Skip to main content

Why Each Room Works and Why It Doesn't

Lesson 7 from: Wedding Photographer Survival Kit

Susan Stripling

Why Each Room Works and Why It Doesn't

Lesson 7 from: Wedding Photographer Survival Kit

Susan Stripling

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

7. Why Each Room Works and Why It Doesn't


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

Why Each Room Works and Why It Doesn't

That was a funding you that we just walked through that list and entertainment right there so I want to talk very briefly about what does and what doesn't work in each of these rooms that we were in with progressing amounts of humor if you guys could just hold your questions on each of these rooms because what's going to happen after this we're going teo quick another analysis type walk through then we're going to jump straight into shooting details and I just wanted to avoid the so if you had to shoot family formals in this room what would you do sort of questions because we have two days of shooting in this lovely space to get through so what works and doesn't work so room number one right pro it's a wide space and you can use a long lens that's a pro that's kind of major khan the backgrounds aren't great it's tough pro there are windows with great curtains I like them they're big huge windows the curtains are dark they're kind of grand looking the con is that the windows don't let i...

n great light now it's a seattle than you it was gloomy it was rainy maybe on another day at a certain point in time during the day and the sun was in a different place in the sky I might have been able to get some really cool light coming through next the speakeasy that was your going to see later, they're actually what my assistant I call woop oop lights, those d j light's right there. D j light's in here or in a tournament later. It is as good as you think it is. Pros. The wall is dark khan. There is not one ounce of natural light. The ceilings are really low. There are no interesting backgrounds like at all or anywhere. It's, true hopes are guys. I got so excited. I just kept on moving hallway like there's baby's breath on the sign. I don't even understand what's happening. They're pro there's a window. I mean, we're taking what we can get con it's not in a good location. Throw the hallway is long so I could use a long lens that's that is actually a legitimate pro khan but there's not good light it's difficult. So the lobby. Okay, okay, there's. Promise here. Natural light, that's a good thing, it's only great for about twelve minutes early in the day and late in the day. Otherwise it's just dark. You know, like in grand central in new york, there is a brief like thirty minute period during the day, which changes depending on what day your at are. You know what time of year you're at, also where this beam of light comes straight through grand central, and I could not have lit it better if I tried figuring out what time that is literally mathematically impossible, but sometimes it's amazing. It was amazing in that lobby for about twelve whole minutes pro. I love the color of the walls. I do. I legitimately dio, I think it's, a great kind of like maroon e, bloody red it's, really nice con it's, hard to find a good shooting angle, that's what always trips me up in some places where you're walking and you'll be like, this is great, but it's not great. In an area where I really can shoot and it's the areas I can shoot that's not great, then you're tryingto like, puzzle it out and put it together. Enough said pro, not a single solitary thing. Con basically everything. It's a closet, y'all it's a closet with like fluorescent lights and it's a closet. And we're going to shoot the dress in it. So there's this room for I mean it's like someone's grandmother sitting room there, and I'm not saying it's not without a certain charm. It's actually very charming, just shooting wise pro. I love the vintage grandmother's house field to the decor I legitimately do. It was kind of retro in charming khan. There is no natural light that will work anyway in any great way, unless it's twelve noon and the light is coming straight through that skylight above you. But then it's twelve noon and the light is coming from never mind pro there's, a hallway that I can stand in so that I can shoot with a long lens into that room. That's a legitimate pro con the background that would let me the background that would let me use isn't great, and all of the other shooting angles are strange that's tough, so making it work? How are we legitimately going to make these situations work? How are we going to survive in a insurmountable e difficult location when we can't even go outside because it's raining? Don't let the immediate panic overwhelm you and I maybe that's funny but I see one of our audience members patting his wife on the leg out there I get a feeling that happens and my assistant who's with me at every single wedding she knows sometimes all walking into a place and she could just see on my face that I'm thinking well that's it this is it I finally found the one place I can't shoot in I'm terrified it's gonna happen it hasn't happened yet but you can't let that panic overwhelm you because then you're not going to able to think clearly you're not gonna be able to function you're just gonna be like a hamster on a well running around and around in your own head it's okay to take a second to breathe and scout the location that's why we arrive early if we've never worked there before now why do I not do location visits I've had clients ask me you're going to do a walk through of our space if you've never shot there before will you meet us and do a walk through and my answer is no and it's not because I'm not trying to give my clients good customer service it's not because I'm trying to avoid getting out of work it's because unless I walk through their venue at the exact time I will be in their venue in the exact season that I will be at their venue in the exact lighting conditions what good is that? Is that visit if I want to do this venue in june at noon and the sun was out I'm literally in a different venue so there's no point I do show up early if I've never worked there before all showed up an hour early all walk around I'll scout the space so at least I'm just familiar with the logistics of how point a leads to point b but as far as a site visit it's not going to help me much and if anything it's just going to confuse me or frustrate me and you have to trust your own skills you have to trust your own ability to take photographs and know that I know that you're coming prepared with the technical skills the panic that you're feeling is just because the location is difficult not because you're not a good photographer you've still got this so what we're going to do in every single location that we come into we're going to find the light first now if there is no light at all we're going to skip step number one and go to step number two why? Because if I can figure everything else out I can figure out how to make the light so we find the light first or decide on a background we figure out what gear we're going to use what lindsay or you're going to use what lighting modifier you're going to need, and we're going to figure out how to stage the scene.

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