Tether Tools How I Got The Shot

I’m honored to be a part of the Tether Tools How I Got the Shot Women’s Edition Guide! tether tools how i got the shot

This guide features the work of thirty incredible woman photographers, and I’m so overjoyed that my bridal session shoot was included!

This shoot was a wonderfully collaborative effort between the dream team of myself, Justin Bowen (hair), Hayley Podschun (model), Michelle Elise Artistry (makeup), and the brilliant Catherine Deane (bridal gown).  The entire shoot was filmed phenomenally by my wonderful friend and colleague Shayla Benoit of Shady Theatrics.

I began my business as a wedding photographer only.  I shot….weddings.  That was it.  Over the years, my clients expanded their families and a new portrait side of my business was born.  After moving to New York in 2008, my business expanded once again to include theatrical portraits, headshots, branding images, and editorial work.

It has been a joy to watch everything evolve, and grow myself as an artist and a business owner.  Every shoot I do, every client I meet, every team I collaborate with, every person who walks into my studio changes me as a person and a photographer.  I am so deeply thankful to this crazy business, this industry, these people.  I love the work I do, every day.

You can see the entire shoot unfold here:


As a photography educator, I love seeing guides like this being put out.  When I first got started as a photographer, I often wondered “How did that shot get set up like that” while perusing the work of other artists.  I learn by seeing behind the scenes setups, and I think Tether Tools did a remarkable job of educating, entertaining, and championing photographers in these wonderful guides.

Thank you again to Tether Tools for including me into this amazing feature.  It’s truly an honor to be published alongside such incredible women photographers.  The work they do is important, breathtaking, inspiring.  I hope you download the guide and check it out!

Here are a few final images from our shoot for Tether Tools How I Got the Shot: Women’s Edition Guide:

how i got the shot tether tools tether tools how i got the shot women's edition tether tools how i got the shot download

Canon Explorer of Light

I bought my first camera with my own money when I was 18.

Christmas morning, circa my early high school years.

But let’s be honest, I’d been in love with photography for quite awhile before that.  Point and shoot cameras, my father’s old film camera, I loved it all.  I was the one who always brought a camera to social outings.  I was the one who took “artsy” pictures of my friends for our senior year scrapbooks.  I was even the one questioned by a police detective for taking pictures in a cemetery when I was nineteen, but that’s another story for another day.

When I was 18, I got a job to buy my first camera.  It was a Canon film Rebel, and I wanted it so badly that I worked at McDonald’s to get the money to own it.  I’d visit it in the mall camera shop, admiring it and imagining what I could create with it.  When I finally had enough money to go buy it, I went straight to the mall to pick it up.

(I still have that camera.)

I went to college, camera in hand.  I majored in theatre.  I took pictures of everything.  From  theatrical productions to pictures of my friends playing guitar in the quad, I shot everyone and everything.  I took a darkroom class, fighting against my fears of the dark while fumbling with film canisters late into the night.  Every day my love for photography grew, married entirely with my love of theatre and the arts.

Guys and Dolls, somewhere around 1998

In 2002, I started my photography business.  I was a college graduate, having dabbled briefly in a theatre career before deciding (quite rightly so) that wasn’t the path I was meant to take.  I was married, with a new baby.  I picked back up that Rebel and turned my eye towards wedding photography.

Canon 5d, 200mm and f/2.8, ISO 500, 1/250 sec

My first camera was a Canon.  I nurtured my love for theatre and art with a Canon in hand.  I started my business with my Canon film Rebel, then a digital Rebel, then the D60, then eventually my first beloved 5D.  I built an entire career with my Canons at my side.

Canon 5d, 35mm and f/2.8, ISO 400, 1/100 sec


Over the years I grew my skills, my ability to see light, my understanding of photojournalism, and my sense of style on Canon cameras.  While time did lead me to shoot other systems, I’m overjoyed that my path has brought me back to where I started.   I am so thrilled to enter into 2018 with a Canon at my side once again.

Canon Mark IV, 135mm and f/2, exp comp -2.0, ISO 100, 1/2000 sec

I am also beyond humbled to now be a part of Canon’s Explorer of Light program.  It is simply impossible to describe what this honor means to me.  From the eighteen year old with her nose pressed against the window of a mall camera shop admiring her first Canon film camera to the photographer that I am now, I have come full circle.

What does it feel like?  It feels like coming home.

Canon Mark IV, 85mm and f/1.4, ISO 160, 1/250 sec


New Product : Image Folio Box

I am so excited to share this new product with all of you!  I’ve wanted to incorporate a folio box in my product lineup, but have been on a search for the past few years to find just the right one.  I wanted to find something modern, yet still luxuriously timeless.  The quality of the build had to be phenomenal, but the box itself also had to be pretty to look at.

I’ve been a fan of the team at Design Aglow for many years now, having used many of their templates in my business over the past decade.  When they released this folio box, I knew I had to get my hands on one for my studio!

I am a huge fan of the way these boxes are constructed.  The box opens on a diagonal, which is a wonderfully modern touch to a classic folio box.  I love the charcoal boxes, but will absolutely be adding one in “natural” to the studio asap!

When sharing my images with portrait clients, I place each of the images in a mat and display each on the custom rails in my studio.   This way the clients can choose the images they want to populate the box, placing each image in the box and leaving with a completed product on the same day.  These mats fit so beautifully on my display wall that I don’t ever want them to leave!

If you’d like to add an image folio box to your wedding or portrait collection, just email the studio and let us know!  I’d love to create a custom box for you and your images!



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New studio location!

For those of you who follow my Instagram already know, I moved into a new studio this past week!  On April 01, 2017, Susan Stripling Photography moved out of our old Crown Heights studio and into our new studio in Industry City.   You can find our new address and contact information here!**

Industry City is an amazing part of Brooklyn, located conveniently in Sunset Park. Industry City is an amazing community taking up sixteen warehouses right along the Brooklyn waterfront.  Need outdoor space for portrait shoot or engagement session?  No problem.  This location boasts over five acres of outdoor space only for tenants of the Industry City units.  Want gorgeous views?  Industry City has that.  An incredible loft-like creative studio space?  Welcome home.

It’s been a whirlwind of a past few years.  I moved to Brooklyn in 2008, after establishing a wedding photography business in Florida that had been flourishing since 2002.  I worked from home until 2014, moving into my Crown Heights studio and sharing with another accomplished photographer.  It was a great place to expand and grow my business.

In the past three years I’ve shot a hundred and fifty weddings.  I’ve photographed cast members from Hamilton, gotten to know the Broadway community, expanded into portraits and headshots, and begun to create fine art theatrical portraits.  I became a founder and co-owner of The Wedding School and began to bring real, honest wedding photography education to wedding photographers worldwide.  I photographed dancers, actors, singers, artists, business owners, brides, grooms, and my own children.

It was a great three years.

I am so excited to see what the next years bring to my business in this incredible, artistic, beautiful space.  I am so glad that moving day is behind us, and it’s time to build out, decorate, clean, and SHOOT!


**The studio is by appointment only.  Please contact us via email or call to make an appointment to come visit us!