Third Weekly Q&A Session
Hello internet. Good morning and welcome to the third and final Q and A session live here in 28 Days With Sue Bryce. I'm Russ Andes, I'll be your host this morning, filling in for Kenna Klosterman, and this is Sue Bryce, but I don't need to tell you that. How you doing today, Sue?
I'm very good, thank you.
Likewise. It was a beautiful weekend we had.
Gorgeous. It doesn't look like it outside, but it was an amazing spring weekend. But I hope you have an amazing spring day wherever you are. So, Sue, let's just dive right into it.
So, when we started this, this is gonna be a little bit different session that we're doing today than the usual Q and A. It's gonna be a little bit longer, which is good for you, but we're gonna cover another topic that we haven't really talked about too much before. We're gonna expand and go deep into something that has come up through the 28 Days program.
When we kind of were concepting this and co...
ming up with it, we wanted to be able to have these sessions so that we could address any issues that came up throughout the program because we knew that something would come up. So, tell us a little about this issue that you've seen as we've been going.
When you teach photographers, I get the feeling or I get weird shots that I've been to over the years, that they just want to learn how to shoot better, shoot better, shoot better, shoot better. So, for me, I thought this 28 Day Challenge would dominate in the shooting. But what's dominated is how do I price it, how do I sell it and market it, and how do I value it? So, amazingly, the shooting has been incredible. So, the results I'm seeing from photographers is mind blowing. Again, I figured there'd be some good ones,
But not as good as I'm seeing. I'm really, really blown away. But the biggest problem is is how do I sell it? How do I sell it, what's it worth, how do I market that and sell that with what am I worth? And so I thought, I actually did a shoot last week, not a 28 Day shoot, a client shoot, and it was for a folio and it just occurred to me right then in that moment the biggest problem all newbie photographers are having, or photographers that are learning their own value, is how do I sell a la carte pricing, what if it doesn't sell? Because they have this mind block that they need to sell a package thing to know what they're gonna earn. So, I thought, okay, if you were gonna sell a CD and if you were gonna sell one package or three packages and I can't stop you from doing that, then how do I get $1,200 plus? How do I get that from you? So, I'm going to, so I sat down and I shot the shoot, I revised it and I was like, "I know how to do that." So, if you have an average sale of $250, which a lot of you do, you have an an average sale of $570, which most of you do, we'll double that because I've just sat down and broke it down and there is no reason you should be getting less than that as a professional photographer.
That's what I love to hear.
So, what we're gonna do is we are going to have Sue do a little, she's prepared this presentation on this topic. So, this is actually technically day of 28 Days With Sue because you can't stop her. (laughs) It's kind of been funny watching it as it's grown and grown and grown because she just keeps on going.
Oh, talking, giving, let's put the positives back, you keep giving. So, what we're gonna do, go ahead and start queuing up your questions, throw them into the queues tab in the chatroom, or we've got a Facebook post in the InBedWithSue group that you can post on, as well. We'll start collecting those questions and we will do a full Q and A on past week's topics, as we've done in the past. But, let's go ahead and get started with this.
So, if we keep those questions on topic for this keynote and afterwards we can go any other questions about 28 Days, including why would I join 28 Days? If you still were undecided, ask us why.
So, ya know, I want to know if people are still chiming in that aren't part of it yet that they're still wondering if they should be part of it. So, ask those questions. But, for now, let's do pricing product folio package sale. Let's go with that.
Let's do it.
Okay, I asked everybody what their average sale was and to send me their price list and I got about, I think, 283 price lists, I collated that data and it came up with an average sale of $573 across the board. An average sale. Some of them were as low as $150 per CD and some were as high as four and half thousand dollars, but that was, I think, one out of all of those price lists. So, I realized that although most of you are blinding your clients with price lists with too many words, too many numbers, it doesn't make sense to me. I thought let's simplify this and let's look at it like this, I've been showing you how I sell with an a la carte price list and a la carte price list means images start at $275 and go out from there. Then I realized that most of you, even though you're selling a la carte, you have a minimum purchase, you have an average sale, maximum whatever, you're actually really just selling by package. So, let's really blow that up because I needed to make you understand that if you can change that package, you can make more money. Alright? So, last week I did this shoot. I did a beautiful folio shoot of Jen for an actor's folio because she does theater acting, theater acting and she wants to have a proper acting folio. Now I very rarely shoot a folio for CD because I only ever shoot a folio, as you know, in the big folio box for $150. So, if you're a starting photographer or you are just at the package or you're selling CDs, I'm not gonna criticize you for doing that, I'm just going to show you a way to sell a $1,200 package instead of less than that because there's no reason that you shouldn't be selling a $900 to $1,200 CD package folio and I thought well, let me show you how. I'm not going to charge $3,300 to an actor, a corporate headshot or a whatever folio, a modeling folio because they don't want the big folio box and that is a portrait shoot. But, what happens is people are getting confused with the language between a folio and a folio box, okay? The folio box is a portrait box that I sell my clients that I buy at Seldex and Finao. But if somebody came to me and said, "I want an actor's folio, I want a modeling folio, "I want a beautiful CD folio" for whatever reason, then I would create a package for them, which ultimately, I would be giving them on DVD, a CD. Building a CD or a DVD. So, you cannot tell me that I am worth less than $ because for the same amount of effort that I put into a portrait shoot that's worth three and a half thousand dollars, I am creating a folio for them. So, ultimately, in order to be cheaper, they have to get less than my portrait clients get and they have to get, and it has to be quicker because there's no way I'm going to spend longer amount of time to get much less money, that devalues what I do. So, let's look at how I did this folio shoot because I realize that this is probably closer to what most of you are offering. So, this is how I shot it. Let's dispel a couple of myths first. Sue Bryce has everything. I can shoot somebody like that on a wall just like that with nothing but a reflector and a window with a diffuser over the light. I do not need to have lights, equipment. I need one camera. I built a business that made nearly half a million dollars in its first year in my country garage with a 10D Canon, okay? A Canon 10D, it didn't even shoot raw, with a kit lens, a 24-105 kit lens. In the first three years of my business I only owned two cameras and they were 20Ds, we upgraded, and two kit lenses, 24-105 kit lenses. I owned nothing else, no equipment. I once dropped a camera and I went down to one camera for a week until we could get it fixed. So, if you're telling me you don't have the space and you, go and look for some, and if you're telling me you don't have the equipment, you don't need it, okay? I also started my business on a very, very budget slow running PC with a mouse, not a Wacom tablet, and I would retouch til three in the morning on that said mouse. Anything is possible when your heart is willing. Alright? So, I didn't need that to create this. All I needed was to be able to control the light around me and to know how to direct, and know how to direct my client and know how to light my client. That is all part of the 28 Day Challenge, right? Making you better photographers. Then I stood her up. The reason there's a team of people standing around me in this shot is because Susan Margaret is filming me for 28 days and she's running sound at the same time. So, she's holding a reflector and running the sound for it, but really what she's doing is blocking the light to Jen. See, I shot this entire sequence on flat lighting, so no lighting was hitting her from the side. Christine is our hero makeup artist and she's off to my right, she's actually holding a fan and changing her hair as much as possible in this sequence because I needed to shoot as many variable shots in this one position by changing the hair behind her ears, flicking it back, flying it with a fan, so I could get lots of variables without changing clothes and taking time. And Sean is behind me and he's filming for 28 Days. So, that's why it looks like there's a crowd. And these shots are the most simple shots that you could possibly create. Now, the reason that I did these shots for Jen is an acting folio requires almost zero makeup. They want to see what you can look like, not what you do look like. And that's why she looks so simply beautiful, very natural, and in terms of marketing to your glamour clients, I believe that you should have something like this in your folio, I do, in my natural light folio. I think it's, this simplicity, this first level of makeup is beautiful. As we changed her out, her makeup and hair got a little bit more glamorous. I dropped a black V-flat on the floor. This is black foam core, okay? That's all it is. She is lying on a piece of black foam core and she has a black V-flat foam core around her. There is no lighting, there is not even a reflector in this image because I wanted to pull some contrast around her and I shot her second sequence and so, there's only two sequences in this whole shoot, on that black background. So, on 28 Days, you'll get 29, you can watch the entire thing and you can watch the entire behind the scenes of how I started, how I directed her. And, as you can see, in this next image, she's then sitting up on the floor. So, she's in her socks because it's a little bit wintry still in Seattle and we were all nice and warm, so she's in her little black dress and I shot her straight onto that black V-flat in a sitting position. So, there were only two corner scenarios in this entire shoot and we shot her in less than, it was an hour. Okay? It took me an hour to photograph her. Now, when I present the folio to Jen, I presented these images here. So, I'm going to take you through them. There are 33 images in this folio. I started off with this natural look. I started to change out her hair. As you can see, she's still got a light source hitting her from her right hand side and then you see the flat lighting come in. The flat lighting is Susan standing right in front of her holding a white Gatorboard that blocks the amount of light going to her. The hair has been changed by Christine, just behind the ears, pulled back, and that's all she got from the natural light series and then we went into the black dress. We started by sitting on the floor in the black V-flat and I'm directing with expression and hand, I'm floating my compositions left and right, moving her from left and right and I'm changing her expression and her pose in every single frame. I wanted to make it more of an actor's folio, so I've made the hair very natural looking and then I went back to boofing it back up again, I just got Jen to do this herself, I did not stop the sequence at all to change her hair. So, there's no makeup artist getting involved, not in this one, she's just done this whole sequence and I've just run this whole sequence by just flow posing. Now, if you have a look at this pose here, her hand is up, you will here me in the video correct her hand to a downward ballet position, which is there. But I believe that her expression is really beautiful and I keep this in the folio because I do believe sometimes expression will trump a basic posing flaw. So, if you look at this image and say Sue says never to photograph hands like this, then that's okay. There and then we talked her through it and then I wanted expression, so I made her laugh, changing hands, sitting up nice and tall, leaning down, all my one, two, three, four, five, you know them, leaning hand, which is very interesting, touching the cheek, laughing, looking down. Now, every single one of those images are going on a DVD for Jen, including the entire sequence in black and white. So, I give her the option of being all color and all black and white, then I took a further nine shots, which you didn't see in that sequence and I took these specifically for the contact sheet. Now, the contact sheet, for me, was about making that actor's folio, it was about making it about expression and how beautiful it was, it was about me using it in my advertising and it was about me giving it to her as a product. So, when we get to here, any questions, Russ, before I go on?
I think we're good to keep going.
Okay, keep going. Good. Alright. These are my final choice images. They're my choice. They're not Jen's choice. I do not get hired as a photographer so that you can pick which images. I pick the top images in that shoot and I retouch them and present them. And so, when people say to me, "But, how do I narrow them down?" when I first opened these images, there were 77. I narrowed them down to 48 in my first round of editing. After my first round of editing, I opened them on Photoshop and then I narrowed them down again. I got down to 41 images. Okay? That's 41 images that I loved and I liked every single one of them. So, my final choice for Jen was 41 images, all of them in color and all of them in black and white. And technically, she gets everything on that CD, including that contact sheet, which is the nine images. So there's 33 plus the nine images in the contact sheet, so that's 41 all up. Alright? So, let's look at this. The final choice, 41 images all designed like that, all in black in white, all in color. It took an hour and a half for hair and makeup and the reason it took an hour and a half was the natural look took about half an hour and then the glamour look took about an hour. So, an hour and a half for hair and makeup and I pay my hair and makeup artist $100 per head. Now, I make my makeup artist stay for the day now, but back then they used to leave. So, if she stays for the day, it's 200 for the whole day if she assists me. Okay, that's what I pay now. Okay, back then I would pay 100 and they would go. Then, you can make your client pay for that $ if that's what you want. You can arrange the makeup artist, she can give the makeup artist $100 and that's it, you never have to pay your own makeup artist, they can go and pay that themselves. We did two looks and we shot it in an hour. Less than an hour 'cause it was only two scenarios. It took me two and a half hours in Photoshop to retouch 41 images and then design the contact sheet and then design the advertising around it. So, that's 2.5 hours, 41 images in color and black and white, five hours all up and that includes paying for studio space and the makeup artist. Are you honestly telling me that you're gonna charge $253 for this? Dramatic pause. Okay. (laughs) Let's talk about that. Okay, I am worth $500 an hour. My name is Sue Bryce and I am worth $500 an hour, minimum. And I know this because I sell a $3,000 folio, 3,000 plus tax, $3,300 folio and it takes me six hours to do that. So, if I divide my average sale by the time it takes me to do that, then I am worth $500 an hour. So, I will not work for anybody for less than $500 an hour. When I outsource people now, I'd look back at that $500 an hour and I say, "If somebody's charging me $100 an hour "to do this job, as long as I'm working "while they're doing it, then I'm still winning." And the point is, that I'm trying to get is, you break it down and you are trying to sell what? I hope they spend $450, I hope they spend $550. So, what I'm gonna do for you today is help you design a folio that is priced at a minimum of 900, I would like you to go to 1, if you're braver. If you're already up in the $1,100 average, I would like you to push it to 1,600, and if you're at the 1,600, please go to 2,300. You're the only one that's uncomfortable with this, let's challenge it. Let's challenge it. Because I believe you are so close to earning money, but you just haven't pushed through your own barrier around what it's worth because you're still selling, when you sell the folio, you're still selling the number. So, you're trying to sell the 450, you're trying to get the 450. I'm trying to sell the folio, okay? I don't think about the 1,200, 1,600, 2,300, I think about the 80 photographs that this girl is going to get and the incredible experience that she's going to have and I also think about how much fun it is going to be to shoot her. So, now I need you to shift your perception on what your folio package is and show you how to shoot, design, make a product and sell a $1,200 folio. Okay? So, let's go. Any questions, you want to keep going?
I think you're on a roll.
Let's let you keep going and gather them up.
Okay. So, what is that worth to you? The folio that I just made for Jen. 41 images, color and black and white. Oh, it gets better, she's an actor, so Sean, the camera guy that's been shooting all of 28 Days, he shot her doing a monologue, a Shakespeare monologue and he's gonna export that as an online show reel for her. See, that is worth $2,300 to me. Easy, easy, easy it's worth $2,300. Now, what is that worth? 400, 900, 1,200, 1,600 or more? You need to tell me what your folio is worth, okay? And stop trying to sell the number because that tells me you're caught up on money and you're not caught up on the value of what you're creating. So--
We do have a lot of questions that are coming in on this subject. Brooke Reman says, "Sue, how would you go about "charging a client who says they need only "a single headshot?"
Why would you need only a single headshot?
That's a good question.
Yeah. So, what they're saying is, "I don't want to spend the money, "so just one photo will be fine." So, what I did with the corporate, if you are on 28 Days, the corporate headshot is selling three, three images on a CD for $ and if they say, "But I just need one," say, "Well, my package is three." I mean, why would you do less than three. I would not work for less than, a corporate shoot should be 15 minutes long, it should be $300 and it should have three images. Yeah, so, they get to choose out of maybe and they get the top three. And so, if somebody says, "Oh, but I just need one," again, "My corporate package is $300 and you get three." Bonus, you get two more.
So, you're selling them, you're giving them more
For your base price.
Yeah, so if they're just saying one, what they're really saying is just, I just need a nice shot. Well, yes you do need a nice shot, but you also need to understand that I'm gonna take 15 really nice shots of you and you're gonna want three of them.
Adrian Far from England says, "When you give your price to someone "and they say, 'that's too expensive,' "do you justify your prices to explain "why you offer value for money "or do you approach it in a different way?"
Well, Adrian, I believe that that value comes from you, so I believe if somebody says, "Whoa, that's a lot of money," they're not saying I'm not going to buy it. If they say, "Oh, look, I can't afford that right now," then they're saying they're not gonna buy it, but that's not your problem, that's theirs. So, what happens is we hear it as our problem. So, when somebody goes, "Oh no, that's too expensive," we all all of a sudden hear, "I have no value." So, it's like a mirror is held out and the truth is is that if you walked into, I walked into All Saints the other day and there was a leather jacket there that I just went, "Oh, I have to own that jacket" and it was $375 and I was like, "I like it, "but I'm not paying $375 for it." I'm sure Spitalfields didn't cry when I left, but it was just like, I'm not buying that, I can't afford that right now, I'm not gonna buy it, I don't see the value in it, whatever. Whatever the reason is not their business, I just didn't purchase. So, if somebody says that's a lot of money, well, you could always say, "Well, they're great photographs." Yeah. Some people used to say to me when I first started, "How much?" and I'd say, ya know, and I'd say the money and they'd say, "Oh, I'm in the wrong job." And I think to myself, "ooh, nobody says that to me now," it's funny they'd only ever said it when I had a problem with it.
Interesting. Kind of along the same lines, J Morgan Images says that she's trying to sell her product and her love for what she does, but all the others see are numbers. Do you have any reaction to that?
That means you're only seeing numbers. I don't believe you, J Morgan, I don't believe you because what happens is it means that you don't believe it when you say it because I don't need to believe what I do. I love what I do and I, you've got to find the core inside you that is the one that's blocking you. You have to find, in your mind, the little thought that's backed up that says, "They're not "gonna pay for this, I don't believe "there's enough money out there." Come back to me, get that person back, see if they can give me another, I need to hear more from that person, I need to know what they're, what they're really saying. I know, I don't believe you, so ask me another question about it. Tell me, challenge me on another belief. You're holding a belief around something and it's a simple one and it's stopping you from saying your value or it's stopping you from communicating your value or there's something in the way you deliver it that is making people go to numbers. So, maybe the way you say it, there's a block. So, if they can come back and talk to me, then I think I would like to hear that.
Okay, so Jessica, J Morgan Images, give us reply to that.
Yeah, come on Jessica. There's something you're saying, Jessica, I don't believe it.
Tell us how you're saying it.
Okay. Let's see. Renee Atou, or Etou, clarifies, "That's different from someone saying it's too expensive, "they're making a different statement from "I can't afford it."
It's the same thing. That's really expensive means I want it, but that's a lot of money. It's still not a no. Ya know, no matter what you charge, you will be too expensive for most people. You know that, right? So, if you charge $80, somebody who things that's ex, will tell you you're too expensive. If you charge 8,000, somebody will tell you you're too expensive. But it changes nothing in the people that buy. Somebody will always tell you you're too expensive for them.
Right. But that's not you. Yeah, so, the problem is is the way we deal with that.
Andrea Gunther from Poland is saying, "What if the client doesn't agree on the price?" "Maybe they expect that they'll be able to "negotiate the price down." "How do you react in that situation?"
Well, that's really important and I would say negotiate before you shoot them and just make it very clear what you're going to charge them. So, this folio package is $1,600. For this, you will receive these, this, this, this and this, and if there's any hesitation or any bargaining to be done, let it be done there. And then you're going in eyes wide open.
And what you were talking about beforehand, Melanie from Austria says, "Do your clients choose "a la carte or package before the shoot "or during their viewing?"
Well, that's the problem, isn't it? My a la carte, ultimately, is, equals what it is my package is, so they don't choose anything until afterwards, but what I'm trying to teach you today is to sell by package if you're uncomfortable selling by a la carte because most of you are selling by package and someway all of you are holding a thought that says, "I need to earn $500 week," so that's what you are earning. So, if I can push your package higher, then you're selling by package. But, again, most people aren't selling a la carte, so that's why we're talking about packages now.
Good, good, good. W.B. Glitter wonders, "Could you go into "a little bit more detail on the contact sheet?" "Is that a postcard size for them to pass out to agencies?"
Okay, definitely not a postcard size. Everything on my DVD is cropped at 8x12 inches, so just a little bit bigger or A, we need to really go A3 size for modeling folios, so I'm not afraid of selling 11x16s if I'm just selling one package. If I'm going to sell a package, I won't limit them on size because if you decide to sell a package and they want to blow them up and put them on a wall, then that's, that's just what's gonna happen. That's the difference between selling a la carte and selling a package. You have to decide what's right for you and then push the envelope with what you think it's worth. Has Jessica come back?
Jessica, it looks like she's starting to say something.
So, if you want to move on a little bit.
And then while she's, while she's replying. I called AlienSkin, I told you that, right after I did a day shoot and said, "I'm about to tell them when I use your product, "so maybe you want to give them something." And they've given us 10%. So, anybody, there it is, AlienSkin 10% til April the 30th, anything on the AlienSkin store til the end of April, 10% off and the code is SBR1304. And that's for anybody, whether you're 28 Days or not. I love editing on this software and I wish I'd found it a long time ago. I would never, I just, yeah. Nice.
Wait til you see these black and whites coming up.
Could you just talk a little bit about AlienSkin, there was some questions about is that additional software, what is AlienSkin?
It is. It's a plug-in and I think it's for Lightroom, but I use it on Photoshop, so double check that it's for Lightroom. I love exposure four, it's my absolute favorite go to. You'll see it on the retouching video on 28 Days. You'll see me using it on this and basically, let me see if my video takes me through that. What I did was, it's in this video here, so, we'll play this video while I'm talking, so that you can see me open this. It's about halfway through this video. Right. So, AlienSkin was just a plug-in and it was Lara Jade that showed it to me, Lara and I were editing together in Brisbane at a workshop and she said, "Oh, have you seen this AlienSkin?" and I jumped on and bought it straight away and I've used it every single day since. It's just the coolest editing software, it has black and white film, it has color film, it has just borders, effects, light leaks, paper, I've never seen such a comprehensive editing software.
It's not a cheap one, ya know, it's in the, I think, 200 plus, range and they've given us a discount for it. But, when I bought it, I hesitated, but I saw Lara using it and I was just like, "Wow, that's really cool." So, I've used it every single day since. And I just bought it online that night and downloaded it.
So, if we want to before we get into it,
Jessica has responded, she says, "I'm an intimate portrait photographer for women." "I believe in the beauty of women "and helping every woman, target market: moms, "rediscover their beauty." "The problem I am finding, the moms I'm talking to "seem to broke and as much as they love, love, love "what I have to offer, can't figure out the way "to pay for it." "I have such strong supporters from past clients "that make my head swell every time, "but it always comes back to money "and I am not anywhere near Sue pricing."
Okay, I don't believe that. So, I didn't ask her to explain it to me, I asked her to tell me what her block around it is because does that mean everybody she talks to says the same thing? "Oh, I really like that, but I can't afford it." People who can't afford me still want to do it and are always there doing it. That's the whole point, is women find money to buy things. So, if they're telling you they can't afford it, I don't believe that. And I don't even hear that, so it's gotta be something she's attracting. She's, there's either a core belief on her value or a core belief on her product and service that is not connecting with what she's saying and selling. There has to be and I have to challenge, I'd have to ask her those questions in front of her to find out what it is because people will say it, they just don't, they won't hear it in themselves. I used to be terrified of telling people how much my images cost. I used to hold a belief in my head when I was talking to people in a consultation that you couldn't afford me and I used to think like that all of the time. Now I don't even think about it, it's not even something that comes into my mind, but you must listen to your own mind. What are you saying in your head when you're delivering? 'Cause if you're telling me that you love what you do, you love your work, you love your cost, you love your value, you just can't understand why nobody in the world's got any money, that's not their problem, it's yours and you just have to find that core belief. What is it? Challenge it. Ask people, "What's your problem with money?" "Do you have a problem with money?" "What's your personal beliefs around money?"
Okay. Jill Adams has kind of a bigger question. "Sue, I think one of the core issues "surrounding price and value that most of us "are struggling to swallow is that "we do not have the value that you have." "Value both in terms of quality of work "and offering an experience during the shoot." "Many of us are quite fresh and so matching "our experience and value with a price is troublesome "as we are making our way."
Okay, none of you were born yesterday. Most of you have either worked in sales, worked as a waitress, worked at a part time job, every single one of you have experienced sales, every single one of you have experienced service at one time in your life. Every single one of you are consumers, every single one of you go into a shop and know what shit service is, every single one of you know what good sales is and good service is, so don't tell me you don't know how to service your clients. Be nice to them, give them an experience, "Oh, I give them experience," "Stand up tall, "lift up, drop your shoulders, stop talking, "lips together, relax your mouth, bring your chin forward "and down, don't move." Oh, that's a great experience. People walk out from me and just go, "I just had the best experience of my life." The best part is is they see their photographs and then they go, "Oh my god!" and then they go, "It was the most amazing day." And I think, "Really?" "I don't remember you "being that amazed." "I remember you being kind of complaining "or wondering that you had to pose "and hold these positions." "I remember you almost crying "when you couldn't get the chin forward and down "for the 43rd time that I asked you "to put your chin forward and down." "I remember you being a little bit defeated "when I told you to stop chewing gum "or stop talking so I could take your photographs "because I'm quite assertive in my shoots "and I want a result." So, the experience is really not that great. The experience is the result that I create when I'm in my studio telling people what to do. And as far as the final product, I learned to make money seven years ago when I started my own business and I did not shoot like I shoot today. I showed you 100 images from my first year in business and they were the same level as everybody that's posting in InBedWithSue right now and you can't tell me that it's not. So, I learned to make money then and now I just make more money. So, I'm trying to get you guys to make money and my average sale back then went from $400 to $1, in a week because I just recorded the sales and production video for 28 Days, I'll teach you how to shut up and get out of your own way, how to close a sale simply, now I'm teaching you how to shoot and price one. 28 Days is about how to make you me. Was that a rant then? I just ranted.
That was impressive.
I just fully ranted at you.
I liked it.
Come on. Stop giving me excuses, people.
Keep it up, keep it up. J Morgan comes back, "I think it's my social circle, "I don't know how to break into other ones."
I think, I think, I think. J Morgan, not I feel about money. I didn't ask you what you think, I asked you how you feel. Did you not watch the fear segment on 28 Days in Vegas? Did you not watch the fear segment? Go watch it, it's on the course page, right? It's on my blog. Watch the one hour when everybody says, "It's not my fault that I'm not making money, "it's the economy." "It's not my fault, it's the people in my town." "It's not my fault." It's your fault, you need to find that core belief and it's not a thought, it's how you feel. Okay, I'm just letting this video play so we can open into AlienSkin, so let it go, carry on.
Okay, Melanie from Austria, "So, my products have "a huge price saving instead of my a la carte, "which people seem to not see at first sight, "maybe I did my packages wrong?"
Okay, they don't see it because they're hearing a lesser number and then they're hearing a bigger number. So, what you're saying is when you show somebody an a la carte menu, they look at the lowest price on there. So, "My images start at $150," they hear $150, "but my package has 30 photographs in it for $1,200." "But you just said 150 and I was comfortable with 150." Do you see that? You're giving them a number at 150 for one photograph and then you're giving them a number for 30 photographs and all they're hearing is, "But, I was comfortable "with the $150 and then you said 1,200 and I got nervous." Wouldn't it be better to say my folio package is $1,200, you get 40 images in color and black and white and a contact sheet on a DVD and a makeup artist, as well.
Okay, what about this? Somebody once told me, okay, can we just go back to the Photoshop video before I move on from AlienSkin?
Absolutely. Because AlienSkin's up there now. AlienSkin's a plug-in software, I open it up, I choose my filter, I accept it, I'm trying to match the image on the right, once the filter comes on, I can go to my layers, I can adjust my layers, there is multiple uses, hundreds and hundreds of filters, black and white, everything you're gonna see in the gutsy black and whites in the next 20 minutes has all come from AlienSkin editing. I can simply knock it down, flatten and save, outrageous plug-in, so there it is there. Alienskin.com/downloads, 10% discount til April the 30th, anything on the AlienSkin store. I highly recommend you look at exposure four, it is my absolute, absolute favorite. Alright, now,
Here we go.
Coming back to designing our folio, coming back to selling and pricing our folio.
Yes. Designing and rating your folio. Okay, let's see. Style Studio, "Please clarify whether you refer "to your starting prices in the consultation "or whether you present the whole price list."
Here's the, here's the thing you need to decide today, if I am a full package photographer, then I should offer one great package 'cause that's how much I want to earn and that's what I want to work towards. If you have no clients currently, then it stands to reason that you have nothing to lose by offering this one service because if you don't get work, you haven't got any work anyway. So, you might as well start where you want to go. If you are a package service and you want to be a small, medium and large package, then I want you to be a 900, 1,200 and 1,600 dollar package. Alright? Small, medium and large. Keep it simple. What would you like? 900 will get you 20 images on a DVD, 1,200 will get you 30 and 1,600 will get you in color and black and white. Make it more progressive, give away something as it gets bigger. Maybe they could also have an enlargement for the wall for $2,000, but what I'm saying to you is either be one package and offer it or be three packages, small, medium and large, or go a la carte because then you can sell by imagery. Now, the smallest package you start with should be, commissions start at $1,200, should be the first point of contact, but when you talk to them, you say, "I have three amazing packages" and then you can describe what those three amazing packages are.
There we go. Okay. Sky, while we're talking packages, Sky says, "If you have packages, then a gift voucher "doesn't work anymore, so how would you handle this?"
Nahh, a gift voucher does work because if you have packages and a gift voucher, then you just put your package up by $200. So, your package, instead of 1,200, is 1, and you have a free shoot, makeover and $100 off. So you need to, if you're going to be, if you are going to be a voucher driven studio, then you need to incorporate the price of the voucher into your package. Okay? Look at it like this, if you give $ to spend on photographs and that's it, there's no free shoot, free makeover, if you just want to give them studio money. So, that's a voucher that says here's $ to spend on photographs, then all you're taking is $100 hit off a $1,200 folio in order to get that client. They can then buy their own makeup artist. Or, if you're paying for the makeup at $100, then for $200 you get a hair and makeup artist, you get a client and you get $1,000 profit 'cause you're building a CD. Now, that means, in terms of marketing, corporate marketing, we divide the amount of sales we do by the amount of money it costs us. Let's say you got 10 folios in six months, which means you made $6,000 profit, and the cost of those folios was $ because you had to give away 100 to get them in, which means for $600 you made $6,000 profit. Is that effective business? Yes.
Yes it is. Yes it is.
It's that simple, right? You need to break it down. Thing about it. If my folio is $1,400 and I have to give away $ to get the client, then every time I give away one of those vouchers to get $1,100, that's my profit margin. I make that profit. All you keep asking me is "What if I don't make money?" "What if I lose $100?" You're all coming from a place of lack. Have a look at the thousand dollars you are making in profit. Think about it. Large business and large corporate business, they don't sit there and say, "Oh gosh, we're gonna give away this discount on TV "to 2.4 million people and 2.4 million people "are gonna get 30% off and do you know the revenue loss "on that?" "Aww." 'Cause all they're looking at is their profit margin.
Yeah. Not to mention that every single person who buys, who gets that gift voucher and they come to get their folio shows five more. If it's a good one, you potentially get five more clients. If you use it on Facebook, you get five more clients from those six folios from that $6,000 profit plus you get the chance to use five, six folios in your advertising and your marketing and you get to market to, via database on Facebook, as well. I think you just made more than $6, and I don't think you lost $600. I think you just gained potentially $20, because you're in business and now your starting to think like a business person.
Okay. While we're talking about vouchers, one of the guests says, "What would you do "if somebody calls you asking for a voucher "because a friend has one?"
Give them one. I do it all the time. If I get two people coming for a shoot, I say, "I'm gonna give you a voucher, too, "so that you get $100 towards portraits" and they always go, "Thank you."
And then you're doing them a service.
You're giving them an extra bonus, they're feeling really good.
And I'm getting $1,000 profit.
And you're getting $1,000 profit. Love it. Melanie from Austria, "Did I get it right?" "Sue chooses the images for these folios?" "What if the client asks for the other images?"
What other images?
Love it. That was an easy one.
If you don't give people a choice, then they don't have a choice.
Ya know, trust yourself. Trust that you, when you see the shoot behind the scenes, you will understand that the images I took out were the not good ones. That these were the best of her. And you'll see that I did not shoot multiple images in one pose. I shoot it, I move on, I shoot it, I move on. That's it. Ya know, trust yourself. You're the photographer, you're the one taking the images, trust that you've got it right, trust that your work is good enough and then present it to them with that enthusiasm. Like, not fear, not a place of "I hope they're good enough" or ego. Of course they're good enough, trust yourself.
So, what I did was design the package. Designing the package, to me, was how, in my mind, I'm going to arrive at the value of what I'm marketing and selling, okay? You know I'm all about the PDF, I'm all about the email PDF, the Facebook campaign, the blog, I'm all about creating something to show you, visually, the value of what I do. Ironically, when I made this, I actually didn't make it for my clients, I made it for myself 'cause I couldn't afford a designer and I still wouldn't pay a designer 'cause I love designing my own work on Photoshop. I did this purely for my own ego, to see that I was good enough to sell something, to see that I was good enough to put a number on something and to value it. Also, I wanted to market my product, my whole glamour photography, more like a commercial style of photography than a portrait style. I've been in a portrait studio for 23 years. When I started my business 15, about 16 years, in a portrait studio. We marketed to moms and dads and black and white family photography sitting on the beach. This was not my brand. This was my brand. My brand was Sue Bryce and it's contemporary glamour photography. Fashion inspired portraiture, contemporary portraiture, whatever you want to call it, this was my brand right here. So, when I sat down and thought, "If I was back "as a newbie, like you guys, or, okay, "not 23 years, like me, but if I was trying to up my price, "if I was trying to get to a place where I wanted to be "professionally priced, if I was trying to create "a packaging service, how would I do that?" And this is what I came up with, I would create an online advertising campaign called The Folio. Now, you can call it Portfolio, you can call it The Portrait Shoot, you can call it Photoshoot, whatever you call it, make it something that you think that people will understand. And then I'd drop this image on and I put Folio and then I put Bryce. Okay? In hindsight, I really wish I had branded myself as a portrait photographer as just Bryce because everybody calls me Bryce, they don't call me Sue, I mostly get called Bryce. So, I should have done that. So, when I designed it last night, I just used Bryce 'cause I thought that's really awesome. I love it. And I wrote folio, I just dropped it on Photoshop on my magazine template. Then, what I started to do was I started to look at this as a package and I now want you to create one too. I took another image out of the shoot and this one here was one of the black and white images. I dropped it underneath Folio and Bryce and what I did was I copied an extra layer of that photograph on top under the words and I gave it a motion blur in Photoshop and I then erased back the eyes, so it just looked really magazine, there's a motion blur through her lips and hair and it, I just put Folio Bryce. And then I thought, what I'm trying to do is I'm trying to communicate to my client that this is a portfolio that I'm going to create, and this is how I would sell a CD package or a DVD package. I'm trying to make it look sexy, I'm trying to make it look enticing, I'm trying to make it look like an experience, but what I'm trying to make it do is look like it, that it has value. Not that they're going to get this little cheap CD that you know is a dollar from Walmart or whatever and that they're gonna get that and that's the value of that. I want to give them 1,200 bucks worth, minimum. So, I'm going to make it look like this. Then I chose another image and I simply dropped that in, Folio Bryce, and I realized that as I dropped all of these images in, every single one of them worked. Like, every single one of them looked like, to me, a magazine style folio. And you're taking work like this now, you've been sending me work like this. These are all edited on AlienSkin, that's why they have that gutsy black and white, that's why they're a little bit better than what's come out of camera. Okay, so I picked my, I couldn't pick my cover, so I did four because I liked all four. Love that, love that, love that and love that. But, to me, they all communicated, they all communicated one thing and that was that I'm shooting a folio for you. Then, the first thing I hit them with inside the PDF is a before and after. Why? Because we love before and afters, we love marketing with them, they are absolutely perfect, they are to remind you that she's an everyday girl, yes, she's an everyday beautiful girl, but she's still an everyday girl and everybody wants to see that. They just want to see who she is, what she looks like when she's fresh faced, it's not an ugly shot, hair back, head and shoulders, if you're having a problem with this, watch the before and after challenge on 28 Days, get this right. Then, for the next four pages, I can put any text on them that I want, but do I really need to? Do I really need to fill this book with words or do I need to fill it with beautiful images? And then, of course, I need to communicate how much I cost and I did that right there. It says, "Beautiful makeover and photoshoot." "Commissions start at $1,200." Full stop. "Bookings and inquiries, my number, "payment plans available." Ooh, let's look at it like this, when you create a product that everybody wants, there are people that can afford it now and will pay for it now, there's people that will walk into your studio and write you a check for $1,200 or zap it on their credit card without thinking twice. Then there's the people that need to pay it off afterwards. Okay? Will I accept that client? Yes. I own a portrait studio, I'm in business, layaway, lay-buy and buy after is one of the most common ways to sell in the world and always has been. And credit is very accessible nowadays, so most people lift on credit, but when the credit runs out, you have to pay something off and if you want something, you'll pay it. No, they do not get the folio until the images are paid off. That makes them pay then off quicker, trust me on this one. So, let's say I get 10 folios at $1, in my first six months and all of them are paying me off $100 a month. Well, that's $1,200 a month that's coming into my bank account every month for six months. Now, I have a really great friend in Sydney who I did a consultation with, she shoots 50 weddings a year without doubt. She's been in business for 12 years. She runs a business on her own with a part time retoucher that she outsources to do her wedding production. So, she works two days a week, she has a baby daughter, a four year old daughter, and she does 50 weddings a year with an average of $3,000, that's $150,000 a year, she works two days a week, she has a great little studio, which she doesn't pay much for at all, in fact, it's about $300, $300 a month, $300 a week for this little studio, $1,200 a month for this great little space and so, obviously, 12, 12. So, basically, $12,000, she easily, easily clears about 110,000 in profits. So, she comes to me and she says, "I love your glamour business, "how do I integrate you into my business?" And I said, "So, you offer all 50 of your brides "a glamour bachelorette shoot and you shoot "now three days a week." She offered it to the 40 brides that she'd already had booked for the year and every one of them said yes, so all of a sudden she's now running a glamour portrait business and her little business. But, the best thing about her is she has a $3,000 wedding package. You can buy more, but she just sells the $3,000 package. I said, "Why do you do that?" "Why don't you open it up?" She said, "I don't need to." I said, "Okay, tell me about that." She said, "What I do is this, "people ring me and they say, 'Oh, I want to do a shoot "'with you' and so, I price it $3, "for this package and I put them instantly "on a payment plan." She said, "Every single one of my clients, "whether they can afford the 3,000 or not, "go on the payment plan because it's interest free, "you're paying it off before the shoot, as well," and she said, " and the best part is is every single month "on the same date, every single month on the same date, "I get $10,000 in my bank account." And I was like, "Wow, you actually know every month "what you're gonna earn" and I was like, "Yup" and I said, "You've actually set it up like that" and I said, "Yeah" and I said, "So, imagine, "instead of looking at clients who can't afford it, "say, 'What if you could pay it off?'" Get them on a payment plan, accumulate those people. Yes, you don't want to offer everybody a payment plan, remember in the sales challenge for 28 Days, you close a sale by saying "How would you like to pay for that?" When people want something, they will pay it off. Trust me on that. They will pay it off and they will find a way and they will get their product. So, just make it something that's accessible and then build on it. If you have 10 people paying you $1, and they're paying $100 a month, then it stands to reason you're gonna get $1,000 a month into your bank account. If you spent, if you have 40 people giving you $100 a month, then you have $4, just arriving in your bank account. Think about how you can build on that in business. And remember, the less words, the better. You want to get them on the phone. You want to entice them with beautiful images, but you want to tell them what that package is. And why would I say that this package is $250? Why would I say that? 'Cause it's not. It's $1,200, it's worth that. And do you know how I know that my package is worth that? Let's look back here. I'm just gonna slide through this keynote and I want to show you this because remembering that this is the most important part right now. The final choice, my choice, is 33 images plus a contact sheet of nine. So, that's 41 images and black and white, as well. Plus, the studio and the makeup artist. 1.5 hours for hair and makeup, two looks, only two looks, most of you have way more than that, one hour shooting, most of you are shooting three times longer than that, 2.5 hours of Photoshop and designing on AlienSkin, most of you are retouching four times longer than that, I'm worth $500 an hour. Okay? So, you tell me what you're worth, you tell me what your shoot's worth and then create marketing, designing and a package that surrounds that value and then set it in stone, market that, sell that, create that, make that work for you and I guarantee you will start seeing instant results.
That's fantastic. Alright, I just love listening to you talk, too. (laughs) You can do it all day. So, we have about an hour left.
Do we want to jump into some more general questions?
Okay, can I
Or do you want to finish up?
Just, just, just show one thing?
Yes, you absolutely can.
As I started to, last night, so, I was trying to stick at it last night for you all, I got so excited about it, I actually couldn't stop designing these images. I got to a point where I was creating more contact sheets and I'm doing full covers and I'm like, "This is ridiculous, but I'm that excited." I was doing this going, "I don't sell folios, "why would I do that?" I sell a $3,000 folio box, I'm at the next level as a portrait maker. But, when I go back to being a newbie photographer, when I go back to here, why didn't anybody tell me this? Why didn't anybody show me how to do this? Please. I was desperate, I couldn't make money and I was just, I didn't understand and nobody told me this. And I used to just look for the value in myself. Am I good enough? Am I good enough? Because somehow, if somebody told me I was good enough, I had a belief that I could do it. And it was nothing to do with whether I was good enough, it was whether or not I was smart enough to just create a package and believe that it was worth that. And I'm embarrassed to think back then about who I was, but then I realize that so many of you are there right now doing the same thing, struggling the same way, looking at the wrong part. You know? You're just looking at the wrong part and you just need to turn your attention over here. Create a package, market a package and then build a package that has a price on it that kind of scares you, challenge that in yourself, and then build value within yourself and around it until it becomes your cheapest product. And then one day you'll look back at how you struggled to get 12, 400 dollars, you struggled to get and then you struggled to get 1,200 and you know. I just, I remember being there, so it's crazy easy. If you shift your focus and focus on building me a package that you're gonna blow me away. Show me a folio shoot. If you want to sell by package, price it and don't show me under $900. In fact, 900 would insult me, I'm happy with 1,200, but 900 if you're comfortable with 900 and you still want to use the excuse that not many people have money in this world, then that's fine, I'm okay with that. Start there, design it for me, show it to me, I'll put it on my blog if I like it. Show me something like this. Make it simple, make it beautiful, make it a folio, make it one package, sell the hell out of it, sell the hell out of it and show me some results because this is basic 101 and it works every time. Sell the folio and the experience, not the dollar. Okay, I've already talked about, so that's $900, so that's 900 of these, 900 one dollars. $900 is quite a lot of money, isn't it? But anyway, I'm not gonna focus on the 900 of these. Really, what I'm just, I'm showing you, I'm selling you images. I don't care about the money. I'm telling you what I'm worth and I believe that. If you haven't already, you have seven days and 11 hours to get, get on board with 28 Days at the discount, okay? $199 to make $1,000 profit every single shoot. Come on, think about it, join us anyway. You need to get this done. You only have a week left at that discount and a lot of people are emailing me going, "Oh, I can't get 28 Days this time, "I'll wait til your next 28 Days." (laughing) Not gonna run out. It's an online workshop, it's gonna be there forever, it's just gonna get more expensive, so you don't have to wait til my next 28 Days 'cause I'm not doing another 28 Days. It's, absolutely not, this is it, so enjoy it. Let's talk about what's on the 28 Days. If you need to ask more questions, if you're on 28 Days and you need to ask questions, ask me, and if you're not on 28 Days and you want to ask me questions about it, then ask me. Alright.
Fantastic. Trying to decide where to go here. Just a really quick easy one while we're talking about contact sheets.
Is the contact sheet digitally delivered or do you print it?
The contact sheet was just a little design component that goes on the CD that you're selling in the package. If you want to print it, print it, if you don't want to print it, don't print it. It, you don't have to do anything like, you don't have to do anything. Do I watermark my images? No, my clients are buying them to print them. Are they little, are they big, are they bigger, are they big, how big are they, how big is a piece of string? It doesn't matter what you do as long as you feel comfortable with it. I usually crop my images about 8x12, the contact sheet is 8x12, it's on the CD. It's just a design component, it's just something fun for my clients, it's just to build value. I framed one on the wall at my studio so that everyone says, "This is really great" because I came from shooting film. I shot film for the first 13 years of my career, so to me, a contact sheet represents a film photographer who, most of you digital photographers now, you wouldn't care less. It's up to you, I love the look towards film, but the contact sheet is just my way of holding onto being a traditional photographer and what I really love to show in the presentation.
That's fantastic. We have a bunch of people asking questions about payment plans.
'Cause they are very excited about them.
Let's start out. SK Studio says, "I've been trying to define "my block with pricing as I think about "increasing my pricing dramatically." "My block is that I don't believe in debt and using credit "and I feel like if I up my prices, "people may be purchasing my service "when they really can't afford it." "How do I move past this because I need to be making money "for my business?"
Okay, you just told me you don't believe in using credit and you don't believe in debt, but you won't let anybody else go into debt in order to pay you, which means that you don't get any money. So, you must believe in debt because you certainly don't believe in prosperity. I don't care how you pay me and I don't assume to know what you have in your bank account. So, if somebody wants to set up an interest free $100 a month payment for 12 months, who am I to assume that they can't afford me or that they're going in debt to do it? Maybe they simply have other commitments. Wouldn't they rather keep the cash in their bank? I mean, that's not your business. Your business is to sell a product and service it. Not to decide how they're getting their money and where they're getting it from and what sort of debt they're going in to get it. I mean, you're not selling drugs or firearms, you're not hurting the human race. If somebody's going into debt to buy one of my folios, then, "Oh, woe is me, I'm a bad capitalist paid person." No, I'm in business. I don't know if the person buying a plasma TV at Costco can afford to buy it or not. They're buying a TV. If that's what blows their head up, I'm happy with that. I'm more interested in my part in it. My part in it is that I'm developing, I'm sorry, I'm creating a product that is worth every dollar that they're paying me. However they're going to do that is their business.
Fantastic. Savine says, "How does the payment schedule, "is it via credit card or direct debit orders?" "What's the physical process of the payment plan?"
Either of those work. I actually did one where I set up an automatic payment that came out of their bank. I've had people present me six checks that I've Sellotaped and put in their sales folder, I've had people register their credit card on the sales form and it says six weeks from now you'll pick up your portraits and every single week for six weeks, we will put $50 on your credit card. And any of them work, it's whatever works for you, but there must be an agreement and it must be a signed agreement, do not start the process of the job or the order until it's nearly finished. So, make that clear. If somebody's going to take four months to pay it off, you don't get the images until they're done and you do not, we do not print the images until they're paid for, so we'll print them a month before you're ready to pay them off. So, if you want them sooner, you need to give us four weeks notice, et cetera, et cetera, sign here.
Perfect. "Have you ever had anyone back out after offering "a payment plan?" "Do you then give them all their money back?"
Never give their money back, keep the deposit. So, after the order is made, they should be paying a 10%, at least a 10% deposit, which pays for your portraits anyway and your profit margin is gone if they cancel the sale, so I would, I don't refund, I would never refund, but I would keep the deposit. If they had to cancel, I wouldn't hold them to debt collection. I made that part of my sales and production challenge on 28 Days. I chose, in my studio, not to run debt collection. If you didn't want your portraits, why would I force you to buy them? I think it's gonna give you a really sour taste in your mouth. If you decide to back out later on, then I'll keep the deposit and ya know what? I think about four years at nearly 2 million dollars in sales, I think we lost maybe four. Three or four. I don't even think there was a, I think one girl broke up with their boyfriend and they were all couple shots. So, what we did is was cut it back to $1, and just gave her all the individuals of her and pulled more individuals of her. So, maybe three. It wasn't many. People just didn't commit to something if they didn't want it.
Makes sense. Okay. So, let's go more broad.
So, more general. This is kind of about the general value of 28 Days as a standalone product. Anjani Seattle Girl says, "A corporate photographer I know "harps on never emulating someone else, "says using someone else's style is just that, "it's not art, he says, especially when "there's so many of us studying with you, "it's hit a block in me." "Though I love your style, how it makes women look and feel "in my images too, I know it's a block, "can't quite find what it is."
Okay, so, if I could've created a franchise for glamour photography when I relaunched it back to the world, imagine finding out that you're the only glamour photographer left from a dying dinosaur breed of glamour photographers and a dying genre that everybody hates, I modernized it, I've got a good business model, I've come back and presented that to the world and then everyone's jumped on board. If somebody's, you're afraid of being criticized or you're afraid of being judged that you're a Sue Bryce photographer, so, when somebody says you're trying to be Sue Bryce, you say, "Yes and I'm making lots of money." It's a business model, it's a business model. Apply it, put your own spin on it, do it, copy me exactly, I don't care, it's a business model. All I know is I could book, I could book glamour photography for a year, I'm in that much demand, women want this everywhere in the world, I've never had a problem making money with it when I got out of my own way and realized that I'm a service provider, I make women feel good, I love doing that, you should love doing that. And if you work with somebody who tells you not to do that, I bet ya he's doing really well. 'Cause why would you encourage people around you instead of putting them down? Ya know? I'll tell you what, next time somebody says you're trying to be Sue Bryce, say, "No, I'm trying to be better "'cause she actually threw out the challenge "that I should be and I'm gonna be better than her "and then I'm gonna take over her job." (laughs)
Bringing on all challengers here. So, there we go. Love it. Alright, let's jump back. Ryan loves you. I'm assuming Ryan loves you, not me. It says, "What great tools you've given us, "but how do you distribute them at scale?" "Or is it all about you handing them out yourself?" "How and where do you do that?" I think they're talking about vouchers, specifically.
Products in general.
Okay, so in the marketing challenge in 28 Days, I go through all four demographics, the sort of shoots that they have and then you really need to find businesses around that. The 28 Day Challenge has a large marketing component, but I think the most intensive marketing I've done on Creative Live would be the full day on show reels where you actually got marketing templates and I take you through the entire marketing plan. That would definitely be the most comprehensive way. I actually, somebody said to me the other day, "What next?" And I was like, "What do you mean what next?" and they're like, "Well, you're always making something." I've got lots of shoots to do, so, and I've gotta travel those next three months, so somebody said, "What will you design?" I sit on planes and I design things and I thought to myself, "I might do "50 ways to market your business." (laughs) Oh, I can't stop, it just doesn't stop. Okay, start with the voucher, Ryan, and start with voucher, price it accordingly, start giving it away, start looking for places to give it away, that's the best place to start and then start selling it for a dollar value. And I love you too, unless you love Russ. In which case, I love Russ too.
Yay, we all love each other. Let's talk a couple questions about the corporate headshot.
With older CEOs that have double chins, would you still photograph the man from below.
Lift, yeah, not as low as I shot George, so lifting up nice and tall, bring your chin towards me, don't shoot down on them, just get their bottom back, get their posture up, get their chin long and then Photoshop it. If they sit with a collar and their neck is hanging over their collar, which happens a lot, you have, you can easily put that line back into their collar on Photoshop and then put a nice little shallow burn. If you haven't looked at the retouching video on 28 Days, Andrea was my curvy model and I took a great shot of her with her chin forward and down, but then I went back to the original bad shot without even asking her to move her chin and I retouched that just in case you get a chin, you accidentally photograph the chin and you want to remove it after in Photoshop, it's a great challenge to show you how to fix it. But yeah, with those guys that they fill that collar, it goes over the business collar, then you need to fix it in Photoshop.
Perfect. Christina on Facebook, "How much would you charge "when a company approaches you to come to their office "and photograph headshots from multiple employees "and then they ask for copyrights?"
I would ask for $500 an hour, $1,000 an hour, priced accordingly, retouching, as well, include retouching and setting up. And I would, yeah, charge what I would charge a single person, but allow for the time of traveling, parking. So, just add up what you think is a good number, but I'm thinking, I'm worth $500 an hour plus travel and plus Photoshop, so I would add that up.
Perfect. J Larr, "For the male corporate headshot, "should you have the client sit on his suit tails "to remove wrinkles in the shoulders of his suit?"
Perfect. And "With real estate agents, I see couples, "how would you photograph them in a professional "environment?
Yes. So, exactly the same as the couple way, but no arms around each other. So, the same V, almost shoulder to shoulder, slightly apart with their body language apart, still in the staggered tier, but no touching.
Great. Let's go ahead and talk about glamour shoot on location. Fueled By Heart, "I'm curious, when shooting a woman "from the side with her head turned toward the camera, "I notice that Sue always pulls women's hair "up onto the neck or shoulder instead of pushing it back "to expose the neck, just wondering if there was "a specific reason for that or if it's just "your personal preference."
I'm always trying to frame the face with their hair. I love the definition of the shoulder when it comes around with the chin, but the truth is is that sometimes when this comes back, if they don't have that long neck or if they're not really long and lean, it can look a little bit sort of boxy, so I do tend to keep half their hair and frame the face. But, I push it off the shoulder. So, I don't let the hair sit up on the shoulder, I either bring it forward or back or half and half. But, just to frame the face and define the shoulder. Every client's different. You look at it and you go, push it back and you'll find your leaner clients can have their hair right back, but any normal body or curvy body needs to frame.
BB says, "I've done glamour and headshot shoots, "the client loved 10 pics, but only wanted JPEG "for her blogs and Linkedin and didn't want "to pay my prices, which are very similar to yours." "I'm thinking to charge $350 for two high res shots "as a result." "Is that crazy?"
Yes, that is crazy 'cause that's your minimum and that's all you're going to get. If she said that to you after you took her photograph, then you didn't educate her properly, you didn't ask her the right questions because you should've known that before you shot her and if you put your hand out, I'm gonna smack it really hard right now. In fact, smack your own hand really hard right now and say, "Why would I charge the same price as Sue "and expect a tenth of the value?" Okay, no, that's not what you're going to do. What you're going to do is you're going to put together an amazing package that starts at $1,200, you're going to sell her that before you shoot her, you're going to ask her those questions before you shoot her, so that that doesn't happen to you again and what do I say in every one of my, I'm pointing at you now, what do I say in every one of my challenges every single time I talk? If you get to the end of the sale and you are not selling for your average price, you did something wrong. It was either in the education of your client, the communication to your client or the photographing of your client. You did not get one of those right, that is your fault, correct it and move on. But, do not readjust your price list down to compensate for your lack of service system.
Monica, along those lines, says, "Your natural light studio is fine tuned "for lighting by you, your models "are willing to participate." "For families who want you to visit their home or office "where light is not optimal and they want to do "their own thing, as well, with posing, "would you say, 'Sorry, that's not how I work' or what?"
Okay, everyone thinks they have an idea on how to pose, but because I'm assertive, they don't do it. My studio is not set up. We're shooting in a service department in Seattle. I don't know what the light's gonna be on every, any given day, so I have to diffuse it. And when people think they can pose themselves, I let them and I take a photo of what they think looks good and then I keep adjusting them and guiding them because I know what's right. But, I would never stop a shoot and say, "I'm sorry, this is not what I do." Although, I have clients, you know that boudoir shot where they lie on the bed and they put their legs up the wall? I've had women ask me over the years if I would do that shot and then I'll just say no, no I won't. And, "Okay, can I do that shot where you put the legs "up the wall?" And I'll say, "No." (laughs)
Just don't like that one, huh? It's not for you. I like it. Talking about Photoshop, Allen Birch says, "After a client has purchased an image, "how much additional Photoshop time will you invest "to prepare it for printing?"
Two minutes. That's the, so that--
So, that is the real complete, final, that's all you do?
No, no, no, okay, in the Photoshop challenge, I show you how to do a two minute retouch on a client's shot, so that you can sell them images. I tell you what I take, what I don't take, what I leave and what is acceptable to sell portraits. Then when they purchase and pay, I give them another going over, maybe three minutes per image before I send it away if it needs more. But, if not, the two minutes is enough. When you see me do two minutes of, I can do a lot of retouching in two minutes. That's why the Photoshop, there's 73 minutes of retouching in the Photoshop challenge and all of it is based around contouring the body and retouching in under two minutes. So, there's no reason you should be spending days and days retouching.
Perfect. Erica Zava says, "How did you set the $500 per hour?" "Is it just a number or is it from an excel sheet "where you put all your expenses and what you want to earn, "then divide the number of sessions you want to have?"
Yeah, I pretty much, what I did was I realized that as my average sale went up, my hourly rate went up. So, as I hit the $3,000 mark, I realized it took me six hours to produce, market, sell and do a final production and deliver to my client, this product. So, that worked out that I was $500 an hour. So, when I was $1,800 an hour, 1,800, sorry, when I was $1,800 average, then obviously I was worth 250 an hour because that's how long it took me, that's how much I was earning. Most photographers at the moment starting out doing 250, 400 dollar packages are earning below minimum wage. Think about that, that's business. Once you stop thinking like an emotional photographer and start thinking like a business person, it comes down to units versus income versus profit versus productivity versus profitability and that's all it is. It's a numbers game, people. Take the emotion out of it. You can be emotional when you take photographs, you can be emotional when the sun comes up, don't be emotional when you're looking at dollars and cents, be smart.
I like that. J Hugs A Lot, we're just gonna go in general at this point, so, J Hugs A Lot says, "Sue, regarding the shoot on curves, "I noticed you physically moving the ladies into position, "do you do that a lot or mostly use your words "to guide them?" "I'm having a hard time getting with words, "I keep getting tongue tied." "Do you have any advice for people "who are having trouble describing what to do?"
Yeah, ya know what? I think, J Hugs A Lot, you really need to, you really need to listen to the words I use and practice that. It's a language. Because I, I then get a photographer to pose the same pose in front of me and they go, "So, touch the back "of your body and lay and take your butt "on the back foot, so" and I'm like, "No, it's just easy, "lean against the wall and pull their arm down." Ya know, it really is basic when you simplify it. It's just about confidence and practice. Once you listen to the language and say it over and over again. Get four women over, photograph four women that you know, get them all to go in the same pose, repeat the pose, repeat the pose, repeat the pose until it just rolls off your tongue. I get the tongue tied thing, it's, you're trying to say something instead of either finding your own language or simplifying it. You don't need to try and say it, just simplify it so you get the result you want and if not, grab an elbow and pull them down.
Okay. Elegant Photography, "Do you ever do referral programs?" "Tell your clients that if through her "you get a number of paid shoots, "you'll give them a free shoot as a thank you "or anything like that?"
Yes, I do have a referral system, but I do it with my vouchers. So, if you've been a client before, I give you a a $300 voucher and then I give you a $500 voucher. So, I reward you how many people you send me. So, that's in all of my marketing that I ever talk about, I talk about my referral system. Most people are not using a referral, 99.9% of people are not using a referral system on their current database and yet, these are the people that paid money because they liked you and they liked your work and you're ignoring them. So, it's one of, it should be one of your biggest incomes.
Alright. Loomey Productions says, "I want to be "all about the experience, so I'm thinking about "offering frames." "I love the idea of helping them get their portraits "on the wall." "Why did you decide not to offer frames?"
Because I was paying $5,000 a month to a framer and when I took framing off my price list, I didn't change the prices and I didn't earn less money. So, I started to earn $5,000 more and so, then I realized that my images probably weren't getting framed and I suffered this incredible amount of guilt about it, but my business partner at the time said to me, "But, we're earning $5,000 more a month overnight." $5,000 more a month in a garage studio. How did this happen? And then I realized that I could still promote framing and point them towards a framer, I could even send their images to a framer, but I did not have to pay for it and pick it up and service that myself. Also, if there was something wrong with the image prior to it being framed and it got framed and then they're like, "Oh, you said you'd remove "that stray hair," we would have to take it back, get it removed. But if it went to to the framer and then they saw it then, it wasn't a problem, it was just too big of an issue when we were building our studio. Although, I 100% agree with you. I love the idea that your images are archivally framed and on the wall for a lifetime and they're also advertising you.
Okay. Julie925, "Mother and daughter shoot "where both are curvy, do you do it the same "as the 28 Days mother and daughter shoot "that you did?"
Yes, but the weight goes on the back foot and you lift up nice and tall and you push your chin forward just like the curves video and they all go weight on the back foot, they push their bum away from the camera, they bring their arms forward and you contour the body on Photoshop lifting up nice and tall, bringing your chin together and pushing the weight back using all of the curves posing training. It's exactly the same, exactly the same rules apply. And when somebody says, can I just ask her one question? If I photograph a lean body, I try not to lollipop the head and I try to give them hips and boobs. When I photograph a curvy body, I try not to give them a double chin and I try to give them a waist to enhance their hips and boobs. So, when somebody says, "Yeah, but she's skinny, "what would that look like with a curvy person?" It would just look like exactly like that, but curvier. I don't see it as being different, I just see it as being.
Along those lines, HB, H Blonaconte says, "Speaking of curvy girls, the posing for a group of cur, "a group of curvy girls does not work as well "as a group of slim girls."
Yes it does. It's exactly the same. Are you telling me that four, four bigger women cannot have a photograph taken? Just put their weight on their back foot, open their body up and push their chin forward. These women are not trying to look like size zeroes, they are just trying to not have a double chin and not have a big bum. So, push it away from the camera, make their abs work, push their chin forward and they will love you. All you're trying to do is make them look better than they normally look in photographs. You're not trying to make four curvy girls look like four skinny girls. That's not the point. The point is is you're trying to enhance four curvy bodies and make them look like the best they can. I could get four curvy, curvy girls in here and photograph them and everyone would go, "Oh, yeah, but, ya know, they're not curvy enough." So, then you get four really curvy girls in here and they're not, it's not different. You're not trying to make them look skinny. You're just trying to make them look good for them at whatever stage they're in in their life. Give me a double chin and a fat ass and I'm not gonna buy your photograph. Take that away and I'm gonna buy it. That makes me angry. I'm angry now. There's people telling me that. "You can't photograph curvy girls "and they look like skinny girls." Okay, there's a reason Victoria's Secret models are not size 24. Yes, that is true. But, when a size 24 lies in front of me, she doesn't want me to make her look like a size zero, she just wants me to make her look like a gorgeous woman who just happens to be a size 24, which means sometimes when you photograph her, she looks really bad and you're gonna make her look good and then she's gonna buy your photographs.
And I think that's an opportunity there. I mean, so many people have photographed her badly in her life. So, you get the one person that can photograph her well, is she gonna keep coming back to you? Is she gonna keep buying all the? Yeah. It makes sense.
And skinny people have bad photos too, people.
Ya know, there's, not everybody in this world is beautiful. We've all got something. It's either a nose or a skinny chin or big ears. Ya know, everybody's got something they don't like and you need to find out what that is, but don't worry, they're women, so they're going to tell you very quickly. They're gonna tell you in the first five minutes what they don't like.
Second Sight Dave, "What does Sue's delivery packaging "look like?" "How do her clients receive their product?" I don't know if you've covered that in the 28 Days.
Well, ya know, again, entirely up to you. If you, my folio box is in a beautiful bag and I write a card and if they're a beautiful big sale, I will do a bottle of champagne, I'll have their mounted print wrapped in cellophane, white, clear cellophane, ready to go to the framer, so it's mounted and matted so that they can see it and I want to gift wrap that. So, I change the wrapping paper in my studio all the time, silver, gold, blue, I just pick a color that suits me. I'm not really a ribbons and packaging kind of girl, but I've got girlfriends who are photographers that are just the most amazing packagers and yes, I look at them and I envy that, but I've never been that fancy with my packaging. And I always, on my bag, stick my business card, a beautiful image, I just double sided tape one to the outside, so it looks really styly, but I could put more effort into my packaging, but is it the packaging?
So, whatever you're comfortable with.
Yeah. I don't have a fancy website. My images sell my work, not my packaging, so I kind of think, and when I shoot, I'm often in bare feet and tights with my hair in a bun with no makeup on. I'm kind of a you know, I'm kind of pretty cas.
Yeah. I want to make it about them, I don't really make it about ribbons and bows, yeah.
Love it. WB Glitter says, on curves again, "If you're shooting sisters, a curvy girl "and a non-curvy girl, would you pose each of them "for their body types, kind of equalize them a bit more
"and do both girls "still look good with the opposite posing?"
Absolutely, I've done it a million times. If Kenna was here, I'd show you what Kenna and I do, we joke about it. If I have a lean body, I turn the lean body towards the camera, I turn the curvy body 45, I put the weight of the back foot behind the lean body, I push the bum back and the chin forward and they look exactly the same size. It is 101 of curves posing and lean body posing. A leaner body needs to be straighter onto the camera, a curvy body needs to be 45 with the weight back, both of them need to stand up tall with their chin and shoulders forward and arms extended, it's perfect. I'll do more of that if you want to see that, but it's so easy to do and when I have a photograph taken on an iPhone or at an event, the first thing I do is put my right foot behind all my lean clients, so I joke about it when I teach posing. My friends know that I do it, but they're skinny, they can take a hit for me. (laughing)
Love it. Let's see. Let's go on to Kabella Photo, who is saying, "What about clients that are interested in mini sessions?" "What would be an acceptable package for them "or do you even recommend doing mini sessions?"
What is a mini session?
That's a good question.
I've never heard of a mini session, so I don't know what that is.
Let's see if we can get more details. Kabella Photo, give us some more details on what a mini session is.
Is that when you shoot in a Mini Cooper?
Probably. That makes sense. Jamie Lynn, "When you talk about your folio, "can you clarify, is that an actual book of images "or is it just the CD cover?"
"Trying to visualize "exactly what it, that it looks like, today."
Today, that's a CD, what we're talking about today is a DVD. Did you want to burn that to DVD? It's more archival, not a CD. And what I designed there was an online PDF, but if you want to print that out as a book, then outstanding, add more to your folio cost.
'Kay. Now, I know, so, we were talking about this briefly before we got started on air, so I know that you've got thoughts on this. Wendy DCM, Wendy from Belgium says, "The packages, do they include the portrait fee?" "If not, what products could a starting package include "to glam up the more plumped up packages?" Ya know, when you're charging, when you're starting to increase your prices and you feel like you need to add more to justify the value.
Okay, I don't understand. You have to help me understand something. Say the first part of the question again when she says.
"Do your packages include the portrait fee?" Which I believe is like a sitting fee or
Yes, that's what we were talking about before when I said 1,200 or 1,400, allow for the voucher to be priced in there, that's the sitting fee. Yeah, so just be careful when you do charge a portrait sitting fee that they've paid you $ or 150 or $200, then then they have to pay you again, so some people feel like, I feel that somebody feel like that when they've paid you a couple of hundred dollars or $100 that their sitting's already paid for. So, what are they actually getting for that? They're getting the opportunity to sit for more photographs to potentially give you more money. To me, it made sense that I would include it in the overall cost and then I would get paid afterwards. And then the next question is, "What if they don't pay you?" That's gonna happen to you and if that does happen, you've done something wrong. You either haven't educated your client as to how much, you either haven communicated to your client as to what they want and therefore, you have not delivered it and they are not paying you because you have not done one of those three things. Learn from that and move on so that the next time it happens, it doesn't, does that sound familiar?
It does indeed.
Keep saying it, people. Keep saying it until it's set in stone.
What did I do wrong?
Mother21 says, "Is there a secret to getting clients "to understand put your weight on your back foot?" "Most of the time, the clients don't get it."
Push your bum back.
Push your bum back?
Yeah. Let's go back to J Morgan. J Morgan, if you're still on the chat, when we were talking about the blog, about selling what you sell and your prices are, were J's prices similar to mine or was it somebody else?
It was somebody else.
I think she's, she's starting to increase them.
Okay, J, I want you to, I want you to email me your PDF and I'll tell you where your block is.
I'm just scrolling up to see if she was in the, in the chat room at all. I saw her last comment was, "I'm convinced it's the market "I'm in currently and not knowing how to break out "into a market that I'm not involved in." So, selling to people who aren't your peers, basically.
J Morgan, if you want, if you're prepared to put a challenge out there, email me your PDF, and if you don't want me to show it to anybody, that's fine, but I'm gonna critique it for you and I'm gonna tell you what I think, and don't you design it today, you email it to me in the next 20 minutes, and, email@example.com, and I'm going to tell you where I visually look at your product, where I see that the disconnect is between the money you're telling me you're worth and what you're offering. If you're prepared for that challenge, I will give you a prize. If you're prepared for me to blog about that challenge and show your PDF and critique it publicly, you can see the critique first, I'll give you a bigger prize. But, if you're brave enough to do that, 'cause you're telling me over and over again it's not you, it's the market and I'm gonna prove you wrong. So, if you're brave enough to do that, you get me an email in the next 20 minutes and I'll give you something for it. I'll reward you for it and I'll let you see it first before I show anyone publicly and if you feel then that you want to put it out there publicly, I'll give you a bigger prize. But, don't you dare tell me it's your market because I've survived in business for 23 years as a portrait photographer. I've had money blocks, shitty blocks, life blocks, relationship blocks, I've worked out of my garage with a garage roller door and I still learned how to make money. I've been through two global financial crisises and that makes me equivalent to a cockroach. I'm a portrait photographer, I've derived an income from portrait photography for over half my life when the market is gone up, down, whatever it is, I've never stopped doing it, even when my genre died. These are excuses and we'll find a way to get you through them. (laughs)
J Morgan says, "Of course I am in" and then she coughed and choked. So, I believe you will be getting an email. And I think with that, I think this is a great place to end for today. So, let's talk about the next week coming up and how we're kind of ending this whole experience.
We've still got eight more videos coming up plus 29 Days. Everyday is rolling out another challenge. I think the biggest problem is people are afraid they're not keeping up, you don't have to keep up, you can hit this challenge every single week for the next 28 weeks. One challenge a week. You can do this every single day for the next two years. Work at, practice, master each one. Next Monday we get to wrap 28 Days in terms of giving the last video and we've got an incredible day planned. I've opened a forum on my Facebook page for you to come join us in Seattle if you want to come and spend the day. We're gonna have a wrap party afterwards so that we can all have a few drinks and relax. I want people to talk about their challenges. I have got a super amazing day planned and, that I'm writing the keynote for now and that was, and that's the last time I get to see you, you guys. Just get me on video from then on in. So, I can't wait.
I can't wait either. This has been a pretty amazing experience. I'm glad that I was able to be here for this final Q and A session here today.
Oh and if you can't be with us in person in Seattle on April the 8th, then just take the day off to watch. Make sure you book it out, it's next Monday, just make sure you're there 'cause we're gonna, we're gonna talk about a tick list for 28 Days that I'm gonna take you through. Yeah. Thicker ones.
Beautiful. And that will, as usual, be broadcast live for free on creativelive.com/live. So, we will see you, we'll see you online in the Facebook group, Facebook.com/group/inbedwithsue.
Good group, good group.
Yes, I'm really impressed with them constantly and they just hit 10,000 members.
And it's positive. The critique is positive, I said keep it positive, keep it real, people are answering questions, I just could not have, I get hundreds of emails, all the questions are being answered on there, people are sharing, critiquing, the work is outstanding, it's crazy.
And that's it.
So, we'll see in there during this week and then we will see you next Monday at 9:00 a.m. with the final day of 28, 29, however many days it's going, so many days with Sue Bryce.
A lifetime with Sue. We'll see you then.