We have asked your partners what they have seen, and to write about your development from their point-of-view. We hear review from you, but people, we don't see ourselves as other people see us. And so the people that have been your emotional support, day in, day out, as you've gone through this, we are going to hear from them. I know this is not an easy thing (laughs) but we are gonna go through and let's start, Tammy. They have not read these, by the way, everybody at home. And then just before you go, actually, the rest of the segment, we are going to see a video where they are talking about, the mentors are talking about their struggles and we're gonna hear some additional advice from them, as well. So, Tammy, over to you.
So this is from my husband, Jeff. "Tammy had a little point-and-shoot digital camera. "She was always taking photos of the family and our pets "but they were never typical snapshots. "There just seemed to be something more to them. "She definitely had the eye. ...
"We purchased her a mid-range DSLR and Photoshop. "This was like pouring fuel on the fire. "Outside of her corporate sales gig, "she was spending probably 40 hours per week on photography. "If she wasn't taking photos, she was editing them. "If she wasn't editing, she was watching videos "and reading books to improve her skills. "Ironically, we would lie in bed "with the computer hooked up to our bedroom television "and watch Sue Bryce's CreativeLive courses, (laughs) "so we were literally in bed with Sue. (laughs) "Tammy was really excelling during this process. "I knew she really had something "and it was exciting to watch her transformation. "When a person is passionate about something, "you can't hold them back. "And after a year since quitting her corporate job, "she still has the same enthusiasm and drive. "I'm so glad she has found her passion in life. "Tammy has what it takes to make it big "in the photography world, "and I plan on being there to watch it happen."
I tell you wanna clap. (laughs) Thank you for sharing that. Once again, hearing how that person who is right there with us along this journey is such an amazing thing. Emily.
Okay, I'm not sure I'm gonna get through mine. This is from my husband, David, that I've been married to for 11 years. He says, "Emily is masterful at her craft. "Initially, she loved the idea of being a photographer "but it didn't truly find her passion "until she discovered Sue Bryce. "Luxury women's portrait photography was the perfect fit "for Emily, and she had found an excellent mentor. "Emily devoured any and all the training she could find, "yet understood that without practice "the knowledge she was gaining would be in vain. "Emily is constantly experimenting to improve her business "and make the experience fantastic for her customers. "Her efforts are paying off. "Her clients rave about her to their family and friends, "referring new clients. "She gives these women an amazing experience, "helping them feel their true beauty, "which is reflected in the portraits they bring home. "Emily's passion shows in her work and in her relationships. "She loves to share what she learns with everyone. "Emily is a masterful photographer and as a mentor. "I believe she is successful because she loves her work "and truly cares about people. "Book a shoot with her, and you'll see it's true. "Ask her for help, and she will inspire you."
Thank you. What special, so special. What I think is so amazing is that people at home, it's seeing the contrast in between what you see in yourself, again, and what those people with you. I want people at home to think about those negative thoughts that they're telling themselves, and yet, would you say that to a friend? Would your partner say that to you? So, Heike.
So this is from my husband, Andy. "Our story begins when I was pursuing my dreams overseas "but instead found myself pursuing something else, "the most beautiful girl I've ever seen." Oh my god! (laughs) "During our dating years, "I realized this girl had a work ethic like no other. "After the birth of our daughter, Ava, "I could tell Heike needed a change "from web design and this..." I can't even see. (laughs) "This is when she realized her passion and dream "of photography was about to become a reality. "She seriously pursued photography "by watching endless hours of CreativeLive. "This was a change that profoundly influenced our lives "in an extremely positive manner. "Her determination and exceptional work ethic "had allowed her and her business "to be as successful as she desires. "Her eye for pictures impresses me every week "as I look at the posts she puts up. "Her imagination, creativity, and pursuit of perfection "is honestly a talent in itself."
I'm sympathy crying. (group laughing) If somebody's crying in the room, I'll cry with you. (group laughing)
Me, as well.
How does that make you feel?
Just brings me back to when I started and makes me look at everything that I have accomplished to now, and it's pretty overwhelming.
Do you see your value differently?
And is there one particular thing that you can point to within that, or that your husband has said? Does that make you feel different?
It just, it brings everything together from how I felt at the beginning, how scared I was, but--
Do you feel like that person now, that your husband is describing?
Yeah, I do.
So this is from Alex, my husband. "Tatiana has definitely come a long way since she started. "Gaining confidence in ability to produce good results "was a first step. "I still remember her anxiety level "before her first paid shoots, "followed by the constant watching and re-watching "of Sue's CreativeLive classes." Yeah. "I remember being irritated, getting home "and hearing that same voice talking from the iPad, "over and over and over again," (laughs) "but it slowly became a familiar voice, and at the end, "I even watched some of Sue's material myself." (group laughing) And yeah, now we talk about, in our bed. That's me, not him. (group laughing) "Tatiana has gained a lot of self-confidence "and is more comfortable in her own shoes. "She has clearly grown thicker skin "and her self-confidence has improved. "We can both talk freely about her photography now "and she often is asking for my opinion, "where in the past, she was running away from it."
Is there something that that does for you, that you can learn just from reading that for yourself?
Such a huge validation.
Sue, isn't your TED Talk gonna be about validation?
Yeah, you know... I wish I could talk. (group laughing)
I know, I wish you could, too, Sue. Tomorrow, we're gonna do that tomorrow.
I feel like maybe even just the experience of being here for two days, and more than anything, validation is permission, it's just that mirror back to you that you can do something, and yet we all seek somebody to give us permission. And I think sometimes, particularly with those partners, they don't know how to keep supporting you because you dump all the negative on them, as well, so they wanna give you the logic, as well as the, "Well, don't do it then," as well as the, "Snap out of it," and so there's always that constant back-and-forth, but at the end of the day, you've all proved that you're doing it on your own, with the help.
This is from my husband, David. "When Shauna wanted to start a career in photography, "I knew that her previous skills as a graphic designer "and her impressive determination would make her successful. "Since she started, Shauna has taken her photography "to another level. "I can honestly say that her work is impeccable "and the attention to detail stands out. "Her tenacity towards her craft should be inspiration "to all who study this field. "She is constantly educating herself "and testing new methods to use with her clients base. "Her inspiration keeps growing daily "and her contacts with the In Bed with Sue community "have really driven her forward. "I am truly pleased that she's my wife, "has found such a wonderful group of people "that she relates to. "I could not have been luckier "to have met such a wonderful woman."
Grab the tissue.
I know. (group laughing) My best friend today and yesterday.
So what does that tell you about your feelings about yourself, versus what you're hearing on that piece of paper?
That I've been pursuing my true career, that I'm on the right path, and that all the hard work and avoiding, or not really avoiding, but the attention I've paid to this and sometimes not to my family, is worth it. Even though I do lose a little bit of time with them, it comes to a point where, as much as I work on it, I can have more time with them later. And my husband does appreciate me. (laughs)
Me? Okay. So this is from my husband, Dan. "Nikki's life changed when I gave her my Nikon D "and asked her to simply shoot some photos "for my friend's clothing line. "She quickly fell in love with the camera "and began reading and watching "anything she could find on photography. "Within just a week, she was doing free shoots "for anyone she could think of, just to be able to practice. "It became apparent that this was her calling. "Soon, she found Sue Bryce. "Sue stepped into Nikki's life and impacted her "both professionally and personally. "Before I knew it, she was stepping down "from a full-time social worker to part-time "and then leaving social work altogether "with her own photography studio, "complete with all the tools "and sequins a girl could dream of. "Yay, sparkles!" (laughs) "Though this did not come easy, I have never known someone "who possessed such a passion and determination. "She worked her way from zero experience to a magical touch "with all the technical knowhow in just a few short years. "Seeing her smiling face, day in and day out, "is a very welcome change to the stress she used to carry. "Watching her go through this life transformation "has been a rollercoaster of ups and downs, "but seeing how proud she is with her ability "to make people see the beauty in themselves is awesome. "You're an amazing inspiration to me and many others, Nikki. "I love you, baby. "And Sue, you're amazing, as well." (laughs)
Thank you. Bethany looks like she's already crying. (laughs)
I've been very nervous about this.
So... This is from my husband, Keith. "So you want to know a little about Bethany. "Easy, she is my everything. "I can't begin to tell you how proud I am of her "as she sits there with you "and enjoys this new experience and success. "Bethany has always enjoyed art "and excelled in it from an early age. "She became highly proficient in IT and web design "by being self-taught in both. "These two skills came into play "the day she got her first DSLR. "Some people might read the first few pages on the manual "or watch some YouTube videos, "but Bethany had multiple memory cards filled in no time "and it was game on. "She started by taking pictures of our kids, of course, "and then friends asked if she would shoot family photos, "and right there, she quickly developed a vision "of something more. "In no time at all, she dove in "and found Sue's workshops on CreativeLive. "She researched, tested, asked questions, "found the answers she needed. "It's her stubborn streak. "It can be maddening if you aren't up to speed with her "and the streak basically runs you over, "but now that I get it, "I know it's really just her drive in disguise. "The best part of this is "that our kids have seen the whole process. "They don't quite understand how cool it is "to start from nothing and climb to success so quickly, "but they will someday and I hope it drives them, as well. "I don't know if I can handle any more overly-driven, "stubborn people in my house," (laughs) "but if they're anything like Bethany, "I will take whatever comes. "I love you, babe."
(laughs) I just wanna read off what people are saying at home. This is from Tina B Photos, says, "I love that these women get "to experience the encouragement from their partners. "It's like I'm hearing the words "that are kind of meant for me. "I love that they're shedding tears of joy. "I'm right there with them. "This was a beautiful idea, what a gift." So, thank you. Joanna.
It's from my boyfriend, Mike. "From the moment I met Joanna over two-and-a-half years ago "it has been an honor to watch her "in her photography journey. "The day she went to meet with Sue "was really a game changer. "She used what she learned from Sue "and it started opening up even more "of her creation with the camera. "She had many challenges with locations, "and posing, and dealing with clients. "It was great to watch her grow in those areas. "For the last couple of years, "she has handled a ton of pressure that it brings. "Her vision is so powerful to take women on a fun journey "of self-realization and deep transformation. "Being able to see yourself before, during, and after "in the process is a very powerful way "for clients to meet many parts of themselves. "I've done a couple of shoots with Joanna. "She made it so much fun for me. "I really liked pictures taken before that. "I also saw the best thing I had ever seen before. "As I looked at her behind the camera, "I saw her come to life. "It was breathtaking. "Her smile was so big "and her eyes were sparkling like diamonds. "The camera is a deep expression of her passion "to help people see what's possible, and to do that in..." I'm losing my mind. "And to do that in the first day. "What happens after that allows the person to dream again, "go after the dreams that they have, "and even surpass the dreams that they've had. "If you look at her portfolio, "you will see women in their transformations "and the gift she gives and gets in the service of women, "a true blessing for all involved, self-expression."
So, thank you. Lori.
Lori's gotta pull out her glasses. (laughs)
Yeah, kinda getting up there. (laughs) Alright, this is from my boyfriend, Bret. "Lori has been active in photography for many years "but she really kicked it into high gear "following her first appearance "as a student on CreativeLive. "Ever since, the art, mechanics, "and business of photography, moved by all the help, "encouragement, and advice she's received, "Lori created ways not to only give back and help others "but also develop her voice and vision as a photographer." I hate this stuff, guys, why'd you do this? Okay, back to the letter. "She has always been hungry for knowledge, "but even more so, enthusiastic to elevate those around her. "Lori's ongoing dedication," I don't know if I can do this, "as an online administrator, her photography growth "has been a tireless one. "I have been inspired by her work ethic and sincerity "in watching these groups grow and prosper. "While photography brings out Lori's eye for detail, "it is her underlying love of bringing people together "and in the spirit of creative interaction "that makes her truly special. "She has always been so generous with her time and energy. "While this journey hasn't always been easy for her, "she remains positive and ambitious as ever. "I am very proud of you, Lori Patrick, "and offer my sincere congratulations "on the modern glamour photography studio you've created." (laughs)
Thank you. Thank you to all of your partners, and great job, everyone, reading those out. I have another comment, from Mapuana, is, "Thank you to all the mentors for sharing so honestly "all of your fears and successes. "I am crying watching you all read your letters." And I think that's a pretty incredible thing, that people at home are crying, hearing your stories of the partners' vision of what you're doing. And questioning our own value when it's so clear to everybody else. Sue, it's your "get out of our way." I know Sue has so much to say right now and I just wanna remind people that tomorrow she has two big talks that we are going to go to, so everybody that's asking about that, and it is going to be her talk on solutions and her big talk, big power talk, as well. So right now, we did a prerecorded video. Each of these mentors here, we recorded a little interview the day before this class started, and we are gonna play a montage of that, hearing about basically their stories, their challenges, their strengths, and a little bit of advice. So the video's about 13 minutes long, and enjoy.
Three-and-a-half years ago, I decided I was going to quit my job as a social worker. I'd been doing that for 12 years, and I was burned out, and I knew I wasn't happy with my career. I've always loved taking photos and I decided I was gonna be a photographer.
I had been kind of doing hobby stuff, photographing my kids and just getting to know my camera, and I had a girlfriend who kind of said, "When are you gonna actually do this? "Because you're a photographer." And I kind of said, "Never, "because I never wanna photograph cranky kids "or their crankier dads, and so, "just you and me, and that's fine, that's fun, "that's something I can do."
I was searching. I had no idea what kind of photography I wanted to do. I did pets, I did weddings, hated that. I feel Sue does, just wanna stick my eyes with a red-hot poker than do a wedding.
I was doing photography for a while, like 15 years, as a hobby, and it was various things, and prior to glamour, I was doing a lot of boudoir.
I really enjoyed the concept of working with women.
I tried babies, I tried families, and as soon as I saw Sue on CreativeLive, I just knew that's what I wanted to do was glamour.
And then I saw Sue Bryce, and boom, she got me on fire.
That epiphany, this is what I wanna do, and from that moment on, after I watched her first CreativeLive class, I just learned and learned and learned and learned, practiced and practiced and practiced, failed, and learned from that, and did it over again, watched her again.
I come from a life-coaching background and I was just so inspired by her energy and how she took this form of photography and turned it into kind of like a life, internal-transforming, visual product of what I was actually doing with people in terms of coaching.
It really spoke to me. I was always the person who kind of, throughout high school, collected all the Vogue magazines, and ripped out all the ads, and really studied the pictures, and loved all that. So I just wanted to have a way that I could bring that to not just top models but everyone, every other woman out there.
Because I came from corporate, so it was all about process and working through everything, where you, it was just and a means to an end. It wasn't where you took time, all the time. I didn't get to make that one-to-one, personal connection with people, so I really craved that.
I come from a business background. I owned a flower shop for a very long time and I knew that I was gonna go into a new direction.
I said, "Okay, well, if I'm gonna do it, I wanna learn," and I went online, and used Pinterest, and found a post that was one of Sue Bryce's images, and that took me to her blog, which took me to CreativeLive, and I kind of watched like the first 10 minutes of the free little bit that they put on YouTube, and it was like, "This is it. "This is totally what I want to do." Put down the money, and I was like, I was kind of not willing to put any money into my photography because it was just a hobby, but this was something I could tell, like, "I'm not gonna tell my husband. "I'm just gonna pay this and get the class," and it was amazing, and like that day I called my mom over and I said, "You have to come watch this with me."
And I needed something on the artistic side to give me a little bit of a release, so, like a lot of new photographers, I created a Facebook page and announced, "I'm in business!"
Well, there are a lot of challenges, getting my business to where it's at today: finding hair and makeup artists that were reliable and really, really good to work with. Finding a space, that's a difficult challenge, as well. I've built my business in a five-by-six space in my family room, and then the first studio that I had, I was still only shooting in an eight-by-six-foot space.
I use constant lights a lot. I'd try to move them around and I'd keep bumping into the ceiling and everything, and I just, sometimes, I'd be practically in tears, thinking, "This isn't working," and, "I look like an idiot," and I had all those fears and just not the confidence that I was supposed to be showing my client.
Nobody knew who I was, so the biggest challenge for me was, where do I find clients? How do I get clients? I can shoot them, I could... Everybody that I shot loves my work but I don't have enough bodies.
So I started with a friend who was very comfortable in coming over. It took quite a while to convince her that glamour isn't the old version of glamour from the '80s but something quite modern and beautiful, and once she did that, she had a number of friends that were also interested once they've seen her photographs.
When you decide, all of a sudden things start showing up. It's kinda like the Law of Attraction, and my hair and makeup artists actually found me. And so, we just started working together. From there, it was then the challenge of trying to figure out, okay, how do we get the word out there? How do we start marketing?
I started off with wedding photography, and so I kept, in my mind, thinking that, well, if I put this much work into a wedding and I charge this amount, how is it that I can charge the same amount for a portrait?
So pricing product, it became abstract thing that just filters clients who would be as invested as I am from people who just wanna play.
Feeling that it's okay to charge what I was learning from Sue that I should be charging, that was a big roadblock for me, but once I started doing it, I realized, "Wow, people are paying it." I'll never forget my first $1200 sale, my first $2400 sale, my first $3000 sale. I never in a millions years thought I could do this, and it was this huge roadblock for me.
You know, just stepping back and having that conversation with myself, breaking things down, for example, breaking down the cost of goods, breaking down how much time I actually do spend, not just, maybe, photographing the portrait session, but all the work that I put into it, preparing for it, thinking of different sets and clothing, and then putting it all together, and just really showing myself on paper, for example, the value that is there.
A lot of times, you wait for perfection that you kind of feel like, "I can't start charging certain prices, "or that I can't put myself out there, "or I can't talk to people, or even say, "'I'm a photographer,' until I'm this level." And I think that I would encourage people who are just starting out, you do wanna have a concept, and I think that getting an education helps you kind of know where you're at, but truthfully, if you are not kind of a little embarrassed about what you're starting out with, maybe you waited too long to get out there and to get started. So just give yourself permission to be a photographer sooner.
I was starting shooting for free, or for $200, or for $300, and now, here I am, north an $1800 average sale, so I'd say that's a pretty big success for me.
Now I treat pricing just as filter, no more, because really I value what I create and I feel very strongly about it, because really, women change so rapidly and we're creating something that never existed before, and she will have herself forever, the way she was that day.
The reaction that women have after they see their photos, having a tissue box nearby, I've had them crying, not even believing that it's them. Sometimes, for example, like women that have had children recently, or been married for a long time, they kinda maybe lose themselves a little bit and they want something to, an outlet where they can really bring forth who they think they are inside and something that they don't usually show the world.
So to be able to sit with somebody and talk with them about what they wanted, and then be able to show them, take pictures of them and be able to show them something that they hadn't ever seen of themselves, and then when they come back later and they're just blown away, and you've given them something they've never, ever had, and it's that priceless feeling of, wow, this is, I did this, you and I did this together, and you have this now, and you feel so much better from it, and so do I.
In just a couple of sessions, or just a couple of hours with someone, and in turn, taking their poses, and all of a sudden, they start to become more confident and more beautiful, and they go out there, and I started thinking, "Wow, I could take this and bring so much more to the table "with what I do in my coaching work." And so, I started kind of practicing with bringing the two together over the last, I think, two-and-a-half years or so now, and it's just been absolutely inspiring to see the kind of changes that you can make with women in such a short amount of time.
A thing that keeps me going and excites me constantly, when I show the portraits, usually I see reaction. I have tissues available, and it's very positive.
The day that I discovered Sue Bryce and I called my mom over, she told me a story that she had never told me before this day, but it had taken place like two years earlier. And she was with my sister, who was getting family photos done by another photographer, and my mom said, "Could I just have a couple of photos "of me by myself?" And the photographer said, "Sure." And then my mom said, "Can you make me look cute and skinny?" And the photographer said, "Well, I can't do magic." And my mom told me that story with tears in her eyes, and she pointed to Sue Bryce, and she said, "That is magic."
You know, women see themselves from different standpoint and they're like, "Woo, I'm beautiful," and they start feeling beautiful, and that is huge. I want my clients to feel beautiful.
It's so much more than just photography. It's about connecting with them and allowing them to connect with themselves, and again, it's establishing a relationship between them and me, as well as, more importantly, themselves with themselves.
Because of CreativeLive, and watching Sue Bryce, and doing the work, I've worked extremely hard to get where I'm at today, and I'm just so grateful that this is where I am, and I feel really proud of that.
I found Sue in approximately April of 2013. By June of 2014, I was opening my first studio.
I just incorporated the reveal wall, which has increased my sales about $25.
Before I was shooting in my apartment. I'm not doing that anymore, now I shoot on location, so that way I can actually go and travel to different places of different cities and actually start reaching more women.
There's like 10-foot windows, there's probably 20 of them on the lower-level, and I get to go anywhere I want in the hotel and shoot.
I'm now getting clients tell me, they see my pictures and say, "Did that Tammy take your picture?" Like they're recognizing my work, and they're seeing, and the word is spreading, so ladies are talking to each other all around town, and they're wanting to come in for a shoot.
I have a successful glamour portraits studio in Seattle, and I wake up every day and get to do something I love, and sometimes I can't even believe that this is actually my life.
So I have a beautiful little studio in my home, and I get to work from home, and I get to see my kids when they get home from school, and when they're at school, I get to do these incredible photo sessions with these amazing women.
Get out there and talk to somebody. Just start talking, just introduce yourself, give them your card, strike up a conversation, and I did. And that day, I got the assignment to photograph the Go Red For Women for American Heart Association in Kern County, and after, I got it again the next year, and I'm planning it again this year.
Just start doing it, because so many people are so afraid to start taking those first steps. They think they're not confident, but the thing is, is that you start building confidence, the more you do. And also, realize that your biggest limitations are what you believe them to be. We put those on ourselves. We think, "Oh, well, I can't do this "because I don't have a studio space, "or I don't have a hair and makeup artist, "or I don't have this."
And once you get those first couple of clients, it's like a snowball, and then the momentum grows, and they tell their friends, and then they have to have something similar. And so, don't give up right at the beginning, and you're probably this close and you don't even know.
Don't be discouraged if it doesn't happen overnight.
It's a process and you have to let that process happen.
Don't give up. There's gonna be days when shoots don't go so well, and that's okay because the next shoot's gonna be amazing. Just keep pushing forward. Remind yourself of what you're giving to people. Remind yourself why you're doing this. And there's gonna be ups and downs, but just, if this is truly what you wanna do, keep doing it, because if I can do it, trust me, anyone can do it.
Give yourself a round of applause, ladies. (laughs) (group applauding) So Nikki ended that with, "If I can do it, anybody can do it." Sue Bryce has said, "If I can do it, anybody can do it." And Sue, you didn't just reinvent glamour photography, you started a movement of what... And you are proof, you are living proof. That is no small feat. What is interesting to me is that there are some people in the chat rooms that are saying, "Thank you, girls." "Thank you going forward." "Listening to these women reminds me "of why I bought a camera and leased a studio." "I believe in the power of this, "I think I lost sight of that." And then other people are in the chat room and saying, as they listen to your videos, "Oh, but they already had businesses." Or, "They already had partners supporting them." Or, "They had money." And these, (laughs) these women are looking here, and, "What about me? "I'm not at that place." If you haven't been with us for these two days, I mean, that is where these women started. They didn't have money. They didn't have their, yeah, I don't know we can see these guys shaking their heads. And that is why we're here. So Sue, tomorrow, or Sue, right now, is going to be addressing those topics. Sue.
I'm actually gonna hit that really hard tomorrow when I can talk.
Yeah. Because I brought the mentors here because everybody keeps saying the same thing to me.
"Well, you can do that, you're Sue Bryce."
I told you how hard it was, from nothing, and I didn't have a supportive husband writing me emails, and I told you how hard it was, and you said, "Yeah, but it's easy for you because you've made it." And I was like, "Um, I just told you the journey." So I brought these photographers here to show you that they did it on their own, and someone just said, "It was easy for all of them." (group laughing) So if what I'm hearing is, what you're saying is that, "I can't." So if I had have been able to talk today, I would have finished this day with a power talk called You Can Change and Grow, and that statement fires me up so much that the second I get my words back, I'm hitting that so hard, so you watch out, that's coming.