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Portrait Startup

Lesson 21 of 35

Selling Yourself

Sue Bryce

Portrait Startup

Sue Bryce

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Lesson Info

21. Selling Yourself

Lesson Info

Selling Yourself

Now we're going to get into talking about that the sale is you, selling you. We talked about product selling you. We are going to have our three mentors of the nine come on up to the stage. Please help me welcome back up Emily, Tammy and Nikki. (audience applauding) Big round of applause. That's right, that's right. We're going to be talking about a number of different subject matters. Where Sue would like you to start... If you're just joining us, the reason that I'm talking is because Sue Bryce has lost her voice. As a side note to that, we are going to end today's live event after the third segment, we're in the second segment right now. Fingers crossed, Sue, we will come and be back live tomorrow morning for Sue's power talks that was going to be the last segment of today. Two power talks, thank you. Stay tuned for that. RSVP for the class on class page if you haven't already. You'll get an email or watch our social media feed, watch our twitter feed, @CreativeLive, to find out. Or...

just come back at 9 a.m. tomorrow, Pacific time, to find out if Sue has made it through night with her voice back tomorrow. Send her some love your way. Sue and I are going to go sit down but what we wanted to start with with the three of you, was really tell us about the moment that you really owned that you were a business owner-- (hoarse whispering) I was getting there, Sue. (laughing) And stopped feeling like an imposter. Describe that moment for us. We're going to go sit down. We'll start with Nikki. I started taking the experience of what it's like for me being a consumer. When I walk into a store, when I walk into Nordstrom or something, and I'm buying a pair of shoes, the salesperson is not thinking, oh, gosh, I wonder if she's going to think that the shoes are too much? And I wonder, how's she going to pay for this? Are my shoes worth it? No one's thinking that. So why is it that, in photography, we all of a sudden feel that we just can't be business people and sales people? I started paying attention to how I am as a consumer. That really shifted something for me. Anywhere that I walk in, as a client I expect to spend money, I expect to take out my checkbook or my credit card or cash. That's just how it goes. That is something that made me really shift for me. I am a business. These are my policies, this is what I do, and if you don't want to do business with me, that's okay. I don't know if that's necessarily a pivotal moment but that's just how I've shifted into feeling like a business person. For me, it's been quite a journey, I would say. I spent 25 years in the corporate world. I worked in a male-dominated industry. I worked in the car industry. If you've ever bought a car, you know kinda where that process is not necessarily fun and it's generally the car people are pretty tough. As a woman, you have to adapt yourself to that and you have to be tough. This is a completely different world. Why I'm so attracted to it is that I don't have to be tough. I just get to express that vulnerability. I get to be vulnerable with my client. They're vulnerable with me. It's that connection, that moment, when you look in somebody's eyes and you see that wall drop that you know they walked in the door with. They trust you enough to book you but they haven't trusted you enough to know whether or not you can deliver what you said. But you see it, you make that contact. For me, the first mother-daughter session I had where I could see that love between them, I started crying. This has never happened to me in my whole life. I've never been in a business situation where I started crying. I was looking through the lens at my clients and I physically had a reaction, I'm having it now, and tears came to my eyes. I said, "You guys are making me cry "because this is so unbelievable "and I wish I had this." I hope my mom is watching because I want to do this when I go and visit her. To have that moment where you can see that love and that connection and have that for yourself, that you can create that for somebody, that was the moment that I knew this was all there was. This is me now and I love it and I own it. That's what happened. Sue is writing to me. You're telling us the glossy version of, as she says, of the pain that you first felt when you had to say that out loud. Go further into the pain. I'm not sure what you mean. You said, oh I started to notice people at Nordstrom, that's wonderful advice. But you didn't tell me how it made you feel. Oh, how it made me feel? Yeah, when you first started and you're an imposter, you're a fake-- Oh yeah, I absolutely felt like a fake. Like, who do I think I am charging people money for this? I don't have an education in photography, my education is Creative Live. Self-taught, friends, my husband, yeah, I absolutely felt like a fake. How did you get over that? How did I get around that? I started getting around that when... My love language is the words of affirmation and hearing from people that they really liked my photos. That was huge for me. I hate to say that that outside support is what did it but that helped. As soon as people started spending money and buying... I'll never forget that first $1200 sale. I was like (gasps), I was shaking. But if people are buying it that means that they must like it, so there must be something there. I think it was just continuing to get the sales really proved to me that I'm good at this. This is a real deal. I do have a business. I think that. For me, it was just that emotion, honestly, because I didn't get to... I'm not a real emotional person. I've always been tough business lady. You have to be that way, you have cut-throat, you have to claw your way to the top. I never was emotional, ever. I'm not an emotional person personally. But in my business, I'm 100%. It's like this whole channel has opened up. This sea of emotion is there. I see what they feel and I can bring it back. For me, it's just allowing myself to be vulnerable enough to connect to somebody and they give it back to me. I knew I was a photographer, when... I have one client in my mind that I can see, like I said. She came in, just didn't want to be there. It was the daughter of the mom. We talked, we were in a corner behind a V-Flat, and we talked. It just happened. The magic that you talked about happened. I share this with my clients. This is what I do, this is how I sell myself, really. That connection, that thing that we're doing, I show pictures. This is what they look like. They don't look at the wall and say I can't do that now. I show before and after. Everyone can do this. It's not just about looking pretty, it's about showing who you are inside. Now I allow myself that freedom to go there. My world has changed because of that. So, thank you. You're an interesting case because you have such a strong sales and confidence in that but historically for other things, versus necessarily for yourself. You're talking about selling after the fact but what about beforehand? This is my business, this is what I'm selling, and that fear of selling not somebody else but yourself. I don't have that fear. I don't. The hardest part for me, initially, was connecting to the feeling of how do I do that. Where does that come from? It took me little while to get there. I started to realize that everybody just looks at the pictures and says, that's not me. Everybody asks in the group about the before and afters. How do you get people to do before and afters? You just do them. Then you explain to the clients, if they're apprehensive, this is why you came to see me. Because you saw yourself in those images. They get it. They're like, okay, fine, I'll cool with that. I started showing those. I don't have to say anything now. I tell what I do, but what I do as a photographer, what I do is help women find their beauty and connect to their beauty, because sometimes they've lost that. They say, what do you mean? I pull out my book at and say, here's picture after picture of before and afters. They're like (gasps), oh. At that moment, they see themselves and they get, okay, let me talk to you now, because I didn't get that before I showed you. That's, for me, what works. (speaking over each other) Can you talk about that very first touch point when you're selling yourself to these potential clients? I would say, just in my evolution of it, I really identified as a student of photography first. There was definitely, absolutely a shift where I had to stop saying I'm a student of photography and I am a photographer. For me, it was kind of delayed. I waited too long, probably. I would counsel people to get excellent at their photography. I was kind of in this process, oh, I need to get excellent first. Then I got to that stage and instead of saying, now I'm a photographer, I said, I need some armor. I want a brand, I want a logo, I want a beautiful website, I want beautiful packaging and marketing, and I want beautiful clothes. I want to feel armed for battle before I start meeting people. I think I didn't really realize that it's not a battle and that people are going to be very welcoming and embracing to me earlier than I expected. I wish I wouldn't have put so much effort in those things, which I think are nice, but I wish I would have started putting effort into making friends instead of going to battle to go to networking events and going out and actually talking about what I do to real people in real life. I wish that I had started that earlier. I guess I definitely had a painful transition to where I actually waited until I had all of the armor first. Then it felt quite easy to say, yes, I'm a photographer because I felt very put together. But I didn't allow that vulnerability that I think would have been important for me to have. Thank you. We're going to talk to the rest of the mentors as well. One of the hardest things for me is I believe if go to Bloomingdale's or a nice dress store, if I'm in yoga pants, I get treated differently. I don't know why. Maybe I believe I'm going to get treated differently. They often treat me like I can't afford to shop there. If I wear a bun, no makeup and no jewelry and yoga pants, I've got expensive yoga pants but it doesn't matter. If I walk into a store like this, I get treated differently. I've tested this on many levels. Is it me? Is it the way I'm dressed? Is is the way I'm acting? Is it my confidence? Even now, the other day I was out in yoga pants, no makeup, and somebody asked me what I did. I said, "I'm a photographer." I gave them my website. Didn't have a card on me. They ended up calling me because they looked at my website. But the truth is, you have to be armed, but you also have to be prepared that the armor has to be when you're in yoga pants as well. You need to find the strength in what you say and the confidence and the way you say it. We need to speak to all the people out there that feel crippled by telling people what they do. That feel crippled by not owning what they're doing. That feel crippled by saying, "I'm a photographer." I need you to go back to the first time you started to say it and talk about how stupid you felt, talk about how bad you felt. Talk about how you owned it because people want to know how. For me, I went through 28 Days. Before I decided to put myself out as a photographer, I said I'm going to do 28 Days. Laurie had the group set up, I was in the first round, I did the challenge. I was still working my corporate job and on the weekend, I booked a shoot every weekend. I went in the group, I did the work every week. I got feedback every week. Little by little, my confidence grew. From the very beginning, it was horrible. Horrible, you can go in the group and see how bad I was way back. It transitioned over time because I did the work. I got more confident. To be in sales, you have to be confident about what you're selling. In this case, we're selling us. We have to be comfortable that what we bring to the table we can deliver to our clients. So if you're not there, go through 28 Days because that is the foundation everyone in this room has had. We did the work, we went through it. I went to, we were talking about this last night, I went through my neighbors and my... Actually I went to business owners around my studio and said, hey, I have a particular session that I'd like to get better in and I need a model. Do you need any pictures for your business? They were like, oh, yeah. I want to use them... They have no idea I'm not a professional, in my mind. They came in for a session and they got images they loved. They could use them for their business, I got images for my portfolio. They make me look like a photographer. Over that 28 weeks, because we did 28 Days over 28 weeks, I found my confidence. My confidence came from practicing because Sue's sessions are laid out. You work on this set of fundamentals until you master it. You're not going to master it in 28 weeks. But you have enough of a foundation where you feel somewhat confident that you could go out and talk to somebody and sell a session. That's what did it for me. At the end of that 28 days in week format, I felt like, okay, I don't 100% have this locked down but I can shoot. If I can shoot, I know enough about business and I know enough about talking to people and just comfortable and making a good experience that I can make this work. Laurie, let's talk to you. Tell us about you and feeling that moment when you didn't feel like an imposter. Tell me about your fears and how you were coming over those things. I started my journey with photography in 2006, transitioning from my floral business into photography and doing a merge. I started out in the performance field and for the newspaper and things like that. For me, that transition, I easily called myself a photographer and I am a photographer for performance. I just am no longer focusing on that. For me now, it's the ownership of I am a portrait photographer. I was a head shot photographer for many years. Since 2010 I've been doing head shots but I am now freshly going into glamor with this next studio. I was shooting basically some models, thinking I was going to go into the fashion thing and helping them build their portfolios. But I knew right away that was almost artificial for me. I appreciate that segment of photography but I knew it wasn't for me. So I came full-on with Sue. Of course I've been studying with all you girls since we started all the groups and everything. I am transitioning and I am getting ready to go into the glamor and to the new studio. Once that studio opens and that website is up, it will be Laurie Patrick, glamor photographer, and also head shots like the rest of you. So a lot of people... Both you and Joanna don't studios. Mine's getting ready. Right, I know, but right now, today you don't have a studio. What is the struggle for you in believing all this without having that space? We have so many people feel I don't have a studio, I can't do this, I don't have a studio. I'm not a real business owner because I don't have a studio. At this point, I'm in a preparation mode. I'm in business planning mode and that's a very important space to be in if you're going to start this type of business because it is more serious. It's not playtime, it's a lot of work. I know one time when we met with the mentors the first time and I said, "It's going to be a cakewalk for me" and Nikki's like, what did you just say? I'm like, well, compared to my last studio it's going to be much easier. I said it the wrong way. But she's right, it's a lot of work and it's a lot of thought process. It's a lot of building. Right now, I'm in my portfolio-building stage for the new website that will be coming out that is just going to focus on glamor photography and a little bit of head shots so that I can market the way that we're supposed to instead of the website now, which is more or less here's my work and here's things that I'm interested in. Is it okay if I jump in? A lot of people say that they don't have the space and they don't know what to do. A lot of us here, and I know a lot of people out there as well, we started... I shot in my family room. I was not proud of my house. We lived in a rental with the worst carpet. I have a huge dog. I was shooting in a five by six foot space, in my corner, with a black stool. It was nothing fancy but that's how I built my portfolio, that's where I shot my first few clients. In the end, it didn't matter where I was shooting. What mattered was the experience that they were having, how I made them feel, and the photos I was giving them in the end. If you don't have a studio yet, take advantage of what you do have. If you have a window, a reflector, a piece of sheer fabric, you're good to go. A blow-dryer. Truly, that's how I started and that's how a lot of people started. Eventually you just keep building. Keep doing step by step. You can totally do it, you just have to take that step. Just keep doing it. Just keep pushing forward. If you want shoot, you're going to shoot, no matter where you are. You're going to figure it out. Don't let that limitation of I don't have a place, it's not perfect, set you back. You can go anywhere and find a space. You go and visit friends or family, look around. Where can you shoot? Two V-Flats and a curtain, you're set. It's just being creative with how you make that happen. It can be done anywhere. Right now, in the portfolio-building stage, I can't bring people to the hotel yet because we don't have an occupancy permit. My studio is in the hotel. It's ready to shoot in but I will not bring people through there for insurance risk. We've been using hotel rooms, we used a hotel room in Hollywood, actually. I've been releasing some of those photos recently. Joanna and I shot in a studio-- We're getting lost. You were saying we need to go back to teaching people how to say that. How to believe that. Because we're all going, oh we do this and we do that. They're saying, I can't do this. I can't do this. I don't know how to do this. We've got to go back to teaching that. We are finding other resources. Bethany, what did you do, because you had that situation when you started. I'm still there, I'm still there. But you started out of your house so what did you say? I was shooting in my living room. It's a '70s style split-level. I had a Jack Russell, two kids, a man-child at home. I was constantly cleaning. They never helped out. It was clean before the consultation, clean before the photo shoot, clean before the reveal or in-person sales, and it was just constant. But I wanted it so badly that I just made it work. They didn't care they were coming to my house or that the dishes weren't done in the kitchen. I was doing hair and makeup at the table with my stylist. They were changing in my daughter's bedroom. I shove all the toys into the corner and I throw a blanket over it. You just do what you have to do. You're next to a window. I had one V-Flat, I had a stool. The dog always, without fail, would pee right where we were going to pose and I threw a blanket over it. So the question you're trying to get us to answer is really the pain of a... Why can't I say I am a photographer? Then thinking of, what's coming up for me as a problem that I'm saying to myself, you're not a photographer because x, because y. Then I would just say, I said, okay, so I just have to solve that problem and then I can work through it and call myself a photographer. One of the resources that's available to us now is the mentoring program. There's somebody here who can tell you yes you're ready or no you aren't. So Sue wants to push you on... Imagine you are presenting at an event tonight. 300 people. How do you feel right now? How did you feel a year ago? Imagine that I'm presenting to an event of 300 people? Yep. Your business. About portrait photography? You. I don't think I could have done it. What do you want me to pull out about that feeling, that sensation? Tell me about how it makes you feel. The idea of being up and saying I am a photographer? I think I would have said I'm a Sue Bryce photographer and I study under Sue Bryce. That's how I would have said it. Ask me again. How did that transition to where you are today, standing up on the stage on Creative Live? The feeling when you walked up. Truthfully, it's just so much practice that every single shoot led you to a little bit more confidence and a little bit of gradual building of feeling like I'm selling this and I'm doing it. The only reason that I can say it is because I decided that I was going to say it. And so I did. It just had to be a mental shift for myself because even all of the external things that came at me could have continued looking like evidence that I'm not a photographer if I chose to see it that way. So I decided I am and therefore I am. We want to here from every single one of you quickly the same thing. You're going to talk to 300 people. If this was a year ago, for me coming from a sales background, there's a saying, fake it 'til you make it. I didn't feel it but I said it with feeling, if that makes sense. I didn't necessarily believe it in my heart and soul that I could do what Sue does but I felt like I could get there. I just projected that. All that confidence I had from previous world, I would just embody that. Whatever you gotta do, get yourself there. Go drink a Coke, go drink a coffee, do jumping jacks and get excited. Fake it until you make it. I am a photographer and this is what I do. Even inside your head, you're talking to yourself, going, I'm not this, don't do that. Don't say this. But it comes through. For me, it's just about the passion. All I have to do is let that passion out. If you can project that passion... I read story after story after story in the group about this is what I want to do. When I found Sue, I connected to that energy. I want to do this for women because, fill in that blank. That's what you need to show. Tell people about your journey, why that's important to you, where that passion's coming from. That's all people tell me is, I hear your passion and I want to do this. Nikki, go for it. I don't know if I'm different but I was actually really proud to say that I was a photographer. The pain that I felt was around how much I was charging. But being a photographer, I was proud to say it. My identity for so long was wrapped up in being a social worker. That was my identity. To have this new identity, starting a couple years ago, was such a relief to me. I got to be someone new and do something new and exciting and creative. So you've just presented to 300 people. You're very proud. The first person in the front row puts up their hand and says, and how much do you charge? So back then, I would have curled up in a ball and probably rocked. Oh, well, it depends on what you want. If you, uh, well, what are you going to use the photos for? That's probably what I would have said. And then a second person puts up their hand and says, why do you charge so much? Well, because I have a studio and my rent's kind of a lot. And so, gosh, you know, there's taxes and there's all these products and I have pay a hair and makeup artist. And then Sue Bryce puts up her hand and says, why did you feel like that? Because I didn't value it yet. I didn't value what I was doing at that point. It goes back to my own issues, my own self-worth of never feeling like I was someone who could have money. And why are you different now? I am different now because I have learned... Because I have learned from you. Just helping me understand that it's okay. Maybe growing up things weren't great and I didn't always have a lot. But I talk to that little girl and tell her, you're allowed to be rich. It's still something I struggle with every day but it's something I've reminded myself of and learned truly from you, Sue, is to get past the idea that I can't be successful. How crazy. Like, you said yesterday. I am making, take-home, the exact amount that I was making as a social worker. So I still clearly have a long way to go. But wow, taking a look within and just allowing yourself to receive, that's what changed me. You said to me, "Stop focusing on "what you're taking from people "and start focusing on what you're giving to people." We're giving people portraits for the rest of their life. That's so powerful, so meaningful. A man In Bed with Sue this morning posted, he has this one photo of his wife from when she passed away, and it was a free glamor shoot. It was just before she got sick and passed away. How priceless is that? All of that combined, I think, has changed. And I've practiced, I've gotten better at what I do. You can't just all of a sudden be really confident. It takes client after client, after shoot after shoot, after practice. I think it's a combination of being a good photographer, being a good shooter and feeling worth it and believing it. So we're going to move on to Joanna next. That's totally resonating with so many people, Nikki. Thank you. It's where she found her value. So Nikki discovered a lack of value and then she discovered that she could find her value and her value was in service of others. That shifted her to receive money. Everybody has a different idea of where their value lies. But you have to get to the core of it and I'm telling you right now, the core of it is emotional. It is an emotion in you. That's what I want to know so that everyone out there can do the same. Joanna. How did you receive? How did you allow yourself to receive for where you are today? When I started out, it was very difficult for me to call myself a photographer and I kind of hid behind the fact that no, I do coaching, but I'm a coach that uses photography as part of my healing and transformation of what I do for women. I didn't know exactly what that was going to be. I didn't know what I was bringing to the table. I felt like Sue said so many times, that I'm a hack because I don't even have a full-frame camera, I don't have the equipment, I don't have a studio, I don't have all these things. But for some reason, I kept getting sale after sale. It forced me to look into, what am I really doing here? What am I giving to these women that I'm not recognizing? I really had to take inventory of what I'm bringing to the table and what my skills were. I honestly didn't even really figure it out until about I would say two months ago. Actually right before we met in L.A. for the mentors meeting. I kinda had a breakdown that week. All of a sudden I realized what I was giving these women was a place to feel safe and vulnerable and for them to be understood. Just to be safe and stepping into something that they either forgot that they were or that they were just realizing for the very first time. That's what they were connecting on. Bring it back to you. I'm sorry? Bring it back to you. It was recognizing that I had the power to give them that space to do that. But I realized that in order for me to do that I had to do that with myself first. I could not take anyone to a place where I haven't taken myself first. I've done a lot of internal work and just growing and searching and figuring out, okay, what do I need to do next for myself? Because if I can't do it for me, I can't do it for someone else. That's been huge. How did you do that? What did you do, how? It's always a matter of asking quality questions. It's not blaming, it's not sitting there and saying, oh, the client did this or that. It's looking at myself and asking, what do I need to learn from this? How am I helping to create this situation? Or what do I need to let go of next in order to start fulling embracing who I am and what's next for me, and what I really want to do and what my dreams and goals are? Luckily, I have a very good support group in terms of friends that are coaches. I have a very support group of friends. They don't tell me what I want to hear, they tell me what I need to hear. I take all of that in. I try it on, if it fits, I take it. If it doesn't, it's fine, I don't take it personal. I'm always looking at myself first and at the situation, and then seeing how can I make it better, and then moving from there. I don't ever look at my client and say, it's your fault, because I know it starts with me. Bethany, how did you come to receiving and what is your highest value? How did you get there? It took a long time to find my value, until just recently, actually. When I started photographing families, I really did not enjoy what I was doing at all. I had a hard time calling myself a photographer. Even when I had joined In Bed with Sue and after watching 28 Days, I still couldn't physically call myself a photographer. When family and friends would ask I do, I'm like, oh, now I'm starting to take pictures of people and I hope to be a photographer someday. I still couldn't call myself that because I felt like a phony. I didn't got to school for it, I didn't study it, I had people in the group that had years of experience in studios that it seemed like I was passing in sales and clients and in sessions. I didn't feel worthy of being in that position because they had struggled for so long. Who am I to call myself a photographer when they've worked so hard at it? It seemed to come to easily for me. The reason why I think it comes easily for me is that I've always been an extrovert. I was cheerleader in high school, I've connected with people all my life. In the corporate world, it was building my network. I can talk to strangers and have them hug me 60 minutes into a consultation because I get them and I listen. I listen to what they want, I listen to what they're hoping to get out of the experience. It wasn't until I had done so many shoots and I moved to in-person sales, and I got to see that raw emotion and that connection to their portraits. That look on their faces when they see them for the first time, that's what it's about. Then I started to get it. I'm like, oh my gosh. This is what I need to be doing. With every single one of those, my confidence grew. I'm a photographer, I'm a portrait photographer. I have no problem saying that now but I'm not saying it's easy at all. There's a lot of people out there struggling to not only call themselves a photographer but just getting out and talking to people because they don't have the confidence. They don't feel like they can explain the experience even. Just try to connect to somebody. Find one little piece of common ground that you can just have a conversation with. You'll find that confidence will start growing and you'll find your value. You won't feel like a phony anymore. For me, I didn't have a problem telling people I was a photographer. It was just as easy to say I was a graphic designer. It felt like an extension and something I'd been doing for a long time. For me, it was just talking to somebody because I'm a wallflower. I sit back and I observe people. I had to build up courage to go up and talk to somebody. Even now, my heart is pounding out of my chest. The first time I went to a networking session, I sat back for 10 minutes building up that strength and the courage to go up and talk to somebody. I said, if I don't do it, I will never sell a portrait to anybody. And I did it. I went in, I walked up, handed out my cards to everybody. I still didn't say anything. Just said, hi, yes, nice to meet you. I sat down next to a woman and I didn't talk. Then I said, "Hi, I'm Shauna Lofy. "It's nice to meet you." She introduced herself. She said, "What do you do?" "Oh, I'm a portrait photographer "and I'm a graphic designer." She's like, "You're a photographer?" "Yeah." "We're looking for a photographer." She worked for the American Heart Association. They were looking for a photographer to do their portrait gallery for their Survivors Gallery. I said, "I would love to photograph that for you, "let's talk." And immediately my confidence just came to me. I just started having a conversation with her. We met for lunch a week later and I photographed six women. They came to my house and into my studio and I had a hard time talking to them, but the first woman I photographed, there was a moment when I was trying to get her into the right pose. I couldn't even get those words out. I stumbled over everything. I just went up and I put her in the position. I took this beautiful photograph of her and we're having this conversation about this heart attack that she had. We're talking about it, my dad died of a heart attack. We both started crying. I took this picture of her, her eyes were welling up a little bit. I turned my camera and I showed it to her. I know people say don't show the back of your camera. But for me, it was that moment to let her know that you look beautiful, you look confident. At that moment, I felt I could do this because I made her feel beautiful. But it is, it's hard to talk to people. I'm still not over it. It just takes practice and practice and practice. Tatiana? I'm an introvert and this is the most challenging area for me. Initially it was, yes but, yes but. I didn't have a studio. Yes, but I have studio in my house but clients have to walk on the lawn to get to me. What kind of studio is it? It was also something in the way. I was in the way. I really liked to feel validated with my work but even that was not enough. Then it was realization that basically I'm so wrapped around in my head and it's not about me, it's about clients. So, I have an anchor that kind of pulls me out of my own head and it connects me with product value. This is what's big for me. In the family we have portrait, the only one of my great grandmother. It was taken 1910, around that time, before Great Revolution. She's glamorous. Dress, hat, beautiful. I don't know this woman. But I was mesmerized. I learned about her, as much as I could. Now, this woman basically lives inside. Just thinking about what we're giving to people, preserving this moment, the way she is today, in 10 years, in 20 years. We change a lot as women. This image of that photo kind of pulls me out of my head. That's how it works. Tatiana, I appreciate that because we have some folks who are saying they're not an extrovert like some of you. But being an introvert is... Is fear the same as shyness? Are you getting over something different? I'm really curious as what Sue has to say about that actually (laughs). In the worth-dynamic spectrum, I said half-introvert and half-extrovert, which is also because I'm also a Gemini, so I feel like there's two of me anyway. I always say to people, hi, I'm a Gemini, and I'm kind of shy, wild. When you talk about being an introvert and a extrovert, I think I know quite comfortably both. There are people who do sit in that spectrum of half and half. I have friends who are distinctly extroverts. My brothers, both my brothers, are introverts. I watch them because... I watch their body language when they walk into a room. They're strong men and they're beautiful strong men, but they're introverts. It occurred to me one day, that when my brothers are excited about something, they're extroverts. I don't care what anybody says. I'm going to say BS you can't market yourself. You're an introvert but that doesn't mean you're mute. It just means that you prefer not to be on stage. It doesn't say introverts can't talk to people. You're acting like it's a disability. You're just quiet. But when you're excited, there's nothing quiet about you. So you pull that introvert card on me and I'm going to rip it out of your hand and kick you in the shins. Bull's tits, my mother would say. Bull's tits. Don't believe ya. (exclaiming) I'd be yelling right now if I could.

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!