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The Gear That Will Save You in Tough Situations

Lesson 2 from: Wedding Photographer Survival Kit

Susan Stripling

The Gear That Will Save You in Tough Situations

Lesson 2 from: Wedding Photographer Survival Kit

Susan Stripling

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Lesson Info

2. The Gear That Will Save You in Tough Situations


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

The Gear That Will Save You in Tough Situations

So let's just jump right into it without further ado talking about how your gear can help you survive so expensive gear first and foremost cannot make up for a lack of photography skills and I know you see this on facebook all the time I am new into wedding photography and I want to make pictures that looked like this what lenses that and you're like oh sweetie like it isn't it is so much bigger than what lenses that so I want you when you were looking through all of these bits of gear to remember that you have to bring the technical skills to it you have to bring the photographic knowhow to it there is a difference between ok gear in great gear like we all know there's lenses that are sharper than others and I'm going to spend money on this camera body because it can do things for me that that camera body can't that's not what I'm talking about I'm talking about thinking that just buying these things that I'm talking about that they're going to suddenly make you awesome that will help...

you but you have to be awesome first if you're following along and your frantically writing down every single bit of information that I have for you I'm gonna give you a website to go to first so I blawg for photographers on a site called the dynamic range and it is the dynamic range dot com if you're sitting around on instagram right now I'm susan stripling photography on instagram the link is actually in my bio over to the dynamic range and I've made a resource list for you so every lens that I'm talking about every resource that I mentioned it's all listed on the list if I hit something today or tomorrow that's not on that list hit up the chat room let them know and I'll make sure it gets on that list so you have that resource therefore you fancy gear does not equal fancy pictures much as we all wish it did and stop making your if I only had excuses about gear now there are some lenses that oh I wish I could take macro pictures but I don't have a macro lens or filters or extension tube's well okay that's a good excuse you literally don't have the gear to make that happen but if you have an eighty five one eight and you don't have an eighty five one four you still have a pretty good lens so at the end of these two days hopefully all of your excuses about why you can't make something work those will be gone so to talk briefly just a quick overview of what I have actually in my bag on the wedding day I have two nikon d seven fifties they have actually become my primary cameras I cannot even explain how magical these little cameras are I used to shoot with two d four yeses as my primary bodies and now they're relegated to backups because the g seven fifty is it's a powerhouse it's crazy how get anybody out there be seven fifty one two we can be friends all right I have a nikon d eight ten which I will pull out for portrait's because it is a phenomenal portrait camera for the rest of the wedding day the files are just so big that it is a storage nightmare to shoot a couple thousand images on that d a ten it's a monster but for portrait the files are extraordinary I also have a d for s as a back up so I do carry four cameras on the wedding day two that I used primarily to that are mostly in there to back up I have three sb nine tens I have three that are also broken sitting on my kitchen table and I think they've been there for like three months I have beaten these flashes into the ground I mean shot them until they just gave up and died and I keep replacing them they're the best flashes I've ever had I also have to s t nine battery packs it takes eight double a batteries it helps the recycle time on your flash it's pretty amazing click I have power extra chargeable batteries I had been using power access for forever. I asked on twitter not too long ago who's using what I did all my research I decided not to switch I bought like sixteen mohr we actually take with us on a wedding day it's a double sided men's toiletry bag like one of those like top kits that you travel with and it's got two sides one side has ah a little attachment on it so that we know what needs to be charged I have uncharged batteries in one side and charged batteries in the other and it is it's a doorstop that thing is ridiculous because often shoot doubles on a weekend or sometimes triples and I don't ever want I know your eyes were just like what I would ideally like to recharge batteries in between but if I have a drive or I'm just super tired I wantto have enough that I can get through two or three days without having to plug anything in although let's be real I still go home and obsessively charge everything the second I get home have a nice flight I had the old ice light which was amazing and now I have the ice light version too which is like two times more amazing it's more powerful it's it's just amazing I like it so much I have two of them you're going to see me use it ah lot um I have an assistant with me on the wedding day but the main thing that I got after teaching thirty days of wedding photography was what if I have to do these things without an assistant so when you see me shooting these scenarios it's just me buy myself new assistant off camera flash for family formals no assistant lighting a portrait with a nice light no assistant so you'll see how I do it you'll see how it's all set up but the ice light is crucial to doing that I have a rogue flash vendor for any of you again who saw me shooting thirty days you saw me using it for family formals it is ah like modifier that goes over your external flash again the dynamic range dot com I have that listed you can go see exactly what it looks like I assure you it is awesome so the lenses I'm crazy I mean I'm just going to go ahead and hand preface this I carry two seventy two two hundreds with me thank you cannot that super hopeful goes what and there's a reason for it and a wedding a couple of years ago I dropped my d for us with my seventy two two hundred on it and it made a noise that you don't ever want your gear to make it was like a crunching like bone cracking noise and both the camera and the lynns we're just for the rest of the day. Once my seventy two two hundred went down I realized that the longest linds I had in my bag was my hundred five macro and when the seventy two two hundred at two hundred is such a major part of how I shoot most of the day I was down without a backup I don't bring back ups for all of my lenses because like for example if you have a thirty five in a twenty four to seventy well your twenty four to seventy goes down you've got your thirty five maybe a fifty it'll help out in that range but there is no substitute for two hundred millimeters I can't make any of my other lindsay's look like two hundred millimeters so I actually once I got that one repaired I bought the seventy two two hundred f or we're going to talk about these two lenses and why but I actually do have both of them twenty four to seventy two eight twenty four to one twenty four doesn't get us much play as the others but it's still pretty great sixteen thirty five to eight probably my least used lynn's in the bag but when you need it you need it you know what I mean like a big overall room shot maybe I use it once a wedding it's really nice to have hundred five millimeter macro eighty five millimeter one four thirty five to o that is a phenomenal little bumble bee of elin's and it's dirt cheap twenty eight to eight same thing so that's great we talked about everything that I carry and I will admit that I sort of cord gear for everything that's in my bag I have a shelf at home with more stuff that's just sitting there now what do I need if I'm going out and I'm saying bare bones survival kit on the wedding day what do I have to have this is what I have to have to d seven fifties and a backup I shoot two cameras all wedding day long I need a backup if I'm used to shooting two one goes down I have to be able to grab another and keep going so two cameras and back up two flashes partly because I used on camera and off camera flash both I don't use them at the same time I don't often have an on camera and an off camera going at the same time so if one of my sb nine tens went down I could use the one that's remaining and just switch it back between on cameron off camera it really it would be annoying but it wouldn't be undoable I would recommend three flashes just signed paranoid but again bare bones survival kit you definitely need teo my eye slight you pry that thing out of my cold dead hands I'm serious the seventy two two hundred to eight twenty four to seventy two eight I mean enough said versatile amazing lenses one hundred five million macro my eighty five one four and my thirty five tuo I would mostly have the thirty five tuo in there in an essential survival kit because of my twenty four to seventy went down. I would need something in that range. If I packed all of this in one bag, I could shoot a whole wedding with. It would make me a little nervous. I wouldn't have a lot going on backup wise, but bare bones survival kit. This is what I have going on.

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