How to Launch a Photography Business


Lesson Info

Find Your Passion

You ask anyone what we do? Ha, I take pictures and fly around the world, and I'm always at islands that always have exactly two palm trees. They are really small. I would really love to, no, for like five minutes. That would suck if you were stuck there. And I take pictures of people at parties and have a great, all this stuff. And I get paid $10,000 to do it. That's what people will think. Everybody has that perception of photography. That's great, that's a good feeling to feel like, okay, people think that my job is really cool. Here's the closer reality of what we do as a business. This is all to set the expectation of the reality. The reality is that 10% of your time is going to be taking pictures. 90% is going to be everything else that we're going to be talking about, okay? That's not to depress you. I hope anybody online, any of you here, it's not to say, honestly this should be encouraging because if 10% of your job is taking great pictures, isn't that a relief a little bit whe...

n you're starting out in this industry and you're comparing yourself? If only 10% of being successful is that part of it, don't you kind of settle a little bit and say, "I can ease into that". I would. Passion is becoming a four-letter word for me. I don't like it. And the reason is because of the way it's thrown around. You need passion for the process not just the camera. If your gonna say passion, say it this way, okay? Because people keep saying, "What are you passionate about?" It's this thing that's getting thrown about, "What do you want to do, what are you passionate about?" Anybody, raise your hands. Give me a passion. Oh now nobody wants to, Kenna. Travel. Yeah, but you're actually making that into a business though. But it's a passion. Okay, let me, I love racing cars. There you go. What do you got? Kayaking. Kayaking, okay, perfect. Grab the mic. You're gonna be my demo for this, you love kayaking. Okay, what if I said to you, "Have you ever thought about being a professional kayaker, you're really good at it? Actually, I have. (laughing) Perfect, this is good, let's play into this. So what do you do for a living right now? Trying to (laughs). Trying to get a business off the ground? Yeah, for photography, yes. And I'm an educator in photography for children as well. Perfect, okay, so kayaking. What if I said, "To become a professional kayaker, you need to sit in your kayak for eight hours a day kayaking." Okay. And then you need to do that for about four years straight, travel around to every single possible river, make sure that you put your family on hold and everything else on hold because you're going to be going around to all these different places, you need to get your butt time, that's your seat time in your kayak. Do you think you might have the same passion for it after four years of doing that or do you think it would become a job? Everyday, yeah, it could be a job. Okay, that's perfect because that's the exact same way I think about racing. I love taking my car to the track and going racing. I have a track car, it's fun, it's set up. And I love putting on my helmet, and I love instructing people. I instruct people on how to high performance driving. It's really fun, but if you told me to sit in the car for eight to twelve hours a day and when I'm not in the car I need to be sitting in a simulator, and when I'm not in a simulator, I need to be studying footage, and when I'm not studying footage, I need to be doing this, and I need to do that for 20 years, from the time I was young all the way up to this point to be able to think about getting a professional job as a racing driver? I'd be like no, I'm sorry. I can't do that. That's passion, that's where passion takes you. If you simply follow down that road. And you'd be doing yourself and your family and everyone around you a disservice by doing it. That's not to say that you shouldn't be passionate. It's to say that we're using the word wrong. You should be passionate for the 90% on the right side. This, this is where you passion should be, not here. My passion, do you guys have any idea what it is? I'll give you a hint. It has nothing to do with photography. Absolutely nothing to do with accounting. I enjoy teaching, it's a byproduct. Photography is a byproduct of what I'm actually passionate about. And it took me years to find it, it took me five years of trying to identify what it was that I actually loved doing. What I loved doing is creating systems. I love creating systems and frameworks. I love standing here and teaching, yes it's great. But what drives me is the fact that I've created a system and a framework for all of you to be able to be successful on your own. I love taking those systems and frameworks and implementing them into a business and helping others to do the same thing. I write books on all that, like, this is what I enjoy. It doesn't matter what the topic is to be honest. I'm writing a book right now that has nothing to do with photography, but it's another system and it's another framework. So that is my passion. Okay, that probably sounds weird. I think I take pretty decent pictures. I'm hoping that's encouraging also because so many times we get thrown that word and we feel a sense of pressure that comes along with that. Passion, what am I passionate about. Oh my goodness, relax.

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.


Class Introduction
Common Myths & Unknown Truths
The Road Ahead
Find Your Passion
The Lin & Jirsa Journey
Part-time, Full-time, Employed, Partners?
Stop Wasting Time & Money
Your 12 Week Roadmap
Great Plans Still Fail
Strategy Vs. Planning
Mind Mapping
Select a Focus
Competitor Research
S.W.O.T. Analysis
Strategy & Long Term Goals
Values, Vision & Mission
Effectively Managing Your Time
Artistic Development
Create Your Plan
What's Your Product
Luxury vs Consumer Products & Experiences
Quick Break for Econ 101
Your Target Market & Brand Message
What's in a Name
Your Client 'Why'
Crafting the Why Experience
Document the Client Experience
Business Administration Basics
Book Keeping Management
Create the Logo & Branding
Portfolio Design
Design Your Services & Packages
Pricing Fears & Myths
Three Pricing Methods
Package Pricing Psychology & Design
Psychology of Numbers
Pricing Q&A
Grass Roots Marketing
The Empty Party
Friends & Family Test Shoots
Join Groups
Second Shooting Etiquette
The Listing & Classified Hustle
Make Instagram Simple
Your Automated Pinterest Plan
Facebook Because You Must
Giveaway & Styled Shoots
Content Marketing & SEO
The Monster: SEO
Selecting Your Keywords
Testing Your Keywords
Grouping Main & Niche Goals
Your Content Road Map
Content Marketing Q&A
Inspiration to Keep Working
How to Craft Your Content
Internal Linking Basics
Back Link Building Basics
Link Value Factos
Measuring Link Value
Link Building Strategy & Plan
Link Building Plan: Vendors & Guest Writing
Link Building Plan: Features, Directories, Comments
Link Building: Shortcuts & One Simple Tool
What is Sales? Show Me!
Your First Massive Failure
The Sales Process
Your Second Massive Failure
Understand Buyer Psychology
Step 0: Building Rapport & Trust
Step 1: Identify Need or Want
Cognitive Dissonance
Steps 2 & 3: Value Proposition & The Solution
Step 4 : Close, Make the Ask
Step 5: Follow Up & Resolve Concerns
Family Photography Hot Seat
Business Example Hot Seat
Boudoir Photography Hot Seat
The Best Sales Person
Your Mindset, Vibrations & Frequency
Always Positive, Always Affirming
The Second Money & Dual Process
Chumming the Price Waters
Creating Want or Scarcity
Timeless Advice on Being Likable
Selling Over The Phone
Forbidden Words in Sales


  • 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!
  • 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!
  • 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.