If you’ve read this blog for any length of time you know I’m a big fan of creativeLIVE. I try to catch as many of their classes that I can. A few weeks ago a class was on shooting “Babies & Bellies” was taught by Sandy Puc’.
It quickly became clear that this was a class that I had to truly sit down, watch and take loads of notes. There has been a takeaway from every cL class that I have watched, even if it isn’t a style of photography that I plan on doing. Sandy took that to a whole new level. You felt the passion behind everything she talked about. You truly got to know her as a person as well as a photographer. Her personal stories made her teachings even that more powerful.
Let’s break the class down into the main themes that I saw.
Photography: Sandy walks you through how she gets the amazing photographs that she does. She talks about her gear and how she uses it. One of her main points that runs through out the workshop is that you can do it yourself. While it is nice to have assistants she didn’t for years and yet she built a successful business. To show that she often shoots as if she there was not assistant. Poses, tips, tricks, hints, ideas, she never stops talking about what she is doing, and more importantly WHY she is doing it.
It is amazing to watch her take a fussy child and within minutes get him smiling and laughing. Or how to get the ‘sleeping’ shots when the baby is not sleeping.
Business: This was a huge surprise for me. Sandy truly shares so much about her business model, and how she created it, that it feels as if you could just go out and open the doors if your own studio. The marketing, the customer service, the sales pitch.She is a marketing genius by the way. It is all in there! And she talks about the credit system she uses/developed for selling her products.
She actually teaches a two hour + a bit webinar on her pricing system. I watched that yesterday and it was great. While much of the information was in the cL course it was more in depth in some areas. I was hoping I would be the winner of the Big Book of Pricing but no such luck. (Though she did answer my question about how she selects products to offer her clients.)
Charity: And the biggest surprise to me was how much she talked about the charity work she does. Sandy went in depth on two separate occasions about how photographers can give back to the community to help improve others’ lives. I want deny that I teared up both times. The first is Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep and the second is Santa Charity.
The whole weekend was inspiring. I’m not a professional photographer, I just want to be the best photographer I can. What she taught me helps me feel I can be. While she had lots of memorable quotes there is one that has stuck with me.
“My work, my way, my soul.” ~ Sandy Puc’
I have two lists of photographers that I want to meet. Those on the first list are there because I love their work or what they have done to give back to the photographic community. The second list consists of those that have inspired me beyond photography, but to be a better person. Their story, their passion, the work truly makes me look at myself and strive to be a better person. The first list is long while the second list is short.
Sandy Puc’ is on the second list.
Thank you Sandy for your wonderful class. Thank you creativeLIVE for everything you do to share such wonderful people with the whole world.
(I helped a friend take 1 year portraits of her son last weekend. I used a number of techniques Sandy talked about in her class.)