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Strategies for Shooting in Difficult Situations

Lesson 9 of 18

Setting Up the Scene Scenario

Susan Stripling

Strategies for Shooting in Difficult Situations

Susan Stripling

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Lesson Info

9. Setting Up the Scene Scenario

Lesson Info

Setting Up the Scene Scenario

so shooting a reception room. Very pink reception room. No, this is not with my actual camera. This is with my phone. Yes, there's picks, elation and Warri, and it looks horrible. It's because it's with an IPhone. This'll is not a Nikon picture, but this is what the reception room looked like. And if you take a look at the center pieces on the tables and what the tables looked like, they were actually the tables were actually lit with pen spots. They had just been turned off for this picture because they were eating dinner and they didn't want to blind them with lights. But what can you do? You know, your shooting, these tables, you can see kind of how far apart they are, but you want a reception room to feel intimate. You want it to feel like all of your family and friends or near to you. The tables are close together. It's a cozy experience. Well, here we go. Settings are the same on both images. Nikon D three US back when my d three US was the thing. 72 202 100 at a 2/100 of a secon...

d now I broke my 4/ of a second rule. Why nobody's moving. I can handhold at a lower shutter speed as long as I don't have to worry about people wandering through the frame and getting motion blur because my shutter speed is too low. 35 I s 0 4500 after priority exposure, Compensation zero. Because I had a pretty well balanced, um, exposure. The scene was very well balanced. Nothing too crazy. Bright, Nothing too crazy. Dark didn't trick up my camera too much. I was able to trust it. But what this does at 200 millimeters is that beautiful, Linds? Compression, that sort of perspective shift where you feel like your background is closer together, these tables in these details and everything, it just feels cozy and it feels more intimate. So that's how using your focal link can actually change the way your picture feels, which I think is kind of cool. Same room for stands. Now we're talking about changing everything that I've done. 72 200 at 200. Uh, now we're in 80th of a second talk about that F 28 I s 0 1000 manual. When I'm on manual. I'm dialing it. Everything I know about using after priority Otto I eso is gone. I'm making all of my decisions myself. The reason why is because I'm using an off camera flash and I'm making all of the decisions for that thing to. You can see where the light is hitting her face. It's pretty easy to tell that my assistant is standing with the off camera flash on the other side of the groom from an angle, because the light is bypassing him and lighting her directly an 80th of a second. Why can I shoot an 80th of a second now? But I couldn't Oh my gosh, but I couldn't before. Well, the reason for that is because he's in flash because my flash is freezing my subjects. If I've got a bride and groom running through a field and I'm on aperture priority or so on and so forth and I'm shooting them an 80th of a second, will there be blurry because they're moving? But here I'm using an off camera flash. 1/4 power. It's freezing my subjects. Also, an 80th of a second is a slower shutter speed. What it's you see these candles up here? You see everything kind of coming in in the background. The slower shutter speed is allowing me to let in more ambient light. The ambient light is showing the warmth of the candles. It's showing the warmth of the room. If I'd shot this at, you know, a 2/100 of a second, she'd be lit and everything else would be dark. Not not pitch dark, but it would be much darker. The flash would be starker. The background would be darker. At an 80th of a second, you can let in more ambient light. So don't be afraid to play around with the power of your flash, the shutter speed that you're working at and your I s. So as all three of those things come together to get the right type of image, play around with it. Don't do that at a wedding, not play around with it at a wedding because you should never be experimenting on your client's dime. Set up a teddy bear in the middle of a room, make your kids sit down for a little while. Shoot your dog whatever you have to do to get there in my studio. We actually have a Styrofoam head. Her name is Belinda, and I use her test light. Why not have a question? You just looked all serious. Always. I'm just dazzled by your beautiful lighting backdrop Over there is a great stunning love. It, um we do have a couple of people asking what metering mode you're using Matrix matrix. But that said, I'm not really using it. It's selling matrix because it's what it said on I'm majoring in my head and again, I'm not saying that like Oh, I am super awesome. I am metering in my head. I've been doing this for years. If I can't meet her in my head at the end of 14 years, I've got a lot of problems, so I'll see it so well. I mean, I have a lot of problems, but metering isn't one of them. But I can look at a scene and I can say exposure compensation down two stops just because I've been doing this a lot. This is where the experience also comes in when you do it with anything that you do when you do it over and over and over again. you get better at doing it quickly. Bad analogy. Um, the more you shoot, the more you're going to be able to see. You know, my assistant now who is not a photographer. Sanders, not a photographer. And she can walk into a reception room right now and say, Oh, okay. Quarter power on the off camera flash. Right? And I'm like, Yeah, that's right, because she's been doing it so many times with me. She could look at the room. Should look at how big it is. How far is she going to be from the subject? And she could be like, OK, I get it, and she sets it. So the more you do it, and the more you practice if you're trying to take exposure readings off of faces or cheeks, try spot. Um, but try to not have to rely on it. And 10 go ahead. Yeah, actually leads into another question from four People want to know. Do you check your images on the back of your camera, or do you just know what exposure compensation to use? For the most part, I just know it's a reflex. I look at the back of my camera, but I'm not really looking at it like I'm just kind of like Click, but I'm not like staring at it. I just look at it cause it pops up and it's right there. But I don't test. I used to test all the time. There's nothing wrong with that at all. I just don't have to anymore because again, experience. But if you need to, if you need to take a test shot and look at it, there's no shame in that. Do it, however, have to get there and what we're talking about the flash MSM, Enza says. Do you stay at 1/4 power for you, Flash, or do you change it? Depending on the scene, it changes. Depending on the scene, we're gonna show you some formals where they were shot at full power, sometimes its eighth power. If the room is small, sometimes it's half power. If the room is a cavern, it really depends. What I don't do is like during the first dance. If I'm set on my flash power, we don't generally change it during the first dance, as the couple dances closer to my assistant and away from my assistant. All change either my shutter speed or my eyes or something comparable on my camera. Again. Same scene, same room off camera flash just gone. And now I'm working with on camera flash so you can see that they're lit. But the light isn't coming from a very specific angle. So when it comes time for party dancing like hard core, you know, breaking it down, dancing. I don't put up lights in the corners. I really don't work with my off camera flash all that often. It's mostly just on camera flash. So D three s 24 to 70 at 27 my arms hadn't gotten tired enough to sufficiently put that down yet. An 80th of a second again freezes my subjects with the flash, but still allows an ambient light. And it's not always an 80th of a second. Sometimes it's 1/ or 1/40 or 1/15 depending on the room. You have to find your sweet spot at four. Issued almost all of my dancing enough for I s 0 1000 and I use my own camera flash on auto. Um, it was a great tip that my husband gave me a few years back on the Nikon speed lights with the Nikon cameras. Auto for me provides a more consistent on camera flash result.

Class Description

Wedding photographers can’t wait for perfect conditions before they work – when the clock is ticking and people are waiting you have to shoot, even in less-than-ideal locations.

In Strategies for Shooting in Difficult Situations, Susan Stripling will show you how to troubleshoot common calamities like; a wedding party getting ready in a room with no light or family portraits slated to be shot in a terrible location. You’ll see how Susan has handled difficult shoots and crazy lighting challenges and get insights and inspiration for overcoming your own difficult situations.  

Ratings and Reviews

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user 1c7bd6

Wow! Fabulous course! Ditto with the above reviews! Thank you, Susan, for giving us such helpful information for shooting weddings in such challenging situations. You have such a brilliant and quick mind for making the magic happen! The camera settings by each photograph was so very helpful. Since I didn't write anything down I shall be in search of your books. Susan's class is a must for anyone considering a career in Wedding Photography. Thank you Suan and Creative Live!

Kat Penniman

As the description says: MAKE SOMETHING OUT OF NOTHING! Spot on! Thank you Susan for sharing what you know and helping me become a more creative photographer despite less-than-perfect scenarios. As photographers, oftentimes, we find ourselves placed in a position where we are expected to create beautiful photos in the midst of difficult situations like low light scenes or crappy background. Her explanations are very clear and she definitely knows her craft. She cares about her clients and she's determined to give them great pictures despite what's thrown at her. If you are a strobist or use flash in most of your work, this course is not for you. But if you a natural light photographer and sometimes struggles to take photos indoor where light source is very challenging, take this course! You won't regret it!

Jessica Lindsay-Sonkin

Susan is amazing. This class is a pile of case studies, with behind the scenes and camera settings, to help you find the light. There are parts that can be repetitive, but that is because Susan is passionate about helping photographers memorize this message and put it into practice. A worthwhile watch!