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Lesson 27 of 28

Pricing Questions



Lesson 27 of 28

Pricing Questions


Lesson Info

Pricing Questions

I wanted to get into this subject matter during episode three, but what I ended up ended up resulting and I have to say that we did have a framework walking into restart, but we left so much open because we really wanted to respond to what people wanted to know. So instead of me trying teo again talk through another pricing presentation, I decided to answer questions that I was asked that I was going teo address anyway, but now I know that these questions are directly coming from researchers who are watching from online and perhaps even in the studio audience, so I'm gonna start with question number one, I guess essentially I'm wondering about pricing when you were talking about profitability, you weren't factoring any sort of monthly website fees, marketing expenses, office rent, investment in equipment, correct wouldn't all this need to be figured into your profitability as well? It seems if it was, the actual profitability would be much, much lower this man, sir, I think that is a g...

reat question I needed teo first clarify that when we were talking during episode two, we were talking about per wedding profitability, we didn't get into overall business profitability because your total business profitability is something else entirely you might be very profitable on weddings and you might be in debt in your business are you guys following me? Okay because I can't run the numbers for you when it comes to your business and a lot of times what I see is that when it comes tio running your business profitability, it gets a little sticky because people aren't monitoring what they're spending on their business. So at the end of the day, they end up being like, why? Why don't I only have a hundred dollars or why am I in debt or why's that I'm working so hard? And I'm shooting twenty weddings and yet I'm not saying it reflected in my bank account. My first response to that is going to be, how careful are you watching your expensive and how much did you forecast what could possibly go on? So because I can't do this for you entirely, this could be a separate show entirely like we could actually have a full restart day, unjust business profitability. I'm not proposing that we do, because I wouldn't have anybody tune in because it's just a nightmare to work with these numbers, but let's kind of get into what we might be able to expect. The easiest way I discovered to keep track of my business expenses is when I started, I got a business credit card so it's completely separated from my personal bank account as well as any sort of joint bank accounts everything I spend on my business everything is on this business credit card and I'll tell you why but first let's talk about what some of those fees are for my business website fees hosting fees, photography insurance I have a book keeper having accountant, I have marketing expenses which should be my commercial advertising expenses if you advertise rent equipment purchases education this of course going back to creative life courses, holler books or magazines that you're getting as inspiration for your business or even for teo learn your craft workshops or conferences that you're going teo now also have to include your office supplies your auto maintenance as it relates to your business medical insurance, dental insurance, legal and professional fees, postage travel expenses, utilities, software assistance, office cleaning supplies is anybody completely bored out of their minds yet this's so much and we as creatives and artists want to get in and just be like so I have a camera and have a website if I have business cards and I'm totally legit, I wish it was that easy. What happens is that we've calculated what how profitable you are on weddings awesome, but we need to run it against the numbers that it's taking you to actually run your business so as you go through the restart process that's what you're going to have to calculate when you go home a new homework assignment you guys thought you were done with the homework the new homework assignment for you will be to calculate these expenses and then you must keep track of those because I work with the bookkeeper because I work with the a I actually have to keep account of my mileage so every time I'm driving to an engagement session or to a wedding or to a client meeting I have to calculate so boring but I calculate thanks for laughing laura see laura's my bride because she laughs in my awful jokes but you have to keep track of those miles because those air miles and I can write off in regard to my business accounts anything that gets related as a business expense as it relates to my business is written off food that I'm eating on a wedding day I can't write it all off but I can write fifty percent of it off because I'm eating in relation to ah wedding day if I take my client out to eat I can write off fifty percent of that meal because I have explained to my c p a and my bookkeeper that this is how I advertised and this is how I market so everything I spent is going on that credit card but as I started in episode one I said do not go into business for do not go into debt for your business as much as possible stay away from debt because it's very very hard to climb out and if you're constantly working from a state of debt you do not have a career you have a really expensive hobby so make sure t keep that and to keep that in context so my bookkeeper and I sit with my credit card statement I don't sit with him I pay him tio and again I put that into my account and he gives me a profit and loss statement for the month as well as a year to date balance sheet I know how profitable I was for the month I know where I need to pull back and spending and I know where I need to invest before the year's over are we all on the same page? Great question number two I think one girl today had a profitability in a package somewhere around nineteen hundred dollars here she's referring to melissa but when we accounting but we weren't accounting for all the other business expenses well we just got into those so now we know what those are if fifteen to twenty weddings is considered cuoco busy then her yearly income before taxes would be around twenty thousand five hundred to thirty eight thousand and she would be considered a busy working photographer yes melissa was profiting nineteen hundred dollars per wedding but if you recall I heavily suggested that she raised her prices as she progressed remember what I wanted her to do was raise her price is three hundred dollars every three weddings she booked right so I want people to use supply and demand to monitor I never said I never endorsed that melissa keep profiting nineteen hundred dollars per wedding I want to her to keep on raising her profitability and keep her fixed costs the same that was my fault I should have clarified that a little bit more this is what helped me I started off as a bargain barrel photographer thousand bucks and fifteen hundred dollars if you wanted the disc teo but I slowly moved out of being a bargain barrel photographer and increased my profitability as we went on now to me I thought that the flaw was assuming that melissa's prices would stay the same for all fifteen to twenty weddings if melissa applied my method of changing her prices as she progressed she would not be making twenty eight thousand five hundred to thirty eight thousand as the writer suggested if melissa applied my increasing pricing scale she would actually be making thirty seven thousand five hundred two fifty one thousand four hundred that's a very big difference and the writer puts quotes around the word busy when she referred to booking fifteen to twenty winnings how dare you? One thing I want to clarify is that fifteen to twenty winnings might not sound like a lot for a full time working wedding photographer but let's take this out of let's take this out of context and put it in reed let's put this in context and put it in reality as well. Thie average wedding photographer books for weddings a year there are so many weekend warriors that to me if you are booking fifteen to twenty weddings and if you are raising your prices to ensure that you are not just having probable weddings but you are having a profitable business, I tip my hat to you if melissa can book twenty weddings and her year income is fifty one thousand four hundred and she backs out her business expenses and she's profitable both on weddings and in the business bravo you're working towards what you want to do so please don't ever put your idea of what busy is onto other people and she's also a mother of three sorry got a little heat thie important thing to remember is to chart out your expenses in two thousand seven this is the year I wanted to go into being a full time winning photographer I had my expenses charted out and this included workshops it included the gear I needed to buy it included insurance so I went home and absolutely this was so boring this is the minutia of business I got into photography to be a wedding photographer in all of sudden I found myself with a calculator but guess what it was only as a result of making these huge business decisions that I was able to enjoy the left lifestyle and the luxury of being a photographer now once I had everything calculated out so once I calculated I have to spend x amount to buy new gear I want to go to a new conference I want to buy this photography book and I want to go to this workshop and I need to get insurance for my gear these were just a few things that he needed now at the time I didn't have a c p a so that was not part of my costs and I didn't have an office so I didn't need office cleaning supplies so you can amend to wear yours your costs lie right so once you list out everything yu need just to get started as a business person then I want you to calculate your wedding profitability if you tuned into episode two you should have known what your wedding profitability is by now we're on the same page cool once I knew my wedding profitability I was then able to calculate my business profitability so I knew that first year that I was booking weddings I knew how much it was going going to cost me to actually be a photographer I knew how much I was profiting per wedding then I knew exactly how much I was profiting for that year it was only when I had that number that I was able to say I'm now ready to become a full time wedding photographer because I can sustain myself. It was then that I was able to realize how realistic my dream of becoming a wedding photographer is because so often we get into this and I want to be a wedding photographer, I want to travel and then you don't think about all the other costs associated with it now I didn't mention business probability episode too, because I felt like that was a too much of a chunk. I felt like we had gone through a lot that day. I felt like this has been a very soul I hate like soul searching, but it was hard. I really put these three photographers through a lot and I didn't want to come down and say, yeah, your profitable, but guess what? Not gonna happen this year, boo, so we needed to get them to a point where they felt great about your brand. He felt great about your website into really rally around the idea that you need to list your expenses and then you could see is two thousand thirteen, the year that I can do it or do I have to wait till two thousand fourteen? But now you're prepared to even if you cannot, you now have the backbone to say one more year one more season, then I'm in it that's it so knowing your prices can allow you to speak confidently to clients confidently to other photographers. Last question I think there are so many people who get into this business thinking that can make a living at it, and I'm not sure it's as easy as I'm not sure it's as easy to make it your soul career as everyone acts. I know there are people who have been able to be very successful, but I'm having a very hard time finding a balance between my prices need to be just the same business and getting enough clients to hire me. I absolutely understand this writers I never wanted to come across is intimating that starting a wedding photography business was easy if I did come across that way, my apologies in fact running a profitable business is one of the hardest things you will ever do if I led you in the wrist direction my mistake, but hold on for the ride because if you'd gone with us for the three months, you should be feeling a lot better about where you are. I'm going into my seventh season and every year requires the same amount of time every year research requires the same amount of energy and chutzpah to keep my business going it has not gotten easier in my seventh year of business it has gotten harder if you're in this business thinking that it's going to get easier, I have a sad, sad feeling that you're going to be misled. So let me tell you now gets harder, but it's so much more rewarding, you know who you are, you make great friends in the process and I believe that we work hard in our businesses when we have a website that reflects our brand. We are honing our skills to shoot far brand, and we modify our prices to shoot teo for supply and demand. And all of these things are difficult in all of these things. Challenges to intense degree. But wedding photography has given me a voice and wedding photography has allowed me to discover who I am, and wedding photography has allowed me to document moments of absolute love, and I only want the same for you if that is what you want. I'm here as a living and standing testament to say I didn't have it together. I had no money. I put a piece together what I call the marketing strategy years later and he know that it works x I only want you guys to walk away from re start believing, knowing truly that this is what you guys can do.

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