Monday, January 28, 2013

Santa's Workshop in Penrith is a HUGE hit!

Once again Santa came to visit us for Christmas 2012 for our Santa's Workshop Portrait Sessions!

We were excited to see so many of our regular clients again  - some of them have been coming for 3 years now and it has become a family tradition! It is great to catch up with the parents and kids and see how much they have grown, particularly if we haven't seen them since the Christmas before. Some of our families have even added a new one over the past year with one mum who was due to deliver a few days before her session telling her doctor to hurry things up as she had Santa booked! Bless her! She made it with her new baby boy and we were so excited to meet him!

We also met some new kids that came for the first time and there were some magic moments there too, one little girl impressed everyone in the room with her bravery - she was so scared of Santa to start but she kept trying and eventually ended on reading a book on Santa's knee. It is moments like those that make it so worthwhile - I was so proud of her! Then we had one of our favourite families in with their little boy - these guys are always good fun and both Mum and Dad will do whatever it takes to get their little sweetheart going - well they did the BEST version of a wiggles song, complete with the dance, the little guy was on fire! He was dancing and rocking it with THE best expressions, even a high five for Santa...another one of those moments that make Santa's Workshop so very special! And it makes me realise just how lucky I am to have such wonderful clients and gorgeous kids coming in year after year.

Anyway, with the Christmas/New Year thing, I am a bit behind on blog posts...yes I know, I am always behind on blog I thought I had better get our 2012 Santa's Workshop slideshow loaded before we get to next Christmas - I know that Santa is waiting to see it!

Oh, and speaking of next Christmas (2013) we have a pre-register list and already we have 2 and a bit days booked - we only do 4 days! Looks like it will be bigger and better again in 2013 - oooh AND I almost forgot I have a new set in mind, maybe even different sets on different days - have purchased a new backdrop to get ready for it!

Cheers and enjoy the slideshow!

Alicia xx

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Sandy Puc would like to interview you....

So what do you say when you get an email saying that the great Sandy Puc would like to interview you on SPTV? You say YES of course - and mark it down as one of THE most exciting moments of 2012.

For forever, Sandy Puc' has been my idol. For those of you that don't know of Sandy, she is the Doyenne, the Queen, the Oprah of babies and children's portraiture in the US. Co-founder of Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, serves on the Board of Directors of the PPA, holder of the Canon Print Master and Explorer of Light titles, holds the PPA Masters in Photography, international photography teacher, philanthropist, amazing photographer of children and babies and all in all one hell of an inspirational woman.

Going back some years ago, I came across an interview with Sandy and was blown away by her honesty, and how down to earth she came across. When I first saw Sandy's children's portraits, I knew right at that moment, that that was what I was going to do - create gorgeous portraits of children and babies. Sandy has a forum for photographers and I became a member (still am!) so that I could learn more from her.

Anyway - on to the exciting bit! This all came about in a couple of parts. Sandy contacted me via the forum mid-2012 about our Granddad's Garage Limited Edition sessions. She loved them and asked me if I would be interested in having her team create a marketing campaign around the theme and featuring my promotional images. Sandy's marketing campaigns are available to forum members and also are available for purchase via Ukandu - her Marketing and Business template site.

SPTV is Sandy's weekly internet TV show and is a great resource for photographers, with sections on business, marketing, interviews with leading photographers in the industry, live shoots, image critiques and featured photographer spotlights. When the show kicked off in about November 2012, I submitted several images for Sandy to critique live on air. If you don't think having your images critiqued, by one of the best in the business, live, in front of thousands of people is scary...well, you should try it some time. Fear, excitement, anticipation, dread - you name it, I felt it ALL!

I believe it is very important to have your images critiqued by knowledgeable and respected photographers - good quality constructive criticism (CC) is one of the greatest learning tools for any photographer at any level. I could not miss this opportunity to have Sandy tell me what she thought of my portraits...I was nervous but knew that whatever she said would be beneficial to my ongoing education and growth. And guess what - she loved them! Found some minor area's that could be improved (which I duly noted!) BUT she loved them! Complimented the lighting, posing and set/prop design - I almost busted a foofoo valve, I was so filled with pride.

Then it happened. A couple of weeks before Christmas, I was contacted by the team from SPTV which is Sandy's weekly internet TV show. They said that Sandy would like to set up an interview with me for the show! We would pre-record the interview via Skype and it would be aired the very next day. To say I was stunned was the understatement of all time - and so very excited! I was going to speak with Sandy Puc - THE Sandy Puc - in person! I have long dreamed of meeting Sandy and one day visiting her studio in Colorado...well this was the next best thing!

It was wonderful, a chance to speak personally with Sandy beforehand and then straight into our interview. Sandy wanted to know about our Limited Edition Theme Days, how we handle such big days in our small studio, our marketing and how I came to do baby and children's portraits. So for about half an hour, there I was chatting away with one of my idols, who, without her actually knowing it, has been a mentor to me, a woman who has shared so much with the photographic community and someone that I have learned so much from. Truly a dream come true!

Since then, Sandy and her team have been back in touch and have some new and exciting teaching resources in the works - and they have asked me to take part in that as well. At the moment the finishing touches are being put on the new project and it is expected to launch at the end of January 2013. I can't wait to be a part of this and hopefully be able to share and help other photographers that wish to make their dream of having a successful portrait business a reality.

If you are a photographer and aren't familiar with Sandy Puc's forum or her other teaching and business resources - go check her out at the links below - and keep an eye out for the new project too.

Sandy Puc University
Ukandu Marketing and Business Resources
Sandy Puc Portrait Design

Alicia xx