Skip to main content

When You Hate Your Job as a Wedding Photographer

Lesson 36 from: Wedding Photographer Survival Kit

Susan Stripling

When You Hate Your Job as a Wedding Photographer

Lesson 36 from: Wedding Photographer Survival Kit

Susan Stripling

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

36. When You Hate Your Job as a Wedding Photographer


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

When You Hate Your Job as a Wedding Photographer

00:00:02.09 --> 00:00:04. I struggle with postproduction workflow outsource 00:00:04.4 --> 00:00:06. my color and exposure correction but I find I still 00:00:06.53 --> 00:00:08. spend at least two to three days on the images afterwards 00:00:09.04 --> 00:00:10. not because they're doing a bad job because I'm a 00:00:10.71 --> 00:00:12. bit of a perfectionist and spend a lot of time with 00:00:12.73 --> 00:00:15. a local adjustment brush and I want them and I want 00:00:15.05 --> 00:00:17. to edit and skin smooth people in all the photos to 00:00:17.12 --> 00:00:19. look their best I'm worried if I would change my approach 00:00:19.66 --> 00:00:21. I would lose customers is the look of my images might 00:00:21.72 --> 00:00:22. change 00:00:23.49 --> 00:00:26. you have got to learn when to stop you know julia 00:00:26.52 --> 00:00:29. keller said something the other day and I'm struggling 00:00:29.11 --> 00:00:31. to remember the quote where she was talking about 00:00:31.3 --> 00:00:34...

. the lazy perfectionist and she said sometimes done 00:00:34.49 --> 00:00:37. is better than good something like that and paraphrasing 00:00:37.24 --> 00:00:39. horribly but you've got to learn where to stop you 00:00:39.87 --> 00:00:41. will reach a point where your clients aren't going 00:00:41.56 --> 00:00:44. to see the nit picky little things that you do you 00:00:44.08 --> 00:00:47. have to find in your own business in your own profitability 00:00:47.15 --> 00:00:51. where you have to stop the end you just have to I 00:00:51.07 --> 00:00:53. mean you dio could I sit in tinker with a wedding 00:00:53.3 --> 00:00:56. for the next two years I could every single second 00:00:56.97 --> 00:01:00. I spend messing with those images and post is a loss 00:01:00.01 --> 00:01:03. of profit so you have to find how much time can I 00:01:03.55 --> 00:01:07. put into this to make them look amazing and then when 00:01:07.1 --> 00:01:07. do I stop 00:01:09.09 --> 00:01:11. if you want to edit every single image, you have to 00:01:11.7 --> 00:01:12. charge accordingly. 00:01:15.24 --> 00:01:17. I got no photography because I love it but now it's 00:01:17.32 --> 00:01:19. happening all the time editing I hate editing I feel 00:01:19.43 --> 00:01:21. like I'm going crazy during the busy season and I 00:01:21.16 --> 00:01:22. don't know he had a cat to keep up somebody's already 00:01:22.79 --> 00:01:25. laughing out in the audience I want to out source 00:01:25.18 --> 00:01:28. but I have no idea how where or what to pay for it 00:01:28.23 --> 00:01:30. I don't even know if I should outsource I just know 00:01:30.78 --> 00:01:32. that I'm overwhelmed okay 00:01:34.29 --> 00:01:37. principal number one overarching principle about outsourcing 00:01:37.13 --> 00:01:38. can I make more money in the time it would take me 00:01:38.9 --> 00:01:42. to edit the wedding if it takes me in two days to 00:01:42.21 --> 00:01:45. edit a wedding sixteen hours could I do something 00:01:45.55 --> 00:01:47. else in those sixteen hours to make money it takes 00:01:48.0 --> 00:01:49. eight hours could do something else and those eight 00:01:49.68 --> 00:01:52. hours to take money make money we talked yesterday 00:01:52.04 --> 00:01:54. about how outsourcing the side corp post got me back 00:01:54.62 --> 00:01:57. three months of my life imagine what I could do in 00:01:57.76 --> 00:02:00. three months can I make more money in those three 00:02:00.53 --> 00:02:03. months I paid sidecar to do those weddings for me yes therefore it is a no brainer how many days my losing to editing and could I make more money in those days and I have outsourced since two thousand and thirteen to sidecar post I love them I don't like my job that's hard I thought I was going to love this I love weddings I love photography but I'm ten years into this I've never had any other job I can't make what I earn is a photographer anywhere else but I'm starting to hate this job and I don't know what to do oh yeah I feel this sometimes julia and I had a really long talk last night about what happens when you follow your passion and your passion becomes a job and you hate your job first of all it's okay it is okay for you to sometimes hate what you do for a living I I consider quitting about thirty two times from the beginning of october to the end of november I'm tired I hate your fall foliage I'm shooting nobody cares about the leaves at any other time of the year and all of a sudden because they're red we really care about them um I'm burnt out it's been a long year I have had a couple of difficult situations this year just with weddings canceling and a couple of people being not thrilled it's really really really hard and it's hard to see out of it when you're in it why did you get into this job in the first place you still like those things about it she said something yesterday julia wise woman that she is is it kind of were you in the room when she did the okay she said something about what about you now would make your eight year old self cry yeah I think on that one for a minute how depressing is that you know what joy did you used to have that you have now lost why did you get into photography in the first place do you still love those things when I sit down and I forced myself to think about it why did I get into this job in the first place I'm my own boss I get to do something creative for a living I get a different a different experience every time I go to work I still like those things there is still hope for me I just have the november's having an exit plan keeps me saying I know how I'm going to get out of this industry I have a seven year plan I have a fifteen year plan and then I have a retirement plan so you tell it to you you can't have it it's mine but I do have a plan I know that I'm not gonna do this until I die I know that there is an up brant period a level period in a down period and I know exactly what those things are that's my light at the end of the tunnel when things get tough do not let your job to find who you are it's my job I like taking pictures I like weddings believe it or not I still like weddings I like my client. I chose this job and every day and every time I go out to work I still choose this job it's still just a job it doesn't define myself as a person in any remote way it fulfills me in a lot of ways makes me completely crazy in other ways but I am not my work and my work is not me the end I don't want to be friends with my clients that's interesting I had a lot of people write to me and say I don't want to be friends with my client and I really struggle with that everyone says that you need to become friends with their clients to succeed I don't know I had to do that and I don't want to do I really have to do that in order to keep going my client's friended me on facebook do I have to accept do I need to send my client's gifts booking gifts through wedding gifts post wedding gifts what do you send and why you have to find your own personal barriers where are you comfortable with interaction in my personal life I have a bubble around me that is pretty big I don't do well with acquaintances I have a small circle of really close friends and family that's pretty much it I don't live a big life I don't go to a lot of parties I am not a very big social person I like to spend time with my friends one on one so looping my clients into some big convoluted circle of friends it's just not my way it's okay to keep your personal life private on social media despite whatever I share on periscope so on and so forth you don't know who I voted for you don't know if I go to church or not you don't know how I feel about hot button social topics I have not mentioned that starbucks cup once in the past day do you know what I mean? Like that's my life and and you can't have it and that's not meant to be rude or disrespectful I give so much to the clients that I work for and so much of my heart and so much of everything that makes me me that I've got to find somewhere to go when I'm not with them and it's my private life you don't know what my husband and I are like together you've probably heard both of us speak you might have heard us speak together you might have met us at a convention but nobody knows what it's like in our marriage because it's none of your business it's my personal life and it's okay to have a personal life and not want to loop your clients into it. It's also okay to want to loop your clients into it whichever way you go go there and it is super super super okay we're to be friends of their clients. Do you want to take him to dinner after an engagement session do it if you don't want to don't do it either way it's cool it's all okay all of it's okay if you're angry it's okay if you're frustrated that's okay if you want to stab everybody right now because it's november if you never want to see another beautiful fall leaf in the background of an engagement session that's okay it's okay to be mad and frustrated and angry it's okay to be scared it's okay to be in survival mode all of that is a ok what I would recommend to all of you at this time of year and it is advice I got to take myself go find what you like we're about to go into the offseason you've got to do things you like whether it's watch netflix take a nap ride a horse ice skate frantically search stub hub for hamilton musical seats whatever makes you happy go find it and enjoy it it will mean that you will go into next year feeling a little less full of despair or at least I certainly hope it does but whatever you are feeling from the top top to the very bottom all of that is cool if you know if being a business owner was awesome all the time where people would do it it is amazing and it sucks and all of that is okay. Any other questions? Thank you. I know you are generally she's given us permission of teo you know not just go at these challenges in this way but to live the life that we want to live and that's again what this is all all about and I mean I'm trying to do it too right like it's about creating your best business it's about surviving that business that you've built and still being the you that you want to be it's tough it's tough and we spent a huge day on thirty days talking about your work life balance it is a really hard thing to do it's especially hard at this time of year it'll be january soon all right so my final question please what's the soundtrack that you listen to a cz you are going through editing your photos you know it's actually fascinating I can't listen to music while I edit really yes I can watch tv but I can't listen to music I really can't like for some reason music gets into my head and it gets me all going and then I get all confused I have been been watching parenthood anybody else here has anyone watched it I hate those people but I love those people they're terrible parents and like I keep watching it I'm like stop crying to stand up for yourself like why are you crying again why is everybody always crying and I keep watching it and it's true I also binge watch gilmore girls at the same time which is super confusing because she's in both shows, so I don't know like I love you, I hate you, I love you, I hate you, it's like a personal ongoing. The conundrum us in a podcast. Sometimes I've been listening to gilmore guys. Is anybody listen to that it's, two guys who watch two more girls and tear each episode apart while they watch it and it's like sitting with your snarky best friends and listening to them like terrorist show apart it's, great it's, great. Um, yeah, I just I can't do it every time I try to turn on music to edit. Unlike this is horrible, it's turned on tv. I realized that is not logical, but I have two monitors. I thought it would be for production ones for netflix. I mean, you knew it, too, right? I'm like I'm gonna put my pallets over here, and I'm gonna work over here, and I just work here with netflix over there all the time, all the time. Yeah, susan, thank you for being so, so. Go with that, and I have a line that says, thank you, and then my contact in front, you can leave it there, but seriously, if you have any other questions, if you need to find me anywhere, this is all of my contact info. The dynamic range dot com is especially for you guys is photographers. I have a dynamic range facebook group. I have a mailing list. We're having a retreat, like you can find me in a lot of different places, albeit vp, high next year, but mostly, once january rolls around, I'm going to be asleep. The end to the era and get a nap and you get a nap. You get.

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