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Tips & Tricks

How To Shoot a Gorgeous Wedding Portrait in an Ugly Parking Lot | Susan Stripling

By Hanssie on September 27th 2015

Let’s face it. As wedding photographers, we don’t always get to shoot at the spectacular Biltmore Hotel or the Ritz-Carlton by the picture-esque seaside. More often than not, we will find ourselves staring at hotel parking garages and terribly lit hotel rooms with ugly comforters and gaudy furniture. It’s one of the challenges of wedding photography – well, any photography really – making great images despite your situation. Whether it is poor lighting or an ugly location, your clients hired you to give them great images.

So what do you do when you’ve got a tight schedule on a wedding day and limited options in terms of location to create something great? Susan Stripling shares her secrets to making something out of nothing and how to work in all types of difficult situations. For her CreativeLive Photo Week 2015 course, Susan talks about how to troubleshoot common issues regarding light and location. The following video clip is from part of her session where she shows us how she got this beautiful image below in the middle of an ugly parking lot.


This is just one of the many images she shows us in the short 3.5-minute clip. The rest of the course talks about other scenarios and how she overcomes them. It is only $49 right now over on CreativeLive.

If you missed Photo Week, check out a few of the other clips I shared below:

To see all of the incredible courses that were taught last week, you can grab them all for $199 through today only here. (I will be highlighting a few more over the next few days as well).

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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Paul Empson

    200mm of compression and a wide open aperture can much most things in to a colourful mush of pleasing bokeh circles of back light..

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