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Photographing Guys, Complaining Brides and "Helpful" Bridesmaids

Lesson 19 from: Wedding Photographer Survival Kit

Susan Stripling

Photographing Guys, Complaining Brides and "Helpful" Bridesmaids

Lesson 19 from: Wedding Photographer Survival Kit

Susan Stripling

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Lesson Info

19. Photographing Guys, Complaining Brides and "Helpful" Bridesmaids


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

Photographing Guys, Complaining Brides and "Helpful" Bridesmaids

When you do have the bride sitting down it's the first time she's looking at you and it's the first time she's really connecting with you on the wedding day you have to understand that lovely woman that just sat down over here is a model that's what she does she has been a dream to work with she is wonderful in front of the camera but most people are not models and most people are very afraid to look in the camera lens for the first time. How many times have you had a client come in and be like oh but I'm really not photogenic or oh we take really terrible pictures and I'm thinking, well, how many times have you been photographed professionally because I promise you I can help you with that but they have their own fears in their own insecurities about being in front of the camera so I have to banter with them a little bit back and forth when they're sitting in front of me because it's a very vulnerable place first of all she's looking into my camera lens for the first time second of al...

l she's sitting literally physically below me like I am I could not be more intimidating at that moment I am looming over her head, so I chat with her a little bit. I talked to her about the day if the day has been kind of hectic and she's sitting down in front of me for the first time I'm like okay, I'm gonna give you like a couple of minutes of a breather I know it's been kind of nuts and they're usually like yeah you're right it's been kind of crazy so I do my best to kind of this is the first time that we're really chatting one on one to each other on the day if it turns out that they're just very nervous they're very shy about looking at me I will have them I'll tell them to just try to look straight through the linens at me and then I'll just talk to them and I'll let them talk to me and in instances like that I might have to take a few more pictures than normal but sometimes I will literally click the camera shutter not because I'm trying to take a picture of her but because I'm trying to get her used to me in front of her so I will be fine blowing the first two dozen pictures not even trying but just like being over her and being like all right so how are you feeling click I don't care without looks like oh, I'm really nervous and I'm like a wife service you look beautiful 00:01:59.269 --> 00:02:01. click I'm here without looks like I'm just getting 00:02:01.67 --> 00:02:04. word to be used to the feeling of being photographed 00:02:04.73 --> 00:02:07. then when I feel her calm down a little bit then I'll 00:02:07.37 --> 00:02:10. say not look just lino look at me really quick click 00:02:10.92 --> 00:02:13. a photographer that I know from florida paul johnson 00:02:13.54 --> 00:02:15. he photographed my family one time and he did a really 00:02:15.77 --> 00:02:18. great thing where he was like you know talk to me 00:02:18.55 --> 00:02:20. look around look at everything else and every once 00:02:20.56 --> 00:02:22. in a while just make eye contact with me and then 00:02:22.82 --> 00:02:25. look away and look at whatever you want so if a bride 00:02:25.36 --> 00:02:27. is super super twitchy infront of may I'll be like 00:02:27.28 --> 00:02:28. you know what every once in a while just look up at 00:02:28.87 --> 00:02:31. me and then you can look at your hands or the ground 00:02:31.71 --> 00:02:34. or my knees or whatever you want and then just look 00:02:34.75 --> 00:02:37. up at me the whole while while I'm talking to her 00:02:37.72 --> 00:02:39. and all I'm waiting for is that half second when she 00:02:39.72 --> 00:02:41. actually looks at me and that half second when she 00:02:41.54 --> 00:02:44. actually looks at me and if she's super crazy crazy 00:02:44.6 --> 00:02:46. crazy nervous I'll start off with her not looking 00:02:46.51 --> 00:02:49. at me at all I'll put her in the exact same position 00:02:49.16 --> 00:02:52. I'll say you know what your eyes look amazing I'm 00:02:52.08 --> 00:02:54. just gonna have to close your eyes and drop your chin 00:02:54.05 --> 00:02:55. down a little bit and I'm gonna get a really great 00:02:55.8 --> 00:02:58. shot of your eye makeup for you then she doesn't have 00:02:58.78 --> 00:03:00. to look at me at all and she can close her eyes and 00:03:00.85 --> 00:03:04. that's kind of a good gateway pose into the hole I 00:03:04.29 --> 00:03:07. want you to look directly at me and if I can really 00:03:07.16 --> 00:03:10. sense of this does not make her comfortable at all 00:03:10.27 --> 00:03:12. I'll just get one or two safe shots and then I'll 00:03:12.1 --> 00:03:14. get her off the ground and I'll move on because not 00:03:14.37 --> 00:03:16. everybody wants to sit on the ground it's not everyone's 00:03:16.9 --> 00:03:20. cup of tea and maybe she's nervous maybe she's stressed 00:03:20.79 --> 00:03:22. maybe it's before the ceremony and she's thinking 00:03:22.37 --> 00:03:24. about the ceremony and she wants to get going there's 00:03:24.77 --> 00:03:26. a million things that could be going through her head 00:03:27.32 --> 00:03:30. right then so you talk about what we just shot eighty 00:03:30.73 --> 00:03:34. five one four out one for ideally a window light but 00:03:34.49 --> 00:03:36. if there isn't one you can make one 00:03:37.82 --> 00:03:40. what do you do for a background? So we back up a couple 00:03:40.66 --> 00:03:43. of slides we were going to shoot we shot it was awesome 00:03:43.17 --> 00:03:43. she did great 00:03:45.32 --> 00:03:49. real world application for this now I'll talk about 00:03:49.39 --> 00:03:52. shooting guys for a second I am a little bit above 00:03:52.43 --> 00:03:56. him here I have the light coming from the same direction 00:03:56.2 --> 00:03:57. that the light was coming from in those portrait, 00:03:58.42 --> 00:04:02. but I'm not that high above him generally when I'm 00:04:02.19 --> 00:04:05. shooting guys, I like to shoot at a slight angle or 00:04:05.26 --> 00:04:08. straight onto them because it can be very emasculating 00:04:08.17 --> 00:04:11. to get up above them and shoot down it doesn't it 00:04:11.49 --> 00:04:14. doesn't look good it's a very feminine pose, so I 00:04:14.26 --> 00:04:16. don't I'm never gonna have a guy sit on the ground 00:04:16.17 --> 00:04:18. and shoot him in the same way it just doesn't translate 00:04:18.66 --> 00:04:22. correctly. So in this instance, he's, just sitting 00:04:22.19 --> 00:04:25. he's, sitting in front of its foliage, we were outside. 00:04:25.24 --> 00:04:28. I just had him sit down on a chair, like if this were 00:04:29.34 --> 00:04:31. actually pretty close to what he was sitting on. I 00:04:31.74 --> 00:04:32. just had him sit down 00:04:34.07 --> 00:04:37. and just lean towards me, and I just shot. I was standing 00:04:37.13 --> 00:04:38. straight up in front of him and just shot down on 00:04:38.9 --> 00:04:41. him. I would never have him sit down on the ground 00:04:41.51 --> 00:04:44. and stand up above him and shoot down. It just doesn't 00:04:44.84 --> 00:04:46. just doesn't look right on dudes at all, 00:04:48.04 --> 00:04:49. but for brides. 00:04:51.34 --> 00:04:52. Come on, it looks great. 00:04:54.04 --> 00:04:56. So, as I was saying, if she's not one hundred percent 00:04:56.93 --> 00:05:00. completely comfortable staring straight at me, I'll 00:05:00.08 --> 00:05:03. start off by having her look away, look down, 00:05:04.84 --> 00:05:07. and then I'll have her look at me, she's, so pretty 00:05:08.54 --> 00:05:11. she's, so nice she's, a kid's photographer in california. 00:05:11.44 --> 00:05:12. And she is awesome. 00:05:14.74 --> 00:05:18. What if you on ly have five minutes to shoot? Ah, 00:05:18.0 --> 00:05:19. well, if you only have five minutes, all you could 00:05:19.59 --> 00:05:22. do is all you, khun dio. If I've only got five minutes, 00:05:22.05 --> 00:05:24. I'm not gonna go running, grab extra lights, or ask 00:05:24.33 --> 00:05:27. her to walk too far away. I'm going to do what I can, 00:05:27.38 --> 00:05:30. nice and safe, right in front of a window right there 00:05:30.09 --> 00:05:33. on the ground, one nice, clean head shot and go. 00:05:34.44 --> 00:05:36. What if everything is running late in the brightest, 00:05:36.13 --> 00:05:38. stressed and won't relax, I'm going to scrap it and 00:05:38.04 --> 00:05:40. move on, that's, not saying I'm not going to take 00:05:40.62 --> 00:05:42. a portrait of her. I'm just not going to take a portrait 00:05:42.89 --> 00:05:44. of her right now. 00:05:46.74 --> 00:05:49. If we're running late if we have less than five minutes 00:05:49.28 --> 00:05:52. before she needs to leave for the church that's probably 00:05:52.25 --> 00:05:55. not the moment for me I would rather get her later 00:05:55.98 --> 00:05:57. during portrait's of the bride and groom together 00:05:57.84 --> 00:06:00. and get a few minutes of her by herself then photograph 00:06:00.91 --> 00:06:03. a bride looking so super nervous sitting on the ground 00:06:03.08 --> 00:06:05. being kind of twitchy I don't feel like that's very 00:06:05.52 --> 00:06:09. nice she's not going to be her best self and it's 00:06:09.45 --> 00:06:11. just not the time or the place so I'm gonna let it 00:06:11.27 --> 00:06:14. go and circle back to it later what if the bride is 00:06:14.25 --> 00:06:17. awkward and complains well that's two different things 00:06:17.19 --> 00:06:19. I can work with an awkward bride I can work with an 00:06:19.26 --> 00:06:22. awkward bride all day long a complaining bride is 00:06:22.58 --> 00:06:25. a different story if I set her on the ground and she's 00:06:25.31 --> 00:06:27. like I don't feel good this feels weird I'll say you 00:06:27.49 --> 00:06:29. know what give it a couple seconds let's work through 00:06:29.5 --> 00:06:31. it let's see how you feel if thirty seconds later 00:06:31.98 --> 00:06:33. she's like I don't know this this really doesn't feel 00:06:33.97 --> 00:06:36. very good then I'll say you know what just look right 00:06:36.39 --> 00:06:38. up at me give me a smile and you get one quick shot 00:06:38.36 --> 00:06:41. I'll get you off the ground it's not worth it if she 00:06:41.45 --> 00:06:43. doesn't feel comfortable if she doesn't want to sit 00:06:43.59 --> 00:06:46. on the ground she's not gonna like those pictures 00:06:46.19 --> 00:06:48. no matter how great they are and I don't want her 00:06:48.09 --> 00:06:50. to have a bad experience with me, so I'll get her 00:06:50.26 --> 00:06:52. off the ground. We'll go somewhere else. It's not 00:06:52.26 --> 00:06:52. a big deal. 00:06:53.97 --> 00:06:56. What if the bride's maids want to? And I have to put 00:06:56.64 --> 00:06:58. this in airports? Help. 00:07:00.71 --> 00:07:02. Again we've talked about this before bridesmaids are 00:07:02.88 --> 00:07:04. amazing they're there because they love the bride 00:07:05.23 --> 00:07:06. because they want to be there with her because they 00:07:06.81 --> 00:07:08. want to support her because they want to be part of 00:07:08.42 --> 00:07:12. the day ah lot of times they've never worked with 00:07:12.22 --> 00:07:14. a photographer who does the things that I do not because 00:07:14.37 --> 00:07:16. I do things that are revolutionary or crazy different 00:07:16.48 --> 00:07:20. or off the wall but maybe one of her bridesmaids hired 00:07:20.46 --> 00:07:22. a sort of an expensive photographer maybe one of her 00:07:22.41 --> 00:07:24. bridesmaids hired a photographer with five different 00:07:24.63 --> 00:07:26. shooters or maybe she hired a photographer that puts 00:07:26.84 --> 00:07:28. strobes in the corners of all of the rooms there are 00:07:28.95 --> 00:07:31. so many different ways to go about a wedding day maybe 00:07:31.47 --> 00:07:33. it's just the first time they've encountered someone 00:07:33.22 --> 00:07:37. approaching it like I do that's no big deal and they 00:07:37.22 --> 00:07:39. want to help partly because 00:07:40.77 --> 00:07:43. it's not their wedding day and they really want to 00:07:43.42 --> 00:07:46. be a part of it super super super bad part of it is 00:07:46.18 --> 00:07:48. they want to help because they love the bride very 00:07:48.17 --> 00:07:50. very very much and actually want to help and part 00:07:50.9 --> 00:07:52. of it is because they don't know that I've totally 00:07:52.72 --> 00:07:55. got it like if I set the bride down on the ground 00:07:55.26 --> 00:07:57. and I've laid out her dress and I've tucked it so 00:07:57.87 --> 00:08:00. that I can see the floor and a bride's maid comes 00:08:00.66 --> 00:08:02. in they're going to start wanting to lay the dry out I don't want them to lay the dress out or if I'm outside I'm shooting the bride and groom and I'm shooting them kind of from the waist up and it's these lovely portrait's and I've sort of folded the dress on itself on the ground so that's not going to get dirty or drag around and a bride's maid comes out and starts fluffing it out and you want to say it that doesn't matter it doesn't need teo to do that or you're shooting a portrait of the brian they're like she doesn't have a bouquet you need to go get her bouquet and I'm like you don't need our bouquet right now the initial reaction khun sometimes to be to get very, very, very frustrated but if you understand that ninety nine percent of the time they're trying to help because they're legitimately trying to help you acknowledge that they're trying to help you like no I totally understand we will absolutely get portrait of her with the bouquet later thank you so much thank you I don't need your help thank you right so I say think basically thank you for caring please stop doing whatever you're doing thank you for caring right? Like I sort of pigeon holed up please leave me alone with a genuine thank you because they're not trying to be obnoxious so I think sometimes especially this time of year when we're all very stressed out when we've been shooting a million weddings when we're deep in sort of the editing cue of the fall, it's really easy, too, to forget that every wedding is these peoples on ly wedding, that it's not just one of a big long string for them and so it's easy to be like. Well, these bridesmaids were acting like the bridesmaids from the week before and the week before and the week before and the week before. Well, they're doing it because they care, so sometimes just stop, take a deep breath inside, don't let your face do what my face always wants to do, which is immediately look irritated and just treat them with respect. Then it could be hard to do, and I could get really, especially when they're kind of disdainful and their distrust for what I'm doing, but a lot of times they just say, thank you so much. I totally understand what you mean. Trust me, I've got it, it's, not a big deal. You go do whatever you need to d'oh, we're cool here, and then they're like, okay. Bridesmaids I love him tomorrow we're going to start off with portrait's of the bride and groom but we've left a little time towards this end to ask any questions not only about what we've done here but about what we've done with the whole scope of the day today because we have covered an absolutely insane amount of information since we went live this morning. Questions from you guys questions from the world let's start with the world I like left all right so ah lot of well everything that we've seen you shooting today and the videos has been indoors so can you talk a little bit about their several people who have questions around outdoor weddings and so specifically a lot of people were asking about toppled lighting and the scenario where you're in a particular place that the family wants a portrait or other people the bride and groom want the portrait and there's dead set on having in this particular spot but it's that dapple fight what you're going to have to add in light to either overwhelm it or leave the space you're going to see tomorrow how I shoot family formals with a flash will be able to take those things and apply those principles if you're photographing the bride and groom in that area, you also need to not be afraid to tell your client something's not gonna work because they don't know we really wanted to our family pictures here and we really like this angle you have to be able to look at them and be like I understand that you like that angle I would love to include that building in the background we cannot shoot it here the lighting conditions are very difficult I don't want you guys to be squinting or blotchy or anything like that we're going to move over here I just want them to be beautiful for you I want your pictures to be beautiful your idea doesn't work I want your pictures to be beautiful so pigeonholing like you know sandwiching what you're trying to tell them which is no with I understand your concern and I know you're just trying to help an eye care but no people tend to really listen to that so I clients will say all the time oh we want to get a picture in front of city hall in philadelphia and we want to do it like in front of the ritz and I'll say you know what? That area actually doesn't work great if we could go a few blocks down the street it's gonna be a much better angle the team just say that does not work now if you are outside and the sun is incredibly bright everything that I've been showing you today portrait of the bride you've seen the angles the lightest coming from you can use the sun in those same angles as well and I'm not trying to deflect any of these questions are not answered them but we spend an entire day on thirty days of wedding photography photographing the bride indoors outdoors good light bad light great light horrifying light um that is dealing with ideals this is oh my goodness we're stuck inside and it's the worst of the worst so if you want to see how I do the best of the best or my fundamentals for everything it's hard to take a thirty day course and distill it into two days and I also don't want to re tread too much of what I've taught before for anyone who's ever heard me educate before so if you're having some of these questions of well what if we have time to take her outside or what if the lights actually really great what wouldyou d'oh I would hit up thirty days and check that out let's take some more questions yes absolutely right let's see eso you touched on this a little bit but I know this is something that everybody deals with and makes for a challenging scenario has fourteen votes on it s o what about when you show up to a wedding and there is always that one guest who owns a dslr therefore they know better oh you are even worse are trying to capture images that you are actually setting up how do you politely assert yourself to have them not use your creative set up for their own photos go to town I mean I don't mean to sound like super simplistic or like dismissive but you're not gonna be able to do what I'm doing and that's not being arrogant but unless you're standing right next to me using the same linds I'm using and the same settings I am you're not going to replicate my picture the only time I will really assert myself against a guest who's taking pictures is if they step in and start trying to instruct the clients or if they will just not stop like if I'm shooting family formals and the guest is constantly over my shoulder constantly over my shoulder constantly over my shoulder I'm going to have to say something um and usually it's going to be my patented let me get the bride to tell you to quit it tip which is to say you know what I know a lot of you guys out here want to take pictures what I'm gonna do let me get mine let me get mine and then I'm gonna let you get yours so I shoot the family formalism like okay everybody else you won't take a quick picture what's gonna happen the bride's gonna go uncle bob cut it out like stop doing that we've got susan go sit down he's going to stop if she tells him to stop if I tell him to stop he's going to think I'm some horrible little girl who like is threatening him but if the bride says cut it out cut it out what's becoming more and more difficult and this gets talked about online all the time our guest with ipads and guest with iphones it seems like nobody wants to live in the present and actually enjoy anything that's happening in real time anymore it becomes difficult when I'm trying to photograph the bride getting ready and all of her bridesmaids are standing there with their iphones a lot of times I'll actually include them in the pictures it's a sign of the times right like it is what it is everyone has their iphone in their hand right now I can cut it out or I can included in a way that is compelling are interesting there's an article going around right now where it's got everyone sharing it on facebook where it's a first not a first look a ceremony and you can see the groom at the end of the aisle we're looking at this earlier grooms at the end of the aisle and all of the guests are leaning out into the aisle using their cell phones the person in me wants to look at that picture and be like man you jerks like put your phones down the person in me also goes thes people are super excited and they want to take a picture the photographer and me goes man get your seventy two, two hundred focus just on the groom like you 00:16:04.076 --> 00:16:06. can see him right there. You don't have to include 00:16:06.58 --> 00:16:09. these people in your shots. The only time that becomes 00:16:09.19 --> 00:16:12. a big issue for me is there have been and I will admit 00:16:12.78 --> 00:16:14. this. There have been moments that I have missed at 00:16:14.58 --> 00:16:17. weddings because guests stepped in the aisle or stepped 00:16:17.15 --> 00:16:20. in front of me with their iphone. I had this most 00:16:20.1 --> 00:16:23. amazing moment at the end of a wedding a couple of 00:16:23.51 --> 00:16:26. weeks ago, where the bridegroom kissed. They started 00:16:26.21 --> 00:16:29. coming down the aisle, they stopped right where their 00:16:29.07 --> 00:16:31. parents were seated and they each leaned in and gave 00:16:31.58 --> 00:16:35. their mom's a kiss. I've got a picture where you can 00:16:35.18 --> 00:16:37. see the groom kissing his mom on one half and the 00:16:37.68 --> 00:16:40. other half is black because a guy stepped in the aisle 00:16:40.48 --> 00:16:43. in front of me and took a picture, I didn't seem coming, 00:16:43.54 --> 00:16:45. he just was there. I can't deliver that picture to 00:16:45.92 --> 00:16:49. the clients it's not even it's just doesn't work, 00:16:49.2 --> 00:16:51. and if they ask, hey, we could start parents at the 00:16:51.69 --> 00:16:53. end of the ceremony. Where is that picture? I have 00:16:53.58 --> 00:16:56. to say I was in the isle ready to to get it one of 00:16:56.57 --> 00:16:59. your guests jumped out in front of me don't worry, 00:16:59.06 --> 00:17:00. I'm sure they have it, and we'll be sending it to 00:17:00.65 --> 00:17:01. you soon. 00:17:03.82 --> 00:17:05. I mean, you're never going to see it if you do it's 00:17:05.34 --> 00:17:08. gonna be blurry, but it's, tough, right? You have 00:17:08.04 --> 00:17:10. to ride a very fine line between telling people to 00:17:10.43 --> 00:17:14. back off and just going with the flow. Iphones are 00:17:14.74 --> 00:17:16. not going to stop anytime soon. They're going to keep 00:17:16.69 --> 00:17:18. being at weddings and bridesmaids, they're still gonna 00:17:18.47 --> 00:17:21. have them. Why are they taking pictures? Because they're 00:17:21.19 --> 00:17:23. excited. They're taking pictures because they're excited, 00:17:23.91 --> 00:17:26. not because they're jerks like they just they want 00:17:26.86 --> 00:17:28. that picture. They loved this girl. They love thes 00:17:28.98 --> 00:17:32. people like, oh, my gosh, my friend is getting married, 00:17:32.03 --> 00:17:34. and I want to take pictures, okay? I mean, I have 00:17:34.74 --> 00:17:37. to respect that. But I also got a work around it, 00:17:37.61 --> 00:17:38. too, so 00:17:41.77 --> 00:17:43. but I'm sorry. That said, if you bring an ipad to 00:17:43.77 --> 00:17:47. a wedding, you're an idiot. The end, like, just bring 00:17:47.34 --> 00:17:49. your iphone. Why are you holding up your ipad, and 00:17:49.17 --> 00:17:51. why are you holding up your ipad with the cover hanging 00:17:51.2 --> 00:17:53. down? You know, I mean, they hold it up and, like 00:17:53.29 --> 00:17:55. the cover it, and you're just like, why are you just 00:17:55.78 --> 00:17:57. because it's bigger? The pictures are not bigger. 00:18:00.07 --> 00:18:02. Oh, boy, bless their little hearts, all the challenging 00:18:02.95 --> 00:18:06. scenario. Susan way. Look back at these pictures fifty 00:18:06.15 --> 00:18:08. years from now, it's, it's, the times, that's what it is now, for better or worse, it is what it is. All right, so here's, another one that might happen to you often. This has six votes from beep. What do you say to clients that asked before they hire you? I really like this image on pinterest. Could you make your image like it? I can't say what I want to say, or use any of the hand gestures that I want. Again I have to reset myself back a step and think they don't know and it's not and you know I could be a little bit of a downer sometimes I like to joke that I have a cold black heart but my friend who's watching me watch parenthood knows full well that I cry at it like every other day I'm actually a big soft smooshy teddy bear and I genuinely actually do believe that everybody is probably a pretty good person deep down inside but my knee jerk reaction is like you're a jerk stop talking but I have to step myself back so when you hear the same questions over and over and over again it can make you start getting really bitter and it could make you start almost kind of being nasty but think about that bride who says can I show you your pinterest pit my pinterest board it's the first time she's asked me that she doesn't know that I've been asked that six hundred other times so I have to take a step back and go let's talk about pinteresque this is the first time we've ever talked about this and I have to say listen I know that you're getting married a medicaid oring hall in new jersey and your ceremony is at six and you don't want to see each other beforehand and we're going to do in your pictures between ceremony and reception but this picture that you sent me from turks and caicos by the water on pinterest it's not feasible so that's like step number one is what what are they sending you isn't even remotely feasible on the day of don't say you know what a lot of these images that you've sent aren't feasible on the day of the wedding can we talk about why you pinned them like the feeling that you like behind the images is that the light that you like is it the emotion that you like and then my best sentence is would you do you want me to replicate other people's pins on pinterest or do you want me to make something original for you that other people will want to pin later who and that's it right there right like they want something amazing but all brides no matter how much they trust you they have this deep seated fear that if they don't tell you the amazing things that they want you're not going to capture the amazing things for them and I understand that I do I truly legitimately dio but I want to know what they see in these images and what they're drawn to so that we can make something custom for them maybe it's as easy as hey we saw this this pin on pinterest of this bride and groom in front of city hall in philadelphia can we go to city hall? Oh yeah we can do that but can we do this elaborate set up in a way that the worst one for me is when they'll pull like they did this whole sex in the city sing in vogue when the first movie came out where it's like sarah jessica parker on dh what's his head chris north and they're like running through central park and they're like running up the steps under bethesda terrorist and there's like a crowd of people looking down on them and clients will be like can we get a picture of that on my wedding day and I'm like have you ever been the bethesda terrorist like it we will never be there when it is a crowd of people standing on the steps looking at you on lee and everything else is deserted ps the sun doesn't come from that angle that's not the sun and it's it's a vogue shoot with annie liebovitz that cost how much money to do and took how many hours to dio but you know what they don't know like they don't know that they don't know that costs however much it did to put that thing together and that there were stylus and art directors and assistance on top of assistance they just think that's beautiful and I want that well tell me why that's beautiful what do you want out of that and I will tell them I can't re create something that was done for vogue it's a completely different you know, just a completely different. Type of shoot in general it's not even remotely like wedding photography. But let's, talk about what we can do for you that will make you feel like you felt when you saw that image. So they bring it around. Stop making it about other people's pictures. What do you want for yourself? Brilliant answer and I really appreciate how you do kind of take a step back because we can so easily get frustrated by thing usually it happens when I'm on the phone and usually I just lay down I just lay down on my back on the ground and keep on talking and it's it's hard I'm a very easily exasperated person which is not fair to humanity in general so I'm sorry um but you just if you just always remember in your head this is their first time and they don't know they don't know what to ask you they don't know howto ask it to you they just I don't know and they're trying as hard as they can yu need t to meet it with an equal level of respect really appreciate for better or for worse all right well maybe a couple more questions absolutely we do have the time I know we're not going deep into photographing the ceremony in this particular anyhow because we've had that I did ceremony for thirty days and I did it for my three days also yeah s o but this question was I have a bride who wants to have photos taken from the back of the altar during the ceremony the priest has given an okay to the concept but have you ever had to set up a disguised remote camera for something like that no I would just have to say no like I'm and that's a hard one because I'm not going to get on the altar during the ceremony unless it's like a greek orthodox wedding when you're literally welcomed onto the altar or an indian wedding where you can practically come come and sit on their shoulders and it's completely accepted they don't mind but I cannot imagine climbing onto a catholic church altar like um I just hold childhood would smite me down if I did that I couldn't do it but also I'm not going to do something for the first time that somebody's wedding and I also don't want to do something that's so out of the norm from what I usually do that there are chances to fail so using a remote camera because I don't do that I would have to figure out how to do it I would have to probably by some extra stuff to make it happen I would have to test it I would have to test it again then we would have to deviate from the way that we normally do things to set it up and have it running I just I would really prefer not to because there are so many things that could go wrong I would highly recommend if they have a videographer t have a videographer place a camera there because there are more used to placing remote cameras during things like that um that's not necessarily something that I could do and I would talk her through it just like I talk to you guys through it I wouldn't just say no I don't do that I would explain why and most people are very very understanding I had some really great clients abroad was a wedding photographer they actually took a gopro and set it on the altar nobody noticed it it was just tucked in amongst everything but it gave them a gopro over you of that angle of the ceremony go to town I just don't want to do something that I feel like gives me a huge chance of failing because I never do it I'm never going to do it again it's going to be a one time thing y'all I'm gonna screw it up like straight up screwed up and if I don't I'm going to be so panicked about it that it's not going to be worth it and I'll just tell people and I would explain it exactly like that to them and most people get it again they don't know like hey can you just set up a remote camera they don't know that's a request that makes you go wait what you know for for all they know you could be like yeah we could totally do that yeah it's a great answer thank you for that well on first sort of the freedom teo be okay with saying no yeah you can use to be able to say no to your clients you can't say yes, to everything. Especially if they're asking for things that, you know, aren't goingto work, aren't going to be technically possible. You are the professional, they're hiring you because they trust you, you have to be able to look at them and be like guys. This just isn't, I'm so sorry, that's not going to work. This is why let's talk about what we can do to get close to that. So maybe it's, not ideally, what you want, but maybe we can get a little closer. Well, I think that is one of the number one things that people should have in their photographer. Wedding photographers, arrival get it's, just the way to talk with your clients in a way that always makes you feel good. All right, you know you don't, you don't have to make excuses. You don't have to justify, but educating is a very different thing than making excuses and justifying.

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