How to Launch a Photography Business

Lesson 81 of 87

Always Positive, Always Affirming


How to Launch a Photography Business

Lesson 81 of 87

Always Positive, Always Affirming


Lesson Info

Always Positive, Always Affirming

Always positive, always affirming. I've been doing this to you guys this entire class. I affirm with body language. So, as I look at you, Paige, I go, yeah right? And then you smile and you nod back. You have to. (laughing) Yeah, Don's looking at me. You got me. Matt back there. He's been quiet but he's nodding. He's like, yep. You do that because it's just natural human tendency. And when you get somebody on the same wavelength as you, you can start affirming through body language and nodding. You do value that, don't you? That is something you would want, isn't it? Tanya back there. That is something that you want, isn't it? And it's so easy to agree and to nod and to get that body language. And you know that when you're on that path that they're in tune. So I want you to watch for it. Do it and then watch them. And as they nod back to you, you know that, I have them engaged. Let's go to the next piece. We always affirm with words like yes, absolutely, of course. We use positive visi...

on statements. This is things like... Can you imagine? Wouldn't it be amazing. And this is the big one... We avoid negativity like the plague. Steer clear. Steer away from no's. I can't do that. That's not who I am. That's not what I do. That's like an immediate kind of slap to the face, right? Someone came to you and said something that they want. That's not who I am. Oh, well shoot. Sorry. I didn't know who you are. So we're gonna strike no or no we don't do that from our vocabulary. But if somebody comes to you with some cockamamie idea, Joe, if I'm like, dude. I'm gonna give you an example that actually happened to me. So for my engagement shoot, I'm gonna be dressed up like a Filipino cowboy and I'm gonna walk into a bar and my girl's gonna be right across from me. She's gonna be dressed up in like a traditional, they were actually, they didn't have Southern accents, okay? I'll drop the Southern accents. My mom, oh my goodness, Mom. You've done this to me. He was like, I'm gonna be in a suit, that's what it was. I'm gonna be in a suit. She's gonna be in a traditional old Filipino gown, and we're gonna be in this bar, like an old, an old bar. Like where you walk through the front doors. And I was like, like a saloon? Yes, a saloon. And she's gonna be sitting there sipping a drink and I'm gonna be there to rescue her from her past. It's gonna be a metaphor. That's what I want. That sounds, hi, that sounds really fun. But is that what you want for your wedding? Is that what you want for the memories? Is that what she wants? It does sound fun. That's a much better answer than no, or I can't do that, or that's not something that I, right? Okay. A step further beyond that is, that's really interesting. Cool concept. Don't get too fancy with your praise. It's gonna be disingenuine, okay? Don't be like, oh my gosh, that's amazing. (laughing) Because you probably don't believe that it's amazing. So be like, that's an interesting idea. And what I did was I said, what do you envision for your engagement shoot? As his fiancee was sitting next to him. That was even better. Because then she said, well, I don't know if I really like that whole idea. And I went, damn it, sister, I'm with you. (laughing) No, I just let her talk, right? I don't really know if I'm into that. I kind of was, I want something a little more natural, something more emotional. And I said, that's a great point. Let me give you an idea. 10 years down the road, these images are in a book, and you're enjoying them. You're showing your children these photographs. That vision that you explained is cool. I can see it like in a movie. But is it who you are? Is it something 10 years from now that you can imagine showing your children and saying, that's who we are? Or would you like to have those images that kind of convey something a little bit more... you two and your story? What is your story? I never said no. I just redirected. Right? So you don't have to say no, even to ridiculous ideas, we don't have to say no. We just redirect and get to where they're trying to go. Because you also know that he probably would regret that photo at some point. I mean, I don't know why anybody would want that, other than they think it's something like, I don't know. Maybe it's a cool conception, I don't know. I don't know. So instead of no, we rephrase. Okay, well how about this? Who am I gonna pick on? Shannon. She's been quiet. Can you do photo and cinema for 1500 bucks? Can you stand? I want you to reframe and explain that answer with a no. Without, that's basically a no, but without saying no. So, here's the question. You know what I'm at a total loss. I don't know how I would not say no. It's hard. to something like that. Right. Um... So, this is the beautiful part about it. You don't actually have to say no. Do I just stare at them? You don't. (laughing) Wait for them to talk? It's tough right? Yeah Okay let's try something like this. Can you do photo and cinema for $1500? Shannon, for what you're looking for. I understand it's expensive, but this is an incredible value. I didn't say no, but I kinda did say no. Didn't I? So that's it. That's as far as you need to go. Okay. That make sense? Oh yeah... It's a tough question right? Unless you actually say it out loud. You have to say it out loud, otherwise we can't get to that place. We can totally do that. What do you think of this idea? Yeah that's interesting, what is your thought? And we kind of take them around to get to the place that we need to. Now, there was a question online that I saw in between and someone said can we do a wave based on a commercial client? Which is not really as emotional. I thought what a great question. Absolutely. So, I'm going to play back to Lee. Can you grab the mic Lee? Lee now let's reverse the roles. I'm the photographer. You're the business owner. We establish a setting of you want a certain set of images for your website. What website? What do you do for business? We are going to sell restaurant supplies to, this restaurant called Fruit Sushi. They're new. (laughing) Damn it. It's always going to keep coming back to me isn't it? So you sell supplies to Frushi? Is that what the deal is? Very unique, specific utensils and such. Okay, very specific utensils and such. Okay, great, so... let's run this through, because we do have a minute we can use so... Lee, hi it's great to meet you. You too. Thank you for taking a minute out of your time. Look I know you're busy, you mentioned you actually have a 3:15 appointment and that's in like 14 minutes. So, I want to respect that time. First, I'm saying that, because I want to skip past the building rapport thing, okay? We don't have time right now to do all of it. So, first, Lee tell me what do you want to use these images for? I think we need to inspire our employees and our future customers. Very cool. Now if you were to kind of give me a word. Like, how do you want to inspire these employees? What are you guys? You guys develop utensils to make frushi, right? Which I looked up and frushi's actually, it looks like a really delicious dessert. It is. It is. I would buy it myself. I don't know where the concept came from, but we think there's a future market for these utensils. Very cool. So, who is the audience for these photographs? You know we hope to develop a web presence. So we envision... the mood boards, filling up on Pinterest, full of these new concepts and we're going to market them through different appropriate channels. Cool. Well it's actually really great for me to know that. By the way this is our commercial setup, so when we ask commercial clients, we ask these questions. What are these images to be used for? Who is your intended audience? What is the format? Because if you say Instagram or if you say Facebook or if you say your website, all of those are going to be different processes, right. If you say you are looking for video or you say this. Then the follow up question is gonna be... Well Lee, what is the message you want those images to convey? And based on what you say there, I'm not going to put you on the spot for that, but based on what you say there, I'm going to play into it. I'm going to say, Perfect. So Lee, I'm imagining your site right now and it's gonna have this set of images and we're going to put that special utensil for that Frushi right there, like as the lead image. And you said you wanted that message to kind of be clean, high end and you want it to have that look and feel. That's what it's gonna... we're going to shoot in a way that's gonna kinda look bright, it's gonna look very sharp, very modern and kind of have clean metallic backgrounds. Can you see that kind of photograph? Is that what you're looking for, for the site? It sounds perfect. It's exactly what I was thinking. Okay. It's the exact same process. Identical process, of just simply identifying what it is that they're looking for, who is the audience? Tailoring the product to that audience, then specifying back that we understand it by repeating and parroting the vocabulary. I think we can get to really serving anybody with this. In fact, when you guys get good at this, to sell a product that you have no freaking clue about. You could go through the exact same process. I could sell your trips. The travel thing that you do. She does these amazing tours and I don't have to know anything about it. I could simply figure out what they want and say, Perfect. That's exactly what Kenna does. What you want is exactly what Kenna does. That's it.

Class Description

The content and opinions expressed in this course are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem

Build a business and get people to spend money on your photography. Award-winning photographer and co-founder of Lin and Jirsa Photography Pye Jirsa will walk you through the first 12 weeks of building your business. With his relatable and actionable teaching style, he’ll explain how to define your product as a photographer and determine where it fits into a consumer mindset. You’ll learn the steps to creating a brand, pricing yourself confidently, sales techniques, and basic marketing practices. This class covers everything you’ll need if you’re considering photography as a job, including:

  • Where to position yourself in the market
  • Branding your business to attract your ideal client
  • Pricing and basic financing
  • Creating a business plan
  • Setting up a portfolio
  • How to get your first customer in the door
  • Getting leads on new clients
  • Understanding sales
  • The psychology of a buyer

Pye has built multiple successful businesses from the ground up and this course includes your 12 week road map to launching your business.


  1. Class Introduction
  2. Common Myths & Unknown Truths
  3. The Road Ahead
  4. Find Your Passion
  5. The Lin & Jirsa Journey
  6. Part-time, Full-time, Employed, Partners?
  7. Stop Wasting Time & Money
  8. Your 12 Week Roadmap
  9. Great Plans Still Fail
  10. Strategy Vs. Planning
  11. Mind Mapping
  12. Select a Focus
  13. Competitor Research
  14. S.W.O.T. Analysis
  15. Strategy & Long Term Goals
  16. Values, Vision & Mission
  17. Effectively Managing Your Time
  18. Artistic Development
  19. Create Your Plan
  20. What's Your Product
  21. Luxury vs Consumer Products & Experiences
  22. Quick Break for Econ 101
  23. Your Target Market & Brand Message
  24. What's in a Name
  25. Your Client 'Why'
  26. Crafting the Why Experience
  27. Document the Client Experience
  28. Business Administration Basics
  29. Book Keeping Management
  30. Create the Logo & Branding
  31. Portfolio Design
  32. Design Your Services & Packages
  33. Pricing Fears & Myths
  34. Three Pricing Methods
  35. Package Pricing Psychology & Design
  36. Psychology of Numbers
  37. Pricing Q&A
  38. Grass Roots Marketing
  39. The Empty Party
  40. Friends & Family Test Shoots
  41. Join Groups
  42. Second Shooting Etiquette
  43. The Listing & Classified Hustle
  44. Make Instagram Simple
  45. Your Automated Pinterest Plan
  46. Facebook Because You Must
  47. Giveaway & Styled Shoots
  48. Content Marketing & SEO
  49. The Monster: SEO
  50. Selecting Your Keywords
  51. Testing Your Keywords
  52. Grouping Main & Niche Goals
  53. Your Content Road Map
  54. Content Marketing Q&A
  55. Inspiration to Keep Working
  56. How to Craft Your Content
  57. Internal Linking Basics
  58. Back Link Building Basics
  59. Link Value Factos
  60. Measuring Link Value
  61. Link Building Strategy & Plan
  62. Link Building Plan: Vendors & Guest Writing
  63. Link Building Plan: Features, Directories, Comments
  64. Link Building: Shortcuts & One Simple Tool
  65. What is Sales? Show Me!
  66. Your First Massive Failure
  67. The Sales Process
  68. Your Second Massive Failure
  69. Understand Buyer Psychology
  70. Step 0: Building Rapport & Trust
  71. Step 1: Identify Need or Want
  72. Cognitive Dissonance
  73. Steps 2 & 3: Value Proposition & The Solution
  74. Step 4 : Close, Make the Ask
  75. Step 5: Follow Up & Resolve Concerns
  76. Family Photography Hot Seat
  77. Business Example Hot Seat
  78. Boudoir Photography Hot Seat
  79. The Best Sales Person
  80. Your Mindset, Vibrations & Frequency
  81. Always Positive, Always Affirming
  82. The Second Money & Dual Process
  83. Chumming the Price Waters
  84. Creating Want or Scarcity
  85. Timeless Advice on Being Likable
  86. Selling Over The Phone
  87. Forbidden Words in Sales


Angela Sanchez

This class has been an eye opener for me; a point of change in my vision as photographer. Pye is and AMAZING, INSPIRING, GENEROUS instructor, with an, authentic desire to help people and to share with them the best of his knowledge. I will not have enough words to say thanks to Pye Jirsa, as a teacher and as a human being, and thanks to Creative Live who allows us to benefit from the experience of such a knowledgeable, educated, well-versed photographer and instructor. 1000% recommended!

Yenith LianTy

Been following this guy forever. Pye Jirsa may be well known in the wedding & portrait photography world and if there is something that this guy knows it is how to create a business, a sustainable one. The workbook he provided is comprehensive, and I honestly wish I had this when I first started out as a photographer! I love that he talks about his failures, keeping it real and honest for anyone starting out. He is definitely one of the best instructors around, super humble, down to earth and with a sense of humor to boot. The course is worth it! THE WORKBOOK is AMAZING! SUPER DETAILED!

Tai Hsin

I saw the live broadcast and it was amazing. Pye is one of the best instructors and inspirational photographers.. there are two type of ppl.. one who has the knowledge and doesn’t know to teach another who has the knowledge and knows how to get it through.... I still didn’t purchase this as I am saving for my daughters entrance fee for collage... :) Anyways he’s one of the best instructors and a good friend.... very humble and always cracks jokes.... Keep inspiring and keep teaching.... my blessings are always with you pye.