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Creative Wedding Photography

Lesson 15 of 33

Shoot: Ceremony - Processionals

Susan Stripling

Creative Wedding Photography

Susan Stripling

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Lesson Info

15. Shoot: Ceremony - Processionals

Lesson Info

Shoot: Ceremony - Processionals

So as you can see, we're not exactly in um, the most well decorated of faces on what I really wanted to show you guys as I'm teaching kind of through the ceremony part of the day is what do you do when you're just in a church mean, when it's just a church when you can't rely on beautiful natural light outside? I mean, we don't all have weddings that happened by barnes in rolling fields at sunset, most of what we find is it's this it's a church where you can't control the lighting and there's really nothing that you can do about it and maybe there's two core and maybe there's not you really don't get a say, so I used to actually really struggle with the pictures that I took in church is part of it was because I didn't have any creative control over what was happening. It made me really angry, but partly because I was somewhat battling my gear back in two thousand seven actually, I switched camera systems in early two thousand eight and I alluded a little bit before as to why I switched,...

but I kind of wanted to give a little bit more of an explanation. They realised it wasn't entirely clear um I started out as a canon shooter, I was always a cannon shooter I kind of worked my way up through the five d onwards, d sixty way back win back in the day, starting to date myself, I only shot film at one wedding before switching over teo digital, and I've been digital ever since I shot my first wedding. As I mentioned some of you yesterday in two thousand one, I'm sure before, while some of the wedding party was an elementary school, which is really depressing, but I was a cannon shooter and I loved my gear, and there was absolutely no reason that I chose cannon other than it was the camera that I happened to buy when I started my business. But as I sort of went through my years of business and working in churches and working in low light settings, I found that I was spending a lot of time, time battling with the gear that I had. I was having some focusing issues, and I was kind of having some trouble with the grain and with the color and back in two thousand and seven, I was actually able to go to a wedding with my husband, cliff mountain, or he, uh, shot the d three for the first time at a wedding back in two thousand seven he was the first one that got to shoot it, and I was with him on that day, and I got to see how the camera performed and it was really the first time in my entire career that I'd ever been completely blown away by a piece of gear. It was the receptiveness of how quickly it focused it was how it performed in the low light and cliff, let me kind of shoot the camera over the period of that weekend a little bit, and it was for the first time in many years that I felt like I wasn't having to overthink my gear, that my gear was actually going to go hand in hand with what I was trying to dio and that it was going to become a tool that would help me make the pictures that I wanted. So as I spoke yesterday about how you don't need to buy a piece of gear unless you need it, the difference between the system that I had before and the system that I'm working with now was actually so great that it was worth the investment of selling off all of my old gear and moving over to my new gear, and the glass just keeps getting better. The lindsays keep getting better. Every single camera that I buy from them is one step above the one before and honestly, I could stop with the d three us in the d for and never buy another camera again now, probably will, you know, at some point in time, but I am extraordinarily happy again. I do want to mention that I'm not a commercial for a nikon. They do not pay me to say anything nice about their cameras. I have bought every single piece of gear that I own. I'm just very passionate about it because it is the tool that helps me make the pictures that I'm making and the camera doesn't make the photographer the photographer makes the photographer, but it sure helps when you're not fighting your gear all the time. So bring a church and as we can tell, our clients have a massive floral budget for the corps, which I'm super psyched about going really great, but this it's just a church and the lights are on and I imagine this is pretty much exactly what it would look like during any given ceremony. Now the first thing that I'm going to do when I get to the church, I'm going to try to find the person in charge and talk to them about the rules. I know it varies from country to country and even state to state and region to region what the rules are in churches. Some people don't have any rules you can do whatever you want when I shoot a greek orthodox wedding, they don't care where I am I could literally put my arm around the officiant and prop my camera on his shoulder, and they wouldn't mind it's expected and you're invited upon the altar to photograph what's going on, however, in a very salam roman catholic, very formal ceremony, oftentimes I'm banished to the balcony if I'm even able to take pictures during the ceremony at all, so it ranges from very, very, very strict, too not strict at all, and I want to know the rules are before I even walked into the church. Now, most of the time, I'd say about fifty percent of the time, if I'm working in a church, they will send me their guidelines beforehand the client will email me and say, you know, this is what the church has sent me to send to you excuse me so that you know what the rules are. And now when we're talking about shooting in a church, I want to be clear about a couple of different things if I'm shooting outside on location like it at a house or a barn or a park or something or if I'm shooting at a venue that isn't a church like let's say the wedding is at the hyatt and the ceremony is going to be in the ballroom of the hyatt and they're bringing their favorite priest from their church to marry them if I am in your house, I will obey your rules if I am not in your house there's I mean this might sound like a disrespectful way to say it, but you don't get to tell me what to do if I'm shooting a wedding and it's outdoors in a field and the rabbi comes up to me and says I don't want you to move around during the ceremony with all respect rabbi, this isn't your synagogue and I will be respect awful and I will not get in anybody's way but you can't tell me not to move around I really hate what a lot of photographers say, which is oh, you know I don't ask for permission ask for forgiveness. Well, do you realize why we have these incredibly strict rules in these churches? It's because some of you morons acted like morons and now we're all in trouble because you climbed upon the altar knowing that you couldn't do it and now we're all banished to the back of the church. So if you were in a church, if you're in the church and the officiant is the priest of this church play by his rules, if the client has sent you a sheet of rules, they know what they are if you have to stand in the back the entire time and you can't come forward at all the client knows this they've seen the sheet that they've sent you on I will abide by any church rules they give me if they say no photography during the ceremony as long as the client knows it and they're fine I'm going to sit out in you know the foyer the entire time blindly panicked then I'm missing the ceremony even though I can't shoot it and I will abide by their rules if I have to stay in the balcony I'm going to stay in the balcony and when asked what can you do creatively in a scenario like this men not much if I'm stuck up in the balcony aiken do wide angles I can shoot long I can try to find a different vantage point but I'm not really gonna be able to do anything creatively or change the lighting or do anything like that so don't feel when you go into a church like you have to start rigging up lights are moving things around you're just trying to make the most beautiful things that you can with that's sort of what is afforded to you at that time so looking at a ceremony the first thing that I really want to find out either by asking the church lady for the rules and there's always a church lady and she's usually crabby am I wrong she's always so mad about something, but I will find her and I'll say, you know what? I haven't gotten church rules yet are we allowed flash or not at any point in time? And usually they'll say either no, you can't have flash it all or yeah, you can use flash, but only when they're coming in and only when they're going round and that's all I'm trying to figure out is, can I light the processional and the recessional? Now, if they say, oh, you can use flash whenever you want, I'm still not going to use it during the ceremony, even if the light's not great cause I think it's really disrespectful, but if I can use it and it can help me out during a processional ina recessional, by all means, I'm going to use it, so I'm going to show you how I would shoot a processional first, we're gonna actually step through processional ceremony, recessional family formals as fast as I can, and then we're going to take questions, so please stick with us the entire time. Hold your questions, I'll answer as many of them as I possibly can at the end, from the chat room and from you guys so let's say that we are in a church that does not allow us to use flash during professionals and recession als okay, it's pretty okay in here. I mean, it's, not the world's brightest church, but we've got some lights up and it's pretty typical of what I would be looking at. So I feel fairly confident shooting this with no flash with flash would be preferred, but I can still make it work. So what I am always going to do when I am shooting a processional or recessional? If I've got a long aisle the way I do in this church, if I can possibly in any way at all, shoot it with my seventy two, two hundred shell control that thank you. Sometimes when I'm tired, the only cannon mistake I still make is I tried to take the lens cap off or put it on the wrong way because everything is reversed, so if I have any distance whatsoever to use a long lens, I am going to use my seventy two, two hundred as close to two hundred as possible. I love the compression, I think it's beautiful, but I also don't stand up during a processional when they're coming down the aisle. I'm not standing here because I'm standing right here. I'm blocking the bride's mother from seeing the groom, and if I'm standing over here, I'm blocking the groom from seeing the bride, and I'll see photographers that aired just you know, our videographers that'll roll their tripod in the middle of the aisle and then just stand there and I'm like, dude, the groom is looking at the back of your head when his wife is coming down the aisle like, seriously so I'm always going to be shooting from crouch down on the ground, and if I have to use my twenty four to seventy if I have to use a wide angle lens because the aisle is very short, it's going to really distort the clients as they walked towards me. So my goal is to make them look as beautiful as possible in all scenarios, so I want to be able to use a longer lens if I can't use the seventy two, two hundred two hundred all put on the twenty four to seventy and use it as close to seventy as I can. Last ditch scenario all used the twenty four to seventy, but I'll try to keep it horizontal instead of vertical closer to twenty four if I have to, and it happens, because sometimes in some of the churches there was one in philadelphia that's especially strict, you can't go past the back three pews, even during the processional recessional. So you have like a four foot span to shoot them as they come in I've gotta shoot it at twenty four it looks terrible, it really hurts but I'm going to shoot a horizontal instead of vertical like that I'm telling you guys instead of them I don't know I I'm talking to our bridal party instead of the students now when I was in the room and I was shooting the getting ready, I was shooting on aperture priority and if we're going to be shooting with flash in here, I'm going to change over to manual but we're not I'm going to be shooting with apertura priority at first because they're going to be coming down the aisle partly why I really like aperture priority in a scenario like this it is because they're going to not be walking through consistent lighting as they come in it's a little brighter towards the back and then we're gonna walk to a slightly darker area and then they're gonna get a little closer to mean it's a little bit darker and for me personally, I do much better adjusting my exposure compensation instead of changing manual settings. If you do better changing manual settings don't change the way you're doing it just because I'm doing it keep going in manual it's exactly the same principles when I say rule your exposure compensation dial down in manual that just means change your settings so you don't have to do it one way or another now I'm going to try to shoot my professional at f four because I want everybody in focus, but if I can't get to f or if it's too dark, I'm okay bringing it down to two eight that's okay? I would probably never shoot a processional at one point four or one point eight unless it was literally pitch dark and candle lit and I couldn't use a flash and it was all I could do now bearing in mind that I do shoot aperture priority and even if you don't, you also want to bear this in mind I'm changing my s o sensitivity settings on my auto eso the reason being is that I have gone from a eighty five millimeter lens to a seventy two two hundred millimeter lens and you need to be careful with your shutter speed because if I was still at one one sixtieth of a second at a minimum with this linds I'm going to get blur is the people are coming down the aisle because the shutter speed is not fast enough in conjunction with the length of limbs, so because the people are going to be walking pretty quickly they're gonna be coming down is, you know, generally in a pretty decent clip I'm going to try shooting this at a four hundredth of a second I know that this is going to push my I s o up that's part of why I made the switch over to nikon back in two thousand seven because the so I could handle being pushed up that high without looking like they're our baseballs floating around in the back of the images and again, if your cameras work for you, don't go home and change your entire system or don't sell off all your gear and buy something else shoot what you like. I just wanted to explain why I'm shooting what I shoot, so I'm ready generally on a regular wedding day, I will get here, I'll kind of walk around the church, I'll see what kind of decor is going on all snap some pictures of the decor, which in here would take me about two seconds, and then I'm gonna hang out at the front of the church and I'm gonna wait for the processional to start while I'm waiting for the processional to start. I might be kind of picking off pictures of people sitting in the pews kind of talking to each other. Maybe the groomsman is there seating people. If I have seen the groom or the groomsmen yet, usually I have enough time to kind of pot back until whatever sort of back room they've got them hiding in, and then I come out and I get ready usually I spend a long time sitting down because I sit down on time and then everything runs late, but I digress whenever I am shooting the processional if possible, I'm always on the bride's side of the church, which is this side because I don't want to in any way impair the groom, seeing the bride when she comes down the aisle and also I want the ability to turn to the groom and take a picture of him and I find the angle better if I'm here shooting back that way, then if I'm down there shooting right up his nose two there we go, so if I could borrow, um our grandmother and a groomsman, we're going to put anyone how about you? You made eye contact first, so what we're going to do is you're going to have you ever been in usher groomsman before you're just going to see your grandmother she's your grandmother now I'm making all of these families, so if you could kind of head back up to where they are, you're just gonna come in down from that end like you would if he's coming to see you, but I'll just shout go when I'm ready for you so what's gonna happen is I'm gonna be down here generally not tangled in a tether and most of the time you come back up again most of the time I do have my seventy two two hundred down here my other camera that has the twenty four to seventy on it I generally given it to my assistant and she goes into the back and she hangs out with the bride in her dad we have we give any we gave you a new father today too by the way we're just putting families together right and left here but all I want from my assistant to take she's not a second shooter so all I'm really looking for her to do is take like one or two really good clean pictures of the bride in her dad before they come in then what she's gonna do is she's going to stay with my twenty four to seventy unless I desperately need it she's going to stay at the back of the church she's going to go to the balcony if possible and she's going to take my wide angle shots from the back of the church that frees me up from having to be a obtrusive and running to the back get those wide angles and b I can concentrate on the emotion of what's going on up on the altar and then I know that those wide shots are kind of saved so what I'm going to do for something like this it's my screen back there okay good so as you can see, you know when we shoot towards this direction our videographer is extraordinarily obnoxious and has planted himself right in the middle of the aisle and there is nothing that I could dio but you know what? This would probably happen on a wedding day like this is pretty typical ah lot of the videographers roll in with their tripods and they parked themselves in the middle of the island they hang out there if I and you can actually stay right there and now he's moving if something like this happens and a videographer is in the aisle, which a lot of the times they are you have two choices you can either try to crop them out or you could just include them if I spend the entire day trying to exclude the videographer from the shots that's that's a little tricky he's there we all know he's there and if it's a matter of including him and getting a good shot I'm going to do it before I'm going to make the shot suffer and exclude him if that makes sense. So how am I going to shoot vertical? Am I going to shoot horizontal? I don't know maybe a little bit of both usually all start off with a nice safe horizontal shot and then I'll switch over to vertical if I can ah lot of photographers like to switch over to continuous with their focusing mode, I don't like to do that. I like to stay on single if I'm at f four, I can focus and recompose really fast, and if they're moving too fast, I'll simply move my focal point up so that I can aim to focus on the knot of his tie right at his throat because if the church is very dark, no matter how excellent your gear and your glass are, it could be really hard to focus on kind of mud, aly lit fast moving subject so I'm looking for my sharpest point of contrast, which in this case is the knot of the dark tie right in the white shirt, so I'm gonna get set up here let's see what we've got here and you guys could just take a walk towards me like you're going to see her he's, jonty let's and you guys can hang out there for just a second. There we go nice and easy and there in focus with a huge exit sign over their head, which makes me really depressed. But as you can see with the long lens and if you look at the exit data right there I'm at one hundred fifty millimeters you khun see off to the right of the frame, the compression of how those pews kind of stacked together from the long lens I'm at f or so when I focus on the knot of hiss ty, I know that his face in his hands are also going to be in focus it's nice and clean you know, normally there aren't wires on a church floor but we're all good and that's what I would shoot in something like this now does the color balance look good? No, it looks terrible but there's not a whole lot that I can do about that right now I could die elin accustomed white balance setting I could continue messing with the preset settings that I have but this actually isn't terrible and when this goes off decide car post and they start working on this in post production they get a sense of what the light actually was like in the church and then they know how to attack it if I attempt to fix it and it still looks terrible, then they have to fix the terrible fix of the bad light that I've done it's easier just for me to represent what it looks like and then they can do a blanket overall fixing the worst thing that I do to them will be sending a processional where the first four shots or four different color balances as I'm trying to figure it out, but generally I'm just going to go on something as simple as auto and as you can see they're far enough down the aisle shooting a vertical at one hundred fifty millimeters there's no vertical distortion everything looks great everything is nice and crispin and focus if he's not wearing a dark tie like let's say he's wearing like a cream colored tie sometimes I'll try to focus you see how she's hooked her hand through his arm that's another good place to put your focal point right on the hand because it's a pretty sharp contrast and I'll just focus and recomposed shoot focus from recompose and you and I just do it very fast and if you like continuous focusing mode use it I just don't like it because I always forget to turn it off and then it freaks me out and sometimes it doesn't really do what I wanted to dio and I've trained myself to just focus click focus click and I'm really happy with my results now and kind of keep you guys there for a second let's say the church is awesome which it never is and is goingto let us use off camera flash was going to let us use flash in general we show you how I set it up it was going to set it up already but I figured a lesson in setting up would be good of a mono pod any mon a pod fancy not fancy this is like my third one we keep breaking them I use phobics the strat o to multi transmitter and receiver for nikon there are a million different radios that you can use to have your flash talk to your camera this is simply the one I prefer all I'm going to dio is mount this and by I I mean my assistant we mount this to the end of the mono pod if you can see it has the little hot you hear so many connect my flash to it let's make sure put batteries in it which I did right on the top nice and starting then it's really funny it's been a really long time since I put one of these together this's my s t nine battery pack it's got eight double a batteries in it. Part of it is to help extend the life of the battery in my flash. Part of it is to help me with my recycle time so I can pop off more shots in a row and as you can see, I just velcro it right around and then I take it and plug it in. If you like an icon flashes, you can shoot nikon flashes with any camera that you want provided it's off camera. You're talking to it with a radio so you can use any flash as long as you could talk to it with a radio I've got the omni bounce on it that came with the flash and what we're going to dio we're gonna extend this out on my assistant's gonna hold this now it's kind of a tricky one because when they're coming down the aisle everybody else is sitting when the bride comes down the aisle everybody else is standing so we have to be very careful in that I don't want my assistant holding the light to block the groom but she's got to be ableto light down the aisle so turn my flash on my flash is always on manual I understand this, as I said yesterday, there are radio transmitter receivers that will let you shoot on tt l but I don't want a shoot on tt l I want to know that my life is a continuous burst every single time, so we're actually going to start this off let's say just for fun let's start a quarter power the best advice I ever ever ever got when it comes to off camera flash and your settings was from zakat, his one light workshop where he said if you don't know where to start, start somewhere literally start anywhere, set your flash on anything and your camera on anything and then fire and see what happens if it's too dark you know what you need to adjust if it's over exposed you know what you need to adjust to start somewhere and don't be afraid once you do this for the first time this is so easy it's so fun are you? I'm gonna put you coming I'm going to shove this chair this way towards you sorry and you're just gonna hang out right here what this is going to do is it's going to mean like like so right? So what this means is he's far enough over here that he's not gonna block the groom from seeing the bride as she comes down the aisle. Yeah, we're standing in the front of the isle with a bagel flash on a big old stick and are people gonna look at us? Yeah, they are. But you know what? This isn't that obtrusive and I would rather have people go, huh? What's he doing for a second and then go back to watching the processional than have my professional look crappy so go back to my camera I'm going to get my transmitter put it on my camera, pull it down just a bit me me actually get a hand on it, turn it on. I know, I know as it was, it was still in focus. I know you're really good it's true, we're going to test it, hang on and bring it down to make sure if I'm not careful and I bumped them sometimes just for fun I'll pop the flash in her face it's not fun for her who is fun for me so all I did all of what you just saw right there was just me making sure that my transmitter was on his receiver was on the flash was actually popping when I pushed my test button on the side over here and because you can configure these toe work on different channels we need to make sure that we're actually on the right channel when I fire otherwise if I just switch it to the wrong channel it's not gonna fire even though everything is just fine we put fresh batteries in these probably every other wedding they're really, really, really good battery life, but we always switch them out before we could possibly need to switch them out because the worst thing in the world is to turn it on in a moment like this and realize your battery's dead so because I have switched over to manual I'm going back to my eyes a sensitivity sittings settings and I'm turning off auto s o because I no longer wanted to think for itself I want to thank for it someone has to be switching this over let's go it's like I'm sixteen hundred just because going over to manual on my settings let's go with ah hundredth of a second at a four let's see what that looks like so if you guys want to just actually hang out there for just a second raise the light up nice and high and tilt it into the I'll just a little bit precisely I'm just going to take a test shot so you guys can see what it would look like ah so we're gonna take a look and we're gonna see if that looks anything remotely like what I want sort of right so we look at it and it's a little hot it's a little bright it's a little obviously flashed first of all I'm going to take my white balance and change it over to flash then I'm gonna take my flash and there are things that you can use radio transmitters as radio transmitter wise that will let you control the manual settings on your flash but because my assistant I actually have our relationship as developed as it is all I would have to do is look at her and go and she knows just pull it down put it on the next setting and toss it right back up so I moved it from a quarter power to eighth power the reason being is the flash output will be a little less it'll be a little softer I'm gonna bump my eyes so up to two thousand and we're going to see if this looks a little bit more natural if you guys want to just kind of head this way there you go you need to be mindful that as they're walking towards you as they're walking closer to the flash there we go as they're walking closer to the flash, obviously it's going to be brighter on their faces and as they're further away, it's not going to be as bright, so if you want to pop off a couple of pop off a couple of shots as they're coming down the aisle, you eat what I usually do is adjust my eyes. So so maybe I'm a thirty two hundred when they're a little further away, and then I bring it to sixteen hundred, and then I roll it to eight hundred and then I'm done. But as you can see from the image, it is a nice, evenly lit image. It doesn't look heavily flashed and it's, nice and gentle if I'm going to be using flash and you guys can take a seat, thank you very much. We pulled us just set it over somewhere. Thank you very much. Your grandmother is lovely. Um, if I'm going to be shooting without a flash and I know that my shutter speed is getting a little low, as it was getting in the image before I have a couple of choices generally what I'll do is I'll change my f stop down to two point eight, which will help me out a little bit, and I'll also shoot a little quicker again. As I said yesterday, if you spray and pray, I will find you and smack you upside the head, but that doesn't mean that I'm not going to go click, click, click because I know they're moving and I know my shutter speed is slow if I'm going to be using a flash, aiken generally nail it right away, so instead of maybe a half dozen shots of someone coming down the aisle, I'll take two, possibly three I also don't want to be obnoxious. I understand that half the guests were popping their flashes off is well, but I don't want anyone to ever look at me and be like, man she's really annoying so that's, how I would approach a processional when we're talking about a recessional, it is going to go exactly the same way, and in the interest of time we're just going to move on from recessional. I realize that you probably don't need to see that because it looks exactly like this, except I'm over there and they're coming from here. If I can't use flash it's going to be the exact same setup it's, how I shoot a processional with no flash and if I can shoot flash, it will be the exact same set up as a professional when I can shoot flash just coming in the opposite direction and usually much happier looking so what we're gonna do, we're gonna have you guys kind of just stand up here like it's a ceremony, and I'm just simply going to talk about it briefly before we move on to family formals if I could get you guys to come up here. So this is pretty much what it looks like, right? And I just want to talk you through the approach of how this ends up looking. I can shoot this for you, but I would rather spend a lot of my time here answering your questions and showing you family formals on. I just want to tell you about my philosophy of how I cover a ceremony, so we've mentioned that I'm the one that shoots the processional I'm the one that shoots the recessional. My assistant is the one that stays in the back and does the wide angle shots generally, the way I proceed around a ceremony, if I can move around the room, I'm going to come down this aisle like so, and then if I can get up closer, I'll go kind of over here, come over here, thanks, I'll come this way if I can and I'll shoot it, the bride's face this way, if the candles are lit, I'll come shoot this way and then I'll come all the way up here and I'll shoot this way and when I talk about these angles, I'm generally not that close to them because I am using a longer lens, I'll be all the way over there by the door, which is a solid chunk of space, but it will still allow me to get a nice close shot of them once I do that, I'll usually come back down the aisle, circle around the back, come back up this other side and reverse the same process photographing towards the groom. My tendency is always to focus on the bride, but I have to remember that you know, he's important too, so I have to take, like, one picture of him during the ceremony at least and usually is I'm coming back down the aisles and making my circle around the church. I'm also going to be taking pictures of guests as they're sitting in the pews it's kind of for me gives it a sense of place it's not just the people up there getting married, it's the family and friends there there supporting them that are very important, so I'll come over here and I'll take pictures of the mother and father is there sitting watching the ceremony and then as I walked back all kind of pick off some shots as I go and then I'll come around and I'll shoot back into this side and I'll get you know, her mother and father ever hear his mother and father over there, the bridesmaids, if they're sitting in the pews, I'll shoot them as well if they're standing up here along with the bride and groom will try to get some shots of the wedding party just to round it all out because everybody that's there is important to them, and I want to make sure that I'm documenting as much of that as possible, so usually by the time I've made my you all the way back around and again, I cannot control the lighting in here, it is dead flat on them. I'm not going to pop a flash, I'm not gonna put up a video light if it is like again like a greek orthodox wedding or an indian wedding, they won't mind if you string a big light up in the corner and shine it on them. So that's a possibility a lot of the times if that's what's going to happen, the videographer has already run up a light of their own. But for me, I generally don't want to add anything else because the bride and groom want their ceremony to look like what it looked like, and the second I start lighting the church not only in my obnoxious and in everybody's face, but I've changed the look of the entire space. So I'm gonna work with just the nice, simple flat lighting on them. And, yes, you'll find churches that are horribly lead. You'll go into a church where the brightest standing in a patch of light in the groom is standing in a dark pit and there's. Nothing you can do about it, and all you can do is the best you can do in those circumstances. You know, sometimes this would actually be a dream, because it's, nice and flat and no it's, not dramatic. But it's also not completely screwed up, either. So I can work with this now, after the ceremony, when they recess back down, we're going to do what I did for the processional, just in reverse. And then we're going to move on to family formals.

Class Description

Join award-winning wedding photographer Susan Stripling for a 3-day journey through the world of artistic, compelling, and financially successful creative wedding photography.

Throughout this course, you’ll explore lighting, posing, capturing detail, and much more. Susan will simplify the potentially daunting process of selecting the right equipment for every wedding’s needs. You’ll learn about transforming poorly-lit or visually uninteresting wedding settings into picturesque images.

Susan will also guide you through the workflow she uses, and explain the composition principles that result in dynamic images. You’ll explore concrete, on-the-fly troubleshooting strategies for unexpected wedding events.

By the end of this course, you’ll have the tools you need to think on your feet while photographing every phase of a wedding, with jaw-dropping results.



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.