How to Launch a Photography Business

Lesson 77 of 87

Business Example Hot Seat


How to Launch a Photography Business

Lesson 77 of 87

Business Example Hot Seat


Lesson Info

Business Example Hot Seat

Alright. Whatcha sellin me brotha? Let's set the environment. Sure. Coffee shop. Coffee shop. Okay. Okay. What product am I lookin for? So are you tellin me? Or am I gonna suggest? You're set up. I want you set something you're comfortable with. Yeah so I'm still, I'm pretty new into the photography world. So I'm still figurin on my focus, but I'm interested in kinda artistic shots, lifestyle, also portraits. Just kind of also the street photography. Kind of unusual things or people happening. Okay. Yeah so. Let's pick something that I might like be hiring you for, so what might that be? Let's say you are, you have a creative shop or business in town and you need a you need a picture of you for your business to launch or for a business you are planning on launching. Okay so I need a picture... You need web presence. Let's say I need, okay, so I need images for my company. I'm opening a restaurant. Sure. And I need images for my restaurant, okay for my we...

bsite. Of you or your staff. Great, so I want basically like that commercial kind of work on my site. Okay. Cool. We're meeting in a coffee shop, cool. First time. This is awkward. (Audience laughs) I'm just kidding brother. Alright. Alright. K. We just sat down, let's do this. I'm...(stumbles on words). Okay. I'm gonna let you handle it. Well nice to meet you, Pye. I appreciate you reaching out. Yeah. I'm excited to, you know I saw your email and your response. Glad to meet you in person and love to kinda hear about the restaurant that you're opening, maybe the inspiration behind it, a little bit about yourself so I can kind of get in mind what our shoot should look like and what I would need to do to prepare and be ready. Cool, yeah. Nobody really asks about the inspiration behind the restaurant. I guess my whole thought was, shoot, I need to think about this restaurant sometime. (Audience laughs) Sushi. Okay Make sushi. Oh yeah, so yeah. Perfect. So I got this frushi. (Audience laughs) Yes. I'm just kidding. Okay so, well Lee I have this product. It's like a boutique dessert and it's a little bit difficult to describe. It's, we call it Frushi and it's basically fruit sushi, but it's not really, people think sushi. This is literally the problem I have to overcome. I need your images to kind of handle this. Oh. But, it's so delicious. It's dessert that looks like sushi. It's rice, rolled up like sushi with fruit in... This is what that company failed by the way. This... (Audience laughs) This is why it failed. This is... And it's rolled up and it's cut like sushi. Stop laughing Amazing. Amazing. Don't laugh at me. I know, I'm... But then it's dipped in these fruit sauces and it tastes amazing. We actually have a food truck that goes around with it and it's very popular, so this is our first retail location and it's just something that we're really proud of. We kind of want to expand this into multiple chains eventually, but right now, yeah I just wanna have a physical location that people can come and get this dessert. This is amazing and wonderful. I couldn't think of a more fun restaurant product to collaborate with. The first thing that popped into my mind is a picture of you We don't know the location yet, but if you're gonna be in Seattle, I'm thinking you have a salmon in one hand and an ice cream cone, or some fruit in the other. We've got you in the market kind of roaming around. I've got a lot of good ideas. Yeah, that shit's terrible. (Guest and audience laugh) I don't wanna hold a salmon and, with, I literally said that we're trying to get away from that. (Audience laughs) Okay I... What I'm trying to go for is, with this kind of product I want it to feel like it's a very healthy alternative dessert. Okay, so I want the images to kind of have this bright, clean healthy look to them. So that it kinda conveys that. And its, they're very sweet. There's no fish, there's no nothing, which is I wanna take every bit of sushi connotation out of these shots. I want it to just be a dessert. Very good idea. I think I'm (laughs) missing part I'm a very forgiving person after that. (Audience laughs) If you haven't left the restaurant already, then I'm glad you're still here. Yeah, I mean I think this is a, you know, fascinating concept for... And it sounds tasty, but it sounds like the barriers to entry are pretty high for this concept (laughs) because... This is depressing. As you explained... (laughs) Why would you tell me that? (Audience laughs) I think you just, well, I'm being, I think I'm being, a very honest reaction. You took me by surprise. (Audience laughs) With this concept. So I think I'm still getting my, wrapping my head around (laughs) the fruit sushi. Your fruit sushi idea. Listen. (Audience laughs) I gave you words. I gave you your words. I want it to look clean, healthy, bright. Okay, yeah. I want you to hear that... as your photographer I love that. I'm thinking of another brand like, kinda Pinkberry. Yes, yes, Pinkberry! Yeah. That's what I'm looking at. Yes, they're images are all very clean and very bright. I know exactly what you're going for. I would love to get shots, and what we'll do is we'll use kind of a natural light effect. It doesn't really matter, but I wanna get you making and cutting this Frushi in an environment that looks bright and very clean. Maybe you have like a beautiful window in your restaurant that you're opening. Yeah I do actually. Okay, so imagine if you're standing right by that (Audience laughs) You know, I'm just doing this for you. No No, I hear ya. Okay, can we... Yeah so, Okay. Yeah so I think, let's start... Let's back-track a little bit. We just heard about the... This back-track, back-track all the way. Take the salmon back. Alright, we just met each other, did the names, okay. You told me about the restaurant. So it sounds like you've got a location already set up. I think it would be amazing to have some pictures of you kind of going throughout the day preparing your food. You know, it would be nice to get there a little bit early before the shoot, kind of hear, you can show me some of the locations where the food's prepared, stored, delivered. And then also I can kind of get a sense for the, you know, the feel of the restaurant and employees and then, you know, I can schedule as much time as you need to kind of, to shadow you, to document you throughout the process and show the wondrous nature of making Frushi. Disingenuous, yup. (Audience laughs) The intre- there's a lot of words that I'm failing with. (Lee laughs) Okay, so Lee, how much do you think it'd cost? You know, that's a great question. (Audience laughs) You know, I'm...(stumbles on words) I'm not sure if I should give you my background as a photographer now, but I am new to the photography world. Oh, shite. So I'm willing, yeah, shouldn't have done that. (Audience laughs) I love those brother. Yeah. Okay, thank you. Thank you. Have a seat my man. Knew I shouldn't have done that. Halldis, do you feel better? (Audience claps) You feeling better? (Audience claps) Alright. Fist bumps all around. Fist bumps to you guys. That is stressful, is it not? (Audience laughs) Yeah. Very stressful. Did you guys feel it? (Audience laughs) You guys felt it. Oh my goodness. So look, the process is the same, regardless of whether it's commercial, newborn, anything. You need to get at what I am and what I'm trying to do and your first series of questions was good. When you said the question of "Wow, you're starting up a restaurant. "What is your inspiration for that? "I did a little research and I saw that it's fruit sushi? "What is your inspiration for that?" And then... (Audience laughs) And then your shiz just like derailed. (Audience laughs) But that's okay. So we need to bring it back and I'm hoping that what's gonna happen is I want you guys to go back. You can recreate the stress of this simulation very simply at home by yourself, or with a spouse, or with a friend, or with a partner, doesn't matter. Take your phone out and press the record button. And you'll feel the exact same mental stress and duress that you were in in this situation right now, okay, and then you're gonna start the process again. Because, both of you I wanted you to hold me in step one, or step zero, right, building the rapport. Where's the rapport? Where's the trust? And then take me to that first step and understand what my needs are. Listen to the vocabulary that is coming out of their mouths and then take it in, and repeat it back. So that I know that you understand, and then take me to that place where you have established the vision and you started a little bit, okay? I liked the first one (laughs). I really want to separate the fruit sushi with the fish thing and you're like "Yes, yes I know exactly where you're going. "We're gonna have a salmon in one hand "and a plate of fish in the other." (Audience laughs) But you were going there, I think, maybe we had a disconnect on something there. (Audience laughs) But, we go back to that place of once we have this vision, you need to start helpin me to understand that you understand it, okay? This being a good listener. An I'm sorry, but girls you are gonna be way above us guys in this area to start with, but us guys can get pretty good at this, once we just kind of calm ourselves a little bit and start just listening, not thinking. I know in that situation Lee, Halldis, you guys are thinking about the next thing you wanna say. I can tell, I can see it on your eyes. You're not actually listening to me when I'm talking, you're looking out. It's very visually apparent to the person that is discussing things. I can tell when you're 100% engaged, versus when you're thinking, "Oh I've got a question to ask. I need to..." But then the problem with that is that you just lost everything that I said while you were thinking of the next thing to say. Yeah? So then get to my needs. Figure those things out. Mmk. At that point you restate, you re-evaluate, you paint a picture. That picture better well be what that person wants in their minds. So that's where you need to make sure that the picture you paint is what they want. (Audience laughs) K? And then at that point you would say "Is that what you're looking for?" And "I would love to create that for you. "I am the person to create that for you." And you re-state where it's gonna go, because again, my purpose was my website, right? Are these the images that you would put up on your website? It's identical. The wording is identical. The way that you get them back to that place of cognitive dissonance is identical. And I would say "Yes Lee, those are "the exact photographs that I want on my website. "Great, let's do that. "Let's set up the shoot." And I go, "Well what's the price?" And you say "Well, for what you're looking for "and what you want, $1500." Stop talking. The background thing (laughs). "Maybe I shouldn't tell you this" (Audience laughs) This is the place to make those mistakes. Okay? On your recording is the place to make those mistakes. I was trying to point to a phone that doesn't actually exist right now. But, take your phone out and make those mistakes, because you can do it, and you will make the mistake, and you can listen back to it, and do it over and over. Do you think this is something that I require all of our sales people to do in the studio? Yes. And when they don't, I have literally walked into peoples' offices and said "If I do not hear "your next five sales calls recorded, "there's gonna be problems." Because I've had people push back and for some reason not record. Why? And I knew why. Because when I listen back to them, they weren't following the steps. They weren't following the process. We need to make sure we ourselves are following the steps going through. Now at this point what questions do we have? So we have now established our value. We've shown that value, we've presented. We've made our ask. If I have an objection then I'll say something. And then you resolve it. A question did come in just now from Debbie who says "Do you believe that everyone can learn these skills? "Maybe a photographer who does not have "the best listening or relational skills "could consider hiring someone to partner "with them for that process or..." Absolutely. "Does it have to come from you?" So, no this comes back to like, this is a problem of revenue, right? Yes, you can hire somebody to do it, but if you're early on in your business you might not have the revenue to hire somebody. Unless let's say you have a family member or a partner or a husband, wife, anything that they want to pair up with you and maybe that person's a little bit more social and more forward and maybe more prepared. But here's the thing, is like, I've met many, many, many photographers. I've met many sales people, many studio managers, who have had no experience whatsoever selling. Okay? The studio managers that we recruit, they're not sales people. Do you know who they are? They're Hallises, they're Angelas, they're Julies, they're Shells, they're Erins, they're Lees. They're people that you can relate to. The entry level to get into our studio as a studio manager, as a sales person is, you need to be a good person. You need to be normal, you need to be able to relate, but you don't need to be a good salesperson. We teach that. That's easy to teach. And that's why I feel like when you start going, like, go back through the course. Go back through the beginning of the course, when we break down what sales actually is, because when you... I feel like people that have that kind of mentality of, and I know it, I know it. When you have this thought of "I can't do that. "I can't do what it is that he's doing." Or "I can't do that step." It's because you're still brainwashed into thinking that sales was the catch a Popsicle and the white-gloved lady. And sales isn't the catch a Popsicle and the white-gloved lady. It's not selling somebody, it's not manipulation. I'm not manipulating you into something you don't want. Sales is discovering what you want, and telling you and helping you to understand that I can create that for you. That's where you don't have to be outgoing, charismatic, any of those things to be a good salesperson. You have to be relatable and simply understand what sales is. So I feel like the simple answer to that is yes you can partner with somebody. Yes, you can find somebody to do that, but you're shooting yourselves in the foot as a photographer, because I don't think you can be a good photographer without being able to do that. Does that make sense? It's hard to be a good photographer without being able to relate and understand the person that you are photographing, or the thing that you are doing. Unless you simply shoot products. If you're a product photographer, but at that point, you still need to relate to the person that's hiring you to shoot those products. You have to relate to somebody.

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.