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Glamour Photography

Lesson 28 of 36

Building a Business

Sue Bryce

Glamour Photography

Sue Bryce

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Lesson Info

28. Building a Business

Lesson Info

Building a Business

voting a business as you know I came from the eighties I was going to flick through this I started off in the eighties glamour died er crash we don't need to talk about that everybody knows that it died and died bradley this is my philosophy behind the evolution twenty two years in the photographic industry I have seen nothing but change when people tell me that this industries they're afraid of what's going on in this industry I don't know a time in this industry when I was not afraid I do not know a time in this industry where I wass not goingto wick wondering if I still had a job because I did I had to use it equipment that was now being brought to my table so it is not the strongest that survives it is not the most intelligent it is the one that is the most adaptable to change and if I could say anything to anybody prepare yourself for constant evolution and business there's a really neat little book called who moved my cheese do you know what that is it's about these two little mi...

ce and one day somebody moves their cheese and the tomb I sit there and argue for days about where's my cheese gone and one just sits here in complains about it for the rest of his life my cheese used to be here now it's not the other the other two ran off to find new cheese okay in the suit when the fourth one actually this this for mice to run off immediately the other to sit and argue about it but eventually the third mouses wait a minute somebody moved my cheese it used to be here every day this mouse is just complaining that it's no longer here and the other mice have gone and not come back but I can't see them anymore so I'm wondering if they found new cheese but I do not know and I have fear of the unknown blah blah blah great little book takes you back now to read it but what it does it's just identifies a mindset around evolution if you're not prepared to evolve you will die end of story this is where I started out fifteen years ago now something I just want to bring to your attention very quickly when I started my business I already had an established style so that makes it you say oh so much easier to start a business when she's already a good photographer yes that's exactly right you know I finished with the slide at the end that says you cannot market a ship product so if you are not yet and a sellable level go and get a job and practice and build your folio and practice and build your folio until you believe you have created a product that both thrills you thrills others and creates a product that is desirable for people to buy until you create a desirable product you will not have anything to market so I suggest right now you define who you are what you want to photograph and what it looks like to the outside world get somebody else to tell you if you do not know what you look like to the outside world get a target group into your studio get a bunch of girls to sit down drink wine ate cheese and crackers and tell you what your brain looks like from the outside in until you get a very clear definition of what you're predicting and if you get grumpy about that or upset about that or if somebody offers you something that you demons criticism then you're not open to hearing what other people are thinking about your brand you know ultimately yes we all want positive feedback yes negative feedback has had to hear but the negative feedback that is constructive about the voice of your business would determine who you are inviting into your studio so I need you to determine your style which I now have because all these years later it's pretty much exactly the same and then you can start building the foundations to a really successful business now I I answered the ad the age old question what is it woman one what is it that women want won't want to look younger gorgeous and slimmer we know that ok that's the truth we want teo feel beautiful inside and out we want world peace yes the way that the woman is made is the whole base of my business but ultimately what happens is she is a consumer by nature she is an emotional buyer and she is somebody that is very easy to market to so what women want is to be respected and to be treated like they are important and I'm going to show you what those demographics are and why they are buying why those demographics are buying of course we want world peace because we want everyone to get along um I'm back to hear again that fabulous that is my bomb by the way it's I'm not a big rock photographer even though I kind of looked like one it's really important that I crossed these generous so my evolution was based on this one simple question who are you trying to attract as a client I want you to write that who are you trying to attract as a client can you tell me what your demographic is can you tell me who your demographic is like you are you looking at your website and talking toa one type of person or you seeing the same client coming all the time that's who you're talking to so if you're seeing one type of client come in all of the time that's who you were speaking to okay and if you open up that range if you open your range up so don't just shoot boudoir shoot portrait shoot contemporary portrait shoot family portrait with a beautiful age there's a million ways to evolve your business toe open up your brand so what I'm saying to you is you do not have to start shooting glamour photography ifyou're a boudoir photographer ed boudoir and beauty or if you're a portrait photographer and you've got an old family style brand and you want to jazz it up head contemporary portrait you know ecstatic spending your brand to include not just another genre but basically opening it up to a huge a market of people to come into your studio this is really really important the more I open up people to come into my studio the more I make it accessible for all women all ages all sizes and all demographics in my target market based gets larger so I want you to sit down and write a goal today right now about what sort of target and overall look you want your business tohave now that you've seen that I crossed those genres now that you've seen that I'm a little bit good wire and a little bit family and a whole lot of glamorous and I've got a desirable product how can you evolve your brand to start including mohr off what I offer more of a general base how can you start inviting the sort of chutes that you want into your studio and are you shooting something you don't want to do anymore because if you're shooting something you don't want to do any more you need to start moving away from it immediately because it will crush your will to live if you're not doing what you love doing now I've opened my brand up to glamour I've opened it up to couples I've opened it up to faces I've opened it up to families I've opened it up two sisters I've opened up to generations of women which then bring in families all of this has done in the education of my client's now without the education of clients you do not have a business so I'm gonna teach you today how to educate not only your market in order to come to you but your market in order to buy from you because your market must understand what do you do and what do you sell now if you have a very generic portrait business and you show family portrait I'm picking that your message is you go there it's time to get a family portrait done you spend how much whatever on family portrait are there quite good I don't see an experience in your advertising I don't see a story around your marketing I don't see a reason that you're making me value my family so much that I must go in her family porch it's taken all I see is something that in the back of my mind I think this is what we must do I want to go beyond them I want you to entice people to get their families into your studios so whether that's with here in makeup or having a more contemporary brand or opening an up stories or telling stories about the entire experience we're selling the experience you have to invite more people into your business than putting a sign on your door so I opened it up two kids and I opened it up to older woman and all of a sudden everything in my brain exploded because I started to speak to a real client so when I ever ties I want to speak to my real clients and I don't just want to show this idealized vision of being a photographer that you will all see now when you look at my website you see a very beautiful range of images there are a few older woman on my website there's one or two curvy girls on my website but I've had a very general demographic of beautiful people because that advertising but in everything else that I seemed out my block and all the other communication that I have I'm being current I'm being consistent and I'm crossing as many genres as I can and as many demographics as I can so obviously the more I open up all these demographics and more people I'm going to attract into my business so let's go back eight years and I'm a photographer I've been a photographer and studio now proficiently shooting for a studio for eighteen years I have been shooting for fourteen years I'm city two years old and I'm earning four hundred dollars a week I have zero savings and a shoe fetish I'm in trouble so that technically gives me a cheap car and a credit card that is full I live weight by wake but I wouldn't fifteen to twenty hours a week I rock up to the studio at nine or teen after a leisurely breakfast I shoot a couple of shoots I hand them over to the studio and I leave and everybody thinks I have this incredible life and the problem is is I'm not getting paid and I'm doing seven thousand dollar photo shoots so like all employees we have an employee mentality I look up and I say to my boss I'm making four hundred bucks a week you're making ten grand awake or whatever twenty grand away whatever he was making this is not fair I'm gonna go out on my own and off I go so I spend the first year drowning okay in my mind I'm trying to create four hundred dollars a week because I've told myself that if I could make four hundred dollars a week I'll survive what I've done is I've set a mentality off being paid a wage in my mind and I have not yet opened up toe a wealth mentality a business mentality or inviting money in all I knew was if I made four hundred dollars a week I could survive and that's what I did I said about surviving and for a whole year I talked photoshopped to photographers I took word of mouth shoots only which was about one a month and I would shoot them in my little country carriage half now out of the city struggling to survive all of a sudden I sat down I came back from a trip to australia to see my brother and I sat down with all of my girlfriends and we're drinking french champagne champagne that I cannot afford that my three girlfriends had brought because we were celebrating that they've all just bought a home and it occurred to me I was not buying a home for myself because I couldn't pay my credit card bill so I realized in that moment if I want to get anywhere I have to lend and change and grow as fast as I possibly can when you're at the bottom there's nowhere to go but up actually you know what I don't believe that I think things can always get worse so if you live in a state of gratitude that I must say the easy part about being at rock bottom is it could get a whole lot worse but I stopped it before it did but one of the things that I like about that is there is no fear when you have nothing because you can't take anything away from me no you could create more debt for me but you're never going to take anything away from me because I have nothing I decided to build the studio and I built the studio on nothing it's a garage they painted it white the paint cost me a hundred dollars I borrowed three thousand dollars from my mom and dad I went to my mom and dad and I said can I have three thousand dollars they went oh my parents are not wealthy I am not a trust fund baby I'm not a rich wife you know I am just an everyday girl with no money who's blue call appearance have retired and I'm asking them for three thousand dollars of their savings I took that money I painted my studio I bought a placement tv for twelve hundred dollars I bought a cheap couch for twelve hundred dollars that was white vinyl and I pretty much big bird and still install everything else there I painted everything white I found that cabinet on the side of the road the mirror cost me thirty dollars I painted that white I literally did everything by hand and then what I did was I bought silk flowers and I cut really greenery and wrap them around the flowers and and people would walk into the studio and say there's flowers smell beautiful and every day it was nothing it was a cheap budget little country studio in every day I would vacuum the floor and I would put so much love into that room I tell you it's I can't even say that he's crazy ah I have it okay so then I started to lin I started to lynn that everything to do with that broom was about fear that I was so afraid of being rejected that I never showed anybody might work because I thought if people rejected my work then they rejected may I can't tell you how afraid I wass of doing that a painting my garret dwight and saying that I had my own studio all of a sudden I'm sorry sorry I remember that feeling but I had to so I made a decision I made a decision right in that moment that if I didn't think still on if I didn't tell people what it is that I do they're never gonna know and if they don't know they're never gonna like me and they're never gonna pay me so I wrote team leaders to thine businesses I couldn't bring them and I couldn't visit them because I was too afraid to so I put photographs inside the letter and I wrote it and it said dear so on so running each business and said what is the name of your manager my name is sue bryce and I'm a photographer and this is my work I want you to give me to your clients as a gift but I would not expect you to do that unless you tried me for yourself so I have enclosed a five hundred dollar gift voucher for you to come and meet with me experience a photo shoot with me and if you like may you can give me to your clients I got five replies out of those five replies all five of them where women and they all came in for a photo shoot and all of them took the five hundred dollars with the portrait's and one of them's spent four and a half thousand dollars because she bought him a man whose sister so I lent three things that day I lent that women don't go and experience something on their own they always take friends and if they take friends and experienced something of value they will spend more money I learned that all five of those women liked me I'd loved what I did in valued me enough to give me to the clients and I learned that sometimes giving away something we'll bring you back the ultimate reward because what I gained with those five women was not their database but it was the recommendation and that is more powerful then shouting any message that you could possibly have or give anybody in the world those five women gave me two twelve hundred women and two weeks later I had booked two hundred and ninety seven mayko boobs and I was not prepared for that at the stage those glass doors on my garage door costs five thousand dollars I couldn't afford them so we used to have garage rolling doors so when my clients turned up I would roll them ups that nobody knew that they were carriage doors and shoot with doors open luckily it was summer until the first round of sales in a month where I think he had enough money to pay for those blast doors we predicted I predicted in that weak that I needed to hire some makeup at us so I found maria and I found courtney and they were both nineteen years old and I trained them myself I said to them I cannot afford to pay you because I don't have any money but I have a lot of bookings and if you can just accept a hundred dollars a week for six weeks I'll create a wage for you and they said yes because the idea was that they had both coming for a fellowship with may and got what I did and they wanted to work for me then my very best friend at the time sarah who's working as a portrait photographer said how are you going to do this I said I have no idea she said let me come a week with you I said I cannot take on another employee I can't afford to pay the two that I've just offered she said I want to come in is a business partner and that day in the first week I booked two hundred ninety seven makeovers and I got a business partner into full time employees in a week now we set down that day and we said what do you think we could and we worked it out and I said I think we could in four to six thousand dollars a week in this little space we predicted four to six thousand dollars a week in our first week and we made that in week number one so we then made four thousand dollars the second week and went well we had all target quite quickly didn't weigh and then the next week we had eight thousand and five weeks later we hit twelve thousand and when we hit the twelve thousand dollars back we will beyond our expectations now and we were two months in business we were working twenty hours a day because I was shooting all day in the studio selling all night we were alternating sales and then retouching till three o'clock in the morning in order to produced this product and we created within four months of business we've got through all of those shoes it's and we had wages to pay and we had eighty thousand dollars in the bank and we were in business and it was phenomenal once I got over the fear of telling people about who I wass and what I do and started to learn all of the lessons that were happening around may how I could apply it to my business what then happened was really quite amazing because I have to jump ahead in order to come back twelve months later to the day I could not work at home anymore I had four staff in my house every morning who would greet me at the door when I'm wearing my road I was not living my life I was selling at night shoot in inferred it stopping till three o'clock in the morning and I was waking up in the morning and it was ground hog day and we made the conscious decision to build a studio twelve months later in the first year of business from that country garrett we gross four hundred eighty thousand dollars into nova and we built the studio the next year with on a budget of around seventy thousand dollars I'm going to go backwards in order to come forward because you know that my studio and using under is beautiful these are the lessons that I learned talent will get you far but not as faras ambition I am a very very very ambitious competitive girl um I love sitting a goal for myself and immersing myself in it for with everything I've got um I like to when I love something I like to give it a ce much physical power is I am capable of giving it that makes me someone who likes to achieve in wind things you know I applied myself to this business with everything I had I decided right at that moment that I had no product in my studio I actually didn't know what to sell people I also could not sell my own work I had no website I had no idea how to manage money and I was not a natural saver but luckily my business partner was watertight so she controlled the money I controlled the retouching those were all specialties at the time the balance off the my creative and teaching her how to shoot because she became my second shooter and the balance of her teaching me how to save made us incredibly successful one of the things that I have to tell you it is it does not matter the success of that first for months and having that money in the bank it was not going to last long with four wages if we did not keep making money and learn how to save it if you cannot manage money I I I I just I can't I really can't sort of pushed this onto you enough if you having money with issues with money you must shift your beliefs your thoughts your ideas and your core beliefs around money for status secondly you need to go to people who make in save money well and learn how to save money okay you can change I used to be in debt now I have savings I have learned I've become more frugal I don't buy as many choose I have a budget on what I conspired on shoes you know I am mork if with money I now and the difference is is when the global financial crisis hit us in our fourth year on business we had one hundred grand in the bank we were not going to go under you know who's swimming naked when the tide goes out the businesses that crashed in the first month had no reserve the businesses that crashed in the first year had little reserve and a bad attitude and the business that survived the businesses that survived head strong marketing and money in the bank now you you might throw that back at me and say you never whatever I am a luxury item I survived I had a strong marketing base and money in the bank I certainly should not have survived a global financial crisis l mentality around a shift in money like that just changes everybody believe everybody's belief and money I'm going to talk about that later one of the things I'm going to say is this there is still ultimate wealth in this world it just shifts in power and it's still there for you if you can change your focus it is still there for you but the more clever you are with your savings the better you are always kind of bounce and hard times okay in another part I'm gonna come back to their style brandon product this is how simple it is for me I do not have a degree in marketing and I do not have a degree in business but I have a black belt in shopping I am a woman and I know why I buy I will spend my last two hundred dollars on the pier is shoes when I know I'm supposed to buy groceries and then go on a date friend's house growing up in my twenties we don't care when we buy it's because we want something price is only an issue in the absence of value if you want something you bite is that right girls somebody say amen okay so from here what I did was I created brand and I wanted my brand to be obvious the first thing everybody says to me eight years ago as you can't call it glamour so time is gone and I said no it has to be clay my glamour is me I am clem I want to be claim I do climate this ismay I put eyelashes on to go running for god's sake okay so I thought if I don't call it glamour photography if I call it contemporary portrait and I use this the saurus meaning of glamour which is beauty loveliness attraction elegance charm fascination excitement allure enchantment kept ovation magic spell all words that I would use to describe myself then that can be my tagline and she's beautiful she is a woman who's shakespeare who wrote that more beautifully she's beautiful she's a woman I did not put any babies on my website I did not put any families on my website I did put some couples though because it didn't want children in my studio and I did not want weddings in my studio I wanted to portray on lead the booking that I wanted because I figured if our standing with nothing I had nothing to lose

Class Description

Short on time? This class is available HERE as a Fast Class, exclusively for Creator Pass subscribers.

When you hear the words “glamour photography,” what comes to mind? Pink backdrops, feather boas, soft focus, blue eyeshadow and lots of hairspray. You get the picture. But thanks to master photographer Sue Bryce, there’s a new kind of glamour shot, one that’s beautiful, contemporary and taking the market by storm.

Bryce has hit on a formula that’s kept her portrait photography business thriving for two decades, and she’s here to reveal all of her secrets. In this three-day workshop, you’ll learn everything you need to know about posing, eye lines, hair and makeup techniques, and wardrobe. You’ll also get advice on building your own business and successful marketing practices.

Whether you want to focus your business on glamour shots alone or simply improve how you photograph women, this course is a game-changer. By the end, you’ll have the skills to bring out both the inner and outer beauty of all your female subjects.

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Define your style, brand and target market.

  • Market your business creatively and get yourself noticed.

  • Figure out what women want and sell to those desires.

  • Pose your subjects by following Sue’s rules: chin, shoulders, hands, hourglass, body language, asymmetry and connection.

  • Use natural light to make your work more modern.

  • Include husbands, boyfriends and families in your shoots.

  • Create before and after shots.

  • Make women of all shapes and sizes look and feel fabulous.


Michael And Dawn

Dawn and I watched the workshop taught by Sue on glamour photography with much anticipation, and we were not disappointed. In fact after only the first hour we turned to each other and, at the same time, said "We should go ahead and purchase this course." Which we did on Sunday, the last day of the three day course. The CreativeLive team did a great job on producing the workshop, the set looked great, the sound and camera angles were unobtrusive as they should be, and the on-screen talent were engaging and approachable as usual. They interjected with questions from the audience in a timely and relevant manner, and humored us all at times as well. As it should be, the real star of the workshop was the information that Sue was providing, but a very strong supporting role was Sue herself. Even though she never made it past the 9th grade, she displayed enough wisdom to make us think that we wasted a lot of time sitting in school. Sue had both Dawn and I captivated, her likable New Zealand accent, was so warm and soothing, that I think we would have listened to her say almost anything. However, "anything" was hardly what she had to say, no-no, she had a great deal to say, and we found all of it so educational and inspiring that we can't wait to put what she tought us into practice. Sue's "Keep-It-Simple" approach to glamour photography is refreshing, she does not complicate a shoot, nor does she complicate the business end of things either. Her philosophy is "A confused mind says 'no.'" So her pricing, marketing and re-pore with her clients is simple, understandable and repeatable. Dawn & I fully recomend this course to anyone looking to engage in glamour photography, not just for the mechanics of learning the studio process, but more for how to think about the process and your interactions with the client, we think that Sue's interaction with her clients is her real "secret" to her success; she makes the photography session for the client a wonderful experience and that experience is what gets them to market her via word-of-mouth exposure, which is the best kind of atvertising and best kind of accolade for a photographer. Thank you Sue, we were both entertained and educated and a little bit mesmerized by your workshop. Hope to see you soon on the CreativeLive stage. Michael and Dawn Mitchell Digital Mitchell Photography

a Creativelive Student

Loving every moment of this course so far and I've learned so much from Sue's gentle but wise words. It's so important to be true to yourself and as much as I've enjoyed most of the Creative Live classes I've taken I've had a much different personality than many of the teachers, I am so happy to see how Sue is able to stay calm and quiet and still maintain perfect control of the situation...I had huge anxiety sometimes at shoots thinking I should be bold, boisturous or entertaining to be successful. Looking forward to following her class today in between my son's hockey lucky my computer is in the kitchen and I can watch and still keep things at home fairly sane! lol thank-you, kerry

a Creativelive Student

Watched 80% of it live and after constantly screen grabbing :D I BOUGHT IT. This was my 3rd time watching a CreativeLive and my first time purchasing a course. (Loved Zach and Jody and will probably buy that when the time is right...still a little scared about weddings.) ANYWAY - SUE IS AMAZING!!! She is so open, inspiring, fun, funny, knowledgeable, TRANSPARENT, giving, smart, creative, expert, unapologetic, grateful, enlightened, adorable, gorgeous, hilarious, yet still imperfect and human and not intimidating. She will make you laugh and cry as she laughs and cries. You cannot argue with her MANY YEARS of experience. She is just in love with what she does and it is contagious. I have told people IN PERSON that her online CreativeLive course changed my life. I bought another online course for 2K last year...where was Sue back then? This is worth more than the 2K 6 week course I took. I obviously have a girl crush on her!