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Class Introduction

Lesson 1 from: Wedding Photographer Survival Kit

Susan Stripling

Class Introduction

Lesson 1 from: Wedding Photographer Survival Kit

Susan Stripling

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Lesson Info

1. Class Introduction


Class Trailer



Class Introduction


The Gear That Will Save You in Tough Situations


How Lenses Shape the Image and Help Tell Your Story


Light Modifiers for Your Survival Kit


Gear to Spice Up Bland Images: Prisms, Mist and More


Walkthrough of a Difficult Venue


Why Each Room Works and Why It Doesn't


Wedding Day Details in a Difficult Situation: Dress


Wedding Day Details in a Difficult Situation: Rings


Wedding Day Details in a Difficult Situation: Shoes


Photographing the Bride Getting Ready in Difficult Scenarios


Photographing the Bride Getting Ready in a Small, Cluttered Room


Photographing the Bride Getting Ready in a Dark Hallway


Photographing the Bride Getting Ready in a Doorway


Portraits of the Bride in a Small Room


Removing the Surrounding Space for a Bridal Portrait


Window Lit Bridal Portrait in a Tough Space


How to Shoot a Quick and Simple Bridal Portrait


Photographing Guys, Complaining Brides and "Helpful" Bridesmaids




Portraits of Bride and Groom: Ideal Situations


Portraits of Bride and Groom: When Things Go Wrong


Bride and Groom Portraits: What to Do If You're Indoors


Bride and Groom Portraits: How to Pose an Awkward Couple


Family Formals: How to Achieve Your Ideal Situations


Family Formals: When Things are Less Than Ideal


Family Formals in an Awful Space


Family Formals Recap and Questions


Photographing the Reception


Reception Q&A


What Can You Do to Safeguard Your Business?


Contracts Q&A


Dealing with Social Media as a Wedding Photographer


What if Advertising Isn't Working?


What to do When Everyone Just Wants More


When Everyone Says I Am Too Expensive


When You Hate Your Job as a Wedding Photographer


Lesson Info

Class Introduction

Hello and welcome to creative live I'm kanna costume and your host for wedding photographer survival kit with susan stripling now susan has been photographing weddings all throughout the u s and global really for fifteen years her amazing images have been published in numerous editorial magazines and she is known as a master educator in fact this is her tenth class here on crete alive this wedding photographer survival kit actually built upon susan's fundamental boot camp which was thirty days of wedding photography this class is for any wedding photographer who encounters real time shooting scenarios that wants to be equipped with a survival kit which is pretty much anyone so susan let's start by having you tell us about some of the most challenging scenarios that you faces a wedding photographer and how you're going to fix those for the rest of us s o we're going to do the most challenging scenarios I've ever been this is only a two day class like there's really only so much time for...

that but I mean it's really it's everything from the getting ready room is too small to the timeline goes bad too it's raining too there is no son teo all of the bride's maids have looked at pinteresque too much to the moms don't understand what you're doing and it just on and on and on and there's sort of a misconception that because I live and work in new york everything is fancy but anyone who's ever shot a wedding in new york knows the venue's air small the hotel rooms air small everything is really dark and anything that you're going to do portrait wise out on the streets you have all new yorkers and every tourist to contend with so they're actually some of the most difficult conditions I've ever shot in so if you're thinking of moving to new york just stay where you are you're good I but I realized after I taught the thirty days of wedding photography that I touched on my ideal way of liking to do things right like when the bride gets ready this is the light I like to put her in and this is the way I like to pose things for family formals but what happens when you learn all of those things and you know how to handle all of those scenarios and you walk in and there is no light for the getting ready or there's no window or there's literally no room for her to get ready in what do you do and although I have been doing this for fifteen years I do still have parts of the day where my brain just shuts down because the situation in front of you is so incomprehensibly difficult that you just want to throw your camera down and say what do you think I am a magician and go home which you know as you all know that's probably really not a good idea if you want to continue having a business so I figured out from living in florida and shooting during hurricanes to these teeny tiny new york venues to timelines that get completely blown up despite all best intentions and that's kind of the key to all of this is none of these things go wrong because your clients hate you and none of these things go wrong because you're a bad photographer it's just life things happen the wedding that I shot this past weekend when the bride got ready we looked at our watches and realized we were forty five minutes behind why I don't know she went to the bathroom and then her mom had a question and then the guys didn't know how to tie their bow ties as they dio and the next thing you know just time has just gone the five minutes you spend talking to your florist when they drop off your flowers your coordinator has a question for you time has just gone so the overarching thing theme of all of this is things will go wrong despite everyone's best intentions and everyone's kind hearts so yeah so what we're going to learn today basically to get started um who am I and why am I talking about this? I think I've already told you because I've been doing this for fifteen years and because I've seen how it can go well and how it can go very not well 00:04:00.74 --> 00:04:03. somewhere in the last couple of years I stopped being 00:04:03.23 --> 00:04:06. personally bothered by the things that went wrong 00:04:06.23 --> 00:04:08. at a wedding I used to get very upset 00:04:09.57 --> 00:04:12. I used to get frantic my heart would start pounding 00:04:12.28 --> 00:04:15. I would get really overly emotional and now I've learned 00:04:15.86 --> 00:04:19. how to sort of stay calm get it all done and hopefully 00:04:19.2 --> 00:04:21. by the end of these two days you will know how to 00:04:21.76 --> 00:04:24. do that as well why am I trying to scare you? I am 00:04:24.26 --> 00:04:27. not here trying to scare you if anybody out there 00:04:27.15 --> 00:04:28. who is watching and they're thinking oh, I thought 00:04:28.8 --> 00:04:30. I was going to be a wedding photographer and it sounded 00:04:30.72 --> 00:04:33. super fun but I'm gonna turn off my computer now and 00:04:33.58 --> 00:04:36. go do something else don't do that no matter what 00:04:36.45 --> 00:04:38. you do for a living no matter what your chosen job 00:04:38.79 --> 00:04:40. is they're going to be things you love about it and 00:04:40.94 --> 00:04:42. things you hate about it and there are going to be 00:04:42.63 --> 00:04:46. things that are disastrous and you're just going to 00:04:46.47 --> 00:04:50. have to learn how to handle them and I'm not trying 00:04:50.31 --> 00:04:53. to scare you if anything I'm trying to equip you and 00:04:54.0 --> 00:04:56. when I was pitching this class too creative live I 00:04:56.09 --> 00:05:01. likened it to doomsday preppers I just quickly here 00:05:01.95 --> 00:05:04. you know the crazy people who have the entire fully 00:05:04.36 --> 00:05:06. stocked basement in case of the zombie apocalypse, 00:05:07.16 --> 00:05:10. you kind of have to be that person because when things 00:05:10.25 --> 00:05:13. go wrong as they will you have to be able to go to 00:05:13.68 --> 00:05:15. your basement and get your supplies I realize I'm 00:05:15.84 --> 00:05:19. taking this metaphor a little far but it's a lot of 00:05:19.08 --> 00:05:22. it is about pre preparation and then the other part 00:05:22.74 --> 00:05:24. of it is about being able to think quickly and on 00:05:24.66 --> 00:05:27. your feet when you are presented with a situation 00:05:27.4 --> 00:05:29. that you didn't see coming so I'm not trying to scare 00:05:29.72 --> 00:05:31. you don't think that I'm here trying to frighten you 00:05:32.24 --> 00:05:35. we're just we're all in our basements prepping together 00:05:35.94 --> 00:05:38. and I'm not trying to scare you I'm being realistic 00:05:38.19 --> 00:05:40. things they're goingto happen that are way beyond 00:05:40.85 --> 00:05:43. your control the wedding day is bigger than you you 00:05:43.78 --> 00:05:47. are the tiniest little cog in this huge three part 00:05:47.83 --> 00:05:51. theatrical production and no matter how much you prepare 00:05:51.37 --> 00:05:53. these things are going to happen ah lot and weddings 00:05:53.82 --> 00:05:56. or uncontrollable events how many times have you had 00:05:56.53 --> 00:05:59. a client tell you I'm totally going to be on time 00:05:59.15 --> 00:06:02. we're totally type a I am completely organized well 00:06:02.62 --> 00:06:05. you might be but what about your twelve bridesmaids 00:06:05.75 --> 00:06:08. and your mom and his mom and the venue coordinator 00:06:08.92 --> 00:06:11. and the weather and the guy that drives limo like 00:06:11.89 --> 00:06:15. there's so many things that go into making the day 00:06:15.36 --> 00:06:18. happen that you can't control that many people all 00:06:18.83 --> 00:06:20. at once so what we're going to talk about over the 00:06:20.92 --> 00:06:23. next two days? First of all, we're going to do an 00:06:23.09 --> 00:06:25. overview of the gear that is going to help you in 00:06:25.46 --> 00:06:27. these difficult situations and for any of you who 00:06:27.84 --> 00:06:30. have heard me teach anyone who is sat with me for 00:06:30.59 --> 00:06:33. thirty days of wedding photography, which is a lot 00:06:33.03 --> 00:06:35. of days of wedding photography you know that I spent 00:06:35.38 --> 00:06:38. a long time talking about gear and equipment and what 00:06:38.35 --> 00:06:41. I bring to weddings, but when you're looking at weddings 00:06:41.53 --> 00:06:45. from sort of a survival viewpoint, the gear that I'm 00:06:45.01 --> 00:06:48. picking in each scenario is to help me out of a difficult 00:06:48.13 --> 00:06:51. situation and that's a different mindset so we're 00:06:51.1 --> 00:06:53. going to go through the lenses that I have the lighting 00:06:53.81 --> 00:06:56. modifiers that I bring the additional special little 00:06:56.4 --> 00:06:59. things that I have with me specifically to help me 00:06:59.17 --> 00:07:01. out when the going gets tough you guys are all smiling 00:07:01.99 --> 00:07:05. at me no one is asleep yet this is great we're going 00:07:05.2 --> 00:07:08. to talk about managing expectations, which is one 00:07:08.57 --> 00:07:11. of the most important things that you can d'oh we're 00:07:11.69 --> 00:07:13. going to then start photographing, you're going to 00:07:13.75 --> 00:07:14. get to see 00:07:16.53 --> 00:07:19. a really difficult then you I came out here a couple 00:07:19.23 --> 00:07:22. of weeks ago and we pre filmed me shooting for any 00:07:22.48 --> 00:07:24. of you who have followed creative live on periscope 00:07:24.54 --> 00:07:27. or me on periscope and been watching these behind 00:07:27.62 --> 00:07:30. the scenes things you know, they found me a really 00:07:30.33 --> 00:07:33. cool looking venue that is basically a photographer's 00:07:33.21 --> 00:07:36. nightmare, so you're going to get to see how I walked 00:07:36.67 --> 00:07:39. through how I found spaces to shoot what I was able 00:07:39.33 --> 00:07:41. to do in those spaces were going to start that off 00:07:41.75 --> 00:07:44. by photographing details then we're going to photograph 00:07:44.94 --> 00:07:50. the bridal prep in a room with no windows and it was 00:07:50.02 --> 00:07:54. not good we're going we're not going to talk about 00:07:54.23 --> 00:07:56. and that's why this is in here we're not really going 00:07:56.19 --> 00:07:59. to talk about photographing the ceremony because I 00:07:59.92 --> 00:08:02. wanted to just give kind of an opener about that because 00:08:02.74 --> 00:08:04. I know it we step through the day people are going to say but what about the ceremony you have no control over the ceremony none I can't say stand here I can't say move your hope over there I can't say I don't want to do it inside cammy to it outside you have no control over what happens during the ceremony so we're going to talk in these two days about the things that you do have control over and I'm not throwing my hands up and saying I photographing the ceremony dude you're on your own but there are only so many things you can do to control that situation we are however going to talk about photographing the bride by herself and photographing the bridegroom and also photographing come on little remove the reception which tough then we're going to close this out with business and marketing problems so for those of you who are watching at home for those of you here in the studio audience. I want to hear your horror stories. What has gone wrong for you in business? What, despite all of your best efforts, has totally tanked, or a client pushed back on, or someone lost their mind on, or you set something up, and it didn't go the way you thought it would. We're going to talk about horror stories. We're going to talk about those curveballs that get thrown in your direction, and we're going to help you solve those problems, and hopefully not have them happen again.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Wedding Photographer Survival Kit Slides

Ratings and Reviews


I found this course extremely helpful. I own Susan's 30 day bootcamp class and I think that this course is a great supplement to that course. I don't work with an assistant so it was very helpful to see how she would approach a scenario without an assistant. It was also great to see her point of view and thought process when scouting locations for portraits and witness her ability to make something beautiful out of "not so pretty" or difficult locations. It helped me to take a better approach to finding the light, and really paying attention to all of the different details throughout a room. Her business tips were awesome too. I could go on and on but maybe you should just get the course. It's worth it.


Good and useful course as typical of Susan Stripling; I also own Creative Wedding Photography. However, all the class materials should reside on the Creative Live website -- not just the Power Point presentation. I understand Susan's desire to drive people to her website to increase visibility and sales of her own products, but the strategy isn't very customer-centric for CreativeLive customers. People shouldn't have to "google" the name of her company to find the information that she references in this course; and then once on the website scroll through outdated or unwanted information to find, as she states at her website, "Below is the list of gear (as promised) that I've mentioned on Creative Live." If people are smart enough to find CreativeLive, they'll be smart enough to find on the web any presenter that they like or want to know more about. The folks at CreativeLive ought to address this type of behavior before it sets a bad precedent for future presenters.


I love Susan. She will give it to you straight! I own her "30 days" class and it's amazing but one thing I took away from this course was when she said something along the lines of, "Those photographers who tell you they hand pick their clients are lying to you!" Haha. There are TOO MANY young and arrogant wedding photographers who think they are rock stars. They really get me down. And that's why I like Susan. She's honest.

Student Work