Skip to main content

photo & video

Portrait Startup

Lesson 9 of 35

Meet the Mentors: Tammy Zurak Allen

Sue Bryce

Portrait Startup

Sue Bryce

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2000+ more >

Lesson Info

9. Meet the Mentors: Tammy Zurak Allen

Lesson Info

Meet the Mentors: Tammy Zurak Allen

Tammy, hashtag, I wanna kick you in the face, I already just tweeted that. (audience laughs) What I love about Tammy's superpower is she comes from corporate America, and corporate anywhere, I've read Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, great book, if you wanna think about corporate any life, Lean In. One of the first chapters in Lean In states that internationally, right now, women in power, women in CEO positions, Fortune 500, Fortune 5,000 in Politics, leading the way, and percentage is New Zealand at 19%. I quite happily stand in front of you as a Kiwi woman, proud of my culture, that we are allowing women to earn almost the same amount of money as men and have positions in power. Now, Australia is at 12%, and America is at seven. I'm not asking you to be CEOs or Fortune or Fortune 5,000 companies. I'm asking you to embrace a business in your own house or get a studio that embraces a very well-paying, lucrative job. But the essence is today, as you have to be in business to do this. There...

are fundamentals that you need to learn in terms of pricing yourself and receiving money that are business-only. They don't have anything to do with ego or emotion or contrasting or comparing or being good enough. They have solely to do with business is business. So when I talk to Tammy, because of her history in corporate world, I feel like Tammy already walked that path. I feel like Tammy was already ahead of me. And like I said before, when you're selling $30,000 packages, it stands to reason that selling a 3,000 package is a joke. And that's why, had I gone to somebody like Tammy back then, I don't think Tammy, even as a friend or a mum or an auntie or a business coach or whatever she would have been to me when I was staring out, I don't think she could have taught me that, listen, until she did it. And so, when she went from corporate, two things occurred, she found selling easy and went to my top package as she developed a brand, but she also understood that business is business and went straight up, jumped a level, and that is significant to me. So all of you out there that are wondering, can you transition from a corporate job into being a self-employed artist, yes, she is living proof. Can you be okay with, I'm charging money, be okay with receiving money and go straight to selling a brand and a product, yes, you can, Tammy is living proof. What did you struggle with? If that wasn't your hurdle, where's your struggle, 'cause there's gotta be some struggle. Initially, my biggest struggle was bums on seats, to use your words, nobody knew who I was. So I spent a lifetime building a corporate career, and I landed in a new town where nobody knew who I was, and I was on the road all the time. So, I didn't even have local friends, really, to help me market myself. Nobody knew me, so my goal was I want a studio, I wanna shoot people, but they don't know what glamor is, number one, and they don't know who I am, number two, so both of those are bad. So initially, I didn't have a lot of business. You know, I had a great place, I had skills, I had the experience, but I didn't have any bodies. So for me, the greatest struggle was getting more people to understand what it is I do, and then want to have that for themselves. So it took me probably eight months to really establish myself, and what I do now is, which is now I kind of went from, that was a hurdle, I don't have anyone, to I spend a day a week marketing myself. I'm now talking to people, meeting people, over and over and over again, and making those touches. So, over time, it's taken a good six, eight, 12 months for them to say, oh, I get what you do, and I want that now, or to tell their friends, you know, they come in, and then their friends see it. And now, it's a flow of, oh, my friend did that. So how did you deal with the no aspect? So when you said, I did it over and over again until they got it, that tells me you were speaking to the same person more than once. Well... And yet, most people can't even walk into an establishment, than line walk back into one after they're being asked to leave it. You know what I mean? So, it's intriguing to me that you say, and I went back again and talked to them. How did you deal with that upfront cold sell no? Well, for me, my background is, it's been 25 years in sales and sales management, so for me, no is like great, 'cause I'm more closer to yes. When you tell me no, I just have to ask you two or three more times, maybe four to get you to yes. So, nobody buys you upfront. They have to get to know you and trust you and understand that what you could do for them is real because they don't believe it's real, they don't look at the pictures on the wall and see, that's me, they say, that's some pretty model, that's not me. So, I have to show, and that's really where it comes down to is I just show my work. I show before and after. Here's what my clients all look like, and here's what they look like after. Oh, I can look like that. And that's where it comes. But it takes, I never sell the first time when I'm just meeting people on the street or out marketing. It's that two or three, and they trust me then. They get to know me, they like me hopefully, and that's why they come in. So the difference between you and me, although it took me longer to get there in terms of where I'm selling myself, the difference between you and me is if somebody says no to me, they'll never see me again. It's like you cease to exist on this planet. If I saw you at a mall, I would be like, oh, oh no. You know, the concept of what you just said to me is breakthrough for me, and I've been 26 years. So when I go to the nine areas of mastery, and I said, you never really master each section, yet you're still mastering each section. Mastery for me would be okay with that no. Somehow the word rejection sits very heavily on my chest, and the idea that somebody doesn't like me hurts me. So the fact that you say it like that, that it's only a matter of time before you actually show them the truth is I believe the truth to be that I'm not good enough when they reject me. Not that the truth is you're still good enough, you just haven't managed to convert them yet to what they're doing. Is this eye-opening to you? Like is this absolutely blowing your mind? Every single one of you have just been on this extraordinary path, and every single one of you have this incredible power. I want every one of you to write a blog for me so I can update people over the next six months on your one thing. Retreats and studio, building your studio, and pricing yourself, your new design and selling yourself, you know, I'm getting to you, two, I'm getting to you three. Hiker is gonna be destination portrait shoots in Europe that I'm gonna be the first one to shoot photographs in. Italy, which I'm really excited about being on the front cover of a photo in a big gown, like somewhere blowing in the wind, you know, eating pizza. And all of you are doing something extraordinary. I want you to write more about that, Tammy. I love that idea, I love that right now, in this moment, had I heard this information this way 10 years ago, my life would have been significantly different. I feel like you are all, one-by-one, empowering me and releasing me in one area. And I feel like, after 26 years, my area of mastery is still jolted in some places. All right, so this is Tammy's work. This is her studio. So you have the studio outside of your home. I do. Beautiful. Okay, I'm gonna come back to this, 'cause I just wanna make a note. All the beautiful portraits in the world. This is gonna be hard. All the beautiful portraits you could make, this will be a nice valuable portrait. This girl... No amount of money will be more important than this photograph to that girl. If something even happened to this girl, this would be the most important portrait this woman would ever own. So you can buy flowers, you can buy floral dresses, you can wardrobe in a couture. But this is the truth of what we do, and I need you to understand the value of that. Do you understand what you've done here? You've stopped time for these people. You have put something on paper that will forever change their lives. This will be the most valuable thing that their children own one day, if not now. I can't teach people enough the power of what we do. So, value it. Don't tell you can't charge for this. It is worth something. It is worth its weight in gold, and it will be direct reflection of what you think it's worth. So please, see that.

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!