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How to Start a Photography Business

Lesson 26 of 87

Crafting the Why Experience


How to Start a Photography Business

Lesson 26 of 87

Crafting the Why Experience


Lesson Info

Crafting the Why Experience

So first three years in coffee shops. Let's craft the why. So like a great image, and the image that I bring up here is actually a photograph of, this is Eric Lin. This is Justin and Chris's older brother. My adopted brother, his wife and their new baby. I'm over at their house watching, I think it was the Super Bowl. And basically they'd just had their baby and Eric gets close to Kris and I said, "Kris, I happen to have my camera next to me." I said, "Kris, lean into the window just a little bit." And Eric leaned forward into her. "And just hold onto your baby's foot for one second." And he did that and I was like, take a picture. Alright, let's watch the game. (laughing) And that was it. And it's a picture that has meant a lot to them. And it was created in their living room in front of a blind. And like that, I wanna bring that analogy up because it has nothing to do with anything technical. It has nothing to do with it being in a studio. It has nothing to do with any of those thing...

s. Just like the experience that you're gonna present to your clients. Like great imagery, great experiences can be had anywhere. And I think we all know that. So prior to 2017, we used to go with a presentation that was "Where words fail, our imagery speaks." That was our why. So what we would do, is we would bring our albums to these meetings and we'd usually just bring one or two. Not a whole lot, you don't need overload. But we wanna do a visualization exercise. And I'm gonna teach you the full exercise. But it's a guided process where we take them through what it is to experience these moments and to be in those moments. And what we did initially was simply show these albums. And we talked about the meaning and the purpose behind each of these things that we're showing. Now here's the killer part. In talking about that, do you think I talked about the lighting? Or the film that it was captured on? Or the camera it was captured on? Or any of those things? No, it was more akin to this. So she was getting ready, and mom was just around the corner and I thought, wouldn't it be amazing just to kind of see her daughter for the first time and to have a moment by themselves? So I asked mom to come over here. And I brought mom into the frame and I had her stand right there. And I just said, "Mom, your daughter's getting married "right now, is there anything you wanna tell her "before she walks down the aisle?" And then you see this photograph, a very intimate moment between a mother and daughter. And I would tell the bride and groom that these moments, unfortunately, they don't happen naturally oftentimes. Sometimes they do and I'm there to document them. Sometimes it's my job to help a little bit and encourage it along. But isn't this something that you would want? And then they say what? What is, I mean, you can see the photograph that I'm talking about in your heads right now, right? Perfect. And then what I've backed you into saying, is this not something that you would want, we create something called cognitive dissonance. We're gonna use the sales process. It's a sales psychology term that we're gonna talk about later on. 'Cause once the customer has identified that they want that thing, they now hold two contradicting notions. One being price, one being desire. And we're gonna use it. Not in a negative way, not to manipulate. To get them to a place that we know we can provide a great product and service. So let's go through, this was our experience. It was visualization. Show an image, tell a story. Today I'm gonna give you our complete story and vision. This is the message when they come through the doors that our studio manager would take them through. Stop, breathe. I wanna thank you guys for braving the traffic, taking a moment, having a seat, enjoying some waters. I want you guys to relax for just a minute, I'll be right with you. And usually at that point they're right at the door, at that point we'll give them their waters. They'll have a seat right at that front entryway. Then we bring them to the next spot. So they're at the doorway now. We've placed these words on the walls of our studio because this is our why. This is the reason we created Lin and Jirsa. These moments are the artwork of our lives. Can you hear the vision statements that we crafted, the core values that we crafted, what we are and who we are in this? I hope so. Then we start the process. But these are all lost in the digital world. And I have a question for you guys. Sharon, right? Shannon. Shannon, dang it. Shannon, when was the last time you printed a photograph? It's embarrassing, isn't it? Yeah. You don't have to answer, you can probably bet that every single one of your clients is gonna have the exact same answer. When was the last time that you printed a photograph? And they say that, they say exactly. You don't have to answer the question, Sharon. Shannon! Close enough. (laughing) Close enough. Exactly, the most important moments of our lives, they're lost in the digital world. We capture all these images on our phones, on everything. And we bury them on our hard drives. Maybe we share a few of them online. Just for a couple minutes of internet glory. They get a couple likes, a couple clicks. Within seconds, they're buried among every other piece of content out there. And you're not appreciating them yourself. That makes them think, right? Do you hear the disruption in this whole piece? These words are on our walls because we believe memories are the artwork of our lives. And we believe that the artwork of our lives belongs in print. Welcome to the studio, take a few moments and look around. And then they open up into the life belongs in print, okay? That's, well, what do you think? How does it make you feel when you hear those things? As a client, what would you think? Wow. Wow? Cool. You need prints. You need prints? Great. Don. I would think oh my price just went up. Oh yeah? (laughing). Isn't is interesting how I haven't even talked about price but you're already thinking of adjusting my perception of what I should expect to pay. That's odd. Not really, it's just sales psychology. Now ask me the question of how do I differentiate myself with my competitors. Or do you need to ask anymore? Because I can back anybody into the statement of, as soon as they bring up, so what I've just done in this process puts you to that place where you wouldn't walk into a Bentley dealership and say what? What's the price on that Bentley? So if you wanted to talk about price with me, how would it go? It would probably be a much more gentle conversation, first of all. And usually how it's gonna go is like, we really love what you guys do, it's amazing. We love everything that you guys do but it is a little bit out of our budget. And usually how I would go is, I completely understand. You guys are getting a great deal for the service that you're getting and I guarantee it's the best deal that we have to offer. But there's a reason that we charge these prices. There's a reason that we do what we do. I understand it's expensive though. What I just did was, they just said it was expensive. And basically what I said was, yeah. I mean, in less words that is exactly what they said and exactly what I said. Yeah you're right, it is expensive. And then what are they gonna say next? You guys are offering a better service, I know. But this other person is doing this for this price. Can you guys match it? Unfortunately, we can't. But you just said it yourself, we offer a different service than they do. I'll be the first person to tell you if someone is offering the same product and service that we are for less money. Go for it, you should go for it. That makes sense. But you kind of answered your own question. And it's done kindly, it's done with love. But it ends those conversations. Do you offer up payment plans for when they ask about the price? So we usually do deposits, which we can discuss. We talk about packages, we usually do a deposit to lock in the date. You can do a 25% and another 25% and then 50%. This is up to you. Have something to lock them in though. And then collect the second 25% soon because once it's locked in you're turning away other business. That make sense? So if something unfortunate happens, they're not able to do it, we generally say to our clients that we can put your deposit towards another service or a different date. But it's not refundable because we just turned down other clients on your date once you locked in. And we will make exceptions, you know. I always feel like these rules are designed to be guidelines. We've had experiences where a fiancé passes away due to cancer. We're not gonna be the ones that are like, yeah I'm sorry, we have to keep the deposit. You locked in your date. No, like there's times to have a heart and understand that there's times where that doesn't matter. The money doesn't matter, be a good person. Then there's times where people just change their minds or they go like, we broke up. Okay, that's super unfortunate. We're a month away from the wedding. If this was six months out I would have said we'll keep the deposit until we get another client to book the date. But unfortunately, we're a month away. And we've turned down six clients that wanted your date. I understand you're not gonna be able to pay the remaining 50% but the deposit's not refundable. Does that make sense? So at this point in our piece, think back to our vision statement and who we are, what we are, how we define ourselves, everything about that. And you'll see it oozing out of every single word that we say up here. Why is it on the walls of our studio? Because this is our rally point. This is our rally point for all of our employees, all of our team, for ourselves. Because when I walk in every single day, and this is where we get back to why does it matter? Donna and Joe, why does it matter if it's just me by myself doing this? It matters for exactly that reason, because it is just you and you're gonna have days where you just feel like crap. And you're gonna walk into your studio or into your apartment or into your house and you're gonna look around and you're gonna go why did I get into this in the first place? And in those moments, I want you to look at your walls and look around you and see the vision statement. Who you are, what you've identified yourself as. And even though you have that pain in the ass client right now, that you're gonna write a kind email to them and love them and support them because these are the people that are supporting your business. That's the purpose of why we do this stuff even if we're by ourselves, to set the tone for ourselves. And of course as you grow, it sets the tone for everybody that comes into the studio. At this point, we always will shift the focus back to the clients. We have to understand that when a client comes into the studio, it's not about us. It's not about talking about how great we are. It's one of the biggest reasons you're gonna lose a sale. Talking too much about yourself. We give 'em our message and then the focus shifts entirely back to them. And then we're gonna take you through the sales process. That's day three on the sales process. So now that we've, this is all part of the why is this stuff up here? Aren't you buying this? Isn't this part of the product that we're creating? Yeah. You've got a smile, you wanna say something? No. Nah? Just had an idea. Maybe like a wahoo? No no, I had an idea. You had an aha moment? Yeah. Okay, for aha moments I expect like a, "Aha!" Okay. Just randomly, like in the middle of class. In front of everybody, it's fine. Okay, sorry. That might get a little disruptive, don't do that. What do you got for me? I had a question about this particular phase, are you maybe taking notes about them? Or how do you record institutional knowledge about this client? So we have a form online that they'll fill out when they come in, but this really isn't so much about getting information from them as it is resetting. It's that disruptor. Does that make sense? So let's shift this to the coffee shop. Because that's where I'm assuming that most everybody is gonna be starting out their business. Whether you are booking maternity, newborn, anything. You're gonna be starting out in a coffee shop. The next step is gonna be like a co-op studio where you share space with somebody else. The next step is owning your own. So when you take this into a coffee shop, you can do the exact same thing. Can you not? Come up with your own wording and your own phrasing. But you're gonna actually ask your clients to do something that would be different from what another photographer would. And it's gonna follow your personality, your vision. And I can give you an example of what that might be. You might ask them to sit down, and let's define out what a typical photographer would first do. We build custom packages for you. Great, everybody does that. We take pictures on digital and on film. (laughing) I'm sorry, I love you, you're so sweet. There's a lot of people that do that, are they not? Yeah. Okay. But I use special, this is the dude's thing, I use four lights to get to that place. First of all I'd be like, dude you should have used one light 'cause that's really not good. But that's another argument, right? The tech. This is the common presentation that you get. We shoot on 50 megapixel cameras. We're gonna get you this, we're gonna do this for you. All of our packages come with albums. I want you to run through the typical rhetoric that you would hear and sometimes it helps so much to put yourself in the client's shoes by actually going through the experience. Go through someone else's experience. See what it's like. It's hell. It's not fun, like to sit down and just be like, how difficult is it for me to sit there and go, okay, let's talk about your wedding itinerary. Okay, let's put it together. Have you thought about your wedding day? What are you gonna do on your wedding day? What time are you gonna get up? Typically most of our clients want around like 10 hours, but what do you want? Does that start to get frustrating? Like holy crap, hold on. My wedding day, I haven't even gotten to that place yet. It sends your mind into this analytical mode which we're gonna talk about psychology later. But if that's the normal presentation, your presentation in a coffee shop would be something like have a seat, guys. I asked you guys your favorite beverage because I actually already ordered them. They're coming up right now. So you could put that into your like, tell me your favorite beverage, I'll have it ready. And you bring that over to them. And you say look, I want you to forget everything that you know about photography. And I want you to tell me, with your newborn shoot, what is the one single image that you just have to have? Now what I've just done is said the words literally forget everything that you know about photography and just tell me, I just wanna know about this one single image that you want. I can craft this experience however you want it to be. The point is that it should encompass your personality, your vision. And disrupt, be different from what the typical rhetoric is. Is that making sense? Now I can, you guys have this one. You could plagiarize it. The problem is that you probably can't present it the way that we do because it has nothing to do with your core values or your mission statement or your anything. And if you did, it wouldn't be you. It wouldn't be authentic. Which is why I have no problem sharing it. Because nobody would want to take that. We're artists, we want to create our own thing. And that's the beauty of it is that nobody can compete with that because now when somebody goes to Lee and says, Lee what product are you offering? That experience that you just ran them through is a part of your product just as it is mine. And now they have a point of place to differentiate the two. By the way, how many other studios do you think are doing this right now? Anything, newborn, maternity, how many other photographers do this process? So right out of the gate you can differentiate yourself. And if you say, if you ask me the question of, but Pye, now that you're putting the education out there everybody's going to be doing this. I'm gonna say, but hey you guys, all this education has been out there for like four years and people still don't watch it. So no, it's really not gonna happen. Yes, there's gonna be some people in your area that offer something, their own experience and something different from you. But they would have to match up to your hybridness, your hybridness, do you like that? (laughing) Yeah. They would have to match up to your hybridness, your personalityness, your experience, everything else that you would craft together in that product to compete directly with you. Is that easier to walk away from going, oh this competitive landscape feels a lot better now? I hope so. 'Cause now comes the time where you're gonna mind map your client experience. This is, what's your disruptor? What is the message you wanna carry? This is where you pull our your vision statement and your core values and you start with the overall feeling you wanna get. What do you think the overall message that we were trying to convey to clients was in our presentation? The funny thing is, I didn't ask any of you to pay attention to it but I'll bet you can guess. What do we want clients to do? For a single word. Comfortable. Oh, maybe we can't get to it (laughing). There was a single action in there. [Audience Members] (mumbling) Print. Print. That entire message was around print. And that's as simple as where your core experience starts. That central box in this mind map is what do you want them to walk away from this experience with? One word. What do you want 'em to do? I want them to print. I want them to actually enjoy the images that we're creating. 'Cause it's artwork, this is what we believe, that we're creating artwork for them. This doesn't belong on a hard drive. It belongs on their walls. Now I have an experiment for every one of you. We talked about that favorite photograph a little while ago, right? That photograph that you thought of something that makes you feel good. Okay? How many of you have that photograph in print? Raise your hands, it's okay if you don't. For those that don't, if you're at home, gosh dammit, if you're in the car, watching on the way to some... We gotta be PC. People can use the internet from everywhere these days. Wherever you are, go and print that image and do a simple test for me. Put it in a place that you'll see it everyday. Because I guarantee most of you don't have it there. Even if you have it in print, it's probably not in a place that you're gonna see it everyday. Do an experience and experiment for yourself where you put it in a place that you see it everyday. And write down how it makes you feel everyday when you see it. I don't tell you this to sell you on anything other than the fact that how many of you are actually convinced, how many of you, you all here, you all there, how many of you are convinced that the product you're selling is actually worth having? Because that's the first fear and boundary to overcome is convincing yourself that this is actually valuable. And you think it's a joke or you kinda think about it and you're like, well I believe in myself. You don't. So many of us have these deep-seated fears of like, well is this actually valuable? And I'm gonna point it out to you as we go through the class, we can go through more exercises. You don't. So prove it to yourself. Because until you do, all the words up on the screen, they're just a load of shit, I'll be honest. I'll be completely honest, every one of these words mean nothing until you, the person who's saying them, are actually convinced of their authenticity. So go do the experiment. Test me, try it. If you are not happier each and every day when you see that photograph that reminds you of something wonderful, if you're not happier, send me an email. And say Pye, you're full of crap. But I guarantee I'm not gonna get a single email. And I guarantee if you actually do this experiment, you're gonna go holy cow, my clients don't understand this. Nobody understands this. The fact that my daughter Ellie wakes up and sees her pictures in the walls of our home, when they walk into my office they see themselves. They see on our studio walls, they see pictures of Ethan and Ellie, my daughter and my son, all around the studio. That's my life, it's my art. And do you think that your children or your clients' children would grow up with a slightly different self-perception when they see the love in their family? Like that's a big difference to waking up and looking at matchbox cars on the wall. That's not a bad thing either. But walking around a home filled with imagery is statistically proven to reduce depression. To give children more confidence. Now this is my disruptor, what the F are all of you doing not conveying this message to your clients? And what are you guys doing worrying about the photographer down the street who doesn't offer anything that you do? Does that make sense? Now when you believe it for yourself, you can speak it for yourself. And the words will carry power with them.

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

Short on time? This class is available HERE as a Fast Class, exclusively for Creator Pass subscribers.


  • Start a photography business
  • Develop the ideal business structure and business plan
  • Research competitors and the market in your area
  • Build a short-term and long-term strategy
  • Create a marketing plan and marketing materials on a budget
  • Confidently conduct an in-person or phone sales session
  • Manage small business tasks from accounting to strategy


Professional photographers aren't just people with a knack for photography and a good camera -- because launching a small business on nothing but passion is a sure-fire way to fail spectacularly. Layer business savvy, marketing know-how, professional grit and more onto your existing passion and learn how to start a photography business. Take your hobby, vision, and creativity and build a career -- whether you are looking to run a full-time business or just a side gig.

Led by a photographer that's also a certified public accountant, Pye Jirsa, the class teaches the ins and outs of launching a photography business from the ground up. Along with three full days of instruction, Pye shares a 12-week plan to get your business up and running, a business expense calculator and more inside the class workbook. Understand what gear and skills you need before you launch and how to build a portfolio by photographing family members or organizing a stylized shoot.

Stop feeling overwhelmed by the monumental task and tackle one task a day in a 12-week plan. Brainstorm names for your business and learn the different types of business licenses available. Secure a domain name and build a website that's easily searchable. Develop a marketing plan with little investment. Master in-person sales and book your first session.

Whether you want to venture out in portrait photography, commercial work or any other client-based type of photography, learn the "business" in photography business with Pye Jirsa.


  • Photographers ready to launch a business
  • New professional photographers looking to grow a young business
  • Photographers interested in working in weddings, portraits, newborns, maternity, families, seniors, engagements or commercial photography


Pye Jirsa is a wedding photographer with Lin & Jirsa photography -- but besides running a successful photography business, he also has a background in accounting, creating the perfect blend for teaching the ins and outs of running a photography business. Along with working as a photographer and educator, Pye is also one of the founders of SLR Lounge, an online resource for photographers.

Learn from a founder of a photography business that photographs more than 300 weddings a year. Pye's Los Angeles and Orange County wedding photography business has been named among the top 100 wedding photographers by Brandsmash.


  1. Class Introduction

    Go from nothing to a booked client or grow a young photography business -- that's what students should expect from this course. Learn what's ahead in the course in this introductory lesson.

  2. Common Myths & Unknown Truths

    Bust the myths and set appropriate expectations for running a photography business. In this lesson, Pye shatters some myths, then lets photographers know what to expect before launching a business.

  3. The Road Ahead

    There are easier ways to make a living, Pye says, and the expectation that photography is easy money is setting yourself up for failure. Find out what the average studio spends on costs and start calculating rough numbers using an easy spreadsheet included in the class workbook.

  4. Find Your Passion

    The reality of working as a photographer, Pye says, is that 10 percent of your time will be spent taking pictures -- and 90 percent will be running the business. Pye redefines the passion that you need for business.

  5. The Lin & Jirsa Journey

    Go behind the scenes of Lin & Jirsa Photography and learn the story for how Pye's business launched.

  6. Part-time, Full-time, Employed, Partners?

    Walk through the different options for running a photography business. Learn the pros and cons of working as a photographer part-time or full time. Dive into options for working with a partner.

  7. Stop Wasting Time & Money

    Can your clients really tell the difference between an f/1.2 and an f/2.8 lens? Between a good camera and a high-end camera? No -- which means you shouldn't be wasting money on gear that you think that you need. Instead, re-focus on what clients easily notice.

  8. Your 12 Week Roadmap

    Getting a photography business off the ground can be done in as little as 12 weeks. In this lesson, Pye shares the roadmap for a 12-week launch, using the included class workbook to build your plan of attack.

  9. Great Plans Still Fail

    Strategies won't protect you from failing, but those failures can still take you somewhere. And you're not alone -- in this lesson, Pye shares some of his past failures.

  10. Strategy Vs. Planning

    Don't make the mistake of jumping right into business without first planning. Slow down, Pye suggests, and develop both a strategy and a plan.

  11. Mind Mapping

    Jump into step one for strategy and planning with mind mapping. Use this technique to brainstorm and build ideas using nothing but a sketchpad and a few minutes of time.

  12. Select a Focus

    Develop a focus to make the task of launching a business less monumental -- and launch a business that's better poised to compete. In this lesson, learn the importance of developing a focus then narrow down the focus of your business.

  13. Competitor Research

    What are your competitors doing? Professional photographers shouldn't burn up all their time comparing businesses, but researching competitors is an important part of the process. Learn who's really your competitor, develop a research strategy, and understand what to look for.

  14. S.W.O.T. Analysis

    Analyze your business environment by looking at your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats -- or S.W.O.T. Adapt this common business practice to photography and learn how to apply the analysis to your own business launch.

  15. Strategy & Long Term Goals

    Where do you see yourself in three years? Build a long term strategy by looking at your ideal work-life balance and lifestyle.

  16. Values, Vision & Mission

    Developing your business values, vision, and mission creates a foundation that helps your strategy and goals fall into place. Whether you work alone or with a team, pinpoint your values, vision, and mission.

  17. Effectively Managing Your Time

    Business owners that work from home often fall into the trap of neglecting to set a schedule. Learn how to effectively manage your time as a business owner when you don't have a time clock to punch, from setting hours and goals to tools to help you track your time.

  18. Artistic Development

    Part of the 12-week business launch is education and developing your skills as an artist. Learn tricks to catching up and developing skills as an artist.

  19. Create Your Plan

    In this lesson, develop a plan to ensure the fundamentals of photography are in place before your first shoot. Craft a plan for improving your technique, no matter what genre you plan to shoot in.

  20. What's Your Product

    In this lesson, define what your product is as a photographer. As a photographer, your product is a combination of you, your photographs, your experience, your website, and more.

  21. Luxury vs Consumer Products & Experiences

    What's the difference between luxury and consumer, besides just price? In this lesson, Pye walks through the different qualities that tend to be associated with luxury brands compared to consumer goods -- and how that relates to photography.

  22. Quick Break for Econ 101

    Economics play a big role in business. Dig into a few economics basics and how those concepts apply to the photography business.

  23. Your Target Market & Brand Message

    Identifying your target market and brand message is essential to building your business. Dive into the topic with an example using Pye's own photography business.

  24. What's in a Name

    Choosing the name of the business is a tough decision. Weigh the pros and cons of using your name for your business or coming up with a unique business name.

  25. Your Client 'Why'

    Craft a simple statement that builds the experience, or the why that you want for your clients. Learn what that "why" is in this lesson.

  26. Crafting the Why Experience

    Clients choose photographers for the experience. Identifying that why experience, then building that experience is an essential part of growing your photography business. Learn how in this lesson.

  27. Document the Client Experience

    Writing down the client experience helps ensure every client gets the same careful attention to that client experience. Work to document your client experience in this lesson.

  28. Business Administration Basics

    Work through the basic business tasks you'll need to tackle, from gear to business management software. Tackle registering your business name (including checking for an available domain name) and opening a business bank account. Learn why an LLC is often best for protecting personal assets, and the different types, such as a sole proprietor.

  29. Book Keeping Management

    How often should you look at financial statements? How should you keep track of what you are making? Tackle the bookkeeping best practices for your business.

  30. Create the Logo & Branding

    Build a logo that represents your business. Learn the qualities of the ideal logo. Then, jump into additional branding materials.

  31. Portfolio Design

    Learn how to show off your work in a portfolio. In this lesson, Pye shares why less is more, how to choose the images in your portfolio, and more.

  32. Design Your Services & Packages

    Design a pricing structure that suits your business and your goals. Learn what to do -- and what not to do -- when building your photography packages. Stop upselling and create a package that you -- and your clients -- will love from the start.

  33. Pricing Fears & Myths

    Continue building that pricing structure by dispelling the fears and myths surrounding pricing your work. Stomp out pricing fears in this lesson.

  34. Three Pricing Methods

    There's no right way to price -- in this lesson, Pye shares three different methods for pricing your work. Adapt these pricing frameworks for your own business.

  35. Package Pricing Psychology & Design

    Setting a "price anchor" helps your mid-way price point feel less expensive. Learn similar pricing psychology tips in this lesson, along with all how to name and develop your package prices.

  36. Psychology of Numbers

    Presentation matters -- even the font of your price can play a role in how potential clients view your prices. Learn best practices for presenting your prices.

  37. Pricing Q&A

    Expand on your pricing know-how as students like you ask questions during the live class.

  38. Grass Roots Marketing

    How do you create a marketing plan when you have no marketing budget? Build a plan to market your business on a budget, including network marketing and social media. Then, adapt your marketing plan as your business grows.

  39. The Empty Party

    Continue developing your grassroots marketing strategy and learn how to get people talking about your business. Use SEO, social media and word of mouth networking to grow your business.

  40. Friends & Family Test Shoots

    Taking test shots with a purpose both helps you practice your skills and expand your marketing efforts. Learn about brand ambassadors and organizing test shoots.

  41. Join Groups

    Joining online groups helps build a team of support, a resource for critiques and more. Learn how to make the most of online groups in this lesson.

  42. Second Shooting Etiquette

    Working as a second shooter is a great way to get your feet wet. Create more opportunities from second shooting by treating the task with proper etiquette.

  43. The Listing & Classified Hustle

    Directory listings and online classifieds are a simple, inexpensive way to get your name out there when you are getting started. Master some best practices for using online classifieds and similar options.

  44. Make Instagram Simple

    Continue working on social media marketing with tactics for using Instagram for your photography business. In this lesson, Pye shares the basics of using Instagram to find potential new clients.

  45. Your Automated Pinterest Plan

    Most brides use Pinterest more than any other platform to engage with vendors -- and the platform is important to other genres like family photography and newborn portraits too. Tackle Pinterest and learn to make your clients work for you by adding a simple plug-in to your site.

  46. Facebook Because You Must

    Pye cautions against relying on Facebook -- or any single source -- to build your business. But, Facebook is still an important part of your social media marketing. Learn Facebook marketing best practices.

  47. Giveaway & Styled Shoots

    Once you've built a quality portfolio, giveaways and stylized shoots can help boost your business. Learn why giveaways and stylized shoots are so important and how to make the most of them.

  48. Content Marketing & SEO

    Longterm, content marketing and search engine optimization is an important part of sustaining your business. Learn what content marketing and SEO is and how it plays a role in photography companies.

  49. The Monster: SEO

    SEO feels like a daunting task for photographers -- but in reality, it's just something that's simple once you learn how to do it. Master the keyword by understanding what keywords are.

  50. Selecting Your Keywords

    Now that you understand what a keyword is, how do you use them? Which one do you choose? Learn how to choose the keywords that will work best for your business in this lesson.

  51. Testing Your Keywords

    Just how viable is that keyword idea? In this lesson, learn how to determine if a keyword is good or not --and gain new ideas -- using the free Google Keyword Planner tool as well as options like Moz and SEM Rush.

  52. Grouping Main & Niche Goals

    Armed with your keyword ideas, determine what options should be your main focus and what should be a niche. Determine the main search goal, then build smaller niche goals for creating a searchable website.

  53. Your Content Road Map

    Build a strategy from those keywords and start building website content to bring potential clients in through search. Learn where to plug in those search terms and how to organize your web content using keywords.

  54. Content Marketing Q&A

    Gain additional insight into building your website content through questions from students during the live session, from how long web content should be to blogging tips.

  55. Inspiration to Keep Working

    Website content isn't a one and done thing -- but you shouldn't feel overwhelmed. In this lesson, find the inspiration to keep building your business when the tasks seem monumental.

  56. How to Craft Your Content

    Once you have your focus and keywords, it's time to start building your website content. Learn how to write better website content, where to place those keywords, and best practices for building content that will get noticed by Google.

  57. Internal Linking Basics

    Links play a role in how Google sees your website -- so how should you structure your website? In this lesson, learn tricks to building the links on your page.

  58. Back Link Building Basics

    What about links that originate off your website? Backlink building helps boost your website in the search results by building authority. Learn the basics for building authority by getting links on other websites.

  59. Link Value Factos

    All backlinks are not created equal -- so what determines a good link value? Master the basics of determining how to use backlinks to build the most value.

  60. Measuring Link Value

    Dispel misconceptions on link building and see how search engines value links differently.

  61. Link Building Strategy & Plan

    Develop backlinks to your website by building a strategy. Learn tricks like writing guest blogs as well as how often to work on backlinking.

  62. Link Building Plan: Vendors & Guest Writing

    Vendor websites are great places to build links -- and it's as simple as sharing photos with the vendors used on your shoots.

  63. Link Building Plan: Features, Directories, Comments

    Expand link building opportunities with features inside publications, as well as directories and comments. Learn how to target a specific publication.

  64. Link Building: Shortcuts & One Simple Tool

    Avoid shortcuts like buying links and unnatural link exchanges. Then, learn how to use the tool Backlinkwatch.

  65. What is Sales? Show Me!

    Sales is a life skill, no matter what industry you are in. Gain insight into the sales process as Pye roleplays sales sessions with students.

  66. Your First Massive Failure

    As Pye says, you can't sell to people that aren't in your target market. In this lesson, Pye discusses failure and how to qualify and differentiate your work.

  67. The Sales Process

    Walk through the process of selling your work in a simple four-step process. Learn tactics for selling your work.

  68. Your Second Massive Failure

    Avoid pitfalls to the selling process by tackling the most common mistakes, like sharing the price too soon.

  69. Understand Buyer Psychology

    What's going through that potential client's mind when considering your work? Build your sales process by understanding the psychology of sales.

  70. Step 0: Building Rapport & Trust

    Sales start with a relationship. Establish that trust by starting a conversation with the client -- and not about photography.

  71. Step 1: Identify Need or Want

    By identifying the client's wishes early in the process, you can create the best pitch tailored to that individual. In this lesson, Pye shares the system he uses to get to know what a client is looking for.

  72. Cognitive Dissonance

    Cognitive dissonance in sales comes in when weighing the price against the quality of the product. Walkthrough how cognitive dissonance plays a role in the sales process.

  73. Steps 2 & 3: Value Proposition & The Solution

    Based on the conversation leading up to this moment in the sales process, it's time to present your package that best fits their needs. Learn how to create a value proposition and present a solution.

  74. Step 4 : Close, Make the Ask

    Most new photographers find the task of presenting the price and getting the actual booking daunting. Learn how to be bold and get that client in step four of the sales process.

  75. Step 5: Follow Up & Resolve Concerns

    Build your follow-up process to avoid losing those leads. Here, Pye shares his process for following up after a client conversation.

  76. Family Photography Hot Seat

    While sales is similar across genres, the process can vary slightly based on the type of photography. In the series of hot seat sessions, watch students improvise client meetings.

  77. Business Example Hot Seat

    Next on the hot seat, sit in on a business sales session. Build a list of dos and don'ts with a sales simulation focused on commercial photography.

  78. Boudoir Photography Hot Seat

    Sit in on a simulated sales session with a boudoir photographer. Learn ways to improve when meeting with a client and build your people skills.

  79. The Best Sales Person

    Fine-tune what you've learned about sales so far with tips to become a better salesperson and improve your charisma as you meet with clients.

  80. Your Mindset, Vibrations & Frequency

    Continue refining your sales skills by adjusting your mindset on sales.

  81. Always Positive, Always Affirming

    As you meet with clients, Pye suggests always staying positive and affirming. Learn how to integrate positivity through body language and more.

  82. The Second Money & Dual Process

    Booking a client a second time is easier than the first. In this lesson, Pye walks through how to book the first sale or the minimum package while allowing the client to upgrade later.

  83. Chumming the Price Waters

    What happens when a client pushes for the price first? Pye walks through "chumming the price waters" and getting potential clients to see your value first.

  84. Creating Want or Scarcity

    Looking at both right now and in the first five years of your business, Pye digs into techniques for creating a want for your work.

  85. Timeless Advice on Being Likable

    How do photographers get clients to like not just their work, but themselves as a person? In this lesson, Pye shares tips on building charisma and starting a relationship with clients.

  86. Selling Over The Phone

    Many sales start with a phone call. Learn how to start a relationship on the phone and other tricks for working with sales when you're not in an in-person meeting.

  87. Forbidden Words in Sales

    Word choice matters in sales. In the final lesson of the course, learn what words to avoid and what to use instead.


Armstrong Su

This class and materials are to the point and eye-opening on the business side of photography. Pye Jirsa is an amazing and fun teacher as well! Most photographers need more business classes offered to bring us who love to create art back to reality for a more successful business that makes a living on it's own. This course will definately get you started in the right direction and so cheap too! Great investment! armstrong outdoor tv case outdoortvcase Pye Jirsa is one of the best instructors that I have the pleasure to learn from. He and his team have given me so much more than they'll ever realize. Knowledge, wisdom, training, friendship, mentoring, inspiration, joy... I cannot thank Pye enough for changing my life for the better. I owe them more than they'll ever realize. Thank you, Pye Jirsa!!!

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!