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Strategies for Shooting in Difficult Situations

Lesson 4 of 18

The Importance of the Moments

Susan Stripling

Strategies for Shooting in Difficult Situations

Susan Stripling

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Lesson Info

4. The Importance of the Moments

Lesson Info

The Importance of the Moments

And the important things again just to recap very briefly find your light source first find a good background choose your composition decide what gear you want to bring to the table I think you need an actual moment and this to me is what makes a good a great photograph separate from a good photograph is when you do all of these things you're set up in the right location with the right light the right gear the right everything and then your client's give you that intangible something and the moment is the difficult thing you can't fake a moment you can't re create a moment it has to be given to you by the clients so if I look at all of the pictures that I make in a year and we're talking thousands upon thousands because if you consider that I do fifty weddings a year that's a lot of pictures taken my hope for the end of the year is that I can walk away with three pictures that I love and I'm not talking about I'm giving tens and hundreds of thousands of images to clients they're terrib...

le but those images that really just punched you in the heart as the maker and that's when all of my technical skill is married with something that a client lets me witness and they have to let you in they have to feel comfortable with you you have to have established trust so that they can let down the regard in front of you and then when these moments happen that's when sort of to me the magic of wedding photography happens so right linds right settings right composition, great moment great moment when the wind sweeps her hair and exactly the direction that I wanted to go to usually save moments to the end because I shamelessly to manipulate people into crying in the last five minutes but I'm just going to get you with it now composition helps make that moment more powerful in the final viewing of the photograph you know I see everything technical that goes into making a picture like this and a picture like this but if the bride hadn't let her face go and let herself almost ugly cry when she hears him coming down the hall this fisher wouldn't look like that and so it's combining everything together and getting these moments and I'm excited about them and this is kind of what keeps me going this is what makes me take these difficult scenes and try to make them something amazing is because I feel like if my clients are going to trust me and they're going to give me these moments to photograph, I need to respect them the best way that I possibly can with the best technical skill that I possibly can and when I'm talking about doing these things and making these pictures it's not about being clever and it's not about being just weird to be weird you know the reason why I shot this like this is for compositional reasons for storytelling reasons it's not about how many different prisms and things and light modifiers and pixel sticks can I shoot through to make like the coolest strangest image possible it's about telling a story for me and yes there is a lot of photography that is wildly creative but I'm not shooting for myself on a wedding damn shooting for my clients and I'm trying to tell a story so I feel like a lot of times as creatives we get stuck in how creative can I be and sometimes the most important thing that you can do is keep it very simple just keep it easy it's about the story that you're trying to tell and yeah your gear does matter you know it doesn't matter that your camera can handle the isos you need to push it too and it does matter there's a difference between eighty five one eight eighty five one four you know you have to take care of your gear you can't take these pictures if you have busted down garret even throwing around your gear bag and the craft matters and this is sort of you know a lot of my friends my husband who's also a wedding photographer my friends we all are constantly talking about the state of the industry and where is it going and who's new and coming and you know is the craft kind of becoming lost in the era of instagrams and iphone pictures and everybody's got an ipad and everyone's a photographer I feel like it's it's not being devalued I feel like actually the craft of photography good photography is being elevated because if you've got so much mess down here the stuff that is really art is going to continue shining it's the middle market that's difficult but that's another weepy sad story for another day but if you ever think there's a shortcut to this I could I could buy a software for this that will let me do that you know why if you can by alien skin and make your backgrounds blurry why would you buy an eighty five one four don't rely on your post processing don't rely on trickery and the most important thing is don't look for shortcuts I've been doing this for fourteen years and I still feel like I have a long way to go so if you are a new if you are in your first couple of years of business and you're feeling like I'm never going to get there you'll get there don't try to go around and find a shortcut to getting there just put your head down, do the work and you'll get there so when we get into these case studies and to take some quick questions before we d'oh these were the things we're going to talk about. What lends air you using and why what shutter speed are you choosing and why? Because the shutter speed you choose actually changes the look of your image changes the look of this story that you're telling what f stop and why flash or natural light and why and what are you trying to say when you put all of these things together and you compose your image and you said it what are you trying to say now as I've mentioned before I do of these books for sale they're nineteen dollars each you don't have to write down the ex if data you'll get to see the ex if data on every single image that I shoot but if you're trying to remember and you're trying to write it down if you purchase vote a week if you pick up the book you can put the two of them side by side and you can get to where you need to go I know that when I watch courses on I'm writing notes and writing notes I'm both not really paying attention to the course and then I'm ending up with a page of notes that I don't understand when I read them later because it doesn't make sense so that's why I put the books out and I just hope you like him so a couple more quick things before he really delve in there am I making art here? Sometimes sometimes I'm just making the best of a really difficult situation sometimes I am doing the best I can in the situation that I am given and hope that the clients later don't see the difficulties that we encountered on the wedding day. I'm trying to find something that no other photographer could or would think to look for because that's going to set me apart from everyone else and hopefully make more clients hire me and I'm creating a diverse body of work for the clients. Not for me, this is not about me, I'm sort of a weird wedding photographer and that I don't really fancy myself a passionate photographer. I'm a good business person that is also a good photographer, and those two things go together. I don't carry a camera with me everywhere I go. I don't too personal projects for fun. I don't feel that burning love for photography that a lot of photographers do that's. Not to say that I don't like my job, respect my clients and respect my craft. The work that I do is for my clients I'm not the photographer that's going to be well I have to interview all of my clients to make sure that they had here to my vision because it is my vision on their wedding day that's not me I'm here for you so before we start talking about how does this apply to real weddings any questions so far about and please as many as you need because I'm sure there were there will be maura's we delve into it but I want to make sure people have the foundation of their questions answered before we keep going if there's anyone here that does go ahead and just kind of stick your finger up and we will get you your smiling at me it's like I have a question from a couple folks online would macro filters produce results comparable to a macro lens however you have to get there honestly I I don't think they're as good but I think that it's a much better alternative than maxing out your credit card to violins that you're not really ready for it's also a great foray into macro photography it will give you kind of a taste for it so yeah why not go for it great uh leah's all and four others how far do you raise your isos and are there specific lenses that are better to use is to get when you're using a high I sa um not so much lenses with high I s o is those to me they don't really correlate together my camera will go super crazy massive high with the so I try to keep it at ten thousand or lower I will go to twelve eight if this situation is super super super difficult I'm like if the church is just literally pitch dark I'll go to twelve eight I don't go much above that but when I do get to hire esos really anything eight thousand or higher you have to make sure that you nail your composition and you really really, really nail your exposure because if you're under exposed by two stops and you have to push it up and I s o twelve eight you're going kind of make a mess out of your file so just be careful when you get up there and yes, sometimes I'll pick the eighty five one for so that I can shoot it at one four and keep my I s o down but that's usually not really my train of thought I'm going to choose the linens and the aperture that I need to get to the picture that I need to make and the iso is my last concern if I start seeing that the issue is a problem, I'll fix it but and I don't mean to sound like a commercial for the d seven fifty it just really is so good that I don't worry about it too too too much I don't let it go crazy I don't max it out it you know I s o eleventy billion or whatever but I will let you get up to ten without worrying about it too hard yeah of course it does depend on the camera so it does it does fantastic I think we've got a great question here that kind of leads into everything and is big overall way have mary anesthesia who says I struggle with creativity during speeches? I find that after a few weddings my images start to blur together and look the same how do you mean maintain creativity in a situation where you feel that you have to stay in a certain spot to both be inconspicuous to the guests and be ready for reactions and moments and I'll extend that to kind of say do you feel the need because this is about being creative to solve problems and figure out how to deal with that situations do you feel the need to be creative for its own sake or is this something that you just are you comfortable getting the same shots for each client? Is it something you feel the need to reinvent yourself? Constable? I don't and that's the thing is do most of my toast and speeches images look the same they do I shoot the same lighting pattern. I don't try to do anything crazy or different there's something to be said about consistency I don't want to reinvent the wheel every time I go out yes am I going to look and see is there a better angle that maybe I could you know now that I've got the safe stuff could I try something a little different but you also have to remember that your clients hired you for what you do you need to deliver to them consistency and then above and beyond that I'm not spending all day every day at every single wedding thinking how can I make this more creative how can I make this more creative it's making a beautiful body of work but the creativity sometimes comes out of just the ability to handle things technically but there are certain parts of the day where you just can't be that creative a church ceremony just document you know do the best you can maybe you find a good angle maybe you find a nice vantage point and that helps but as faras trying to maximize creativity at every single point in the day there's just not always the opportunity to do that and that's not a bad thing it doesn't mean that you're any less of a photographer or that you're trying not as hard for those clients as you are for others it's just don't feel like you have to invent the wheel every single time you're fine uh don't you have to crop when wanting to get a certain print size or do you only offer the size your camera can put out then how do you find the correct size for a frame so when you're shooting are you thinking about the final product you know as faras layout so you shooting for different sizes or are you just shooting what you can in the situation yes and yes and no and sometimes it never when I'm shooting family formals I'm always careful to leave enough room around the edges that they could crop to whatever that they could do in eight by ten crawford I'm going to be fine as faras cropping for albums everything is so freeform with albums now anyhow you can crop to any sort of random weird size I don't necessarily think about cropping for something like a picture of a ring or a picture of the first dance I don't get super super tight in and everyone's now all have somebody want to order a portrait that was composed very specifically for a very tight crop and they're like oh we want to get eight by ten out of it but we don't want it cropped but that happens so rarely throughout the year for important things like basically family formals a full length of the bridegroom where they're smiling directly at the camera that sort of thing I'm goingto leave room because I know that's the stuff they're generally gonna print out like an eight by ten but otherwise I don't think about it that much.

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.  


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!