Skip to main content

How to Start a Photography Business

Lesson 40 of 87

Friends & Family Test Shoots


How to Start a Photography Business

Lesson 40 of 87

Friends & Family Test Shoots


Lesson Info

Friends & Family Test Shoots

Okay, let's start with friends, family, and your first brand ambassadors. I'm gonna show you some of the examples of purposeful shoots. Purposeful test shoots is one of the best uses of your time. This is why. You get one stone, you get a lot of birds. You get your practice, it's low pressure, you fit your target market, right, you fit people that are engaged. And guess what? You grab your friends or family's friends or friends of friends of friends, anybody, who are engaged, and you take them out to do a shoot, and you deliver them five great images. They're gonna post it. They're gonna share it, correct? Now, if they are of the age group that's engaged and getting married, or if they are of the persona that you're after, when they post it, it's going to go out to like-minded people who are also in their network. That's what we're looking to create. We're looking to get practice, low pressure, but to also make sure that the images we're creating are being utilized in the networks that...

we're looking to market to. So they fit the target network, age, friends, and then we're going to invite these people to become brand ambassadors. Which you don't do, if you sucked it up. Don't go and, like, take crappy pictures and be like I did a really bad job, will you be my brand ambassador, though? And you're not going to ask them to be your brand ambassador, but we're going to talk about what they are, 'cause on your side, you'll record them as brand ambassadors. Go deliver a few great images, we're going to keep them as brand ambassadors. So my early test shoots, no pressure. You've seen these images. Beautiful. I don't know why he'd want to jump off of that, that's really not them. (audience laughs) But it's fine. Don't worry about it. Okay, early test shoots. Again, do they fight with umbrellas on their own? No. It's just like we saw these umbrellas and it was cool, so we're gonna fight. There's a concrete texture over this, in case you're wondering how to get to this beautiful look. More recent test shoots. These are my kids. 'kay (laughs) so I love working them into my presentations. But I will take my kids out all the time. So when we were starting Line and Roots, I had six months worth of my own kids that I take out for these shoots all the time, to start plugging into the Instagram machine and the Pinterest side, and to our blog and to getting the party started. And they're my own kids. And guess what? Your own kids can look very very different in different clothes, so there's a lot of opportunity just within your own family for that kind of stuff. This was a friend of mine, who, we ran a giveaway or a contest. They ended up somehow winning it, I didn't choose the winner, they just were randomly selected. They're getting married, and so we went out and did this shoot, and then they turned around and hired us to they won this contest and they turned around and hired us to do their wedding. Interesting. This was actually, we're going to talk about giveaways, and contests, we have a full lead generation, this is a great thing to talk about. One of the 16 downloadables in this course, is a lead generation workbook. This thing we sell for $100 on it's own. But again, we include it in this because it's a big piece of what you guys are going to be doing. Where you're going to create a contest and a giveaway to get people talking about your brand, constantly. We've done this multiple times in our business and 40% to 50% of the time, the person that wins, well first, we generally select people to win that are engaged. It's again, it's a giveaway. If you say it's a randomized winner, then it needs to be a randomized winner. But if you don't say it's a randomized winner, you just pick one. Pick one that fits what your target market is. So then the person that wins, ends up getting this free shoot, and then almost half of the time that we've done this, that person or that couple has hired us back to do the wedding. So we've not only gotten thousands of people talking about the business in the process of doing the giveaway, we then got the booking. That's very very powerful. And we'll talk about that process here. So that's one of the wider environmental portraits from this shoot. This is like my, the closest thing that I have to a little sister, Olivia. She was getting married, and obviously her dream is, I want my older brother to shoot this, and I want to do this. And I'm not even going to have a conversation with her about pricing, and so, I just said Look, we're going to shoot what I want to shoot, we're gonna go to the places that I want to go, and I'll shoot it all, but you need to be willing to let me use the materials for education, for whatever I'd like, for marketing, for all this kind of stuff. Okay, fine, no problem. So we do it, and we use this, (speaks quickly) that all of us do, we took them to places that I wanted to go shoot, like Vasquez Rocks. Okay, and then I took them to another spot. Then we started marketing to Vasquez Rocks, through SEO and content marketing. And then we get more shoots of people that want to go to that place. Is that making sense? Of how we can turn these into, and it's gonna come through content marketing, but we're creating the content first for it. This is them again. I did two separate sessions with them. One was like a whimsical session, where they kind of dressed up like this and most of the shots from this session are very filmic, 'cause I wanted to test out a set of looks that I was generating for another client, who was a big wedding and they wanted a filmic look. So I was like, Oh I'll just do a test shoot with this session and kind of go for that look and see how close I can get to it. Same thing. This was actually used in Incredible Engagements on the next slide. Incredible Engagements, one of our courses here on CreativeLive. (laughs) On SLR Lounge. On CreativeLive, we demonstrated lighting techniques. For example, when you're in a pinch, how many of you have seen Incredible Engagements? This is great! You don't count! You hosted it. How do you think this image was shot? How do you think it was lit? (audience members respond) A light? What kind? A speed light? (audience member responds) Video light? Available light? Well the one on the left side is available light, for sure. This is a lighting 201 thing that we teach, and we taught it in Incredible Engagements, where, if you're in a pinch, you can do a lot with just your i-phone. (audience member laughs) So this goes, like, I wanted to throw this in here because it's like, we say lighting 101, lighting 201, all this kind of stuff, like the basics, but man, there is so much you can do with those basics. Like, create a great set of images. One that's dramatic, one that's light and airy. It's the same exact moment, 30 seconds apart. Another one of my clients, these two, Mike and Natalie, they are SLR Lounge Premium Members. They come in and they go, we want to hire you to shoot our wedding. It's gonna be out in Cancun. And they said, we understand that it's going to be expensive, can you work with us a little bit on this? And it always helps, by the way, when your clients butter you up a little bit, right? When they, like, butter you up and you're like, okay. So I said to them, look, we'll work on the package. And they still paid a really good amount in getting us out there, but I said you're going to give me a test shoot day, where I get a day to take you guys around in Cancun, and do whatever the heck I want, in your wedding dress, in your regular attire, for my own sake, for my own marketing education. They said okay. So we go around and we create images throughout the city. This is off the side of a freeway. This is inside of a cave. Which, they're covering the costs of all this. So not only do they pay, they might get a collection rate that most people wouldn't get, but then I get these opportunities to create images that I wouldn't normally get the chance to create. And what happens from each of these, is that after I show it, I get the clients that want to pay for that. Does that make sense? But until you actually show that you've done something like that, nobody has the idea of actually doing it. Our test shoots have lead us into our commercial work, which is where we do our commercial fitness work. It's lead into all this stuff. So the walk away objectives of each of these, is to check as many of these boxes as possible. When you're starting out, lower your expectations of yourself. Set a little bit of a lower bar so you don't come away frustrated. Aim for five plus portfolio images. We're not trying to go crazy. Aim to get 10 to 20 images for social media. Because, to make Instagram look poppin', over the course of three months, you don't need to shoot every single day. If you had 20 images from five different shoots, could you not cycle those hundred images over the course of six months, even, and make yourself look pretty busy. Five shoots, that's it. Behind the scenes images for social media, that's what you're looking to create as well, because each of these different platforms operate a little bit differently. We're going to talk about it. How Instagram is all about the beauty of the shot. But Facebook is a little bit more about a story, and a personality behind. So a behind the scenes image, with a little bit of a story, would probably do better on Facebook. Whereas a behind the scenes image is gonna fall flight right on Instagram. Two to three before's and after's for educational purposes, if you ever decide to educate your clients. Write a little bit of content piece for your website on why they would want to consider you, what makes you different. New conceptual work, you want to practice and hone techniques, and there's an opportunity there for network and vendor connections. For example, when I went to Cancun, or when I go to these different locations, I'm looking to meet with the local on-site coordination and marketing teams, and then get them their images. And they use them. So the hotel, locally, has those images and they use them. Does that make sense? Don't do it if you don't ever want to go back there. But I like Cancun, and I like those places. So if you want to send me back there, I'll go. So by all means, I'll market to those places that I want to visit. Does this give you a different look, in terms of the value of an unpaid shoot if it's done correctly? I hope so. And I hope it breaks down the myth that unpaid shoots are not worth your time, or a bane to the industry. It's literally how we have gotten our business off the ground. And I could give you so many examples of other photographers. Another friend of mine, Mike Kelley. Do you guys know Mike Kelley? He does architectural work. Some of his biggest clients and projects, including the airplane work that he is known for, it all started with a test shoot, something that he just did for himself. And it's kept him busy for like three years. That's crazy. And people are saying don't do these things. From these we're going to create the brand ambassador team. So, when you get to the place where you're launching. Launching, I believe, was week nine or ten in the road map. It's your launch week. During launch week, you then go back through the people that we test shot. Now, we should have test shot at least eight different couples by that point. Don't look at the same couples twice. You want diversity. We should have given each of them at least three to five great images that they love. If not more. If we're talking about boudoir, it'd be the same thing. If we're talking about maternity, you do the same thing. If you're talking about newborns, you do literally the exact same thing. And then upon launch of your site, you request that they give you a review. I really enjoy doing this. I wanted to let you know that I've just officially launched my business, and I would love for you to review my work on this site, if you found it enjoyable. And give them one, maximum two, places to do reviews. I'm gonna give you a little note here. If the place that you're thinking is Yelp, you may not let it be known that you're requesting reviews. It's a big no-no for Yelp. Okay? So if that's your target, is Yelp to get reviews, generally the way to do it, is you put something on the side of, like on your website, or you put something there. You can't ask for it. That's why when you walk into a restaurant, and it says People love us on Yelp. They're not specifically asking you to go to Yelp and do something. Any restaurant that does that, by the way, is actually breaking the terms of use of the site. Yelp is a fantastic place for reviews. But when you reference that, you say, I would love for a review. Here are a couple places, feel free, no attachments. Ask them on the phone so there's no, like, documentation of that. Because if they find anything, they can basically remove your account. Okay, so, understand the sensitivity of some of these platforms. Facebook, though, it's very easy to leave a review and you can request it. Some places are very sensitive to it. Be cognizant of it. Then the same brand ambassadors, with the first launch of your contest and giveaways, you're gonna request that they share it. Are you gonna request these two things within a week of each other? No. This is being needy. We don't want to be needy as businesses, right? You wanna make your, ask your favors, kind of few and far between. So give them a month of time. But when you start sending out this contest, say I would really appreciate if you guys shared this, and I would love for you guys to participate in it as well. And ask them to help. Now, I'm hoping in your heads right now you can go, oh man, a brand ambassador team. Well, if I did seven or eight different people across each week, that gives me eight people automatically. And now my brand ambassador team, I can automatically add people like my parents, by brothers, my sisters, all my friends that are close to me. I bet you can get to twenty people without even breaking a sweat. Twenty people, on the launch of your business, that will leave your business a review, some feedback, comments, and make it look like the party's already going. Along with the images that you created through that process, right? Can all of us probably get twenty? You think? Raise your hands if twenty's a pretty doable number. If not, go make more friends. What's your problem? (audience laughs) Twenty should be good. What did I say up there? Yeah, ask if your work was solid, or if they really love you. (laughs) But not if the work was not. Like if it was bad, no. We don't want to ask brand ambassadors for referral work. Can you guess why? I don't generally like asking anybody for referrals. It's pretty straight-forward. If your work is good, it's gonna naturally happen anyway. We want to make our favor requests, like, being a needy business, you have those friends that start up needy businesses. (laughs) Yeah, a nod right there. Yeah. And you get these requests to join this and do that, and help me review, and I want to win this, and I want to do this, can you please give me a like, can you...If your work is great, it's gonna stand on it's own and you don't need to worry about the referral stuff. That'll come.

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!