Planning a wedding comes with its fair share of questions, especially when it revolves around capturing those cherished moments. Below, I've compiled answers to the most common queries about my wedding photography approach and services. Let's make this process as clear and seamless as possible for you!

frequently asked questions

a collection of common questions and answers

The big question: Why should we hire you for our wedding?

Considering me as your wedding photographer? Here's why it's a decision you won't regret: I approach each wedding as if I'm capturing moments for my own kin. I'll guide you in crafting a timeline that lets the day unfold authentically. With nearly two decades under my belt, I've seen it all. I understand the intricacies, the emotions, and sometimes, the chaos of weddings.

I'll be more than just your photographer. Think of me as your guide, your mediator when family dynamics come into play, and most importantly, your staunch supporter. My role is to ensure your day is captured with the elegance and authenticity it deserves. 

Let me be your eyes, allowing you to immerse in the joy of having all your loved ones around, confident in the knowledge that every moment is being documented masterfully.

Unexpected challenges like rain, snow, delays, or even surprise venue issues? I've navigated them all. My commitment is not only to deliver exceptional photos but also to alleviate wedding day anxieties, ensuring you relish every moment.

coverage + travel

Frequent inquiries touch on topics such as pricing, travel guidelines, delivery timelines, albums, and other specifics about wedding coverage. For your convenience, I've gathered the most common questions and their answers here. If your query isn't addressed, please reach out to the studio directly. I look forward to connecting with you.

What is your pricing?

I completely get the desire to access pricing without the extra step of inquiring. For various reasons, I've opted not to display detailed rates and packages on the site. To start, pricing varies based on location, considering factors like travel for events beyond the NYC/Long Island/New Jersey/Philadelphia/Baltimore vicinity. Destination weddings have distinct considerations too. Furthermore, I frequently tailor packages to match individual client needs—a service I'm keen to extend to you. For a precise quote tailored to your wedding, a simple email will get you all the information. Expect a swift response, and I'm eager to discuss more.

You're more expensive than the other photographers we've talked to. Why?

Discussing the financial aspects of this profession is complex. While factors like equipment costs, business operations, taxes, and insurance are universal concerns for all photographers, it's not just about these expenses. Each of us invests significant time with our clients, both pre and post-wedding, including the unseen hours of editing and post-production.

In an industry without a standard rate, photographers are free to determine their value. My rate might be higher than some but not the pinnacle. It reflects my seasoned experience, my knack for capturing beauty regardless of circumstances, the superior quality of the final products, my proficiency in achieving most of the desired effects in-camera without heavy reliance on post-production, and the inherent value of my work.

Defining the worth of creative work in monetary terms isn't straightforward. But with the vast experience I've accrued, I can assertively state that my services, especially on your wedding day, are priced aptly for the quality provided.

I'm always open to discussing rates and tailoring a package to align with your budget. Feel free to reach out, and let's converse.

Do you work with a second photographer?

Yes!  For every collection and a la carte option I work with a second photographer.  A custom collection without one can be created if your wedding does not require one.

Do you edit all of our photographs?

Absolutely! Every photo you receive is individually hand-edited, ensuring personalized attention rather than bulk processing. Additionally, my expert editing team often picks out a few standout images for extra detailed refinement beyond the standard edits.

Where do you live and how far will you travel?

I'm based in Brooklyn, New York, and my studio is in Manhattan. My photography journey has taken me across the globe — from the sandy beaches of the Caribbean and Bahamas to the captivating landscapes of South America, California, Wisconsin, Georgia, and even to European destinations like France and Finland, among numerous others. As a seasoned destination wedding specialist, I've accumulated a wealth of travel experience and an uncanny knack for catching sleep on flights. When you hire me for your destination wedding, know that you're partnering with a seasoned traveler. As for travel costs, they're straightforward — any expenses like airfare, hotel, and car rentals are simply reimbursed directly by you.

For local weddings, I've got wheels and genuinely enjoy hitting the road. So, wherever your story unfolds, I'm ready to capture it.

Do you also provide video services?

I solely focus on photography, ensuring that I offer the best of this particular craft. While I don't venture into videography, I have connections with remarkable cinematographers across various budget ranges. I'd be delighted to help you find the perfect fit — a team that's as devoted to videography as I am to photography.

Do you have past clients we can speak to as references?

I see where you're coming from, asking for references. It's a standard practice in many situations. However, in the realm of wedding photography, I don't offer past clients as references. The reason is twofold: One, any reference would be cherry-picked, thus not wholly impartial. Two, out of respect for their privacy and time, I avoid imposing on my clients post-event. For firsthand insight into working with me, you might consider asking other vendors involved in your wedding.

We want to take pictures in a super cool location on our wedding day. Do you know if we need a permit?

I'm here to assist, but the answer isn't crystal clear. When your wedding takes place at the venue, the odds of needing a permit are typically low. However, if you plan to venture away from the venue, a permit might be necessary. Certain locations, such as Philadelphia's Washington Square Park or New York's Grand Central Terminal, often require permits, but it's essential to note that obtaining the permit falls under the client's responsibility, not the photographer's.

Should you have inquiries about a specific location, please don't hesitate to ask, and I'll gladly help determine if a permit is necessary. It's crucial to avoid shooting in a location that mandates a permit without proper authorization, as it could lead to us being asked to vacate the premises, a situation we definitely want to avoid.

Can some of our photos be delivered in both black & white and color?

Absolutely! Every image is provided in both black and white and color. This offers you the flexibility to select the version that best suits your preferences. (Note : If black and white film is used, those images will only be available in black and white)

How long does it take before we receive our products and photographs?

Eight weeks post-wedding, your online gallery will be live, and that's when you'll get your digital files. If your collection includes printed proofs, you can expect them three weeks after your gallery’s debut. Once the album designs have your nod, it usually takes about twelve weeks to have the album in your hands.

Are our digital files watermarked?

They are not. The high-resolution files do not bear any watermarks.

How many pictures will we receive?

How many photos you'll receive hinges on various factors: guest count, coverage duration, event nature, dance hours, among others. On a typical eight-hour day with a second photographer, the count hovers around 650 images, though this can fluctuate based on the day's specifics. If you're curious about image quantity, let's delve into your plans. It'll enable me to offer a more precise overview and estimate.

Do we get to keep the negatives?

I supply chosen, polished high-resolution digital files—think of them as the modern-day negatives. Once you have these files, should you wish to procure quality prints, I can share a roster of reliable sources. While I maintain the images' copyright and the prerogative to utilize them for promotions, contests, and professional critiques, I'm more than willing to furnish a formal release. This will empower you to produce endless personal copies for you and your loved ones.

Do we get the copyright of the images?

The matter of copyright frequently comes up. Some photographers talk about a "copyright release" in their contracts. Typically, this is just permission for you to get your images printed wherever you see fit. However, that doesn't equate to acquiring the copyright. Essentially, copyright indicates I'm the images' creator and thus, the holder of the copyright. Transferring or obtaining this "copyright" isn't on the table, but rest assured, you'll have full liberty to print and circulate your images to your heart's content.

Do we receive the raw, unedited files?

The raw images from your gallery are available for purchase, should that be something you are interested in.

Can we see the outtakes and all of the images that didn't make the "final cut"?

The images you receive undergo minimal editing, eliminating only unmistakable mishaps like closed eyes, untriggered flash, or unintended photo-bombers. Say, if there are multiple shots of you and your best friend sharing a laugh, I'll provide all unique captures, excluding exact duplicates. Any images not chosen won't be stored and, thus, won't be accessible.

Do you need to attend our rehearsal?

If you're keen on having coverage for your rehearsal dinner, you can opt to include it in your package; otherwise, I typically don't attend rehearsals. While we'll discuss your day's schedule and the event's progression, which includes the ceremony, I'd be eager to know about the ceremony's timing specifics. However, know that my absence from the rehearsal won't compromise the quality or extent of your coverage.

What if we want to order extra prints? How does that work?

Your digital images will be made available to you through a secure, password-protected online gallery, allowing for direct download. This platform doubles as a print-ordering system. Should you wish to purchase additional prints, you can do so straight from your online gallery. Though you'll have the freedom to print at any lab due to access to your digital files, we strongly advocate for using our affiliated lab. This ensures each print undergoes a stringent quality check. We can't vouch for the quality of prints from other sources. If you're inclined to get prints elsewhere, just give us a shout, and we'd be happy to point you to some trustworthy labs.

What will my album look like once it's completed?

In the contemporary albums I craft, images are imprinted straight onto the pages, reminiscent of the coffee-table books you'd find at a bookstore. My aim is to maintain a timeless, streamlined design, resulting in a keepsake for the generations to come. If you have a penchant for the conventional, I also offer the option to upgrade to a matted album.

What is the "online gallery" you mention in your collections?

Your wedding photographs will be housed in a confidential, password-protected gallery on my website, accessible to you, your family, and friends. This gallery doubles as a secure shopping portal, enabling you and your loved ones to order prints, cards, and choose album photos online. Simply share the password with those you'd like to grant viewing privileges to. This platform is also your gateway to retrieve your wedding day digital files. With a provided PIN for downloading, you can access your images the moment the gallery is in your hands.

We want everything documented! Can we have more images?

Recognize that each gallery is unique, influenced by various factors like the duration of the day, extent of coverage, number of events, rehearsal dinner inclusion, and coverage spanning a whole weekend. Every wedding stands apart, and each is captured to the utmost capability, leading to varying counts of final images. Should you have reservations about the coverage and final output, there's always the option to bring in a second or even a third photographer to join me in documenting your day.

Do you offer engagement sessions?

Absolutely, I cherish engagement sessions! However, due to my packed wedding schedule, most engagement shoots are typically slotted for Tuesdays through Thursdays, though occasional openings pop up on Mondays or Fridays. Locations I frequent for these sessions typically are limited to New York’s boroughs. While I'm always game to venture out of these zones for your shoot (and would relish the opportunity!), be aware that specific travel fees might be added for more distant locales. During winter, sessions usually kick off at 3pm, whereas in summer, we're looking at a 6pm start. Fancy a super late night shoot? Those are generally reserved for Fridays and might come with an added cost. For any questions or details about your engagement session, please reach out!


I trust that these commonly asked style queries provide insight into my approach during the wedding. Although I aim for my portfolio to communicate my style, if you seek more clarity or have any other questions about how I photograph, please feel free to inquire.

How would you describe your style of photography?

I approach wedding coverage with a journalistic lens, yet I believe photography shouldn't be boxed into a singular "genre." While I favor a discreet presence during the event, I also see the value in capturing beautifully, subtly staged moments of the couple. So, while I won't interrupt your cake-cutting for a pose, I'd appreciate an hour (or even more) solely with you both during the day, away from the gaze of guests and the wedding party. I place significant importance on capturing every wedding detail, from your jewelry to the intricacies of your cake. When it comes to your guests, my shots are predominantly candid. Don't expect me to halt entire tables for staged "table shots" during the reception. Instead, I focus on catching those genuine moments: laughter, dances, and joyous celebrations.

Do you take posed family photos?

Of course. Family images hold immense value as they chronicle your entire family during a pivotal moment in its shared history. A couple of weeks before your wedding, I'll forward a questionnaire to you which, among other things, contains a list of customary posed images that I usually capture at the weddings I cover. There's room for you to jot down any additional groupings you'd like. Remember, the essence of my work leans towards a journalistic and live-action style. A ultra-long list of posed shots could hamper this documentary approach. I typically suggest nine groupings, advising that your final list ideally not exceed twelve or thirteen in total. I ensure these sessions are swift, relaxed, and casual, aiming for a fun and breezy experience for all parties.

Can you take fewer photos that have dark shadows and bright highlights?

If you're inclined towards a photography style that consistently employs even lighting, then my approach might not align with your vision. I extensively employ interplays of shadow and light, both in my natural light captures and in flash-assisted shots during receptions. It's crucial that you peruse the sample galleries I provide upon your inquiry. This will help ensure that the style evident in those galleries resonates with what you envision for your wedding day imagery.

Can we provide you with a "shot list" or "must-take pictures"?

While I understand the desire for specific shots, beyond family groupings, I'd advise against such lists, and here's my rationale. Being informed about crucial family members and significant events during your day is invaluable. However, a constant flow of posed image requests or directing me by a "checklist" diverges from the style showcased on my website, potentially leading to a distinct shift in the final appearance of your image collection. The "shot lists" often suggested by popular wedding publications sound promising, but rest assured, the staples typically find their way into my shots organically. An extensive list detailing every college mate or high school buddy can detract from the candid, documentary essence, as more time is channeled into assembling guests as per the list. Similarly, guiding me using a collection of Pinterest images can stifle the spontaneity, resulting in a replication of existing shots rather than crafting distinct memories for you.

business + details

Frequently, I encounter questions related to the business aspects of hiring me as your wedding photographer. This segment addresses all such questions, spanning from business insurance to even matters as simple as food. As always, should you have additional inquiries or need clarification on any topic, feel free to reach out to me.

Do you have insurance?

Yes. Absolutely. 100%. Yes, yes, yes!

What kind of equipment do you use?

I'm equipped with premium professional Canon gear, along with comprehensive backup systems. Admittedly, I have a penchant for collecting equipment. While this obsession aids in capturing stellar shots, it's not exactly a boon for my back—accumulating gear tends to weigh one down, quite literally.

Can you provide my venue with a certificate of insurance?

Certainly. I'd appreciate a heads-up at least two months prior to the wedding, considering the time our insurance company requires to process and furnish that documentation. You're welcome to connect your venue or coordinator with me, and we'll streamline those specifics. Given that every venue has its unique requirements, rest assured we can offer certificates tailored to address all their stipulations.

How long have you been in business? How many weddings have you photographed?

Since launching in 2001, I've captured moments at over eight hundred weddings. Remarkably, each one remains etched in my memory. From sandy beaches and solemn churches to mountainous terrains and rain-soaked ceremonies—even amidst hurricanes—I've been there, camera in hand. Every time I'm chosen to chronicle a wedding, I'm profoundly touched, treating this privilege with the gravity it deserves.

Can you hold a date for me?

I'm so sorry, but I can't hold the date or pencil you in. To be fair to everyone I can't "hold" a date without a retainer and a signed contract. I accept bookings on a first-come/first-served basis.

What is your payment schedule?

To secure your date, a booking fee or retainer of around $2,000 is required. Following that, there'll be two subsequent payments. Half of the remaining amount will be due ninety days before your wedding, with the final installment due four weeks ahead of the big day. I'll ensure you receive timely email reminders for your payments. My goal is to simplify the process for you, recognizing the myriad of tasks you're juggling!

Can we pay you part of the amount after the wedding?

I do require full payment before the event. Payment for overtime, album upgrades, or additional products beyond your wedding day contract, however, are all due post-wedding. If you have any concerns about the payment schedule, I'd love to chat with you about them! 

If I need to cancel my wedding, is the retainer refundable?

The retainer fee and all monies paid are non-refundable. The retainer guarantees that I'll hold the date exclusively for you and once you've signed the contract I do turn down all other commissions for that date.

...but what about Covid?

The retainer fee and all monies paid are still non-refundable. Trust me, I loathe what Covid has done to our families, our friends, our industry, and the world. But Covid isn't new, and planning events now are with Covid in mind. I highly, highly suggest that if you're worried about Covid derailing your event that you purchase wedding insurance. This way you will be protected financially if your event cancels.


My wedding coverage is a hybrid of film and digital.

What if you die?

Should the unthinkable occur and I'm unable to be at your wedding because I’m well, dead, it would be deeply unfortunate. However, Susan Stripling Photography—most likely steered by my studio manager and my deeply affected circle of friends—will ensure coverage through my contracted assistant or second shooter. Additionally, I'm affiliated with several national and local organizations and networking groups, which my team could tap into to secure an adept replacement photographer for you.

Okay, maybe not DIE, per se, but what if you're super sick or test positive for Covid?

In over twenty years of photographing weddings, I've never missed one. Understand that your wedding is of utmost importance to me, and the notion of "calling in sick" isn't taken lightly. Should an unprecedented circumstance arise, we would ensure a replacement photographer with a caliber matching mine would be there, along with a member of my team. Should this be a cause for concern, please reach out to the studio. We've meticulously prepared for such scenarios, even though we genuinely hope never to act on them.

When should we book you for our wedding?

ASAP. Since I can't "hold" dates or "pencil you in" dates are booked when...well, when they're booked. Most of my commissions contract me within a year of the wedding date, sometimes as close as two months prior, sometimes a full calendar year or more in advance. It's easy to predict what will be popular weekends, but not always easy to predict when those weekends will book up!

If we're running late, will you stay later than you were scheduled?

Surely! I do have an overtime rate and it goes into effect only with your permission and approval that I continue coverage. I'll bill you for those hours after you return from your honeymoon. Overtime includes everyone working at the event, which would be me, my associate photographer (if one is part of your collection), and our assistant.

Do you offer discounts for off-season or non-Saturday events?

Occasionally discounts are available but are based on the time of year, my travel schedule, and availability. If you have concerns about your budgetary needs, please contact me and let me know. 

Do we need to feed you at the reception?

It's certainly appreciated if you could, though it's not a contractual obligation. Providing a meal ensures I remain energetic and alert, preventing me from resorting to an ancient protein bar lurking at the bottom of my camera bag. Ideally, I'd like to eat when you do—since candid shots during meals might not capture everyone's best side. Once you're done, I'd like to be ready to resume capturing your special moments. While we do pack our own sustenance, a warm meal is always a delightful gesture during an extended day of work!

Can our family and friends take pictures with their cameras?

Certainly, they're welcome to take photos! It doesn't trouble me at all. However, during family photographs, I'd appreciate if they could wait a moment to ensure everyone's attention is on my camera. This helps in capturing everyone's best look. For intimate shots or solo images, I prefer it to be just us for the sake of privacy and to maintain focus, as additional people might be distracting. During events like dancing and cake cutting, others are free to take pictures. I just kindly ask everyone to be respectful and avoid obstructing my view.

for photographers

Hello to all the wedding photographers checking out this site! I've put together a collection of the most commonly asked questions concerning my work, equipment, my favorite vendors, and resources that can assist you in enhancing your wedding photography journey.

I'm a photographer and I love this FAQ! Can I copy it and put it on my website?

Did you really just consider that? Please, don't copy content from this FAQ for your own website. Just as mastering your photography craft takes dedication, crafting genuine website content to guide and assist clients requires effort. I've written this with sincere consideration for those I work with, aiming to answer their questions and ease their wedding planning. Borrowing this without consent isn't fair to either of us or your clients. I encourage you to identify the unique queries YOUR clients have and create original content to address their needs. Thanks for understanding!

Can I be heavily influenced by this FAQ and sort of rewrite it so that it sounds like me but uses your framework and all of your questions?

Oh, please don't.

What cameras and lenses do you use?

You can see my entire gear list here!

Do you ever teach or give workshops?

Yes, I do! I have two classes available on Creative Live. The first is a three-day course called Creative Wedding Photography, and you can learn more about the course and purchase it here. I also have a really fun class on sale with Creative Live, entitled Thirty Days of Wedding Photography. It is actually thirty days of wedding photography education, everything from marketing to shooting, business to workflow. You can learn more about 30 Days of Wedding Photography and purchase the course here! At this time I do not give any in-person workshops or have a mentorship program.

I am also one of the founders of The Wedding School, which provides real, honest education to wedding photographers worldwide. THIS is my best resource for wedding photographers, as it is current and continually updating. If you'd like to learn more, visit our site and hop on our mailing list.

Do you have any partners or sponsors?

It's a profound honor for me to be recognized as a Canon Explorer of Light, a distinction held in high regard in the photography world. Additionally, I've been privileged to be named an ambassador by Profoto. My partnerships and sponsorships are chosen with great care, ensuring alignment with my values. Each company I collaborate with is one I've trusted and patronized for years.

I'm coming to New York! Can I buy you coffee and pick your brain for a while?

You are so sweet to ask, but probably not. I love meeting new photographers, but my schedule doesn't often permit coffee breaks like these!

Are you hiring?

Not currently!

Do you really like shooting weddings? Why?

Indeed, I do have a background in theatre, which has always held a special place in my heart. After years of dancing and rigorous training for a theatrical career, I found myself questioning my path post-college. An internship at a renowned Broadway theatre and several intense auditions later, I realized performing wasn't my destined career. Weddings, for me, beautifully intertwine the theatrical drama of a stage show with the raw, authentic moments of daily life. Observing these moments blossom from start to finish, akin to the three-act structure in theatre, is truly captivating. While I may not overtly gush about the idea of "love," there's an undeniable draw I feel towards weddings. I genuinely cherish them.

Do you have hobbies outside of the wedding world?

Certainly! I have a deep passion for reading, often sacrificing sleep to finish book after book. Theatre is another love of mine, and I never miss an opportunity to catch a performance. Travel and horror movies, especially the eerie ghostly ones, captivate me. In my downtime, I write, paint, and indulge in gardening. Yet, nothing compares to the joy of spending time with my family. I have two incredible daughters who light up my life. My heart also holds special places for Chloe, undoubtedly the best dog in the world, Taylor Swift, an energetic puppy with a penchant for playful nips, and Lucy, my very first cat and cherished cuddle companion. Last but not least, there's Bill, my loving partner, who completes our little family.

contact me

let's chronicle your love story

from 'yes' to 'i do', every moment matters.