Training With Sandy Puc
Last week, I attended the Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers (SWPP) Convention 2012 in Hammersmith. It was great to catch up with some old wedding photography friends, and make some new. However, unlike last year, where I spent seven exhausting days learning from some seriously successful professional wedding photographers including Doug Gordon, Joe Photo and John Denton, to mention just a few, this year I decided to spend just three days getting acquainted with just one Photographer – Sandy Puc.
I only recently discovered Sandy Puc and was completely inspired by her work and teachings, so when I heard that she was speaking at the SWPP convention, I was very excited. Sandy is famed for her Children’s and Baby Portraits and although I’ve only seen her studio portraits, Sandy says that she also frequently does location portrait sessions. So, I was very keen to watch her in action and signed up for her location day – which was held at the Science Museum.
As it happens, the morning session didn’t go as Sandy would have liked but, it was all the more interesting to watch. On arrival, we discovered that the Science Museum don’t allow the use of tripods or flash, so Sandy had to hand-hold her camera and use a reflector - well, a second person held the reflector and a third person waved the ‘tickle stick’. The session was made even more interesting when the children didn’t cooperate and I picked up some useful tips watching Sandy using her powers of pursuasion (mostly bribery with sweets) with the children.
These were all very valuable lessons to learn and watch, however, for some of us who work alone, we were very keen to see Sandy in action without the aid of an assistant – operating how she would on a typical location shoot. So we headed to a nearby park, so that Sandy could make full use of her tripod and flash and give a demonstration of what a regular portrait session with children would normally look like. I took a few photos as I watched, purely for blog purposes.
Above: Sandy, with the youngest (3 years old) who had just woken up from her afternoon knap, and was feeling a little shy and over-whelmed. So Sandy took her aside for a few minutes, to see whether or not she would come around and be photographed. Sadly, it was not to be – but she had been brilliant during the morning portrait session inside the museum, not forgetting that for a 3 year old, cooperating for such a length of time (four hours) was remarkable.
Below: However, the two older children, still full of energy weren’t phased at all by brisk temperatures outside.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Sandy, and I really hope that she comes back to London soon – it all went so fast and there’s so much I want to learn from her.
Like last year, I found the SWPP convention incredibly motivating and a great way to start 2012! Thank you to the SWPP organisers, and to Tuesday’s speakers (Catherine O’Connor, Melissa Love, James and Julia Boggio) who were equally as inspiring as Sandy.
Finally, to my esteemed fellow photographers and friends, I wish you every success and joy with your business this year.
Kim Rix Photography
“Capturing once-in-a-lifetime moments”
January’s special offer: call 0208 989 4886 and quote “weetabix” to receive £50 credit to spend on your portrait session.