Skip to main content

The Heart of the Story

Lesson 3 from: Shoot and Sell Compelling Photo Albums

Andrew Funderburg

The Heart of the Story

Lesson 3 from: Shoot and Sell Compelling Photo Albums

Andrew Funderburg

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2000+ more >

Lesson Info

3. The Heart of the Story

Lesson Info

The Heart of the Story

so beyond print. One of my beliefs is that stories live in print, right? And that's why I love toe have the example of my parent's wedding and the example of my great great uncle. Because it's it's That's the proof behind it. Write stories live in print. So my great great uncle, his story would have died, right? Everybody that knew him was gone, all right. He would have just disappeared. But because of that print, you know, we're able to keep this story alive and selfish. People like us, right? We nobody wants to die, but so it's It's comforting to know that our own stories will live on beyond ourselves. All right, so before we capture the scenes, we really need to find the heart of each and every story. How do we find the heart of each and every story? All right, everyone has a unique story, every single person, and that's why we love people, right? And and that's why we do wedding important photography because we love people we love taking pictures of people all right way have to fin...

d each and every person's unique story. I I took a course from, uh, the good guys that still motion media have a great course on storytelling. That's for documentary filmmakers. But it really resonated with me as a photographer. Learned story toe dot org's Check that out. Um, a great also ah free e book. Download for purchases, of course. And it's so simple and makes so much sense that we just have to find the heart of the story for each client we shoot. And when we do that, we're able to shoot their story and find their story and present their story to them, and they respond to that. So the first time I really understood this has this Ashleigh. I shot her senior photos. She's, uh, actually a student of my sisters. My sister was, ah, cheerleader and, ah, cheerleading coach and health teacher in high school at the time and one of her students who end up working for her the gym. And so I shot her senior photos and then a couple that last summer Yes, the last summer. So last spring she asked me if I would shoot her wedding right, and I laughed. The have been shot, a wedding in two years, and before that, that wedding was my cousins, and we grew up like brothers, so I didn't charge him. So my deal with him was I will shoot your wedding until I'm drunk, and then I will stop. It was the second weddings, like, sweet. I'm in. Right. So I'm there, I'm shooting, I'm shooting, I'm shooting. Then I'm like, Well, I'm drunk now, so I'm done. He's like, Cool, Let's go drink a beard. So she contacted me, and I was like, you know, but I'm honored that you would ask me, but I have a ton of tires in Portland that would, uh, gladly shoot your wedding, Do a much better job tonight. She's like, No, I really want you to shoot the wedding. Why do you want me to shoot the wedding? And she follows my street photography a lot. And oddly enough, I do a lot of portrait's of ah, lot of people that, you know, homeless people are living on the street. And, um, for some reason, that was able to resonate with her. And so she said, uh, my, uh, my husband's Ah, he's a quadriplegic. He has a little bit of use in his arms. And so she said that, you know, they've had their photos taken before and friends had their photos. And most of his friends are also in a wheelchair because they do that murder ball. You know, the real terror, rugby. And so she said to me, and she's like, You know, every time we have a photo taken like my friends had their wedding pictures take is like it was looks like guys in wheelchairs like I don't want my husband to look like a guy in a wheelchair. I want him to look like Kip. His name. And I was like, You're just totally sound Guy's gonna hate me. I just hit my mike right? It is right in the heart of like, OK, great, right? So Ah, hired a really, really good second shooter that used to shoot for The New York Times to cover my rear end right and photograph their wedding. But right, the goal wasn't to hide. The wheelchair was just too. Shoot him right, figure out his story. So that is what that is. What really got me that made me really understand what finding out what was important, right? Sure, she wanted pictures of the dress and the cowboy boots and all of that and stuff. But she just wanted her husband to look like it tonight. Does anybody have those weddings that they remember where there was, like, one thing like the bright, like, You have to get this, you know, Grandma's getting older. You know? What? Does anybody have one of those examples they like to share even online. So I have one shot. A circus wedding? Yeah, I shot the circus wedding was all circus themed, and the husband jumped through a paper ring and dove through it because the bride thought he wasn't showing up and they played this music. And they're like, You have to get forget about the kiss. Yeah, We got to get the message through his jumping through this paper hoop. I got it. I get lucky You re create the kiss by being cunning in Sango. Okay, Now kiss out there and they don't know what order it came in. But you can't recreate that jumping can create that right? So how can we find the heart of each and every client? So this is where I give you the bad news. Here's the bad news. Remember before smartphones when we used to pick up the phone and call people and talk to them. Remember that way back when, Right. Well, I have the bad news for you. In order to do that, we have to pick up the phone. I'm sorry. You have to. You got to pick up the phone. You got to talk to the client. You got to talk to the bride. You got groom. You got a truck to the bride's mom. Dad's mom. Right? We have to do that. Because if we don't talk to them and listen to them, then we can't do it. So at this point, I'm gonna invite Steve up on stage. So Steve runs Intuition to succeed and come on up, come up. The reason The reason I loathe the reason I love the is that, you know, he helps photographers become more profitable. The way he does that is he helps photographers stop making photography the sole focus of their business and make clients so focus. So it's got a great program. Um, one of the free downloads for the course few purchases is some advice from Steve on how to get started with this and I'm going to step off the stage. He's gonna invite Alex and Alex, who we actually did a shoot of. Um, so you're during this course, you will be able to see this whole process of an actual client who's been taken through this process. I'm not gonna hold it. Hold your hand for a little bit. Good luck. Cool. Okay, so I just want to stop by saying that I hear so much in the industry that people just don't value photography anymore. And you read the forums. And it seems to be a message that as an industry, we keep repeating to ourselves over and over and over. Never again. And I've got to say it really does hurt me to hear that. And I honestly believe that that is totally false. My belief is that most people don't actually value themselves enough to be photographed. So it's not that they don't value photography is just that they don't value themselves enough to be photographed. So what that means is that unless we begin to pay attention and listen to our clients and show them their value, then they're not gonna value anything that we do. Assess faras photography goes. Most people are sitting in a room and they know, you know, they're not feeling hurt or saints of love. Twin bought Alex and Alex, Mr Alex and Mrs Alex up on the stage. And I just want you to share Just come up bright guys big round reports with. So you've just been through experience with with Christie Are is on and I just want you know what? Why was this experience different for you? You mentioned to me on the phone or when I met you That this'd experience was different for you. What was different? I think. My gosh. Definitely the storytelling. So I think it waas It was like our story. Like she asked us, What is that? The you guys love to do what was like your perfect day. And I think when we were talking about our perfect day, she captured it. Like when we actually saw the pictures. That was beautiful. Did it make you think more about yourselves? As as a couple of Well, yeah, I don't know. I think Christie did An amazing John is pretty. Yeah, in capturing the things that I had it seen the things that she would describe that she liked about me. Andi. She captured that on guy. I saw not only myself how she sees me, but I saw both of us together. And I saw her expression from a now outside point of view almost in out of body experience, you can say, but it was very cool. Pretty powerful. Yeah, very, very powerful. Yeah. So I'm just gonna share, um, how some of that is done. Um, by asking you some questions. But before I do that, I just want to show the audience some of the things that they need to look out for us. If if you would be so kind as to just leave the way one by one. Um, that's awesome. Thanks for that. So when we are speaking with our clients, it's really, really important, um, to to focus on being positive. So everything we fries towards our client, you must must phrase it in a positive way. We also need to focus on making it easy for our declines to answer out questions. And the other thing is, as Andrew Fundy mentioned before, we have to focused on the emotion. So as artists, we tend to focus on just the visuals where it's gonna happen. The scene where we're going to be This is all gonna happen. But for a client, focusing on the emotion is what's the most important thing? So I just want everybody to be clear on that, and we'll call Alex up. So, Mrs Alex, and it's also important to do this individually. So even if you are on the phone with somebody and if Mr Alex was in the room, just ask, Could have moved to an area where he can't hear. Because you've got to feel free to talk about your husband without worrying about what he's thinking that you're saying and you will get a much more honest answer. So I just wanna want you think of Alex. Can you think of Alex right now? Yes. So you think of Alex. What is the gift that Alex has given you from just being together? My goodness, I think the gift that he has given me is a sense of beautiful compassion and safety. I think just like being able to feel behind just just beautiful with her. My God, Eso you mentioned safety like what does that look like for you? Well, like home. Just being with him. Just Oh, yeah, I think it's definitely just being to gather knowing that he's there knowing that he's close by just kind of embracing home. That's kind of what safety looks like for me with him, that sometimes it's hard for us to give ourselves to somebody and, you know, and feel that way. Like, can you think of a time when he was totally, totally providing that for you? Tell me about that. I think so. When I was in law school and then I remember I kind of made a decision to go with the front way with my own business. And I was just kind of tormented. And I think just having him there with me and just knowing that he was providing me Yeah, that sense of comfort and safety. And he was, like, kind of even like putting his arm around me. So? So he saw the world from your eyes. Yes, because you you were in law school. So what? What What was that business decision? What did you Sweet So Teoh Canine cuties. So cute. Yes, legally different. And But it was something that I loved and something I've always adored dogs. I've always an idea of the volunteer work while I was in law school, but I'm like, I want to do something that makes me happy and really happy. So? So it's awesome that he could see the world through your eyes and supported you through that. Yes, definitely. So who sees Alex do a little bit differently now? Yeah. And who sees Alex? Mr. Alex have just a little bit different. Like he thought he scored a lawyer. I know that's not who I am. I'm a dog lover. That's awesome. So let's see about Alex and have a say Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. That was awesome. Come on down. I likes here on. So isn't it beautiful just getting somebody to share part of their story. And I think that when we photographing people, if we have a clear vision of who they are, then it just makes it so much easier to know what to focus on. So welcome. I think Alex was so awesome about, like, sharing with us. You know what you mean to her? But the one thing that I didn't get out of her is what What makes Alex special? What are those things that you know how sometimes people just don't even see how special. What if some of those things Ah, well, one of the things I told Christie is that I feel like when she walks into a room, she just bright brightens it. You know? She's like, they like, she's happy bubbly, Uh, and she just makes you, you know, she energizes you, uh, energizes the whole room. You can t Yeah. Yeah, that's, you know, the very first thing. And she's also very, very sensitive to human emotion toe other people. Yeah. So what do you love the most about the fact that she can light up a room? Um, that I can have her in my room? I think will never be documents. Exactly. Yes, that's also that's awesome. And you said that she's sensitive, you know? What is it about that that you love the most? Well, it's that human connection. I mean, she's connected. I can make that connection with her. And I know I'm the most special connection that she has, but she also cares and sincerely cares about everyone else in everything else. Even animals. That's that's such a huge Yeah. You want somebody absolutely amazing. I'm very lucky. Yes. Who sees who sees Alex differently now? Just a little bit more. You can't walk into a photographic experience now without seeing these two people a little bit differently. Thanks so much. That was awesome. Thank you. Thank you. Hand you back. So we'll know. So I'm gonna keep you up here just so that I could run away. So, uh, what? Great. We photographed, uh, Alex and Alex Christie. Areas photograph them last Sunday or Monday. Sunday. Sunday, right. So just recently, they see their images on purchase some wall art from Christie and Jason. But they're gonna also see something later that they haven't seen before. It will be able to show that exciting. But if so, if you're photographing Alex and Alex and in one or two sentences, what would be the most important thing for you to shoot them one or two sentences? That's all I'm giving you their their connection. And for May, the way that Mr Alex is totally absorbed and only sees her amongst a room full of people, I would love to say some photographs where there is distraction, but she is the highlight, and she's radiating. That's great, Awesome. Thank you so much deep. So if you guys want to learn more about this, definitely check out intuition to succeed, you can use the Google and Google. It'll come right up, right? So please commit to discovering the unique story in each and every one of your clients, and if you commit to that, you'll be amazed at how they will reward you.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with RSVP

Storyteller Workflow
Image Brander License

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Blog Collage License
Storyteller Worksheet
4 Pillars of Story
Booking Checklist
5 Tips For Maximum Album Profits
Ice Society Video HD
Fundy Designer Software Demo (HD - 1.47GB)

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

In the digital age, selling albums to clients have changed dramatically. I want to change that viewpoint back to where it was before. Andrew Funderburg teaches how much a tangible print is valued more than any other form. This class is great for anyone who is looking to build albums to share your clients' story because it puts an entirely new perspective on the entire process from the day you meet your client to the delivery. There are so many tips that you can use to create the perfect album for your client, efficiently, and effectively. There are so many tips and tricks that Fundy teaches and I'm so ecstatic to put these tips to use. Thank you Fundy!

Linda Allen

I loved this class! I love Andrew's philosophy of storytelling through print and I see the importance of conveying this message to our photography clients. Thanks Andrew and Creative Live for a wonderful class!


I loved this. I loved hearing his philosophy about what he does, and he's quietly passionate about his work. This was a great class, and I'll be able to have those ideas in mind when I shoot, and (hopefully) have a better/quicker/smoother outcome in the end.

Student Work