Skip to main content

Portrait Startup

Lesson 3 of 35

Focusing and Applying the 9 Areas of Mastery

Sue Bryce

Portrait Startup

Sue Bryce

Starting under


Get access to this class +2000 more taught by the world's top experts

  • 24/7 access via desktop, mobile, or TV
  • New classes added every month
  • Download lessons for offline viewing
  • Exclusive content for subscribers

Lesson Info

3. Focusing and Applying the 9 Areas of Mastery


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 A Thank You For Sue Duration:06:58
2 The Reveal Wall Duration:43:36
3 Sales and the Reveal Wall Duration:34:44
4 Selling Yourself Duration:43:44
5 Selling Yourself: Networking Duration:10:54
6 Selling Yourself: Referrals Duration:09:49
7 Mentor Testimonials Duration:36:59
9 Sales and Selling Yourself Duration:30:35
10 What Products to Sell Duration:13:42
11 The Cost of Printing at Home Duration:05:58
12 Digital Sales Duration:16:26
13 Contracts and Payments Duration:15:33
14 Confidence and Ownership Duration:07:48
15 Shameless Self Promotion Duration:37:10
17 What's in it For Me? Duration:06:26
18 Where do You Start? Duration:18:30

Lesson Info

Focusing and Applying the 9 Areas of Mastery

So those are my nine areas of mastery and where we're gonna focus all of our attention in the next two days is pricing it, selling it, and selling yourself. This will be the most exciting segment for me because this was a revelation to me. This revelation really came from this idea that I have spend the last 10 years telling photographers not to sell digital prints although everything I sell printed I sell digital. So I've spent the last 10 years telling photographers to sell digital and prints, digital and prints. Remember my saying, whatever you buy I will give you a thumb drive of all of your images, all right? So if they've bought the prints I'm selling images. But why are we selling prints? One, they have a higher value. Two, you want them on your wall. Three, if they frame them for the next 50 years that somebody walks into their house and admires that shot it has your name on it. All right, because it's the old school way of portraits because we've become a digital nation becaus...

e we aren't printing, because we need to print our work. However I will say one thing. I realized two years ago that it is not that we are a digital generation at all. We are a now generation. When you buy something you want it now. If you sell something on an online store the first thing somebody asks you is I need to download it now and I can't. And they get very angry. When you buy a song from iTunes you download it within three seconds. It's a now generation. So I realized what if I printed all of their photographs and then sold them their photographs so they could actually leave with them? Now instantly it worked for me. But it's not me that is extraordinary. It's these girls because it has doubled their sales if not more and I'm watching them pull averages of $2, with the reveal wall. What does that tell you? Now we decided as mentors, last night we had a meeting, there is an entry point into what level you're ready to sell the reveal. You need to lock down your selling first digitally because that costs money and we're gonna break down how I do it. Now most of the mentors are outsourcing to labs and I went and bought the Canon PRO-1 printer so I'm gonna show you that tomorrow. We're gonna kick off tomorrow with reveal wall and sales. All right, so this is where I'm going to focus all of my attention, price product, sales and selling, and really getting you to sell and connect yourself as a photographer and really getting you to decide and define what it is you do and what it is you're selling because that seems to be the grayest area of them all. Now there are so many lies you're going to tell yourself as a creative. I shoot weddings but I don't want to. I really wanna shoot newborns. And the truth is I hate weddings so much and I really wanna shoot newborns but I just don't see how I can make it work because there's a lot of newborn photographers in the area and I don't have a good enough studio and all I hear is hate. Now if you're working in any form of hate, I hate retouching, I hate selling myself, I hate pricing myself, I hate invoicing, hate will destroy your business because the first thing it will do is rob you of your health. Okay, hate and resentment are the first thing that will attack you and you will be sick. And yet you're doing something you hate. Now why are you doing that? Why don't you just change? And people, Mario Martinez, I read it the other day, he said, "People will stay with known misery "before they go and seek unknown joy." Better the devil you know, right? But you've told yourself this lie that this is your truth, that this is gonna happen, that you have to do this to get this in order to get this. And the truth is that on the other side of that is possibly financial freedom but you would rather stay with known misery before you go towards unknown joy. And I feel that business is design to be one of the hardest reflective energy exercise you're ever gonna do. You have to confront how confident you are. You have to confront how, you have to confront how you receive money. And some people just seem to receive money so easily and some people just repel it. And some people seem to receive it easily but then not keep it. And then other people seem to keep it and accumulate it. And when you start confronting your money challenges a whole new world opens up. I've been working a lot with Nikki personally in the last two years about money, about Nikki feeling good enough to receive money and her sales have doubled in the last two years, doubled. And I have watched her go through the process of trying to speak out loud at a women's convention and just losing her power and losing her passion. And we talked and then the next day she went back to the show and this time she went back fully connected to what she does, not what she was trying to sell. And her voice came easily and she booked three times more bookings. Your ability to sell and connect to that is extraordinary. I can't wait to talk to Tammy about how she went to big sales because Tammy told me I wasn't afraid of selling. I sell $30,000 corporate packages. Three grand was a joke to me. Do you know how that makes me feel? Three grand was a joke to you? I'll tell you how it makes me (tearing up) feel. I can access just like that the pain and fear that I had to experience in order to sell my work for 10 years. I had to let people sit in front of me with my beautiful work and then tear my soul out just trying to accept $400 for it and pay my freaking rent. That is so real to me I can bring it back like that. (fingers snapping) Even now, even now when I get $3,000 or $8, I still struggle to receive it. So when she says that to me I wanna kick her in the face. (audience laughing) Tweet that because (audience laughing) that was real to me. That was fear to me. That was anxiety to me. That was I'm not worth it. I had to get through that. She breezed through it and I'm in a maze of pain. Like I'm running, I'm being chased by a lion, I'm running into walls, I'm in pain over this. And it is my greatest life lesson because now I learn to value myself and now I get to teach you this. And maybe the Tammies of the world are 3% but you know what? When she said that to me it physically hurt me. Now I would rather spend my time coaching you through your blocks around these nine areas than teaching you how to take photographs. Did you notice posing and direction is not on there? And yet I mastered that. Posing is my life. It is every part of me. If you were to ask me what I do before I told you that I'm a business builder, an educator, a photographer, I would tell you that my sole purpose in life is to show people and teach people how to move their bodies. I love this. I have spend my life mastering this. And it's not on there, why? Because not many people have mastered it and yet they still have perfectly successful businesses. So it's not even that important. I would take connection in a photograph and a beautifully lit shot and Photoshopped image over perfect posing as you mostly do, correct? All right, so this is where we're gonna focus our nine areas of mastery. This is where I ask the girls what their nine strengths were and what their nine weaknesses were, these girls here. This is where we're going to talk about how we move through the most important part and that is getting paid to do what we do, receiving money for it, valuing our craft, and building our businesses. Do we have any questions, Kenna, before I go on? So you talked a little bit ago about 40%, 40%, 10%, 10%, and people were wondering what was that? What were you talking about? I think it was positive opinion, knowledge, personality, sell. Tell us again what that was. Okay, so there's two very distinct type of brands that you will see in any genre, photography or designers or anyone, rock stars. There's a solution brand and then there's a personality brand. Okay, so I watched, last month I watched Tara Gentile's Boot Camp, Business Boot Camp, and every morning, it was one hour, I would work and watch her boot camp while I was doing my email, social media. And the first thing that she brought to light was that there's two types of people. You have to decide which you are, whether you're the personality in your brand or whether you're a solution brand. So if you Google Marie Forleo, for instance, or a Danny Adilypour the first thing that comes up there's gonna be 100 photos of those two women because they're personality brands. And if you Google Sue Bryce the first thing that will come up will be 100 portraits that I have taken, not a picture of me because I'm not a personality brand, I'm a solutions brand. So basically that changed everything for me in terms of what I was putting out there because it meant that I would engage people better on social media if I was speaking through my solutions not through me. Now if you put too many selfies up people will unfollow you and if you put too many selfies up you look narcissistic anyway. And if it's not your personality brand then people are like what's with all the selfies? So I noticed I've got a little puppy. I didn't buy the puppy to start marketing my business although people have said, "Congratulations, "best marketing you ever did," and I was like okay, that's not what I got a puppy for. (audience laughing) She is cute but I stopped putting her pictures on my business page. And I do post maybe once every two weeks I put something up because I get an instant unfollow of up to five people for posting my dog. Now she's cute and at first I thought to myself, "Maybe I don't want you to follow me "if you don't like dogs "because what sort of person doesn't like puppies? "I mean go away, goodbye, "don't let the door hit you on the way out. "Maybe I should post puppy pictures every day." But I realized what people wanna see from me is my work. Because if I published my work, and that's another thing Tara says. Go to your social media and have a look when are you getting the most amount of attention and when are you getting the most amount of bounce. So in that boot camp I learned that what it was that people were attracted to me. And so I went through and looked at my YouTube videos from CreativeLive. I looked at my online education. I looked at my Facebook and I worked out when people were the most connected to me. And when they're the most connected to me I'm showing them my photography and teaching them something about it. So basically I'm like, "Look at this beautiful portrait. "I shot this with this, this, and this," and everyone would go nuts. I'd get 11,000 likes. But if I post a picture of my puppy I get 1,000 likes and five people unfollow me within a minute. And it really bummed me out but then I realize how I connect which is number nine. So remember, sorry, number six, how I connect in my social media, how I connect my message to the world is very palpable. Now everything you write on Facebook has an energy to it. So if you're whinging, bitching, moaning, getting angry, or being defensive you look like that and you will attract people who are following you who are also whinging, bitching, moaning, angry, trolling. That energy starts to be very palpable online and you can feel it. Now I teach people this all the time and people actually come up to me and say one of the biggest things that you taught me was that you can feel the energy of a post when you post it. You can tell if I'm trying too hard. You can tell if I'm doing a tired, gratuitous post. You can tell if I'm being spammy. You can tell if I'm being, you know, inauthentic. You can tell if I'm being disingenuous. You can tell because people will call me out and I have to, instead of get upset, I have to go, "I was. "I didn't want to share that, "somebody asked me to and I felt obliged to. "I didn't want to post that. "I just haven't posted for two days "and I thought I'd better. "But you know what, I'm tired. "I'm tired and I don't wanna go on social media today." But you feel this need to please everybody and post something and be seen and you don't need to because unless it's coming from a genuine place people can feel it. So 40% positive opinion was be positive. There's enough hate, negativity, pain, bullying, rage, violence in this world. I don't bring that to my social. I wouldn't take that to a party so why would I write it on Facebook? Don't write it on your business page and then keep the hate for your personal page. Again, the source of people that love you who follow you personally are your quickest source to clients. Oh my god, I love Sue Bryce. She's one of my friends. I friend her on Facebook. You should do a shoot with her. That's my first referral base. So don't think you're hiding yourself from everybody by being, you know, bitchy on your personal page. Stop with that energy. You need to stop now. And when you can't shoot, fake shoots. You can do it. Everybody's faked a shoot. In fact the best thing about watching people online, I think, is do you reckon that's a real shoot? Do you think that's a real shoot? I bet you it's not even a real shoot. (audience laughing) She just looks like a model. (audience laughing) I'm just like really? Who, go and shoot a model then if that's what you want. If you're criticizing me for doing it go and do it. Go do a fake shoot. Go and do personal shoot. You see I'm not afraid now of actually saying this is a personal shoot because I make my personal shoots a bit more creative. So I'm not afraid of saying this wasn't a real client. I wanted to photograph this girl in this Victorian wig. I made the wig. This is a personal shoot for me. I feel incredibly artistically inspired by it. It has invigorated me. These are some of the best images I have ever done. I'm not afraid of saying that now but I was afraid of saying that two years ago. Positive opinion, all right? Knowledge, what is knowledge as a photographer? Now this is where you have to be careful. You see I'm speaking to photographers on my business page so I have 142,000 followers and they're largely photographers. So when I post a shoot I'm posting f-stops. I'm posting my and what lens we are using and where was the reflector and I'm posting a behind-the-scene shots, that's knowledge. But you guys aren't posting that. You're posting to clients. So this is where everybody gets a little bit confused and you start marketing to other photographers and then other photographers follow you. But other photographers aren't paying you. Unless they are paying you because I also shoot photographers. So there's such a gray area there but I feel like had you come back to, had Facebook been alive and well and the height of my business before I became an educator, so 2005, 2006, 2007, I feel like you would have seen, I wasn't on Facebook then. I feel like you would have seen me talking to people, not photographers. So I can't give you more of an example other than maybe I can blog more ideas for you to share. But wait a minute, hang on. How often do I share a beautiful story? All the time. How often do I share my heart? All the time. How often do I share my fear? All the time. How often do I share something incredible about a woman that I've just photographed? Am I really speaking to the photographers or am I speaking to people? Because I've got it locked down by just being honest. I feel very compelled sometimes to write something negative and then I remember the consequences of that. And I tell you something, there's a feisty woman inside me that wants to come out swinging. When somebody applies pressure to me my first reaction is attack, okay, because I'm like I grew up in South Auckland. I have a right to defend myself. I'm a martial artist and I've done it for years. I used to start my martial arts class with a Japanese quote that I used to say in Japanese that translates to, "I'm a student of karate. "I come to you with an empty hand." That's what karate means, it's the way of the empty hand. So that's no weapons. "If your aggression forces me to defend myself "I've already bought my weapon." Okay, and then I would start my class and all of my students would be fully locked in and empowered feet down, I am powerful. But on my social media I don't get a right of reply. So if somebody attacks me it's like getting punched with no gad'up and then you have to walk away. Then you have to go ow (laughing) and then you kind of like (sighing loudly) and then you're like oh! So it's like there's a kind of a range of like really psychotic emotions. It's kind of like ow (sobbing) and then you have to tell someone, "They said this about me." And then they get angry and then that gets you really angry. And you're like, "Yeah, I should say this." (audience laughing) And then you're like (breathing in and out quickly). And then I realized that listen to the criticism, take it, come back positively. The best advice, and we're gonna talk about that this afternoon too. The best advice I can give you is to say I'm sorry I disappointed you. But you know I type it like this. (speaking in nasal voice) Sorry I disappointed you. (audience laughing) Because it's hard but I adhere to knowledge and positive opinion and you have to understand something. If somebody is saying something or criticizing you or hating you or even just calling you out, there's truth in it. Otherwise it wouldn't hurt you. But you do have to remember, you really, really have to remember one thing. There is not only truth in it, it's their truth. Now social media is going to give you a massive amount of support. I've seen people post really below-average images and write a sad story attached to their image and everybody jumps on because we love the underdog. You've got this, your work is beautiful, it's incredible. And then a week later they're advertising a workshop because they've been empowered online. I've seen it. Okay, you need to understand the criticism and the support are fake. They are based on people supporting you online. When you turn off your computer those people are not in your house. They are not holding your back. They are not supporting your business. And when I turn off my computer and I'm alone with my puppy, my cute puppy, when I'm alone at night I realize that this is where I run my business from, not from what you say. Now let's say you follow or you follow Sue Bryce Photographer on Facebook and I post an image and it gets a lot of support. Hand on heart, I do not know what I have done to get the support that I get online. It overwhelms me that you would stop, like an image, and take time to comment on it. I see that and I'm just like these people do that willingly, telling me every week that they love my work. I don't even understand it. I am overwhelmed by that. And then the people that take the time to hurt me or criticize me, they're just telling me a truth. So the best lesson is you will get a lot of support, you'll get a lot of criticism. None of them are real. They're just people clapping you in. (hands clapping) Now when somebody doesn't like what you're doing it's because they are perceiving you as having something they want, okay? So if they look at you and see you getting all this support and they're getting none, they're not selling their work, they are angry, they feel like their work is good. It's as good as hers. And then they start, "Why is she getting "all this support and I'm not?" That person is in pain. And when they're in pain they're gonna write stuff on your wall. They're gonna say stuff about you. That is their truth. That's not your truth. So you only ever take it on board when it rings true for you. And the truth is it only hurts if it's got a truth to it. You need to understand your reaction to it. So again I go back. Why do I constantly stick with 40% positive opinion, 40% knowledge, 10% personality, 10% sell? Because if I oversell people will leave my page. If I overpersonality, too much puppy, too much selfies, people will leave my page. Here's my rule of thumb. When you open Instagram you can see 12 photographs. They go three across, four deep, okay? Every month I photograph my Instagram. I screenshot it and then I put it on my Facebook page because it builds my Instagram followers. If there's more than one image of me or more than one selfie of me and there's 12 selfies, I'm taking too many selfies. So I scroll down my Instagram and I'm one, two, three, four. I'm one of 12 on every page on Instagram. And if that goes up I button it back. You know why? People don't wanna see selfies. I don't take selfies sitting in the car with my safety belt on and I don't take selfies standing in front of the mirror. I read once in a meme that if every second photograph of you on Instagram is yourself then everybody thinks your an hole. (audience laughing) Okay, and I thought about that and I was like I follow people and I unfollow them for too many selfies. Who's done that? Go on, somebody tell me they've done that. I'm just like you know what? I can't just look at your face all the time. You need to give me something other than your face. So I do the 12 rule on Instagram and then I try and button it back because we do, especially. You know what, one of the hardest things to do was as I was losing weight I was torn between not wanting to show anybody my weight loss and also being very proud of it. So I would go as long as possible without showing my body. And then people would be like, "Whoa!" And then I'd get half support and half criticism. So I found it so vulnerable to put myself constantly out there but you just can't get lost in it. It's very, very important. This is one of your biggest connectors to the world and I'm telling you right now if you can master that connection, the way you speak in your own unique voice and then find what your path is then I think it's going to be one of the best things you can do. If you're not having success in the Facebook era you're not doing it right. I did not have a Facebook page before I did my first CreativeLive. It's been three years and three months. I have 142,000 followers. I hit that page on a daily basis. It is important to me to speak back to people. It is important to answer questions when I post a shoot. It is important that I answer as many questions as I can and speak back. And it's really important that I engage that page with enthusiasm and power and, you know, positive opinion and knowledge because it works for me. And when people tell me it's not working because it's the algorithm then I have to say that's not true. When you're being cheered, you're being cheered. When you're hot, you're hot. When people are talking about you you're on feeds. When they're not, you're not. Is that the long way around? (audience laughing) Because I've dated guys that have said you go a long way around, big backstory there. A couple of comments for you here, Sue. Mary in Germany says, "Why do you get support, Sue? "Because we love your honesty and vulnerability." See that, that's crazy to me. I feel like I-- You don't think you're vulnerable out there, like honest? I do, I think I'm very vulnerable. I mean I keep a lot of my private stuff private but I am very emotionally raw. I can access that really quickly and I wanna be honest about it. But I'm also, like for as much as I'm raw I'm a little bit of a hard ass sometimes. I feel like when I lock down into the butt kicking I'm kind of no prisoners. I'm not gonna feel sorry for you. And I also feel like I'm the school of hard knocks. I have delivered to a lot of these photographers standing in front of me right now, I've delivered a harsh reality to. I'm kind of like listen. So I feel like I'm kind of quite. That's why we're here, Sue. Yeah. (audience laughing) Okay, so these nine areas of mastery, and I know we're gonna meet the mentors in the next segment. However this is a great question. How do we figure out where we are falling flat? We each bring something unique to the table. I struggle to objectively review my weakness and balance ego. How do we rate ourselves? I feel like let's look at it like this. The camera, camera and lighting, your entry point would be the images I'm taking aren't good enough and nobody wants to, they're just not good enough. They're not at that standard yet. That's one of those gray areas and we talked about when you are learning and learning to price at the same time the evolution of the work and your price need to go in tandem. And unfortunately that is the grayest area because there are people that think they're absolutely amazing and they're charging up here and then it's still down here because the ego's in the way there. So this is one of the grayest areas and it's our first entry point of business. I have not met a photographer in my life in 26 years. On August the 15th I have been an employed photographer for 26 years and I've not met a photographer that has a gauge on that. If I could create an international standard of pricing in photography where you actually put in your photographs. I was telling the mentors last night that in New Zealand and Australia they have the NZIPP and the AIPP. That is a professional photography body. You pay a membership to join and you submit 20 images from 20 eight by 10s printed of 20 different shoots. It was the most nerve-wracking moment of my life. 20 different people. You're not allowed to do the same shoot. Then you go and a board of people, they rate it. And then you become a member of the AIPP and the NZIPP and you have been accepted to use their badge as a professional photographer. We don't have that rating worldwide. So when everybody says, "Everybody's a photographer," I'm like well it doesn't make you a good one. I'm not competing with the bad ones. I'm not competing with the ones that can't sell themselves, don't know how to make money. I got them already. I'm competing with a whole lot of women out there that go, "I don't like my arms and I don't like my thighs "and I don't like my hips." I've got more to worry about than what Joe Blogs is doing down the road. I've got way more to worry about with my clients trying to sell my product to them than trying to be better than Kate down the road who's selling the same package for $250 because she's not. And guess what, she's not gonna survive anyway because I know you can't survive on $250 a week for all of your product. So it's just this, again, lie you've told yourself that you can't put yourself out there and you can't sell yourself. So if you're here, how good is my work and is it in tandem with my sales, I feel like that's where you need a mentor. You need a second person to sit down and tell you the truth. Now I said to these mentors you can be positive. You catch more flies with honey than vinegar. But you need to be honest. If somebody is not performing at a professional standard you need to say to them, "This work is not "at a professional standard yet." Okay, so you're doing trade for folio, trade for print, whatever. You need to stay there until your work starts to sell. Now how do you do that when you need money? You need to go and get a job. Now the most interesting part about my evolution is I had an outstanding folio because I was an "employed" photographer for 10 years before I started my own business yet I could not master that bottom three line. So that tells me I've already mastered this. I'd already mastered Photoshop. I had already mastered studio because I had a garage. I could also shoot on location. I had already mastered my website. I hated it. I had already mastered my marketing design somewhat. I didn't have social media because I'm a dinosaur. But I had not mastered these three lines. So if you're not getting shoots and you're not getting money then you need to look down here. Okay, so when people get very confused about their blocks I don't understand this. I don't understand that people are confused because people will stand in front of me barefaced and tell me they're doing it all right, all of it. "I'm doing everything you say," and I believe it. Okay, here's the hardest thing you're gonna hear. Then you, it's about you. Okay, because what I have to say is do people like you? Are you likable? Do you smell funny? Are you repelling people with your personality and your energy? Are you saying that it's all good but really you smell of desperation? Are you selling the product or are you selling the service? This is one of the most transformative things you will hear. Your marketing and connection needs to be for the client not about the product. Your marketing and connection needs to be for the client not about the product. And it certainly shouldn't be about you because they're not buying you and they're buying the product. They are buying what the experience that they're getting. So you need to lock that down this week and decide what that is. Now everybody knows when they come to be photographed by me they're going to get a mixed bag of goodies. They're gonna get photographs that they love, they're gonna feel empowered in front of the camera. They're going to get an artist that they like to, who they like, who they, work that they like to create something for them. They're going to feel comfortable and confident. And they're going to leave with an experience that has something more to do with the self than it does to do with the photographs. I've already locked down what my experience is because I've been doing it for a long time. And all of my marketing and all of my selling is around that. It's for you not about me. Now this is where everybody's going wrong. We used to think that he who shouts the loudest gets paid the most. He who stands up gets paid the most. That is not true anymore. I went on YouTube the other day. I skipped the ad. I opened something on Facebook the other day. I said, it said sponsored post. I opened it, I skipped eight ads. I follow a magazine, a very high profile magazine. Their whole Facebook page sponsored posts are really interesting. They're just all ads. I get annoyed at how I have to swipe and skip those ads. We are trained to not being sold to. We go to trade shows and we don't make eye contact in case somebody gives us a voucher. (audience laughing) We go and we walk and we put our head down and at best we do this. (audience laughing) Or you take it and throw it in the bin. Shouting doesn't work. Okay, what do people do? They love images, they love videos and they'll watch them. 85% of people will watch your video and click on the link to your website. All my friends, I ring all my friends and I go, "Why have you connected your Twitter account "to your Instagram?" And they go, "Because when I Instagram it tweets." And I said, "No it doesn't, it tweets a link. "It doesn't tweet a photograph." I upload to Instagram, then I upload to Twitter, then I upload to In Bed With Sue. Then I upload to Sue Bryce Personal if it applies to my friends and family. Then I upload to 28 Days with Sue Bryce because they're all my groups. And then I upload to Sue Bryce Photographer. And I do it organically with every hit, no links, because 90% of the time nobody's going to go off their feed to direct to your link. So when I did that and I did that maybe eight months ago I read that people don't hit links anymore because it's too much effort, isn't it, to stop scrolling. (audience laughing) But hang on, think about it. The second you're scrolling through that Facebook feed there's a link. You wanna hit it because I wanna see what Kenna is doing on the beach and I'm like, "But Kenna, I'll lose my place on the feed." And then if I go to your link and then come back to it the feed's repopulated based on algorithm. (audience laughing) And then I'm like, "Damn it, I saw this business post "that I really wanted to see." So I go, "I'll go back and see what Kenna's doing later "or when I'm on Instagram I follow you there. "I'll see you there." And yet all of my friends are doing it so I turned off my connection from Instagram to Twitter. And now I post organically to Twitter and I went from 74,000 Twitter followers to 125,000 in five months. Suddenly I'm posting images on Twitter and I've almost doubled my following in five months. And I don't know how that I got on that gravy train but there I am. I'm just like great. And them I'm still following all my friends with links. I'm like (speaking in scratchy voice) get the links off. Show, show, share, tell. Show, share, tell. Show people, do it positively. Do it with grace. Speak from the heart. It's easy, you're a photographer so tell me what you love, not what you hate. Tell me what you're really positive about, not what you struggle with. And if you do tell me about what you struggle with tell me how you overcame it because I'm at home hurting just like you and I wanna know. Tell me that I have the power to learn and grow. Tell me that I am okay, that there's nothing wrong with me. Tell me that I'm enough and then hear me and see me. Give me something because you exist online but when you answer a reply or when you answer a response that's the greatest gift you can give anyone. And tell me your Facebook's not working because mine's working great. It's really, really great and every day I'm blown away by the connection, the support, it's amazing. Let's say you're really struggling with marketing and design. There's a slide coming up this afternoon that's called stick your logo and SEO where the sun don't shine. (audience laughing) Because I built a really successful business without search engine optimization and without a freaking logo and you're spending all this money getting logos designed and you're wasting your time. I'm not buying your logo. Nikki, I hate your logo. (woman in audience laughing) I hate it. It doesn't reflect you. (women in audience laughing) It's lucky I love your work because when I see a logo I actually get angry because I know what it is, it's avoidance. Selena's choking on her tongue because she's a designer and she's like (growls) she just said stick your logo. And I'm gonna tell you where to stick your SEO this afternoon too because I tell you right now I've been a portrait photographer for 26 years and people aren't calling me, I'm calling them. And that's a really big one because wedding photographers are getting phone calls. Portrait photographers are not and that's where the biggest transition flies. I can't wait to teach you about that. So if you're struggling in your marketing and design show images and don't give a crap about what typeface you've chosen. I don't give anything to the logo you've chosen. I care about what I'm getting. So if you're struggling in this area pick your best images, images that make your heart sing, and show them. And if they take a while to get better it doesn't matter. People will see your evolution. People said to me right from the beginning, "You're getting so good now." And I was like, "Oh (chuckles), thanks." (audience laughing) Somebody said to me, "You could actually "do this for a living." In my garage at home I was like, "Yeah, I was thinking about it." (audience laughing) (laughs) Hoping to pay my rent that week. If you can't price yourself and you can't stand in front of me and tell me what your price and product is, go here. Go to this segment. Come back after lunch because I'm telling you right now I do not have a problem saying this. I will do one shoot a day now. I used to do three. My first, my package is a beautiful folio box with an enlargement for the wall. It's $3,300, that's what I charge. So when I stand in front of you and I tell you what I sell, how much I sell it for, every cell in my body believes that. So when you aren't telling people you need to go here. If you are not connecting to businesses, strangers in the street, anybody who's worked with me knows that I talk to strangers. It is a gift I was given. I did it as a little kid. My parents used to freak out. I would go missing. My brother would say, "She's in that house down there," and my mum would come looking for me and I would be sitting at the table four years old having a cup of tea with a couple just chatting. (audience laughing) I had that ability. So when I was crippled by this which you saw before, when I could not touch this line here which Tammy did so easily, (speaking in teasing voice) which Tammy did so easily. (audience laughing) (laughs) And I don't, I'm working on my resentment every day. (laughs) When I struggled here to get paid I realized I had a big problem because you're not in business without that bottom line. Nobody's going to pay you if you can't price yourself, sell yourself, and manage money. So this was my biggest awakening but that's not Tammy's biggest awakening. All right, and so the cool part is we're gonna find out where you're strong. So when you tell me how do I know what are you lacking? Is it bums on seats, is it connection, is it sales, is it follow through? Is I'm shooting but I'm not getting the money from people? It is I just can't get a studio and I can't get my head around shooting at home or shooting on location? Because Joanna is. She's one of the mentors and she doesn't have a studio. Okay, is it you can't finish this? Is it you can't put yourself out there? Is it you can't, you just look at there and tell me what you can't do, what you're not getting because you'll tell me you're doing it but I don't believe you. And even if you tell me you are doing it and it's not working for you, tell me as mentors. You're gonna meet all the mentors in the next segment but tell me something. The second you actually work towards something it starts to come to fruition. Is that correct? Yes. The second you go, "My marketing is down. "I need more bums on seats," you turn your attention towards it and it starts to build. Do you in that moment get on Facebook and say it's not working? Okay, what do you do? That's when you go into your reserve of I know what works. I know what has worked for me in the past. I can connect to this group. I can ask questions but I've got to ask questions on empowerment, not on block. So if you were to come to me and say it's not working I'd say what's not working? What are you doing? And I would go to the core first. So that's kind of how you're going to know.

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.


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!