Larissa Photography Sandy Puc

Last night, Larissa and I went to the Sandy Puc and Jerry Ghionis Power of Passion Tour right across the river in St Louis. We had a blast! Who says date nights have to be about dinner and a movie? For me and Larissa, our normal “date night” is Saturday night photographing a wedding, so this was a nice change of pace. Plus Larissa and I had to get our cuddle on and kiss in front of a couple hundred people, so that was exciting. On to the review.

Marketing material
We’d never seen Sandy present before, so we weren’t sure what to expect. We found that Sandy is definitely on top of her marketing game. While none of the big concepts were new for us, she gave more detail for how to implement the marketing strategies that ended up making a lot of sense to me. Larissa’s side of the marketing mix is more in the marketing pieces, and she said she got a couple fresh ideas to work on too. The cool thing about learning to improve even a couple things in your marketing is that it has the potential to make a big impact on how much money you’re bringing in.

Photography material
Posing and lighting genius, but what else would you expect from Jerry Ghionis? It’s the kind of stuff where you hear a tip from Jerry, and it seems so obvious that you feel stupid for not having done this kind of stuff before. Really I think it’s more a compliment to how great of a teacher Jerry is when he can take concepts and boil them down to the point that they’re easy to understand. Jerry did hit on some of the same stuff that we heard him teach at Imaging USA, but the review was still helpful. Plus I picked up a couple things that he had mentioned at Imaging, but they hadn’t sunk in yet.

I was actually pretty impressed with the vendors at the tradeshow. There was a PPA rep, SmugMug was there (which was cool because I’m doing a review for SmugMug), and Silverlake Photo Accessories had some really cool background stuff. Of course, Jerry had Ice Society and Sandy had Nilmdts as well as Ukandu. We got to the trade show about a half hour before Sandy and Jerry started speaking, and with the breaks during the show, we had plenty of time to hit all the vendors and still have time to network with other photographers.

Tour Investment
I think it was $200 for both me and Larissa to attend. For us, that’s a no-brainer. Good news, bad news as far as the time investment goes. Bad news, more money for the babysitter. Good news, from 3 pm to 11 pm, we stayed busy learning and growing our business. Honestly, it would be nice to get PPA credit for the amount of time we invested, but I didn’t see anything about getting PPA credit when I signed up. If it were my job to cut down the time, I’d have a pretty hard time saying what I think should go. Not much fluff content at all. I got 3 pages of notes filled with gold nugget genius.

Overall experience
Let me start by saying that our experience was slightly different than normal because we volunteered to go up on stage (hence the cuddle and kiss in front of a couple hundred people). The end effect for us was that we found ourselves inspired, educated, and entertained. These guys know how to do a show. The photographer behind us brought her non-photographer husband, and I’m pretty sure he enjoyed himself – photographer or not. The last tour Larissa and I attended, we found that the material was meant only for new shooters (lesson learned – don’t trust mailers that say ALL skill levels). Sandy and Jerry’s tour wasn’t like that at all. Sandy and Jerry served up the kind of stuff that veteran photographers can sink their teeth into.

Sandy and Jerry are a good team. It cracks me up just thinking about Jerry speaking and Sandy nervously crossing her fingers that Jerry doesn’t say anything that will get them in trouble. Great dynamic between the two of them.

I’d like to build on a couple extra rooms upstairs to house Sandy and Jerry so I could tap into their brains at my convenience. Of course, that would be kidnapping, so more realistically, I’ll just have to wait until they’re in town again (or maybe hit Chicago for the upcoming workshop). I’m also planning to sign up for Ice Society (there was a discount for a year’s membership), so that’s kind of like having Jerry move in. Who needs Melbourne when you could have Belleville, IL?

It looks like the tour will continue until April 11th. To see cities still left on the tour, visit For more info on the tour check out

Any of the rest of you guys have experience with Power of Passion Tour? I’d love to hear your feedback. Anybody anxiously waiting for the tour to come to your city?

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