single time I get hired and I'm not, you know, spewing cheerful stuff because that's what you do when you're in business, I really do feel that way, especially after getting married myself. What we make for people were making their first heirloom is a family right like we're starting their legacy for them and it's a massive responsibility and not everyone has a massive budget and people with massive budgets even have problems on their day and what happens when it rains and what happens this you have to handle all of these things with grace and moreover with respect so with the sort of nature of this workshop I don't want anybody to feel like we're making fun of weddings or were intentionally trying to do something ugly and make it look great or were like snickering behind the scenes I'm doing this because shooting the high end wedding doesn't apply to ninety percent of the shooters out of there that doesn't apply to most of my weddings my weddings were just weddings with wonderful people and I want to give them something beautiful no matter what happens on the day so you know little caveat there any other gear questions our thoughts, our concerns how does the internet feel about gear and equipment this morning we've got a lot of questions we've got some time I intentionally padded in sometime so that we can take questions because I can talk to you all day long you could buy the thing books you can read them all day long but if you've got a specific question please hit the chat rooms and write it in when we have perfect this is wonderful to have this much time to good thank you just I asked do you survey your shoot location prior to the shooting? Absolutely never okay never I mean at fifty three weddings a year I do not have time to do a site visit for every single wedding if it's somewhere I've never been before, I'll look it up online I will do a google search of the location to see what other photographers have shot there just to get kind of an idea of the lay of the land. I will do a google like street view of the streets up and down surrounding it. And then I'll just show up early on the day off because even if I did a site visit what if I do a site visit in the winter and the wedding's in the summer? That's not goingto. Really? Give me a good idea. I would rather show up an hour early and walk the place on the date off, then go another day. If a client really wants me to do a site, visit is an additional fee to go with them and walk through the site. Okay. It's it's. Just not something that I have time to include. Okay? And we have a follow up question, please. Um, jayla says we were discussing the difference between indoor and outdoor wedding kit. So, do you take different here? You take the exact same thing whether it's inside or outside. Okay, I mean, in in new york, we have a lot of outdoor ceremonies, indoor receptions like it's it's, usually it's a little in and out, and even if it all out or all in it's the same stuff and we have a sort of sort of similar question from sunny d do you pack different gear for different types of weddings with cultural traditions, like a greek orthodox, like you mentioned? You know, the reason why I used the gear that I use is because it is so versatile, and I can use it for anything like, I mean, there there basic, common sense things? If I know that I'm gonna be indoors all day long, it's a twelve hour wedding, I have charged every single, double, a battery that I have cause we're gonna have to switch them out the flashes, but it's the same flashes, and I've got everything with me at all points in time, so I can grab whatever I need. So all of my gear, I have a think tank rolling bag that I put most of my gear in. We also have a kelly more bag called the two sues, which is adorable, we also can't kill it, like we've been dragging it all over the place and it's holding, I mean, it's holding up phenomenally, which is kind of a bonus, but we put our main gear in the rolling bag. We have some backup stuff in the kelly more, when I take out the stuff that I used for the day, we'll put the backups in the rolling bag and then anything we need to change in and out like if we need to bring some extra batteries or my assistant kind of hold on to the kelly more we can use it for like a drop bag and also for the food that we bring on the wedding days we'll talk about this on the business day I don't have meals written into my contract I will never have meals written into my contract I do not think you should be forced to feed me so we bring our own food sir yeah we're waiting yes shoot mostly by yourself you you just shoot the bride or did you ever shoot guys? Usually I'm able to do both um a lot of times they're either getting ready in the same hotel or they're getting ready very close by ah lot of what I'll do is start with the bride and then go to the gentleman as they're finishing up because usually the bride takes a lot longer fully there start with her and go to him or if they're in different locations I'll start with him and go to her if it is a real deal breaker and they want somebody covering both full time one hundred percent I do have a second shooter option on my price list they can hire a second shooter it's not cheap because I want to be able to hire somebody that I can we trust to go out and stand alone. You know, a lot of photography studio is not all. I am not trying to offend anyone. Ah lot of them offer a second shooter and it's just whoever they can get to hold a camera on the day and call it a second shooter. There are a lot of second shooter teams that are tremendous, like where they both really complement each other, and I tell people the reason why it's so expensive is because I want someone that's comparable in skill, not just whoever I can find on the internet to come shoot with me, so sometimes they don't care about guy prep or they just want a few minutes of it, or they just want a few pictures of the groom alone with his groomsmen, and I can do that by shooting the bride, getting ready and then going over to like the church. If the groom of the groomsmen are there early and shoot them hanging out in the sacristy beforehand, or go to the venue and get them like seating the guests and talking to each other, every schedule is a little different there's only been a couple of instances where I just straight up couldn't shoot one or the other because of their getting ready an hour apart. And sometimes I think about it they're like, you know, we don't really want groom prep pictures or we really want groom prep pictures let's hire a second shooter and then sometimes I lose weddings because of it. I don't want a fulltime second shooter working for me. I don't need a full time second shooter working for me, and I would estimate I probably lose a handful of weddings every single year because I don't offer it, but that's not enough to make me change the way I do things, and I told them my assistant has a camera sheikhoun if I go to the bathroom and you really need a picture, she could shoot it for you, she can do it. I'll send her over to the guys if I really have to for, like, five minutes if I realised I'm not gonna be able to make it, she just needs like two pictures of the groom putting on his tie. She'll go over and do that, but a full time person working for me all day. Yet another question from the internet, of course, um from photo mojo asks, when you have a minimal funds available, what lens would you start with and what order would you purchase them to set yourself apart on dh to get the most bang from you? That is ah, brilliant question the first ones I would buy if I could only buy one lens just one would be the twenty four to seventy because it's a good basic like it's it's not too long it's not too wide you're not going to get crazy creative with it but it is it will do what you need it to dio after that I went out on the seventy two, two hundred if you're a nikon shooter, if you're a cannon shooter I would go from your twenty four to seventy ish I don't know what the range of it's the same now isn't it used to get twenty eight to seventy but it's twenty four to seventy from there I would actually go hit up a use shop and buy the two hundred to eight as a kid who's candy shooters if you don't own a two hundred to a go buy it right now it's about the size of an eighty five it is light, it is sharp and it will give you that long focal length that's what I did I was a cannon shooter and the longest linds I had for a long time was just the two hundred. Then when I switched over an icon and realize that to get the two hundred that I wanted was nearly six thousand dollars I back down, I want the two hundred two oh, there really it's not gonna happen again that justify can I justify the price of will it make me better images I'm just gonna try to talk my husband into buying one so that so that then it would be fifty percent mine right I mean I think so but if if you're a nikon shooter I would go twenty four to seventy one seventy two two hundred then in eighty five then a macro you don't need a whole lot other than that my thirty five's my twenty eight those things they're also just kind of back ups for me and I did when I upgraded my old seventy two two hundred to the new seventy two two hundred I haven't sold it I haven't told my old one just because what happens if I wake up on a friday and I realized my lens is broken and I don't have time to get another one for the next day what I could get in selling the lens is not worth more than the insurance policy of having that lynn sitting on the shelf internet how're you feeling internet we've another quick question from mike and jersey city on mike and you get your name yeah home for you yeah and he asked he's a little confused on the timing so if you show up an hour early to be with the bride that you're to be on location you're with getting ready with the bride and doing for talk for that, how does a lot of the times where I'm shooting, they generally do get ready on location and a lot of times I don't go early a lot of friends I don't need to like if I'm in you know the jersey city hilton it is a jersey city hilton I pretty much know what it's going to look like and I know it's on the water and I you know it's been it's taken me thirteen years to not need to site visit everywhere I go so if I can show up early like if she's getting ready and she's getting married at the hilton, I could go there early and walking around if she's getting ready at home and she's getting married at the hilton, maybe I'll go to the hilton, walk around and then go over to her house if it's close by otherwise I'll just go to her house and start shooting um with learning your gear with learning your light with everything becoming second nature, you don't need to go scout things beforehand like you could take me right now walk me into any room and drop me in there and say do family formals in here or shoot prep in here and after five minutes of like crying inside I could do it you guys saw me when we walked through locations yesterday I was just oh, my gosh, but it's with the experience and, you know, maybe earlier on in your career, if you need to go do a site visit on another day, if it makes you feel comfortable, by all means, do it like I would do things earlier on in my career that maybe cost me a little money or weren't exactly the most efficient to make me feel more comfortable when I showed up on the wedding day. So if you have to go do a site visit on another date, do it so big deal right on down so bad, excellent, we all did it. Um r j I would love to know what about cleaning your gear? Do you always clean and check your gear before the shoot? Yes, meticulously the day before, I always charge every single battery when we're done with a wedding, we have a little bag that we put batteries and we'll pull the batteries on both cameras, and then we'll pull the double a from every single piece of gear that we've used and put it in that bad, I'll take it home, take the bag out, charge every single thing, put it back in so that we just re battery every a thing up, I clean my lenses with lens cleaner, front, back before every single wedding. I could tell you I clean my sensor before every single wedding, but jen and john on sunday will tell you that is absolutely not true because I am a dust spot fest on my macro shots, but I do do my best to clean it as much as I possibly can on guy try to send my stuff and to be serviced when I can a lot of times if you go to trade shows like you go to w p p I r photo plus your camera company will have like their nps booth there there, you know there can do it or what not and you can come in and do like some free sense or cleanings and stuff like that it's worth taking advantage of, but also if you don't take care of your gear you know what? If it breaks on you, what if? What if you get this wonderful, amazing moment and there's a smear on your sensor and it ruins it or you're not realizing that your lenses are kind of uncanny rating? I try to be very, very careful with my gear sort of now the front captain back caps that's a different story altogether we lose those things old time? Yes, ma'am, since we're still on here any preferred brands on batteries and battery chargers early I have power x batteries, my double a's um cliff prefers the power x chargers I think their power x chargers if you look at the gear pdf and I hate it because that sounds like I'm telling you to buy it, but if you do look at it, it shows you can see the pictures of the battery chargers I have like a quick twenty charger um where you can put like sixteen batteries and at one time but it doesn't soft charge them where it takes the power all the way down and then bring us the power all the way up so I'm trying to make sure that every once in a while I do put them in the soft charger and during them down and bring them back up again, but I like I like my rechargeable if they last a good long time and also when you're using the flash I will use the s t nine battery pack to kind of give me a little extra helps the recycle time on the flash um and you'll see it tomorrow we put together the flash on a stick so we just kind of wrap it around the stick and it stays there but it helps with the recycle time I'm also the longevity of using the flash on the day off hi hi through his eyes wants to know what size flash bender deed do you have the big one? The big one the old big one e they they used to only sell it pull now they have like a zillion different sizes um I don't know the specific name of this size if you watches tomorrow he'll see me use it it's large ok the one that's like that big sorry it's about eight and a half by eleven ish okay that's great just big great another gear question for id on this guy like your questions so luxurious have this much time good I e I wanted to be able to take any questions as we could for each section so thank you course so jenna asked how often do you get your gear service? Once a year it should be more but fifty three weddings a year how often can I send it out? Really? Not not as much as I should like my seventy two two hundred I've kind of you'll see tomorrow ruined the rubber ring on it it kind of slides up and back and I'm starting debate do I send it in or do I just used super glue to fix it? I mean cereal seriously, but a lot of times if I do send it in it's going to be in like january or february when I don't have that many weddings when I can and I don't spend it all in at once it will go in and in and out in pieces question um like uv filters on your london so how do you keep it from getting scratched or villains? Hood oh, I used the linseed on the seventy two, two hundred eighty five the thirty five one for the twenty four to seventy and the macro so they if something it bangs into something also baby, because the lens hood cut the glare you know it's it's good photographically, but also if I bang it on a wall it's banging the, you know, cheapo linds hood and not the multi thousand dollar piece of glass that's not to say I don't scratch it sometimes, but not as ofthis you think in florida I did have just protective filters on it just because of all of this and yeah, that is not good for your gear beaches. Yes, and we have a question from pablo, how many hours do you work in a wedding? So he's, based in colombia and difficult work seven hit represent colombia, some of my favor letting I shot we're in colombia and shots and beautiful weddings in colombia. Um when I was in florida six to seven hours was a good normal start range appear most days anywhere from eight to fifteen hours most usually clock in around nine to ten you're back has got to be a king after that well, that it is it's honestly over the past couple of years once I jumped up to fifty weddings a year I realized you have to eat well you have to take care of yourself you have to work out as best you can keeping the gear off of my body has been major you know, it's all hanging on my shoulder sometimes it most often I just hold it in my hand or I give it to my assistant I don't hang around my neck I try to keep the amount of stuff off of me and just try to take care of myself they're not saying on a sunday morning I feel fantastic but I feel much better after I kind of take care of myself and also the work life balance having some more time to yourself being able teo stay refreshed where you don't just feel like you're a machine all the time getting up from the computer sometimes I'm walking around it's it it's not worth killing your health over or your body or your neck or your arms or any of it for anything. All right, you got a few more yards since you're standing all day like what I started with the shoes oh god so shoes so I have like multiple inserts and I wear sneakers every day when they like puma q thinkers but stay right actually yeah, they are and they're comfortable but what are you you know, for a really long time, I don't even want to say this because you're all gonna judge me fashion wise so early in the morning for a long time, I work crocks, but let me be clear, hold on a second we're talking about like the ballet slipper car rocks, the ones that look like the mary jane's not like the gnome shoes on, and I would take actually black nail polish and blackout the crocs logo because it just and then it just looks more like a shoe, but it didn't there's not enough arch support in it, and I was having troubles with like the tendons and my leg hurting the day after our wedding, so I switched over to dance goes again like a mary jane dance co not the clogs, the where your foot like, slides in and out and it's gotten mad arch support, and that really helps me. But sometimes, you know, sometimes I'll do the crocks and then my feet hurt, and then I'll switch over to tom's at the reception, which is an even worse idea because I have even less support. But I mean, I had to choose function over fashion on are the dance goes cute? No, but if they save my feet, I don't care what they look like, it doesn't matter yes, ma'am, you're holding the camera and you obviously switching them out in and out are you hand strapping it or you just have a shoulder strap on at the quick release shoulder straps, not the nikon shoulder straps? I don't like kind of how sticky they are on the underside ah lot of people really do like them cause I hold them in place, but they tend to stick on my skin because I wear a lot of like sleeveless shirts, so I switched over to the quick release ones, which I've never actually quick released it once in my entire life, but we'll just hold it like I'll have it on the strap so I can throw it on my shoulder if I have to just run somewhere, but for the most part I'm just holding it by the grip in my end any other last minute questions before we move onwards way wanted to ask you about the think book products you have they've been mentioned a couple of times we've had people on the internet wondering you know what they are where they are and I know there's some special deals going on yes on again like I I do not want to sound like an infomercial for my own self however, when I watch something as if it has a learner, it help with me if I also have the written word I learned better by reading instead of by seeing so what I've created been doing them for a while. These are the new ones, they're called think books and what they really are is kind of like an instructional book, right? Like so there's one called situations and solutions, and it it covers. What do you do in the time line falls apart? What do you do? Win it's winter? What do you do in the getting ready room is so crowded you have nowhere to root, you know where to move, it kind of helps you with those scenarios, and then as we walk through the next couple of days here, they're sort of companion pieces to what I'm teaching so everything that I go over tomorrow with the receptions with first dances, parent dances off camera flash for all of that shooting, the reception room, there's, a think book called receptions and it will again cover the things that I'm doing. It will show you shot settings. Gear used the explanation of how the shot was set up, a diagram of like where I stand on my assistant stands and then more additional photo example so it's, it's all meant to go hand in hand with what I'm teaching here that's amazing, thank you, great, and I like them, I feel like there's a lot of fluff material out there that will teach you you know with a camera and a dream you can follow your passion I mean way we all have a camera in a dream that's why we're here but I also would like to continue being in business I would like to send my kids to college I would one day like to retire like I would actually like to not being massive heaps of debt and run a profitable business and take really good pictures for my clients and if I sit here and say you know if you dream it it will come it's not true you actually have to work at it so the reason why I wrote these books was not too just like send inspiration into the world but to actually create instructional manuals that will hopefully help improve people's photography skills absolutely it's such a great tool for their camera on those air available hat suits mr bling dot com slash shop is that crack okay great aunt I believe they're normally and thirty five dollars yes but they're on sale currently during the live event of creative live for twenty five or you could buy the whole bundle for one o nine gracious like thank you exactly I mean honestly I feel like you know but between the course if you purchase the download of the course and you purchase that sort of think books and you put them together for, like, two hundred bucks, you've basically got literally every single thing. I know. I have nothing else. Nothing else after that, like at all, unless we want to talk about books, which we could just do on another creative life someday.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Gear List.pdf
Susan Stripling Presentation Slides

Ratings and Reviews


Outstanding, one of the best courses on Creative Live. Wow! The delivery is sharp, on point, and focused. I've learned tons. There are so many gems I've watched this video many times and have now purchased more videos from Susan Stripling. Outstanding presenter. My photography has already improved greatly by implementing some of the techniques shown.

a Creativelive Student

The content of the course was perfectly taught at a "real" level. Susan's work clearly, speaks for itself, but her willingness to be so generous with her knowledge is fantastic. She has become an instant favorite of mine and her style is truly special and unique. The course was reasonably priced and I am beyond thrilled that I have taken the time to learn from one of the best in the industry. INCREDIBLE course in every way!!


I Loved this course. I would definitely take another course by Susan Stripling. Her images are beautiful. She has the posing, timing, lighting, mood, etc. all down perfectly and makes amazing, beautiful pictures. She is an excellent communicator as a teacher too.

Student Work