How to Launch a Photography Business

Lesson 21 of 87

Luxury vs Consumer Products & Experiences


How to Launch a Photography Business

Lesson 21 of 87

Luxury vs Consumer Products & Experiences


Lesson Info

Luxury vs Consumer Products & Experiences

Luxury versus consumer products and experiences. Gosh, I can talk about this stuff forever. I love it. This is an exercise we're actually gonna do. Right now. We're gonna mind map a luxury versus consumer experience, and what we're gonna do is you're gonna do it while looking at this first. I want you to look at these two images and I want you to map out luxury versus consumer as your central branch, central topic, and you're gonna branch out, and give me different words and different things that apply to each of these different buying experiences. Right now, let me hear it. Just words. Clutter. Cluttered on the left. Elegant. Elegant on the right? Functional on the left. Functional on the left. What? One versus many. One versus many, that's a great one. Focused on the right. More what? Boring, yes. Minimalist on the right side. Maybe missing functionality and utility? On the right side, maybe missing functionality or utility? Yeah the side looks very functional, ...

there's places to sit, there's options. Yes. Joe. Exclusivity on the right. Exclusivity on the right. They have one person wait on you. Process versus experience. We're getting a lot of good stuff, so let me get the mic. We're getting more than one word. I was expecting like one word from each of you. We're getting, okay, so where's the mic. Grab the mics. Jason. On the left, I see a process and on the right I see an experience. Very interesting. Anybody else? Let's pass the mic over. I see clear quality versus quantity. Quality versus quantity. Okay. Cool, let's do one more. I want you to write that down on your paper, by the way, as you guys are defining these two things out. And now let's go to this one. Grab the mic when you have something to say. Define out these two different experiences. More organized. More organized on the left side versus the right side? Quality versus quantity on the right. Quality versus quantity on the right. More expensive on the left. That's an interesting assumption, 'cause you wouldn't know that. But you feel that, right? Presentation on the left. Versus just whatever on the right. I see a lot of uniformity in the as opposed to kind of chaos and options but very chaotic. Yes. Julie? It's more difficult to access the products. It gives you more want, I guess? Isn't that kind of interesting? Like they place it in ways that you kind of need someone to help you a little bit, right? Massive on the right versus exclusive, maybe? What was that? Massive versus exclusive? Yeah, like massive, like broad market versus exclusivity on the left. Very good. I think you guys have this. Lee, go ahead. Even the walkways are designed differently, you've got like a freeway on the right and then you've gotta get in and you sit down or, not sit, but. Okay, so this is very interesting that you guys have identified all this and you're spot on, okay? I want you to put that into your mind map. So you've got this central topic of luxury versus consumer. I want you to branch left to consumer, branch right to luxury. And I want to you define out all the words that you just put in each of those categories. There's the words that you guys really stated already. So in a luxury versus consumer good. On the consumer side, this is, by the way, a Honda dealership. We can't show logos obviously, but this is need over want. We all need cars, right? We need to get from one place to the next. That's how the showroom is kind of set up. This is a consumer product. These fulfill needs. Many product choices. We maximize, there's a product for everybody. Right? We got something for all of you. You want something small? Put you in a Civic. Want a big van? Got that too. We got it all. Maximizing usage of space. Well we gotta have a lot of space to be able to present all the different options that we have to give you. Products become commodities. Meaning brand perception aside, would a Honda or a Toyota or a Hyundai all fulfill the same need? Yeah and in fact, Honda and Toyota, in terms of brand and quality, I know all of us have preferences, but outside those preferences, it's the exact same product in terms of what it can do, in terms of its niceness and everything, right? These are commodities. The features are prevalent. Right, they're displayed everywhere. What does it come with? What is the engine size? Leather? Genuine leather? Patent leather? I don't think anybody puts patent leather in their car, that'd be weird. You'd have like a, like get in and there's a purse-type seat. This is all want over need. This is a Bentley dealership. Does anybody here need a Bentley? No. You could say I need a car, but you can't say I need a Bentley. I really gotta have a, well if you sat in them, they're pretty freaking awesome. Seriously, though, they have this fur under your feet. You're sitting in like, your shoes are on like this ridiculous, like $10,000 fur. Which if you take your shoes off, oh, it's so good. I'm just saying. But there's no way I need that. I want it. Few products and choices. Minimalistic open spacing. Do you not think that here the product is presented as a piece of art versus here the product that fills a need. It's a commodity, correct? Experience values trump, experience and value trumps the features. Prices are concealed. Now here's the interesting part. Where does photography fit? The service that you're offering, because this goes to your question. Anybody. Like, I wanna hear what your thoughts are. Is photography a consumer product or is it a luxury product? (students talking) Let's hear it. I consider it more of an investment, than. Okay, an investment in which side? Uh, to the consumer, 'cause they're, they're paying you to do this spectacular job. But a luxury consumer or a commodity consumer? That, that's where I struggle with that market. Because you have the photographers that that are in your area that charge $ and give you everything and you're out, you know, they kind of under-price you, and you're, you don't fit in that market, but then, it's kind of like, well, do I just stick with my pricing or do I raise it? Well, let me get to this. You are, okay, let's think of it this way. 15 years ago, you could have said photography was a commodity and a luxury. I'm gonna say that today you can't. Today photography, as a business, is a luxury. Why? Don, right? Yes. 'Cause everyone can take pictures. You are abso-freaking-lutely correct. Your, what we've talked about, your phones, the fact that everybody has Rebels, every single one of these inventions which we call the democratization of production, has taken this entire industry's commodity and destroyed it. It's gone. If you wanted to, this is why K-Mart photos. They're all getting rid of their photo stuff. Right? Everybody can do that stuff at home now. You don't need like your pictures on your iPhone are good enough. You don't need someone kind of not really learned photographer in a studio taking crappy pictures of your family for $20. That's gone. What's left is photography as a luxury. So here's the next question that I hope makes you stop and think for a second. Why would a consumer brand and a consumer business model fit your luxury product? And don't tell me that you don't offer a luxury product. If you're a pet photographer, I can take good pet photos with my phone. Boudoir? I stand in the mirror all the time naked and I just do that, like, I just go. I really don't. Julie, don't look at me that way. It's okay. But seriously, how would it fit? It doesn't. And that means that this whole mindset of the feature sell, which is what everybody started doing, is gone. When we get to sales, I'm gonna blow you out of the water. Why are we feature selling a product that has nothing to do with features? Would you walk into a Bentley dealership? This, this is some basic, let's think just on this topic for one second. Who in their right minds would go into this place and be like, are the seats genuine leather? Is, does that sound ridiculous? Um, what's the mileage on that car? Like, does it get good gas mileage? You're laughing 'cause it's a ridiculous thought. Because all of us know that you go into this place to buy an experience. You know that if you're paying 300, 400, $500,000 for a car, they damn well better be using genuine leather and have actual Rolex faces for all the timepieces in the car. And they're gonna do all the things necessary to make it so you never have to ask those kinds of questions. It would be silly, likewise, to go into a Luis Vuitton store. This is Luis Vuitton on the left side. Girls, how many of you would go into a Luis Vuitton store and ask the price? That's an embarrassing question to ask, isn't it? What would you do instead? I really love this one. Let me look at this one real quick. And you pull it down, and you kinda like, flip it around a little bit, and like, there's a tag, and you're just like, ding, oh, I saw it, okay, and then you kinda put it back. Tell me that's not how you do it. Like as inconspicuous as possible. Why is that? And yet, people will come into your business and hound you on your price constantly. Do you think it's because you're prepping them to do that? Absolutely. I'm gonna teach you how to get them away from it, and a part of it is gonna come from the presentation of your product. Understanding first and foremost that photography is not a commodity. It's a luxury.

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.