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Photographing the Bride Getting Ready in a Dark Hallway

Lesson 13 from: Wedding Photographer Survival Kit

Susan Stripling

Photographing the Bride Getting Ready in a Dark Hallway

Lesson 13 from: Wedding Photographer Survival Kit

Susan Stripling

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Lesson Info

13. Photographing the Bride Getting Ready in a Dark Hallway


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 the Bride Getting Ready in a Dark Hallway

So hallway I knew when I walked in the second I walked into this hallway I was like oh I can work with this is it great it is most definitely one hundred percent not great it's tough the door is too close behind the subject I wish there hadn't been a door at all if it had been a clean wall it would have been much more compelling now somebody out there is going to be like well why don't you just remove the door in post you all you're standing in front of the door you know it was there I that's not I'm not goingto levels of like mysticism here now if she picked these images for her album and she said hey I really hate that door behind me can we remove it if it were a quick fix if it were something that I could send off to reach up retouch up dot com for less than five bucks an image if it's one or two images yeah I'll include that with my compliments if it's an extensive edit like if it's a very complicated edit I am gonna have to charge the client if it goes a little kind of crazy above...

and beyond but if they want to put this image in their album I'll take the door out if they really want most people wouldn't ask at most they would ask me to remove the sign from behind their head but the most important part here I don't love the door in the background but I like the light from the window and I like the light from the window even better when I actually get my settings correct so for example image on the left image on the right both with the seven fifty both with eighty five both at one point eight one on the left with no exposure compensation the one on the right with exposure compensation minus two point three you can see on the left my eyes who is ten thousand on the right in my eyes so it's seven seventy two hundred well let's take a look at the cheddar speeds the image on the right has a shutter speed of one hundred sixty eighth of a second the image on the left has a shutter speed of a fiftieth of a second 00:01:58.486 --> 00:02:01. the problem with a fiftieth I can't I can't hand hold 00:02:01.97 --> 00:02:04. a lens with a moving person in front of it not in 00:02:04.79 --> 00:02:07. eighty five millimeter lens at least at a fiftieth 00:02:07.59 --> 00:02:09. of a second and not have blur from the person moving 00:02:09.87 --> 00:02:13. around why is it at a fiftieth of a second well it's 00:02:13.65 --> 00:02:17. because it hit my threshold for I s o it hit ten thousand 00:02:17.83 --> 00:02:21. it has nowhere to go up from there so the only thing 00:02:21.61 --> 00:02:24. it can do is to start decreasing my shutter speed 00:02:25.42 --> 00:02:28. I can't shoot like that even if that were perfectly 00:02:28.73 --> 00:02:32. exposed that's not going to work for me because even 00:02:32.37 --> 00:02:35. perfectly exposed at a fiftieth of a second she's 00:02:35.06 --> 00:02:37. going to start blurring the second she starts moving 00:02:37.12 --> 00:02:39. around I would have to look for another alternative 00:02:40.12 --> 00:02:44. I bumped my I s o bring in an additional light something 00:02:44.02 --> 00:02:46. else now in a scenario like this if I had to bring 00:02:46.99 --> 00:02:48. in an additional light I'm not going to shoot there 00:02:49.62 --> 00:02:53. it's not so compellingly good of a background that 00:02:53.23 --> 00:02:55. I can get away with it why would I put somebody in 00:02:55.43 --> 00:02:57. front of a door and like them like that just doesn't 00:02:57.8 --> 00:02:59. make sense I would find somewhere else that I could 00:02:59.61 --> 00:03:02. like she's there because the window works that's the 00:03:02.77 --> 00:03:03. only reason why 00:03:05.32 --> 00:03:08. so even on the right I s o seventy two hundred seventy 00:03:08.38 --> 00:03:12. two hundred that's really getting up there you have 00:03:12.02 --> 00:03:14. to be careful as your s o gets higher you have to 00:03:14.83 --> 00:03:17. be much more careful to really nail your exposure 00:03:18.12 --> 00:03:21. because if you're away under our way over if you start 00:03:21.05 --> 00:03:25. pushing and pulling ah file at s o seventy two hundred 00:03:25.22 --> 00:03:27. s o ten thousand you're going to start destroying 00:03:27.56 --> 00:03:30. your file you're gonna start seeing more noise, more 00:03:30.13 --> 00:03:33. pics elation mohr grain same thing with if you have 00:03:33.54 --> 00:03:36. to crop you're seeing these directly out of the camera 00:03:36.32 --> 00:03:38. there's no additional cropping going on but if you're 00:03:39.01 --> 00:03:41. s o ten thousand and you have to push it up a stop 00:03:41.82 --> 00:03:44. and then crop it well you're you're basically hosed 00:03:44.96 --> 00:03:48. there that's gonna look awful we don't want that so 00:03:48.19 --> 00:03:51. when the esso gets higher and higher I am even more 00:03:51.0 --> 00:03:53. meticulous about making sure that I nailed my exposure 00:03:53.5 --> 00:03:55. is close is absolutely humanly possible 00:03:57.42 --> 00:04:01. I like it better when I start opening up yngling wider 00:04:01.54 --> 00:04:04. I like it even better when I got super wide like I 00:04:04.97 --> 00:04:08. legitimately actually like this picture I yes am I 00:04:08.51 --> 00:04:11. surviving in a difficult situation I am I really like 00:04:11.99 --> 00:04:14. it actually looks really good the only thing that 00:04:14.88 --> 00:04:18. would drive me nuts the signs behind their head I 00:04:18.01 --> 00:04:20. would pull that office sign out of their head if I 00:04:20.33 --> 00:04:24. were blogging it um but not just for their basic round 00:04:24.19 --> 00:04:26. of client proofs we don't kind of go to that level 00:04:26.68 --> 00:04:30. of manipulation for an album sure for a print absolutely 00:04:30.13 --> 00:04:34. for a blogger post a okay but for a regular gallery 00:04:34.04 --> 00:04:36. if there's fifteen twenty images like this in a row 00:04:36.1 --> 00:04:39. I'm not gonna pull that sign out of every single one 00:04:39.72 --> 00:04:42. there has to be a level with which you stop yourself 00:04:42.79 --> 00:04:44. in terms of post production cause we could be here 00:04:44.48 --> 00:04:48. all day on one image um the reason why I like this 00:04:48.6 --> 00:04:51. and the reason why this works for me compositionally 00:04:51.4 --> 00:04:53. is because you have this negative space that brings 00:04:53.51 --> 00:04:57. you into the bride leaving all of that negative space 00:04:57.09 --> 00:05:01. in there she looks a little in a big scene. The light 00:05:01.13 --> 00:05:03. looks a little more dramatic because it's punching 00:05:03.07 --> 00:05:06. just one small part of the frame and I like in this 00:05:06.66 --> 00:05:10. one how she's framed in the door how the line of the 00:05:10.7 --> 00:05:13. railing goes down towards her and how this sort of 00:05:13.87 --> 00:05:16. red over here gives it a little visual interest and 00:05:16.78 --> 00:05:20. warm this looks really nice down here on the wall 00:05:20.5 --> 00:05:23. over here was a mirror and I got to tell you I tried 00:05:23.92 --> 00:05:26. really hard to find something cool in that mirror 00:05:27.24 --> 00:05:29. but here's the wall the mirror was flat to the wall 00:05:29.54 --> 00:05:32. but it had a decorative edge that went around it so 00:05:32.81 --> 00:05:35. when I flattened myself against the mirror it wasn't 00:05:35.71 --> 00:05:38. just a clean shot there was that edge that stuck out 00:05:39.19 --> 00:05:41. so I could get the bridesmaid reflected in the mirror 00:05:41.9 --> 00:05:44. but I couldn't get the bride so I scrapped that idea 00:05:44.54 --> 00:05:46. so don't be afraid if you're messing around with the 00:05:46.26 --> 00:05:48. scenario and you're trying something and it's not 00:05:48.64 --> 00:05:52. working you can say this isn't working and move on 00:05:52.25 --> 00:05:55. I've taken my client's toe locations and been like 00:05:55.01 --> 00:05:55. you know what 00:05:56.74 --> 00:05:58. this angle doesn't work it doesn't really do what 00:05:58.63 --> 00:06:01. I thought it would let's go over here and said they're 00:06:01.6 --> 00:06:03. not going to fault you for that they're not going 00:06:03.36 --> 00:06:05. to think oh you don't know what you're doing there's 00:06:05.09 --> 00:06:08. nothing wrong with being like you know I just don't 00:06:08.34 --> 00:06:10. love this let's go try something else 00:06:11.96 --> 00:06:14. quite a cz this work it works because the light is 00:06:14.45 --> 00:06:17. good. The end that's. Why it works. It works because 00:06:17.59 --> 00:06:20. you can see the window. You can tell the light's coming 00:06:20.06 --> 00:06:22. from a window. I'm not having to make the light or 00:06:22.28 --> 00:06:25. manipulated in a weird way. It's, obviously very beautifully, 00:06:25.83 --> 00:06:27. window let they don't have to know that we're in a 00:06:27.25 --> 00:06:27. basement. 00:06:29.96 --> 00:06:31. What about the sign behind their heads? I sort of 00:06:31.77 --> 00:06:34. talked about the philosophy about it um what if the 00:06:34.92 --> 00:06:36. bride balked at the idea of standing in the basement 00:06:36.83 --> 00:06:39. hallway to get dressed well not gonna push her to 00:06:39.57 --> 00:06:42. do this and I have had clients who 00:06:43.86 --> 00:06:48. despite liking my work they have a hard time understanding 00:06:49.36 --> 00:06:52. what goes into actually making that work kind of an 00:06:52.73 --> 00:06:56. odd disconnect and you can do all of the expectation 00:06:56.34 --> 00:06:58. managing that you want you can talk to them all day 00:06:58.44 --> 00:07:00. long about how you're going to set up these scenarios 00:07:01.26 --> 00:07:03. but then you get there and you're like hey you know 00:07:03.0 --> 00:07:04. we're gonna get ready in here you pull up your dress 00:07:04.96 --> 00:07:06. hook it at the top we're going to come outside and 00:07:06.68 --> 00:07:11. they're like I don't want to go in a hallway you're 00:07:11.21 --> 00:07:12. like no the light's gonna be really beautiful it's 00:07:12.79 --> 00:07:14. going to be good and they're like I don't want to 00:07:14.5 --> 00:07:17. do that I am not going to make her do that there are 00:07:17.8 --> 00:07:19. plenty of photographers who will push or who will 00:07:19.97 --> 00:07:22. pull or who will be like no it's really you really 00:07:22.58 --> 00:07:25. do need to do this I'm not going to do that because 00:07:25.51 --> 00:07:27. much as she might like the images she's going to look 00:07:27.63 --> 00:07:30. at them later and remember that I forced her to do 00:07:30.14 --> 00:07:32. something that she didn't want to do I'm never going 00:07:32.31 --> 00:07:34. to do that to somebody if she doesn't want to get 00:07:34.47 --> 00:07:36. in the hall going to the hallway to get dressed I 00:07:36.69 --> 00:07:39. have no problem saying I totally understand that however 00:07:39.61 --> 00:07:41. you're going to have to give me just a second to figure 00:07:41.47 --> 00:07:43. out a better alternative and I'll go find something 00:07:43.78 --> 00:07:47. else the end they'll probably be a lot of swearing 00:07:47.14 --> 00:07:49. involved when I do that what if she's modest and doesn't 00:07:49.97 --> 00:07:51. want to put her clothes on in a hallway you don't 00:07:51.77 --> 00:07:54. have to oh my gosh I'm not saying come get naked in 00:07:54.76 --> 00:07:56. the hallway that's literally not where I'm going with 00:07:56.88 --> 00:07:59. this I would never want anyone to do anything like 00:07:59.09 --> 00:08:01. that so I'll say hey you know in your room then you're 00:08:01.66 --> 00:08:04. getting ready room I'm not shooting you stepping into the dress anyhow step in and pull it up either zipper it up hooked the top or just hold it in place and come on out here in that scenario the bridesmaids would probably be down in the hallway I would have my assistant be up the steps behind me keeping people from coming down so that there's not like a random waiter or like coordinator staff person or somebody who starts coming and wandering through the scene right? Like I really don't want that for my clients so yeah so you had talked about when you were shooting are in the video that you wanted to this is from danielle keith how do you not distort her? Where should I be in focusing too not the story bodies or faces when using that wide angle lens right so when I'm shooting a twenty four to seventy you don't get it as much with the twenty four to seventy because it's wide but it's not that wide it's not like I'm using a sixteen to thirty five or anything like that I just want to make sure that I don't put her towards the edges of the frame like anywhere on the outer edges because if I do then she starts to get a little stretch so I try to keep her in the middle or if I'm going to bring her to one of the sides you just don't want to jam her all the way in the corner or all the way to one side because even if you go back in light room and you do the profile correction for your linens it's never going to really save you so just bear in mind if you take a picture and you look at it and you're like oh that looks stretchy I'm not saying you have to like dead on center her every single time just make sure you don't put her in the extremes of the edge but once you get up over for me personally about fifty millimeters then I don't have to worry about it quite a cz much on the edges it's when you get wider than that great district bear it in mind thank you so when you were shooting in this scene on dh, you were turning off the lights, and we saw that the light was blue on her. Was that the nature of us filming that scene, or is that what more, actually, your camera was seeing. You know, mike and I was on auto white balance. Well if I were to go back and re color correct those like to give to a client I would have warmed them up a bit but that horrible violent blew that you saw when we very first started turning those lights off that was from filming it wasn't actually like even when you were there and you were looking at it with your naked eye it wasn't that aggressively blue I just wanted to clarify that for the people who were asking for people who are looking at it and we're probably like what are you doing that looks horrible what am I supposed to do with that blue light but even if I had if I had taken a shot and it was straight up blue I would have changed my color balance that would have actually been an excellent time to dialling a custom white balance like we were talking about earlier but because I am able to trust the sort of auto white balance it didn't go too crazy well right and when you took the photo we saw something different your camera was saying something different than right and I would say intelligent things about video and how video and color and color balance but I don't know how video work so I should probably not speak to video thing you got a color balance the scenario so s o another question about these mixed white balances from dl ona what do you do about mixed white balance lighting when you can't turn off the lights this often happens and it's especially a problem during ceremonies ceremonies and I know that the team from sidecar post are watching today and they probably just like roll their eyes and fell on the ground because that is the most frustrating thing especially in church is when you cannot control what's happening you've got light from a stained glass window you've got forty two different fluorescent lights and what's even better is when some of the lights air flores and they've changed out the other lights so the white balance literally like flickers throughout the image and then you've got some window light coming in and it's just a mess so literally every single time I shoot a wedding and jen delivers the wedding to me she'll call me and we'll talk there it and she'll be like I especially want you to look it's ceremony because I just had to pick one and go with it and did it even remotely look alright so when there's a lot of mixed lighting going on if it is super super super crazy and the image is really important or it's a full series of images will white balance for the subject and maybe do a color temperature brush on areas that are especially egregiously horrifying but for the most part in receptions when you've got crazy d j light's in church is when you've got lord knows what kind of light no pun intended there you just you have to pick something that looks remotely reasonable and go with it and I understand that it is exceedingly extraordinarily frustrating and that goes back to the very beginning where I talk about weddings are a largely uncontrollable event unless I could get into their church and replace all of their light bulbs there's not really a lot huh I really wish I could I shot a wedding one time where the bride's grandfather was very wealthy wonderful family and he didn't like the light in the church so he had a film crew film crew go in and change out the church lighting and put in lighting for the ceremony there was a film crew at the wedding they just literally came in and let the church as if it were a film set wow I walked in there I was like well here we are I mean it was it was so beautiful and I almost wish it had never happened because now I know what it could be like right and then you go into your regular just nineteen seventies church down the street you're like uh the carpet is one color the walls are a different color then they're stained glass and sometimes it's different stained glass on each of the windows and it's just like you want to be green do you want to be yellow do you want to be pink like what do you want to do so sometimes and that's part of what I love so much about working the sidecar is they will actually check with me on lighting scenarios. They'll be like your reception was like magenta didn't really look like that, and I'm like, yeah, they upload it with pink and purple lights or ceremony we've done the best we can to approximate the white balance. Can you take a look at this? Does this look even remotely realistic and I'll look at it and sometimes it does, and sometimes they're often will go back but it's hard when you have mixed lighting sources if you can't change them, you either pick something that kind of mostly works or you pick something that works for the subjects and then you can do localized fixes on other parts it's frustrating and I fully and completely admit that it is frustrating if I could have control over one thing on the wedding day, it would be quite balances and timelines that's two things not even not even the same thing but it's tough like you know it, you'll walk into a venue and you're like, oh no, and your brain just starts like ping ponging around and that's what I'll just go straight on on auto do the best I can and localized brush it later it's a sad place to be there any other questions about that one specific scenario are any other questions really in general right now? I mean, this is the wedding photographer survival kit if there is anything that you can ask me even if it's sort of loosely related to what I just shot that can help me help you survive difficult situations. I mean, I spent thirty days in the wedding photography it like boot camp that I did talking about ideal scenarios and making ideal scenarios and working with ideal scenarios but all of that can just easily crumble and fall apart and if it has happened to you were hoping your in the chat room commiserating with the rest of us so yeah, we do have a lot of questions maybe we'll take a couple more here for more than an intersection and taking and then keep rolling. These are great. So this one is from melody withers who says I love you susan you are my idol. Do you always look for that light when getting ready when the inn the getting ready shots for the bride? Is it something you know you're going to look for when you walk into the wedding day or do you just see it when you get there? It's a little bit of both and it's taken me a really long time to be able to see it quickly. I heard you're avants speak one time and he said that whenever he walks into a room whatever the room, he always assesses the light going out to dinner, going to the movies. I mean, I walked in here and I immediately started sussing out lighting scenarios. It's just what my brain does now and I completely realize that's not normal like I like. I know that that's weird, but I will walk into the bride's getting ready room, and the absolute first thing I'm looking for is the lighting I'm not looking at. How many bridesmaids air in there. I'm not looking at how cluttered the room is. I go into my eyeball, start pinging around to all of the windows first, and I'm starting to figure out what light sources in here, whether it's a window or a lamp or an overhead light or a weird skylight. What can I use, what in here can I use? So I try really hard not to pre visualize, but I do. I am automatically looking the second I walk in the room, sometimes frantically, usually with a really horrifying facial expression. I mean, I walk in and I'm just like and it doesn't mean I'm unhappy it just means I'm thinking but I realized that it looks like I'm judging which is not what I'm doing I just I can't help my face it just does what it does all right so this question had some votes on it this is from sarah moral says it seems like a lot of your technique for dealing with ugly spaces is to dim the lights and control your own dramatic lighting what would be your approach if he wanted to create a brighter more evenly let portrait in these ugly surroundings and I know we did see some of that earlier on I mean a brighter, more evenly lit portrait were going to shoot family formals tomorrow so you'll see how teo evenly light a portrait but how to bring up all of the lights and to make a nice even looking room that's not what I do and I mean I'm not trying to be dismissive or not answer the question that's what I'm trying to do it all but the way I light is a dramatic style 00:18:06.362 --> 00:18:08. of flight whether it's natural light or light that's 00:18:08.68 --> 00:18:11. built in if the goal is to come in and raise the light 00:18:11.91 --> 00:18:15. level on the entire room it's something I wouldn't 00:18:15.53 --> 00:18:19. ever dio because it's not how I d'oh but if I were 00:18:19.47 --> 00:18:21. working in very dark rooms and I wanted to raise the 00:18:21.63 --> 00:18:23. light level of the room well then you could put strobes 00:18:23.65 --> 00:18:25. in the corners and bounce them off the ceilings and 00:18:25.71 --> 00:18:27. light everything up I mean there and there would be 00:18:27.89 --> 00:18:29. nothing wrong with that turned the lights on pump 00:18:29.97 --> 00:18:33. in more light and go to town but for portrait I mean 00:18:33.0 --> 00:18:36. for details for getting ready for even portrait's 00:18:36.4 --> 00:18:39. indoors I'm usually trying to find a more directional 00:18:39.18 --> 00:18:42. dramatic light source but I will if she comes back 00:18:42.39 --> 00:18:46. tomorrow we'll get to see shooting I will shoot eh 00:18:46.79 --> 00:18:49. family formal and then actually in the very next section 00:18:49.83 --> 00:18:52. and when you shoot a bridal portrait where I add in 00:18:52.04 --> 00:18:54. a little more light in the front so that you can see 00:18:54.86 --> 00:18:57. how I would do that as well but for getting ready 00:18:57.4 --> 00:19:00. for details that's not really where I'm going to go 00:19:00.06 --> 00:19:03. with it in general and what I was thinking about susan 00:19:03.39 --> 00:19:07. was how in the beginning earlier in this class you 00:19:07.86 --> 00:19:12. showed us why you love the one point four lens because 00:19:12.03 --> 00:19:15. you are those those images were still bright and we 00:19:15.45 --> 00:19:18. had things in the background that were sort of blurry 00:19:18.67 --> 00:19:21. but it didn't matter and more well for example like 00:19:21.19 --> 00:19:23. in that in the very first giving art a scenario when 00:19:23.12 --> 00:19:25. she's in that like my grandmother's cottage sort of 00:19:25.61 --> 00:19:28. room I could have shot that without a nice light I 00:19:28.43 --> 00:19:30. would have been an esso eight thousand ten thousand 00:19:30.85 --> 00:19:33. I could have shot with eighty five one four overexposed 00:19:33.83 --> 00:19:36. it by like half stop to stop brightened everything 00:19:36.54 --> 00:19:39. up it would have been ok and that would've been fine 00:19:39.38 --> 00:19:40. they're just wouldn't have been any direction to the 00:19:40.98 --> 00:19:45. light and my style very much leads itself too a strong 00:19:45.49 --> 00:19:47. directional quality to the light so 00:19:49.79 --> 00:19:52. one more question on this sort of area here chrissy 00:19:52.93 --> 00:19:57. says sorry that question that she has is when you're 00:19:57.56 --> 00:19:59. booking the wedding or when you're working with them 00:19:59.17 --> 00:20:03. before the wedding do you advise them to book a getting 00:20:03.18 --> 00:20:06. ready room that does have a nice natural light is 00:20:06.66 --> 00:20:09. that a conversation you have is sometimes we talk about it like if I know where they're getting ready I'll be like okay this is either going to be good or this is gonna be tough most of the time I'm not going to really start delving into that stuff with them because sometimes a curve ball will get thrown at me like oh you're getting ready at the hotel monaco that's amazing I know the rooms were good I know it has good light I know it's really interesting you didn't tell me you're getting ready in the conference room in the basement like that sort of stuff is oh I wish I'd known that my next actual endeavour that I'm working on because I write a lot of books for running photographers my next book that I'm working on this winter or not now don't try to kill me I can only do so much but I'm writing a guide for my clients and it is the it will be I have to give it a better name his name is way too long but it's like the guide to getting the most out of your wedding photography experience the end and what it's going to do is it's going to go scenario to scenario throughout the day you're getting ready? What kind of room should you book for your getting ready? You know if if you're getting ready at home and the makeup artist shows up, don't let her set up in the bathroom have her set up by a window if you do, your images will look like this versus like this try to educate them just a little bit um stuff about timeline stuff about setting the day up but I'm going to write it for my clients that I'm going to strip my images out of it, leave placeholders, leave the text editable and make it available for you guys because the number one thing that I hear people talk about is god, I wish I had the time to like write down all of the advice that I have for my clients and give it to them but who has the time for that? So I'm going to create it for you so that then you can drop your own images in you could tweet the text to suit your business and then you will have a guide and so what I'm when ugo is after I book my clients I'm not going to give it to them unless they book me because it's not fair thank you can't just have it but after they book me I'm going to say here you go up I've got this resource for you as you're going through planning your day use it if you want don't if you don't but it will help you with a lot of different asked of the day and a lot of questions that you might not even know that you have and if one client reads it and says oh when my makeup artist shows up I'm gonna ask her to set up by the window then there's one more scenario where I'm set up to succeed really well which in honestly would be really helpful you know family formals how much time do I really need for it bridegroom portrait's how much time do I really need for it so I'm gonna tell them things like if I only ask fifteen minutes with you this is what you can expect if I have thirty minutes with you this is what you can expect I have two hours with you this is what you can expect so people won't look at it later and say well we have fifteen minutes for our portrait so we want to go to two different locations well they don't know they don't know I don't know that's not gonna work but if they look at the book they're like oh if I have fifteen minutes we really just have to go outside the church and shoot there if we have half an hour maybe we can walk to the park down the street if we have two hours we can hit a couple of different locations they don't know we do this weekend and week out we know what happens we know what's going to go wrong they have no idea and there's no way that they should have any idea so I'm going to try to create this resource for them and it will address things like what kind of room you know should you get ready and if this and also like what kind of room should you get ready and if this type of room is not available to you don't worry about it this is just food for thought so a bit of an education guide hopefully it will help people out hopefully it will help you guys out all right your marketing materials for you I have no problems with that but I think it will be a fun one and I think it will help it will just continue to reinforce the expectations that I want my client's toe have when it comes to working with me because I do my best to tell them these things but you know it I didn't passes on by especially if we talk about it a year before the wedding or if we talk about it six months before the wedding imagine the number of other vendors that they're having these conversations with two how in the world are they supposed to remember what we talked about yes sir she brings up a good point do you have any comments to make about wedding coordinators versus dealing directly with the bride can I say swear words I'm just getting you know there's two types of coordinators I take it back there's three there's the coordinator that doesn't awesome job and helps you and is like your best girlfriend doing all the dirty work so that you can succeed like the coordinator would be the one in the room that's like guys who are taking forever let's go like stop messing with things let's get dressed like their job is to herd the cats from one room to another then there's wedding coordinators that air super pleasant to have around they don't help you at all but they don't hurt the day they're just kind of there then there's the other ones who get in the way who don't understand what you're doing who are counterproductive to the way that you like to work when you turn the lights off they're going to turn them back on and it's not helpful when your clients see a coordinator distrusting what you're doing because then the client is gonna look at the coordinator and they're gonna look at you and they're going to think well which one of these people do I trust and that's awkward so it's a it's a coordinator that I've never worked with before I always try to touch base with them before the day and usually we have to anyhow we have to go over the timeline chest to send it to me I have to make tweaks to what we talked about the scheduling of the day and that always lends itself to a really good conversation about style and I managed to work it in there uh sometimes even despite all best efforts, they still don't understand what you're doing and that's when you just have to grit your teeth put all your smiles on and keep on going and it's it's tough it's really for me one of the absolute hardest things is when you're working with another vendor on the wedding day who doesn't approve of how you're doing things and they don't approve in a way that the client can see and that's very awkward um and a lot a lot of times it happens with videographers, so also don't laugh at me it happens to you too where you'll be in a situation and you'll set up a getting ready and it's beautiful and you've got the lights off in the light streaming in from the window and the videographer comes in implants down a light stand and you're like no, no, no, no, no don't please don't do that are you turned the lights off and they turn it back on and they're like that's just too dark and I'm like oh no what we have here is like a huge mismatch of styles I do my best to tell my clients what videographers that I refer I've got a huge list to refer them to but what always happens is at the last minute they decide they want video and they hire someone budget and then they come in with a different style so when that happens I just try to collaborate like listen hey I just need like forty five seconds of shots like this and then if you need me to turn the lights on or you need to turn on your light you go to town you give me what I need I'll give you what you need and if you don't give me what I need then I'm gonna have to get a little aggressive and please don't make me do that it makes me feel horrifying but I've got to do my job I can't let another vendor steamroll me into kind of being a shrinking violet and not getting my job done and that's a really difficult place to be in because when you're standing up for yourself and you're sort of making sure that you could cause later when the client looked at the images they're not gonna care that you and the videographer didn't get along or that the coordinator didn't trust you you still have to be able to deliver and I always prefaced with videographers by saying listen I'm gonna one hundred percent apologized I'm gonna walk in front of you at some point it's not personal it's not because I don't respect you I'm just a blind idiot on the wedding day and I'm going to blunder in front of you grab me by the back of the shirt move me out of the way if you have to like and I just apologize like I'm so sorry and they're always like yeah we're going to do it to you too it's you know we just walk in front of each other but it gets really hard when sometimes you'll run into a videographer who has the idea of it's me against you and in talking to videographers they experienced that with us two it's not one sided like videographers get photographers who act like divas and won't let them get what they need so if I start off the very beginning of the day even when we're just shooting the details by saying you know what if you get that can I borrow that after you do and then when I'm done with this I'll give this to you if they see that I'm trying to give and take with them then it's gonna be fine and yeah but coordinators can be a tough one especially if they have their photographers that they work with a lot and you're new and you do something a little different than they d'oh I would actually have no problem if it got very difficult either pulling the coordinator aside myself for having my assistant polar aside and be like listen I understand that you kind of don't get what we're doing but when you're talking about it in front of the client it's making the client not trust you and not trust me and it's getting really awkward and like I know that you're not trying to do that you're just trying to do what's best for your client and in your head you're going right now but you can't but if you literally pull them aside and you're like listen please trust me I know what I'm doing I absolutely have their best interests at heart I promise everything's looking really beautiful and then you show them a few pictures you know I would have no problems talking to them and it's hard because you don't you don't want to step up you don't want to assert yourself you don't want to make a scene but you also have to get your shots too so that took care of the coordinator videographer diatribe so you're saying there's a lot to manage during a wedding day not when you're shooting details that's the best part no I'm just kidding it's like I said once you start adding in other people it gets hard because you have other vendors with their own agendas, completely understandably. And then you have clients who they're not used to this. They don't do this every week. The bride doesn't have a wedding every single saturday, like, how do they know? And sometimes I get really frustrated, and I'm like she kept turning away from the window. She kept turning away from the window of my assistants, like she didn't know like she doesn't. They don't get it, so trying to put myself in their shoes, and the older I get there, she was, get a lot younger and it's, you know, it's it's, tough, like just trying to remember what's important to them, and I don't want to ruin their day by over opposing them. So you have to find that balance in yourself, of getting what you need, and also letting them enjoy themselves.

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