How to Launch a Photography Business

Lesson 29 of 87

Book Keeping Management


How to Launch a Photography Business

Lesson 29 of 87

Book Keeping Management


Lesson Info

Book Keeping Management

I will not ever underestimate the value of reports and reporting. Can you all guess? This is the funny thing. How much of our business is me, Justin, and Chris sitting in a room, reviewing the company financial statements. How often do you think that happens? Monthly, weekly or daily. Weekly. If we need to we're looking weekly. We have a partnership meeting every single Wednesday at 10:30 AM. Where we sit down anything that's, needs to get discussed. If we need to look at the financials, we look straight at the financials. What's happened from a week to week basis. Now sometimes, everything is fine. We don't need to look at it. So mandatory is quarterly. We're looking at financial statements. And absolutely yearly obviously you want to look at financial statements. But this is your power. So on the one side, we had data in terms of where our time is going and on the flip side, we have data in terms of what cash is coming in the studio. That's all the information you need to start mak...

ing good decisions in your business. And every decision that we make is driven based on that. Here's the problem that every one of you is going to have. You hire your first assistant. Or a studio manager, or a receptionist, or something. And that person is simply not quite doing what you expected of them. Okay. Now I know, some of you might think "Oh, but I want to run this on my own." I know, you want to run this on your own, but you're still at some point in your career. Maybe a year down the road, you're going to go "I need a studio manager, I need somebody "to help me with the admin work of signing contracts "and bringing clients in. "I need that help so I can focus on "the bigger sides of my business." You're still a lone wolf in it, you just got one person helping you. If you do not keep track of the time that that person is putting in, if you do not keep track of how much revenue they're bringing in, booking and so forth. And you decide three months down the road that you would like to terminate them. If it's without cause, which if you don't have any sort of reports it will be without cause. They can come back after you. Do they have a case? Who knows, that's for the lawyer to decide that they hire. But if you have time reports and revenue numbers and you came back and you said "Look you've been working 20 hours a week, "but we've discussed it on a weekly basis. "I don't see the effectiveness of that time "because revenue numbers "have actually been going down a little bit. "And I've had to help out in "a lot of these different areas." Then you've got cause for termination. Does that kinda make sense? Now this is, this is saying like once you have your own employee. But think about your own time and where do you put your time? What if you dumped 200 hours into family portraiture and it made ten percent of what your weddings do. But you're like, I really like family portraiture. I'm going to keep pushing that. And your product is simply not set up. If you don't review the financial statements and you see that okay, lets look at the financial statements. 20,000 dollars this month came from weddings. 2,000 dollars came from families. But 80 percent of my time went into wedding, or went into the family side. This is the importance of that reporting. Sitting down and looking and analyzing. So what we want to do is set up Quickbooks or Freshbooks. We want to track all of your expenses. And we're going to track it via job codes. That means that, just like you time, your expenses should be tracked to the client or the project that you're working on. Make sense? Because I want you to be able to come and tell me a year from now what your... This is what I'm going to ask you. What is your general profitability on a wedding? What is your general profitability on a pet shoot? What is your general profitability on a family portrait session? How about a maternity session? And I want you to be able to come back to me in a year and say 60 percent, 30 percent, 50 percent, 20 percent. Now from a business standpoint, as soon as you've said those words. Where do you focus? On the 60 percent? Yeah. So that's what this is going to give you. We are going to set up our time reporting. So again, time and scheduling and all that was back in the previous stuff. So if we're, if we're lost in terms of setting up vision, time, scheduling, all that kind of stuff. Go back and watch the previous content. Refresh yourself. And find a solid local CPA. This is what you should look and ask your CPA to do. Obviously look at reviews to find someone good. Do I want any of you to do your own bookkeeping? Ask me, if me, Justin, or Chris have ever done our own bookkeeping. No, it's a, it's a drain on time. And that's one of those things that you can quickly get off your plate by simply asking your CPA. So you should be looking to a CPA to help you set up a system of easy bookkeeping, of tracking expenses, of reporting, paying yourself out, and doing your taxes. That's what a CPA will do. Most people think it's just doing your taxes. No, they just help you set up everything. And a lot of them will offer a service where if you pay them 1,000 bucks a quarter, you just simply send them your receipts and they'll do it all for you. Who in there right minds would not give up a little bit of money to have that off your plates? You're talking about three public accountants who never did their own accounting. Like, we don't like it. And we're telling you guys to do the same thing. Like there is no reason for you to be last in again. Another, why would you set up and program and code and design and do whatever you got to do to for your own website, when you have so... There's just bigger fish to fry. And same thing on the bookkeeping side. Set it up, let someone else handle it. I did want to mention, you talked about The Law Tog and people were asking about The Law Tog. That The Law Tog is a company run by Rachel Brenke who is an instructor here on CreativeLive and we actually have classes on intellectual property, on contracts, so you can search for Rachel Brenke on the website and check those out.

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.