Sue's Background and Philosophy
So the first thing I'm gonna ask you is a photographer is what is your style? Do you know what it is? And if you don't know what it is, I suggest you find when immediately and it must be one that you really want to do, because until you define who you are, you cannot create a product in the market or a marketing plan or a promotion plan until you can identify who you are because until you identify, identify who you are, you can't really put it out there. So my style came forward really fast really quickly. It was about a natural light glam. I wanted that contemporary magazine feel. I showed this to the people I work with at the time, they said, Nobody's gonna buy it. You've cut everybody's hit off. Nobody smiling. Nobody's looking at the camera. Okay, So really, what it came down to for May was at that moment I was sort of mid to late twenties. I was really finding myself in photography, and everybody was rubbishing what I was doing. But I had to hold inside. What I believed I could ke...
ep to the idea really is when you're at rock bottom and terms of earning money. It doesn't matter what you doing because I can't go backwards. I just have to hold to what it is that I want in trying making income out of it. So if you fast forward 13 years by brand has not changed, it's the same. It's exactly the same. So that tells me that I found my style. And now I've spent the last 15 years developing the service around it, the business around it, the marketing around it. And so I really I know that your style will evolve, and I know that I have evolved so much of myself. But as soon as you identify who you are, it just makes it so much easier to create a business out of it. So all of a sudden I think I realized that I knew what women want, So my brand speaks to females. Yes, it does. It is a woman driven brand. Now that does not mean I don't photograph men because I photographed husbands and boyfriends and partners, and the more you include them in into your studio, the more income you will make. But what I do is I market my brand to women. So when I talk to studios, I know one thing Who's ringing you to book the wedding? The bride. Okay, I've bean studios. For 22 years, I've had one groom book, a wedding. I know it's becoming more popular now for the boys to be arranging it. But for the last 22 years, I've been booking brides. Um, who books the baby Shoot the maternity, shoot the boudoir, shoot the glamour shoot. You know who does that? The girls do it right? So I think there's just definitely a different way we Celta woman the woman wake up in the morning and go. You know what? I want to experience what it feels like to be that the guys don't wake up and go. I really want to spend $3000 on photography today because we have a different way of thinking about it. So my brand waas, based on what his woman want, women want to look younger, slimmer and gorgeous. Wouldn't you agree? I photographed over 5000 woman, and I've never had one say, could you make me a little wider in low light? Yeah, they want to feel beautiful inside and out. Feel beautiful inside and out. And real pace. That's pretty much it. Right. So we want to look youngest lemma gorgeous. We want to look and feel beautiful inside and out. We want everybody just to get along. But the difference between May is that really everything I shoot is about the face. Okay, so everything I shoot is about the face and every part of the image after that drops away. So I'm gonna teach you that. I'm gonna teach you how I do that. You'll notice I have to. I lines to Okay, so none of my poses or anything or models or looking away or connecting in any other way. There are only two ways that you can it personally to a camera in my camera. One is directly to the camera straight through, and the other one is down your own body line. Because this to may, these two I lines say to may I'm looking straight at you, and the own body line says I'm in my own south in my own energy. But if I'm looking away or I'm doing any of the other eye lines, I feel like it's more of a model typos and not a portrait. So what I'm trying to do is bridge the get between boudoir portrait contemporary portrait, rolling it all together and creating something that is entirely beautiful in magazine that sits in that square crops. You also notice I shoot everybody directly straight on the face, flat lit with a reflector, bouncing back this way. So obviously, now that you hear me explain my work, you're going to see a lot of consistency in my work because all of it is the same. All of it is exactly the same line, same eye line, same feeling to it. So my evolution was based on one simple question. Who are you trying to attract as a client? So when I started my business, people said to may, you cannot. You cannot put a website at with just glamour photos. Who's going to come and do that? And I said, But I don't shoot babies, and I don't shoot weddings, and I'm not gonna show that because those are the clients that I'm going to get, and I don't do those things. So if I just showed a website with glamour photography, then I'm only going to get glamour chutes. Correct. Now of currently at that stage. Got no money. So if I don't attract anybody else but Dilemma, what does it matter? I can't go backwards if I start out that. And so really, I stumbled across that desire to only shoot what it is that you really want out of necessity because I figured that nobody could make me shoot something I didn't want because I had to. Do you know how many photographers I talked to tell me they hate doing something? I hate it. You What do you do it? Oh, the money. It's not, you know, resistance. And all of that just creates more negative in your life. Stop doing the things you don't like. Now, in focus only on the things you love, you will find a way to create an income. You will find a way to create an income if you truly love it because you become this force of nature. I believe a woman's beauty is here, Kate. So I'm starting all of these phrases with, I believe. Okay, this is my experiences, in my opinion, I believe a woman's beauty exists from the top of her head out to the outside of his shoulders, to the bottom of her to college. Taj. Everything that I study about body language about human behavior about beauty seems to involve this diamond. I do not close this diamond down. I enhance it. So now that you see my work, you're going to try and see that everything I try and shoot. I try and enhance this diamond, this area because I believe that is where it all of that beauty comes forward right down through the heart, and I'll explain all the body language to it. Next. I believe that my brand now has become very feminine in terms of what it is that I'm doing with the way that I imposing. Remember, posing, posing, opposes, opposed aesthetic pose. I look at it, it's directing, right? We're directing them to relax and touch the bodies and move and were directing a look we're directing in our life. So I believe that when my brand now sort of speaks of a very feminine, modern contemporary glamour, and that's what I'm trying to achieve when I showed images like this. The one question I think I get asked more than anything is, um why is your work so feminine? Can a man do this? And yes. Can a woman who doesn't have the sensuality in herself direct somebody else to be central on themselves? Yes. So, yes. Do you know why? Cause I've seen it. I was taught by a man, a man who loves women. He just loves women. He's comfortable around them. He directs them and he loves women. And he taught me. And then I kept going. And I've taught people without that sensuality in themselves, and they can direct it and bring it forward and others because they're just rules This simple rules that I follow that I'm gonna teach you. So my brand now is sort of has this look about it. But the second question, I guess I get asked more than anything is how do you get people to look at you like that? But, you know, the weird thing is, is they're not looking at May. They're looking in the camera because when that big black camera covers my face and that self conscious fail comes over the client that you're looking at, everybody knows that feeling like they can be quite relaxed and look quite beautiful. And then the camera comes up on the mouth, goes completely stuffing and eyebrows go up and everybody is holding their body, and all of a sudden all of all of the expression is gone. When that happens, you have to remove that. So that's something else I'm gonna teach you today, because this is what I call connection. And if you look at my images, you will not find one without that connection, and that's how you sell portrait's. It's all very well to do beautiful poses and beautiful here and makeup. But any photograph that has that direct connection to you as a photographer will sell to your clients because that is the most important aspect of what we do is connecting with our clients. I really think my business wins exploded for me when I started to ask this question. Who is your target market? People do not know the answer to this question. Who is your target market? You know, Do you know who your target market is? Can you see her walking towards you? Do you say she's my client right there? Bang. That's the one I want somebody asked me a long time ago. Who was your target market? United all women aged 8 to 80. And he said, That's not a demographic. Almost idiot is it is. That's my demographic. So I want a woman, all sizes, all ages 8 to 80. My brand opened when I started to say, I don't just shoot clam up because I can shoot couples to. And then all of a sudden Hayes involved. And when he's involved, then my sale doubles. But the co pat is is he's not on my website. She's on my website because hey comes with her. By the way, he's not. Kin comes with Bobby. I know she's watching some just I'm photographing there waiting in May. You know how I said I'd rather stick pins in my eyes? Well, not for this one. Because when I meet special people like that and they say you know you have to photograph are waiting. I'll go and do that. Yeah. So my market opened when I shot faces. Gina, how many people would walk into my studio over 20 years and say it's just my face, right? Just my face. You're just gonna do my face. Who said that? Just up here, right. You're just going to focus on the top. The truth is, is that the face shot for me? It's a signature shot and it's a shot a lot of photographers don't do. It cannot be cropped from a distance. It must be photographed like that. I started to open up sisters, mothers, best friends. I'm gonna talk. On the third day, I'm gonna talk about expanding your marketing to the entire inner circle. But as soon as I started to show these images in my work, as soon as I started to show sisters and mothers and best friends and couples and families. Then all of a sudden my shoots exploded Not from one girl coming in for a glamour shoot, but for six girls coming in for girls day out now, six different girls in one day, six different sales and I learned the power off the inner circle. Then I started to show before and afters because before and afters to May with a single denominator that said, you are not only achievable you, you anybody can do this. And I started to say I didn't want them to look bad and they before and after. Sometimes I shouldn't before and after with makeup on. If the before and after is bad, I will retouch it. But what it did was I put it before and after gallery on my website, and the hits on that gallery went nuts because what people wanted, what people love is the transformation. And interestingly enough, why are we so captivated by the transformation? Like, why can't we just appreciate her beauty without opening that up and going, Oh, look at the end, because people love the before and after. If I could give anybody a piece of advice about building a business like that, I would say that, um, you have to give everything. You've got to make something like that big, make something that big work. But anybody can do this. I have No, I have no education. I have no marketing degree. I have no business degree. I'm not even trained as a photographer. I was told a 1,000, times I would never be able to achieve it, and I believed it because whatever you believe becomes true for you and I'm not a rich wife, it and I'm not a trust fund, baby. I've got blue colored wicket parents. My parents worked the whole lives and they still work now in the 65. And they taught me how to work hard And the rest I learned as I went along. So anybody can do this. Anybody I'm not I'm not special. I'm not. You know, I'm just a hard worker and I'm very competitive. I'm going to talk on the same day about creating that style and then all of a sudden, the brain in the product that goes with it because my brand and my products suddenly became very clear about what it is that I do. And I'm going to teach you about the two tops of photographers that make money the sitting Fay and the Alicante. I'm going to show you how I have simplified my priceless so match that I have made it easy for people to buy from May. And when I look at the products that I sell and I'm gonna show you all of these and I brought them with May and how easy it is to understand both my priceless and what I charge. Then you can see why, when we opened our studio. We had an average sale of $1800 from a single girl, and now my average on my own in Sydney is 3300.