There are a lot of words to describe local photographer Sylvia Pond, but chief among them is playful. That, and her obvious photography talents, is what drives a steady roster of clients booking her for photography gigs.
“Waterloo Region is home to so many excellent photographers,” she says. “But people come to me because in addition to great photos, they also want a great experience.” Sylvia’s buoyant and warm personality translates into a comfortable and fun photography experience for her clients, both in her studio or on location.
Sylvia learned photography from a friend who began by taking her on nature walks, to photograph leaves and trees. She was interested but not very inspired. When she turned her lens on people for the first time, she knew that’s where she could really shine.
Building that one-on-one connection with someone is what makes her excited about the work, and it comes naturally to her. “Seeing people feel good about themselves, especially when we are often so self-critical, is a great feeling,” says Sylvia. “And that’s exactly why I do this.”
Her approach is to make every session as comfortable as possible and talking with her subject beforehand helps. “I want to make the session lively and a good conversation helps me see how far I have to work to loosen them up,” she says, laughing. “The more natural the smile, the better the shots.” After taking hundreds of portraits she has discovered that it is usually two shots after a laugh that are the favourites from the shoot.
Sylvia is also a foodie and if you follow her on Instagram, Twitter or visit her blog, you’ll see amazing food shots, mostly of meals she makes at home. “I love food and I take great pride in setting up my plate beautifully,” she says. “I love to cook and be playful, so why not take a photo and share my joy of food?’
While a big chunk of her business is portrait work, she also does corporate work and event photography. This is her fifth year as an official Oktoberfest photographer, so when you see Sylvia all over town the next couple of weeks, say hi and give a smile for the camera.
P.S. Sylvia’s favourite topic of conversation: music and food.