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Get More Publicity

Lesson 16 from: Master the Business of Photography

Sal Cincotta

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Lesson Info

16. Get More Publicity


Class Trailer

Day 1


Class Introduction


The Agenda


Why You Will Fail


The Changing World We Live In


Biggest Competitors For Weddings and Portraits


Day 2


Defining, Understanding, and Connecting to Your Clients


Day 3


Legal Issues


Day 4


Shoot and Share vs Shoot and Sell


Day 5


Pricing Your Work Part 1


Day 6


Pricing Your Work Part 2


Day 7


The New World of SEO


Day 8


Social Media - Facebook


Day 9


Social Media - Instagram & Pinterest


Day 10


Building a Better Portfolio & Attracting the Right Clients


Day 11


Proactively Developing Vendor Relationships


Day 12


Get More Publicity


Day 13


Booking More Portrait Sessions


Day 14


Booking More Weddings


Day 15


Understanding the Initial Sales Consultation (In-person vs Skype)


Day 16


The Engagement Shoot - Shoot To Make Money.


Day 17


Engagement Pricing and Sales


Day 18


Destination Shoots


Day 19


Working With & Training Second Shooters


Day 20


Growing An Alternate Brand


Day 21


The Wedding Day Timeline


Day 22


Managing The Wedding Day


Day 23


Post Wedding Sales and Pricing


Day 24


Post Production - A Real World Workflow


Day 25


Wedding Albums - Their Importance, New trends & Selling Them


Day 26


Ways Not To Suck At Customer Service


Day 27


Video - The Future of Story Telling for the Photographer


Day 28


Packaging & Final Delivery To Your Clients


Day 29


Lessons Learned - Where I Have Failed Over The Last 8 Years


Day 30


The Journey Of You


The Journey Of You: 30 Day Plan


The Journey Of You: 60 Day Plan


The Journey Of You: 90 Day Plan


Student Examples


Interview with Warren McCormack


Interview with Lenny and Melissa Volturo


General Q&A


Lesson Info

Get More Publicity

We're going to start driving into publicity, right? That is the heart and soul of everything we do there's no such thing as bad publicity we've we've got to get people talking about our brand understanding our brand, understanding the business, andi just everything we do right? So that is really, really important, but it sounds great in theory and in concept how do we do it right? How do we execute on all that kind of stuff? And so we're going to share some ideas and so I want to talk about the value ofthe publicity howto increase your exposure with little more to invest in your time that's all I'm looking for you to invest is just your time and that's the one thing you know what it is I put this course together we can spend money like nobody's business, right? We could go out there, spend money, come up with publicity, we can produce a tv commercial, we do all those things, but they cost thousands and thousands of dollars. So this entire course is really being built around things. I k...

now you as a collective group have in your equity, if you will, in your bank and that's time that's the one thing we do have believe it or not more than money money right now is a scarce resource if you're growing business or mid level business you don't have deep pockets, so to speak this is where it so that's why this whole course have been put together this way I want to talk about expanding into new markets how do we push into a market? Maybe we're not in right now, okay? These are the things we've got to consider whether it's commercial work you know something that's big for me on the horizon we want to start doing commercials, full blown commercials that's what I want to do that's my passion I love video right now so I'm going to show you video I think video is the future, but we have been having a blast and so some recent commercials we produced was the I am a photographer commercial we did that that was a really cool project to work on from idea concept to getting it you know, it was viewed on youtube twenty seven, thirty thousand times something like that that's pretty cool. I've never had a video watch that many times, right? There's not a million person video where it's gonna go viral or anything like that? But I thought it was really need that I got that much traction ahs a video so that's kind of where I want to start going so how do you break into that market? What do you do? You can't just ground me okay, I'm salome a photographer now I want to do commercials no one's going to you know a bank is gonna hire me because I did a wedding right? So it's a completely different market I've gotta rethink my strategy we'll talk about getting the covers of magazines this is really cool stuff we're gonna talk about how to promote your success and when you are successful what are you doing to promote it? Uh if you're just high five and people and and posting it to facebook that's not really enough that's not what I would call publicity and so let's talk about the value ofthe publicity right? You may think you understand it but do you really? First of all my philosophy is good press bad press at least they're talking I never really get worked up about any of that stuff it's just really I want people talking I want them to know who I am I want them to know my business my business has to be on the tip of their tongue in fact you see it in the media so much you might see like celebrity news that's really where you see it happen you gotta wonder every time you reach the labor news I really don't know how accurate it is uh you know oh pictures were leaked of j lo naked really when they leaked or did she leave him leave him because I have a feeling she did nights, all this pr play, everybody wants that level of pr to keep that brand fresh because, you know, you go, oh, naked pictures and j lo and then, like, three weeks later, she has a new album that came out that's weird at that timing work out, right? So it's not accidental. These are things that people put strategies together on to promote their business, so you have to have a strategy. I'm not suggesting you leak naked photos of yourself that's probably not a good thing, but you get the gist we have to think and put a strategy together. Um, ultimately, it's all about the brand it's all these, you know, when I think about bridal shows that's a subject that comes up a lot, especially with wedding for tyre, is we don't have money. I didn't book anybody at the show and on and on and on. At the end of the day, when we talk about bridal shows, you don't always have to book someone at that bridal show. What you want is that brand awareness you want somebody walking through the show, seeing your name over and over and over again, in fact, that's what most of the course has been what I've been talking about right whether it's doing a pinterest board, whether it's hijacking write the name for c o so that you're showing up when artistry flores gets searched when your vendors get search just about brand awareness that's what you want to have happen that you don't want people to not know who you are we work hard to get our name and studio out there it's literally everywhere we can put it so something taylor and I work extremely hard at is getting our name out there and if we go in the spirit of that getting our name out there when we talk about bridal shows, we're doing bridal shows if you walk around a bridal show in st louis one we sponsor one so we actually sponsor st louis bridegroom so they have a nap. I've talked about this in the past and they have a nap lounge so the app allows brides to scroll through see all the vendors that are there get coupons it has push notification hey south and kinda photography if you're at the show when you have the app the first notification that pops up is book your photographer today salvador some kind of a tiring show special ten percent off any package that's brand awareness that's popping up on that app when the app opens up powered by salvator cicada shows up at the bottom of that app that's something we have we have invested in to sponsor they have a lounge at this bridal show right? White couches up alighting guess what's in the lounge all my pictures all my pictures decorate the lounge no other photographers now is there anyone there? They're going to book me at the lounge? No, of course not. But now when that bride is sitting there just taken a load off her feet and she's sitting around and looking at picture picture picture picture twenty by thirty pictures bush's seen dr cicada stop forcing kata salvage corsicana that's the power right of that we've got it. We cannot underestimate how powerful that is to our brands. Um charities, golf outings. You know, in the local town we're in, you know, fallon they had a police golf outing to raise money for the local police department. They do it every year they come in and they're like, you know, we'd like you to be part of this. Well, of course they do, right? We've got the biggest building in the town. They're going to come to us for money. What am I going to do, my guy take out a fifty dollar ad? No, I'm like what's the what's the best you got here like well for you know, the biggest one we have is that the chiefs level and that's. Five hundred. Done. Five hundred dollars. Done. What do I get? Oh, you get an entire whole dedicated to you with your logo on. Great done, it's. Good it's. Good for business, it's. Good for the town of investing back in my town. The police department now know who we are. I mean, I have, if there's ever a problem. The alarm went off in my building the other night by accident. Something's wrong with one of the sensors on the doors within sixty seconds. Cops were right there. Are you doing mr cincotti? Uh, everything all right tonight? Yeah. Having alarm problems. Cops out there and talk to me for thirty minutes. Sat there and talked to me for thirty minutes. Now, if you know me, you know the way I drive, I speed a lot everywhere I'm going, I'm going very fast. And so knowing the local police department for me is probably the best thing that could ever happen, right? Just get out of a few tickets or two. It's. Well worth the investment of that charity ball, but golf outings, charities, local school's booster clubs. Are you working with them? Every school has a booster club. Every church is trying to raise money for something, be part of that. Don't add to it, get your name out there so now when they're raising money right and have their two hundred or three hundred people at the church or the high school and they're going there on display should be a eleven by sixteen or sixteen by twenty four print framed beautiful don't just put a gift certificate that's not going to get you any press but a gorgeous picture there. So now everybody walking by that looks at that and whether they donate or not doesn't matter, but they're looking at that print and they're going how that's beautiful who did that? Oh, that's that salvador cincotti guy two story few years back I was shooting a senior, she was a swimmer in the pool on dit was pulling a local country club in our area, right so high in country club. They gave us a section of the pool, I was underwater as she was diving in. We're trying to just do something different, I was experimenting even back then, and the funniest thing in the world was theirs. This water like yoga class going on like, I don't know, maybe fifteen yards away in the pool was giant pool right olympic size pool like fifteen, twenty yards away, and I hear them talking it was like seven women talking to each other is if nobody's around them, which is interesting to me like I can hear you ladies and they're going you can hear them talking like, who is that? And they're talking to each other like his name is like sal or something like that I think it's like oprah, he just goes by south sort of got so we're like I'm cracking up laughing I'm like we're the towers like yeah, I know she's sitting retailers in the pool maxime we're just laughing at what's happening here because what you're seeing is branding at its best that's what I'm looking to have happened so in my local market in your local market you want that machine knows who I am, but I'm cem sal guy like oprah in her mind that's who that's who I am that's what you want to have happen in your local market that's branding that's from publicity that's from putting things in newspapers that's from winning awards and then publicizing those awards you understand? I'm saying that's from being featured in magazines and publicising not these are the kind of things we got to get better and so, um publicity creates those relationships here's what you got to realize everyone wants to be part of a winning team, but you guys sitting here today listen, you know what I'm telling you because I saw no you're listening to me because you look at what we've done and you want to be part of a winning team human nature I'm not I'm not going for it right everybody out there is watching why are you listening to me you're listening to me because we have proven success we have proven success in our own studio and for many of you out there I've helped you grow your business is from zero I've shown you a way to make money you trust me everybody wants to be part of a winning team so you have to make sure that your team die team rob right team jonathan team wendy you've got to make sure your teams are the winning team in your local market now what makes it a winning team that sounds really right ambiguous how are you a winning team? Well perception's reality so I keep hearing your name hearing your name hearing your name you must tour tour falls doesn't matter if you're really that good just means if I keep hearing your name he's just that sound guy just goes by south well I don't really just go by sally I have a last name I'm okay with it but whatever you want to say lady whatever you want to refer to us as if you see this is a positive thing I'm happy and that's the way you've gotta look at publicity people have to know who you are the worst thing that can happen to your studio your business for that matter doesn't matter what you're selling by the way doesn't have to be just retired the absolute worst thing that can happen is no one's ever heard of you I've said this over and over again I cannot stress the importance of it if people if my bride books mean my bride I know who my bride is if she spends eight ten, twelve thousand dollars in my studio and she gets together at a bridal shower and all our girls are asking her so who's your photographer and she says sal san kata and they say I've never heard of him I got problems I have massive problems nobody wants to spend that much money on anything and not have everyone around them being pressed we understand again this is human behavior I'm not pitching anything to you that is salves way this is human behavior when we spend something on a big purchase spend money on a big purchase we want to feel good about all of us do I mean if you're married or you have a significant others have you ever done something whether it's even edit a picture and you bring in your spouse right now bringing taylor and I'll be like oh my god oh my god this is this is amazing you got to see this and then I show her and she's like what do you mean? This is amazing! You don't understand. This is amazing. Have you ever had that conversation with somebody in your life? Okay, so imagine that now I'm just pitching to you human behavior, somebody spends a lot of money on you is photography and they're like never heard of him before. It's horrible! That is the worst fricking thing that can happen. This is why publicity is so important. The opposite happens for us. The bride hires us, she says who? Who did you who's doing your wedding? South san kata her bridesmaids. Someone in that group will say I heard he's really expensive. Oh yeah that's! Good that's! What? I need to be out there I heard he's really expensive now my bride is like that's, right? But I got him that's the mindset that's what you need to be going after. So keep that in mind. What about negative publicity? Holy cow! The world we live in right now is just absolutely incredible. Anybody can say anything about anyone doesn't even matter if it's true we came here on uber today and yesterday both times I feared for my life riding here in an uber cab. I don't know why I don't know what's going on in seattle, but they're having trouble the whole uber system the driver seemed to be very confused about where let people off and which way's one way street it's not really complicated, but so we get here and it pops up on on the app and I'd like to keep that got one star man and eliza goes one star and mike tell him why she's like you can't tell them why you what on uber's app you can only put a one or five star rating I actually think that's horrible I don't want the guy to have a one star rating and not be able to say why and justify why gave that review we know how reviews work people get pissed off about anything, they're going to give you a bad review there should be some level of justification that's how easy it is today, isn't it anyone can give anyone a bad review about anything and you have no recourse on facebook on my salvadore cincotti photography business page I go through and there's somewhere in the neighborhood of like I don't know three hundred views unfortunately it's all from photographers, which I don't know why you're on my actual photography business page I don't need your review there they're like sounds awesome great guys that's not gonna help me book weddings but I go through a few weeks ago because somebody told me and they were like ten one star reviews one star reviews and they're not from my clients they're from other photographers so I'm like what do I do? Well it's me south I'm gonna call you out on it I went right to each person individually like a dude what's with one starve you like just as a professional courtesy why're you want my page even leaving a review and why would you leave a one star review as a professional courtesy I'd appreciate if you remove that review nine of the ten wrote me back within fifteen minutes they're like I never gave you a review and here's what started happening? I started looking it up online on facebook if you're in the mobile app previously not recently they've updated it used to be if you were scrolling through and you hit the one star or you hit anything you would not review would just go through it never popped up to say are you sure okay anything like that and so all those people were like, I swear they're like you've helped my business grow tenfold I'm gonna go in I'm gonna give you a five star so it was all by accident and so not saying that if we get bad reviews it's always going to be by accident but imagine if I just let that sit there we can't do that and so you've gotta work hard at making sure that negative publicity doesn't hit the social stage now if it's justified so be it I mean, if you did something wrong if you're late on the delivery of your prints if you screwed up a client order etcetera, etcetera, you've got you've got your hands full on some bad pr here's the thing I would encourage you to do never let it get to the point where it goes up here ninety nine percent of the clients will never just go right to facebook you understand that, right thing about you is a consumer when do you really get to a point where you gonna post a negative review when you're pissed off and you feel like no one's listening that's usually the time you will go out here and write a negative review is when you feel like no one no one cares about how you feel yeah, everything, whether it's an airline, whether it's what I don't just have a bad experience on southwest airlines per example, I fly united from new york tio tio seattle coming in for this trip internet on the plane sixteen dollars holy cow man this saying that I'd be like I'm gonna be watching like five movies at the same time for sixteen dollars internet access I couldn't even get email to download was so pissed off because I had work to do on the plane and so I called the flight attendant over okay, can you just reboot the I think the system or something I'm like we can't get the internet to connect you right she comes over to me she's like there's nothing we can do all right well I don't believe that for a minute I get I get home and immediately within eight hours and you know to me that's pretty fast within eight hours I haven't email from united saying we've determined there was a problem on your flight with wifi and we've re funded your money yes they they care and I'm not even complaining yet I never even got to the point where I'm complaining are you processing howto apply this year business if you're doing things let's say you're running late on post production right that's usually where we're screwing things up let's say you're running late for whatever reason doesn't matter nobody cares if you're running late what do you do to make it right for your clients if I'm running late I don't wait for it to escalate for my clients and this is a story I've told before in the past we started doing video full video and men it was a nightmare force we completely underestimated how long things would take in postproduction I was running six to eight months late on video their one year anniversary is passing they still don't have their video there's no complaints online for it how come because my clients are happy they were not happy I made it right before it ever escalated a susie we are super late on your video I know we are I'm so sorry we completely underestimated how long things would take what I want to do to make it right we're gonna give you a free sixteen by twenty four campus toe hanging your home I know it's still not your video but I just want to let you know we haven't forgotten about you and we're still working on it that's how you make things right as business owners were never going to be perfect we're always gonna make things right but man, we've got to do something to hedge off that that bad publicity because that's the kind of stuff that could destroy your business to make sense how to get it so is the tongues away tons of ways to get publicity but none is easier then the investment of your own time and some creative thinking all through the course we've been talking about ideas like why don't you do this? Why don't you do this? Why don't you do this? All that can lead two positive publicity okay, so I'm going to talk to you about two scenarios that I did here recently, okay? These are all both very recent that have led to nothing but positive publicity for me and so first up st louis bridegroom, a local wedding magazine largest bridal magazine and bridal show in st louis this is the bridal show I sponsor the app on okay uh seven years I had a relationship with this company I've been working with this company for seven years it's incredible same thing for you you can't keep pulling in and out of bridal shows right? If you go to a bridal show if I look at my history with them over a seven year window there's some bridal shows have done were booked five brides there's some bridal shows I've done where book zero broads some have done were booked two brides it's about the relationship it's the only time I went there is when I needed just to go to a bridal show then I don't really have a relationship with him, right? So for them I'm their main guy they're gonna have me in there in fact let me tell you how strong that relationship is. One year we had one of my second shooter's quit and go try and start their own business and part of starting your own business was they were going to go to the bridal show two of the three major bridal shows in my area blocked them, they said no, we're not letting you because of the relationship with me that's incredible that's relationships and so you've got to be able you gotta understand that relationship it comes from time they gave me my first opera cover opportunity years ago, so I'm going back, like, maybe five years ago, six years ago, they gave me my first cover off their magazine, and I've been loyal ever since, right? Because if you're wedding photographer, getting the cover of a magazine is really, really important it's about that exposure it's about growing growing that business so that you, uh, you know, you can show the world you're on the cover of a magazine that's a big thing, you know, in the world of brides, no charge to them for the shoot gotta be willing to do this for free. I don't need five hundred bucks, I don't need a thousand bucks to go there and do this. I need the publicity. I'm literally doing this for the publicity. You understand the value of this four of five of the last cover's we've had with the magazine four of the last five you're not supposed to do that, they're supposed to rotate out the photographers in there, she's giving me four of the last five covers that's, how loyal she is to me, that is powerful stuff, man. So now when I go to the bridal shows in my booth is the very same image that was used on the cover this is powerful, powerful stuff, so recently where a huge I mean huge opportunity one I'm not sure many, many people get least, unless you're in new york or california, something like that, we got to photograph t j oshie and so if you're a hockey fan, right? Which I'm not really a hockey fan, but if you're a hockey fan, you know t j oshie is tj is olympic gold hockey player st louis blues superstar player okay, this is this guy is the real deal that an opportunity to photograph him for st louis brian room for the cover him in his fiance really, really cool opportunity, and so it started as a cover shoot, and it turned into a twelve page editorial spread. So now my images or across twelve pages in the magazine absolutely huge opportunity, you understand? I don't even want to know how much money she had to pay tohave him, be it that shoot it couldn't have been cheap, and so she paid to have a man shoot who'd she call? I'm the first call, she called me she's like I know you're not up for the cover she goes, but there's, nobody else in this city I would trust other than you on this project, and that was a huge not to me, so we had the entire team, they're right, it was me, elissa taylor my partner lauren, where they're making sure everything goes right and the best part about this whole thing and I hope he comes to fruition. We go through the whole shoot and I'll show you some of the pictures go through the whole shoot and they're so down earth that's the best part when you get to work with, like celebrities and they're super nice people. That's, that's the best part of all of you sit there with tj super nice guy lauren, his fiance, absolute sweetheart, she gets through, we're taking all our pictures are shown her in the back of the camera and she goes, I hated my engagement pictures, right? And you're going to see her she's beautiful. I don't know how you take a bad picture over she's like I hated my engagement pictures because I love your style. We're working with her now. Sorry, but she's looking to fire her photographer have no idea who it is. I say I'm sorry, but I'm not really I want the business on dh. Hopefully we get that wedding and so if I get that wedding you want to talk about, like just this trifecta off, things that have come together from doing something like this. I would do this project over and over again so it's kind of take a look behind the scenes. Feel free to ask questions because this is something not necessarily with a celebrity but something you can do in your local market, I think. And so what we did we worked with, um, this is a hayley paige dress. So this is she's, one of the hottest designers right now in the wedding market dress is about five, six seven thousand dollars range. So she's kind of she's, not the super super high end where you're paying fifteen thousand dollars for a dress, but she's definitely not a david's bridal dress. So she is one of the hottest designers right now. There's a hayley paige dress. So we had the dress company. They're producing this. We have hair and makeup there. We brought our b one lighting kit, which is very important. And so, no, you keep hearing you talk about these be ones, be ones, be ones. Well, guess what. You're not producing a shoot like this with speed lights, it's not gonna happen. It's not gonna recycle fast enough. It's not commercial lighting. It's not good enough quality. So all the lighting here where we were shooting not really a whole bunch of places to plug in power so I couldn't bring I'm not bringing in you know, fifty pound battery packs to power this shoot and so all these lights that we used for this r b one so on the left you're seeing an umbrella it could be one and on the right you're seeing a beauty dish with a sock on it that's what we're using for for the lighting and then I'll kind of walking through the lighting set up on a bunch of this stuff here's one of the shots I got absolutely love I'm talking I wanted something I asked the publication so her name is linda I asked what you're looking for here it's like well, I just want to cover and then I just want you do whatever you want to do like whatever I want to do she's like yeah, you have you have full creative control if you don't know if you've never worked with a magazine uh trust me the one thing you don't get is full creative control but she gave us so much control we actually designed this spreads in the magazine she said, I want your team to design the entire spread inside the magazine I want you to do your thing so she let my designers the same designers that design shutter magazine she let my designers does not design this that is nothing but trust right? So here is one shot I got we fired the b one up and we fired one up into the ceiling to create some light up here within fired one at tj and then we fired one on a snoot down it. Lauren okay, I said to her I said, what do you what do you want to talk? I just want something that feels vintage something that's different something that's a little bit more dramatic I'm like bingo my wheelhouse that's what I do, I said we could do that and so you know, this whole time I'm having you convinced again, celebrity couple couples, they don't want to just do things they just want to be done I want to take their picture move on super nice people, I'm explaining to them every step of the way here's what I'm looking to do and she's like I love it great let's do it and I'm tweaking her my way. I was worried about this. This is really kind of my first celebrity kind of thing that I'm doing, and I'm worried that she's just gonna get annoyed because they're used to doing cover shoots and things like that. This is a guy who the week before was on the cover of sports illustrated, so they're used to just walking up you've got five minutes, take your shot begone! Now here I am on my t junction down turn left, pop your hip. Do this. Do that. And I'm like man he's gonna get pissed off at some point and he's not he's, just like he gave. He felt confident in what I was teaching. This is the cover, and so this will actually be the cover shoot. Ah, this was taken with my eighty five millimeter. One point two. This is a bar there's actually some funny pictures. I'm literally laying across the bar to get that shot, but I shot eighty five. One two. Man. Super super risky, right? You're shooting for the cover of a magazine. I've gotta nail that focus. The lighting here is absolutely gorgeous. Jerry jones, his ice lights. So if you've never had ice, if you if you don't know what a nice light is, I highly encourage you to look at them. They are expensive, but the light is just absolutely amazing. And you gotta have the right tool for the job. There is no scenario. I was going to be firing a strobe in this situation and get that kind of ambient light behind them. And so they'll crop in and make it perfect for the cover, whatever they need, but this is the shot that ultimately lent itself to the cover, then you know, my k. I did some research I look up t j I'm like man this guy he's got uh you know, this guy's had some, uh you know, plenty shots taken of him I want to do something different don't want to do the traditional shot it's kind of a cool shot that looked familiar at sidelining me do it in brazil, right? So now I'm finding my style and applying it in a different way this is one I slide off to the side just a really kind of heavy edited look, he I showed him this in the back of the camera he's enemy goes that's badass, but now you're getting him to be inspired by what he's seeing in the back of the camera this was one of the tricky shots to pull off st louis they know who he is and so I plan to pull them into the lobby. I literally had about thirty seconds before chaos ensued, so what we did here is this is actually being lit with four lights and so we've got two lights behind them, okay? Firing in you can see the edge light around them creating some separation from that background and then there being two umbrellas being lit from the front okay, so everything was set up their dialed in weird taylor and elissa standing there getting everything completely dialed in uh then when I was ready we pull them out boom got what we were looking for can I sell this to my bride and groom? I shot this the way I shoot and I'm now bringing that to a commercial level of work that's what I want that's what? My uh that's what people want what is the publicity I'm gonna get around this? This is one of my favorites. This is absolutely one of my favorite shots so at the hotel we were at I forget the hotel name I'm sorry, but they have the cary grant sweet because it's just kind of old style hotel so soon as we get in the room you know, I've never seen the room before so why now I walk in the room and I'm like okay what what's the story here what am I doing right? How am I getting her comfortable him comfortable what's the story that we're telling in the editorial so we think okay let's take it and wind down the night right night's winding down it's just the two of them there in the room we want something a little sexy right? We got this kind of clark gable picture back behind them I thought was kind of interesting I wanted we got this hard shadow on the wall behind them I thought that was kind of interesting and so this was lit with one speed light okay uh in the in the room firing it right at them to create that create that shadow okay, so really cool things so you're seeing an entire photo shoot where I used everything from a b one to a nice life to a speed like gotta have the right tool for the right situation can't just run around with one light and think you're gonna be able to do everything you need to do you've got to understand what tools you're going to need um questions about this ideas, thoughts, concepts I mean, we're yet can you pull something off like this in your own market? I can't tell where you guys that you guys were thinking about the whole thing robert what do you think? What can you do translate this for people at home know really this is you know, even even if you were in a situation where I mean you had, you know, a somewhat celebrity couple that you're working with, you could definitely pull this off we're just finding models, you know, that's right and recreate you know, that would be not recreate the exact same image, but do something you know, very stylistic let's translate that right? Because don't zone out and go well greats out way don't have you know, I don't have celebrities in my market, I'm never going guys I've been doing this for I've been doing this for eight years now nine years now long time I don't know seven eight years and so at the end of the day this happens as a culmination of everything I'm telling you to do this whole concept that I did with this hotel okay, I can now I can now pitch that back to the hotel to new hotel so now I can say hey here's, what we've done here will let you use the images but I'm on your preferred vendor list I can now what happens when I go to a bridal show when I put stuff like this out this is going is going to huge push for me when I go to my bridal shows in january people going to stop by especially looking at pictures like this which is this one's one of my favorite but this one here all right that's a pretty cool shot I can sell my bridegroom on something like that I can recreate this in any hotel lobby that has kind of these big dramatic ceilings which a lot of hotels nowadays do and so this is really, really cool and I'm gonna parlay this publicity help girl my business so I've not stopped the pr machine we've got to be part of it let's talk about another scenario but I think ever anyone here can walk away on execute on I'm not really big into chicago market right now and so I get a wedding here in there up in chicago, but I really want more there's a lot more money in chicago and it's only three or four hours away from me, so I really want to push into the chicago market great how do we get there? I can't just show up and be like a south cincotti here book me for your wedding in chicago you've never heard of me before, right? It's a very competitive market much like yours, so I'm doing exactly what I'm telling you to do. We had no connections in the market, absolutely none. You have no connections, no stop, no venues know who we are? No way of booking business there. Uh, where worked with a local planner and local makeup artist. So small world eliza, my second shooter might my assistant kind of second in command she's been with me for three years now when we hired her, we posted the ad to facebook looking for we have job opening second shooter, studio manager whatever we were looking for, our friend who's up in chicago now saw the posting sent it to listen. Ok, fast forward three years later. Now we're looking to push into chicago bliss his friend is a wedding planner up in chicago small world so we reach out to her and we say, hey we want to do something up in chicago, she's like I would love to work with you. She was I'm starting off my planning business, I need some pictures she was, and I'm not happy with what I've been getting up in this area like great win win, I said here's, the deal will come to chicago, we'll shoot completely for free, I said, but you own wardrobe and makeup, I said, and we'll go, we'll go from there, we'll give you all the pictures to use for a portfolio. Awesome back and forth. Normal conversation for planning. We drove our team up. I had to pay for a hotel gas my time I was there for the entire day did it for free sweat equity right now. This guy growing his business still pushing into another market. I'm doing the exact things I'm telling you to do. Okay. That's, why you need to be listening to it. My goal was to work on my portfolio and do some cool stuff, right? That's, what I want to do, I need to be in that chicago market doing chicago things and get get that for my portfolio. That was my ultimate goal in the back of my head. So we show up to this area once again, you're going to see the bee once this has been worked into my arsenal of products now, because everything I'm doing his mobile and so I don't want to have to carry a battery pack, okay, put a battery pack down and plug in my maestro, but it's not gonna work that's why I love to be one there so portable and so this was our set up. Now, if you walk in here, there's all this kind of like dappled light in this area, it's not really it's not really conducive to a photo shoot, you walk in there, I'm sure. Photographer after photographer in chicago has taken shots in this area. This is at the chicago art institute, and I'm sure they've taken the shot a million times in this area, but I'm gonna bet they don't look like the shots we got because we brought in kind of a portable studio I needed to create something that look different if it looks the same as everyone else what's the point and so the first shot we got with this set up, so you're seeing behind we're creating some rim light for separation, you could see the directions of the shadow kanta the shadows were coming here, I can't move the son at this point but I'm also seeing the leading lines and all that other stuff in this area so I've got to deal with what I've got I've got a beauty dish firing at, you know, close to full power on we've got him being lit from behind some room light boom he doesn't even look like he's standing there some people have looked at the shot to go what did you photoshopped him in there? Did you put him in there? No he's not photoshopped in there that is the legit shot that is what lighting can actually do to your imagery proper lighting can make it you don't know you're not quite sure what you're looking at so you might look into my god that's a bad photo shop job not really he's actually there so there but in photoshopped me into the shot that's the shot would that was created for him can I create this shot for my for my groom's? Sure, ken, this is a pretty cool shot if you're a groom, why wouldn't you want something like that? You would right through dapper it's cool shot you can see all the shadows behind him but that light man is overpowering the sun looks really, really cool another shot, very editorial like in nature was choking, showcasing the bouquet things like that but here's my shot of her now she's actually wearing a hayley paige dress so as we're doing this the whole time we're promoting on instagram remember that crazy conversation we had a few segments back about instagram we're promoting the whole time on instagram this shoot we're hash tagging the dressmaker hayley paige hashtag you know hayley paige hashtag vera wang hashtag whoever that dressmaker is she gets wind of the shoot she starts pushing out that she starts re re pushing out everything we're doing she starts commenting on the pictures were doing right so that's an unintended consequence I had no intention of having any relationship with dressmaker and I was just uh we're just doing things to keep anything social keep things moving here's another shot we got I love it I think it's an absolutely gorgeous shot shows the dress movement by uh she's popping off that background you know, I love the kind of leading lines into her okay? So kind of a cool way you're not getting this shot without flash will never look this way absolutely impossible I tried easier shot was to not use strobes but I couldn't get it to look this way. It's just impossible you start either blowing out all the highlight detail so that was what would have happened so if I shot it without this flashing their the on ly way she would have been exposed properly the entire white in that area would have been completely blown out so this was forcing me to do things a little bit differently, but that was the goal of this shoot, right? I wanted to build my portfolio something that's just become an absolute epic shot force this again gorgeous I saw I'm literally standing okay right at that tree line shooting back into them and there's a strobe here, right? That's obviously been edited out so there's a strobe right here firing into them and lighting them up again beautiful shots very portable were moving around were doing all these things all the while I'm shooting for me now maybe you love this shot maybe, you know, I think it's really cool I love the leading lines I love the tony on the image, but I mostly love the story behind this image and if you've heard me tell before I apologize but it's it's worth talking about because it goes into the spirit of what were what were ultimately doing here. This is at the chicago art institute you walk in, I'm walking with my camera bag buy a ticket it's me, elissa taylor and the brian groom, right? We walked, we goto walk in, we got a hand or take it security's right there they're like, you can't come in here like, what do you mean I can't come in here like you're a professional photographer you have a back they said to me so apparently if you have a bag you're a professional photographer there's people walking by me left and right to go in there with their cameras with there rebels with their point shoed with their iphones they're taking pictures of the artwork on the wall which is freaking illegal but you're worried about me coming in okay I go put my bag away I go I'm not a professional and she I don't quite know what to make of that that just happened right she's like well you can't block traffic you can that's fine we won't block any traffic so I hand her you know my ticket now elissa stays out it's me taylor and the beat the bg right we go start walking through there is security following us everywhere we go through the through the ardent students actually hilarious so we're walking through there's like three security people just just staying about, you know thirty feet away from us but watching it's just waiting for us to screw something up so we find this first location I love the leading lines but there are people everywhere and it's so funny everybody asked me all the time they're like how do you get people to just you know, stabbed or shot and cooperate did the minute they see your camera come up and they see a bridegroom most of the time, people just want to stay out of the way and they did these people just would stay out of the way and I was just told not to block traffic so I had to actually start yelling at people. No, no, no! Keep keep coming! Keep coming. I'm thinking myself edit out in post production, right? Just keep going so I don't get kicked out of this place boom! This was one shot we've got I absolutely love this shot then we get this this is all tae this is natural light. So this is natural light this is natural light. This is a light coming in from these big windows here I'm looking in this area. I'm like, how am I going to do what I need to do? But I got I got to get these shots we get this shot now I love this shop. By the way, the next shot is one award, right? So went to people print calm, pointed award it was a completely staged shot. I'm going to set the tone before we took this shot in the chicago art institute there's this staircases, right, there's like four, five staircases all draining in tow one and it's where you go on your way out and so were standing there and I'm standing I'm looking online and I see this staircase and I tell my team I'm like we have to shoot this staircase already had a vision for the shot but now knowing we were going to get kicked out because we were told we could not shoot in this staircase because it's a fire hazard we're going to block traffic I'm like we need to do it we got to do so I go I leave the bride groom in one of the rooms I go to the top of the staircase and I frame up my shot and I take my shot I call it a plate shot play shot is the shot you're taking where nobody's in it ok, now there was nothing but people in this shot because everybody's going in and out of the museum so I just keep taking play chop played shop played shot hoping to get each part of this shot and you'll see it in a second empty so that there's no one in the shot and I can photo shop it after the fact and what I wanted was this this vision of the bridegroom just leaving holding hands as if they're running out right? So I want that was the vision off my shot, so I had to explain to them before we got there because the minute we got on the staircase security was all over us there talking on their things he's taking pictures he's blocking the staircase go, you know? And now security's getting ready to kick us out. But this was the shot and this to me, this one award, this is a gorgeous shot. It tells a story, I love the leading lines. I love that it's driving you down and out to the bottom of that frame. This is a gorgeous shot. This was my ultimate goal when I went there up to chicago. That was it. Okay? And so I wanted to build my portfolio, and I wanted to have stuff I could show off. Oddly enough, the chicago art this art institute host weddings, they allowed, you have weddings there, and so I go to their website, and I start looking at what kind of images they have from other photography had been there, not a single one anywhere near this epic nature, and at that point you can actually pay and do the shoot. I did it during, you know, normal hours, if I'm having my wedding there, I can take this picture, right? But we weren't if I'm having my wedding there, I could take that picture, I can take that picture, nobody has that they don't have them on their website, so who do you think we're talking to about these pictures chicago art institute whose list am I trying to get on now? Chicago art institute who? My pissing off tigers in chicago and I'm okay with it ultimately, I want the business, I'm gonna hustle, I'm gonna wake up earlier. I'm gonna work harder. I'm going to go after that business, but it gets frickin better top chicago magazine. Okay, they do two covers per per year chicago wedding style magazine they do to two covers per year. They told me it is a three to five year wait to get to shoot the cover. They're like there's, other tigers on the waiting list. It's a three to five year your weight? I'm like bullshit. I'm not waiting five years to shoot the cover of your magazine. That just sounds like nonsense to me, so I sent them. These pictures got the call about a week or two ago. We're getting the next cover of the magazine. We went from three to five year window to investing sweat equity to doing it myself just funding it myself to sending that to them and them going, uh, wait could get you in the next cover the next cover not next year, not two years from now, the next one we're on the cover so that's how you do it, no I'm showing you really time how you do it, and so they went from just telling me, can't be done can be done can't be done, and we just went up there and did it ourselves and talk about a trifecta of things. I now have established a really good relationship with the makeup artist who, by the way, does celebrity makeup. So she had just come off doing j lo's makeup for a big photo shoot for her up in new york city. So big big makeup artist we now have a relationship with her lot. She loves everything we've been producing. We now have a relationship with an up and coming planner in chicago. I now have built images for my portfolio, which was my ultimate goal in going up there. I now have one ah print competition or scored in a print competition with the images that I've I've gotten from there and the icing on the cake. We got the cover of a magazine that I was told we wouldn't be able to get for three to five years. Tell me why you can't do this in your market personal reason I didn't have a connection in there, I knew no one I knew you probably know ifyou're in the chicago market. Hate me I'm ok with it but if you have to understand if you're in the chicago market you have all the connections I don't I came into your backyard and I did something that you are not willing to do you've got to be willing to do that all of you all of you out there you've got to be willing to do it that's the hustle you've got to be willing to hustle and there's no reason I'm not gonna ask you questions because there's no logical reason you can't do something like this come up with a cool idea and executed write this in your worksheet write this in your workbook what's that cool idea what are you going to do you get home what you going to what's the one thing you're gonna do seniors families babies weddings doesn't matter what your niche is what is that cool thing you're going to do that are going to get people to go? Holy shit that's incredible wow I've never seen anything like that can you imagine my next bridal show when that image comes up even in st louis st louis people going look at that and they're just gonna go where how'd you do that he's gonna have a whole conversation with him I'm going to tell him the story behind the shot that's going to make it all the more interesting they're gonna love that we're going to show them shots like this they're going to fall in love with that amaya photographer now are my an artist I'm a creative director for their day they start seeing stuff like this we become the creative director they start walking around that bradshaw and realizing nobody else could do this that's where you need to be so what is your plan what we're gonna walk out of here and do at home what is your plan what you're gonna walk out of here and do you've got to do something different stop doing what everybody else does and so a cz we wrap up this section in the spirit of all that I'm going to talk about shutter fast shutter fast how many of you would you show me your hands all of you have been to sheriff s almost all of you yeah ashley will you be there this year? Your twenty fifth all oh my god! Can we kick her out of the audience right now? Just so you know what home there's only one person in the audience who has not been the shutter fast uh her name's actually so um here here we, uh let's talk about shutter fast. First of all, if you want to build your portfolio if your loving what you're seeing on the screen if you're loving what we're doing that's what shutter fest is all about shutter fest is all about building your portfolio and shooting that's the beautiful part about it. So you're gonna be able to shoot, shoot, shoot! That is what shutter fest is. We have over one hundred models this year you would be hard pressed to find a single person that can say something negative about shatter fist. I truly believe it is the best conference on the planet and so there's on ly one hundred seats left, the event is almost sold out and I'm hoping after this creative live we sell it out. There's only fifteen hundred seats fourteen hundred have been sold like thirteen hundred, uh eighty nine right there's one hundred seats left. If you want to be part of the event, I want to sell it out. So we're having a forty eight hour flash. L that's it tickets. Eighty nine dollars it's a two day event in st louis. Super inexpensive to get to you, khun b there you with some of the top speakers in the world all fully accessible. And like I said, you will not find a single person will have something bad to say about it, so please take advantage of that.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Master the Business of Photography - Workbook
Master the Business of Photography Slides
5 Tips to Finding and Booking Your Client

Ratings and 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.


Amazing course. Sal is such a great photography educator. Terrific course. I'm not usually big on watching business courses, but this course as taught by Sal was terrific. Down to earth, entertaining, packed with real life experiences do's, don'ts and lessons learned. This courses business A to Z and Sal is very entertaining to watch/listen to. Thanks CreativeLive for getting Sal.

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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!

Student Work