How to Launch a Photography Business

Lesson 32 of 87

Design Your Services & Packages


How to Launch a Photography Business

Lesson 32 of 87

Design Your Services & Packages


Lesson Info

Design Your Services & Packages

We need to design our services and packages. So this is product development. I know there's gonna be plenty of questions on this. So let's dive in with what should I sell? That's the first question I swear everybody asks. What should I sell? And the first thing I ask is, what the heck do you want to sell? The question is is, what do you need to sell to get to a product that you love? That's what we're gonna map out. The minimum you need to get to a product you love. Meaning, would you go to a Louis Vuitton store to buy a $6,000 purse to have them say, "Would you like a handle with your purse?" Like the thing to hold it with. Do you want a handle? What about zippers? Do you want a zipper on that purse? (audience laughing) It's funny and it's ridiculous because none of us would ever do that. You wouldn't go buy a car and they wouldn't ask you, "Would you like a steering wheel with that?" But that's how so many of our packages are set up. And how would you feel if they did do that? Michel...

e, how would you feel if they did do that? (audience member speaking faintly) If you went to a, buy a beautiful purse and you're gonna spend that kind of money, and they asked you, "Do you want a handle?" I feel like this a trick question. It's not. Like, be honest. How would you feel? You're like, I just spent $2,000. How would you feel if I said, "Oh it doesn't come with a handle." I'd kind of be a little irritated. Probably a lot irritated. Yeah, very irritated. And that's what our clients feel when they come into your studio and they go, "I want this." And you say, "Well most packages, ah, most albums have 20 spreads. This one only has 10. Would you like to upgrade to 20 spreads?" And they're like, man, why do I have to buy something just to get you to sell me something else. What if I just wanna buy that thing and have it be all encompassing? This is the, this weird mindset that is across artists and photographers and cinematographers and everybody is that I'm gonna set a base price, which nobody wants. And that's frustrating. That is not the way any good consumer business works. So why would that be the way that we set up our packages? You're just setting yourself up to have a lot of angry people. And to have people that are gonna feel upsold. And then you're gonna hate, because you don't like sales, right? None of us really like sales until you're good at it. And then you'll love sales. But in the meanwhile, if you don't want your clients to feel upsold, stop upselling them. Start with the minimum you need to get to the product that you love. That's your base package. I don't know what that is for you guys. I can tell you what it is for us. But we're gonna go back and look at something that's really important. Compare that with your competitors. You know what's beautiful about competitors. All of us look at our competition as like, oh my gosh. These people that I have to compete with. Well first of all, they're your friends. You better not dislike them because they are gonna be the people that help you in your career the most. Second, be grateful. Be grateful for every one of your competitors successes. Because they just gave you a roadmap. They just proved that what you wanna do is doable. Be afraid going into an area where nobody else is doing that thing. That's what I would be terrified about. If I wanna offer a product that literally nobody else is offering, oh man, you got a lot of work in front of you. Because you've gotta convince consumers that they need to buy something that doesn't yet exist. So we're gonna start with our competitors. I want you to first map out the minimum product that you need to get to something that you love. Then go and compare that minimum product to our zero two competitor analysis worksheet that we did prior. This is, I'm hoping all kind of unraveling now of why we set up ourselves on day one, sorry, on the previous four segments, to this. We're gonna compare that and we're gonna see where it fits. Are our competitors offering much much more in their base packages? Do we need to look at this and tweak and modify? Are they offering much less? Do we need to take some things out? What do I need to, kind of, you're gonna do a balance between what you want in that package and between what you see others doing to get to a base. So for us, if you would like to us as an example, our engagements are three hours. And you're probably thinking who in their right minds spends three hours on an engagement shoot? Because most engagement shoots are 30 minutes to 60 minutes. It's a throw in that you kind of put in there. Our engagements are a little bit different. To get to a product that we love, we wanna tell a complete story of the clients. We tell them that we want our engagement shoot to be like their ideal date night. We're gonna go do something that they would normally do. If they would be at the beach, a lot of people love the beach, so we go to the beach a lot. If it would be going to a restaurant. Whatever it might be. But we're just gonna make it a date night and you're gonna dress maybe one step above what you would typically dress. So if you normally dress in loose jeans, I'm gonna say, dress in form fitting jeans. That's it. It's a three hour session. We generally do a canvas as a gift. We're gonna talk about why it's called a gift. It's not free. It's a gift. And it generally includes the digitals. Do we ever say digitals? No. Again, you're setting yourself up for, digital conveys what kind of a message? Cheap. Cheap. We're gonna go in our last segment, when we fine tune your ability to sell I'm gonna give you a list of forbidden words. Words that you never say again. And this is one of them. Digitals. But I'm gonna put it on here because you guys are photographers so let's just talk plain and simple, rather than saying, "And we deliver your photographic experience." I don't wanna say that every single time to you guys. When I just mean the files. Okay? So, this is largely gonna depend on what you intend to do afterwards. We're gonna teach you how to set yourselves up for IPS, which is in-person sales. And I'm gonna give you the short of it and tell you when you will be able to do IPS. And when it's gonna be very difficult to do IPS. I'm not gonna sell you on BS of we make $30,000 after every single shoot in IPS. No, when you see people posting that kind of stuff online, they're one offs generally. Especially in the wedding world. Because with weddings, the main thing that you're gonna sell after the fact is the album. That's where you're gonna be able to get upsales. Not for selling the steering wheel. You're gonna give them the entire car and the steering wheel. You're gonna show them how much they love that. And then you're gonna get mom and dad to buy one on each side. And then you're gonna say, "Wouldn't this look amazing on your wall?" That's your place of reference to kind of go from here. But we're gonna set up the process for that. You guys can choose when you wanna implement it. And guess what I'm gonna say if you guys say, I wanna start doing IPS right now, when you're just getting your business off the ground. What do you think I'm gonna tell you? Slow down muchacho. Take it easy. Let's build those things in over time. But let's set ourselves up for the future. And that's what we're doing. Our weddings will typically consist of eight hours. This is our base. Two shooters. One assistant. An album. Look, I wanna have two shooters there. That's for me to deliver my product. I want an assistant there. That's for me. That's my product so that I can get lighting and do all the things that I wanna do. I'm building out my minimum including the hours. I don't wanna do a six hour wedding package. Do you know how stressful that is to do six hours of coverage? You're going from one thing to the next. Like, it's miserable. So, mine is eight. Does this all make sense? Now adapt this to whatever you're shooting. Maternity. Newborn. Fine art film. I don't know. But start with your minimum package. The minimum you would want to deliver to get to a product you love. Then you add more. Make sense? So sample packages. 'Cause I'm not gonna leave you hanging. I'm gonna give you an idea of a place to start. So, if you can do a six hour wedding day, and that is your ideal, because maybe you do elopements. Right? Elopement photography you don't need eight hours. Six is a good place. So you start our with a six. And you like your engagement sessions to just be a quick set of portraits so that you can get back to work. You go to one hour. Lead and second on the shooter, on the day of. You have a high resolution images. And maybe a credit towards an album purchase. That's the minimum. This is your bread and butter. Package two is the package you wanna sell. This you're gonna add in a little bit more of everything. This is like your ideal world. You can get to a product you're proud of with package one. But you want to deliver every client package number two. Package three is your price anchor. We'll talk about this more when we get to sales psychology. Package number three is kind of like, you have to think of package number three as what would everybody ideally have in their package? Not just, I'm gonna throw in the entire kitchen sink that nobody wants. But going back to your persona, it's what would that person ideally want to have in this package. Do you know what it is for an Indian bride? Ideally, they want their three days of coverage. Four hours for each pre-wedding day. They generally want 12 hours for the actual wedding day. They want their own album, which is usually 40 pages. They want two parent album duplicates, which are 20 pages apiece. Or 20 spreads. Okay? Plus they want their images. That is their ideal. I'm not saying, oh I'm gonna throw you a bunch of wall art. And I'm gonna throw you a bunch of this stuff. Because what's the first thing they're gonna say. Can you guess if I put stuff that they don't want in package number three, or in package number two, or in package one? If I put things in there that that personal does not want, what are they gonna say? Take the price down. Yeah. What will it cost me if I take that out? So that's what we're trying to avoid, is what will it cost me to take that out. Don't, and we have to know who we're marketing to to be able to do that. So this is what that third package is. I expect kind of a decent jump in price point from package one to two. A significant one from two to three. Let's keep going. Don't sell things that they have to upgrade. Just don't to that. Bad business. Bad, it's just poor business ethics. It doesn't make any sense. Desired products need to be in package one. And then we sell, I'm sorry, desired product in package two. So like, let's say I wanna offer package one because I wanna get people in the door. I'm still happy if I can't deliver an album. But I'm gonna give them an album credit because I do want them to buy an album. But I wanna have that price point available to them. We have people locally that say no. A signature album is my minimum. Is there a right and a wrong to this? No. It's just for them a signature album is their minimum. So their price point starts with like our package two. And that's their base. You just understand that you're trimming off one segment of the market that might not understand what you're doing prior to making a decision on price. That is not necessarily a bad thing. Yes, questions. So, for the package one, don't sell things they have to upgrade. Does that mean, like ala carte items? 'Cause I've seen packages where, if you want more than the allotment it's kind of like based on ala carte. Is that what that means? No. So, like we talked about, this is for you and your product right? What I'm saying is, don't sell something that they have to upgrade to get to the product you want to deliver as the artist. Let's say you're doing newborn sessions. You would like to set them up for IPS. But you want them to walk away with something. So in your base minimum, if they come in and pay your $249 sitting fee, you want them to have 10 images. I wanna give you ten images as your final product. But then the additional images, and the additional artwork and everything else is ala carte. They could walk away with their 10 images, and you should be okay with that. Does that make sense? Yes. But if you feel like, let's say this, if you were selling weddings and you felt like every single person needs to have a signature wedding album. But you didn't have it in your base package. And so every time someone selects the base package they go, you say to them, "I really feel like you need a wedding album. It's another $2,000. I really feel like you need, you must have a wedding album, it's another $2,000." That's the aggressive, upsell. Got it. Where you've built something that doesn't fit what you believe. And you're gonna get the feeling of, man I don't like being a salesperson. I feel like I'm constantly selling. It's because of the way you've set up your own packages. Thank you. Yeah. Julie? Oh, go ahead. So you say that the package one, we shouldn't try to upsell basically. Ah, try to trick them. So does that mean that with the $500 credit, can they get an album? Or do they still need to add more money after? No you tell them upfront. You say, "You have a $500 credit towards an album because I'd love you to have one. That brings the price of an album down to $1,499." Okay So they know. And, it's your gift to them. So you don't say it's a credit. You say it's an album gift. And we're gonna talk about that too when we get to forbidden words. Basically, you give them a gift. So the other way they're not like, well what if I remove the credit? The duplicate parent album, versus the signature wedding album, what would be the difference? The duplicate parent album versus the signature? So what we do for our clients is we tell them that if you want a duplicate album, we give them like a collection price. So we don't say discount. We say collection price. If you want duplicate albums, the collection price drops by 30% or 40%. Because generally your album designer if you wanna create a duplicate album, you don't need to design it again. And also the printer will often give you a volume discount for two or more. So you build that in to incentivize them to buy more. The ideal goal here, and this isn't being lazy, this isn't bad business practice, this is the ideal goal here, is that, you're giving them things that they want that are marginal investments of your time. Once you've got an album designed, getting them wall art, getting them duplicate albums, getting them, even additional albums that have small modifications, that's a marginal investment of your time for a big increase in revenue. So even if you have to cut a significant part of that price to get them and to incentivize them to do that, well if you can make another $1, from an additional hour of ordering just more, that becomes very worth your time. Whereas, if they design three custom albums you need to make sure that all three of those albums are full price. 'Cause it's gonna be a lot of design time. X amount of hours for a shoot. Is that from when you walk into the place? Or is that from when you leave home? I mean, is that when the client shows up? Or do you make an agreement that, this is when we're supposed to meet? And then your time starts? How does that? How do you kind of? I wan you to work backwards into the answer to your own question. Think about you from the consumer standpoint, if you'd be pissed off if the customer, or if I said to you as the photographer, "That, your time begins when we all leave to go to the location." Would you be upset by that? Would it be stressful? Would it be a bad experience? Yes. Right Don't do it. Start the time when you arrive. And you say, " We begin shooting at 3 pm." I always say, "I'd like you guys to show up 15 minutes early to get you all warmed up." So when 3 pm comes we're ready and going. And it's communicated up front. So if they show up at 3:30, it ate into their time. I don't give them additional time unless, you know, I really, like maybe there's an extenuating circumstance or something like that. But we respect our time. But at the same time, don't do any business practices that you wouldn't appreciate yourself.

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.