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Day 1: So You Want to Be a Pro Photographer?


30 Days to Design Your Portrait Business


Lesson Info

Day 1: So You Want to Be a Pro Photographer?

Thanks for being here you guys hand and everybody who's watching thanks for being here and this is going to be a pretty intense couple of days here getting through thirty days so we're going to take you through each one of the the days as we g o and kenna mentioned but just so you guys noah's well um as we go through the thirty days every single day we you're gonna be able to follow along with the workbook when you purchased the course and you're also going to get downloads every single day so we'll show you what those downloads are but they're going to be business help and templates product templates or just a ton of stuff involved in this and it has been a lot of work but I also want you to know that it was done with a lot of intention and I really hope that everybody gets a lot out of this and you know even you know we've got malia here who ten years of you know playing around being a being a photographer and it's time tio make a business and be profitable and and do something that ...

is meaningful and so I'm excited to share this with you and I think we'll just jumpin today one day one is called so you want to be a pro and that's kind of what this is all about when it comes time to taking your business from amateur and you know just having fun hobby and to being a pro and you know it's no very easy to call yourself a photographer these days everybody that you know considers themselves a photographer I know that now if I tell somebody what I do for a living you know I'm a photographer it's just not enough anymore because everybody answers oh my sister's a photographer I'm a photographer my uncle's a photographer everyone is a photographer and so I would encourage you that when it comes time to use the word professional and it does make a difference just using that one word when even in your introductions when you meet somebody you know well what do you do? Well I'm a professional photographer for it really does make a difference and how that is perceived and so I want to ask you guys first what does anybody have what do you think differentiates being an amateur or hobbyist and being a professional photographer anybody have an answer for that? Come on you guys attacks idea so good guess we'll talk about that but you know it is it is easy to call yourself a photographer these days but being a professional is another thing and running a business and being profitable is another thing and so you know, creating a business in life that you love is what I want to talk about as we go through this because designing your business is a really great thing but if you don't have plans and designed for life first, you know setting goals and making a plan and putting systems in place that you planned for your life first and that what's important to you first and the business should fit in around that and not the other way around and many of you guys mentioned you know that work life balance and finding time for family and um you know, boy, have I been through those struggles no back in the beginning when I first opened my retail studio in two thousand I did get super busy superfast it was a different world back then but you know but it was busy and it was chaotic and I had a major crash and burn yeah so you're you're really your life plan should come first and your business should work around that and you know, a business plan doesn't make any sense if it's not helping you to get to the goals of your life plan and you know really honestly your business really becomes a drag if you if you don't have a purpose behind it you know? And so that life plan comes first and your family does come first and you know and we'll talk a lot about that as we go through and one of the things that you'll hear me say a lot is I want to always, always have those yes answers for my client always but the first yes answer has to be for my business and my family and so we'll work through that we'll talk about finding your yes answers that are really going to be for your business and for your family first and so you know, think about that as we go and your your life plan and that that really has to come first sir richard branson says the top two rules for good business are if you don't enjoy it, don't do it and this richard branson is the owner of virgin records and many other businesses he's a billionaire and uh but he says, you know, if you're not having fun, if you don't enjoy it, don't do it and then number two is create something different that will stand out and in these days of everybody is a photographer that is becoming more and more difficult, you know, how can I be different? How can I stand out in this marketplace? And so we're gonna work through a lot of that as we go is well ways to really set your business apart and be different and just, you know, one little teaser here, but I honestly feel like it's easier now than it ever has been to be different because most people who are photographers are going and doing a session and giving away all the digital files and calling it done and I believe that is a huge disservice to our clients and to our industry, you know, we're not leaving people with products that they can enjoy every single day, that they can hand down to their children and the next generations, and I think we're really, really missing out on that, and so I want to encourage you to be thinking about products that you love and products that you can get in your client's hands, and it makes a selling process a whole lot easier when you're doing something that's different, because right now they're calling ten studios for pricing, trying to see what you know, what people charge and what they're doing, how much of their digital files and they're getting the same answer from every photographer. It's, you know, my session, if he is this much, and includes this many digital files and it's all day long, it or whatever it is, it's ridiculous, and, you know, it's the same answer, and so if you can provide a different answer about the products in the services that you have to offer, it becomes something different that they can't even compare. And so I believe it's actually easier these days to set yourself apart and to be a professional when the time comes, and so we'll walk there all that, but you know think about uh you know, we all enjoy what we do or we wouldn't be doing it but when it comes to running a business it's a different thing and if we're not profitable in our business is you know, I I know for me if I wasn't profitable if I wasn't taking care of my family with my business I would much rather go back to taking my camera on vacation because you know, as photographers alive, sometimes we don't do that anymore because you know, we take our iphones because we're so sick of the work it's like every time we take pictures is just work it just means work and so you know, it's if we don't love it and I promise if you're making money, you're going to enjoy it a whole lot more and you know and so will your families I have so many women photographers that will tell tell me, you know, my husband hates what I dio and you know, my question is, you know, if you were profitable, would he hate what you were doing and usually the answer is no no if I could manage this and manage my time if I wasn't in bed with my computer every night instead of my husband, you know, maybe he would like this business a little bit better and so you know, we're gonna walk there all those things and lana really creating something different and unique for your clients and for the marketplace? Anybody wantto talk about what you think a pro is? Are you guys gonna get livened up here? What is our internet say what's the definition of a pro? We've got a lot of people who really just, uh, are struggling with the idea. Does it just mean that you're making money doesn't mean that you're making your money primarily or entirely from it? There were a couple of people who are saying that the level of that's just about to say the level of professionalism, but the level of quality that you provide and the consistency of your work is very important. So it's some being someone that you can rely ion is part of it as well, and the reliability, I think, is a good line, molly, I think not starting your business as a hobby and pretending it's a business until it becomes something that whole baptism by fire, I think it be better to find out what it means to be a pro and then start not the other way around. Would it be great if that was a requirement? There are no requirements for calling yourself a professional photographer and, you know, and that's one of the things that really bugs me, I don't know if it bugs you guys, but you know anybody can pick up a camera by a camera and say I'm a professional photographer and you know it's kind of a sad thing you know I had to go through hours and hours and hours of hair school to be able to cut hair and call myself a professional stylist and we just we don't have to do that with with a camera and so you know it would be nice but it's not the case anybody can call themselves a professional photographer but you're right there are very extreme distinctions between that amateur photographer and the professional photographer so and I do right now you know over the last few years as digitals become more and more you know it's it's been the industry's way over flooded its way overwhelmed there's a photographer on every single corner period and it doesn't matter where in the world that you are it's the same and you know it's but I think that now in two thousand thirteen moving into two thousand fourteen that divide is going to become greater and so you do have that every photographer category but the professional photographer is going to be a category that is set apart um and and I like that it's becoming that more that way that the divide is getting greater and I've actually seen several of my friends businesses really are have been strong this year and it's their businesses have struggled for the last few years and all of a sudden this here it's like it's that time when people are starting to recognize okay yes I'm gonna take a picture every single day I'm gonna photograph my kids every day and everything my food you know everything that's going on and you know I love photography but when it comes time for art in my home or you know something permanent and an album or image box or you gonna these wonderful products that we can create I'm going to hire a professional and there are and there is a segment of the market who will hire professional will pay more for quality and for reliability and some of those things that we mentioned so we have what's interesting is that r v a says in austria you have to prove years of studying to get a license in order to be an actual professional so it's a protected business so it's interesting to see worldview is that true for a photographer? Yes wow that's awesome austria on dh then I like I like h k photos definition a pro is someone who understands photography values it and delivers quality work while maintaining the integrity of what we dio so I like those words on integrity the value quality yes very good uh yes that is so true and so you know, thinking through all of those things and what it does take and I love that austria has some regulations, you know, we here have our cpr certification of professional photographer that you can take and but you know, as you're going through and thinking through what a pro means, a lot of times what holds us back and what keeps us from really going to the next level are the excuses that we make, you know, I love that, kelly said, I live in a town of six thousand, you know, people, but not really making excuses about it and, you know, I've seen her work a great business in that area, and I'm in a town of fifty, five hundred people, I do have doughboy in forty five minutes away, but you know, but it is it's work, you know, we've gotta work tio make that happen and, you know, think about the different excuses that you're making for yourself, whether it's, you know, the size of your town or the economy, amy lives in a town where the economy is just, like, awful and she's rocking it there. I mean, she's, she's doing five, six thousand dollars sales and, you know, and killing it in this town where there is no money and, you know, so don't make those excuses don't make excuses about not having a retail location or whatever your excuse is we're gonna work through those things and I want you to think about you know, not not being afraid not being fearful fear holds us back from so much that we can really that we can get done if we put those fears away and I always I always feel like you know, you should be a little afraid always if you're not afraid of something you're not challenging yourself you know it's not ok tio you know, for everything to just be comfortable that's really not ok, we need to feel challenged and we need to stay motivated and and be a little afraid but don't make those excuses based on fear that will keep you from living the life that you want to live building the business that you want to build so if you're not afraid you're not challenging yourself furious it's okay, you guys just don't allow it to hold you back all right as we today's download is going to be a set of desktop screen savers and principles and so these are just some fun little quotes for your desktop and and principles and just our first day of downloads so this is probably the simplest thing we have just to get us started off but throughout the thirty days we've got business forms and templates we've got uh product templates, storyboards and albums and you know just all kinds of fun things there's there's templates every single day they're all layered psd files so you can take them in you can change them up make them your own dropping your logo your images change wording even if you'd like tio there are planning calendars and just I mean it's this thing's jam packed kinda great so I won how about a little bit about in addition to just kind of some some housekeeping things but in addition tio the chat rooms here how the next thirty days is goingto work in terms of people's ability to work alongside each other so I want to talk about two things the foreign your forum and well as uh this business plan worked look that will be available for people to go and download so first let's start with let's talk about photo talk for him. Yes, well, I have a photography for I'm about to talk for him and you can go to photo talk form dot com sign up for a free membership there we've got all thirty days set up there on the forum so that you can follow along, ask questions and interact with each other there I'll be there through not thes three days, but as the thirty days begin I'll be there every day teo also answer questions and help out and kind of just be there along the way for you guys so hop on over there and create that free membership um also with that you're going to get a free business plan work book which is also a pretty hefty little business plan workbook and that'll take you through writing a business plan and we'll we'll talk that about that on day two tomorrow today uh but the business plan workbook is free free to download that's at photo talk dot biz we'll take you straight there or you can go to the better talk forum dot com blawg and that's it right there for you on that front page, so go and download that that's free for you and like kenna said, when we start day two tomorrow, you'll be able to download that entire thing and I'm really kind of excited that day one was short because we have so much packed in the rest of the days that it's going to be hard for me too plug it into thirty minutes but I'm gonna talk fast we're going to make it happen and and roll what else we have going on rest we have I think one of my favorite comments about this was merely on who says I think the question to be aunt sir isn't so much are you a professional or not? But how do we separate ourselves from people with nice cameras? And I think that's exactly what the sturges is all about is being able to set yourself up in a way that actually stands out from those people in a tangible way so that people can feel that difference. As you were saying. And I will tell you, I have walked into clients homes that have a better camera, that I have sitting on the kitchen counter. And I have clients that call me asking, what line should I buy for my son's soccer games? And they are talking about a seventy two, two hundred two point, eight cannon lens. They're not talking about, you know, going and buying a kit lens. And so we do have to deal with that. Are our clients do have sophisticated cameras, especially when you do start selling product and you're selling for the wall. You're reaching out to those clients who do have some, you know, some money to spend a lot of times, and so they do have professional equipment, and we do need teo, figure out how to set ourselves apart, and we will definitely walk through all of that.

Class Description

The strongest portrait photography businesses have one thing in common: a dedicated, strategic plan for artistic and financial success. Join creativeLIVE instructor Lori Nordstrom as she goes through 30 Days to Design Your Portrait Business, an intensive course that will give you the step-by-step tools you need to survive and thrive as a portrait photographer.

Over 30 days, you will work with Lori to develop a plan of action for marketing, branding, and pricing that will keep your clients happy and your business growing. Lori will outline the lighting, posing, and shooting skills she uses to make sure clients come away from a session with photos they’ll love. During each daily segment, Lori will discuss the topics covered in her 72-page workbook (included with purchase).

By the end of this course, you’ll have the concrete skills you need to attract clients, build a successful, satisfying business, and deliver stunning results every time.


1Day 1: So You Want to Be a Pro Photographer?
2Day 2: Setting Up "Shop"
3Day 2 Bonus: "Setting Up Shop"
4Day 3: Getting Organized for Success
5Day 3 Bonus: "Planning"
6Day 4: Studio Image
7Day 4 Bonus: "Studio Image"
8Day 5: Defining Your Niche
9Day 5 Bonus: "Your Niche"
10Day 6: Defining Your Target Client
11Day 6 Bonus: "Your Target Client"
12Day 7: Marketing Part 1
13Day 7 Bonus: "Marketing - Part 1"
14Day 8: Marketing Part 2 Ideas For implementation
15Day 8 Bonus: "Marketing Part 2"
16Day 9: Networking
17Day 9 Bonus: "Networking"
18Day 10: Pricing For Profit Part 1
19Day 10 Bonus: "Pricing Part 1"
20Day 11: Pricing For Profit Part 2
21Day 11 Bonus:"Pricing part 2"
22Day 12: Projections for 2014
23Day 12 Bonus: "Projections"
24Day 13: Scheduling and Planning
25Day 13 Bonus: "Scheduling & Planning"
26Day 14: The Inquiry: Handling Emails & the First Phone Call
27Day 14 Bonus: "Initial Inquiry"
28Day 15: Client Education & Customer Service
29Day 16: Defining Your Product Line
30Day 16 Bonus: "Product Line"
31Day 17: Packaging Your Product
32Day 17 Bonus: "Packaging"
33Day 18: The Portrait Consultation: Designing & Planning Session
34Day 18 Bonus: "Consultation"
35Day 19: Photographing at the Client's Home: Shooting for the Wall
36Day 19 Bonus: "Wall Concept Shoot"
37Day 20: Shooting On Location: Client's Home with Older Kids
38Day 20 Bonus: "Mandi Shoot"
39Day 21: Shooting On Location: Client's Home
40Day 21 Bonus: "Dryden Shoot"
41Day 22: Adding Video to Your Portrait Sessions
42Day 22 Bonus: "Adding Video"
43Day 23: Shooting with Studio Light
44Day 23 Bonus: "Studio Lighting"
45Day 24: Portrait Workflow
46Day 25: Sales
47Day 26: Handling Objections: Finding Your "Yes" Answers
48Day 27: Special Events & Mini Sessions
49Day 28: Charitable Events: Give & Get Day
50Day 28 Bonus: "Charitable Marketing"
5129: When Should I Hire Help? When Should I Go Retail?
52Day 29 Bonus: Skype call with Lori & Carly
53Day 30: Goal Setting & Motivation