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Q&A Days 12-23

Lesson 61 from: 30 Days of Wedding Photography

Susan Stripling

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Lesson Info

61. Q&A Days 12-23


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

Q&A Days 12-23

We're kind of starting to talk through the episodes that dealt with the wedding day itself, so what I really feel is kind of the best use of our next hour and a half is to talk you through the elements of the wedding day that we haven't recap yet and then just two straight up flat out take one big chunk of questions that duel with shooting the entire wedding day as a whole. So how do we feel about that? Good? So we were on day eleven we're talking about getting ready day twelve dealt entirely with the first look on what we talked about when it came to the first look is what happens if those terrible what ifs? What if you're super late? What if it's super sunny when you're outside during the first look, what do you do if it's dark and cloudy or even worse? What do you do if it's raining? What if you're stuck inside and you can't go outside at all? What if there's no emotion whatsoever during the first look, they just look kind of frightened or they don't know what to do with their faces...

and what do you do if the videographers ruin it? And I don't mean this to any disrespect of my cinematographer friends because there are really wonderful people out there to work with for your wedding cinema ray roman who actually shot are wedding video, which is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen ever he knows how to handle a first look adam from penny lane and dave williams of cinema cake in philadelphia. They approach the first look in the same way I do, but a videographer that I've never worked at before, all with before, all of a sudden in the middle of a first look has been known to say, okay, stop all right now walk again, and I'm like, what have you just done? You just ruin the emotion of the first look, so there are so many different variables that actually go into whether our first look works or doesn't, and on this day I shared my own personal opinions about first looks that I don't likethe um, and I don't like them for over a variety of reasons I don't like them because a lot of times it's a manufactured emotion because people think they should behave in a certain way because something that used to just be something that you did, we were going to shoot portrait's before the ceremony now is turned into this emotional expectation from the clients, and you can't have them have emotion if they don't actually have the emotion, so how do you feel about first? Look, sandra, no, we're good, why? Why not? Why don't you like them? I think, like you said, it puts too much expectations on the couple I mean, we we've run in situations where they're it is a waterworks moment where people are bawling their eyes out and then there's others and they kind of go like, hey, what's up and then they look, and then they look at us like, what now? And it's, I don't know this is your moment like you can't you can't create that that's six true that's a moment between them, and you can't fake it? Absolutely, but as wedding photographers, even if we hate the first look, my job is to give you the pros and cons of why it's good and why it might not be good for you, and then whatever decision you make, we're going to do it. So then we went to blare in germany's actual first look, I felt horrible for them. It rained on their wedding day, we ended up having to move the first look to kind of an under sort of undercover location, but you'll see a video on you know, how these things happened. You'll also see videos that were graciously provided by other cinematographers that I've worked with to see what other examples of first looks can be, and you get to see what it could look like if we're outside and it, sonny or if it's a little bit more stoic yet still beautiful. So we cover every aspect of the first look from logistics to gear tow how you shoot it. I know how it goes down that's all in that day. Then we move on to day thirteen and we talk about portrait. We talk about everything from how I climb up in a window. So I actually do climb up in window sills to take beautiful, window lit portrait of bribes. And we talk about how I do that at pretty much every single wedding that I go to time permitting, we talk about the gear for that I bring to that, how I light it, how I shoot it and how I direct my clients during it. We also talk about shooting a bride by herself, not just with light from a window, but with sidelight like so we cover every single thing that you would need to know about shooting a bride alone in the sunshine like so we even go so far. This is one of my favorite ours of the entire thirty days we talk about the bride and the groom together, and I show you examples of old work that I used to shoot and mistakes that I made angles that didn't work for me, like shooting up noses. Little tricks about if you have to shoot up on a client, how you have them lean towards you, so you're not going straight up their nose. We talk about shooting the bride and groom when their camera wear when they're looking at you when they're smiling directly at the camera that's a really important portrait to capture on the wedding day, talking about how I used to shoot them with improper composition with an improper lin selection with improper lighting. And then we talk about how I refined that into a more elegant portrait where the tools that were used to complete the job where the right tools and the lighting was the right lighting. And then we also talk about lynn's compression, my beloved seventy two, two hundred what's the difference between shooting a portrait with a wide angle lens for just shooting a portrait with a long lens, and I show side by side examples from twenty four millimeters to almost two hundred millimeters in the exact same scene. So we talk about what lenses you used to shoot these portrait's in the different effects that they produce. We also talk about the bride and groom in the sunlight, which is one of the things that people ask me about all the time, something that I learned from my husband, who is a master at this, he taught me how to shoot images like this yes, he showed me the technical skills yes he held my hand and told me where to stand and then I took that and I made it my own which is what I hope that I'm here doing for you what I learned from cliff and made my own I'm giving to you to make your own I was asked questions like grace darnell asked I would love to get some recommendations for a workshop that deals with seeing available light in the philadelphia area which is literally a softball question so that I can talk about what my husband does if this is not your form out of learning if sitting there looking at the internet and listening to me talk to you isn't really bringing these principles home go learn from the man that I learned from cm photography dot com if you go to his blawg it has all of the information that you'll need I think he has a four photographers link on his site about his lighting and skill set boot camp and if you want to go shoot outside with an instructor that will show you what to do and then help you he will take you to a ballroom and you'll work with off camera flash until you've got it down it's the best hands on workshop that I know of and yes he's my husband but I'm also saying it because this is where I learned take a couple questions here because I had a lot of questions about this portion of the day how does susan do posing with couples in groups? Does she have a list of poses she goes through like flo posing or does she just let the couples do their thing and make minor tweaks? I don't ever want to do anything like flo posing ever because in all of my work looks exactly the same if I'm employing the same poses in the same series of poses with every single client that I do than every single wedding is going to look the same and I don't want that I do let my couples do their thing and make minor tweaks I've been trying to see the light and how it falls on various subjects but what I've learned is what I see with the eyes is interpreted very differently by the camera but to carry around a big heavy d seven hundred with a seventy two, two hundred or twenty four to seventy or very bulky intrusive and bothersome would you recommend using a small cheapie camera to see how the camera sees you don't need a camera to see how the camera sees the camera sees the way you see and if you are seeing a scene and you're trying to shoot it and it's not rendering correctly it's because you're not shooting it correctly not because the way you see is different from the way the camera sees don't feel like you have to take a camera everywhere you go to learn how to see the world. I see the world better without a camera to my face, so let's get through the rest and kind of get some questions together from the internet and hit me with all of them at once. Why not? We also on that day talk about shooting silhouettes about the exposure differences needed between the subject in the background to create an effective silhouette. We talk about your settings for such a scenario, that's everything that I know about portrait ce in one day, then we move on to day fourteen, where we talk about family formals, which used to be my least favorite part of the wedding day, and now I don't really mind it all that much because I have my techniques down pat for that, we talk about things such as how you learned to manage expectations? Can I get the number of pictures that you want taken in the timing that you're giving me, managing the expectations of what your clients want out of that portion of the day and that you can that you can give them what they need in the time that they've given you to do it, we talked about setting the schedule. And then we talk about having a plan and a backup. If you plan to take pictures in the park and it rains, where are you going to go? If you're trying to get through a large list in a tight amount of time and you run out of time, what do you do that light that you saw us pull out yesterday and put together? We talk about how I set up the off camera flash for family formals. You actually see how I shoot the family formals. In case you were wondering where sandra stands, you can see her right there and where I am, you can see it right there. And we talk about it in context. Not on ly of at blair and jeremy's wedding, but we take it to other scenarios as well. What do you do if you're shooting family formals outside when there's no light. What do you do if you shoot it outside when you need to supplement it with light? What? Do your settings? What are your gear choices? How are you approaching the entire scene? What do you do if you're stuck inside for family formals in a church or under a hookah, or at an altar what's the principle between how I used of how I use light and the principle of what gear I'm bringing aan die show examples of what everyone of these scenarios looks like, and I show you what my settings are. I show you how I manage the groups, I'm wondering, you're stating that you've always been a single shooter, which is fantastic. I'm wondering if there was a time you shot weddings without sandra, your assistant. And how did you handle off camera flash without an assistant? Did you not use it, or did you run around moving light stands? We talked about this a bit yesterday, I the second I realized that I needed to take a flash off the camera, I realized that I needed a person to help me do it. I'm afraid of knocking a light stand. Excuse me onto someone's head. I'm so sorry I swallow crooked. Let me toss this to sandra for two seconds. Do you think that I could do lighting the way I do lighting? If you weren't there and I put the light on a light stand, find a higher? Why not? No, we and we've tried things with lights on the stand at one point, and it just it didn't work for us, but me, being able to read you at a certain moment and being able to just switch over really quickly and be able to go to the other side of the room and her still to be able to continue to shoot and get whatever moments needs to get she can't do that she has to get up and move ah light stand everywhere just you just can't do it exactly so you would be missing moments and it just it wouldn't work for you know and honestly the price that I paid to have someone help me do that getting the flash off my camera I feel that it made my work significantly better which allowed me to charge a higher price for my services to compensate the lovely and delightful sandra krause then we move on to day fifteen and we talk about ceremonies we talk about blair in jeremy's ceremony blair and jeremy ceremony but we also talk about all wedding ceremonies kind of on mass we talk about ceremony spaces how they're all different how the lighting sometimes stinks how you can't control it, how to get into the space and shoot the setup before anything actually happens in it and then we move over professionals and recession als we talk about how I like them we talk about the gear that I bring to that scenario we talk about where I position myself the times that we might use an external flash if possible in the times that we don't cover everything about that we talkabout difficult light during ceremonies, how sometimes you're stuck in churches and you have absolutely no control over what's going on with the lighting, and it is the time of day when there's nothing that you can do to fix a candlelight overhead or sixty three different white balances, or the variety of different entertaining light source is coming from some of these churches, and how all you can do at this point really is the best you can do in any given scenario. I talk about being observant of everything that's going on around you in a ceremony from the flower girl waiting in the back to go down the aisle in a beautiful shaft of light, the maid of honor holding the rings in her hand, ready to hand them over to even the people in the audience, the people watching the people in the congregation, the wonderful moments and reactions between them and that they're having toe what's going on around them. And then we talk about how sandra helps during the day. This is one of the time of days, times during the day that I give her a camera and I asked for help, she stays in the back and takes wide angle shots for me so that I don't have to run up and down the aisle the entire time, so she gets things for me. Like this from all the way in the back of the room, just those wide set up shots that really round out that gallery during that time of the day, and then we'll talk about how important it is to learn about the ceremony. How if you're shooting a jewish wedding, how signing the marriage license is another ceremony unto itself, and then how the marriage license is displayed during the ceremony and why that's important to know about? We talk about indian weddings and all of the different, wonderful cultural things that happen during that time ah, of a day for those specific clients, and then I got questions such as how do you go about moving around throughout the ceremony? I've done some outdoor weddings where I can have free movement, but I feel like a distraction. I'm scared to move, but I'm scared not to move suggestions and guidelines just move don't be afraid of people looking at you, they're going to look at you because you're moving around rule number one for sandra and I, I'm going to put it in language that I can say on the internet, it's don't be a jerk, but you've got to move around and you've got to get your job done don't be afraid. On a wedding day to do what you need to get the shot I'm not saying you climb under the hope a and you climb on the rabbi shoulders but if you have the opportunity to go behind it and you have permission to do it, do it my professionals and recessional zehr always blurry help don't be afraid to bump up your s o I will shoot a professional at one point eight if I have to to get the shutter speed that I need maybe continuous focusing works for you I'm a single focus focus and you know focus, fire, focus fire I stay on single all the time for some people they have great success with continuous and then see if you can add an additional light sometimes you can sometimes churches have rules where you can't use a flash during the ceremony but you can use it for professional and recessional will that help you? And then we start flying through the reception portion we have multiple days dedicated to that day sixteen we actually spend a whole day talking about the cocktail hour and the reception room we talk about the lenses we use howl used the twenty four to seventy two shoot details in the reception space we take a look at blair in jeremy's reception space and talk about the difficulties with it and the limitations with it and the bonus is to the space we talk about the seventy two two hundred millimeter lens and how I will actually use that for details not only outside but I also use it to shoot tables and not a lot of photographers are pulling out that lens at that time of the day for that purpose we talk about introductions and the first dance we talk about introductions as in what lighting do I use? How do sandra and I set up where she is versus where I am versus what camera I'm using and linz and light and what that set on? I detailed all of that out for you, which is why there is a day carved out for all of these things because it's all very important we talk about the logistics to make sure that you know what's going to happen so that you can be in the right place to capture these introductions and then we talk about first dances, which is one of my personal favorite times of the day and again every one of these wedding episodes begins with the basic same principles. What gear are you using? What are your settings? Generally for this time of day, you'll see that in most of the images will actually see the ex if data at the bottom of the image so you don't have to guess you'll learn where the light is coming from you'll learn the settings of my light and my camera and then you'll see what the results actually looked like not just it blair and jeremy's wedding but at other weddings in other circumstances we talk about toasts and speeches and again what the room looked like at blair in jeremy's wedding it looked like this you can see me off in the right you know the right I'm sorry my right your left left side of the frame you can see the girl that I'm shooting we talk about where sanders standing over there with the light and what it said on to create this photograph and how the scene that you just saw resulted in this picture specifically we talk about photographing the person is actually giving the toast and how we like that and how we approach that we talk about the bride and groom themselves and how their reactions to the toast or justus powerful is the person actually giving the toast itself and how we light it and how I wait for the moments and how I do things such as looking for framing devices and angles to make these images unique to make them stand out from what other photographers do showing the scene during these moments finding an interesting angle to emphasize the scene and then above and beyond all of that we talk about the action and reaction from the person giving the toast to the reaction of the bride and groom how one plays off of the other and from toasts, we talk about parent dances. We talk about how the philosophy of approaching it and the gear and equipment brought to that time of the day are really similar to that of the first dance and images that result we move on to day nineteen where we talk about the rest of the reception the partying, the cake cutting the garter, the bouquet, the stuff we talk about on camera flash we look at blair in jeremy's wedding we look at the scenario that I was in, we talkabout difficult led lights, how you handle external reception lights, we talk about shooting dancing with flash on and off camera and also how off camera flash khun, supplement your on camera flash we talk about things such as the hora at a jewish wedding and how you might die you laugh dealing with d j lightings and reception lighting package is how it likes to put pretty color casts on your clients and what you can and can't do about it. We talk about cake cutting and the other events that happened during the night we talk about how we light it. We talk about how we let the moments unfold bouquet tarses tosses garter tosses all of those things fall under the rest of the reception umbrella and I got questions such as so many of your reception pictures have multiple people in them and one will be a little closer to the camera than the other, yet they all seem to be in focus, and you're pointing out that you had your aperture it f one point two how's that possible? If I sent one of my lenses to one two or one four, I get real blurry pictures and I'm not readjusting my car composition. What am I doing wrong? What you're doing wrong is that you have my settings wrong. I don't shoot my reception's at once went two or one point for I shoot my reception's if I'm shooting one person giving a toast, it might be a two, eight or three five, but if I'm out on the dance floor and there are multiple people in my images, I'm a f four always so the only thing that you have wrong here is that you miss red my settings during that portion of the day, time and time again, you guys said that you couldn't show a video from the day since there was music playing that you had no rights, too. Is that right? What's the difference between that and my wedding video that I'll sell to the client news from my portfolio? Is there one? If there's music in the background, do I have to turn that off to be allowed to sell the video? Oh, I don't know because I'm not a videographer, so I went to the internet and I asked my videographer friends for you and my friend mike, who is a phenomenal photographer and an all around smart person said that technically they require a synchronization license and those are hard to get because they require the record label in the artist to agree on the license then that devolved into a really wonderful discussion about fair use and if you are making a video but there's copy written copyrighted things that you don't own, I have now reached the point where I don't know is it copy written? Where'd my brain go thank you very much. Day thirty is when I stopped learning how to use words ladies and gentlemen, if you are making an art piece yourself and it has something that someone else has made in it, there are kind of a vagary about what you can and can't use two then sell to your clients? I don't know one hundred percent I am not a wedding cinematographer, I can't tell you what to do in your wedding videos. All I know is the advice mike gave me and what the legal team that creative live told me we could and couldn't d'oh and then we round out the actual shooting of the wedding day with two other days day twenty, which is nighttime portrait ce where we cover such exciting things as whether to use the eighty five or the seventy two, two hundred whether to use a flash or a video light, we show circumstances in which I used a video like and we talk about the wares and the wise in the house of that. Then we talk about circumstances where I used a flash and the wares in the whys and the hows of that. And then we close the wedding day's shooting experience with day twenty one, which was the post wedding day session, which I really loved when you have a client and it rains on their wedding day where we don't get to go to a location that they wanted to go to. Why do we do these sessions? When do I do them? Where do we go? How much do I sell them for? And then how do you sell them? And then you get to watch a video of me actually shooting blair and jeremy in the sunshine, which we didn't get to do on their wedding day, and you get to see the results that come out of such a session, and you also get to see me work in a scenario that you didn't get to see me work in on the wedding day itself. So now that we've talked about day is all the way up through twenty two the days that encompass the wedding day from the engagement session to the details to the ceremony, the portrait to the literally everything in involve me putting a camera to my face. We provide you with videos for most of the day so that you can see me shooting with real clients in real time. I re show all of the photographs that I shoot during the videos to give you even more explanation of how they happen. And then we talk about other weddings and other scenarios that might come to play in each of those days. So I've left, you know, a great deal of time to answer any question that you could possibly have about anything that has to do with the actual wedding day itself. So let's go internet let's go studio audience first. Yes, sir. Absolute absolute favorite part of the wedding. I had my knee jerk reaction which was getting paid, but that's my favorite part of the wedding day. Sandor what we like best my honest way when we go home when we get to find the tornado p j no, I just like when the reception starts, I feel like all that hands on work that gets really stressful throughout the day. Is now done and it's now time for us to be able to back off and just document document and it's just it's it's more relaxing at least that's my personal and they think we're going to have to do to push the day ahead right? There's knows there's not any interaction with people yeah, like when you watch chopped or one of those food network shows and their time's up and they put their hands up and step back that's what their reception is like because then we don't have to be making things happen or keeping people on time or you don't like to it's just kind of feel like a person that's just pushing people all day and finally khun just back off and everybody can breathe and it's just it's a good time for everybody I also I like shooting the details I really like them I think it's really fun it lets me flex my creative muscles I really enjoy it please of course this is not time for you an engagement sessions, you said you do not bring sandra on post wedding do you bring sandra no it's it's pretty much the same principle is the engagement session, the same gear that I bring and because I'm not going to be doing any formal photographs or shooting at night or anything like that, I don't if I did have a post session where their desire was nighttime portrait so I would need to bring her with me and I would therefore charge accordingly yes, they're going to go across the room at what point did you get where you felt comfortable telling the bride and groom what to do? I mean, where did you get that confidence versus you know, the feeling that you didn't want to insult them by bossing them around, getting him to do what you want them to do? It took about a year honestly, and it was when I realized that it wasn't personal, it was just business and I'm their wedding photographer and I'm at work and this is nieces and stripling, the wedding photographer needing to do her job. This isn't susan, your friend asking you to do something, and when I realized that I needed to step up as their wedding photographer, I was almost able to divorce myself from it like you're almost like you're playing a part, I do have a theater background that really kind of like creating this is my character of the day and I'm going to go out and I need to tell you what to do and it also took about a year to realize that if I stepped in and offered my input and moved them around a little bit, I was going to get better pictures and then I just get it. So if you're a really shy person, maybe like sandra, how does that work? You know what? She is absolutely an excellent person to ask because when she first started working with me, she did not talk to people. She was very, very, very quiet. What was it that kind of helped you come out of your shell a little bit when it came to talking to the clients? Um, a lot of it was you just seeing how you interacted with the clients, being able to say that it was okay for you to go up to a client and say, we need to move, you hear, move, move, then part of it was just realizing that part of my job was I need to be able to help her, and it just I had a kind of come out of my shell, I had to learn toe be able to talk to people, and I am really not a social person at all. Well, my annie means and that's, if anything is, I'm not a terrific ly social person, either. I'd rather be at home with myself, with you or with my kind of it's kind of like being at work like I've just put on my my work my work personality and I and I go like when I used to work full time I hate talking on the phones but that was my job when I get home I don't answer my phone tries my husband it drives my husband boxers that phone will ring and ring and ring and I won't pick it up that's just because I don't like that but that's not that's not what I do at home but when I was at work I would talk on phones all day same with that weddings I'll talk to people all day now but then I clam downplayed it sure ugo and it was it was almost kind of okay now I'm going to be the susan that goes to work and I'm talking to these people in there and it it was almost like a psychological trick on myself they're not real people they're actors in the play of my day we're now going to have dialogue I mean I know it sounds really goofy but I didn't like talking to clients I still don't like talking to clients on the phone it takes me makes me terribly nervous but if I can take myself out of that situation personally then it becomes a whole lot easier it's just you're kind of doing your job and part of my job is talking to people yes sir you were recently a bride on the other side of the cameras what did you take away from that in regard to your your days as the photographer relating to the brain took a lot away from that actually, um first of all, when you do tell your clients that within ten minutes you're going to forget that I'm even there when they're nervous about being photographed on the day of the wedding, I was kind of nervous about that we had two shooters and a videographer and in the room where I got ready it was myself, my mother, my daughters, my stepdaughters sandra was there, my friend jenn was there for a while they her person in the makeup person so there were only ten people on we had a future twelve hotel fleet I figured that I would and I'm a photographer obviously, right? I like I'd be totally conscious of them. No clue. I literally think I thought daniel twice all day long I thought he wasn't shooting anything and it really is just because he's a tiny little ninja and was everywhere at a speed at which I probably just couldn't even see him moving and a telling don't sweat the small stuff, the little details, the little things, the little things that clients really obsess over it's really not important it's not and having my details captured at the beginning of the day was important to me I did it myself because it did but the details of our tables and chairs are receptions faces that wasn't really is important to mia's pictures of people you know there there are for whatever reason some people that did not get photographed and I would have rather traded some of those pictures of candles on tables for pictures of my family so I have to be very conscious now that when I go out I shoot weddings while I like shooting the details I know my clients like me to shoot the details that deep down inside what's really important are the people and they need to be covered a cz well also the portrait's weren't very important to me and I thought that they would be I think that on the day of the wedding there are less than a dozen portrait's of my husband and I together and it doesn't matter that's to me it was weird it's a little contrived it's a moment that didn't really happen and I much prefer the moments between the two of us that happened throughout the day so it just really drove home some of the points that were that I already knew were important and also the family formals which we all hate shooting are desperately important to me the picture of my family, my parents, my brother, my husband, my daughters like my side of the family all together is desperately important to me you know it's easy for us to say why do you want pictures of people standing in a row it's just pictures of people standing in a row you're gonna have great moments with them throughout the day no very important very, very, very important to me and it also gave me a better respect for the uncle bob's with the cameras, the guests with cameras because listen at my weighing hard guests with cameras were been in aaron chrisman and marcus bell and greg gibson at man matt mendelssohn that's not normal like when uncle bob is marcus bell standing at the end of the island you just let him do it and when sander was like why is this one guy standing up with the iphone? I was like that's eric venture and he's one of the best photojournalists I've ever seen if he wants to shoot with his iphone he can shoot with his iphone he can stand next to me but it also gave me a respect that I can't be everywhere at all points in time all the time and that maybe uncle bob with his iphone is going to get a moment that I'm not going to get so it made me a little softer towards them as well and maybe it's not going to be the greatest moment ever but I would rather have a slightly blurry picture of something on my iphone then not have it all yes, ma'am, the nighttime photos that kind of a situational question, so I haven't opportunity for a beach wedding with an opportunity for pictures at night. So what would you recommend in terms of video light or something to illuminate that I like my life a lot, but also understanding that if you're in the pitch pitch, pitch black and I'm going to try to shoot towards land, if there's any ambient like that, I could pick up from at the dunes or the houses where anything going on a mission away from the water is not gonna see the water at night anyhow. And I would probably actually use a combo of my ice light and flash for two completely different looks okay during that party. So if it's just me, he would be like if it's you, you can't do it yet. I mean, and I'm not trying to be rude. You can't hold a camera and an outside at the same time getting get a light stand and screw it on the top and stick it in the sand that's the only way you're gonna be able to get it. Off of your body but for something like that for a static portrait where nothing is going to be moving around there's absolutely no reason whatsoever why you shouldn't put it on a light stand because then you can pick it up and move it and take the time that's really easy you'll be fine by yourself you will there's no video screens shining in the background for that moment so you be good mr clinton er yeah first questions but I know I speak first kiss sandra standing in the back of the aisle shooting wide right? Yes ru right underneath her with its seventy two hundred where are you when that's happening? I'm in the zone right s sandra where is where am I halfway down the aisle because at that point we know they're going to start recess processing so she's either halfway down the aisle depending on where the videographers or she's right next to me and I just basically just to be nice shoot you shoot just in case someone steps right in front of her or vice place burn so shoot even if I'm in the shot yeah I mean just just to make sure something you could get crapped on but you're shooting wide right? I'm shooting why for fifty years and you know what? Twenty nails with twenty four to seventy at twenty four and you can see me crowd down in the aisle during it I'm gonna leave that picture in just the same way if I shot something wide from the back of the room in the videographer was in it I'm going to leave them in it's part of the day okay kate cutting in first dance morse ok cutting is I think I know the answer to this on the first dance but when you're approaching that what are you looking for in terms of background I'm looking for which everyone sucks the least okay I like that that's being dead honest I'd rather shoot into the crowd than into the band but sometimes your only option is a shooting the wall okay I mean that's a really, really, really hard won because a lot of times you don't get any say so over it but if the cake is jammed against the wall I do always ask the venue if there's any way that we can pull the cake away from the wall a little bit so I can at least jam my cells in between the wall and the cake so I can shoot towards the scene and set it into a corner which really socks okay okay so we have a question for sandra actually are you ready? You're ready for one? Okay, so this come from melanie who says what made you want to become a wedding photographer's assistant if you're not already a photographer what what helped what drove you to that? I was always interested in photography okay, I thought it was just a really I was more interested in children because I had had children of my own um but I always just loved the look of susan's work and I followed a bunch of different photographers and it just so happened that she posted she needed help and I didn't realize it was going to turn into a and like a long a long running assistant job with her. Yeah, yeah um and it just it kind of just blossomed into that really it's it wasn't something that I was looking to dio I just fell upon I just fell upon it really honestly there was nothing and I don't regret it was awesome because I got a best friend out of it thing here and there maybe you'll help me a couple times a year and she quickly established herself to be invaluable. So someone had yesterday while sandra was on what your plan b is sandra all of a sudden isn't available. Do you have a list of backup assist sanders not available? The first thing that I'm going to dio will be to see if my husband's working that day or not and if he isn't working I've worked with his assistant before and that's a great option I also have other photographers in the area who helped me when sandra has not been available, I would work with any member of her family actually her husband or her sister her sister's actually helped me in a wedding before bonnie can fight sensual or if I were really desperate we've had a couple of instances where tragically sandra had a death in the family and we found out the day before a wedding like before we're supposed to go out of town and I got on the internet and I started asking around and whether you have a thousand followers or ten thousand followers or five followers, if you reach out on the internet for help and you get somebody to look at it, the community is going to help you like get in some local facebook groups start to get to know photographers in your area. I was shooting a wedding in vermont one time and my assistant was in a car accident nothing major she was fine and it wasn't sandra, but I was able to get on the web and find someone who is free that day that could come out and help me so that's partly why making friends and getting to know your community and getting to know your photographic neighbors of sorts you could be there for them in case of emergency and they can also be there for you and it's been really beautiful toe watch sort of the photographic industry um rally around photographers in need it's kind of lovely yeah david, do you have suggestions for creative shots with the couple on a rainy day? I mean, yeah, I mean, I'll shoot them with a window, you know, we'll go inside and turn off the lights in the room same way I would getting ready and work with the bride and groom together using that widow light instead of just the bride alone, I'll go around inside all look for interesting backdrops and then we'll use either the flash or the video light to fill in light in the same way that the sun would work it's the same principles of how I set up a shot except when I'm indoors, I'm gonna look for my background first, knowing that I'm probably going to have to add the light and I'm looking for interesting like things in the scene I'm looking for cool backgrounds windows that might provide light, interesting things that I can multi layer like staircases I can shoot up or down mirrored surfaces, reflective services things that I can work with I just have to work harder to look at the scene around me so sometimes and it's really funny will sander and I will be at dinner or my husband and I will be at dinner or will be somewhere and it'll be like you would be really cool a bride right over there so any time I go into a room, I'm always thinking if I had to shoot something in here, what could I do? And then that's what I do on a wedding day, if I'm faced with a situation where it's raining or it's too hot to go outside or something like that, I just assess the room that I'm in for the things that I can use to help me make a photograph usually taking lighting out of the equation because if I can't do this in your a window, I know that I could just add in the light that I need with a flash or a video like it's just a lot harder. Yes, sir, like if you lived in seattle rain like, well, it sounds like it see at all right, sounds like in new york, if it rains, you don't go outside and shoot a wedding. Yeah, like I mean, because I live in seattle, like, I mean, my brides were pretty adventurous about if it rains like I prepare them for that, and I've done some really amazing stuff out in the rain. I wish my clients would go in the rain I would love to take my clients out in the rain and have them under an umbrella and have them sharing a moment with sandra also under an umbrella, adding light but in the on the east coast because rain isn't really a thing they don't want to go outside I mean, if it rains but not with the consistency that it does in some location they don't want to go outside at all if it even looks like it's gonna rain, they don't wanna go outside and if it's too hot, they don't want to go outside the east coast is very delicate, you know, every once in a while you get a client who's like I'll go outside and do whatever you want but it's really fewer and further in between because we're sissies over there on the east coast for myself like I try to prepare them for that and get them excited so that they don't have this great expectation I mean on the day of their terribly disappointed it's like let's get amazing images either way and I tell people when I show them galleries when they're considering hiring me in the first place I showed them here's a gallery where it rained here's a gallery where it was at night here's a wedding where we were inside all day long so that they have expectations if if we're in this location the in these locations, this is what I can come to expect and I try to say if it rains, you know there's actually a frequently asked question on my interior thank you that only my clients see that we want pictures in the son. What do we do if it rains on the wedding day? I talk about what we can do, and that involves a post session or, you know, I can do lots of things with light, this image that's up on the screen right now. I can't make it look like this. If it's dark and raining, I can't, because this is whether I can create light that looks really good, but I can't do this if it's pouring down rain sideways. I couldn't do this on blair in jeremy's wedding day, even if they've been willing to go outside, so letting your clients know what limitations of different circumstances will entail and then doing the best that you can. Brenda wanted to know brenda online wanted to know how to protect your equipment when shooting in the rain. Do you usually have sandra holding an umbrella over you? Yeah, so if she's not helping you with lighting, which a lot of time she's, not she's umbrella holding for me, okay? And I just won't go outside if I can't. I mean, I have a responsibility to protect my dear, I'm not going to just go stand in the rain with it, she'll hold an umbrella for me or you know, put a coat over my head. Are you know anything that I need? I don't have professional rain covers or anything like that because they just don't encounter that situation. A ne warranted any other questions from here before we turn to our beautiful friends on the internet that you guys are good. David, anything you have the nope, you're the only one with the notebook. I can't help but make fun. Yes, sir. Kind of a different question, please. Is there a difference in the way that that your husband, being a man, approaches a wedding than a woman approaches off? He does, actually, and I don't want to speak for him because he does a very fine job is speaking for himself. But to quote what he says in his workshops, he talks about how as a man, when you walk into a room, you have to emasculate yourself a little bit because sandra and I being two girls that walk into a girl's room getting ready, we're just one of the girls. Unfortunately, as I get older, I become closer to the mothers aged in the daughter's age, which is really depressing, but we're very welcome in the scene because we're just ladies hanging out, but when cliff goes into the scene, all masculinity is taken out of it he's soft spoken he's polite he doesn't assert himself into the space he's very subdued because he doesn't want to make the women feel uncomfortable when he goes into the getting ready but as far as shooting for the rest of the day the only adjustment that I ever see him make is kind of quieting his hit himself down when he goes into the getting ready room but otherwise he just shoots the day as is and we've shot wedding side by side a few times you know just a handful of times if we shot weddings together and we still see even though we might see the light the same way we still see the world very differently as a guy you might have to work a little bit harder to gain the trust of your brides but I have to work a little bit harder getting the trust of the grooms yeah internet hey you in the mood for a couple of posing questions hey girl yeah I am sorry okay let's go pose people together I got to love you hear them great here's one from wendy dcm high all the way from belgium absolutely love this course I would love to hear susan's tips on posing amore kirby bride or how to po po's a groom that is smaller than his bribe things to watch out for if the groom is shorter than his bride the groom knows that he is shorter than his bride he just is I don't want to put him on a higher in kleiner sit her down or anything like that so that when they look at their pictures later it doesn't look like them if you shorty short if she's short she's short I don't do anything that sort of equalized amount because in real life they're not equalized and when I'm dealing with more plus size either bride or groom's I'm still approaching them in the same way I they know what they look like they know what size they are the long lens that I shoot with often is very flattering very good with compression very flattering of all body types the images that I take of brides where I sit them on the ground and I shoot down on them also very flattering on any size any shape any woman any age more so than that I just try to make people feel comfortable in their skin so that the posing that I that I do is largely then interacting together and the more comfortable they are the more beautiful they're going to look in their images no matter what size they are great and that answers the other one of the very very very tall groom the very short bride she knows she short yeah it would be like my husband and I are the same height flat out the same height if I wore he thinks he's my thinks he's a little taller barefoot nose to nose were exactly on the same plane. If I wore heels on my wedding day and I were taller than him, I would know I'm taller than him. It would be really weird to see our wedding pictures and have him be taller and maybe shorter that's not what we looked like, so I don't try to equalize people like that. Great. Thank you. Yeah cave have you asked your clients don't really tell you where they want to shoot things like the first look or formal photos or do suggest areas I always ask for their input, especially the first look, did you have an idea of where you guys would like to see each other for the first time? Nine times out of ten? They're response is going to be, I don't know what do you think? And then I can offer my input. I always ask them if there are any locations that they would prefer to take the portrait of the family or the two of them together, because I want to make sure that wherever we go, it's going to be meaningful to them. But if they give me a choice that's terrible, I'll try to counter with a choice that's better. But if it's something that's desperately terribly important to them that I shoot something in a certain location as long as I can make it work photographically even if it's not my first choice I'm going to do what they want because at the end of the day on there for them and that's the most important thing to me cool um so mike and would like to know when shooting the reception with a manual flash are you pretty much eyeballing your screen for proper exposure or are you using sometimes auto flash or teo I'm using inside my head I don't ever use auto flash or tt l for off camera flash ever that's just not how we roll I realize I'm getting weird in my language is this thirty days I just said hey girl and how we roll if I say that anything is adore bs at any point in time please bring out the hook and take me off the stage and just call it a day no when the flash is always off camera it's always on manual and we you know I'm to the point right now that I can eyeball a room and know what to set it on and sandra, who is not even a photographer had never worked with off camera flash before she worked with me after almost six years she can eyeball a room and know what the setting needs to be so over time maybe you have to test it now maybe you have to work with it a little bit now but over time this is something that will become much more comfortable to you and something that you can do in a split second and that's my goal for you guys really is to empower you with all of these tools so that all of these things become second nature to you so that you don't have to take time so that you can hit the ground running and make decisions on the fly that work for you awesome we had a few questions about white balance okay do use a white balance card or explode iscor auto or do you select white balance on dh then someone else had similar questions no, I do not use any expo disc or white balance checker point picker anything like that if I'm working with natural like be it indoors during a getting ready when all the lights are shut off and I have natural light coming in through the window portrait's outside ceremony outside the images on the screen right now cloudy white balance that's a nikon thing when I was a cannon shooter I was an auto quite balanced person in these in these scenarios because I found that it's skewed more towards magenta then warm with a nikon it was a warmer, more orange glow so that's what I'm going for in churches most of the time it is straight up auto because good god, there is no white balance that matches like there's nothing that I can dio even if I were to use a card or a picker and expo disk it's going to change because there are multiple different light sources you've got the tungsten is you've got some leads, you got a window over here you've got a window, a door back there you've got some stained glass, I go on auto and we set a good white balance in post and by we I mean sidecar post because there are awesome and by the time the reception rolls around or any time I have a flash on my camera, it is flash white balance always yes, it's going back to the bride getting ready area, of course, how do you deal with it? There's bridesmaids in the room and they're having a good time and meet me there kind of a more rowdier bunch and you're wanting to get some of those bridal portrait like you want to get up in the window and do this nice, that kind of I think, for the bride might need more poise how do you deal with kind of reduced reducing that distraction of friends that might not be in that same state of mind like of what you're trying to accomplish? I told him to leave okay I don't really politely and I do it at the very beginning hey guys I'd like to take a couple pictures of you know rosanna here by herself it's kind of nerve racking this is the first time she's gonna be looking directly at me if you guys don't mind can you all go into the other room for just five minutes and then you can come back I don't want to break up your party but I do need a couple seconds with her alone the inevitable inevitable response is oh but I wanna watch I'm like I can totally see these later out and then they're like so if you do it with humor and then if I can't make it work sandra will literally walk them out the door be like guys I'll come get you in just a few minutes and literally heard those kittens right into the other room they gotta go and her partner mom has to go to because I'm gonna ask her to sit on the ground and if I do that the heavens will open up and everyone will lose their minds so if I tell a bride to sit on the ground she's going to sit on the ground if I tell a bride to sit on the ground and her mom says oh my god on the ground she's never sitting down ever so out for five minutes and then they come back in and if you say something with enough authority, they're going to do it you don't have to be mean to them but you know, all right everyone vacate their like seriously and you're like seriously in there so yeah, they'll listen to you hopefully fingers triple crossed okay, we've got one more before we move on I love this one is from cuckoo for susan you're killing me with girls my favorite one so when susan says she looks for good light to shoot her details, can she go through what she's looking for when she says good light? I mean I can and I can't good light is whatever good light is to you when I'm shooting my details good light is just a very simple soft light source whether it's from the I slight or from a window I'm looking for just flat, even light I'm not gonna do anything crazy I'm not going to do anything dimensional with a ring shot that's all I'm looking for and the difficulty about it is I can tell you what good light is to me but what's more important is that you need to figure out what good light is to you what do you like? So I like it all e think we should keep moving what do you think okay, day twenty two was literally titled situations and solutions which is something that is so important to me that one of my think books is actually named situations and solutions, which expands on all of these things even further. Hey, sandra, remember that time I got lost in boston? This this okay, we're going to cut the sander when this is over, because this whole list makes your very unhappy way actually sat down and brainstorm all of the things that have happened to us over the course of us working together. So why don't we talk about having the wrong hotel address? You know, there are two, four seasons in boston's in boston, and if you don't know which one you're going to you one coat of the room, one for getting all of our batteries, dropping and breaking a deformed a seventy two, two hundred. The second shooter took our keys. If she's watching blondie, I am so sorry, but we had a second shooter for the war. I hurt my hand. I had to have someone help me out. A couple of consecutive weddings. She came in the valley, had to move our car. So she gave the valet the keys valley move. The car gave the keys back to hirsch wasn't paying attention but keys in her bag and went home to delaware. And at one o'clock in the morning sandra and I are in the bride's house because the wedding was in their house the bridegroom we're walking around in their pajamas and we're sitting in the office waiting for her to drive back from delaware sanders crying like a two year old I've gone to a place of like I was stoic there was no emotion at all and then blondie comes driving up with her keys and then we finally got to go home I've shot with kidney stones and shingles and strep throat those were good days the day sander and I had to hide in the bathroom and she had to change my shingles bandage was a real bonding point for both of us I shot a wedding with a cast on my right hand when I couldn't use my right hand so I shot a wedding left handed with my husband's help actually my husband shot the wedding but I was actually able to shoot a very large portion of the wedding by holding the camera like this using that little bottom button embracing it with my cast on the top you saw me do it wasn't I'm never doing that again deaths in the family at tell us what happened earlier in jeremy's wedding sand um sadly at when we were being recorded for creative life while I was in the bathtub yeah while she was actually in the bathtub but you guys since see was I had excuse myself a few times and I got a text and multiple phone calls to let me know that a close cousin of mine pet passed away so and there was nothing I could do I mean she was in florida so obviously it wasn't going to be able to do anything at that moment and it was something that we knew was inevitable that was going to happen um yeah it happened my mother in law passed away day before we were supposedly for travel for a wedding it's it's stuff that happens it's you know what? Luckily susan was able to find somebody to help her that day but the day that we I was actually in a wedding helping how to keep going but then there's levels of bad things have been like if you were to call and say god forbid sander's son fell and broke his arm and he's in the hospital she leaves right now no questions asked she just did that there's certain things that susan knows that I'll just leave for and you know when it comes to my kids I'm out the door yeah so you have to find your own threshold as toe what would derail you and what wouldn't I miss my grandmother's funeral my family understood two flat tires and one day theo dane we missed the parent dances sandra what happened there? I just like not everybody was downstairs a meal even our vendor meals, the coordinators everybody and one of the the videographers assistant who just happened to stay up there came flying in like screaming, screaming and he's like parent dances now almost over and it was a whole flight of steps and we all booked up there and buy time we got there, it was done, the band went rogue and just decided to throw the parent dances and then they tried throwing us under the bus. It was like new will tell the bride the room that you guys just missed it and we're gonna do it again. I was like, no, we're not doing that. We're going to tell them that the band played it at the wrong time that we were all in the other room and just go out and dance with your dad for a couple minutes and they totally understood this school we lost you weren't with me the day that I lost my valet ticket and then I forgot where I was parked it was I lost my I was down in tribeca. This poor girl who never helped me before was helping me for the first time it was like two o'clock in the morning, I couldn't find my valet ticket, and I can't remember where I parked the car, so I was walking around from exterior parking garage to exterior parking garage, crying sobbing with this poor girl next to me who was like what is wrong with her? A fire alarm evacuation during a wedding day that was sweet being stranded due to a hurricane that was also sweet and blizzard humorously enough I got stuck in florida when there was a blizzard up here and then we were in florida when there was a hurricane up here so that was just weird. However, this goes to show that no matter what happens on a wedding day does it look like anything was wrong with me when I shot this picture that was the day that we had two flat tires and you show up and you go to work, I've been able to make beautiful images under all sorts of circumstances it's all in how you handle with the terrible things that will inevitably happen to you. We talk about what happens when potential clients insist that you can't do your job without a second shooter. We talk about what happens when people ask you to take pictures on pinterest and recreate them for them wait talk about working in the same location over and over and over again and how that khun drain you creatively and how do you stay fresh in situations like that? Okay, I put this whole question because it's really good we signed the contract for a certain number of hours for coverage specifically to document getting ready through the reception because the on ly photo products you wanted was an album after many meetings and discussions about what she'd like to shoot for in the parts of the day for the album now you calling me a friend is going to shoot the pre ceremony and she has a huge, unrealistic list of group formals which had very nicely addressed several times. I've explained to her that if the only photo product she's interested in is an album and the pre ceremony is important that I cannot put pre ceremony in an album tell a complete story she's trying to tell me that our friend will give me your camera so that I could get the images off she's become a real painter work with I'm trying desperate to remain professional and friendly but she's making it very difficult keep stating your case I cannot do x if you don't give me why if you don't let me shoot the priest ceremony there will be no pre ceremony pictures in your album I understand that your friend is doing you a favor I cannot use her pictures I will not take the pictures off her point and shoot I cannot guarantee the quality you cannot let your client's railroad you if this is a disaster waiting to happen which it is, you must put your foot down over and over and over again otherwise you're going to find yourself in a situation that you know is going to fail so don't be surprised when it actually fails hi susan I've just started to get into weddings and in two of the three weddings I've done there have been a couple of awkward situations I had naively not expected at all I know family drama is to be expected given the high stress nature of weddings but how do you handle when groomsman or whispering snide remarks about the bride er situations where there's tense relationships between mothers and stepmothers more directly when comments or made directly to you do you ignore it or do you ask politely for them to not make those kind of comments to you or something else listen your drama is not my problem and I don't mean that to the person asking the question if people are talking about the bride in front of me this is not my job I'm not there counselor mother mother I am not their friend it is not my job to step in and six their familial drama at all if there is a fight I'm not stepping in and doing anything the on ly time ever ever in my entire thirteen year career that I have ever said anything to anyone ever I was helping my husband shoot a wedding was right after I'd moved up to this area I went out to help him shoot a wedding in philadelphia that's not very, very, very drunk at the reception and kept coming up to me asking me to take pictures of unmentionable parts of his body to which I said no no, thank you very much. No, no, thank you. And he kept coming up to me and I sir no, thank you. No, thank you very much. He came up to me, he put his hand on my arm and he swung me around so hard I almost fell down, pinned me up against the stage and said I said take a picture of my I wanted to make a comment about macro lenses, but I did not because he was too drunk for it to resonate at which point I went to my husband. I said, we need to do something about this. This guy put his hands on me and pushed me into the stage. Cliff went and talked to the bride's parents and suddenly the guy was not at the wedding anymore, but other than that and I just repeatedly your drama is not my problem. If there is nothing that I can step in and do on a wedding day that is going to help in any way, shape or form make any of these situations any better at all, and if we've actually run into instances where like the bride her mom got in a fight the weapon a weapon gravity and they were taking each other's hands I shot when I needed to shoot and then without saying a word we just kind of removed ourselves from the room and let it play out this is not my job at all. So family drama there's nothing I'm going to do about it at all. Yes, sir, your client questionnaire do you ask if there's any family drama that you need to know about ahead of time? Yes and I it says it actually goes like this bride's family parents they write their parents things down brothers and sisters there write those names down important aunts, uncles, grandparent's additional family members, honorary aunts best friends write that down. Are there any situations that I should know about such as deaths or divorces so I can address everyone properly during the family formals? I want to know if the parents were divorced I want to know if they're divorced and remarried. We've had a couple of awkward instances where people did not write in life partners are new girlfriends and we ignored them during the formals because we didn't know that they were there. So I asked the clients for these things if you can let me know if there are any delicate situations so that I don't say hey, can we get the bride's dad and the bride's father is deceased like, I need to know these things and I ask and if there ever is an instance where she's like you didn't get a picture of someone so that I asked you about them or wow, it was really awkward when you made my mom and dad be in the same picture. Well, I asked you and you didn't tell me anything about that. So how was I supposed to know any other questions about just the weird stuff that can happen to you on a wedding day? Specifically internet de photo would like to know if either of you guys have worked well close to being delivering babies. Oh, yeah, sandra I worked. Watch this with me both. Yeah, with my last two pregnancies. Um, I worked all the way up to the week before I gave birth and she's weird, though. Yeah must be clear I had my babies and then a week later I was back working, gave birth to me and was like evans here we have a wedding on saturday and I was like, what a way to get out of the house and I was ready I mean, way I'm probably not of the norm. I know a lot of people would, you know, take some time off and whatnot, but I have a state of a husband who she does he's an amazing man, who's. Just like if you want to go back. As long as you feel that you can handle a thing, then go right ahead. And I she's a saint too in her in her own. Let me take breaks when I needed tio when I was you know, when I when I felt too tired, I couldn't handle anything. She would never have a problem with me sitting out where I needed to. No, there were lots of weddings that I carry the bags for ya. I think I was just there for moral support. Basically, I would rather carry my bag and work with sandra than not have sandra there at all. That does not mean I was not really a wedding photographer. When I had my first daughter with my second daughter. I worked up until thirty eight weeks pregnant, but I told every single client from thirty five weeks on word that I was going to be pregnant. How pregnant I would be at their wedding, that I would bring a second shooter at no additional cost if they wanted to get out of the contract. I totally understood. But if they didn't want to get out of the contract, they would have to. Run the risk of me not being able to be there and sending another shooter instead, and I was able to be at all of those weddings, and I took six weeks after my second daughter was born before going back on a follow up question from from tammy guessing that the foot where you have on now is probably not where you were during a wedding. Could you guys talk about footwear and what's looks sort of stylish, but is yet really comfortable for that money. Before we talk about what we were, let me dispel the myths that you could be stylish and comfortable because it does not exist. The shoes that we were on the wedding day are not for style, you what do you what do you wearing nowadays? You've got, you know, about having two different ones? Like I said, I'm sorry, I can't remember the name of the shoes that I wear. I can twitter about it later or whatnot I wear like I bought them, I what is it the walking company these really ridiculous you are, it starts with an a and I can't remember the name of all figured out all eventually tweet and tweet it, they're extremely comfortable, they're not pretty new, um, they're extremely comfortable shoes and I go back and forth between them and black glitter, toms depending on the outfit that I wear, but I mean that's when they want black shoes and more black shoes yet and I in the summer I actually wear crock mary janes like they're very little they're very they don't look crock like it all, especially after I take a black magic marker and cover over the croft logo don't laugh it looks stupid if you don't do it, but I'll take what nail polish you're black it's just so it's less distracting and also so that I can pretend I'm not wearing crocs in the winter sometimes all wear merrill boots if I know that I'm gonna be outside that's gonna be snowing and I'm gonna need to be in the snow. I also found a pair of shoes they're called are copacetic o a r c o p d I c e o and I have a bunch of short boots on them from zappos because I can take the insults out and put in my custom orthotic ce because I'm old and I need custom orthotic because my feet hurt, but no, I'm not going for fashion oh, I'm going for aiken walk tomorrow, right? Great, thank you. Any other situations that the internet deems worthy someone wanted to know d photo actually who's been asking phenomenal question photo is like a really good questions from the photo here really good curiosity season do you ever email or call a videographer or deejay in advance if you haven't worked with them before? No okay a deejay no, absolutely not there's no need for me to talk to a deejay before ifit's a videographer I've never worked with before I do look at their work if their work is wildly vastly different from my work sometimes I'll drop out you know? Hey, we're going to be working together, you know loved to try out about style email if I think that they have their work looks like they're very, very, very posey but not a lot not a lot of times no and I started working with a lot of the same people over and over and over again and usually because the clients hire me before they've hired their videographer. I have a really good chance to push them towards alex or towards ray or towards dave or towards tim to get them to work. Just a side note todo says omg season we're the same age and I am not old ha ha ha! Thank you for timing in defense older every photo you know if you don't feel old, try teaching a thirty day course and not syncing and then get back to me on how you feel thie only thing propping me up today is professional hair and makeup in a lot of caffeine so we're good and the fact that I get to go to italy with my husband this weekend that really helps we're in our last day we're in day thirty people have no more situations have I helped you with all of them? We're feeling pretty good. We dedicated two days to workflow because workflow is a huge thing and I feel like to be a well rounded photographer. You need to be good at everything. So I brought in my friend jennifer cody, who does run sidecar post. I cannot teach you how to edit my raw files because they do not edit them. I blawg all of my own images I do do those myself but the bulk of the raw processing, the bulk of the color correcting and everything that happens is done by my partners over there at sidecar post and one day was just not enough of listening to jen's little voice, so we brought her back for two days but we started talking about my chute q client shoot workflow no shoot cute does not give me a dime to say that they rule, even though they do. I paid a lifetime membership fee back when they were very burst open and I have been enjoying my lifetime see ever since, but we talk about how with every single wedding, there is a workflow attached that keeps me on point keeps me on task I wake up every single morning log in to shoot you take a look and it tells me what I need to do for the day we talk about all of the tools that go into making my work flow happen from the sandis creator that I download the cards too to my mac which I love to my g tech external hard drives my chute q workflow photo mechanic which is the program that I used to call my images I do not call them in like in light room I use photo mechanic and then that weird little thing in the bottom which is a file transporter which is basically if dropbox and an external hard drive had a baby it is the transporter I put my images on it that need to go to sidecar post they go up over the internet and they sink to jen's transporter so that she gets them online. Does it take a long time? It does but it's running in the background for both of us and it's a lot easier than tons of thumb drives flying back and forth between myself and her. And then most importantly, we talk about why and how to outsource and then when I was done talking about why and how to outsource when do you know when to do it, how do you get started doing it? Then jen came in and threw down her sidecar post awesomeness if you have these two days you get a really, really, really good idea of what she does for me if two hours is not enough of learning about sidecar post they did an entire one day class on creative live by themselves it is in the back catalogs you can go find it it is phenomenal and it will revolutionize your workflow hands down for those of you that we're here for the workflow day and you kind of heard a little bit about what they do has it helped you with your workflow nods good I like nods all right? So let's talk about a little bit more about work flowing before I really get into the questions. I do have a little kind of notification from sidecar here basically after this creative life thing happened and they came on and did their two day and even after they did their full day, they're still getting a lot of people wanting to know how to speed up their own work flows yes, they're getting inundated by photographers who want them toe edit their work, which is the bulk of what they do but because they're both very passionate educators as well they're now starting to do interactive webinars so maybe you don't need to outsource maybe you're not there yet, but maybe you want to learn how to speed up your work flow and for me, outsourcing happened when I sped up my work flow to be absolutely as fast as it possibly could be. I couldn't get it any faster, and I still couldn't handle the workload that's when I outsourced, but if you are not there yet, thes webinars that they're doing will help you with their light room editing techniques that will help you become faster with calling. It will help you with all of those things, so it is sidecar post dot com forward slash light room dash webinars, and if you can't find it, go to sidecar, post dot com and drop them an email there. Super nice. Okay, this is literally a huge question, but I couldn't call it down because the whole thing was important, so the gist of it is, do you give your client's raw files and allow them to have someone else do the editing? So this person had done one wedding there, a nature photographer, and they were trying to find they found a client who's trying to find a photographer on the cheap. The bride had seen some of my work and felt confident that I could do the job done despite never having done a wedding before, I only charge them five hundred dollars now is for eight hours, three locations in a drive with edited j pegs. So they had some problems with the wedding. The client had some issues, and afterwards she asked if the photographer would give them the raw files of some of the images so that she could give them to a friend that was a whiz at photo shop. I said I would, but I couldn't complies. I couldn't get that many raw files on a disc, and I wasn't going to give them another thumb drive. Is that something you do give your work to the bride's or groom's toe work on them? Dear god, no way absolutely not! I have actually lost weddings because the clients were insistent that one of the things that they wanted in their wedding package was access to the unedited raw files. You can't have them don't need them. You don't know how to open them, you don't know what they are and I guarantee you don't know howto work with them. Most clients, I would never ever give my raw files to a client to have them sent to a friend that's good at photo shop yet no way I have such a hard time with workflow after I get home with the images have a hard time choosing the images I get too attached to my photos and then editing I'm so nit picky. I get rid of every blemish in here out of places taking so much time, but I can't stop it's, not cost beneficial. How do I stop myself? Just stop. You have got to stop. This is taking you way too long. First of all, don't be attached your photos don't be attached to your photos. They're not your children. Get in there, make your decisions and get out. Do not agonize between the photos. Go with your gut instinct. I can edit a wedding of thirty six hundred images down to my final keepers in forty five minutes to an hour and I can do it while watching television and talking on the phone. It's, just because I've spent that up in my own life and in my own work flow and it's also because I can divorce myself from the photographs, not choosing a photograph is not the same is like not liking one of my children. I've got to get in and I've got to get it done like at some point in time, you just have to walk away and do not edit every blemish do not edit every hair out of place. If you're going to spend this kind of time on your work flow, you need to be charging for it. I would love to outsource my post processing to a company like sidecar, but I don't feel much like my photography is good enough. How do you know when you're good enough to outsource your editing? To me, it has absolutely nothing to do with being good enough. It has to do with being ableto handle the editing workflow on my own. It has nothing to do with the skill of the photography. I noticed some random power poles, videographers except her and susan's photos do you tend to leave these things rather than clone them out in post? And if so, why? I'm not taking these things out in post that's total lunacy at six hundred plus images for every single wedding, if I went through and picked out every single thing that was slightly distracting, it would take me a year to edit their wedding and I would have to charge one hundred thousand dollars it's not worth it. While we do work on every single image that we give the client's images that are going to get this type of treatment are images that are put in the album, I'm not taking out power poles, I'm not taking out videographers, I'm not doing any of these things unless it's going in the book are, unless the client specifically requests it and then I charge them for it. Do you have someone you're studio who just works on calling or color correction? What would you suggest for someone who's starting out and has no employees to speed up post production? If you're just starting out, you don't need an employee to speed up post production if you have five weddings a year, you don't need somebody doing this for you. You could do it yourself. I call my own images sidecar post at its thumb for me, I edit the ones that go on my block posts and I do it myself and last year I shot fifty four weddings and I still did those things myself. I would not suggest if you're just starting out to immediately start looking for an employee, I would suggest you speed up the post production in house by yourself before you start looking at somebody else, and I am a big proponent of the belief that I need to be able to do what anybody who's working for me, khun d'oh. So if sidecar can't do my wedding, I can do what they do. I'm not going to do it at the speed that they can because I don't do it fifty four times a year for myself, but I could call a wedding and I could process the wedding so that it looked very similar to what sidecar was doing if I had to do it myself so don't worry about outsourcing don't worry about an employee don't worry about anything like that if you're just starting out, worry about getting your workflow right by yourself first. Yes, sir. All of last night was just she asked how a better speed up your post production I would again plug side car because I was on that and revolutionized my you were here for there. You were here for my three day last year for the full damage here. Do you know it's funny? David, here is an example of doing things absolutely right. You're very new in business, you're soaking up all the learning that you possibly can and you're getting your workflow right from day one you sat in on sidecars full one day. Yeah, and it was it was amazing it I used to do everything in light room and I was taking four or five days a wedding, and now I'm going to be disappointed if I don't have a whole wedding done in a day on dh, I'm not cutting any corners like it's that's just watching how they did it, I realize that. That is a really, really excellent way to do it and they were here for a full day and I would recommend watching that whole course I mean, they should have been here for like, two fly no, I know I'm trying to figure out how they got it all in and what you watch their course and you watch what they've done here in these thirty days and you're still stuck that's what they have coaching for so they can help speed you up they really, really, really can, but the first step is to just not be so obsessed with calling and calling out and picking and choosing and oh god, what if this was better than this one? You have to learn to go with your gut and get through that cooling process. I was wondering if you could talk about approximately how many images you give a client besides what's in the album they don't order the album there are people who don't an album and give a cd or flash drive with the images, but they're giving six hundred to eight hundred images so what's a good range ah hundred fully edited images are the whole bunch would love to hear from a real pro on this issue well, every real pro is going to tell you something different they get six hundred to eight hundred images from me and they're all color corrected density adjusted burned and dodge just a little bit that the digital files that I give her a fully finished final product for them I wouldn't give them six hundred eight hundred then ask them to pick one hundred and have me edit them further if they're not going to go into an album so you know what's a good range six hundred to eight hundred images but you have to find out what's right for you my husband doesn't get files you have to order an album and complete the album before you get their files I sell files right away some people don't have the file is built into their package but they have it separately there's there's a lot of different ways that you can kind of skin that cat you just have to figure out what's most what resonates with you the most oh my good god let's get back there so we're not reading ahead you freak me out temporarily to hand went up yes sir you talk about why you give a cd versus a flash drive and maybe what that c looks like sure I actually don't give them anything they don't get a tangible physical product from me I use in folio for my proofing gallery they get a link to download the images directly out of this in folio gallery it's faster for them and it's cheaper for me yes sir do you give rights of course print whatever you want so I literally form that you give them no, I don't most people end up not needing it really they say they're going to print it, but it really just means they're gonna put them on facebook, which is fine with me, but if they do print them, sometimes someone will come back to me and say, we have this specific form that we need signed from a printer and I'll sign it. It's fine it's fine susan, do you offer a watermarked images as well? Are you requests that they put your link with if images if they put some online? I don't give watermarked images, but most of them, like I do say, if you put your pictures on facebook, you can put them on facebook all you want could you just link over to my facebook page or my sight, please? And they're always excited to do so. Usually what happens is first, I've put their images on facebook anyhow in my facebook business page, and they've linked to that from there facebook page themselves so that then when they go in and they put the rest of their gallery, or that however many they want to put on their oftentimes I don't even have to ask they just link over forming which is really nice, yeah, so in regards to the less on sidecar post post processing I only showed using light room to do my editing. I was curious if she doesn't editing in photo shop alongside of light room also do should clear up blinis, hers and smooth skin. Not really. When I get the images back from sidecar post, they've only been taken through light room. The only time in image is going to go into photo shot for me is if I'm going to blogging, I'm gonna clean it up just a little bit, but I don't do heavy facial retouching. I want people to look the way they look, you know, wrinkles and issues and all, I don't want them to look at their face and be like, wow, I look like an alien. I want them to look like themselves. Do I clean up blemishes and smooth skin? Not in the proofing phase. If I have a client who has really bad skin sometimes all run portraiture on the entire batch before I put it up online, but most heavy blemish cleaning up and skin smoothing. And what not all happens when I do images for their album, or if they order prints if you order prints for me, that does come with complimentary retouching. So most of my clients, if they're going to order anything over an eight by ten, they come back and have me do it. Anything under an eight by ten. They just take it to him, picks and have it printed themselves. And I'm okay with that.

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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.

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