How to Launch a Photography Business


Lesson Info

Steps 2 & 3: Value Proposition & The Solution

Now we are to the value proposition and the solution. This is steps two and three, where based on what they have said, based on what you've talked about, understanding who they are, understanding their needs, you now pick one of your products that best fits what they want. It's not up to you to decide what they need. It's up to you to give them what they want. Let them tell you what they need. This is a big one. Select a product that best fits their wants, not their needs. Does this make sense? Stop dictating to them what you think they should have. And give them what they want. Who are you to guess what they need? And this is the funny part, we all agreed that photography was a luxury, right? That it's a want anyway, right? So who are you to guess what they need about a product, that they don't inherently need, they want. So we're gonna present that through reiteration. So the way that would work. I need somebody else. Somebody else that has a photograph in their mind, let's say, who ...

can imagine themselves getting married? Give me that one. Haldis, you're nodding. Great. We're thinking about the wedding. And if we went through the whole wave. And, what was that one single photograph that you would value more then anything? My husband and I kissing. Perfect. Maybe like a first kiss moment. Families there are present. All of the people that you love. As we get that shot in the ceremony. This is playing back and helping her to craft a vision of the photograph. And if I know the venue, I can say, "Right there on St. Regis, you can see the background. The palm trees. The water. It's gonna look amazing. And you have the best florist. They do such amazing work. Square roots. Oh my goodness. It's gonna be rad. So this photograph of you guys kissing for the first time. Maybe that reaction afterwards. Coming back down the aisle. Okay. I know what we need to create for you. And this is what I'm gonna recommend." And now you present to her what you're gonna recommend. Now had she said, let's say, my family. 'Cause like a lot of times it's, the things that I get the most from these questions is romantic, of the couple themselves. That's number one. I get family. That's number two. We want family. And then guess what they do, they schedule 10 minutes of time for their family formals. But family is the most important thing to them. So, without understanding that, you've set yourself up to fail going into a wedding because what they value most you only have 10 minutes on a 12 hour timeline to do. Same thing on the maternity side. Same thing on the newborn side. But I'm gonna reiterate to you what exactly you're looking for as I state, I love this package for you. It kind of fits everything. And what I wanna do is I wanna build your entire album out of that moment. Like, can you imagine seeing that moment right in the middle of your album and working backwards as you see the moments of preparation leading up to it. And as you work forwards, seeing the moments afterwards. As you go to the reception and go to the party and have all these great moments with your family. What are you thinking about right now Haldis? Right now, what are you thinking about? You don't want to know (laughing). No I do. Like, you're sitting here nodding with me, what are you thinking about? I'm thinking about how albums are antiquated. Great. Great. Great. At least you were picturing it. I was. I was picturing the album. It was beautiful. Were you picturing things as I said, as we work back and see you preparing to get up to that moment, were you picturing the photographs that might be in there and the photographs afterwards. Mm hmm. Why would albums be antiquated? (audience laughing) Well, I mean, you know, like, I have a stack of crazy food magazines that, and I don't even read them. We don't carry any paper products. Food's different from your wedding album, okay. (audience laughing) I agree that magazines are kind of antiquated. And I don't even know where our wedding album is. Shame on you. All right, the point is that you were thinking though, whether, whatever you were thinking about the album, you were thinking about the album. You were visualizing it the entire time. And that's the whole purpose of, as you're presenting the package, you're reiterating these words. You're continuing to use their language. You're restating how it fits their needs, their desires. You're restating all of your understanding because you want that product to visually fit what they are wanting and needing. And they're gonna visualize all that in their heads. Visualization is a very powerful exercise. We don't really talk about it here but it's incredible. I don't know if you've seen studies on visualization but professional athletes, race car drivers, speakers, everybody, they use visualization techniques to help them be better at something. And it's the weirdest thing, because, specifically in the set of race car driving, you know how much it costs to actually run a race car around the track to practice for a professional race? It is extremely expensive and cost prohibitive. Along with the fact that you have to schedule the time on the track, which is why they build simulators. But then the simulators are expensive. So then drivers start doing things like visualization where they sit in a bucket seat and have a steering wheel and a pedal. And guess what? You don't even need that. 'Cause you can sit on your couch or sit anywhere and imagine the pedal was there, and the brakes were there, and the steering wheel is in front of you. And they did these studies and said, let's actually have people visualize versus actually race the track versus do a simulator. And they found out that visualization is as an effective method of practicing something than actually physically doing it. Wow. That's crazy. And then you can take that into sales. And then you can take that into every other aspect of your life that you do, including the way that you sell and helping them to visualize the product that you ware setting them up to purchase. Yes, Julie. So, the way I did my pricing is people buy a number of pictures, so five pictures, 10 pictures, 20 pictures, and then, the more they buy pictures they can choose between matted pictures in the box or they can choose an album if they buy more pictures. So how do I present them what they need in this situation? Do I need to say, oh, I have a design album for you if you get that many pictures, or do I need to change my pricing, basically? So you're in an IPS model basically, Yeah. Where in this model, that, you should have established what they should expect to pay when you're booking them. They should not see your price list until after you've created and documented those photographs and you're presenting them to them. Then at that point what I would say is simplify. Simplify it down. Put yourself in their shoes. And simplify the product down, so that they don't have so many choices, so many options. If some of these options don't really fit the product you want them to have, remove them. First distill it down to exactly what you want to create as an artist and what is your product. Then take that and simplify it even further. Think of, one, two, three. That's what the list should be when they're presented. So when they're presented that list for you and for Boudoir, they're already far past the point of anything. So when they finally get to that neocortex place of like, let's starting thinking about price and all this kind of stuff, you've already created the value, you've already established everything. They already in fact see some of the images laid out right in front of them. Does that make sense? Until that place, they should never see that price list. They should only have an expectation of what they should spend. So what do I say during the consultation? What do you say during the consultation? Yeah. Well you would do literally the exact same thing that we did here. You would basically walk them through the process of what you did. I want you to look back at these images and feel. I want this. And you would take them through that process. To help them reengage in that limbic system. And then you'd say, I want you to select your images. Take your time. Let me go grab you some drinks. Here's the price list. So basically, I just tell them, the price, the collections start at this price. And then don't worry about it because it will be just about the images you want to get. Something like that? Yeah I mean, we're gonna tell you about how you present. It's very simple. You present bold. Clear. And then, stop talking. Okay. Okay? When you're ready to present the price, it's, this is the price list. Have a look. I'm gonna get you guys a few drinks. Let me know if you need anything. So I show the price, at least, on the consultation? After all of it. At the end of the consultation. After that walk back through. But before the photo shoot? 'Cause, imagine where they just came from right? They're coming back to this consultation of yours that you just set up for them. And they're coming back. And they just fought traffic. And they just, probably got into an argument themselves in the car. And they had a stressful day at work. And all these things happened. And you have no idea what's on their mind. And then you just give them a price sheet. No. You created an experience with that person. Walk them through that experience. Let them re-enjoy the things that you did with them and why you did those things. Let them appreciate it. And then present your price list. But that should take 20 to 30 minutes to get to that place. Before you're sending it over. Similar to like going to a restaurant. It's identical. I mean, how many of you have done fine dining before? Cool. If you mirrored your sales process and presentation of price to follow exactly how that works, it will work. It's tried. It's proven. And what do they do? How many fine dining restaurants that you've been to would sit you down and say how much do you expect to spend tonight? (audience laughing) It's a laugh, right? That doesn't happen. When would you ever do that? No, they would sit you down and they would talk about the experience. In fact they'll talk about, Sara, last night, she was like, "Tonight we have some amazing cheeses on the menu. We have a really special." I know it's gonna cost a good amount of money when she's talk about the special cheeses they have. "Not to mention, the chef went out this morning and got some really beautiful vegetables. They're fan." She's establishing this experience to have. And she's bringing us drinks and food. And asking us how it is. And engaging with us. And at the very end of this wonderful experience, when the check comes, how does she place it on the table? How was everything? It was amazing wasn't it? Wonderful. When you're ready, let me know. And they step away. And you're just gonna do the same thing. At that place, where it's been established, you're gonna present and step away. Just let them think. I don't know why we're so scared of silence. Silence is like the enemy in these meetings. When in reality silence is a really good thing. When I pause it let's you think about the things that I'm saying. Does it not? And then the same way, you need to let your clients think about what you're presenting to them at the right time. 'Cause when they engage down that path of neocortex you know that you've done an amazing job for them. They understand the value you've created. They know what they're getting. And at that place, you just stop worrying. Because, this is the next question I have for you, all of you have admitted to buying luxury products. Fine dining experiences. When those experiences were good, how many of you were upset at the fact that paid a lot money? Raise your hands if you were upset afterwards at paying a lot of money. When the experience was good. No, you're, when the experience was good, nobody's upset about paying a lot of money. In fact, it's almost the opposite. You spent a lot of money. I went to Wolfgang Pucks' Rogue Experience. It's $250 per person to go for this tasting. That's ridiculous. Okay. Like if you think about this from just a standpoint of like, I could be fed for $2. I'm gonna spend $250 to be fed. It's insane. You go and you do it. You have the experience. You love it. And then the fact that you paid that money makes you an evangelist. Isn't that weird? Because you want other people to know that you were willing to pay a lot of money for a great experience and that they should try it too because that validates your decision to do it. You're laughing, 'cause it's like, yeah, that's exactly what everybody does. So you're worried about presenting this price but when all of those things have been established and you've provided that service and everything's there, the fact that they spent a lot of money is not something you should worry about. It's something you should go, great. Wonderful. They valued it. They're gonna walk away. And they're gonna talk about it. It's literally the exact opposite of what we would perceive somebody would do. We perceive that they're gonna pay a lot of money and be upset. No. If they value it, they're gonna pay a lot of money. And they're gonna go talk about it. Present the product that you feel they want the most. We got that. Remember, forget yourself.

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.