Master the Business of Photography

Lesson 1 of 41

Class Introduction

 

Master the Business of Photography

Lesson 1 of 41

Class Introduction

 

Lesson Info

Class Introduction

It's always exciting to be back here and I'm happy for everyone out there watching live I'm happy to have you out there giving me that energy and questions as we normally do it's been it's been a pretty interesting process it's definitely a grind when you're out here and you're watching the rest of these segments, you're going to see that we're providing, you know, it's an hour long content forty five minutes of content and trying to keep that just do a brain dump on you and and overwhelming which I tend to do so let's talk a little bit about myself in the studio just for a second just kind of so you could see where we are you know, I realized not everyone knows who we are, where we came from and what our background, so I just want to cover it briefly in case you're not familiar with us we own salvador cincotti photography we are active wedding in portrait photographers and I think that's very, very important as I stand up here on this platform and educate you that you understand where...

I'm coming from it's one thing to sit there and teach in theory and then it's another thing for me to stand up here and tell you I'm actually doing this this is what's working in our business today and you're going to see that being carry over for the next ah, thirty days, if you will. As you're watching this course, you're going to see things that I'm actually doing and what's been really, really interesting and we'll dig into it. Is the students here sitting here have already had kind of ah twenty day head start on you, if you will or a thirty day head start on you because all the business things that we're talking about in teaching, some of them have already started implementing and seeing success. So we're gonna talk about that in a second, I think that's how powerful this this courses so, salvador, some kind of harvey basin o'fallon, illinois, we're on the illinois side of the st louis metro area. So st louis is kind of our home market. We do ah forty plus weddings a year call it hundred plus portrait sessions a year. We do high school seniors, families, babies again we're inactive studio I turned pro back in two thousand seven, two thousand eight acquit my corporate job. I worked for microsoft a cz many of you know and I just got tired of the grind I got tired of working for someone else. I wanted to work for myself and do my own thing on oddly enough, the irony of it all is when I was at microsoft traveled all the time and I was tired of traveling and so here I am now in this career and all I seem to be doing is traveling, but the difference is instead of traveling with co workers, I'm traveling with friends and family uh but here's, the thing two thousand seven, two thousand eight my biggest frustration was there was no education out there now I'm not talking about education where howto light and lighting ratios imposing and using a reflector I'm talking about actual business education did not exist and is a business school graduate coming into the world of photography I wanted to understand the business of photography and it just wasn't out there at the time no one wanted to share that information on dso I promised myself if I ever made it, if I ever had an opportunity, this would be my way of giving back I want to teach, but I want to teach people how to make money and that is if you're out there watching that is ultimately the biggest success I can have is an educator uh, one of the most exciting moments is when I get those emails from you and you tell me, hey, dude, I did this thing, I quit my job, I'm making more money now than I've ever made that's what it's all about for me that's why I've gotten into the educational part like I said, forty plus weddings here, hundred fifty portrait sessions, but the key takeaway here is taylor and myself were the only two photographers that's it so we don't have a stable of photographer shooting weddings, and I'm not going to sit here and tell you we do five hundred weddings a year and all these other crazy numbers. And why is that so important? A cz we go through this so that you understand that if I could do it, you can do it that's ultimately my message I don't think I'm the best photographer in the world. I don't even care to be the best photographer in the world every day when I get up in the morning, I just want to be better than I was the day before. That's my ultimate goal s so if your goal is to be the best photographer in the world, you could be the best photographer and be broke. I don't go broke. I want to make money I want to retire one day I want to buy nice toys, right? We all want those toys and gadgets and lenses. Reflectors, new lights and none of them are need tohave must have them write, we all must have our toys. All of us were sitting at dinner the other night and the one toy that kept coming up that everybody has to have is a drone we all want a phantom drone to take it you don't need it you have tohave it that's your mindset okay great well if you've got that toy you have tohave just tell me how you're paying for that shit you got have away for money to come in to pay for it and that's what this is all about this is about the business side of all that and so that's the part right if you don't take away anything else just realize as I stand up here today we did this from our basement we started in two thousand seven well no one gave us money we didn't go in debt to grow the business we took our our lumps so to speak we learned the hard way and that's what I want you to do avoid if I can get you to avoid just one of the mistakes I made coming into this success his mind right just once if I could just get you to learn that one thing so where we today this is a picture of our studio some of you may have seen this so I apologize this is our studio picture from the turn of the century so it's probably in around nineteen ten to nineteen fifteen no one really knows how old this picture is but this is our building and so you can see it's got like a dirt road it's got one light hanging there it's even got a horse ties s o that can tie your horse up so it was really interesting was that when this kind of small town when I took over the building this is what it had turned into this was the disrepair that had happened to this building and no lie you would open that front door when we first went to the building you would open that front door and close it and the entire front off the building which shake three stories the whole thing would shake when the engineers came in they're like you're lucky that the front of this building has not fallen down on somebody and if you look here if we go back see that third floor all those windows up there all those windows on the top of the third floor now if you look at when we got the building all those windows the balconies gone all the windows had been bricked up all the hard wood had been covered there was a linoleum staple down I mean the building was in complete disrepair while we purchase that building about a year ago this is our home today let that sink in this is what's possible this is what you can do in the world of photography being a starving artist is bullshit. Bottom line, I don't want to be a starving artist. I want to make money I want to be rich, I want to retire some day I want nice cars. I want nice things. I make no apologies nor should you not one of you should ever feel bad about charging your clients for your hard work. This is what it's all about. We're in this to be successful, okay? And so I share this picture with you. I share my story with you, not as a pat on the back so that it inspires you. So look at that and go. I can't do that because I promise you, man, I'm not the smartest guy in the world. I'm not the best photographer in the world. I'm just a hustler. I'm gonna work hard every single day. I'm gonna work harder than the day before and when I think I've hit my max and I can't possibly work harder any harder than I already am. I work harder, I push harder that's what you've got to do when you're tired when you want to cry when you want to give up when you think no one's listened to you when you think your work socks work harder, dig down deeper, find that voice inside that says, I am not going to quit that's what you've got to find that's that that fire that burns inside of all of us and so look at this picture let it sink in absorb what I'm telling you you can do this okay and it's not a bad adam sandler skit uh old line from an adam sandler movie okay I promise you we can all do this alright so big question why teach this course ultimately I mean I mean it from the bottom of my heart they should have called this the missing manual what I found is over the last year year and a half since our our five day boot camp what I found people were really struggling they were they were taking parts of what we were teaching and they were they were using it but then they were ignoring other parts of what we were teaching and they would say they would sit down with me and they say salam doing everything you're telling telling you do it's not working I'll be okay walking me through it and within five minutes I'd come across two, three, ten things they weren't doing that they should be doing so if you're following our system today if you're new to our system just pay attention be a sponge absorb this over the next thirty days I promise it'll blow your mind if you've been following our system and you think, well, I've heard sounds message before I promise you you're gonna hear new things and in that you're gonna be hearing things about roadblocks that you're possibly hitting, implementing our system but here's the takeaway ultimately, if you are it's like a recipe, I'm giving you the recipe for success. If you do these ten steps, everything will go the way I'm telling you we'll go it's just like making chocolate chip cookies. It's like making brown's. The instructions are in the back of the box, but you come along and you go, you know what I know they say to put a tablespoon of vanilla in there, but screw it, I'm gonna put ten tablespoons of vanilla in there. Well, guess what? Your cookies aren't gonna taste the same way the recipe is wrong, and so I'm giving you the recipe stop jacking with it don't jack with my recipe, I'm telling you it works, right stop messing with it and you run the salvador cincotti franchise in your local market. I would love nothing better, nothing would make me prouder than to know you're taking my formula and just going, I'm not even gonna be creative, so I'm going to do the exact same thing you're doing, but I'm gonna do it in my market, god bless more power to you, that's what it's all about, why the hell you think I'm up here teaching there doesn't have to necessarily be this originality toe everything if I'm showing you how to set up a bridal show which we're not talking about that but if we were in our boot camp if I show you how to set up your bridal show booth just set it up that way we know it works so go do it don't feel like oh I'm copying south good copy south it's a proven formula and so that's where I want your mind during this course and so ultimately who is this course for this course is for anyone who wants to make money that's where the courses for it's not for wedding photographers it's not for senior photographers it's not it could be for a baker it could be for a photographer it could be for a construction worker at the end of the day the fundamentals of business are in fact the fundamentals of business that's what makes the world go around? I truly believe in my heart I could walk out of here tomorrow and start selling shoe laces and I would be successful selling shoe laces because I understand what goes into business wants you decipher that code it's literally like living in the matrix you see everything, everything makes sense you see where businesses are making mistakes you see where there's areas of improvement and the most the most complicated situations become obvious they become obvious I've sat down with you guys and you guys are like what do I do? And you put this complex to situate I'm like boom answer right there there it is it's not because I'm a genius it's just because I'm seeing right the basics we got to get back to fundamentals we gotta understand business is an artist artists are not really good business people right? Inherently we're just not good business people we tend to do things emotionally if you want to be a successful business person emotion has got to be removed from the equation it's a horrible thing it's actually a bad thing when doing business empathy there's no place for empathy when doing business now in our job in connecting to clients and understanding them of course there's always that part where we have to be softhearted empathetic but man when we're running our business and making decisions there's no room for that we have to be right on point everybody with me do I have to? So ciao long it's tough love man that's what it's all about? Um do I have to be a wedding photographer? No, you do not have to be a wedding photographer for this course of course there's going to be things that way speak about that are relevant to wedding for tigers but there's just a cz many things we're talking about that irrelevant to portrait photography it's just about the business if you've got somebody in your family who's a realtor if you've got somebody in your family who owns their own business get him dialed into this course because this course could run on a business channel okay it's not just about photography and so where do I begin when when you're sitting out there right now and you're watching this like where do I begin sound I want to be a photographer I want to make money I'm drinking the kool aid I want all these things that happen I think part of where you have to begin is it look inward where you are today where you sit today is no one else's fault but your own that's gonna be that's gonna be ah resounding message throughout this course there's no one we complain but ourselves stop blaming shooting burners stop blaming your competitors stop blaming all the blame you if there's no difference between you and your competitors how is that your competitors fault if your client can't see the difference between the photography you're putting in front of them and the entire for your competitors down the street is putting in front of them for forty nine dollars how is that their fault that's your fault you have to control your own destiny that is ultimately where you have to start the mirror so right now if you got a mirror look at it look at yourself it's all your fault everything going on right now is your fault stop blaming everyone else for what's going wrong in your life it's your fault it's easy to blame me it's easy to blame your competitors it's easy to blame your mom your dad it's somebody's fault no it's your fault you own your destiny and if you don't like that you don't like what I'm saying and you don't want to own your own destiny then get out of business don't be in business when you are an entrepreneur it is the school of hard knocks when something goes wrong it's you when your clients are not happy and they tell you you suck it's you that sucks it's not your camera that socks it's not your car that socks it's you so when our clients are not happy there's no one else to blame but us we've got to stop looking to blame everyone else for what's going on that's where you got to start and so being an entrepreneur is probably the hardest yet most rewarding things I've ever done in my life it really is because when things go right it's me all right we have to be able to accept that to a lot of artists have a really hard time accepting accolades if you're doing something right and somebody's telling you about it enjoy it ok relishing that moment except that moment that yet it's me you're digging me you love me? I walked into the room, I let you up, you smiled, you smiled at me. You don't smile at my logo even smile on my jacket. You're smiling at me. I got accept that too. But men, we can't just ignore things when they go wrong, right? So I want to talk a little bit about this workbook that's coming with thea that's coming with the course. And if you look here's here's the reality yeah, I'm selling you on something. Get used to it at the end of the day, if you're gonna buy this course and you're gonna buy it in three days right now, if you're going to buy it in five days by now, because here's the thing it comes with a workbook and that work book is meant for you to work side by side in each segment, taking notes, putting your plan together, and so that when you're done with this course, you're not sitting there scratching your head. What do I do next? That does me no good. What I want is when we're done with this course, and in the middle of this course, you're you're building your marketing, everybody out there, people sitting in this audience, we're going to tap into some of them. They were going home after the course okay after we filmed for eight, ten hours a day they were going home back to their hotel rooms and implementing the marketing strategies that we were talking about and getting success so you're already behind that april I need you to start doing that and start working with it so what's in there we're gonna break everything down in that workbook I believe that workbook is seventy pages seventy page workbook that I had my team putting together for you while we were filming so while we were doing all the filming I had a list of sitting there putting together this workbook paying attention to the things that need to be paid attention to for you so this is gonna be available for you to download immediately once you once you purchase it's a plan for you it's a plan and accountability that's the one area I see all photographers struggling I do a lot of consulting with studios one on one they come to me they'll say I need you to be my mentor okay I need accountability that's the word they always say to me I need someone to hold my feet to the fire I need someone to put pressure on me I need someone to tell me I'm doing something wrong well that's me I'm going to do that that's what this work book is all about it's also got in there which you've heard me say it a million times it's nothing new but none of you were freaking doing it right thirty, sixty, ninety day one year plan we're gonna be going through this course over the next thirty days and you're gonna be filled with ideas things are gonna be happy things are going to be popping into your head you're gonna be thinking okay I got to do this I got to do this I got to do this maybe it's your logo maybe it's your website but where is this plan or you just is it in your head and you're going yeah I got to do that I totally got to do that how many of you have watched my boot camp okay previously and you still haven't done the things that you were supposed to do for your business I was over a year ago what you waiting for? Get up off your ass this is the time to do it we're going into twenty fifteen so right now is a business owner you know what I'm not thinking about today I'm not thinking about today I don't care at all about twenty fourteen twenty fourteen is done I'm focused on twenty fifteen twenty fifteen right now is what it's all about if you're focused on twenty fourteen it's too late nothing's gonna happen are you thinking about valentine's day? Are you thinking about maybe holiday cards are you thinking about, um are you thinking about like what you're gonna do in q one? Are you thinking about right? January february march are you thinking about how many weddings you want? Twenty fifteen because bridal shows or on the front side of twenty fifteen if you're not planning for that right now twenty fifteen is going to be as bad as twenty fourteen was for you if you want twenty fifteen to be double the growth, which, by the way, I do my business right now I want to double the size of my business in twenty fifteen do you think I'm gonna wait to march of twenty fifteen to start working on that? We'll know then that's gonna happen in twenty sixteen, so if you wanna quit your jobs if you want to make more money if you want to do all these things twenty fifteen, get off your ass and do it now, now is the time on twitter you're going to see south and kind of follow up he's a lot of the things we're doing in the course you're gonna have questions, this course is not live and so you're going you don't have a lot of questions while this course is broadcasting if you want any response for me whatsoever it's gotta happen on one of these three channels, so south san kata on twitter, instagram don't resist go create an instagram account because it's part of what we're going to be doing south and qatar there and then on facebook forget going in my personal page on facebook it's facebook dot com slash bt shutter that's behind the shutter that's our educational resource shutter magazine it's a free magazine for photographers go there right now make sure you're following us because that's how we're going to stay in touch with you over the over the thirty days and so let's talk about yes cut in with some folks in the in the chat room loving you a great quote jet screamer says if clients came can't see the difference between what you're putting in front of them and the person down the street for forty nine dollars is it their fault no it's your fault he says love that quote yeah that's awesome so just resonating with this powerful start of you know let's let's get whipped into shape well you know you guys never bring me on here I never get asked to speak so we're looking for inspiration feel good conversation that's never why you bring sal and it's usually very polarizing I think people either love me or they hate me andi I'm okay with either one right it's my ultimate goal is to get people tio here that statement and process it it sounds like that person was absolutely processing what I'm saying because it is so true we tend to blame everyone else but ourselves. I love it. So that's. Good.

Class Description


Business skills are non-negotiable – you must have them to succeed. Develop yours in Master the Business of Photography. Sal Cincotta will teach the business-first approach to photography you need to succeed in today’s competitive marketplace.

The viability of your photography business hinges on your plan. In Master the Business of Photography, you’ll get actionable business insights and guidance from Sal, an award-winning photographer, author, and owner of the million-dollar photography brand, Salvatore Cincotta Photography.

Sal will coach you, start to finish, through the process of developing a winning sales, marketing, and business plan and how to implement it. You’ll define your ideal client, learn how to get your price list right, and develop effective responses to sales objections. You’ll examine emerging trends in engagement and wedding photography and learn how to integrate them into your business. Sal will help you re-imagine and energize every aspect of your photography business. 

You’ll learn how to:

  • Build a portfolio tailored to your ideal target client
  • Use social media to grow your business and expand your influence
  • Proactively instigate vendor relationships
  • Use marketing to book more sessions
  • Apply the new rules of SEO

You are not entitled to make money – you have to earn it. In this class you’ll develop an action plan for growing your business – no matter how long you’ve been in the business – with 30, 60, 90-day, and 1-year plans for keeping your growth on track.

Photographers work in a competitive industry and everyone can benefit from learning fresh, new marketing, pricing, and sales techniques. Commit to the success of your business and join Sal for Master the Business of Photography.


Reviews

Brandon D
 

Sal isn't disgruntled and angry like someone below said, and he doesn't have time for people constantly whining about why their business isn't going good. He's from Brooklyn, so he can come across as harsh at first, but after watching several of his classes and even getting to meet him in person and talk a bit I can tell you he is a really nice guy who truly does want you to succeed. He was very encouraging to me after I thanked him for helping me and my business get to where it is now. Growing up, I can remember photographers grabbing us and posing how they wished. They are often in a hurry to get things right, such as at a wedding, so I am not sure why one reviewer stated he would dismiss them. Sounds like he is just looking for a reason to feel powerful. Anyway, this is a great class to get you on track with your business. Yes, its a bit wedding heavy, but the concepts are the same no matter what. Just apply them to your niche and you are good to go.

fbuser 0af5cf47
 

I have been a long time fan of Creative Live and have sat on the fence with all of Sal's classes because I already attend Shutterfest every year and get loaded with valuable information there, so it was hard to pull the trigger on a $300 course that was filmed 5 years ago. Also, in my earlier days of hearing about Sal, I'd heard a lot of negative opinions about how he comes across. Still, I'd heard he's a marketing guru, and my background is in marketing as well, so I really wanted to see what this class was all about. Now that I've finally gotten it, I'm completely blown away. There is just SO MUCH MATERIAL in this class that its actually difficult trying to decide what to implement first! It is good stuff too. It is all about marketing, sales, and workflow. If you're looking for a class teaching you how to take better photos, this one is not it. This is the class that teaches you how to get your work where everyone is seeing it and convincing people to book you and tell their friends about you! Now as far as others have already said... this class is definitely geared toward wedding photographers. Yes there are bits of information that work for other types of photography, but it is so heavily wedding oriented that there might be a better fit out there for another type of photographer. If you do weddings though, this is an amazing class! As far as Sal's personality goes.... he's a New Yorker transplanted to St. Louis. So expect that NYC no BS type of attitude. Susan Stripling is another one of my favorites and she is similar in attitude (and also extremely talented), so if you like her, you should like this. If you have a hard time with her, you might have a hard time with this. Regardless, its stuff y'all need to hear and implement to be successful. Obviously because the class is a bit older, you may have to make small tweaks to a few things (even though he says don't jack with the recipe), but the marketing principles are solid and timeless. Shoot this course is worth it for the SEO advice alone. Just buy it already!

Cheryl Callahan
 

Sal Cincotta is yet another outstanding educator that I've discovered on Creative Live. In this course he shows us how to implement things in our own business that will help us grow our businesses in this modern age. Personally I've purchased books and gone to photography business classes for years. In one session he mentions how when he and his wife were starting out business practices were something other photographers seemed to be afraid to share. This resonated with me. Everyone is willing to technical aspects but how many are willing to teach business to us? Personally, I just can't decide whether to buy this course or one of his previous ones first. Thank you Sal for stepping up to the plate and having the integrity to share your business knowledge! I'm an artist first and a business person second. I don't know if that will ever change. I do know that the business person part needs to grow and I think this class is a fantastic opportunity to do that.