How to Launch a Photography Business



Lesson Info

Artistic Development

We're gonna talk briefly about artistic development. This is really the journey of mastering your craft. I have a plan laid out for you, if you want to go into wedding photography. Wedding and portrait, engagement, that kind of stuff. If you're doing any other genre, you need to piece together your own plan, and what I would do is follow this framework. It's laid out in artistic development already. But list out the courses you want to cover. So what we have here, when you look at the road map, under weeks one, Photography 101 Lightroom crash course. Weeks two, Lighting 101 Lightroom crash course continued. Weeks three, Lighting 201 and Lightroom crash course continued, and then we complete the crash course on week four, and we do another one, so there's about 8 to 10 hours of education and development time built into each of these weeks. This is the catch-you-up process. We go into month two, same thing. By the end of this, we've completed the entire wedding series and all of our post...

-production organizational stuff, management of images, data management, everything. So that way we have a launch point. So if you do pet photography, I'm sure you guys have classes on that, right? Lay it out the same way, where you break out the shooting craft, the post-production craft, the steps that you're gonna go along the way, find the relevant courses to get there, and do the exact same thing. In this one, we're gonna talk about the expectations that I would have of you guys, if you were to do wedding and portrait. Your development pace, it's fast. And that means you can't just do it on your own, you have to get something to fast-track you. So, time to catch up. You guys heard the 10,000-hour rule? It's pretty ubiquitous. Everybody knows Malcolm Gladwell. Again, another one of his books and topics is that you have to put in 10,000 hours before you basically have something relevant to offer to an industry, okay? Before you can start adding value to a specific craft or industry, it takes about five years. 2,000-hour work years. So here's my question. Joel Grimes, he's a friend of mine. He started back in 1984. So what is that? 33 years ago? Yeah, 33 years ago. Joel Grimes is, have you all seen his work? Raise your hand if you know who he is. Pretty well-known photographer. If you're in the industry, you probably know Joel. His work has gone out for Nike, I mean, he shot for everybody. Anything sports, athletes, celebrities, all of it, he shot for. I did an interview with him a couple years ago, and this is the crazy part. Despite 33 years of all this, he still shoots a test or conceptual shoot every week. Is that nuts? I mean, the guy's doing 30, 40, 50 paid commissions a year. And on top of that, he's doing one test shoot per week? How many of you are getting out right now to practice your craft once a week consistently? Good. If you didn't raise your hand, if you're at home and you didn't raise your hand, sorry, I'm sorry, in the car, if you're in the car, if you didn't raise your hand, I would set that goal. That needs to be part of your road map, of getting out and shooting. And I have it in there. It's in there, if we go back and we look, it's right here. Test shoots, test shoots, test shoots, everywhere. By week 12, you're doing a styled shoot. Does that make sense? So every single one of these weeks has something development with exception of the first week, because the first week, you haven't even decided what you want to focus in on yet. So don't do a test shoot when you don't know what you wanna actually be shooting. We'll talk about the effectiveness of those and we'll talk about how to make them even more effective later in the course. But that's what you have to go against. Think of the Joel Grimes of the world. You choose to compete in his arena, this is how much time he's spent over the last 33 years, this is how much time he spends ongoing, what's your plan to catch up? Okay. Now don't worry, again, because Joel Grimes and that version of that competitor in your area, is probably far beyond where you're gonna be entering. Right? So there's a massive gap between their budgets and their price point and between where you're starting out at, which means that you got a lot of playing room in there to carve out a niche, without ever getting to that place. Does that make sense? Is that a little bit more comforting? I hope so. Because that's the weird thing, that for some reason we don't understand and accept is when we jump in the industry and we see the competitors, we don't realize the price gap and the room there is to get up to that level, we just look at, oh my gosh, I gotta compete with them. No, how many of you would be happy to get a $3,000 wedding right now? Great, and then work your way up to the next level and then the next level and the next level. There are so many places to go. So this is what I want you to do, it's not gonna happen on its own. I want a plan, I want weekly hours, in terms of education, online versus in-person, I want test shoots once a week, client shoots as well, and you're gonna repeat that interval every single week. Get out and shoot. We're gonna talk about the effectiveness of getting out and shooting a little later. Do you guys have a plan for this right now? Like is there... What are your thoughts on that? Is there any, Julie. The test shoots, how did you find people to do the test shoots? And then, obviously, it's free for them, but what, do you give them any pictures, how does this work? Yeah, for us, I gave my friends a bunch of crappy photographs. But it was literally going out and saying on Facebook, hey, guys, I'm doing this, I'd love, if any of you guys wanna take some pictures, I'd love to do engagement photos. I go to church, so I was asking my church, hey, I'd love to take your pictures, you guys are engaged. It's just asking your friends to basically step in, I mean you saw, my parents were part of my test shoots. Justin and Yvette, my best friends, were at my test shoots. These are all just friends and I'm like, hey, let me take your pictures and let me figure this out. And then you can go online, there's tons of places where people are, like for boudoir, Model Mayhem might be a really great place to find, it's not like, Model Mayhem's one of those places where you find lots of people, but not necessarily reliable people. So what you might do on a test shoot date, is you set a date for four people to come through, and there are different time slots, then you spend 30 minutes with each one. And then you give them 5, 10 images. It's usually a time for print thing. So you're always just going to give them some of the images that you create. Yeah, but we'll talk about this, too, later, the crazy part about the test shoots is how effective they can be once you're actually creating good work in terms of marketing, 'cause every time you do one, you're tapping into these other networks. If you actually create an image that they want to share, they'll share it, and then it starts to spill over, so it's a really good tool. I'll show you guys how to make it very effective.

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