Creative Wedding Photography

Lesson 11/33 - Shoot: Getting Ready - Details


Creative Wedding Photography


Lesson Info

Shoot: Getting Ready - Details

After we've done the rings I'm going to move on with kind of the same scenario to shoot the other things that she has lying around like let's say for example this right here let's say that this is the bride's grandmothers right and this is very, very very important her grandmother passed away she's wearing this as like a family heirloom and I will ask her you know as I go through your details are there you know is any of the jewelry really special to you? Is it any of it like a family heirloom is there anything that you really want to make sure that I don't miss and if they tell me oh yes this is my grandmother's or if they're like oh, that bracelet like I just bought it you know it's it's really nothing I'm not gonna focus too heavily on it so for something like this sorry hotel bad I'm cleaning you way go so I'll come in and know I don't always need a reflective surface aiken shoot this tangled up in the veil I can shoot it on a plane plate but if I've got something like this I'm not...

gonna let it go to waste so we'll come in here and I want to show you a few things about shooting something like this like so so to show you you know you come in here at let's go f sixteen and you should visit of sixteen coming on in so I want to show you if you look at all of the beads at f sixteen, you can see you've got, like the first two in focus the rest kind of fade away into the background. I also take a look at this and I realized that I'm a little over exposed to me. This is a little too hot. However, I kind of just to make something really artistic. I just want to focus on that one be eat in the forefront so sometimes I will roll down toe f for the drop my exposure compensation by about a stop move my focal point right on top of the bead like so and fire f four on a macro, you're going to have the front see just the front beat and focus, and then everything else falls away. So the difference between f sixteen and f four is pretty massive and you need to be very conscious about how much of it and how little of it you want to be in focus. But if I am going to take something kind of artistic like this of the necklace, but I know that it's really, really, really incredibly important to her, then maybe I'll do something to really make it sort of stand out on its own, you know, it's not every shot fulfills your artistic desire some of it you're shooting nice and clean and all in focus because the client really wants to see it so for something like this maybe I'll just lay it on the veil come in focus f eleven see if I totally botched my exposure which I'm not entirely sure I didn't d'oh now perfectly good, nice and clean at f eleven most of it is in focus you kind of lose the back it is nice and bright on the detail because I have exposed for the detail you put over back in here when it falls back at the top of it that's the bedspread because I focused on something that's brightly lit and exposed for that the dark background becomes even darker so nice and clean um and a lot of times I'll get like the bride's mom who want me to stack up all of the rings really nicely maybe take a little bit more of a traditional shot if they want me to put the rings and the flowers were gonna put the rings in the flowers whatever makes them happy I would be glad to sew again the same sort of thing maybe I'm going to set up she's got all these details were not crazy important to her nothing's an heirloom but she just kind of likes them all maybe I'll just toss them all out on this nice shiny surface like so and let's say this bracelets, the most important of all of the things that she's wearing, so I put the bracelet in the forefront. We'll start it f eleven again nice and clean, focusing right on the diamonds on the bracelet and one shot. I'm gonna take one shot and I'm gonna take a look and see if I've got it and if I got it, which I got it, I'm going to move on now the reason why this is so incredibly dark because it looks pretty light over here it's sitting on this so we're getting the reflection. Naomi sitting behind it there's a couple people sitting on the chairs over here so there are darker than what's going on here, the lights coming in, hitting the jewels. By the time I focus and expose for the jewels, the rest of the background goes dark goods. We're gonna move onwards, so sometimes time will permit you to spend a lot of time with all of the details I have clients asked me how long I need. Witham asked for half an hour. I know that they're gonna get me about fifteen minutes when it comes right down to it and I can set up a scenario. I know something like this works, I'll bang out every single one of the details just like this and then move on if I have some time to play, I will attempt to do something different with every single one that never happens. So if you're excitedly waiting for the time that you get an hour to shoot rings, keep on waiting because we're all gonna be waiting for that. So the next most often asked for a picture that I get is a picture of the shoes on a lot of people think pictures of this user dum ah lot of those people would happen to be men. Um, listen, when I got married and I looked for my wedding shoes, it took three months, and then I dithered back and forth. And then I cried about the price tag and I ended up buying them and I love them it's not just a detail it's for a lot of women, it's not just a thing you buy just cause you have to buy it. It's an expression of personal style and it's something that for a lot of women, they're spending a lot of money on a pair of shoes for the first time in their lives, and they want a good shot of it. Yeah, because they've seen it on pinteresque, but I have no problems with that is I wanna make it gorgeous for them, but I do have a couple of like, gentle rules, first of all, if you look into the shoe and it says comfort plus predictions probably not really something I'm gonna want to show in the picture the big thing right now is brides buying those glitter jimmy choos they're uncomfortable nobody really likes them and they're the same shoes over and over again um if it's got like there's no way to say it without sounding kind of elitist but if it's got a really good label in it, the bride bought it because it's got a good label in it so I want to show the label in the picture if it's a nina or a coloristic or something like that it wasn't bought because it's a fancy shoot was bought because it's a shoe that's pretty that she could wear that's reasonable I'm still going to show them off, but I'm not gonna focus on any type of labeling, so when I'm looking to shoot the shoes, if I am fortunate enough to have something like a mirror, I'm absolutely going to use it somebody move these phenomenal flower arrangements out of the way I'm not used to shooting tethered so on a wedding day I don't normally have to move my tether out of the way, although that would be awesome so I'm gonna take this and show you what I would do with the mirror on without the mirror and put this here like so I don't I'll set something up and if I don't like it I have no problems moving on so maybe take a look at this what I like do I like the front of the shoe like the back of the shoe deal like the back of the shoes some kind of like so and I'll just play with them and a lot of times I'm not the one playing with them I'll be messing with it but I'll have my assistant be moving them around like you know hey, can you bring this one a little closer hey can you put this one a little further away so I've got something that I like but I have a background problem and I'm gonna show you why if I'm going to shoot something like this and if I'm going to shoot a shoe I do not need to shoot a shoe it f eleven so all back back down to f four and I'll come in here and I'm going to show you what my problem is here I'm here so we're shooting the shoes like so and the problem that I have here is that I'm not a huge fan of my background as you can see I mean it's white shoes hello it's okay, I don't usually look at my assistant and be like I'm not loving the background what can I do? You know what I can do is take a suitcase and change my background I am full of something clever and a lot of times humorously enough it is my assistant standing behind whatever it is like this like this because I want the blackness of her outfit she doesn't like being a human backdrop but we love her let me see if I got a big enough suitcase here now when I'm on aperture priority and I've set up a scene like this where you've got a very bright foreground and I've just changed my background to a dark background what's your camera going to try to dio is going to try to even it out right so then you're gonna end up with a kind of grace foreground in a greyish background is not gonna look very good in the image before when I had the white background most of the image was quite so it was pretty easy to trust your camera reading on something like that for something like this when your background is dark you're gonna have to tell your camera what two d'oh I know that I have to tell my camera under exposed by at least a stop so I'm gonna go ahead and do that I'm a f four I'm going to see if that does what I needed to do uh let's see if that was under exposing it enough and you'll be able to see what putting the dark background in there did for the image right? Thanks and a lot of times like let's say this is jimmy true aura manolo and again like I have mentioned before ah lot of weddings even weddings with low budgets middle class weddings you know, not spending a ton on this stuff ah lot of these women will splurge out for the very first time and buy their first pair of manolos or they'll spend two hundred dollars on a pair of shoes which is a big deal for them and I want to show this thing that they saved to spend their money for so if you can see the shoe logo here and it's something really fancy I'll go with an f eleven or an f thirteen so that you can see it but for a shoe where you know it's just a shoe it's a pretty shoe but the label doesn't matter to them I'll go with like an f four so what minimizes that underside bottom of the shoe so let's say that it's not an ideal world and you don't have you know a mirror that you can take off of the wall we just move this over the way out here and this is all I've got to work with that doesn't still mean that you can't make something great let's see and I've already started trashing the room which is about right but everything I take a party I'm gonna put back together not for you all my clients I'm just getting I would totally put it back together for you, but let's say I just want to get a nice dark background but I don't have a mirrored surface I can still shoot the exact same picture total pet peeve of mine with the shoes when you're putting them together people who put them together like this put them together like that so they curve into each other just a little trick sometimes if I can shoot this with the seventy two, two hundred and two hundred, I will sometimes I'll shoot it with the eighty five one four at one for but just for fun we'll just keep shooting with the macro I'll just roll the macro down to f three nice dark background and let's see if I got my exposure right again take a look there we go it's the dark background khun sing and it's not just that we can move overto other things and we can even trick it up a little bit more to do something like this with something like flowers are production budget was off the charts for this. As you could tell, this is exactly what I wanted. I wanted to show you that it doesn't matter if what you have this fancy or not fancy even down to the details, you can still make something beautiful, so let's say for something like this I'm gonna reach down in my gear bag and find my friend eighty five my linds hood for this one is upstairs so nolan's hood on a lot of times like let's say I made a decision that I wanted my eighty five, but I had the macro on and I couldn't get ahold of the eighty five really easily I would just ask my assistant hey sandra, will you grab the eighty five for me? She'll roll our eyes at me and then she'll go get it kind of one of those do you know that you needed it is the very beginning? Why do I have to go get this sort of thing? So then I'll take a look at this we'll see if I like it, which I might not because honestly, this isn't very long that's a little full, maybe we'll just put this over here and we'll put this kind of out off the background a little bit we'll make it, we'll take the two pieces and make it look like it was longer. Now when you're shooting under a veil, you have to be really careful of the lines of the veil, especially like when you're shooting a bride but even shooting the details I don't want the veil to hit it too close to home because I need a little separation can I borrow you for just a second can you just come like, make sure you don't bought the light but just sort of hold it like up there do you mind? Thanks the reason you also have to make sure if she goes and stands over there if she puts her behind directly in front of the window she's gonna block the light so I've got this might bring out a little in front of me to give me a foreground gonna go one four under expose a bit understanding that it's going to freak out about my background realizing I might not have underexposed enough but let's see let's see what I've got I went at one four I focused on the rose that's the closest to me and there you go for that but you know what? This is almost perfect but I don't like the left hand side of the frame still this other suitcase and put it here just to block out the pillows like so because I have yet to find a client who will build me a light box of darkness in there getting ready room although that would be sweet so I'm gonna move this you shake like yeah yeah perfect so I want to move it so that there's not like a big crease right on top of the flowers right? Put my focal point directly on what I wanted on because remember you can't focus and recompose at one point four and fire aperture party about one stop underexposed now you're I go straight to the flowers because I put that other suitcase over there which darkens down my background and this could be anywhere I mean this we're in the corner of a creepy room in a creepy church which is really awesome and you can still make a beautiful thing as long as you have the light directed the way you want it too so you can see them side by side you can see that the one on the left when I when I'm looking at my own image is I'm looking at them like I'm judging a competition print of the own image I look at the one on the left and I'm like okay my I go straight to the flowers but then it kind of gets lost over in the left hand side which is also bright I'm gonna want to either darken that down in post or fix it when I shoot it which is why I put the other suitcase up there you can go yes yes thank you, ma'am how is everybody feeling to have any questions about the gear the focusing managing the light anything internet everyone still awake? I you know, I just looked at a comment that uh I think you're like the macgyver of wedding photography I would've tried to take you on any of it is just so much fun if anything I'm really, really, really fun um you know, I just I want to make something luxurious and beautiful for people, but people mistake that the location is what you need to make something beautiful and all I've got is I've got a window looking out on a parking lot that's actually kind of creepy um and it's raining seattle um yeah and this we still made this with like let's say you're your cover let is not dark enough, right? Maybe my assistant I almost always take sweaters with us two weddings because we never know if the ballrooms going raising even if it's the middle of the summer so I've got a black sweater, only a black sweater on the bed you know it'll give me a dark if it's a pure white thing and I want to darken it down, but if it's a pure white bed with pure white fellows, maybe I'll just shoot that I don't want something dark, but I want the clients to look at it and go whoa my bouquet was amazing and the bouquet that I just shot is it's plastic hydrangeas I think it's a napkin wrapped in a napkin and tied with a fake silk bow and it looks lovely at one point four your eye goes straight to that thing that's in focus and then you lose everything else and it becomes almost like a watercolor a beautiful graphic and I'm not saying what I want to be very, very, very clear about is that I'm not trying to trick anybody into thinking, you know, oh, well, these flowers are really terrible, so I'm going to trick you to make them think that they're fancy. I just want them to look beautiful and at one point for the bow becomes a beautiful, almost like, watercolor look with the veil poring over it, it's not about trying to make it something that it's not it's about trying to make it really pretty. So just to clarify that this is this is longer than you'd probably spend on these set up a direct on a real action shooting part of it, no, but I am not normally speaking at a very high volume to lots of people on the internet falling, doing it, and my clients don't care what my settings are, so I don't need to tell them, but usually everything that I've just done, I can do that about three minutes. Sure, okay, and it's, a manic rush of I would have set the mirror up and I would have shot it, and then I would have said, sandra, can you get this? And she would have grabbed it and moved it cleaned it up and given the ring back while I moved on to the next thing great I like I seriously I could have been done with all of this in three to ten minutes, depending on how much time I had, so if we're gonna dio kind of another trick because why not? Because I have time, I'd love to we're gonna bring back our mirror and I have thought about traveling with a mirror in the car, but once it reaches like I'm taking props, I need to stop myself, so we'll do the champagne trick, so we'll pour it and I always am very, very, very, very, very clear when I go grab champagne from the clients when I'm shooting these during the getting ready, I always say, guys, can I borrow some champagne for a picture? I don't ever want to grab it and walk off with it and have any of the brides and you you mean you laugh, but I don't want any of the bride's needs to be like she just took champagne like she's drinking on the job I do not ever drink on the job. Um, even if the clients are insistent, have a toast with us have a mimosa, I never say no, I always just laugh and say, well, do you want your pictures and focus and they're like, oh, we understand large bird sorry about that flew dangerously close to us that would be a first for creative live to be dive bombed by a huge bird and if I do if it does spill if it makes a mess we clean it up if I dumped the ring in champagne which I do sometimes um we always explained to the bride when we give it back if it smells a little like champagne we tried to clean it for you okay so what are we gonna shoot with this like the rings wouldn't really work because they're kind of low to the ground ah the rings will totally work why not? I like a challenge oh what about an apple big apple phenomenal if you look at my block post about creative live have one of my favorite ring shots has too glittery pears well this just might be really cute let's see maybe the shoes instead no going to the rain we'll see if we can make this work I'm gonna take a look and sometimes I might set something like this and really look at it and be like you know or I'm not getting the ring high enough if I don't have the ring high enough I'll put it on something else hang on a second it's not so setup is perfect the height of the ring is wrong get this feller laughing at me I can hear you you're practically gotta hear the internet rolling its eyes at me right now, okay but the problem is like I said before when you raise the bar on a certain type of shot on your client comes to expect it and you show up on the wedding day and I'm like I can't wait to see what you do with my rings I'm like I can't either I'm gonna turn it a little into the sun like yes oh okay here we go I don't like the stems were gonna flip it just profit there instead don't tell my clients that I've actually held their ring in place the little chewing gum before and I have some clients who are photographers who are watching so I don't know that I am not a drunk but that that's probably gonna overflow but I do take their champagne and then I put their rings on it okay one in the foreground one in the background let's take a look at what I've got going on hot back up to f nine possibly we're gonna see what our foreground background relationship is doing here it's actually might be pretty sweet so here we go oh this is sweet all right f eleven under exposed by about stop because I understand the my dark background is gonna freak it out please indulge me in one more poor of champagne you don't have champagne I highly recommend orange juice and water also sprite not half bad or if you just have a little champagne like, they're really drinking and you don't want to take it all champagne and sprite still bubbly and I'll have my assistant pour it right before I shoot it so that the bubbles air still going and let's see if we've got anything here says you're gonna look cool or it's gonna be a colossal failure. I'm banking on cool. There you go, champagne in the front, champagne in the back, it's really kind of hard to see it there against the dark background you can also, but I still really like it because it shows you what you can do foreground background with something as simple as that. Sometimes I will also get my own hair on my face, apparently let's see, uh, I want to dump half of this out, but I don't know where to put it. Can I hand it to you? Even you hit it back. Thank you. Naomi is lovely. I'm making her do everything for me. So as you can see, you look at the shoot through things in these foreground background things and they look so complicated, but they're not really, and if I were going to shoot this one more time, maybe I would actually choke up a little bit, little bit more, maybe than half because it's showing a lot of the apple but I kind of like that is showing a lot of the apple especially if the apple was in her room while she was getting ready beautiful my friend thank you it's very exciting being an audience member as you can tell so sometimes I'll say do you mind if I threw your ring in some champagne no good down it goes pretty sweet actually okay let me be clear that I would never use her tiara to fix it but I don't have anything else don't I hear you laughing don't laugh don't play with it way go ha ha ha ha sorry I need way more hobbies than this I think this should not be this like science experimenting here and again I don't normally get this amount of time or if I do get this amount of time it goes a lot faster because I'm not explaining everything I'm doing my dark background let's see if this is going to make a difference at all hold on one second, guys yep alright can I borrow you one more time? Brave soul and yes, I know I'm about to spill this all over the mirror so can you come over on this side and I'm gonna focus and then when I say go just dribble on poor oh right but like you can just pour it from this or you comport from that which ever makes you happy? So the reason why I'm going to focus and hold first is because when all the bubbles come rushing in it's gonna be really hard to focus on it, so I'm gonna get a focus on the ring under exposing because I know that my dark background is gonna throw it off. We've got to focus on it before she even starts pouring. I'm just going to take a test shot and see what it looks like. I'm going to see if my exposure is correct because they don't want to ruin all of their champagne. My exposure is lovely. How lovely do I want? Teo trying to see if I wanted to add any sort of lighting element in it, but I don't again, I'm making my already complicated set up even more complicated for absolutely no reason whatsoever, so I'm going to focus going to get ready. Let's, give me two seconds, guys macro focusing underwater is joyously fun on the count of three, one, two, three poor and usually for something like this, I'll snap off a couple in a row, but because we're shooting tethered, I only shot one, but there you go, cool yah, one window, a suitcase and naomi, thank you friends, so maybe I'll get to shoot all of these scenarios, maybe I'll shoot one of the start of the day and I'll borrow it again during cocktail hour and shoot another but actually pretty darn pleased with every single one of these and it was done with a window, a camera and a dream turning off the overhead lights, remembering the stick it about f eleven if you want everything in focus, two black suitcases and a mirror that I pulled off the wall any questions for the last couple of minutes? It seriously like doing a science experiment? Of course you typically I see a lot of your detail shots being vertical for some reason and I wonder if you have a preference we're not ready for you to try to like just just whatever I don't have a preference for a lot of times, it's black of space, like if I can create a little tiny and let that I can shoot in if I go horizontal, I lose it all for this it was just the impact of the vertical thing um but there's really no rhyme or reason it's just whichever I feel suits the photograph better. How does the internet feel about rain? Always begin a lot of questions about if you's back button focus you know what? I don't use back button focus and there is absolutely no reason why I don't it's a personal preference, I, um I've tried it but apparently because I'm getting old and set in my ways I don't like to change things I know a lot of shooters who back button focus and it works really well for them I've just gotten so accustomed to front button focusing or, you know, shutter focusing that that's just that's how I go about it just the way you roll it's the way our way other questions here where on the ring to focus on you follow the same rules like you would on the face just the area that's closest to you for the most part yeah, unless I'm gonna bust myself on that tether at some point in time usually it's because the prongs sticks out a little further even if the diamond sticks out further if I try to focus on the diamond it's gonna focus inside the diamond so if I realize that I'm focusing on a prawn but the diamond sticks out further all goto like f sixteen to compensate, but the problem is they're usually kind of where it's at yes, anybody let's see we have another question about the lenses I know you didn't yesterday and with the macro, of course, but do you change out to try other lenses as well? If people don't have a macro, if they have sort of, you know less expensive lens, you can't do this with the twenty four to seventy like it's, a very specialized it's macro photography. You can't make your eighty five look like a macro, you can shoot it and you can crop it that it's not quite the same if you don't have a macro and you want a macro, um a used macro, an ancient macro like it doesn't have to be the newest and brightest. You could probably spend a few hundred dollars and just get something. If you've only got a couple of weddings a year, maybe renting it is a better financial option for you. Maybe you have a friend, who's, a food photographer who doesn't use it on saturdays, and you borrow it. You know I don't go into debt to buy gear, but there's, nothing wrong with buying a really cheap, maybe off brand, maybe very, very used maybe it's only emmanuel. Focus until you have the funds to upgrade. Absolutely and says that we have about five minutes left before we wrap it. Was there anything else you want to do? Shooting wiser. Keep taking what you want. What? Well address. Okay, so in five minutes what I would do with something like this? The reason why I'm closing the shears if I close this year's, you can't see the lines in the window. Right, so can everybody help me clear the bed if we're gonna do this ultra fast and I'm gonna change my lens yeah, you can just grab all those and just hoist out of the way with them if we're shooting something like an invitation which all shoots you tomorrow on the reception table usually what happens? We get given the invitations at the beginning of the day I totally spaced on them and forget them and then we have to shoot them later during the reception I'm going to follow the exact same setup that I would to shoot all of these things except I'm going to make sure that I'm definitely at least f eleven so that I have all of the invitation and focus unless I'm just trying to focus on a name and then I'll go to like a four or three five way clear the veil so efficiently that I can no longer find it. So for something like this, we've got the dress in the window. The room isn't, you know it's not gorgeous it's not the client's fault it's just not if you're looking for something to make a phenomenal picture, this might not be your room pull this let's just turn it on, get it out of the way so the first thing I would do if I'm really pressed for time and I just got to shoot it and we gotta run I've got my twenty four to seventy at f four gonna focus on this and I'm just going to take a test shot on aperture priority to show you guys what it would look like if I didn't change my aperture priority settings at all so as not bad if you'll notice there's a lamp on the floor there's a chair right there you're not seeing it because everything is darkening down then from there what I would do is I want to raise it up about three quarters of a stop zoom in a little and crop out that top if you can see you can see that like they've hung the tension rod a little lower than the top, I'll come down so that you don't see that as much she that like such gives you a little bit better composition brightens up the frame just a little bit more if I want to start trying to get super creative on something like that which I will given the time why are you people so good at cleaning? Can I have one of those uh that one? Yes, so I don't step off camera thank you very much, you know, go back to the suitcase black side in not red side in bringing the pillows profit maybe to have somebody hold it do you mind just went there I do a lot with veils they'll help me out a lot and then just hold it right there like so I shall make myself a nest and I'll hold one side with my hand like so let's see what we've got we'll take a look haven't changed the settings one bit I actually bumped the settings and now it's too dark so let me lighten it up I didn't realize that I bumped it with my film and go ahead and bring it back up over exposed a little bit focus a little re composition which I can do it up for and done what we got there we go lovely that's actually that's pretty sweet you can put it down there me thank you very much, huh it's, not so bad. If the veil is really long, maybe I'll hang it over the dress and pull it out. But all we did here was basically made a veiled tent and hung it over my head. The reason why I did this the other shot is fine. The one that I did before it's fine with it, just hanging in the window but this one gives it an interesting graphic element and it allows me to use the veil is part of the image I also based on the way I exp bo's, which was over exposed in aperture priority by one whole stop it allows me to show the detail in the vale below, out the distracting window behind me. And then I have a natural vignette, because everything else is dark, thanks to my dark curtains and my suitcase and naomi and a number. And

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.


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.