How to Launch a Photography Business



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.


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