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Lesson 5 of 28

Consultations: the Art of the Interview



Lesson 5 of 28

Consultations: the Art of the Interview


Lesson Info

Consultations: the Art of the Interview

Now, I don't want to sit here and say that I am like some guru, I've already stated that I'm probably socially awkward, and so I don't think that I know how to conduct an interview, but what I can say that it was so difficult for me to conduct an interview that I want to share, how I've kind of moved past those really awkward moments, but I'll start with when I was a bright because I keep on going back to this, but this is the only thing I got when I was a bride, I met with photographers who would potentially shoot my wedding, and some of these photographers were great at meetings, and some photographers were not so great at meetings, but the thing that I learned is that I didn't want to be listened to. I wanted to be heard and a lot of times a person okay, great, and then moving on to the next question, but they weren't actually finding ways to facilitate the conversation, to move it forward, and I didn't want to hear so much about awards all those those were important and there's a r...

eally cool mia's, a bride not being in the industry or knowing the slightest thing about it was I wanted to know more about what they were inspired by, I want to know what made them unique, I wanted to know how their life experiences made them a better photographer suited for my wedding this is coming from me as a bride, so I was like, I'm gonna conduct meetings the same way I'm going to pick the things I like to stay with the things that I didn't now I think it's important because I want to talk about what a prospective client meeting looks like for me now, so we're gonna do this the same way that we did the emails we talk a little bit about how I do it, not to say that it's the best way, but to simply state that there's going to be a barometer and we will hold each other too. So when I first started meeting clients, I was so terrified, I mean, nervous just as nervous maybe is when I walked into this room, you know, and I didn't drive that nice of a car, and the hood of my car was oxidized, and I was so worried that clients we're going to hire me because it looked like I probably couldn't make it to their wedding. So get there early and park around the block from starbucks and show to starbucks and be like, okay, I would scope out my meeting location find it people that was in a corner had to scour the three chairs right and make sure that I wasn't around anybody um can I get an amen because I would like to see only photographer was ever met at starbucks every meeting I felt looks different and I couldn't find a way to navigate the conversation in a way that it made sense for me is realizing that my clients felt like they were more control my clients were asking more questions and me actually being the one guiding it so I slowly sort of connecting the dots and I realized ok, meetings are following a pattern if I start if I start deciphering the pattern I now know how to get in front of the pattern so how does the conversation look like for me? Well, the first thing this is going to be more of the how I conduct a meeting the first thing to do is to put the clients at ease when they come in through my studio doors I'm talking about in california we just love to talk about traffic it's just what way? Talk about traffic talk about the weather if I know that they are sports fans through our email correspondence like oh did you see the game or tell me more about this aa lot of times the girls come in and they're dressed super cute so there carry a great bag great shoes compliment on that anything just to kind of keep the conversation really comfortable which leads me to the next point make the client's comfortable when you walk into my studio I have two sections I have ah a long table and then there's like a meeting space so I will stay behind and I will let the clients choose if they would like to sit at the long table or if they would like to sit in the sofa I don't want to say why don't you sit here? I want them to pick a space that they feel better now ask the couple how they met what I see we're going to get into this in a minute but what I see is the future tigers will ask how you met and then they leave it alone in that but to me I just think that this is this is a gold mine of getting the information that I need so if a client were to say, oh, we met in college, people will move on from that I respond with what college did you go? Teo really I had a friend that went there and I remember like the greek system was really big they're well he was in a fraternity and I was an authority I was like, oh, so did you meet unlike some of those like for I don't know what are they like mixers and like, oh like a frat party and I was like, yeah, it wasn't something like that, you know, you know, then she'll start the story and if the guy is with her he will always interject and be like that's not how it wass eso girls will remain to size and then we were walking on campus and the wind was like clearly I dropped my book and he let me know when the guys like she walked by me and just couldn't keep her hands off it is always a goal romanticize and guys like I'm just look at this so that what happens is you get people talking about two two perspectives on a very personal moment in their life two perspectives and then you see them interacting with each other and like that wasn't how it happened all of a sudden you're saying what's working where can I start interjecting that my perspective on the dynamic of the relationship? So I always think that wedding photographers are part psychologists like the better you are and understand your clients the better you are serving them so you get the details and then you press for the details we met in college. How did you meet at college? How did the story go? And a lot of times people we trepidatious and offering this information we met in class what I was like, oh that's interesting what class women in psychology and I was like, oh, isn't that ironic? You have to find out how you guys work finding out things you could say for every subject I was terrible at chemistry oh, chemistry brought chemistry this's coming from a person who is so nervous in meetings so does it sound absolutely lane that I'm thinking about possible ways that I could just be like? Hey, how's it going, guys? Yeah, this is what I do hate on me for it, but this is how I've discovered that I could be good at meetings when I've never been good at meetings in the past. So next thing ask how wedding planning is fearing this is a great safety ground and it's also giving you a good opportunity to get a pulse on their style if the couple is getting married in your geographic area and you've been doing this for more than a year or two, you will have a good idea of the vendors in your area, so if they're pulling from, say, florist x and her style is very modern lot of succulents and white faces, then you're like, oh, I'm getting your style if they chose like a vintage florist, what I'm doing the back my mind is I'm saying, ok, she likes a lot of peonies and she likes pink I'm going to pull up a gallery that highlights pink peonies and I'm going to show her my gallery if she wants to see that I'm making all these mental notes to think one step ahead of what she's going to want to see. I think that the main thing is if the clients are meeting with you, chances are there any like you now, it's your opportunity to create trust so that they can hire you now I think that you can create trust by a few ways. Now, these are a few ways that I create trust, but you're gonna find ways that you create trust with your target client. I believe that you create trust by working at a wedding, a wedding venue previously. So the client comes to me and says, we're getting married at pelican hill. My first response is I love pelican hill. Their service is impeccable and they absolutely love there polenta, it's delicious! You guys definitely try it during your tasting. Not only am I being silly in talking about I'm a foodie, I'm letting them know I worked there enough for me to know about the polenta, so it makes them a little bit more confident. Another way that you can create trust is by working with other wedding vendors. I'm asking how wedding planning is going so I can start making a mental list? Are they working with the coordinator that I've worked with in the past? Are they working with forest inefficient? D j a photo booth anything so that I could be like oh, that photo booth brings the coolest props I love it they only do black and white photos but they're like old school then we start talking about that and then I could say, oh, are you guys like why'd that photo booth? And then they were bringing we're having all the groomsmen grown mustache is wonderful if I have anything in my queue of moustache is making a mental note to myself bring up the shoot with a mustache, right? You're thinking once of head of how you can service them in a very different way working with the mutual friend if it was a referral from a past friend or for instance, they went to college together. Oh, I my co worker follows your blogger, your website or my co worker came across your photos in facebook and she sent them my way. This is talking about what, how clients are passing your name around. So if sally is coming from you and you both share joan as a friend, if you both like joan, chances are she's going to trust you a little bit more because she really knows in trust jones so highlight that relationship with john speak about spent use specificity when referring to jump oh, joan and I met before she's so nice joanie night went on a water purification trip in peru she's such good people I see up updates of her from facebook occasionally specificity lets people know inadvertently that you're paying attention to detail and you care about people's lives outside of just your business going to the same college a shout out to the university of washington if I lived here everybody seems just tow love the huskies and the seahawks so I wouldn't use that all the time like I would just like to sign up for a few courses just I could say I went to the university of good good way even if you graduated at different times for some reason we have allegiances to social structures if you felt the strong appeal to go to the university of arizona, chances are if somebody went to the university of arizona three years after you you liked it I don't know the desert the football the sorority system find those commonality so that they can trust you lastly and most silly ancillary things in your life if people own dogs and their dog people I actually met with a client most recently and jenna is in the front row laughing she's crazy about her dogs and I am absolutely she's a little bit crazy about her dog I'm chris with my dog and I'm straight crazy about my dog so I was meeting with the client and we're having a great a great conversation and she asked where I live, and then I told her, and she said, well, I lived there till I was like, oh, what a small world and the jesus, where do you live? A little bit more specificity and she's like I live there too, and I was like, are you saying that we're kind of sort of neighborhood sword made out in big grids just like I think so we start talking about her dog and where she walks the dog and the trail like I'm there to have you been to this dog park dvd's of the police that we go to both blush like, I'll probably see you walking that night contract in a retainer from her. I don't think it's because we were talking about dogs, but definitely, I think, to be working with somebody else who truly values like the craziness of how much we walk our dogs and that's simple commonality to say that this girl loves her dog was just a point for us to build trust at this point in the course of the meeting, I haven't said much and that's exactly what I want, studies have shown, and I really thought maybe it should be a psychology major, I just find this stuff so fascinating is that they did test where people would actually meet and have a conversation and they interviewed one of the two people and the person who actually talked the most in the conversation thought higher of the person who was more quiet. So if you meet somebody, nick and I have a conversation and nikki does all the talking, and then they interview nikki. Nikki, what did you think of jasmine there's? A higher likelihood of saying I really like jasmine? She didn't get me anything getting anyone to talk shit it's, howie it's, human psychology we like to be heard and we like to be spoken to, but let's, take it up ten not just because we're dealing with a bride. A bride's did her a bride and her day just bring up some crazy ish. She wants about pinterest, she wants her flowers wanted her address, let her talk, let her have her moment. This happens once in a girl's life, so you just kind of roll with those things. I haven't said a single thing. Now, once I get to know clients on a personal level, I explain how I could best tailor my services for their needs. So by this point, I know where they're getting married. I know there are vendors if the bride comes in without the groom, we've spoken about the dress. Yes, I know where she went to college. I know if she has a dog, anything. So now I have a little cachet of information that I could pull that I could talk specifically to her needs. Now, I actually learned this is a valuable lesson early in my career. When j d and I first moved to orange county, he was working full time, and I just randomly drove and they found dry cleaning service. Up until this point my entire life, dr things services were all the same. You drop your clothes, you leave, you pick up your clothes, I walked in and I dropped my clothes. They took my information. He said, do you have one minute to answer a few questions? And I was just like, okay, they asked me, would you like creases in the dress shirts? If a button fell off during cleaning, would they be able to replace it? Could they email me when my clothes already? Yeah, no one's ever asked me how I like my clothes dry cleaned and it seems so silly. But all of a sudden, when they asked me those questions, I realized why hasn't anybody else asked me those questions? The store was more interested in my needs than they were more interested in their services I knew from that day I need to be more interested in my client's means than my photography services I became a loyal customer after that because if not every other dry cleaner is going to sew on a button if it comes off I don't want to go to the dry cleaners so how a meeting looks when I begin to talk the idea for me is to keep it short I want the client to dictate what the client wants to hear more of I have a general framework in which I work I will first start by explaining the engagement session now I start by having a few things that I like to talk about if you drop me in at any point in the meeting I know exactly what I'll be saying where I'll be picking it up think it's important it might feel a little I practised but it should be we're professionals we should walk in because our studio the star of the corner of starbucks in which you meet your client is your stage it's time for you to shine and be confident so I talk about the engagement session I talk about how to find the right location my clients I ask all my clients to find their own location and every single time I am a mission initially met with weed can't we don't know how to find her own location? I said yes but you can I've shot against dumpsters graphed graffiti walls, septic tanks, clients, homes, the sky's the limit if you guys like bumper cars will shoot on bumper cars if you guys like to have pillow fights will do a pillow fight because our outdoor people who should in nature and all of a sudden I'm like the key for me is to know what you guys do in the weekend and they're like, well, we like to go to museums why don't we shoot outside of mocha that these beautiful museum of contemporary art in los angeles that these beautiful fixtures outside we can really get some cool photos and office and they're like, oh, okay, great! And then next thing you know, they're sending me a different museum that's more special to them perfect your guiding them to where you want them to go, tell him how many images they should expect, how long this chute will last, so I'm first establishing the framework of how it works, and then I'm opening it to questions. I think if you start when you say okay, I'm about to start about my photography services do have any questions for me it kind of puts me at a disadvantage because it makes them think about everything that they need to think they should know talk a little bit about what you do and then kind of feed them along into the questions if they don't have any questions or they have questions it gets them and then a good move into the explanation of the wedding now this is a little bit more complex, but I want to make sure that I'm doing a good job at answering their questions before they have the opportunity to ask them I shouldn't be, which is my fault when I first started I'd let the client being controlled it's my up my job to be in control but bring them along with me so I talk about how many hours are included in my collections I talk about if they want to add more more hours they can we can talk about creating a custom collection at a later point in time I talk about my approach when in the beginning everybody asked me well what's your style for me if I were to say starting off well, my approach is or my style is it helps me circumvent this long winded question q and a so I start by saying my style is I like to refer to my photography as then you could fill in those words that you like. So you're prepping your clients how to talk about you in the future so I talk about a hands free approach we want fund relaxed and carefree photos because what I'm essentially telling them is if you want three hours with the family photos I'm probably not the photographer for you I know there's any other photographers who are so much better at portrait photography I talk about how many images they should expect how many images per hour and I average one hundred images per hour so hot it ate our wedding day the clients are going to be getting at minimum eight hundred images and if a client has a question, I let her ask it and then we talk about j d's about judy's role I use this as an explanation of jd doesn't come to the meeting something and he doesn't come to engagement sessions with being normally jd is introduced on the wedding day, so this is where I introduce jd in the timeline of when our of when I'm actually hosting a meeting and explaining these details, I talk about how j d goes with the guys and he has a hands off approach he won't do any posing and the minute that I highlight how did he interacts with the guys? The groom if he's in the room is like yeah it's exactly what I want because I say jd doesn't do any post photos, he wants to make sure that nobody is in the room and conscious of him if the guy's a drinking beer watching the football game that is what he is shooting if the guys are by the pool or playing golf that is what jd is shooting any of the formal pictures would be taken place during a formal point in time and I will be in control of those moments, but the best part is that j d is off to the side capturing all the candidates so you'll be able to get a mix, a formal portrait photography and while I'm doing so, we have another photographer capturing all the candidates and then you get two perspectives one down the aisle, I'll be at the front of the aisle and then we talk about how that happens and I talk about how j is my husband use it as a point of leverage. I believe that there are bride to find that attractive, bright you don't find attractive. Find it was a benefit for me, but try to find the fact that I shoot with my husband in the fact that we shot every wedding together with hundreds of weddings we have silent communication oh, you better be leave I'm talking outside communication, right? That look care creative, live ron break you might see me look across the room and then it will be like she just gave him a look. Those looks happened for laura, laura knows about the look I probably gave judy during creative life. It kind of looks right was kind of scary. I was like and all of a sudden he was like oh my gosh wants me to leave so left four feet yes when you work with somebody alive so I talk about how that happens on wedding day I want them to know I'm different I bring somebody who's consistent noticed after your husband but if you have a consistent second shooter highlight that now the key to remember is to keep talking about yourself to a minimum figure out what the client wants to know don't come in with a canned thing of hi nice to meet you let me talk about my photography services my photography services are like this this is what you'll be expecting I've also won blue ribbons at the seattle photo first wait um and talk about her it's her day you are just there to document it okay so I want a dissected this idea of art oven interview a little bit further let's take this idea of an interview outside of its formal setting because I think in our minds we think that interviews happened in this time on this date on skype in a studio at starbucks whatever but conversations about wedding photography happened every where I'm about to show a few videos but before we get into that these conversations can happen on a plane that can happen at the gym at the bookstore and hey that happen in a dentist's office the first ten minutes of a conversation you can get a lot of information about what people are looking for if they're kind of in that structure they don't have to be engaged they don't have to be in the process of planning a wedding sometimes three year engagements but just kind of seeding out a conversation and laying the framework I think it's going to be a good thing and talk about the services that you provide we decided to put our photographers to the test with this idea we surprise them with a client consultation, so they arrived a couple days to the studio we said, hey, we're just going to having a few conversations on camera, but what I failed to mention was that the conversation was going to be taking place with a riel over the rial couple and they wanted to see how they attracted, so they had an interview for twelve minutes times and I was behind the scenes chatting about my perspective what was happening so we're going to show how that went down again, okay, we'll start, we'll start, I want you good how's your day going doing alright? Well, thanks for meeting me. It was awesome that you're even considering tio have me on your special day so people, well, maybe I could tell you just a little bit about how I work, and so nicky let them talk for about a minute and she's going directly into her services isn't wrong, necessary unnecessarily, but it might be good just delighted like let them more money. Yeah, is that something you're interested in is helping with the decorating or you coming, but not as much. Honestly, I'm kind of just, you know, maddie so terrific at and family is very hands on with that kind of stuff on there just like that. Just let that go be a good opportunity for nicky to talk about her style talk about how she captures details, because if the brightest, very detailed, driven this'd be a great opportunity for her to talk about if she's done styled shoots or how much time she needs to capture details, would you say that your presence has really known when your photography when you're taking pictures or you party time went on? You know what? Um, you guys are our coordinator, someone will always know where I am, but I know I try to keep I definitely do not wanna be the focus so she's saying she doesn't want to be the focus of the wedding, but this should've come naturally as a progression that matty shouldn't have to walk away for the meeting, wondering, I wonder what she's wearing or I wonder what approaches do you have, like a style that you like using or I see so many thinking about nicki style mickey should've been forthcoming by stating what her style wass and then it kind of she could use it as a bomber throughout the remainder of the conversation yeah like a certain style or trend that you're using in your photography here yeah, you know, I think a lot of it is going be a marriage between what you're looking for and in my own style of romantic sort of editorial style so I would have you look at maybe it's um editorial style I think I'd be really cool her explain how she makes the editorial just because you say a photo is editorial doesn't necessarily explain the process to photography to non photographers so I think it's about time we have to wrap things up unfortunately is that although I wanted to ask how you matt to meet college sweet jasmine can I just say really quick? We have a comment here from alex the blonde in the lounge who says I think jasmine may have a new career as a golf announcer with that wait on the other side of the wall I'm not giving like she's doing a terrible job I know okay nikki how are you feeling like I want to read d'oh okay? Yeah okay what? Yes sort of like crawl under the table you did do well I mean listen were made were intentionally creating really difficult situations because if you can survive and shine in a really difficult situation, you're going to be that much stronger photographer we gave him literally two minutes notice that they were going to be having an interview so she had to fall on her feet and then run now one thing that I noticed they actually kept in the edit was so celeste the producer gives him a timeframe we want to make sure everyone had the same amount of time so nicky saw the sigh and then cheat and the conversation that I wanted to ask where did you how did you guys meet? So twelve minutes into the conversation we didn't know how the couple had met, which I think is a key component to starting off a conversation so you started up the conversation anyone directly into how are you guys great where you're from and then let me talk about my services letting them warm up is going to be the biggest just placing the biggest advantage one thing about keeping matty, they are real, they're real couple based here in seattle they're not photographers, they're not in the industry they were so generous with their time and they were good people and just wanting to make the industry better and where's rachel oh rachel, rachel actually is a photographer in oregon portland okay okay photographer in portland, oregon, and she referred them our way for creative lives so it was really cool so thank you for being here means like full circle up in the head okay, so the goal for nicki will be to let the clients talk a little bit more and to play into what they're saying and then service it in a way I just say though that that that's not normally high representative of me right truly good because if you see that and you hate it you're going to even be that but that's not how I normally am great I don't know okay? And this is not that I'm not trying to say like, you know great but usually it's different rates and this is we want to put you in the heart of situation because conversations like the one you have a keen and matty like I said will happen at the bookstore will happen on a plane will happen in short places so you're not going to start a conversation for people who aren't looking for a wedding photographer with let me talk to services right? You're going to talk to them on a player how'd you guys meet funny? I complimented the dentist on her wedding ring and then that's the doors that opened for us so I want you to start honing that art because the minute you home that are when you walk into a formal meeting would be so much easier yeah we're gonna move into the next uh next mock interview so I guess that tell me about you guys first. How did how'd you guys meet my favorite story way? Both went to school in belling him so western washington I think I was a junior and matty was a freshman and I think this is pretty good she's just talking to them, warming them up, asking them personal questions to get to know them. Do you guys have any thoughts on photography or or am I think I really like when she asked, do you have thoughts on photography? I think a more specific question do you have any specific desires from photography? What are the main thing is you want me to focus on the day? Honestly, because we're kind of in that world of, like nor sherman fashion and stuff I feel like I'm going to be a stickler on certain things with like, photography and like that, so I definitely wouldn't want to have my own like input on it, but I would want if keaton is talking about fashion, it might be good if she wants to talk about her style if she thinks that she's if she implies that she's editorial, this would be a great opportunity for her to say, well, since you like stiles much, I like to shoot editorially, and this is what I'm inspired by no, I think but for both of us just like the little details are really important yeah, it doesn't have to be like right there in your face in the picture but just like something different if someone that isthe highlighting the importance of like little details this'd be a great opportunity for melissa to say how much time she needs to capture details what happened details that she wants to have for her wedding how but she's really how she's really passionate about capturing the details a star like pricing how do you usually do like for like an engagement shoot or like a wedding is a very kind of right and so usual from weddings I have three different packages all of my packages include a complimentary engagement session and I feel like watching this melissa is kind of like hang back a little bit and waiting for clients to ask her questions, but this point in the in the meeting it might be good to kind of like lead the conversation so that they can and naturally asked those questions instead of them feeling like they have to be responsible for thinking of the content of how a meeting should unfold. So good to meet you thank you, thank you so what way review okay, how are you feeling? I don't know like is that how is that host? The meetings go yeah, I think so. And I try and try and, like, do the I think for the first half I felt like, okay, I got this like, I want to ask them how they met and their story. And in the second half, I was like, what am I talking about? Like, I just I was like, I thought I was losing it on I didn't quite know where to go or what questions to ask her how to give them information without feeling like I was being a salesman because I hate that, right? Okay, so that's, how I felt so many times before and again, we'll go back to this idea of just addressing them in the way that they in the way that they want to be addressed. So if you had a conversation map and this is why I went back if you were to drop me at any point in the meeting at any point time remember edie from a different world or no national role anyway, okay, yes, you would stop anyways, even stop time if you could stop time and put me in at any meeting. I will know how to answer because I have a conversation map so it's going to be important for you and we'll get into that in the hump in the homework assignment for you to have a conversation map to where if you feel stuck okay you need to find where am I in the conversation map and how can I redirect it so that because in the company in the interview you asked keaton and matty for five times if they had any questions for you which means that you were you were trying to buy a little bit of time or find out how you could service them but they were like so if you were to say okay, I'm stuck and then you could say you know what? We can talk a little bit about my approach about engagement photography if that's something you would like to talk about it there like we would love for engagement hungry then you're back in your group small, tiny little tweaks but I think overall it was a good start just stay in control instead of responding consistently questions ok, we're ok we're gonna move on to ryan's you know I'm right tell me how you guys met way went to college together western washington which is about an hour and a half north of here he was the funniest guy he didn't have a shirt on he had a string tied around his head just like super yeah yeah wait what do you guys like to do together? Very active, very active was trying to find commonalities with the clients waiting we stuff like that have you ever picked my training? Not right near e think this is okay, but they seem to be talking a lot about mountain climbing which I think it might be a defense mechanism for line to kind of kind of find his group, which is ok, but I want to see how he comes from it concentrated on finishing school and then I started with awesome congratulations thanks now you're here no way yeah we're excited you have questions for me so ryan's asking them for more questions but I feel like they've asked every single question they possibly cut of him. I honestly feel like some of the best moments and even like pictures of us air kind of based off that you know, we didn't know there was a camera there or that kind of deal so yeah yeah definitely not everything you know is like oh here, let me place you here we place you there you know, I could be a really good opportunity for him to kind of explain the how how would he go about capturing candid moments? I have yeah, I have three different winning collections and they vary on your needs and if you would like to if there's something in there like you're like, I really wish we could have extra hour something there little flecks of gold or not like set in stone deaf because everybody's different um when people are asking about corrections it's good that he's giving like a ballpark but he should be asking you know are you okay one album or are you just looking for him like digital form of your imagery how do you want to share them finding out what their needs are so that you can service them in a customized manner would be so much more beneficial in this situation okay frying how do you feel right now? Uh I don't know no birds well okay, well I don't want to I can't speak into it if I don't know how you're feeling like I think that I was yeah, I mean, I it was like a minute's notice before I knew that I was going to do that and usually I would prepare more of what I was talking about but you how long have you been a wedding photographer? Um for about a year and a half and how many prospective client meetings have you have you hosted connected that's probably. I would say in the ballpark of fifteen ok and how many weddings have you actually meet actual meeting did you do what about on skype? Does that include like skype or phone calls? Yeah could skype and meetings but it doesn't include phone calls ok, cool we did so it was a little bit rushed especially for especially for right there was a little trouble mishap so the models were set to leave at a certain time and then we're just like if you could hang out rising to be here any second now right literally walked through the doors and I was like surprised so it was literally like here you go in this place down so yes, I understand that that's super super super hard but again if you had a conversation that if you knew where you were going if you knew how you approach I just feel like they were giving you a lot of opportunities to talk about what you do and you can ask questions if they're asking about pricing I don't necessarily when somebody says when we're in a meeting they say, what about your pricing and I will have responded with I sent it to you in a pdf but before we get there why didn't you tell me a little bit more what you're looking for instead of me talking about numbers? I want to first say I want to hear what you're saying what do you need? Because I'm not going to try miss ellen album if they're just like we travel the whole bunch we live in new york, we have a really small apartment we really just want a digital album or we went digital files I'm not gonna try to sell something that they don't want because then it makes me feel like I'm being extra sales e so wherever you were in that in that conversation map, you should be able to find yourself and move on from there, but I want to clarify that we threw them for a loop, but this is definitely restart is about I want you to look at that, and I want you to say, I'm never going to talk about eighteen trails, you're going to talk about how you service them because you're good and because keaton and maddie were impressed with you, so but you don't know that you don't know that a real life, and you don't know that when any other client meets with you, so for you to walk in, and they are already there rooting for all of you guys like, oh, we're excited to be with them, it's your game to lose this is your opportunity to go in and say, I know what I can do to service you, so that will lead us into our next homework assignment through the restart process. We are deconstructing the fundamentals of your business. This is really, really, really hard for ryan, nikki and melissa, they're putting themselves out in a very personal capacity, so I would hope those of you on facebook could shower them because they have been so supportive leading up to the weeks, and then they're going to come out like little battered, wounded warriors this isn't to do anything but to change what you look like I talk about my father good lord, he gained his hay, gained his citizen status by fighting in vietnam, so he was illegal for many years, but you'll never meet a more dedicated american than my dad, but he attributes everything to the fact that in boot camp they broke him and they brought him in a way that they made him think differently and speak differently and act differently and he hated every second of it, and he said the minute that I'm out of here out of here and my father still to this day well red will wear red marine pant sweats and dangled the marine flag outside of her house because he said it was such an arduous process, but it changed his character. I'm hoping that we're changing you as a photographer, your characters, your personalities because you have the strength to do it. I believe that you d'oh. So having said that guys are online shot out it's a little hard, this is like a hard conversation to have but the makeover process we started today with emails and some of you all might think that that might be really basic, but it's setting the foundation to building a brand and an email leads to a meeting and a meeting leads to a booking if we are doing it correctly I want you to take a minute to analyze how you're conducting a client meeting are you listening or are you hearing? Is the meeting about you and your services or about the client and their needs? These questions have to be answered really? And truly for you guys to move forward I want you is part of the homework assignment to make a list of ways that you can create trust now for me it's working at the same venue, working with other vendors, my dog, if that person has a dog. Anything. So we talked about this, but what I do might not be what you want to do for your target client. What you want to do for your target plane so I want you to make fine, make a list of ways to find to create trust. Now the commonalities that you create throughout this will help bridge comfortability gap. You want them to be comfortable with you and you want them to trust you. So secondly will then make a conversation map so first find ways to create trust second, make a conversation map, how he created conversation map was asking them how they met and ask them how they met in college is not enough. I want to know the details so I can then personalized how my services and cater to them ask them how wedding planning is faring this is what I do, it doesn't have to be for everybody else, but it is a place to start knowing what you're going to talk about, keeps you on track and keeps you confident. In the conversation, daniel cruz asked, what if clinton is conveying to you that they hate being from the camera? How do I turn this into something positive? Well, I know daniel cruise we met in l a so holler back, daniel, I haven't had never had a client who said she's, so comfortable being from camera. I've never met a groom who's like it's my day job, so every client says in most of time, it's a bride who says, oh he's, so comfortable uncomfortable for the camera, he blinks in all of our self portrait hear this a lot, so it's my job not to convince them that they are comfortable in front of camera it's my job to convince them that I know how to make them comfortable in front of my camera, so I'll tell them quite openly, I've never had a client who said that they're really good. I don't work with professional models, but occasionally my models of the clients look like models. The goal is for you guys to have a great time to enjoy each other, and when you guys were having the time you threw your arms around each other might have you guys look at me or just look at each other. Those types of photos that were not accustomed to getting what we're accustomed to our self portrait on her iphone or us at a party or us that christmas with her family in sweats. How many times have you been in front of a professional camera? Most of time? The answer is I've never make great this is my opportunity to show you how gray and confident you could look behind my lens. That's fantastic, great, you a couple of quick ones uh, from first one from christina o'brien in maine. How long do these consultations? Usually last year, you said short, but maybe again, how long in general? And then from brent m during the interview what's your take on having a note pad? It could either look thoughtful or technique. Um, it depends depends on the time regards to the note pad. It depends on the photographer. If you if you have, like this old school like classic appeal, maybe you should shoot shoot film like, maybe it's cool day writing on a pad, but while you're at it, we're not the typewriter yeah if you want to take notes it might look kind of cool if you had an ipad kind of like if your that stub photographer it might look a little bit cooler but I don't necessarily think that at the meeting there really going over like heavy duty specifics if I was a wedding coordinator would hands down have a no pat haven't ipad a computer writing down everything but as a photographer this's basically just an opportunity like I said before if they already meeting with you chances are they like you what you want to do is have them trust you and so I don't think it gain trust by writing down details of the date but whatever floats your boat I don't have an opinion about it either way as far as how long the meeting lasts it ranges anywhere from forty five minutes to an hour okay next question this is from john kane sergeant what percentage of the conversation or this meeting is devoted to helping them select their package albums portrait ce and sitting anything like that? Okay so john hollar at john kane sergeant he was a part of the last creative life how to shoot an editorial wedding so he's doing great stuff I love keeping up with the past creative life students everybody's doing amazing things but it seems like every student from the last course has gotten featured or had multiple features so they're doing amazing things so I actually don't use know every photographer is different, but I don't use my meeting the initial meeting to sell I very straightforward collections are going to get two collections and pricing and structure next month, but I have established myself as a service based photographer versus a product based photographer. If I was a product based photographer and a late made a large majority of my income based on product, I would probably use that meeting to say the's air the albums because I'm going to want to sell them in that personal in that capacity because I'm service based, a large majority of my income is coming from me shooting the wedding. I have a collection that is simply me shooting the wedding if that's all they want and that's totally fine with them. If they have, they want digital components, I can add digital components, but I'm not really trying to sell them on things that they want if they have questions about it and it's really straightforward, so not too much of the meeting is dead it's more about them finding what they want so that I could sit with them.

Class Description


  • Develop and provide a consistent brand experience to your clients
  • Conduct streamlined client communication with confidence
  • Produce portfolio pieces that represent your brand
  • Launch an efficient marketing plan with the resources you have at hand
  • Revamp your pricing structure for maximum profitability


This is not your regular one-off workshop - this is a three month long relaunch of your photography business that will produce lasting change.

Join world-renowned photographer and business strategist Jasmine Star and the reSTARt community in a deep dive to transform your business. Learn how to inject your true self into your brand as an entrepreneur, armed with a toolkit of photography skills, formidable online presence, and a powerful business plan. This is not just watching - this is action: Jasmine walks you through the steps to run a successful photography studio and challenges you to answer the difficult questions along the way.


This class is for new photographers and professional photographers of all experience levels interested in launching or revamping their own business.


Jasmine Star guides entrepreneurs to build a brand and market it on social media. After quitting law school, she picked up a camera, built an internationally recognized business, and teaches others how to do the same. In addition to chasing wild dreams, Jasmine works with her husband and grumpy dog, and you'll likely find her walking her hometown streets of Newport Beach, California with a box of gluten free donuts. 

Connect with Jasmine online: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Snapchat -> @thejasminestar


  1. Introduction to reSTARt

    Meet Jasmine Star and reSTARt’s three highlighted photographers: Nikki, Ryan, and Marissa. What will you accomplish through this course? What common struggles do photography entrepreneurs face and how will reSTARt arm you with the necessary tools and strategies?

  2. Client Email Communication

    Research shows the most important factors in getting hired by new clients. Jasmine dives into the business of photography and how to cater to your target market. Learn how to streamline your email communication with potential clients using effective templates, hear Jasmine’s feedback, and get your first assignment.

  3. Email Response Homework

    Review your improved client correspondence with the class as Jasmine answers live questions from the studio and web audience. How can you best showcase your personality via email? What’s an appropriate email length?

  4. What is a Brand?

    A brand is beyond a business name, logo, and business cards. What is your brand and how can you enrich the experiences you provide to your clients? Why is this important and what impact will this have on your business?

  5. Consultations: the Art of the Interview

    Phone and in-person interviews make or break a booking. The good news is you don’t need naturally stellar people skills to conduct a great interview. Learn how to approach client meetings with confidence and ease: learn how to decipher meeting patterns and plan for them, which questions to ask, how to respond to your client’s needs, and how to present your services in an authentic way. Receive your next assignment: a conversation map.

  6. Client Meeting Q&A

    Jasmine answers web and live questions regarding client meetings: how do you communicate with family members? How do you manage client communication within your team? What should you bring and how do you wrap it up?

  7. Branding

    How do you approach defining your brand? What are brand words and how may your type of photography affect them? Jasmine demonstrates how to shoot for your brand words with a clip of an actual shoot and models how to think through your branding action plan.

  8. Shooting Experience: Shooting for your Brand

    Professional photography goes far beyond the products you produce: learn how to ensure the best shooting experience for your clients, work with a stylist, and shoot for your brand. Jasmine, Nikki, Ryan, and Melissa provide you the rare opportunity to see a shoot in action with live feedback.

  9. Shoot Review and Q&A

    Reflect on the shoot with the class and prepare for your next assignment. Jasmine wraps up the first day by answering questions and addressing how to balance who you are and who you want to be as a professional photographer.

  1. Introduction and Day 1 Recap

    Class resumes and we learn the progress Nikki, Ryan, and Melissa have made over the past month. Jasmine reviews the steps you’ve taken to restart your own photography business and the focus of the next installment of classes.

  2. The Viewer Experience

    Why is the viewer experience essential to a successful business? How can you develop your online presence to reflect your brand and attract your target market? Receive your next assignment and create your client profile.

  3. Prospective Client Online Review

    Making your contact information available online does not guarantee bookings from prospective clients. Your website and blog are your online storefront; learn how to structure both to provide a smooth and consistent experience for your audience. Watch real critique of Nikki, Ryan, and Melissa’s websites.

  4. How to Strengthen Your Online Experience

    How can you build a high quality online presence that reflects who you are personally and professionally? Your next assignment is a photo safari - the first step to strengthening your online storefront.

  5. Website Design with Promise Tangeman

    Design guru Promise Tangeman shares the top three ways you can improve your online presence and advises on how to best work with graphic designers. Learn the necessary components for easy navigation and hear her feedback regarding Nikki, Ryan, and Melissa’s websites.

  6. Website Design Q&A

    Get your website makeover questions answered: how do you approach developing a style or look? How do you write content? What should your “About Me” section include? How can you do usability testing?

  7. Shooting Experience, Day 2

    Today’s shoot is drastically different - simple with limited props. Jasmine ups the ante and pressure, pushing the three photographers to make changes in real time. Watch and learn how to give specific directions, achieve intentional yet natural looking poses, create story through actions, and diversify your portfolio within the same pose.

  8. Pitfalls of Pricing

    Pull apart your business structure and analyze your pricing model. Learn the most common pitfalls of pricing and how to maximize your profitability in different packages. How do fixed costs and outsourcing factor in? Why aren’t you booking more weddings? Prepare for your next assignment.

  9. One on Ones and Q&A

    Jasmine responds class needs and answers one-on-one questions, covering coordinating shoots, business names, getting feedback from clients, charging sales tax, working overtime, balancing your personal and professional online presence, and more.

  1. Introduction: Change + Struggle

    The class reconvenes; Jasmine reviews what we’ve tackled together thus far and shares the progress the reSTARt community has made over the past month, from networking to new websites.

  2. Reintroduction to Photographers

    How have Nikki, Ryan, and Melissa implemented what they’ve learned in the past 30 days? What does it mean to transition from part-time to full-time?

  3. Marketing Strategies

    Traditional forms of marketing can be costly and not as accessible to small business owners. Jasmine teaches you how to use the marketing materials you already have at hand to execute an effective strategy that won’t drain your bank account. She shares what she did to maximize her profitability to what it is today.

  4. Marketing Q&A

    What factors should you consider in submitting weddings for publication? Do you blog every wedding? How do you work with cinematographers? What are the best marketing investments? Jasmine answers surfacing questions and we hear from past CreativeLive students regarding the right tools for them.

  5. Website Reveal with Promise Tangeman

    Promise is back in the studio with the big reveal: see how Nikki, Ryan, and Melissa’s websites have transformed to improve their online presence. Promise shares her tips on how to communicate with a designer during the revision process.

  6. Networking

    A lone wolf does not build a successful photography business. Whether you’re dedicated to wedding photography, portrait photography, or pet photography, networking with new people is essential. Jasmine shares her own struggles, her best networking tips, and a secretly filmed video.

  7. Social Media

    What advantages and disadvantages do different social media platforms provide and how do you best leverage them to grow your business? How do you network with industry connections and clients via social media? Jasmine demonstrates the power of effective social media strategy with real examples.

  8. SEO with Lawrence Chan

    Your domain name is your address, but prospective clients need to be guided to your business. Sit down with photographer and SEO (search engine optimization) whiz Lawrence Chan as he shares his top ten SEO tips to ensure you are on the first page of a prospective client’s internet search.

  9. Pricing Questions

    Jasmine answers a range of pricing questions. Business expenses go beyond just Photoshop, Lightroom, and equipment; how does a small business owner best track and manage expenses? How do you understand wedding and overall business profitability? Jasmine shares the final class assignment.

  10. Goodbyes and The Definition of Success

    The reSTARt community closes the course, yet the network and relationships continue. What are Jasmine and community members’ most important takeaways? Change isn’t always constant - what can you do if you don’t see changes in your expected timeline? What actions can you take right now?


a Creativelive Student

Jasmine Star is a "star". I was so inspired by her and her marketing. She has got her brand defined perfectly. She is a brilliant woman. The way she thinks about building a brand and never deviating from her vision is amazing. She is also very humble and her stories about growing up were so heartfelt. She is a true story of rags to riches. I came away with a ton of respect for her and a wealth of information. If you are exhausted trying to be a photographer for everyone, and not going in a strong direction-buy this now! The transformation in the three photographers that participated, from their improvement in shooting to their amazing new websites, will inspire you so much. Do you want to transform your business? They grew in three months the amount it will take you three years to do on your own.

a Creativelive Student

THANK YOU Jasmine for this precious lessons, you teach us! only i re-start watching my course today and i already feel some new inspiration to take my business to next level, you talk a lot and that good energy always helps to put this motivation on. Still do a good work! CS