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

Lesson 5 from: Wedding Photographer Survival Kit

Susan Stripling

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

Lesson 5 from: Wedding Photographer Survival Kit

Susan Stripling

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Lesson Info

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


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

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

Artistic add ons. Prisons now, there are some photographers out there who tried to get you to buy prisons from their web site. A prison is less than twenty dollars, on amazon. My resource list shows you exactly where I have a couple of them. Everyone will always say, what are you doing with them? What is that? Why are you holding that up? That super weird? And the answer is, it totally is. You can move it around in front of your limbs to fragment the light it's, basically what it does, and you can move it around in front of your limbs to reflect your backgrounds. So if you are in it, you're in a situation where the space is really difficult or weird, or you're trying to minimize again. Ah, lot of what I'm doing when I'm trying to survive is reduce distracting backgrounds, minimize those distracting backgrounds. There's, a makeup artist where that window is, the window is only there because I used the prism to reflect the window. That was behind me, into the scene, right? I like it when...

I can look into the audience and I can see somebody whispered, that's, cool. The reflection of her face here comes from the prison when you're outside and the sun is doing it, son thing, you tell the prism around, and I'm literally talking. You just wave it around in front of our lens, you can sometimes catch a rainbow, additional items that I will use to minimize difficult backgrounds in situations that are difficult. That was a talker. Pull kraemer. I will shoot through things like putting one shoe in front of another shoe and shooting towards it. Beveled mirrors, right, those weird beveled mirrors where you shoot into the corner of the bevel, and suddenly there are multiple things. The veil. What better thing to block your lens and to reduce distracting backgrounds while still being very personal to the day? The bride's veil? It's. Awesome. Everyone should have one, centerpieces and 00:02:00.668 --> 00:02:04. candles. I'm shooting through the centerpiece to get 00:02:04.07 --> 00:02:05. at my subject here. 00:02:07.72 --> 00:02:11. Snow rain or missed now yes I am outside and it is 00:02:11.56 --> 00:02:14. snowing that is not photoshopped but I have also on 00:02:14.54 --> 00:02:16. occasion used a little mist bottle to spray the front 00:02:16.98 --> 00:02:17. of my lens 00:02:19.42 --> 00:02:20. because it looks cool 00:02:22.31 --> 00:02:24. there's literally no scientific reason why other than 00:02:24.62 --> 00:02:25. it kind of looks awesome 00:02:27.52 --> 00:02:31. branches and leaves shooting through foliage there's 00:02:31.32 --> 00:02:33. distracting stuff going on on the right there's distracting 00:02:33.59 --> 00:02:36. stuff going on on the left but I'm literally hanging 00:02:36.75 --> 00:02:40. out in a shrub shooting through the shrubbery you've 00:02:40.28 --> 00:02:44. done it don't look at me like that just to force your 00:02:44.39 --> 00:02:46. face to go you're the viewer's perspective to get 00:02:46.91 --> 00:02:49. let me start over again to force the viewer's perspective 00:02:49.9 --> 00:02:51. directly towards the bride space that's where that 00:02:51.67 --> 00:02:52. was headed 00:02:53.56 --> 00:02:56. the pet small linds if you really just want to spend 00:02:56.68 --> 00:02:59. money on a toy that is just awesome this thing ever 00:03:00.32 --> 00:03:04. the pets woolens what is it it is modeled after the 00:03:04.76 --> 00:03:07. lin's first invented in the eighteen hundreds by joseph 00:03:07.06 --> 00:03:10. pencil and if you go to my resource is page you can 00:03:10.46 --> 00:03:13. click on over to the lem og ra fi web site and read 00:03:13.27 --> 00:03:17. all about it and why it is cool give you in a very 00:03:17.07 --> 00:03:19. specific scientific terms a super swirly background 00:03:20.97 --> 00:03:23. and you control your background with aperture place 00:03:23.05 --> 00:03:26. that you literally drop in and out of the lens it's 00:03:26.29 --> 00:03:28. all manual it's super slow it's not too sharp but 00:03:28.38 --> 00:03:32. it's super fun it is incredibly incredibly incredibly 00:03:32.46 --> 00:03:33. fun to use 00:03:34.82 --> 00:03:37. you're not gonna want to use this if you need a fully 00:03:37.64 --> 00:03:41. sharp very formal portrait it's just not that type 00:03:41.21 --> 00:03:43. of lens it reminds me a little bit of a lens baby 00:03:44.41 --> 00:03:47. but it's really fun it's made out of brass it is bright 00:03:47.33 --> 00:03:49. gold people are gonna look at you like you're cool 00:03:49.62 --> 00:03:52. but it's just another fun thing to help you minimize 00:03:52.08 --> 00:03:53. a distracting background and when you're trying to 00:03:53.84 --> 00:03:58. survive in your background is crazy swirl it up so 00:03:58.52 --> 00:04:01. that's great gear is fun now let's shoot super hard 00:04:01.52 --> 00:04:03. stuff in super hard places let's take everything that 00:04:03.95 --> 00:04:06. I've talked about bringing with you and actually put 00:04:06.75 --> 00:04:09. it into practice do we have any questions at all either 00:04:09.89 --> 00:04:12. from you guys who are still smiling at me or from 00:04:12.73 --> 00:04:16. the internet about the things that I bring in my survival 00:04:16.12 --> 00:04:19. kit to a wedding what do you find his ah usable distance 00:04:19.8 --> 00:04:22. for your ice light that's actually an amazing question three feet three to four feet ish anything further back and it just starts defusing out too much I mean it is strong but it's not a spotlight so you've got to get pretty close anything where I'm going to need to step back and show more of the scene I'm probably going to default to a speed light because it can throw farther stronger power but you'll see I'm going to use it a lot and you'll be able to see the distance between subject in yeah and light because a lot of people in the chat rooms and the questions are saying we can't wait to see how you use the ice light so that is definitely help everyone but let's do some more questions and then we'll go to our first grader crushing yeah absolutely so from amy wallen reed and we had a lot of people that really loved all the different creative tools and at the end yeah I'm not sure if you use those in any of the videos but can you just talk a little bit again about the prism and how you're how you're using that use the president any of the videos but the prison is just it's a fun weird little tool and the only way you're really gonna be able to learn what it does is to actually use it I could stand here and wave it in front of a camera lens for you but literally the difference of two millimeters this way versus soumillon ears that way is going to change what's going on it will catch lightning or a fraught refracted into your lens it will reflect your backgrounds if you turn it the right way again it's like holding a water bottle in front of your limbs you've really got to go out and try it on your own but I feel like for twenty dollars on amazon um and I bought a couple of different ones the one that's on my resource page and for those of you who are just joining us the dynamic range dot com it's right there on the home page you can find it if that's the prism that I ended up picking and using the most it's also just it's fun to carry around a rainbow prison it just is so speaking of carrying stuff around folks want to know including politi how on earth do you carry all this gear around at a wedding season you should ask that because I have a resource page on the resource page it actually does show the two camera bags that I carry around on a wedding day think port I'm just taking the beginning of my sentence in the end of my trying to do the same time the think tank airport navigator is my camera bag of choice I stuff every single thing into two of those the end I will post later tonight on that page the bag that we carry our batteries around in and hopefully my assistant sandra is watching and she can e mail me that length so that I can put it up there but yeah it's the think tank airport navigator it is and I actually have one here with me so when we do a little live shooting later today I'll bring it out I'll show you what it looks like I have that and I also have think tanks. New bag that their marketing is like the camera bag for women um they actually spent a couple of years interviewing female photographers and saying hey listen if you wanted a camera bag that had a little fashion to it without looking like a girly camera bag what would you want and we gave them input we gave them input and they created this new bag and it's the lily deanne camera bag did you saw that yeah photo plus right was dragging it around with me I've started carrying that with me everywhere in the link to that is also on the resource page so we roll into a wedding with a nice light over one shoulder to think tank airport navigators uh a cooler bag of food because I'm weird about food um yeah I carry all of my friends a little sidebar I carry all of my food for a wedding day with me I do not have a hot meal in my contract I will never put a hot meal in my contract on defy get fed total junk that looks disgusting I know that I've got all of my food with me so she got another one got a got a couple more guests from liza yeah police s o this is from d j s ick susan how do you find the best place to shoot details or you're going to show us that in the video is a wonderful question and if you stick around I'm going to show like a great lead in great eso peyton davis said would using two pro photo be ones be overkill for a wedding no not at all actually and my husband does that a lot if you're looking for basically the absolute best in personne workshop to learn how to do that my husband's cliff mountain our cm boot camp dot com he does these live workshops for two and a half days in his studio in haddonfield new jersey and you spend one day shooting flash and so what he will do and he has very difficult scenarios and he knows he's gonna have to shoot family formals in a space that super tough he'll bring his to be ones and bring them in and set them up and use them I don't because they don't have the ones they were not there not in my equipment budget for this year but I really want one those things are they're amazing eyes anybody here have one amazing right pretty much yeah and I don't think it would be overkill I really don't cool and also I'm just jealous that you have all right so here's one that we've got people who are going over to that resource page and people want to know if you're going to show us how you used dental wax from the resource page for ring shots can you tell us a little and not because I did not bring it with me for that just basic dental wax. If you want to stand the rings up or prop them and there's someone's nodding yes, if you need to stand them up like let's say you've got a ring and you want to stand it up like that instead of sitting down, you want to stand up and shoot down on it, or guys rings mostly like grooms bands who try to stand them up and they fall down a little kick of dental wax on the bottom, we let it stand up, and it will also peel off without hurting the ring. Great it's, you can use museum wax putty I've used chewing gum. I don't recommend that, yes, you bring any kind of modifiers like soft boxes of reflectors or anything for your speed lights have a reflector in the car it's been hanging out in the car for a really long time modifiers for speed lights? Not really, just that rogue flash vendor andi, you'll see me. Actually, I'll put it on in one of the videos, you'll see how it works, but I don't bring a lot of extra stuff. I already have too many lenses. I don't have enough room for all that other stuff.

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