How to Launch a Photography Business



Lesson Info

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

Should you do this part-time, full-time, employed, with partners? Those are all viable routes. Let's talk about this as a side gig. I have friends that have their 100-plus thousand dollar jobs in IT, programming, tech, all those different things, that they will side-bust and shoot three- to five-thousand dollar weddings on weekends, and may make another 60, 70 grand a year doing that. Is there anything wrong with this pathway? No, it's really great. It carries less risk, it's a better fit for photography as a passion. I don't want to do all the other stuff that are involved in running a business, I just want to kind of focus in on this, and dual income, they can make upwards of 200 to 250 thousand dollars just with this as a side gig. The problem is that it takes more time to launch your business. Eventually, there becomes a work-life balance. So for all of them, they reach that critical point where they're getting so much demand for their work that they have to pick one or the other, ...

'cause it's not sustainable for your family to be able to have you gone every single weekend plus during the week for more than a few years. Your time is also limited, and there's going to be limited scalability. Who's thinking about this as a full-time? 'Kay. So full-time as basically a sole proprietor, that just means running it by yourself, okay? So if you're running it by yourself, it's faster to launch, quicker to grow and develop, more time for scaling and development, better focus and balance in terms of work-life balance, significant risk, it can get lonely and depressing. I know that's a weird one, but it seriously can be lonely and depressing when you're the only person in your business. So if you have a spouse or a partner that can support in that, it really makes a huge difference. Photography is a partnership. I get asked this question quite a bit. You can double or triple the effort going into it, which makes launch very quick. Faster growth and development, division of labor provides better focus. Conflict resolution is a huge one here. And this is what I'm gonna say. If you ever consider a partnership, a few simple words. If you can fight like family, good. But if you come to me and say, "I'm thinking about a partnership. "We have a great relationship. "We never fight." I'm gonna say, "Walk away from it." It'll be done within six months. You can't do it. If you can fight like family, and this relationship has been tested over time, consider it. But otherwise, walk away. Equity and work income, this is gonna become the greatest stress. Which partner is doing more or less than the other? Less autonomy in decision-making. Now you have to consider where your time is going. So for me, with Justin and Chris, every time I say I want to do something, I have to go and ask them what's best for the business. These are the things I'd like to do. What do you guys want me to focus on first? And a lot of times, it's not what I wanna do. My time is not my own. Photography is career with a studio. Fastest artistic development, there's no risk, good reward in salary and income. You can learn the business, you can think different, because you probably would never think on the level of a Lin and Jirsa unless you'd actually worked there, and you saw what the systems were in place, right? You have a career platform and a business springboard, so after a few years, we've seen our shooters go off and start very successful studios, because they've watched for three to five years, and then they go out and do. So again, this is another viable route. There is less upside potential when you are working for a studio. It's not to say you won't make good money. A lot of our shooters, they make between 80 to 120 thousand dollars when they get up to master status. So they make really good money. But it takes time, a lot of time, and most people aren't patient enough to stay through that process.

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.


1Class Introduction
2Common Myths & Unknown Truths
3The Road Ahead
4Find Your Passion
5The Lin & Jirsa Journey
6Part-time, Full-time, Employed, Partners?
7Stop Wasting Time & Money
8Your 12 Week Roadmap
9Great Plans Still Fail
10Strategy Vs. Planning
11Mind Mapping
12Select a Focus
13Competitor Research
14S.W.O.T. Analysis
15Strategy & Long Term Goals
16Values, Vision & Mission
17Effectively Managing Your Time
18Artistic Development
19Create Your Plan
20What's Your Product
21Luxury vs Consumer Products & Experiences
22Quick Break for Econ 101
23Your Target Market & Brand Message
24What's in a Name
25Your Client 'Why'
26Crafting the Why Experience
27Document the Client Experience
28Business Administration Basics
29Book Keeping Management
30Create the Logo & Branding
31Portfolio Design
32Design Your Services & Packages
33Pricing Fears & Myths
34Three Pricing Methods
35Package Pricing Psychology & Design
36Psychology of Numbers
37Pricing Q&A
38Grass Roots Marketing
39The Empty Party
40Friends & Family Test Shoots
41Join Groups
42Second Shooting Etiquette
43The Listing & Classified Hustle
44Make Instagram Simple
45Your Automated Pinterest Plan
46Facebook Because You Must
47Giveaway & Styled Shoots
48Content Marketing & SEO
49The Monster: SEO
50Selecting Your Keywords
51Testing Your Keywords
52Grouping Main & Niche Goals
53Your Content Road Map
54Content Marketing Q&A
55Inspiration to Keep Working
56How to Craft Your Content
57Internal Linking Basics
58Back Link Building Basics
59Link Value Factos
60Measuring Link Value
61Link Building Strategy & Plan
62Link Building Plan: Vendors & Guest Writing
63Link Building Plan: Features, Directories, Comments
64Link Building: Shortcuts & One Simple Tool
65What is Sales? Show Me!
66Your First Massive Failure
67The Sales Process
68Your Second Massive Failure
69Understand Buyer Psychology
70Step 0: Building Rapport & Trust
71Step 1: Identify Need or Want
72Cognitive Dissonance
73Steps 2 & 3: Value Proposition & The Solution
74Step 4 : Close, Make the Ask
75Step 5: Follow Up & Resolve Concerns
76Family Photography Hot Seat
77Business Example Hot Seat
78Boudoir Photography Hot Seat
79The Best Sales Person
80Your Mindset, Vibrations & Frequency
81Always Positive, Always Affirming
82The Second Money & Dual Process
83Chumming the Price Waters
84Creating Want or Scarcity
85Timeless Advice on Being Likable
86Selling Over The Phone
87Forbidden Words in Sales