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How to Pitch: Starting a Conversation

Lesson 77 from: 28 Days of Portrait Photography

Sue Bryce

How to Pitch: Starting a Conversation

Lesson 77 from: 28 Days of Portrait Photography

Sue Bryce

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Lesson Info

77. How to Pitch: Starting a Conversation


Class Trailer

Day 1


First 2 Years: The Truth


Teaching 2 Photographers in 28 Days


Rate Your Business


Year One in Business


Day 2


28 Challenges




Price & Value


Checklist, Challenges, and Next Steps


Day 3


Day 1: The Natural Light Studio


Day 4


Day 2: Mapping Your Set and Outfits


Day 5


Day 3: One Composition - Five Poses


Day 6


Day 4: Flow Posing


Day 7


Day 5: Posing Couples


Day 8


Day 6: Capturing Beautiful Connection & Expression


Day 9


Day 7: The Rules - Chin, Shoulders, Hands


Day 10


First Weekly Q&A Session


Day 8: Rules - Hourglass, Body Language, Asymmetry, Connection


Day 11


Day 9: Styling & Wardrobe


Day 12


Day 10: Shooting Curves


Day 13


Day 11: Posing & Shooting - Groups of 2, 3, and 4


Day 14


Day 12: Posing & Shooting Families


Day 15


Day 13: Products & Price List


Day 16


Day 14: Marketing & Shooting the Before & After


Day 17


Day 15: Phone Coaching & Scripting


Day 18


Second Weekly Q&A Session


Day 16: Posing Young Teens


Day 19


Day 17: Marketing & Shooting - Family First Demographic


Day 20


Day 18: The Corporate Headshot


Day 21


Day 19: Glamour Shoot on Location & Shooting with Flare


Photoshop Video: Glamour Shoot on Location & Shooting with Flare


Day 22


Day 20: Photoshop - Warping & the Two Minute Rule


Day 23


Day 21: Posing Mothers & Daughters


Day 24


Third Weekly Q&A Session


Day 22: Marketing & Shooting - 50 & Fabulous Demographic


Day 25


Day 23: Shooting into the Backlight


Bonus: Shooting into the Backlight


Day 26


Day 24: Marketing & Shooting - Girl Power Demographic (18-30s)


Photoshop Video: Girl Power Demographic (18-30s)


Day 27


Day 25: The Beauty Shot


Bonus: Vintage Backdrop


Day 28


Day 26: Marketing & Shooting - Independent Women Demographic


Day 29


Day 27: Sales & Production


Day 30


Day 28: Posing Men


Day 31


Bonus: Pricing




Photography, Style, Brand, and Price Part 1


Photography, Style, Brand, and Price Part 2


Marketing Part 1


Marketing Part 2


Money: What's Blocking You?


Bonus: The Folio Shoot


Day 32


Photo Critiques Images 1 through 10


Photo Critiques Images 11 through 27


Photo Critiques Images 28 through 45


Photo Critiques Images 47 through 67


Photo Critiques Images 68 through 84


Photo Critiques Images 85 through 105


Photo Critiques Images 106 through 130


Photo Critiques Images 131 through 141


Photo Critiques Images 142 through 167


Photo Critiques Images 168 through 197


Photo Critiques Images 198 through 216


Day 33


Identify Your Challenges


Identify Your Strengths


Getting Started Q&A


Rate Your Business


Marketing Vs Pricing


Facing Fear


The 28 Day Study Group


Selling Points


Interview with Susan Stripling


Emotional Honesty


Day 34


Sue's Evolution


28 Days Review


Student Pitches


28 Days Testimonial: Mapuana Reed


How to Pitch: Starting a Conversation


Your Block: Seeing is What You're Being


Your Block: Valuing and Receiving


Building Confidence: Your Own Stories


Building Confidence: Your Self Worth


Pitching An Experience


Pitching An Experience: Your Intentions


Pitching An Experience: Social Media


Final Thoughts


Lesson Info

How to Pitch: Starting a Conversation

In thinking about what a pitch was, I came down to this, number one, the first pitch you ever do is approaching a stranger. Okay? And everybody's got this look of horror on their face like. Okay, first pitch is approaching a stranger. Now that, is conversation. Anybody can start a conversation. So the first thing that you would practice, is giving compliments to random strangers. Okay? Yes you can do it. Sure, you just need a microphone. I'm really great at talking to people, and I constantly give people, "I love your shoes," and it's genuine, I admire people everywhere. But then I feel like a sleaze when I'm like, oh and by the way, here's my card. You know what I mean like it turns it into something that's not real. Okay, so you feel, keep it, you feel like a sleaze. (laughter) Yes. I don't know, have you ever experienced that? It's authentic when I'm just friendly the way that I am, but then when I turn it into potentially making money from someone, then it's, not... Come he...

re, come here. No bring your microphone. Come and stand with me. Hello, I'm sleaze. (laughter) Okay there's the camera there. So everyone can see you. You need to talk into your microphone, 'cause I've got a microphone. Okay. I feel like a sleaze. I feel like a sleaze, thanks. (laughter) You said it. Alright, I need to address that. Because I feel like this is the problem. We feel like something, we feel like we're selling, we feel like a sleaze, we feel like a loser, we feel desperate, we feel, anybody else got a word for me? Sleazy, creepy, sleazy, creepy? I had this experience this week. There were two people I wanted to approach. And I said, she's gonna think I'm hitting on her. Okay but let's just address something. You're a boy. She's a girl. So she feels like a sleaze. So it's not a man thing. So let's get that really clear right now. All the boys were like, tell me how to pitch for being a man. Tell you how to pitch from being a man. Tell me out to pitch from being a man. It's not a man thing. Okay, it's a human thing. 'Cause if she felt sleazy, then I, ya know, it stands to reason that this is absolutely perfect. Yeah, he's interpreting as, oh they're gonna take it as hitting on 'em, but the source is really coming from the same place her source is coming from. Absolutely. So, I found one of the most interesting things for me was to be confident enough to compliment people in public. So, I learned straightaway, no you can stay right there. (laughter) I learned straightaway that the first thing you should do is compliment somebody. I always thought, right from the beginning, that if you can compliment a complete stranger, then you can sell to them, because I don't need to sell, I really just need to start a conversation. And I don't feel like I'm gonna be sleazy if I say to someone, wow I love your balayage. Yeah your hair color is amazing. Thank you. Now the first thing she's gonna do is either talk to me or not talk to me, but the compliment, I think, is one of the first things we should talk about. Secondly, if you're actually in a social situation, we were talking about this earlier, all you have to do is ask her a question. I absolutely love the color of your hair, who does it? Anything, just a question. 'Cause a question leads to a conversation. A conversation leads to, oh I'm Sue, by the way, what do you do, I'm a photographer. Now, words first, so we'll address the "sleaze" second, but words first. A conversation is, I'm a photographer, is a great conversation point, because if she's awkward in conversation the first thing she's gonna do is ask me a question back, or shut down the conversation. If she shuts down the conversation I've lost her. If she keeps talking I've got her. If she asks me what sort of photographer, I say, actually I photograph portraits, and I specialize in photographing women. When was the last time you had your portrait taken? That's really good. Okay so, the first thing I would do is ask that question. I'm not committed to actually asking her anything. I say, have you ever been photographed? I walked up to the most beautiful girl you have ever seen last week in LA and I said, are you with an agency? She said, yes I am. I said, which agency? And she told me, and she was like, are you in the industry? I said, yeah I'm a photographer. But I actually thought to myself, I'm not gonna ask her if I can photograph her 'cause she kinda looked like a fashion model, but not kinda tall, but she was just so beautiful, I figured she was probably an actress or something, so I thought I would just spin my pitch a little bit and say, are you with an agency? 'Cause I figured if she said no, I would say, you should be. Right, I was like, this is gonna be my pitch, I'm getting really like, I was like, wow. So, to me, let's say you're not a photographer. What's your name? Jamie. Jamie. You're not a photographer, I've just met you, and we're standing in line somewhere and I say, I love your hair, by the way, I do. Thank you. Who does I? I forgot, sorry. (laughter) She's nervous. And sleazy. (laughter) Okay so I ask you do your hair, and inevitably we start a conversation and you say what do you do, and I say I'm a photographer, and you say, what sort of photography do you do? And I say I specialize in photographing women, actually portraits, when was the last time you were photographed? Two years ago. Two years ago. Okay so most people who aren't photographers, will tell you why they hate their photographs. Why they don't wanna be photographed. Why they don't like them, in fact most photographers would tell you that, and there's your opportunity right there to say, I would love to photograph you Jamie. Now, I don't think there's anything sleazy in saying, I would love to photograph you. Okay, here come all the questions. Will they pay for it, how will they pay for it, how will you do this, how will you shoot? We'll do logistics later, let's just do words first, and feelings, words and feelings, words and feelings. Okay we'll do logistics later on in terms of... Because every now and then like, when I met Irina, the Russian woman, I didn't meet her, I saw her at a restaurant. And there was a way that that woman walked into the room, and I thought, she's got a secret. Because she's in her 60s, and she just walked into that place like she owned it. And I wanna know what that secret is 'cause I photograph women, and I don't see women that powerful, not the way that woman walked into the room. She's got something going on, and I wanna know what it is. I wanna photograph her. That that was my instinct. Then I grab my purse and my keys, actually Jamie I'm going to get you to sit down, because I'm going to keep going. Alright, so when she walked into that room, that's all I knew in that moment. Now, I walked up to her, nervous. I'd written my name, my Facebook page, my website, stupidly wrote my Facebook page on there. Do you know why? She went and looked at it, and I had written, just approaching a woman with a napkin and my charm. She read the thread. So she was like, why do all of these people care whether I'm gonna pay for it or not? 'Cause you're all like, will you charge her? You're all asking the questions, my clients reading this going, this is weird. (laughter) Anyway, aside from that. She rung me the next day to say thank you so much but I'm not gonna do the shoot because I'm old, and why would you wanna photograph me. And I was like, but you rung me. You didn't just not call me. And she was like, well I was kind of intrigued as to why you picked me. I said, 'cause you're one of the most beautiful women I've ever seen. And she's like, okay, I'm gonna do it, but I'm not gonna like them. (laughter) and I'm not gonna enjoy it. I said, don't worry, I've heard that before. (laughter) There's my happy dance 'cause I'm like. Anyway. But the truth is, that at the end of the day, I was still nervous going up to her, but I walked up to her and I literally said this. Hi, this is really embarrassing, because I'm a photographer and I don't have a business card on me right now, but I've written my name and my number on this napkin and I would just like to say that I would love to photograph you. I said, please look at my website. And if you're interested, this is my cellphone number, give me a call. Now, at that moment, I knew that Irina had something special that I could photograph her for free, and give her five images from the shoot, to say thank you, and use her in my website, on my social media. Because my audience are photographers, can know that she is somebody I met in a restaurant and gave a free shoot to, but my clients would never know, they would just be another incredibly remarkable woman that I've photographed with a great story, that had a great look. So every now and then, it's okay to give away a shoot to boost your folio. So, if you see somebody that you just want to photograph, they have a look you love, they have a charisma that you like, give them a free shoot. It's okay to do a free shot every now and then. You don't need to go and write on your Facebook page that you're approaching somebody with a napkin, but I knew that you all would get a kick outta that. I also knew that you would get a kick outta the fact that still after all these years, I'm afraid to pitch to complete strangers. But that really shifted me because I've now started approaching people everywhere. The best part is this, before she told me that she read the Facebook thread, when she rung me the next day, I said to her, I'm gonna email you all the details, I'm gonna give you my next day off dates, because I needed to shoot her on one of my days off 'cause that's the deal with a free shoot. I can't fit her into my studio. She wrote back, how much is this gonna cost me? So, at that moment of connecting with her, asking if I can photograph her, seeing my website, talking to me on the phone, and I didn't pitch to her on the phone, I had a conversation. She was prepared to pay for them. So, the fact that I decided to give it to her. So I gave it to her, and interestingly enough, she still offered me money last week when she got them. She was like, how much do I owe you, seriously. I was like, no, this was something I needed to do for you. I don't know why, I just felt like I needed to. She's an ice skating, she's a champion Russian figure skater, at 63 still teaches figure skating. So now she's teaching me figure skating. And I'm loving it. I'm doing my turns, I'm getting really good. She smacks me around and makes me... She's really tough. And it made me realize how tough I am as a photographer when I've got somebody in front of me and I whack their arms and I go no, drop down, talk more, pose. She's like that. And I'm getting grilled here on the ice and I'm loving it. She gave me something other than just friendship she gave me something that was so cool. I want you to have the confidence to approach people so that you can create relationships that will change your life and your business. You know Brene Brown, her talk on vulnerability? When asked, she found that vulnerability was the word that everybody struggled with the most. Vulnerability to go up to a stranger, vulnerability to be emotionally honest with your partner, vulnerability to tell you're partner you wanted to make love with them. People were scared of doing these simple things, just simple things. You're like walking up to another human being, paying them a compliment, and saying, I would love to photograph you. What is the worst thing that's gonna happen? They'll laugh at you and not call you? That says more about them than you. 'Cause that says how they feel about themselves. This is incredible. So, number one, pitching to a stranger, this is what we're gonna do. Number two, an enquiry. So, an enquiry is somebody who has called your studio, emailed you, or that literally inquiring for a shoot. That pitch is entirely different. 'Cause that's not a conversation. That is service and experience with a price list. Okay so this pitch is entirely different. Now they've seen what you do. And now you're pitching the service and experience. So it's technically, when Irina called me the first time, that's where I'm at number two pitch. How many of you feel at this moment, this is where you're losing your client? And you all blame the price. I know you do because everybody says, oh that's really expensive. People will always say you're expensive. But at that time, they might being saying it, but it doesn't mean they haven't not committed to being photographed with you. You know, if I try on a $500 pair of shoes, I'm gonna say, look at these shoes. Oh I'm goodness they're expensive. Dolce and Gabbana aren't crying 'cause you just said that they're expensive, they're like yes, they're Dolce and Gabbana. I'm wearing Dolce and Gabbana, I'm not now but these are Jessica Simpson. (laughter) But what I'm saying is, at the end of the day, there's a process that goes through a woman's mind where she's like weighing up what she wants versus how much it costs. And she might be saying it out loud, but what you're hearing is she doesn't value me, she thinks I'm too expensive, there's too many photographers in this market that are cheaper than me, I'm never gonna make it, I need this money to pay my rent, I can't make my living on this price. That's what you're hearing, okay? She's just going, can I pay for this, 'cause I really want it. And what you're doing in that moment is pushing it away. Your thought process, and I don't care what you say, in that moment, the energy that you're permeating in that moment is like a skunk. You're a little skunk that is emitting this smell, and somebody near you is like look at that cute skunk, ohhhh. (laughter) and you're still cute, but suddenly you stink. And you stink of, no value. You stink of not being worthy. You stink of desperation. And you stink of not good enough. And it is so repulsive, it turns people away. It is incredible how many people do this. So, today we're gonna confront your self-value. 'Cause until you change that, you will never pitch it. Not with the words, 'cause those thoughts will still just come straight into your head, and instantly permeate through your voice. Very recently I had a friend of mine, who's been a makeup artist for 20 years, and I've known her for 20 years as a makeup artist, very successful, she started a business, as an energy practitioner doing energy work. Healing, energy healing. Now in my humble opinion, there's two types of clients, people that love energy work, oh I love reiki, oh my mum's a reiki master, oh I love craniosacral, oh I love this, I love that. And then the people that don't know anything about it. Three people. And then there's the people that are like, what a load of rubbish. Three people, those are your three clients. So her pitch is to one of those three people. I noticed when she was with me, she started to tell people, people would ask her what she does and she'd say I'm a makeup artist. And I said to her, why do you tell people you're a makeup artist, you don't even like being a makeup artist, you wanna do this energy work. Why don't you tell people what you do? And so I just questioned her about why she wasn't telling people that she was an energy worker. 'Cause the truth is she's scared a the people that are telling her it's rubbish. You know just like you're scared of the people that are telling you you're no good, or that you can't make it, or that you're not a professional photographer. So I listened to her over the weekend tell people about her energy work, because I would prompt it, I would say, yeah she also has been a makeup artist for many years, but she's also started a practice doing, ya know, I would prompt it. And then people would turn to her to ask the questions. And her language was like this, um, well, I, and, so I've been doing this, ya know... And I was listening, listening, listening. So that evening, she was staying at my house, we sat down, and finished the evening, and I was like, can I tell you something? And she was like, yeah. And I said, when you pitch yourself as a makeup artist you really believe it, I'm a makeup artist. I said, when you pitch yourself as an energy healer, it's not so good. And she was like, well what do you mean by that. And I said, you don't believe it. You either don't believe it, don't value it, or one of those two things, don't believe it, don't value it. And she was like, yeah I do. And I said no you don't because you reek of it. You reek of not believing in yourself. And she was so offended by what I said, that she didn't talk to me, she went to bed, she was like. In the morning she came out, she was like, can we talk about what you said to me last night. And I was like, yup. And she was like you really upset me. And I said, I did tell you you reek. (laughter) Not the nicest compliment to a friend. But to her, she was like, that was one of the hardest things to hear. So I want you to think about what you're permeating when you do that first conversation. Because if it's sleazy, then yes, you will be sleazy. If it's creepy, yes you will be creepy. If it's of no value, I'm not important enough, I'm not good enough, then that's how you'll come across. And no matter what you say, everything in your energy will tell a different story. Any questions? I've got a question. A question came in about, it was from a man. It was about how to announce yourself as a glamor photographer to a woman and go into this business but retaining your masculinity. So, I know you said you feel like maybe you're hitting on a woman when you go and approach them, but how do you, I know we've talked about men selling this so many times. Can we go over that a little bit? Sure. I don't feel like there's a difference between a male photographer and a female photographer in the sense that I was taught by a male photographer. He was really good, and he was really comfortable with women. I don't believe you have to say that you're a glamor photography in a feminine voice. I think you could say in a very masculine voice, I'm a glamor photographer that specializes in photographing contemporary portraits of women. And when was the last time you were photographed. I feel like that would be a really great way to say it. I feel like it's okay to do the ultimate thing and that would be to take out the iPhone and show them. Okay, so before I go, my next slide, I'm gonna come back to what the ten pitches are. This really was the thing that changed my career, and I feel like for men and women, this would change your career. I created a business card with seven photographs on it. 'Cause back then there was no iPhone. It was 2003, I had a little flip top phone that barely took a photograph, I don't even know if it did actually. And the birth of the selfie, and the birth of Facebook and all of that was just in it's newest form, you had to rely on holding a card. Now I just rely on my iPhone. Although, when I approached Irina in the restaurant, it would've been difficult if I'd stand there with my iPhone and started to scroll through... And I have a file on my phone called gorgeous. And the file is called gorgeous. And it has 150 photographs. I've actually been at parties where people have said, you need to look at this, and my phone has gone around the whole party and not come back to me for an hour. I've had to go looking for my phone because people are looking through that file. But this card really changed it for me. If you are a male photographer and you're shooting glamor, just be aware that you're not putting too many sexy shots on there in terms of booty shots, lingerie, boudoir, you know because... If you're a boudoir photographer then by all means... But if you are just doing lingerie, it's just a cross range of age, weight, woman, race, ya know, you wanna market to everybody, and I feel like if you just show women's beauty, that that's really showing them. The reason I did this was I came from a place where glamor photography was so dead that pitching myself was really hard to do because glamor photography had a dirty word attached to it, like people just cringed when you said it. And I realized that I was not gonna change the word glamor photography, it was so well branded, I was gonna change people's minds by showing them images that were contemporary and beautiful, and that made people wanna do the experience. So this here simply changed my world. When I started my business, now I didn't get this card until my second year in business. And it cost $2000, $2000 at a time where money was so tight, but I got 10,000 of them. And this just changed the way. Because inevitably, when people got this card, what was the first thing they would do is start asking me questions. Now talking about what I do, is the easiest thing. It's just starting the conversation that was hard. And so to me, that card, started everything. Really important. I think that's a real a-ha moment for me because as a male photographer, is one of the things that I have as a biggest challenge. Happily married man, if I walk up to women and say, I would love to photograph you, even if I say it with confidence or the right tone, or whatever it may be, it has the possibility of going both ways, it can be like whoa you're a creep, what are you doing. But what I realized is either with the phone or that card, picture's worth a thousand words. You can literally show them exactly what you mean. And that's big, that's a big difference for me, of how to pitch not only with confidence, but with a thousand words of many pictures. Does your wife work in your business at all? She does not no. Okay so, do you have a makeup artist? I do. Okay, so, do you have pictures of your makeup artist? I do, yeah. Okay so what's her name? Lyndsey Ariel, amazing. Okay so if you say Lyndsey's my makeup artist, she's just gonna love you, this is Lyndsey, she's there for the shoot with me. Then straight away I'm like, it's not you anymore, it's you and Lyndsey. And secondly, tell me something. If you see me, let's say I'm in the subway, and you see me and you look at me and you think, I would like to photograph her, there's lots of reasons you would want to photograph me. You might like the way I look, you might like the way I move, you might even be physically attracted, you might even think she's beautiful. So there is an element of the fact that you are appreciating her beauty when you tell her you wanna photograph her. Because she's clearly beautiful, she might be young, she might be gorgeous, you might even be thinking, good god she's I'd love her in my folio. Okay, I think that. But I never, ever compliment somebody unless it's to say, you're incredibly beautiful and I would love to photograph you. I would be very, very broad about how I say that. Like I would never be like you are really beautiful, I mean wow. And I'd never say anything about her body. Her hair yes, her clothes yes, her handbag yes, you are beautiful yes, looking in the eye. But you know what, for the guys, I feel like you can say I have this incredible makeup artist, her name is Lyndsey, you're giving her a name, you're giving her a face. She's just gonna love you, you'll do the shoot with us, let me email you the details, here's my card, email me, and I will send you what we do so that you can see my team and how we work. Come on, think about it, this is about you being confident enough to pitch your business not yourself as a man, and as a woman, I found that easy to connect to her beauty because, like Irina is one, because she was intrigued as to why I chose her. Now when I approach the really beautiful, beautiful girl, the young one that's a fashion model, and probably gonna be the next big thing in LA, you know something really funny, she came and sat next to me at a shared table at the cafe so we could keep talking. So she followed me to that seat. There were 20 other seats in this restaurant. And she come and sat down beside me. And then it was like, so why did you ask me that. And I was like, oh I'm a photographer and this is my friend Justine Ungoro, and she's a photographer too, and we love seeing such beautiful talent like you, and I just figured that you'd be signed with an agency, where are you from? We ended up eating lunch with her. Now I follow her on instagram. So I didn't end up photographing her 'cause you know, she's a fashion model and I don't shoot fashion, but I instantly sent her picture to Lara Jade. I was like, check this girl out she's so a you. And what I did was made a contact, approached somebody in public, had a conversation, made a new contact on instagram, connected my fashion photographer friend, and you know you just suddenly feel like you got it going on and all of it contributes to your confidence. Alright, so that card, that makeup artist, now a lot of guy photographers work with their wives as makeup artists. Or as fellow photographers. It's really easy if you do to say I work with my partner, Kate. I work with my wife, Margaret. If you wanna introduce a woman, it's much better because there is a safety issue around going to a studio you do not know. Secondly, the first thing that she does when she gets home is gonna look at your website. So if your website doesn't in anyway, isn't female friendly, she's not gonna call you. Alright, really, really important. The second is an enquiry is about service and experience with a price list. You're no longer pitching yourself, at this time, you're pitching what you offer. Do you think about the difference? You're no longer pitching yourself, you're pitching what you offer. Do you know how often I call businesses to ask for service and nobody tells me what I'm getting? I called recently, I called this place, and they, sorry I've got a puppy, and I wanna take my puppy to puppy training. So I go along to this business, and it's very fancy and they have agility and puppy class, and all these products. And I walk in with my puppy, and they acknowledge my puppy more than they acknowledge me, which is okay, because that's a thing, love the puppy, love the puppy, we love puppies here, love the puppy. And then they go to sell me a membership, and they just keep repeating the price. The best package, we think the best package, the best package for you would be, the $189, the $189. He just keep going over and over, struggling to say it, $189, $189. I'm like, dude, this is my child. I'd happily pay $189 for what? Ya know I think the best package for you would be the $189. He keeps saying, he keeps stumbling on it, the $189, and I think, ya know you just pay $189, and that's the best thing, and you get to come back, and you do unlimited classes. What classes? Show me the classes. What am I gonna learn? Who's the instructor? What am I getting? And he just keeps saying $189 and $189. And I felt like saying dude, already gonna pay it. Already committed to it. Walked in the door, I wouldn't a come here if I wasn't prepared to pay something. What am I gonna get? And still didn't tell me what I'm gonna get because we're all so worried about the fricken money. The money, the money, get the money, gotta get the money. And then the value, nobody thinks I'm important, nobody thinks I'm worth it, I can't make money, I can't make money, there's so many other people making money, and I'm not making money. And it's all you're focused on. And debt also makes you stinky. Stinky. Because you're so repellent. I was so repelled by that conversation. I was just like give me some service, tell me what I'm getting. In this pitch here. This pitch is about serve and experience with a price list. Erin, who would you like to be photographed with? Anybody, partner, mother, sister, best friend, anybody you'd like, or you're welcome to do this sitting by yourself. Anyone? You're my phone conversation. My husband. Your husband, great. How long have you been married? 16 years. 16 years, did you have good wedding photographs? Um no, actually. Isn't that cool, you get to actually have beautiful photographs now after 16 years. Tell me do you still like him? Oh I love him. Do you after 16 years? You don't want a new one? Dearly, I love him. That's so cool, okay I would love to photograph you and your husband. Husbands are no extra charge. So what I want you to do Erin, is bring in four or five outfits. And I'm gonna make the first hour and a half about you. I'm gonna do your hair and makeup. He can go shopping, he can go to lunch. And then bring his clothes in, 'cause he can just join you for the last 15 minutes. Or half an hour, I'll take some beautiful shots of you two together, and then they're there in your viewing for when you come back and have a look at them. Remember, you're about to look seriously gorgeous, so make sure you book a restaurant for the evening, so that he can take you out, and you can show off. It's a really great experience. Any questions? When can you shoot me? Yeah so at this stage, your pitch has nothing to do with money. But, you do not hang up until you talk about money. But the pitch is not about the money. Stop pitching about the money. The money, the money, the money. Tell her what she's gonna get. Have a conversation about what she's gonna get. What am I getting out of this? What am I getting out of this? It amazes me how many people are not doing this. Nikki and Mapuana, I've called you both out on this. You had a client that emailed you. You didn't call them. You emailed them back. They didn't talk to you. They didn't know you, they didn't connect with you. You didn't do the first or second pitch with them. Both of them came in and got photographed. Their sales were bad. I asked you where you went wrong. And it came out that you didn't do pitch one or pitch two. Right? You both got nailed for it. I told you both off, not you're both back to the pitch, right, to the consultation and the pitch. Do you understand as business owner how important this is? Your number one pitch is a complete cold call. Your number two pitch is the consultation. It is service and experience plus a price list. This is where I'm gonna say 95% of you are going wrong. I just wanna say that we're at number two pitch which is an enquiry is about service and experience. Number three is the consultation is about designing and pre-selling. Number four is the actual shoot has a pitch involved in it 'cause that's where you build a relationship with them. Show them the price list again. Number five, the viewing is about delivering what you promised, which is what they wanted. And that has a pitch also. Number six is the pick up is where you get your referrals. And that pitch alone will get you repeat business times five. The post contact is where you build a client for life. And the business pitch is about building an alliance that will get people coming back over and over again. Everyone of these have a connection and a pitch. We're gonna talk more about self-value and more about words, how to say it. So speaking of words and how to say it, people, they want exact directions on what to do. When people walk up to someone, a lot of people had this question, and they ask, when you start the conversation with them, and you're expecting them to say what do you do. So what do you do if they don't say what do you do when you're talking to them? Okay. How do you slide that in without them asking? If you're in a situation or at a party, we're at a situation, we're at a party, the first thing I'm gonna do is start a conversation with Susan, so when I start a conversation with Susan , I love your curls. Thanks. Yeah we start a conversation. What do you do? I'm a photographer. Oh cool, so generally, 90% of the time, they'll ask you what you do. If they don't, they're not interested in having conversation with you. You're not gonna sit there and pitch to somebody that's not interested in not talking to you. So if you can't get into a conversation with somebody, it's basically, you can let them go. It's like fishing without... Sometimes you go fishing and you catch nothing. Or you could be like, can I just fix your hair really quick, no I'm just kidding. You didn't get that joke. Why are you touching me. I'm a photographer. Would it be okay if I touch you. Awkward. That conversation if it doesn't come about, it's not gonna happen it, you're not waiting for them to ask you what you do in order to bring it up. If they're a complete stranger you're not going up to someone to start a conversation, I would think you were more sleazy if you walked up to me and gave me a compliment and tried to have a conversation with me on the subway than if you walked up to me and said, I have to give you my card, because I'm a photographer and I would love to photograph you, check out my website and give me a call or an email. I would think you were less sleazy if you did that than if you just walked up to me on the street and went, I really love your hair. 'Cause I'd be like thanks, I think. Actually I've seen people do that to her. I know. (laughter) That is what she does. Um, thanks. Yeah thanks. But you know, there's a difference. Absolutely. So, going up to somebody on the street, conversation one, the cold call, also there's a cold call that I didn't put on there, and that is when you approach a business to do business with them, I think that's a really hard one, most people can't get around. Will we be talking about that? Oh yeah, oh yeah. I've got so much to go through.

Class Materials

bonus material

Business Checklist
Keynote Part 1
Keynote Part 2
Posing Guide: Set Map and Outfit
Posing Guide: Flow Posing
Posing Guide: Couples Posing
Posing Guide: Curves
Posing Guide: Teen Posing
Posing Guide: Family Posing
Posing Guide: Over 50 Demographic
Posing Guide: Beauty Shot
Posing Guide: Posing Men
How It Works
Styling and Wardrobe

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

I have purchased four of Sue's courses and love them all. I have learned so much. I found the lesson on connecting with people thru their eyes has made a huge difference in my photos already. Her before and after's made me cry. I want to be able to take these kinds of photos for my family and friends. I just love what she does. She is such a great teacher. I learn much better seeing things done, so this was the perfect choice for me to learn. I love Sue's humor, her honesty, her detailed teaching and sweet and wonderful personality. Her sessions will or should not disappoint anyone. It is the best money I have ever spent on self-help teaching. Thanks a million creative live. You GOTTA LOVE SUE!


Pure gold. Sue Bryce is likable, talented, funny, and an amazing teacher. She calls you on your BS (your excuses for why you aren't succeeding), gives you business, posing, marketing, pricing and LIFE advice. The class is 58 hours long - and you spend the majority of it looking right over her shoulder, through her lens and watch her walk through many, many photoshoots. She verbally and clearly repeats several critical formulas for success so it's imprinted in your mind. Her advice is crystal clear and your photography will dramatically improve after this class. Before Creative Live, you'd NEVER have had the opportunity to shadow a photographer of her quality... hands down the best photography class I've ever taken.


I have just began this course and I am excited to see how following her model will help me to improve and get my business started. I have been through the first two days and there is lots of information to absorb and things to get in order before I begin the actual challenges. I am thankful that there are photographers out there who are will to reveal there secrets ad are truly invested in others improving themselves in all aspects of their life and not just their photography skills. Thanks Sue Bryce for your passion for empowering woman and your knowledge of creating and sustaining a business by being true to who you and commitment to the improvement of others! I am excited to grow myself and my business, I am confident this will be worth every penny! Were the templates for the email PDF included in this course

Student Work