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Bridal Preparation Photo Review

Lesson 33 from: 30 Days of Wedding Photography

Susan Stripling

Bridal Preparation Photo Review

Lesson 33 from: 30 Days of Wedding Photography

Susan Stripling

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Lesson Info

33. Bridal Preparation Photo Review


Class Trailer

Day 1




Evolution of Susan's Style


Branding and Identity


Mistakes Made and Lessons Learned


Day 2


Introduction to Gear & Equipment


Lenses Part 1


Lenses Part 2




Day 3


Seeing the Scene


Seeing the Scene Q&A


Rhythm and Repetition


Leading Lines and Rule of Thirds


Rule of Odds and Double Exposures


Day 4


Intro to Business


Day 5


Financing Your Business


Day 6


Q&A Days 1-4


Day 7


Pricing Calculator


Day 8


Package Pricing


Day 9




Day 10


Vendor Relationships & Referrals


Day 11


Marketing w Social Media


Day 12


Booking the Client


Day 13


The Pricing Conversation


Day 14


Turn A Call Into a Meeting


Day 15


In Person Meeting


Day 16


Wedding Planning


Day 17


Actual Client Pre Wedding Sit Down


Day 18


Engagement Session Details


Day 19


Engagement Session On Location


Day 20


Wedding Details & Tips


Day 21


Detail Photos Reviewed


Day 22


Bridal Preparation


Day 23


Bridal Preparation Photo Review


Day 24


Bridal Prep - What If Scenarios


Day 25


Q&A Days 5-11


Day 26


First Look Demo


Day 27


First Look Examples


Day 28


Portraits of the Bride


Day 29


Portraits of the Bride and Groom


Family Portraits Demo


Family Formal Examples


Wedding Ceremony Demo


Day 30


Wedding Ceremony Examples


Different Traditions and Faiths


Wedding Cocktail Hour and Reception Room Demo


Wedding Cocktail Hour and Reception Room Examples


Wedding Introductions


First Dance


Wedding Toasts


Parent Dances


Wedding Party


Reception Events


Nighttime Portraits


Nighttime Portraits with Found Light


Post Wedding Session Demo


Post Wedding Session Critique


Wedding Day Difficulties


Post Workflow - Backing Up Folder Structure


Post Workflow - Culling Shots


Post Workflow - Outsourcing


Q&A Days 12-23


Post Workflow - Gear


Post Workflow - Lightroom Editing


Managing Your Studio


Post Wedding Marketing


Client Care


Pricing for Add-Ons


The Album Process


Balancing Your Business with Life


Post Wedding Problems


Parent Complaints


Unhappy Customers


Working with an Assistant


Assistant Q&A


Lighting with an Assistant


Q&A Days 24-30


Lesson Info

Bridal Preparation Photo Review

So I want to step through the pictures that you saw in the scenarios that you saw during the getting ready, which is while you were able to see me working I wasn't able to stop and explain every single situation in depth so it would like to step back and sort of recap it as it were and talk a little bit about what you just saw. First of all, what was wrong with where the chair wass in the very beginning when I asked the makeup artist if she doesn't mind moving her chair the chair was so close to the window and in kind of an awkward location I wasn't a huge fan of how the light was falling on her face during that portion so I asked her to back the chair off from the window just a little bit what that also allowed me to do was put her face against the darker portion of the curtains so if you look at this picture right here if you look off to the left of the picture you can see how the light coming in from the window is bright on the first part and then starts falling off into shadows ove...

r towards the left of the frame. What I was trying to do was to move blair so that her face was more towards the darker portion of the curtains themselves which you can see a little bit better here the darker portion the curtains is right behind her head, you can see the light that's coming in through the window and striking her face because her face is against a darker background. If she had been against a lighter background, you wouldn't have seen that stark difference between the dark background on the light on her face anywhere near as clearly as you do here now, I understand a lot of times when you go to a getting ready, you really don't have any say so over where the bride is getting her makeup done. In this instance, I was incredibly fortunate that they had already set up by the window. She was already in a bit of makeup before I had arrived, and she was going to be sitting in a lighting scenario that worked really, really well for me. Now, if I had shown up and she had been on the other side of the room or she had been kind of where she was sitting to get her hair done, which wasn't necessarily the best lighting scenario, the first thing they'll always do is I'll ask the makeup artist if they mind moving and it depends how much stuff they've got. It depends, sort of how spread out they are. And I have no problem saying, hey, you know, if you have a second, if you don't mind, is there any way we could move this over by the window? The light would be really great over there. Is that something we could do? And if the makeup artist says no, there there's no way that we can't do that at all, I'm already set up here, or why would you want to do that? Or I get any pushback at all, it's not worth it, and this is something that I sort of well, talk about over and over again throughout all of these wedding day segments. Is that it's not worth pushing your client? Sometimes it too, really you have the opportunity to put them in a better scenario, or to put them in better lighting to make a better photograph, but is the better photograph that you're going to make better than the irritation that you're going to cause the client by moving them there? Is it so cold outside that even though you're going to be able to make beautiful portrait of the bride and groom, they're going to be miserable and uncomfortable and unhappy by going outside? Because I guarantee you, if you do that, when they look at those pictures of themselves outside later, they're not goingto love the picture, they're not going tio you, and about the light or the creative thing that you did, they're going to remember that you pushed them to go outside when they were cold, and the last thing I want is blair to look at these photographs of her getting ready, and instead of remembering how great it was and how her family was around her and how everyone was supporting her and the wonderful moment she's going to remember that susan bullied the makeup artist so that she could sit by the window and that's, just not something that I'm comfortable with, so you have to gauge both within yourself and within your clients, your comfort level of how far are you willing to push them to get a better photograph and then just adjust accordingly? Why did you shoot through the stuff on the table? That's a very valid question, the images that I was making of her getting her makeup done in that entire process were great. There wasn't a whole lot to look at. There was her, there was the curtains. There was the makeup artist who she doesn't know, it's, just a make up artist that she's hired to do her face on the wedding day, but there wasn't a whole lot of visual interest because there wasn't a whole lot of visual interest, and because there wasn't a very strong, deliberate light source that was pushing your eye directly to the subject was just a picture of a really beautiful woman getting her makeup done by a window. I wanted to first of all create more visual interest, and then I wanted to use an element that pushed your eye directly to her face. So I went over to the other side of the table where everyone was getting their hair done at, and I deliberately put the items on the table in my field of vision and use it to block out distracting elements. I basically created a blurry vignette that pushes your eye directly to blair's face the light on her face is good. The makeup artist isn't obstructing her face with her hands and all of the things that I've introduced into the frame push her I write back to her face. Not only is it interesting to look at, not only do I think it's very pretty, but again it's it's helping me with the effect that I'm going for, which is taking your eye right to where I wanted to be when I'm working with a makeup artist, who's touching and touching and touching a client's face, sometimes I have to shoot a little bit more than I normally would because her hands are moving so fast you can't pause and wait for the moment because all of this is happening so I was shooting a little bit more than I normally would, but it is still a very deliberate I'm still waiting for the makeup artist's hands to do something interesting. I'm still waiting for the body positioning to be just right. But again, the reason I went to the other side of the table was to kind of creative in yet to take your eye straight up to her face. So what was up with asking sandra about finding another place for the dress? Why did I do that? Well, if you notice you got kind of a brief sense of what the room looked like, there really wasn't any where put it, there were a lot of people in a very small room. I didn't want to put her dress in the bathtub. The light in the bathroom wasn't really great for that. While it was really wonderful for photographing those other details, it wasn't exactly what I was looking for to put a dress in there so sometimes in weddings past. If there's no, really great place to put the dress in the room where the bride is getting ready, we'll look into taking the dress out of the room. They have to be really careful with that because if I take the dress out of the room I run the risk if somebody else was a guest at the wedding or a groom or a family member seeing the dress before the bride is ready for them to do that since I'm going to take it out of the room I'm always going to ask her permission first you do you mind if I take the dress into the hallway but there really wasn't anything there there was no light in the hallway there was nothing visually interesting in the hallway now I wasn't worried about finding natural light we could have made the light ourselves if we needed to but I simply sent sandra out there to see if there was any visual interest in any other area than where we were that we could take the dress too. Sandra and I have worked together for over five years now and she knows what I'm looking for so I feel very comfortable sending her out on a scouting mission to try to find something for me and I'm not sending her out there to find this for me because I'm too lazy to do it myself or because I can't do it myself but I need to keep shooting I don't need to stop and go scout a location when something is going on in front of me that I need to be documenting so that's, why I asked her if she minded stepping out in the hallway and seeing if she could find anything for me? We didn't find anything, no big deal whatsoever, we just carried on with the day, so I wanted teo take this time to show you what I did with the champagne glass and kind of a before and after of it, I'm at one hundred sixtieth of a second at my eighty five millimeter one hundred sixty is where I'm comfortable not getting any camera shake, even with some moving people at that focal length. I'm an f three point two because not only am I trying to get blair's face and focus, I'm trying to pull a little bit of the dress as well. If I were at one point eight on her face, the dress would be a little more indistinct over here on the right that's why I chose to go to three point two I'm with my twenty four to seventy millimeter also it only goes down to two point eight if I had wanted a one point eight effect, I would have had to go to my eighty five and back up further, but I'm with my twenty four to seventy I'm at three point two my eyes, so is seven twenty I'm underexposed, I've ruled my exposure compensation down by about a stop here because if you let your camera thank for you it's going to see the brightness coming in through the window it's going to see the dark shadows on either side and it's going to attempt to equalize them I'm not looking for a perfect test a gram here I'm not looking for a bell curve the way I use light trying to get a perfect bell curve is impossible and completely meaningless to me so that's not what I'm aiming for but this is the shot perfectly exposed straight up no additional elements added into it and then here is the next image if you can see I'm still in one hundred sixteenth of a second I'm still it f three point two I'm it forty two millimeters but that's pretty close to where I was before and all I've done is you saw me pick up a glass of champagne and hold it directly in front of my lens I did go back later I filled the champagne up a little bit more so that the indistinct area in the middle went all the way to the top of the frame but by then things have moved on a little bit and it wasn't really the same scene that I had been photographing before so this is the image that I ended up really liking part of what I've done here is I'm attempting to bring your eyes just to the dress and just to her face we've got visual interest on both sides of the frame. The other thing is I'm attempting to block out the makeup artist and no offense to the make up artist in any way, shape or form whatsoever. But she's, not a friend of the bride's she's, a vendor that the bride is hired to provide a service for her. So while she's there, while part of the image while you can see her working on the bride's face, I wanted to cut her out and leave the two things that were meaningful, the bride in her dress and I simply introduced that into the middle not to be clever, not to be different, not to be weird, but as a very deliberate effect. Take your eye to both the bride and to the dress, as I've mentioned before, and I'll mention many times I'm not a fan of being weird just for the sake of being weird. I'm never going to introduce an element in front of my frame or use something to muddy the front of my glass or put a distracting element in either of the thirds or the center of the frame just because I can, I'm doing it for effect for a very deliberate reason for a very deliberate purpose. Again why did your shutter sound weird? We talked about this a little bit during the details shooting portion of the day but if you're joining us for the first time I wanted to recap it for you and if perhaps you might have missed that yesterday my shutter sounds weird not because my shutter speed is super super slow I understand that that's something that people think when they hear the camera fire like that they think oh my gosh you're shooting it like a tenth of a second or a fifth of a second it's because I've turned my d for and my d three us onto quiet mode it makes the shutter less obtrusive it makes it quieter unfortunately it also makes it sound like you have no idea what your settings are but in a room like a getting ready room in a very tiny space when a lot of things were going on when emotions are kind of running high and I'm trying to be unobtrusive even though I'm right there in the middle of things the last thing I need is my shutter being super loud so I do what I can to minimize that sound how do I manage working with kids? Well in this instance it was really easy that little girl was absolutely delightful, but I've noticed that working with kids can go one of several different ways either the kid can't stop staring at you because they're kind of conditioned by their parents that when you pick up a camera you smile at it or they want to touch the camera all the time that's kind of a weird thing they know I'm shooting digital everybody shooting digital, so they see me shooting them and they come over and they want to see my picture that I'm taking of them or they hate me, right? And there's not a whole lot I can do about that, but emotions were running high there kind of being forced to behave sometimes they've missed their nap and there's this lady that they don't know what the camera in front of their face on dh they don't like me very much, so when working with kids kind of different than working with bridesmaids, I will make a little bit more effort to engage them. I'll make a little bit more effort to talk to them, I want them to become more comfortable with me. I also want them to become more comfortable with me so that they forget I'm there. I don't want the kids hamming it up for the camera, I want them enjoying themselves in this instance, I was really lucky because the kid was great and there was a lot going on and she had her dress to look at, they gave her a gift she was able to play with that but there were several points in time when I talk directly to her when I showed her the picture of herself and it was just simply to establish a comfort level between herself and I what about that part where you were trying to shoot through the stylist arm and it didn't work again sometimes the things that you're trying to do don't work that was me trying to be way too clever for the sake of being clever I was attempting to put a vignette around her face in the mirror by using the stylist arm and the side of her body but it didn't work because she was moving too fast I wasn't at the right angle and when I was actually able to shoot through her arm the light on blair's face wasn't exactly what I wanted it to be so I tried it for a few minutes I made a good faith effort to make it work but you have to know when you're trying something and it's not working out for you at what point in time did you say this isn't working I need to move on normally I'm not going to say this out loud but I have no problems trying something looking at it and going I'm never gonna be able to make this work and moving on to find something different so again some other moments throughout the day the part of the day where I held up the purse to try to make an interesting image with the video, I'd as well, the first thing I did was I held up the purse and I simply shot with the purse in my hands and what's happening here, you can see that I'm at one point for I'm at one point for partly to make the right side of the image of more blurry, indistinct shape, but partly so that I could put my focal point directly on this bride's maids I and have her eyes and her eyelashes be the only thing and focus and for everything else to gently melt away, I'm using my eighty five at one point for one hundred sixty fifth of a second with my auto I s so again, I'm on cloudy white balance in case you were wondering, but this isn't working for me, there's nothing wrong with this frame. This frame is perfectly fine. I delivered this frame to the client it's pretty, but I looked at it when I shot it and I thought, you know, to make this really effective. What I'm going to have to do in post production has burned down the right side of the image because if I'm looking at this image, the first place that my eye goes is to the right side. And in post production in working on images for competition, one of the tricks that I've learned is, if you can tell if your eyes going directly to your subject, if you can't find the hot spot to the distracting spots, flipped the image upside down, so if you take the image and you flip it upside down, you have to look and see where your eyes automatically going to go to, and I knew full well. If I flip this image, my eye was automatically going to go to that kind of mass on the right because it was too bright, they get just it just was not working out for me, so I needed to throw some light on it at an angle so that it would create some dimension, and it would make it sparkle, and also dark and down in the way that I wanted it to, and I ended up with this, putting the light on it from the ice light. It came in at an angle, so it's skimmed across it, created light and shadow in the sequins, and it also added a warmth to it, which the image had been lacking before. Why did I go around and close all of the curtains? There was so much light in that room the light was pouring in, the light was bouncing around the light. Is doing a lot of beautiful, wonderful light things, but with all of the light pouring in from all of those different angles, I didn't have a whole lot of shadow and dimension in the images that I was making. I knew that she was about to get ready. I knew that I wanted to focus my light a little more clearly. So I went around to the curtains that I knew that I was not going to be using, and I closed them that remove that light source it's like going around in a studio and shutting off lights one by one that left me with just that one window open on the other side of the room so I could control the light coming in through that window. And it would also give me a shadow side of the room to juxtapose the light that I was pushing onto the bride from the one curtain that I did leave open so that's why I went around and turn them on, closed them down. Ah lot of times also turn lights off in the getting ready room. If I want just the light coming in from the window, I'll close the other curtains and I'll turn off the lights. And a very well meaning mother or a bridesmaid or somebody in the room will always say, oh, my gosh, you turn the lights off when you turn them back on for you don't you need more light and my responses? No, I need better light because if I've got light coming in from multiple lance and multiple can delights and everything it's all competing with the light that's coming in from the window, which is what I really wanted in the first place, so a lot of times you'll see my assistant going around the room. She knows the first thing to do is to turn off the lamps that we don't need. First of all, I have a terrible habit of putting lamps on people's heads in the background and giving them all lamp hats, which is not very good, but also because I don't need that additional color balance and I don't need that additional light source if I'm not using it to make the images that I'm making. How do you decide where the bride should stand? It's a very, very, very valid question I chose to put her here. I didn't have a whole lot of options as to where to put her, but luckily this worked out exactly for what I wanted. If it had been brighter during the day because this was a very rainy day it was raining, it was very dark the weather was kind of getting worse as the day went on this year's that air pulled up in the middle of the window if it had been bright and the light coming through been super bright and very, very distracting I would've pulled those shears down or in another hotel room I would have closed those shears so that that distracting light would have been muted down kind of like putting a soft box over the window she is standing right at the edge of the curtains so that the light coming from the window is hitting her face, creating that rim of light that I like very much but she's juxtaposed against the curtains so that I have a dark background to put her against so that you can see that light on her face in a more strong fashion. So that's why I chose to put her exactly where I put her why did you say don't look at the rain I could tell it was stressing her out every time she looked out the window she got more and more nervous and even though we talked about the rain even though we talked about the rain plan, it always absolutely crushes me to see a bride or a groom or a family member on the wedding day be disappointed with anyway of how it's turning out and I got to know blair a little bit as we were going through the process of planning for the wedding and she is a kind woman and she is a gentle woman and she is an incredibly sweet, sweet soul and I wanted her to have I wanted her to have the day that she wanted to have and when she looked out the window and that split second of disappointment crossed her face, I said, don't look at the rain like the rain it's, not that big of a deal. I knew the second she saw jeremy, it would be fine. I knew the second we got to the ceremony, she would be fine, but I just didn't want her heart to sink in her chest at the thought that her day was rainy because it was beautiful, putting her over by the window in the location that I put her also allowed me to come stand in front of her and used the light coming in from the window in a different way. Why did I change angles? And why did I ask her mom to pull her further back into the room? I changed angles because I could, why in the world would you shoot an entire situation? On ly one way, if you have other ways that are afforded to you while I did have her turn and I did have her against the curtain and that really did look wonderful. I also had the opportunity to turn her to face the window so that the light could come in from a different direction than it had been the way before. I liked the yellow doors. I liked the dress hanging on the doors. I liked the weird peak hot wallpaper, and I liked the fact that I found a reflective angle. I knew that if I took my twenty four to seventy and I went over around in that way, I would be able to get the reflection to the left of the frame as well and create a completely different image. So that's, how I'm tryingto work the light in a different way in those scenarios to get the maximum result out of the scene that I have in front of me. Why did I set the scene? And how did I set the scene for her opening the gift from her husband to be? I wanted her in that light by the window. I did not set her against the curtain because I knew that if she moved her face around if she turned to look at the bridesmaids, if she turned to look at her parents if she did anything other than look straight ahead, then the sun would be coming in the back of her head on, I would have to overexpose are at in light to expose correctly for her face. It was a little bit too much of a risk, so I put her in the chair. I let her sit down so that she wouldn't wander around the room and I faced her just simply nice and easy into the window. I was able to take the yellow in the chair and pick up on the yellow of the door also use that completely insane wallpaper that I thought was really great. Also putting her there meant that her bridesmaids and her mom sat on the bed, tow watch, and they were also in the light. And why did I mumble to dark it's? Because I talk to myself constantly throughout the day, you only heard my mumble because I had a microphone on my clients don't usually hear my mumble, but if I'm working with an exposure, if I'm trying to get something, if it's not working out quite right, if the light keeps changing as it's coming in and out of the room is the son comes and goes and comes and goes, I talked to myself, literally, that is all that wass sorry, that wasn't something more exciting for you. So I want to show you beyond blair and jeremy's wedding. Because that's, just one getting ready. That's. Just one room and one girl and one instance. I want to show you some other examples of getting ready scenarios and how to handle them. So talking again about the edge of the curtains, how I put blair against the edge of the curtains and I let the light from the windows come in. I want to show you what it could look like in the exact same scenario when the curtains are darker and I know that sounds like a little thing, but at lindsay's wedding here it is the exact same setup her parents are against the edge of the curtains. The curtains are literally physically darker than they were in the room. With blair, this year's air closed and the lights are off in the rest of the room. It is the exact same setup in simply a different room. Same thing here for crystal's wedding. Same set up, different room, same setup, darker room, darker curtains, brighter light. But it shows you that the same scenario over and over again, it can still read differently in a different room with different people with different emotion, with different variations of the intensity of the light coming in through the window. And the differences of the curtains and I know that sounds goofy, but the darker the curtain is behind your subjects, the more prominent the light on their face will appear. This is the exact same principle just moved around a little bit. I didn't have the option to close the curtains at michelle's wedding over here because it was really just kind of a valance at the top of the windows, and the light was very muted. It was very soft, but I was very deliberate in both my positioning of the bride and the positioning of myself, so that when I shot her face, you've got the room of light coming in from the window, but her face and the rest of her body were against the dark background. And this is a great picture to show this as an illustration, because michelle is against the dark curtains and you can see the light really strongly. Her bridesmaid over here to the far right is against the bride's maid behind her, so you can see that beautiful room of light on her face. But if you go here to the bride's maid in the middle, the same light is hitting her arm here that's hitting all of these two other women you just simply can't see it because her arm is against the brighter background. So that light that you're getting from the window and I hate to keep beating this point up, but it's a very important point, you're only going to see the light if it's juxtaposed against the dark, same thing, different room, different people, same room, different people, same light, same setup, just putting the client against the white background instead of the dark background. This is the same light coming through that you've seen in all of these other images. I simply chose to not juxtapose her against a curtain. I put her face against the light, and when I exposed for her cheek, the background blew out even more than it already wass so I don't want you to think that it every single wedding, all I do is put the bride against a dark curtain, and I'm always looking for that sliver of light and I'm always looking for sidelight ah lot of times I will use the light coming in from the window directly on the bride's face, such as here the light is coming from the window, which is kind of off stage left over there, hitting jenna directly on the face. I'm standing up on a chair, shooting down on her with my eighty five millimeter one four at one four. And by the time I exposed for her face which is in the brightness of the light coming in through the window getting the exposure correct on the face whether you get at it by aperture priority or manual whatever makes you happy the correct exposure on the face means that the rest of the scene around her comes down as well and since it was already in shadow it becomes in a darker shadow once the exposure on the face is perfect same thing here helen is directly facing the window again I've got a little sparkle off to the side but it doesn't all have to be against a curtain it doesn't all have to be dramatic light sometimes direct light is also incredibly incredibly beautiful sometimes instead of putting her against the curtain she had gotten ready they were re adjusting her dress I actually put the light to my back I let the light come over my shoulder and hit kim directly in the face. It was a beautiful light source so sometimes I will break my own rules sometimes I will change things around just a little bit if the quality of the light is something that is beautiful the window is at my back I had set rachel on the ground to photograph the bridal portrait that you'll see me dio in just a few short hours I was shooting down on her and her absolutely beautiful eyelashes and the the actual set up of this is she's sitting on the ground she's facing a window, and I'm standing on a chair with the window directly behind me, so the light comes directly onto her face sidelight it doesn't all have to be direct. It doesn't all have to be pushed against a curtain to get a beautiful source of light on her face, such as here and then closer here she's facing the window at an angle so the light is coming in and striking her from the side, such as here, the reflective surface in this instance is a picture hanging on the wall I have also used to tv. I've used all manner of things, from mirror to picture to television to use as a reflective surface in the images that I'm making again, the lightest coming directly in and it's directly hitting her face. She is against a curtain, but she's not turned all the way to the side it's coming in a bit of more of a side diagonal. So once you start seeing the light once you start seeing what it ll looks like when it falls on your client's faces, you'll be able to start moving them accordingly like I've mentioned before, my college degree is actually in theater on a lot of what I learned about lighting was from hanging theatrical lights for stage shows. It really gives you a sense of how the light falls on your subjects and while this is the son this isn't a light that I've invented myself to come in through the window it's treated in the exact same way as I would set up a studio light or the way the studio here has the kino flo is lighting me up or the way I would hang lights in a theater for a stage production it's all lighting hitting your subject in a very deliberate way same thing here light coming directly in from the window onto sarah space but instead of putting my back to the window so that I documented hitting her face directly I've turned her just a bit I've turned myself just a bit so I'm photographing it from a different angle like here same principle different scene and sometimes I will for whatever effect I'm going for instead of putting my clients against the curtains or against a dark background I will put them against the window itself you can see this here from christy's wedding you can see the light hitting the bride's maid's face here on the right you can see the light hitting the face of the girl whose hand she's holding on the left and I've put my client directly against the bright coming through the window you can handle this one of two ways you can either adjust your exposures so that your clients become a silhouette or you can adjust your exposures so that your clients are perfectly exposed in everything else is blowing out for me. That's a difference of rolling my exposure compensation down to two three stops or raising it up to destry three stops. If you're emmanuelle shooter, you will adjust accordingly as well. So in this instance, when ashley picked up her dress, I broke my own rules of turning off all of the light. It's and I left all of those different lamps lit because I liked the graphical element that that brought into the frame itself. It was so bright outside, and when I juxtaposed her against that bright, bright background and brought the exposure down about four and a half stops on this image, I was able to make ashley a silhouette and use all of the other light sources as interesting elements in the photograph. Same here. This is at a plantation goodwood in tallahassee, florida, for you florida people who shoot there. This was really tricky. There wasn't a lot of light coming in from the window, and those lights that were up above the mirrors were awful. I have no idea what white balance that was, that it was a fight balance that wasn't good, and I was really struggling with making something really interesting. In this situation, so I chose to put her directly in front of the window so that I could bring my exposure down by about three stops in my exposure compensation and turn it into a silhouette. I was also able to go wide with my twenty four to seventy at twenty four and use the mirrors on either side to reflect the scene in triplicate. So I'm hoping that with my framing, with those mirrors coming down with the lights coming down, those lines lead you rate right into the subject in the middle and the repetition on either side is justin element that forces your eye directly to the middle where the bride is dead. Center stage. I really like working with silhouettes during getting readies. It could be very graphic could be very interesting, it's just another way to see the scene because what I'm trying to do all day long is shows something in a way that it hasn't been shown before or show it in a different way. I want front light, I want sidelight, I want back light, I want silhouettes, I want varying lenses. I want varying focal links because if I stick toe one thing over and over again and repeat it over and over again, then it's all going to look exactly the same at the end of the day, and I don't want to be one note. I want to deliver a gallery to my clients that is rich and diverse and tells the story in multiple different ways, all of them backing each other up and strengthening all of the other images around them. Again, this is carrie getting ready hair and makeup at exactly the same time. She's, in her own apartment. I put her right against the window and was able to make a really compelling, interesting photograph. I like this because we have silhouette at the top, and we have light at the bottom. So I thought this was a really wonderful juxtaposition of ashley is a silhouette against the window, yet the light in her skirt and the light on her bridesmaids, as they were helping her get ready.

Class Materials

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Quicksheet Inside Guide (one large PDF file)
Quicksheet Inside Guide (zip file of individual PDF pages)
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Ratings and Reviews

Misty Angel

oh Susan, you are AWESOME!! I am not a wedding photographer (despite dipping my toe in this intimidating pool for one of my dearest friends), I shoot all forms of portraits and love sports too! Your '30-Days' has been the single most influential and educational moments since I started my venture into photography in 2009! THANK YOU! Your honesty, directness, bluntness, humor and vulnerability makes these 30-Days the most worthwhile time spent away from actual shooting; while simultaneously is the most inspirational motivator to push you out there to practice these ideas/techniques! #SShostestwiththemostest You raise the bar in this industry, not just with wedding photographers, but with all genres of photography! I wanted this course to learn about shooting and thought, great... I'll get a little bit of the business side too... OMG! I got it ALL! I'm dying! What an awesome investment in myself, my business and in YOU! PLEASE keep doing what you are doing! I love your new Dynamic Range, I feel that it is a wonderful extension of the work you do with Creative Live! I watch you EVERY DAY, every morning... I know that I continue absorbing your wisdom through repetition! I don't want to be you, I want to rise to your level! So thank you for the inspiration, motivation and aspiration! Keep on being REAL, its what we love about you! We embrace your Chanel meets Alexander McQueen-ness! :) Thank you for stepping into this educational space and providing us with your lessons learned so we can avoid the negative-time investment making mistakes... we are drinking your virtual lemonade!! HA! Like the others, whatever wisdom you offer in this medium, I will be jumping at the opportunity to learn from you! THANK YOU!


All the positive reviews say it all. When Susan took on the challenge of teaching this course it must of looked like attempting to climb Mount Everest...and she accomplished just that. Susan is a detailed, well-organized photographer and this clearly comes out in her teaching. Using repetition, clear instructions, a logical and well laid out presentation, she answers most any question you might have when it comes to wedding photography. I felt like I was having a private consultation when watching the course. She is real, honest, tactful, funny, and a gift to the photography community. Finally, her photography is professional and inspiring. Thank you Susan for the tremendous amount of work that you put into making this an outstanding Creative Live course for us all.


Wow. What a super, comprehensive, entertaining, informative course. Well done. I've taking a lot of photography classes and this one is definitely top of the list. Susan Stripling was very well prepared (and great job by the CreativeLive Team too). Terrific course. Susan shared so much. Thank you! P.S. Love the CL boot camp courses.

Student Work