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Portrait Startup

Lesson 30 of 35

Contracts and Payments

Sue Bryce

Portrait Startup

Sue Bryce

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Lesson Info

30. Contracts and Payments

Lesson Info

Contracts and Payments

This question comes up a lot. Because a couple of years ago I told everybody I was using a model release that a friend of mine had created. And now that model release is no longer on iPad. And everybody's really bummed out. Nobody more than myself. I have a wonderful lawyer. And if he's watching right now, 'cause I think he might be, 'cause I said how it's gonna drop a minute, I would really like you to create a sales contract, a payments contract, and a model release that I can print and give to all of my students and followers. (audience laughing) Because I realize that this is something that people are really struggling with. Now in my studio growing up, so went from the age of 18, we had a sales contract, we had a model release, and we had a payments contract on a clipboard in the sales room so it was like this, when you were writing down the order it was very official. You were writing it down on an order sheet. Now the good thing about the order sheet is you then hand it to your ...

client and they sign it. Now even though we're in a digital age now, and it's not 1990 anymore, the good thing is is your client can get a copy, it's right there in front of you. But what it's saying is I am entering a financial agreement with this establishment. I agree to pay this much money for these products. I'd write down the numbers and the sizes. My client would see it and then sign it. And it was more of a handshake for them in that moment than anything else. What if I was to create that for you? I woke up this morning and I was like, I'm gonna call my lawyer. I need to create a contract and a payment contract. 'Cause then I need a contract on how you're gonna pay it off. Because if you're gonna pay it off over three months, or six months, I want you to honor that payment and sign it off so it's official. And then I need a really good model release that matches those three things. Let me get onto that for you because I feel like if I could hand that to you today with this course, it would significantly change how you're locking down a sale in your mind. Are people saying, then I won't have to chase money. Then I won't have to worry about it. Ask me a question if you want to before we move on because I feel like this is a really important thing that I need to do for you. I mean the response is, yes please. All of that would be fantastic. Sales contract. Model release. That would be so helpful. So absolutely lots of yes please, yes pleases. Okay, and you know I'm gonna charge you for this right? It won't be a lot of money. It'll be a small amount of money. Even if it's $25. I have to pay my lawyer. Lawyers don't work for free. Only photographers do. (audience laughing) You see lawyers, they actually get paid quite a lot of money. And they're okay with it. So when he tells me how much that's gonna cost I'd probably say about three or four grand per contract, then I'll be out $12000. And then I'm gonna turn around and sell it to photographers for a small amount because we all need to have it in our studio. But the truth is is at the end of the day this is something we will have to pay for. But it will significantly help you in your sales session. You know, today I woke up and I set the intention for my workshop because I have a very strong intent within, whenever I do anything I do it with very strong intent. I woke up this morning and my first reaction is, I ground my feet and I ask that I speak with compassion, that I speak with love, that I speak with full heart, wholeheartedly educating from a place of knowledge and pain that I've been through. From a place a joy. And part of me was like, you know, this is gonna be such a great day. I'm so excited by this content. And being able to sort of you know razz people up with it. And I was like, I'm gonna have a bit of fun with it today. And I just walk in here for the last hour and just like, ra ra ra ra ra (laughing). And then I'm just yelling at you all. And you know, I was like, wow, okay, sorry about that. Sue, they are, you are on fire. And they're like she is making up for last week. No, you are really kicking people in the behind. And they always, always appreciate it. Also, people are saying of course you would charge us. It would be an amazing asset to my business. Somebody was saying contracts scare me. And I think, I don't know about you folks out there, but like, even just the act of having that contract makes you feel more like you have a business. Yeah, so, remember the touch points that we're working on today. First you've gotta pick a product. And you've gotta price it. Then you've got to very clearly sell that product when you're doing your consultation. This is what I offer. This is how I offer it. This is how much I offer it for. Then you do your shoot. You produce a beautiful product. And then you sell it. In that moment it's like you've already been through the consultation. I've delivered the product you want. How would you like me to present that to you? How would you like to pay for that? In that moment there is a binding agreement between you to collect their money. And that contract as a signed contract, I don't wanna do it digitally. I know that we live in the digital age. But nothing, nothing represents a business more than standing in front of somebody signing something and shaking their hand and looking them in the eye. And if your sales are in person, that will be one of the most significant sales tools that I could create for you to get you to the next level in locking down the money. Now if a business is owed $100000, and you're having problem chasing that money, your sales contract allows you to follow through with the, this amount that you agreed upon. This was the date that you were going to pick up and pay your balance. It gives you a right of reply to the people that have walked in and just owe you money. And also that's business. You then follow through. You stay up on your books. You follow it through. You take your income. You keep marketing yourself and you work through it. So I will definitely create that for you. I cannot believe that took me so long to, that point took me so long to get to for you. Because I do it for myself. And my contact is tailored for myself. So, I think it's one of the most important things that I've ever had in the studio in 26 years was a sales contract. And I'll say to people, are you signing a sales contract? And everyone's like, a what? Very very important. Secondly, if I create a payments contract for you regarding payments then people can pay off a package. So if they want your $3000 package but they need three months to pay for it, the agreement is I'll pay $1000 over three months, once a month, for three months, until it's paid in full. At which time I will pick up my finished portraits. Done. You can even take a credit card number on that's sales contract. However, I'll tell you right now, there is a new law that exists that if you're accepting credit card numbers and that credit card number gets stolen you get fined like $300000000 per credit card. Which is what I believe a big company recently just got done. They got hacked. They lost a hundred credit card numbers before they broke the hack wall. And they got fined $300000000. So there is third party online e-commerce sites right now that take the responsibility legally off you in accepting credit card numbers. But you are better to have a sales contract that make people front up than taking credit card numbers. 'Cause if you lose them, you've lost your business. Because no public liability's gonna take care of that. I said this on day one, I posted this on Facebook a month ago, I stand by it. I want you to print this and put this in your studio. This is one of the most significant things I can teach you today around selling and selling yourself. Practice the art of telling people what you charge. Then listen. It's not that, it's not what they say when you tell people what your price is. It's how you feel about their reaction. Now if I say to Nikki I charge $3000. And Nikki's like, for photographs? I don't feel bad about Nikki's reaction anymore. You know, five years ago Sue, or a 10 years ago Sue, yes. But now Sue goes yes. It's an incredible experience. Have a look at my work. Because I believe in the value of what I sell. Now what that does is it brings it back to you again because I hear a lot of people saying, my mother tells me I can't charge this. My husband tells me I can't charge this. My friend tells me she'd never pay this. My brother tells me I don't know how you sleep at night. My sister tells, you know, stop it. You're the one reacting to it. You're the one with the core belief system that's infusing and attracting and permeating and you're the one blocking it. So, this single statement brings it back to you. And then you have to take responsibility for why you're not selling. You can't blame anybody else anymore. You have to take responsibility. And you know what, the person that just said they're looking for a full time job because they can't ask for money, something's gonna significantly shift in you today if you decide to shift it. But you would have to really want to shift that. Because that has to come from inside you. That hurt me that my mother told me that story about my dad. It hurt me because that's my father. My beautiful father. Who worked so hard for us. Could have had it all had he been able to ask for money. That moved me because it kicked me in the guts. Like I actually have a physical, visceral reaction when I say that statement. I can actually feel the hurt in my body in an isolated place. That's how much it meant to me. So it was easy for it to shift me because it profoundly affected me. So if you don't identify in a way that profoundly affects you, you've gotta find a way that does shift you. Like, let's say Nikki totally gets that. She feels my father's pain. She feels my pain. And so shifts her money block. That's because there's something about that story that affects Nikki's personal story. It might not affect yours Kina. Yours might be different. But then you need to find the story that relates to the pain of what's blocking you from feeling good about receiving money. Because until you find that that is your block. So don't put on Facebook this week that you don't know what it is. Because we all know when it makes us feel bad. And you've gotta identify when it makes you feel bad 'cause it's the emotion you're holding around money that is stopping it from coming towards you. And it is not what your mother-in-law is saying to you. It is what you feel inside in your private voice that nobody else can see or hear that you know. And don't say I think. Say I feel. I don't know how to translate as a teacher to a student how to believe in the value of what you do. We all have a different way of valuing photography and service. Some of us like to see it as, this is forever. We stop time. One day these people will die and these photographs will be more valuable. More value than anything else you could ever give anybody. This is about celebrating life and relationships and beauty. I mean I've heard a million pitches around it. But you're the only person inside you that can put a dollar value on the product you're selling and feel like they're in perfect marriage to each other. Until they're in a perfect marriage of I am giving enough for the amount I charge, regardless of what that is. So for some people that'll be $300. And for some people that'll be $13000. Until you marry up what you're giving with what you're getting, you will not have an equal value exchange of left and right. Now, are you with me? Okay, so here you go. All I want you to ask now is, is what I'm giving for the amount of money I'm getting of equal value to me? That is the only thing you need to ask. Is what I'm giving for what I'm getting of equal exchange to me? And if you feel like the money is too high and you're not giving enough, it's okay to give more. Because what you'll do is you'll learn that you could just keep giving and giving and giving and giving and still stay at the same amount. And you'll learn to slowly back off your giving. But at least you will marry up the value exchange of what you're giving versus what you're getting paid. Because that is what's gonna get you paid. It's your core belief system around what you're giving. And I think that is really really important. Now, I believe that selling products is really basic. You streamline your price. You streamline your product. And you wrap it up in a nice little bow that is really simple to deliver. Right? Really easy to say. Really easy to believe in. Has a perfect value exchange. It's a product that everybody wants because they don't know what they want. They will buy whatever you tell them to buy. They will buy whatever you're selling. They're not drawn to your product. They're drawn to your photographs. Okay, so regardless of the size, or the frame, or the folio, or the pink packaging, please don't go and buy hundreds and hundreds of dollars or thousands of dollars worth of packaging with your god damned logo on it. Here's that logo again. You're getting wrapped up and selling the wrong thing. People said to me do you buy packaging? I said no, I buy wrapping paper from Amazon. I buy it in a big thing. 'Cause guess what? I would put it in beautiful packaging and the first thing they do when they come to my studio is tear into it. So I would just wrap it after they've looked at it. And then they can go home with it wrapped nicely. Which they're gonna tear into anyway. If you want bags, buy bags. But please don't spend your time asking me to critique what your bag looks like. Or what color should you choose. Or what logo should you put on it. Well, should I do peach? Or should I do blue? Should I do some peach and some blue? Or do you think black? Do you think black and then maybe gold writing? Or gold with black writing? Where in any of that is service? I mean I'm sure your client will go, what a nice bag. If it's reusable they may even take it out. Reuse it. And maybe market for you. Okay? But these are not things you need to worry about in your first year. These are things you need to worry about in your third year. When you've got a luxury product that you want to really share. And you've got some money in the bank to go and buy the bags. If it does not make the ship go faster, don't buy it. All right. But the biggest problem is not the product. Or the bag. Or the logo. The biggest product is selling you. Now I thought so long at 4:30 this morning, I woke up and, you know, I always joke on Facebook that I am, wait for it, sleepless in Seattle. And the reason I'm sleepless in Seattle is that I'm always here doing a workshop. And when I download a workshop, I don't read from notes. I read from my brain, which downloads the talk the night before which is why I'm usually sitting up like a bat because I don't usually sleep the night before because I've got a lot coming in.

Class Description

When Sue Bryce taught her first CreativeLive class in 2012, she reinvented the category of glamour photography. That workshop inspired thousands of photographers to create a new kind of portrait photography business.

During this special event, you’ll hear from Sue again and meet nine photographers who changed the trajectory of their business and their lives thanks to inspiration they found in Sue’s CreativeLive classes.

In Portrait Startup, you’ll find out exactly what these photographers did to transform their fledgling photography operations into sophisticated, profitable businesses. You’ll learn about what it takes to build a profitable photography business and Sue will detail the Areas of Mastery required to run and sustain it. 

You’ll learn about:  

  • Cameras & Lighting
  • Studio or Location
  • Website & Portfolio
  • Marketing & Design
  • Social Media & Connection
  • Price & Product
  • Sales & Selling
  • Money Management
Sue will discuss the essential elements for building a successful glamour photography studio and you’ll get specific, tactical insights for doing it yourself.

Each of the guest photographers will share their own unique story of following Sue's business model and they’ll provide intimate details on what they've discovered and what worked (or didn't) for them. Sue will share the secrets behind her wildly effective Reveal Wall and share strategies that guarantee sales while keeping clients happy and eager to refer you to their friends.

If you want to build a photography business that celebrates the beauty inherent in all women, while running a business that provides for you and your family, join Sue Bryce and guests for Portrait Startup and learn how to build a business and life that you love.

Click here for the Complete Sue Bryce collection.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials


Mentors Solutions Workbook


Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


Sandra Sal

How glad I am that I have purchased this course! Sue is just wonderful woman, photographer, business person and life coach. This course is so informative, inspiring, educating and just AMAZING!! Simply a must have! Don't even think "should I get it" just buy it and you will be blown away! I loved every second of it and will keep re watching it many times more! Thank you to Sue, wonderful mentours and Creative Live!!

Laura Captain Photography

As a person that is new to portrait photography and to starting a portrait business, this class has been extremely valuable to me and well worth my time. It is also very helpful to hear from the mentors. I have a lot of respect for Sue, her work and her wisdom. She is genuine, has a passion for her work and has a wealth of information to share. I believe this class will actually allow a person to achieve their goals and build a business. I now feel more knowledgeable and more confident about pursuing a photography business. Thanks so much Sue and thanks to CreativeLive for providing wonderful online education.

Janice S.

i just finished watching this workshop. though i'd seen sue's name on the list of creative live workshops, this is the first one i've done. to me, she is effectively partnering life coaching with photography education. which is awesome. between being an ER nurse for almost 20 years, as well as arriving at my late 40s not unscathed, i can relate to much of what sue has said and would like to think that i'm in a better position to tackle the business of business ownership than i would have been 20 or 30 years ago. the other thing i noticed was hints of rhonda byrne. this may or may not actually be the case, but it seems like it. the power of positive thinking essentially. i loved the whole thing. though i'm not really close to implementing the business practices taught here, i wanted to watch the whole thing before moving on to her glamour photography workshop. i wanted to understand what i would be moving toward as i go through my technical education. i believe i will be adding 28 days to my class list too. thank you sue!