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Portrait Startup

Lesson 6 of 35

Meet the Mentors: Heike Delmore

Sue Bryce

Portrait Startup

Sue Bryce

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Lesson Info

6. Meet the Mentors: Heike Delmore

Lesson Info

Meet the Mentors: Heike Delmore

My next mentor is Heike. Heike, she's glamour and wedding, and she's in Ontario, Canada. I can't wait to go there. I've been to Canada once, twice, and it is really one of the most beautiful places on Earth. So I can't wait to visit you. Heike's definitely, what I love about you, in terms of your strength, is, you have, you are very similar to Nikki. In fact, you two, even when you walk together, I think you look like sisters, you know? (audience laughs) There's something similar about you that is really amazing. I love your brand, I love how much you love it. I love that you shoot wedding and I love that you shoot glamour. The thing is, is Heike has a partner that works around the world, so she has to go to other places sometimes. So she will have certain months of the year where she's not able to market her business in one spot. So that's been a big hurdle for her, which I think's a great learning curve for everybody. Because at the end of the day, we get a lot of military wives, we ...

get a lot of people that are moving a lot, and they feel like they have to literally pick up and start all over again. Now, I come from a place where I moved from New Zealand to Australia, started my business in Australia, worked that business for four years, and then moved to America. And as I moved from Australia, I had to launch myself in a new area where nobody knew my name. And the first place I went was where I told Nikki, was women's networking, women's business, shows. The first show I did was in the first week I landed in Melbourne. And I booked 25 shoots. I booked 25 shoots from one woman's show in Melbourne, it cost me three grand to be there. Now, I remember it taking off slowly from there. As many networking places as I could find where I could find women, I would go and join them, become, go to the dinners, go to all of the networking meeting off of free shoots to evangelists, to women with big audiences with voices, go to businesses and slowly start connecting and selling myself. That was my most significant growth in selling myself. But the point I'm getting to with you is, I am my brand. I am If I live in Los Angeles, I shoot in Los Angeles. If I live in Sydney, I shoot in Sydney. I don't see too much of a hurdle in starting new because I keep building my brand. But you're only just building your brand. So there's gotta be some big hurdles there. Can you talk about that? I think my biggest hurdle when I was first starting out was finding a studio space because we were always moving around, and only coming back to that one location for four months out of the year. So we ended up turning our garage into the studio. And initially I was pretty nervous about that because I wasn't sure that, you know, charging the prices that I was going to be charging, that my space would live up to that value and that expectation. You know what? Really interesting listen. I opened my first studio in my garage in Karaka, in a small country town in New Zealand, in Pukekohe, New Zealand. It's a farming town. I had a higher average in my house than I had at the big studio in the city. People liked the experience more in my country garage than they did in the big city studio. The perception was, in the big city studio, that we were making lots of money. So people would be like, yeah, I think you guys have enough money. But when I was at home, people were falling over me to give me money. And maybe the core was in me. The core belief was, I don't wanna look too fancy because I don't want people to think I'm too awesome and too big with myself. So maybe that core belief that was blocking that was me. So, you built the studio in your garage. What's been your biggest hurdle starting glamour, 'cause you were already shooting wedding. Really wrapping my mind around charging the prices I was for the portraits. Coming from weddings, I put so much into shooting the wedding the whole day, then editing all the photos, you think, or I thought in my mind, okay, then well it's worth this. So I could charge, you know, high numbers for weddings. And then I really love shooting the portraits, so. And of course they don't take as much time. So I had trouble wrapping my mind around charging just as much, or a high number for. However, fifty bucks says you had to grow into wedding average. Absolutely. Okay, so you started off doing a free wedding, and then you did a $400 one, then you did an $800 one, then you realized you weren't gonna survive the winter, (Heike chuckles) and then you went up to $1, and then you got resentful, then you went up to $1, and your bookings dropped down. I'm gonna confront this after lunch. This is a really interesting evolution of pricing. Because I challenged Nikki, you charge $4, for a wedding and you book them like that. And you're struggling to charge $1, for a portrait that's gonna last a lifetime. That's also gonna take you roughly five to six hours. 'Cause you've gotta prep for it, you've gotta get a makeup artist, you've gotta shoot it, you've gotta retouch it, you've gotta sell it. That's six hours work. And, yeah, I think that's how I got over it, because, or I moved into higher brackets. I wrapped my mind around, okay well, the consult is this much time, the emailing is this much time, getting the hair and makeup is this much time. And I really broke it down, and then I started seeing the value in it because I broke it down instead of just thinking, oh it's something I love, so how can I charge that much, right? Okay, so I'm going to really challenge that after lunch. I'm gonna challenge your perception on what you're pricing your product. And that's a question, Sue, that is coming in. Christine Logan had said it would be great if the mentors shared a bit about what they are actually charging for their work. Yes, okay, so can I just go back to Lori, then? I'll go Lori, Nikki, and Heike. Lori, you're starting out ala carte or package? I'm going to start out package. Yeah. And try to sell for that. And what's your smallest package going to be? I'm gonna probably model close to what Nikki's doing. Okay. 1,200. Nikki started ala carte, sorry, you started package. $1,200 was your buy-in package, but you can upsell with ala carte. What are your other packages? 1,800, 2,400. Okay, so Nikki is currently selling her medium size packages on average. Isn't that interesting? However, her last two sales were her highest package. Yeah. And if she can maintain that, then she's jumped up to the third price. Now, what does that tell you? That Nikki did the three packages, and they buy the middle one. Alright. Heike, where did you start, ala carte, or are you package? I'm ala carte, I have the one package. I just did your exact pricing. Okay. So, what I'm gonna confront after lunch is, are you going to choose ala carte or package pricing? If you're package pricing, you're gonna offer three packages plus ala carte for upselling. If you are ala carte, you are either giving a free shoot, or you're going to charge for the shoot and then you are going to sell the images one by one after. So that's the difference between the two pricing models. So, I'll make sure to ask the rest of the mentors what they're at, where they started. Can I just go back to, Nikki, what was your original portrait package lowest package? Free. (laughs) Free, and then I went to $200, and then $300, and then I just moved up from there. Okay, I went from 400 to 800. So you really dragged it out. Oh I totally dragged it out. But when, with my packages, they pay 249 to come in. Once they, during their photo reveal is when they decide how much they want to spend, the 1,200, 1,800, 2,400. Yeah, so you're selling ala carte with packages. Right. It's a very interesting blend, 'cause I do too. So we need to really make that clear to people. Heike, you're selling ala carte, so you're charging for the shoot. I am. And then I have the folio boxes, the ala carte, and then the top package which is 3,000. So that tells me that those two girls are selling ala carte but they're also selling packages. So they're offering packages ala carte which is so interesting, 'cause that is a direct mixture of both. Alright, does that help? I'll keep asking about pricing 'cause we're gonna talk about pricing after lunch. Yeah, absolutely. Christine replied, "Thank you, Kenna, this is so helpful." But we're gonna get even more into that, so Okay. keep movin'. So I'll show Heike's beautiful work. (audience murmurs) You've got a pretty fancy garage. That's my garage. (audience laughs) Can I just say, my garage doesn't look like that. (audience laughs) I actually had roller doors and I would have to roll them up before my clients come, because I didn't want them to see that they were rolling doors. And then the wind would blow all the leaves in while I was waiting for them, so I would be sweeping (audience laughs) the leaves out as fast as waiting for my clients to come in. Mine was ghetto compared to yours. Well my first picture's actually in my basement so I bring them down to the basement to do the reveal, but this is the garage where I do the photography. Wow, so your home has really taken, your business has taken over your home. It has, and my husband now has to park his car outside all the time and gets a car wash every day. (laughs) Is he okay with it? Um, he is now. It took a little, yeah. Warming up? Warming up to the idea. And these are Heike's beautiful portraits. So, I think that Heike and Nikki are very unique in the sense that they had already built a wedding business before they became portrait photographers. I find it interesting that both of them averaged the same in weddings and had built the evolution of their wedding pricing but then suffered in their portrait pricing. I can't wait to hit that in terms of pricing after lunch because I find that so intriguing. I am going to say this over and over again. These photographers sitting in front of me are proof that it's all in your own mind. I am not talking about the economy. I am not talking about what state you live in or where you live. I am talking about, they shifted something in them and they evolved their pricing. I need you out there to know, you can do that. You can shift your idea around what you're worth and then tell people confidently and get paid. I promise you this. Okay, that's what these two days are about. Another just quick question. We talked about you traveling a lot. Do you shoot portraits, are you able to find clients as you are traveling around, because again, going back to, there are a lot of people who move and are struggling to find new clients. I have, however, I spent most of the time working on my wedding photos, editing those, and doing the albums for the clients during that off time. So it's actually been your biggest hurdle. Yes. And still is your current hurdle, is the fact that you're still struggling with the time you have away and coming back to it. Exactly. And I spent that time also on social media, you know, trying to keep up the buzz and everything for my glamour business for when I do return. Okay. So can I give you some solutions or some options? Yes. This is a prefect time, especially when your eight months away haven't been Italy, it's a perfect time (Heike laughs) to go and find free folio-building shoots. Because ultimately, your situation means that you're not going, you know, somewhere to do dishes for eight months, you're actually in a location like Italy or somewhere. And your situation is that you actually have the ability to work and build your folio. Now, one of the biggest questions I get from anybody studying is, I'm a father and can't leave my job 'cause I support a family. Or, I'm a woman who needs to feed her children, or I have children and therefore I can't work. So they're trying to build something at home in their evening and in their spare time. And my biggest advice to them is, your children are only babies for a small amount of time. Stay at home and enjoy that. 'Cause you don't get to live that again. Not with a two-year-old and a three-year-old and a four-year-old. But you've got time. You've got time to build your passion on the side. So harness that. Because that tells me that right now, you might find it difficult to get paying clients, but if you can get some free shoots and you can get the time to go and do them, you are in some of the most beautiful locations in the world. It tells me that the four months you are home, you should be so fully booked within that four months that you make a year's income. I do. Yeah. (Heike laughs) So I want you to spend that other eight months building that. Like I want you to build Heike Delmore as a portrait photographer, because what you're doing is learning more about shooting, you're learning more about folio building, you're creating social media, you're still doing the work. Okay, now you might not be getting paid, but you're still doing the work. And what else would you be doing? It's not like it costs money to shoot. It doesn't. You know, if you educate your client well, they can turn up with their own hair and makeup done. If you educate yourself, I've done videos on my own website on how to do hair and makeup yourself when you're folio building and you can't pay for a makeup artist. So don't tell me you can't do it. You know what I mean? You can. There's always a way. I, at my most broke, traded with a makeup artist for her to do folio shoots to do my makeup. And a lot of people have tried that. So, do it. There is always a way, okay? So what I need you to focus on is, this is my hurdle or this is my block or this is my situation. What is my solution? What is a creative solution to get around this? Because I feel like that's my favorite thing. I feel like I see something and I just look at it as a puzzle. I don't see blocks, I just see, how can I do this? Now, I would love for you to market. Next time you go to Europe I would like you to market after this next cycle of beautiful folio builds, that you do destination portraits. That you could actually get somebody to fly to Italy and do a $5000 photo shoot with you in Italy. And if you go, that's not a reality, then that's just your limit. Because hell, I'll come and do it with you. (audience laughs) Like, I can't think of anything I'd rather do, are you kidding me? I mean that sounds incredible. And if your next question is who would pay for that, you're not gonna do it 'cause you already don't believe it. But, imagine if you owned that. Imagine if you put two feet down deep into the earth and you said, "My name is Heike Delmore, I spend "half the year in Italy. "I do destination photo shoots like this." (audience chuckles) That is opportunity, you know? That is how you have gotten where you are now. So the interesting part about all of you is all of you have taken big strides to get where you are now, but all of you have big strides to go. And what I'm gonna enjoy is watching that. Because what we're doing is talking to a big group of people that are at all different levels, and right now those different levels can be right down to, I don't even have a garage. I've been there. I didn't have a garage either. So, you know, I remember it being that difficult. But what you've got to do is come up with a creative solution. There is always a way. And if you pull your head out of negativity long enough, a solution is right in front of you. In fact, the most interesting thing about empowering people is the answer is already in front of you, you just didn't even see it. You're already in Europe. The only thing stopping you from marketing that are the images. So next time you're in Europe, I'd do a shoot. And if you have a problem, call me, I'll meet you there. (audience laughs loudly) Do that. Yeah, like, are you serious right now? (Heike laughs) You know, first world problems, right? (laughs) But what I wanna see is you build a dynamic, beautiful brand that actually suits your lifestyle. And then, all of a sudden you won't be traveling to Europe for your husband's income. Right? He'll be like, I'll retire, (audience laughs) and I'll come and hold the fan. Ha, he already said that. Yeah. (laughs loudly) (audience laughs)

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

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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!