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Tots to Teens

Lesson 15 of 35

Equipment and Your Studio Space

Sandy Puc

Tots to Teens

Sandy Puc

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Lesson Info

15. Equipment and Your Studio Space


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Who Am I? Duration:25:44
2 Your Journey Duration:13:10
4 Social Media Marketing Duration:39:44
5 Creating a Working Calendar Duration:13:22
6 Displays & Referral Programs Duration:32:11
8 More Marketing Ideas Duration:40:04
9 Limited Editions Duration:30:52
10 Video Fusion Duration:59:37
11 Working with Kids Duration:27:05
12 Ages and Stages Duration:53:59
13 Tools and Techniques Duration:34:54
14 Common Challenges Duration:25:41
16 Morning Q&A Duration:05:04
17 Shooting Introduction Duration:14:24
18 Shoot: Paige Duration:33:44
19 Shoot: Trevor Duration:26:51
20 Shoot: Katelyn Duration:29:45
21 Shoot: Sasha Duration:34:05
22 Senior Marketing Duration:36:23
23 Happiness and You Duration:16:00
24 Happiness and Health Duration:15:31
25 Finding Yourself Duration:14:02
26 Shoot: Young Siblings Duration:36:33
28 Shoot: 13 Month Old Twins Duration:20:00
30 Locations and Session Fee Duration:08:53
31 Equipment Duration:53:52
32 Posing Theory Duration:10:07
33 Sales Duration:32:56
34 Credit Structure and Pricing Duration:13:38
35 Giving Back Duration:07:22

Lesson Info

Equipment and Your Studio Space

we're going to go through the equipment that I'm gonna be using today just so you have an idea because working with kids unlike other instructors you're able to or other things that I do you're able to talk as you go depending on the child I will do as much of that as I can but if I realize that is just a go time I may push you guys back and just get the job done and we can answer questions later so as faras uh equipment we obviously want to create an efficient studio now I talk about studios and um I always have to pull it back because remember I've been there done that I had no studio for a long time only did location work had a very tiny little kitchen that I shot out of I've had a basement studio I had nine years into my master bedroom so really and truly sadly I always see negative feedback out there in the universe and when people say things like well she's got a big studio that's easy for her to say you know sometimes I take with a grain of salt sometimes I take it extremely per...

sonally because it's painful but the truth is I did all of that I've been through it all so yes I have a bigger studio now but even when I was in a tiny space organization is king these things apply to anything being prepared comfort and care is really important not just of the child but mom teo especially if she's got a newborn baby or you know there's just you want to make sure that the whole experience works for everybody ah the equipment that I'm gonna be using today is the mark three I did tell you or mark to I did upgrade to the mark three but in this system we can't link up to it yet so gonna be shooting with the mark to uh my lens of choice is always the seventy two two hundred millimeter the seventy two hundred millimeter is actually my favorite lens or that lens of choice but I always throw out the twenty four two one o five because if you're a newer shooter and you're not used to that long lens a long telephoto requires that your subject is further away from you working with toddlers and babies that's tough because you really have to have some good mojo to make that happen so if you're a newer shoot or something in the twenty four two one o four range is great because that allows you to be closer to your subject are one of five but I would recommend that you shoot closer to one o five that you're zoomed out because that's going to create better compress I love that compressed look in the lens I also shoot a lot with the fifty millimeter for my environmental mohr more trudeau life looks so if you see me and videos now you usually see a seventy two two hundred on a tripod and a fifty millimeter attached I used the cotton carrier has a little um you could strap on that you can wear on the side and I can't think of the name of it but it's just a little thing you could look on your belt they also have a version that can go that goes across your body I use those when we're shooting events because I could put a camera here and here but honestly normally I just have it on my hip and I can get out there keep my fifty here and I have my seventy two two hundred in my hand or on my tripod so that gives me the flexibility of going back and forth quickly with two bodies one hundred millimeter I love that lens for close ups we use that last time with the newborns that the eyelashes the years all that stuff but for the most part seventy two two hundred is kind of where it's at I didn't put the eighty five on here I love my eighty five millimeter lens love what comes out of that but I primarily used that for seniors the focus is slightly slower and when you're working with really busy little children it's just a little too difficult teo maintain that focus I mentioned the mark three and how amazing they are honestly that's everybody has asked me should I upgrade and I just I hate I never want people to spend money when they shouldn't but I do want you to educate yourself on the difference because the focal points enough if you shoot children babies movers shakers absolutely those focal points in fact I have to go back to a mark to today and I already comptel I'm like please don't make me even though that was an amazing capture device because that mark three is just so dead on so keep that in mind I do have a gear page if you go to sandy puts dot com forward slash door just go to sandy puts dot com you will actually see there is a page everybody always wants to know what quit well equipment I'm using its all there it all has links directly to places that I get it I don't make anything from doing that that's really just my way of giving you the information because the hardest thing for me when I was growing up in photography is I see a speaker use a meter and then I would just brack my brain what one wasn't because a lot of people do this I bought what people used if there was a speaker and I like their style I bought that meter because that's what they used so understand I'm very very particular about what all show when I'm teaching because if I don't really use it and you know if somebody we turned down a lot of sponsorship money people will call and say we have this product and we say you know we don't use it I'll test it but I cannot talk about it unless it's something that really works for my studio doesn't mean it's not a good product it means that I can't tell you it's a good product and then have you find out it's not so you can check out everything we used on the gear page this is that lens compression that seventy two two hundred millimeter that's why shoot it that's the first image you see with the little girl standing is shot at seventy millimeters I did not move my camera um however I zoomed in to two hundred millimeters and you can see that it compresses that background that compression is called a bouquet and photography that is what I'm looking for I want that soft dreamy fields so that the subject becomes prominent on dh you could do that with that lens and um you know wide open apertures so that's something that you learn um as we go tomorrow we're gonna talk about location photography and we're gonna talk about how I determined the apertures and things like that stability burst versus the photo journalistic style I am not willing to sacrifice quality for freedom I'm a big tripod user you're going to see the tripod I used today it's a man photo zero five eight b I've used it so it was the first try but I was seventeen years old when I got the first one it is a beast the first thing people say is wow that's really heavy it is because it's very very stable the reason I use it is there's a quick release I'm going to show you later people think of tripods is like a ball and chain they think of that whole okay I gotta unscrew that like nobody has time to do that with the baby so when you see how fast there's a release that I could drop all the legs in the second man fertile has told me that I in fact they tried to get me to sell other there they say just these women come in in stores and they want your tripod and then it's you know we don't want them to have a heavy tripod on and I said well if you make a a chick version you know something that does the same thing I'll do it but they joked that that tripod now has my name because it's a sandy puts tripod because it's been twenty years that I've been promoting it but people who switch over to that tripod I'd say it's a six week learning curve the first six weeks you have it you're gonna hate it you're going to like this is ridiculous and then after becomes very fluid you'll see I use my feet watch my feet today that's how I moved the legs so everything is kind of ninjas style when I'm using it but it is an extension of my body but I want you to pay attention to how I shoot because you will see that I'm at camera I'm never behind the lens I'm here I pre focus and then I can talk and engage with the child and you'll hear me clicking and all click click recomposed talktalk click click play very rarely my behind the camera and that's what I want you to pay attention to because I what I instruct photographers and I see them holding these seventy two two hundred millimeters with one hand trying to tickle a child with another I'm watching that lens go like this and I'm thinking you know that doesn't make sense to me now on the other side of it I'm not saying that you know handheld photo journalistic style is wrong in a session typically eighty percent is stable and twenty percent I will always pop that camera off I will always get those creative shots but I taught you before I told you before I get the sellable good quality stuff in focus ready to go and then it's my turn to play and do what I want to do and that's how I work with that so in my studio I use the camera stand it's called the studio tighten on and this gives me the opportunity you'll see I can on the videos you'll see I go all the way down and all the way up I move very fast and very fluid and stability is important to me there on location it's the tripod that we'll be using today I just really believe if you want to do what I do as fast as I do it that's why I could do a session in twenty thirty minutes because cameras always where I need it that's another thing when I see photographers go impose a child and then they run back in to get the camera there because that kid off the chair down the block and then they put the camera down and then they go back and they do it again just doesn't happen I engaged the child sit them down my camera's already they're pre focused and itjust amount of quick check and I'm good to go so it's it's just ease and I've trained I mean we've had over forty photographer's work for us and over time they've all learned that skill ah the lighting stand they're gonna use today as a man photo this is also one that I want you to pay attention to its the two three one bee has the same quick release it's a pistol grip you just grab it and I could take it all the way to the floor and all the way to the ceiling and when working with kids there little you know so I can't have my lights on these biggest stands very very fluid so I'm I live and die on these stands and it's just it's all about these they don't have a huge base but they do have a wider base if you're in a small space this may not work for you right now I had to go back to these dads in my last studio I had fourteen foot ceiling so I had tracks in the ceiling and everything was up and off the floor was awesome I moved to my current studio it's an older nineteen seventies building my biggest studio is eight foot ceilings so these work wonderful for me um we just had a tenant move out and we're building a new another studio in that space we were back to fourteen foot ceilings down there so I guarantee you eventually I'll spend more time down there than upstairs just because it's that extra space is nice but I did not always have it I don't currently have it and it doesn't really bother me well it did bother me the first time that I'm shoot on a ladder all the time in the first time I literally first day in that studio first paying client jumped on the ladder hauled at the top and rammed my head I mean didn't even see it coming just hit that hotel also hard that I learned a lot that day too all right lighting equipment natural light is actually my favorite light source so a lot of people think that I only shoots you studios drugs and a lot of people are turned off by that and that's okay um most of the images you see in the show are shot on stage their models that we've photographed on stage I do not use my client work very often in my shows so it tends to look like I only shoot studio strobes with bright colorful backgrounds it's not the case at all my regular work and that's the hardest part if you could see what I really do it's out on location it's big field it's little girls so so I think there's a disconnect on the reality of what I do there but my preferences natural light we cut walls out of our building and we have big open northlight windows I didn't always have that either right up until four years ago all my windows were a little three by four windows facing south or facing you know the wrong west or something horrible like that so I had to learn to work around that but that is my favorite choice north lighting is best for those who don't know that's uh reason that is because for years and every cent north lighting his best so I went with it but I understood eventually why the sun never crosses into that side of the hemisphere it will go south as it gets later in the year so light will come in south windows obviously east and west is the worst because in the more air to be blasted her in the night you're gonna be blasted but north the light never comes directly so you have almost a even soft box the entire day s o that's definitely you know uh something to consider if you can when you're building a studio pretty much with natural window leading it would just be a reflector I do use the tt sixes the continuous light almost every time I use national like previous to that I only had windows once I got the td sixes they're great for kickers and separators and we'll show you that today so this is one of my cds you can see we cut out the walls facing north this is I'm not even exactly sure how big it is this is the biggest video directly below it is where the tenant moved out where I'll have the higher ceilings because I'm tearing out the uh uh tiles that are up there so you can see we're all about chairs this is the stand in place you could see the way we place the floor we have a dark side in a light side uh so that we can use all of the different backgrounds that we have without changing floors too many times um and so this just kind of gives you an idea of some of the images and things that we get now let's go for these air all natural light images a couple of the most of them are just naturally there's one in there that has a little continuous light kicker there that's just pure natural light now continuous light as I said we use the west cut lights the tt sixes and this is my favorite light source because it's a natural light so this is something that we love using for especially with little ones I love strobes to so when I say favorite keep in mind they're different reasons to use different tools so if I just have a little chapel on the chair and probably gonna tear out the t six is if I got a mover those photogenic ce are going to kick butt because they could stop motion I have more light to work with so continuous lights I used t sixes for the strobes I used photogenic six twenty fives in the twelve fifty's um especially when I went digital when we were filmed twelve fifty wasn't even powerful enough we were always looking from our life when you went digital six twenty five was more than enough so keep in mind digital sees more light and so you're going to see me using both of those today the light modifiers that we use um I used typically three by four soft box you'll see that today I used the reflected the silver reflector soft silver fourteen by forty eight strip light is favorite modifier of mine we showed that last year with the baby's very important on background light with a great spot is pretty typical I'm not sure if we have that today so we're going to kind of go with the flow and whatever I have we're gonna we're gonna make it work with studio lighting the question is where do you place your lights and there are lots of ways yesterday I showed that ferry clip I showed like five or six lights that's almost never happens I was really looking for a moonlit feel and that was something I had to process and think through where traditional lighting pretty much doesn't change too much when it comes to the studio a couple things that you have to consider when you're making decisions number one hair part on that really applies to high school seniors moms and images you know if mom's got long hair and it kind of cascades over the side of her face you're not going to pose her this way because her hair is going to be your constant problem so we're gonna think about that there are reasons to choose you know which way the light goes um does mom have a better cider this is typically not a child thing you're not gonna have a five year old say this is actually my better inside you know it's not going to come up but it does come up with families and you know mom will say oh I hate this I just use this one and then all the sudden no matter where your lights are you're kind of stuck dealing with okay mom wants to look good and she's the boss and then of course lighting direction the old school rule and we teach this in our workshops the rule in photography is your tummy goes away from the light your nose goes towards so if my main light we're over here tummy is away knows towards therefore it's creating a nice natural field were also lighting the short side of the face so the light the side that's getting the most light is smaller side of the face the broad side is not if I break that rule and I turned the wrong way and you're lighting the broadside that makes you look heavier wider and less attractive we always shoot into the shadows because the shadow side is where you create depth that's where you get the depth of the body the shape of the body where the light goes is where the eyes are I have a great instructor when I was younger I'll never forget the seminar because he brought this beautiful model on stage and then he pulls out this ridiculous bicycle helmet with a dowel wouldn't now stuck right in the middle of this helmet and this was the best exercise to this day it's in my brand he put this ridiculous hat on this gorgeous woman with this dow like unicorn horns sticking out of it and he showed the whole tummy away knows towards and he said wherever her eyes go that's where your lights go and that tao made it so obvious to me because if she looked up the dow was up and so therefore the lights needed to be up if she was looking down the lights needed to follow the mask of her face and so when I'm shooting and I'm posing a body I still to this day kind of sea unicorn horns coming out of people's heads and I was like okay turn into the light because I want to get that I want to get that were lighting the mask of the face and we're trying not to broad light anything so lighting direction is really important now what it comes to children when it comes to working with multiple siblings the smallest child will always be placed closest to the light now it doesn't in some cases obviously you could have a ah lighter skin child and a darker skin child and you might be thinking well I don't want to put the really light one next to the light because she'll burn out but keep in mind if it's a huge variants in totality you may have to reconsider but the reason we put the child closest to the light the smallest one is so that nobody blocks third light because if you put a big kid here and there wiggly and goofing off and you got the little one here all the same they lied forward now this little guy is in shadow so so it's really has more to do with if you look at this image and you were to swap these two he would his body size would be in the light of the little brother you wouldn't have that nice mask alighting down their face so typically when imposing you're going to see that the youngest child will be closest the light you'll see that tomorrow with our sibling group says well um we're going to kind of talk about the set ups the x lights typically when I teach I talk about using a four lights scenario or four light sources um and we talk about the x pattern it's just helpful to remember that if your main line is here you're kicker light would be the opposite sides and you're creating opposition here if you are kicker light is here you may have the background light on this side lighting the background and a reflector on this side so what's happening is we have four light sources technically only three lights but four light sources including the reflector on dh that's a standard pattern at my studio it's not that we on ly shoot that but it's very simple easy set up now when we talk about the v we're going to talk about the placement of the reflector you're going to see that unlike other places I'd our other shooters I don't ever take my light and aim it at the subject I actually if I were the subject I place it next to the subject this way so it's almost like a window I treat lights like a window it cascades across so if this is the window here I may have the reflector innit v pattern here so what's happening is the majority of this light is hitting the reflector bouncing back at the subject and we'll cover that later so just in case we can't talk through the whole thing I just wanted you to be aware of those patterns so you can kind of see how we use that real quickly props and backgrounds and then we're gonna move on and take a lunch break the different backgrounds I use I'll go back to this almost everything you're going to see they're a couple west guts but almost everything you're going to see the silver like I have invested so much in silverlake because they keep coming out with amazing backgrounds it kind of gets on my nerves there's so many great backgrounds and so many great styles and there beautiful and they really cater to edgy and cool and contemporary and classic and there's a little bit of everything so keep that in mind well almost everything you see and I'll mention it as I go our silver like but the thing that I really want you to pay attention to is their release system uh eight by eight cell my preference at five by seven and eight by eight options and um when you place the's there on a velcro system they run velcro both links on the five by seven and on the eight by eight obviously it's square one length and you could just they have a system that you can put over a pole and its several pieces of alcohol which is so awesome because you can put up the background and just tear it away and have another one behind it and territo and have another and it is so efficient so that velcro the lightweight in the fact that they don't wrinkle are the reasons that I work with silver likes I really want you to watch that because they also provided the baseboards that are super awesome and the floors that you're going to see today those fake those faux floors they provided all those they do have an offer um it's buy three get one free which I think is a great deal and they give you that free velcro sleeve that has I believe for background holders so that you could do that on the code is creative live and there's another extension to that number but you can actually get that on the web sites just I think it's creative live five by seven and creative life eight by eight but just you know you could definitely go through their website and half of everything I do wantto mention is somebody who enters to win will actually get there giving away I believe a thousand dollars entirely studio set so that you just have to go to the website and enter so I would definitely check by on the lunch break and enter to win that contest cause you can see I mean even that image there that's an alvarado but that the background the floorboards that just they have cool stuff and you're going to see us use the heck out of that today so I wanted to give them a big shout out because they make me look good they make my work looked good and he give me that unique look that for the first probably twenty years of my studio I didn't have I wanted a pretty well I had to build it now have forty pretty walls you know what it's it's a matter of choosing the one that works best for me as far as props we have a little bit of everything from I mean basic fishing pools blocks t sex I mean these air this just the standard stuff that parents love I've been shooting tea parties since the birth of my photography career and I'm not man I should've tea party and I don't emotionally connect to that at all I just it's been done a million times by me but every mom loves little tea party said so you know love it or hate it love props or hey props I make just as much money shooting a child on a chair standing there next to a wall but I think giving your client's choices is important these props don't have to be expensive that could be very very simple almost everything I ever got was in a consignment store or a goodwill type scenario when I started obviously just clean it and take care of it but that's how I started little things like a fishing pole on a fishing basket two bucks that good will and you're going to make you know thirty thousand dollars on that in the first year you have it so keep that in mind it's it's about those stages use a lot of chairs indoors critical I was great they got some really cool chairs we also got some chairs from design revolution so you'll see those as we're going through they're very easy to find thrift stores I mean that you're looking for junkie crappy beat up you don't want clean and pristine helen just found us literally the day I left the day before I left she was a goodwill and found this awesome fat fluffy orange couch it's the most ugly color of orange and it's awesome it's gonna look great we've got a background and that we're definitely going to use it with but it's kind of funny because I was going out of the store there's just cute little lady she's just adorable on oxygen standing there and she just was like she said that is the most beautiful color I've ever seen and I just had this vision I was I wanted to say can I photograph you on this beautiful orange college because she just wouldn't she have this flaring flora flora lee shirt and this big hat I thought this would so make sense but I didn't know we were leaving out of town otherwise I would've found a way but you know what is beautiful toe one person might be ridiculous to somebody else but us the more vibrant than more crazy the more damage the more abused us the more it fades into the background and makes the subject become more prominent so they're usually pretty expensive we have to rotate them often though we want new stuff we have this there's the joke about the blue couch we have this blue couch I've had it for eight or nine years I hate the blue couch it is three hundred pounds literally to move it you have to have three people and we literally had one of our employees throughout her back and was out of work for a long time because of this couch but we can't get rid of it you'll see it in the show because everybody wants the blue couch we've had siblings that started the baby siri's eight years ago and now their babies born in the late we want the blue couch and I don't know why but every blue eyed baby looks phenomenal on this couch and I can't get rid of the blue couch we really threatened to throw it out in the field and just let it die but then I just worry that couch is probably made me more money than anything I've ever purchased period family portrait kids whatever so when you find something like that um definitely go for it I thought for sure it would be in here because it comes up all the time but shutters and doors and chairs and that's really all you need in this stuff should not be expensive there are companies we talked about this yesterday that do custom sets they are still available there's a few out there but you could do a little research and find those again that's something that you know they do have that realistic fields them I typically like the ones that I could really dirty up if I can throw leaves and things I like him to look a little more rugged and a little more rustic but they're definitely options out there you could also build your own custom sets create walls and paint walls to look like that set design is really something that you have to decide how much do you want to put into it like I am definitely painting a wall this color in my face studio this is I think about a shade or two different than the one that we're painting the studio area are the reception area but just even looking at red and pictures red is ah hard color to use in photography by the way there are very few backgrounds that you could pick when holidays would roll around and kids would walk in and little red dresses you can't really use blue I mean I was pretty much stuck with gray and black backgrounds where this looks awesome with red so you know you can paint a wall home studio paint a wall and you can really create your own little set design

Class Description

Sandy Puc' returns to creativeLIVE for her Tots to Teens workshop! Sandy covers all aspects of creating a successful photography plan that spans from the young toddler years to the early teens. She shares her creative marketing ideas and practical business sense to attract and keep happy clients, and you'll learn how to create repeat customers—and stable income—by continually bringing clients back to update their child's portraits as they grow.



Sandy Puc, I have attended a few of your events, in person and now on Creative Live. You never fail to deliver the gift of sharing your expertise and more. I am always amazed at how you have juggled a large family, your photography business with the university added, the teaching events that you do & the genuine donation of your love and time that you give with your foundation, NILMDTS among other things. You're an impressive & inspirational lady. Each time I see you, you refuel me, as this economy has been trying. Thank you. I bought the 3 day workshop, because it is a little hard to sit for 3 days straight without life and business distractions. I will watch again, and reference back as needed. I also bought your display kit for doctor offices/hospitals & malls. Thank you again for your amazing workshop and all that you so unselfishly give of yourself. Diana Brown Photography


This is by far the best photography class I have ever taken! Sandy does an amazing job at what she does!

Christine David

This is an absolute must have course for anyone who works with children. Watching Sandy work her magic is worth the cost alone. Fabulous workshop Sandy! Christine David Photography