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Price & Value

Lesson 7 from: 28 Days of Portrait Photography

Sue Bryce

Price & Value

Lesson 7 from: 28 Days of Portrait Photography

Sue Bryce

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Lesson Info

7. Price & Value


Class Trailer

Day 1


First 2 Years: The Truth


Teaching 2 Photographers in 28 Days


Rate Your Business


Year One in Business


Day 2


28 Challenges




Price & Value


Checklist, Challenges, and Next Steps


Day 3


Day 1: The Natural Light Studio


Day 4


Day 2: Mapping Your Set and Outfits


Day 5


Day 3: One Composition - Five Poses


Day 6


Day 4: Flow Posing


Day 7


Day 5: Posing Couples


Day 8


Day 6: Capturing Beautiful Connection & Expression


Day 9


Day 7: The Rules - Chin, Shoulders, Hands


Day 10


First Weekly Q&A Session


Day 8: Rules - Hourglass, Body Language, Asymmetry, Connection


Day 11


Day 9: Styling & Wardrobe


Day 12


Day 10: Shooting Curves


Day 13


Day 11: Posing & Shooting - Groups of 2, 3, and 4


Day 14


Day 12: Posing & Shooting Families


Day 15


Day 13: Products & Price List


Day 16


Day 14: Marketing & Shooting the Before & After


Day 17


Day 15: Phone Coaching & Scripting


Day 18


Second Weekly Q&A Session


Day 16: Posing Young Teens


Day 19


Day 17: Marketing & Shooting - Family First Demographic


Day 20


Day 18: The Corporate Headshot


Day 21


Day 19: Glamour Shoot on Location & Shooting with Flare


Photoshop Video: Glamour Shoot on Location & Shooting with Flare


Day 22


Day 20: Photoshop - Warping & the Two Minute Rule


Day 23


Day 21: Posing Mothers & Daughters


Day 24


Third Weekly Q&A Session


Day 22: Marketing & Shooting - 50 & Fabulous Demographic


Day 25


Day 23: Shooting into the Backlight


Bonus: Shooting into the Backlight


Day 26


Day 24: Marketing & Shooting - Girl Power Demographic (18-30s)


Photoshop Video: Girl Power Demographic (18-30s)


Day 27


Day 25: The Beauty Shot


Bonus: Vintage Backdrop


Day 28


Day 26: Marketing & Shooting - Independent Women Demographic


Day 29


Day 27: Sales & Production


Day 30


Day 28: Posing Men


Day 31


Bonus: Pricing




Photography, Style, Brand, and Price Part 1


Photography, Style, Brand, and Price Part 2


Marketing Part 1


Marketing Part 2


Money: What's Blocking You?


Bonus: The Folio Shoot


Day 32


Photo Critiques Images 1 through 10


Photo Critiques Images 11 through 27


Photo Critiques Images 28 through 45


Photo Critiques Images 47 through 67


Photo Critiques Images 68 through 84


Photo Critiques Images 85 through 105


Photo Critiques Images 106 through 130


Photo Critiques Images 131 through 141


Photo Critiques Images 142 through 167


Photo Critiques Images 168 through 197


Photo Critiques Images 198 through 216


Day 33


Identify Your Challenges


Identify Your Strengths


Getting Started Q&A


Rate Your Business


Marketing Vs Pricing


Facing Fear


The 28 Day Study Group


Selling Points


Interview with Susan Stripling


Emotional Honesty


Day 34


Sue's Evolution


28 Days Review


Student Pitches


28 Days Testimonial: Mapuana Reed


How to Pitch: Starting a Conversation


Your Block: Seeing is What You're Being


Your Block: Valuing and Receiving


Building Confidence: Your Own Stories


Building Confidence: Your Self Worth


Pitching An Experience


Pitching An Experience: Your Intentions


Pitching An Experience: Social Media


Final Thoughts


Lesson Info

Price & Value

This is a really great keynote for me to pull out before you start your 28-Day Challenge. I've given you a formula, and I've told you to remove your blocks. I've shown you what your blocks are, that they're gonna be great to work through. I've addressed your physical blocks in your business, and I've addressed your personal blocks in your own self. I've given you a formula to start working towards. And now we look at this one component, which is actually a challenge on 28 Days. But what I really wanted to do was open a big discussion about it, because I feel like most people do not talk about this. And we're gonna talk about pricing, okay, how we price ourselves as portrait photographers in the market. And I wanted to open open, I actually originally wanted to open this up as a panel. I wanted to get one of the best wedding photographers in the country that I know, one of the best children's photographers that I know, and sit down and each of us give what we believe is an international...

standard for pricing portraiture, wedding, and baby photography across the board, because I don't believe anybody really says, you should charge this much. And there's so many instructors that won't talk about their own pricing. Now, about three years ago, I put my prices on my website, and it didn't change my business. I thought it would. In fact, what it bought was a higher number of people that actually wanted to be photographed, that didn't wanna call me if they were afraid of that number. And I didn't say, my images are this much. I said, my images start at $275. My folios start at 1200. So I made it informative, but not scary for people to see my price point, correct? So as I did that, I realized that it was probably more helpful for me to have my prices on my website. And then when I did my new website recently, I didn't put it back on again. Oh, yes, I did. I think it's on my info page now. But again, only images, or commissions start at. And when I first found a website a few years ago that had commissions, weddings, commissions start at $7,000, I remembered thinking, well, you're not gonna call if you think $7, is way out of your price list. And if you still like it, you're going to call. So obviously that photographer's only gonna deal with people that are within their price range. You have to have a pretty powerful website and body of work to make that okay, because I guess there's a lot of people that are gonna look and go, what? That's not worth seven grand. The website I'm referring to was really beautiful, and obviously it was at a price point where this guy was not afraid to say what he was and what he was worth. And I remembered at the time being shocked by it. Like, I remember going, wow, he's ballsy. I can't believe he's got that price on there. But then I think back, and also, I thought, no, that's what he should be. Look at his work, it's incredible. I'm gonna respect this man right from the beginning. And of course I did. So here's the thing about pricing. And after my talk just now about getting out of your own way, yesterday and today, I've come to the conclusion that it has nothing to do with price and everything to do with your average sale. So the price of your products simply facilitates what your average sale is. If you offer three albums, 3,000, 4,000, and 5,000, there is pretty much an average that says everybody will spend $4,000, 'cause it's your medium package. It's probably where you feel comfortable. That's where everybody feels comfortable. It's like, small, medium, or large, madam? You get a choice. And you go, I'll take the medium size, thank you. Not too small, not too large, just right about right. Is that a human mentality? Maybe, I don't know. So whatever your price point is, it tells me that your average will be based on what you think you're worth as a whole. So it doesn't matter whether you sell acrylics or canvases or folios or albums or individual prints. You will make the same amount of money consistently, because that's what your average will be. Do you understand that? You will attract the same amount of money, make the same amount of money, regardless of what your price list says. I learnt that about half an hour ago when I was just thinking about what I just told you over the last two days. You see, what I just told Kenna was this. How much should I charge? I charge this much. That's my price list. I've never made that a secret, not to my clients, 'cause they're the ones paying for it. Why would you keep that a secret? (audience laughing) And certainly never to the photographic industry, 'cause that's what I'm worth, and certainly never to you guys, as, learning from me as an instructor. However, here's the intriguing thing. My prices have not gone up in 20 years. This price list comes from my first studio where I was employed, and it has never changed. This is what we were charging 20 years ago. Amazing, right? The only thing that's changed in the last 20 years is my average. So it's nothing to do with your price and everything to do with what you're worth. I swear to god, I have not put my prices up since then. So what does that tell you? And that just astonished me, right now, over my Chipotle lunch. (audience laughing) Over my Chipotle lunch bowl, which was beautiful, by the way. I wanna buy a franchise, not kidding. (audience laughing) So it just occurred to me, I'm about to launch an entire keynote on price, and I have nothing to say about it other than that. (audience laughing) However, what I do have something to say about it is what all you say about it. I can't charge this much, I'm not good enough, I can't do this, what should I charge? Donny down the road is selling 10 eight by tens for $25, and it goes on and on and on and on and on. And Kenna and Russ and Susan and all the chat hosts at Creative Live, they've fielded these questions for years and years and years, the same dumb, stupid asked questions about how much is an eight by ten. But how much is an eight by ten? So how much do I charge? How much do I charge, how much do I charge? It has nothing to do with what you charge and everything to do with what your average sale is. So that tells me that the price list and the products you create must actively sell your average sale, and it must do it effectively and in really good price point with productivity, and it must have a good profitability. Do you know what that means? If you were selling an acrylic print for $ and it cost you $33 to make it, you're making $7. Then you have to pay tax on that. So that's pretty much a coffee from Starbucks. All right? So if you're selling a product for $ and it cost you $20 to make, then that's $ that you have to pay tax on. That's just business. So the idea, then, is what is your average sale? What is the product that you wanna put together? So do you wanna have anything to do with that? Do you wanna just flick it off, get it framed? Do you wanna pass it over? How do you wanna deal with your production? What do you want? Some people want to have framed pictures. I know one thing. When I changed my portrait business from framing to no framing, something changed. Nothing changed in what we were making in terms of money, and everything changed in terms of how our images were presented at the end. So we decided, as a studio, that framing was just too much of a pain. If you framed an image, they would look really beautiful. And then the people would come and pick them up. And they might say, oh, no, I told you to remove that red button on my coat. And it was already framed. We weren't checking the images and then framing. And we were just, this is a headache. Let's change our price and let people go and pay for their own framing. And this, here, will be just a normal, mounted price. This is a mounted price. This is not a framed price. So then what happened was nothing changed. We went from, that is our framing price to that is our normal price. And we just told people we didn't offer framing anymore. But we didn't move our price. And we still made the same amount of money, because people buy whatever you tell them to buy. It doesn't matter what you change, as long as you change it in here, everything just changes. And so all of a sudden, people were buying mounted shots. We were earning the same amount of money, and we didn't have a $5,000 framing bill. Win for us. What we weren't winning in was when people came into our studio, the framer, he used to deliver all of the framed images to the front of our beautiful walk-in studio. And people would walk in and stop and look at them. And they were real shoots, really picked up, waiting to be picked up. And they were laid out all against the wall. And people were captivated by them. And not only that, every single one of those archivally framed images now hang on somebody's wall. And yet I believe maybe 95% of the ones we sold unframed do not. And all of those beautifully framed archival prints have my name on them. And that is called further marketing in business. And if you see an image and you go, wow, that is an incredible shot of you, Kate. Who took that? I don't remember her name, some girl in Ponson Bay. Have a look at the back. Her name's on it. And there it is, my phone number. And you can call me anywhere, anytime. Beautiful, timeless, forever. So there is a give, and there is a take. But what you need to understand is what the value is. Like you said, Amanda, you wanna offer acrylics. You wanna offer steel. You wanna offer all that stuff. That's fine. Have it in your studio. Don't have it on your price list until they're buying. They don't need to make that final decision. People don't know until you tell them anyway. So there's no point blinding them before the shoot. Blind them with your incredible photographs and your experience, not with what they're going to be buying in three weeks' time. Okay, then the price you put on that, the price you put on that has to be profitable. It has to contribute to a good average sale. And it has to sit comfortably with you. Now, I will not criticize somebody that charges three times more than me. If they do that comfortably, and their clients are happy, and they're taking beautiful work, props to them. I wish I was that open. Maybe that's my money block. But that's not for me to criticize or tell them it's not worth it, 'cause I see people shoot way less than me, charge three times more, easy, and make a lot of money. And it is not my job to criticize those people. It's my job to up my experience and my value and simply up my average price. Don't you think? So I wanna open a fast discussion about this. And one of the hardest things about this subject is I feel like already the internet's asking Kenna questions. I feel like this subject comes down to, you know, when I did my first Creative Live and I was telling people, this is how you pose curvy girls. This is how you pose two women. This is how you pose, you know, and people would be like, so what if you get somebody with a crooked mouth? And what if you get someone with one eye smaller than the other? And what if you get somebody with a part in the middle of their head? And what if you get someone with one ear higher than the other? And what if you get, and I was like, (laughs). You could ask a million questions. But the truth is, is you must ask the right questions. That would be, how do I lift my sales average? Give me some tips on that? What do I want my average to be? How do I work out my profitability so that I know exactly what I'm earning from this? How do I streamline my products so I'm making the most amount of money but still giving my clients a huge value? Because you must give more in physical material than the dollar value you receive. Wallace Wattles. And when you do that, that exchange of energy is so big, it will come back to you tenfold. And if you understand that statement, understand it again, when you give more in physical value than the dollar value you receive, you're the one that's shifted in yourself, 'cause you believe what you're giving is higher value than the money you're receiving. And I don't mean, I'm giving way more than I'm getting paid for. That's not gratitude. Do you understand? So to me, pricing now is all about value. Your value, what you're worth, how you wanna work, how you wanna work your production, and the value of what you wanna give your clients. I had a wage mentality when I left the studio, and I spent two years floundering before I started my own business. And in that two years of floundering, I created the same amount of money I earned as a wage earner, somewhere between four and 600 dollars a week. So I took my money mentality away from my wage, and like I said to you this morning, great. You feel guilty about making your own income, and yet you can go and work in a job that pays you four to 600 dollars a week, and you're happy to take that, because it's not you paying it, and that's what you think you're worth. So I went out and built a little business built on that worth, on what I was worth a week. So when you wanna know how to price yourself, I suggest you ask this question. How much money do you wanna earn a week? Right? Now, here's the good thing in business. I start my business, I'm green. I'm so green it's not even funny. It's actually embarrassing when I think back to what I didn't know about business. I'm projecting to make, you know, two to $4,000 a week, big time. And I go to a business coach. I pay this business coach. And he says to me, right, so you'll pay yourself. And I'm like, two to four grand a week. And he's like, (laughs) no, I thought that's what you're projecting to make in your business. And I was like, oh, what do I pay myself? And he goes, what everyone else pays themselves in business. And I was like, I don't know what that is, 'cause I don't know anyone in business. And he's like, 10%. And I was like, excuse me? You mean I have to do $2,000 worth to get 200 bucks? And he was like, yeah. I was like, what happens to the rest of the money? (audience laughing) He goes, the business gets it. And I was like, huh. So I create something and then pay them? He goes, well, yeah. I was like, oh. How do I get more? And he goes, earn more. And I was like, ah. So I get 10% of whatever I earn. He goes, mm hm. And then I went, ah. Ah, right. Nobody told me that. If you think that's stupid, don't laugh, 'cause there's 99% of people out there going, ah. (audience laughing) And that was exactly right. I suddenly realized that in order to have a viable financial business, in order to have a profitable, sustainable income, I needed to actually set up a business, not just a little contract job that flipped me $1,000 every now and then. And that's what most of you have, okay? I needed to actually create a system, a product, and a service based on a professional income that was gonna pay me regularly. And then I knew I had my grown up pants on. In fact, in that moment, I remembered thinking, I have never been more grown up in that moment than any other time in my life. I've worked it out, the thing they never tell you. Maybe they tell you that at business school, where all the smart kids go. (audience laughing) So I did come to the conclusion that at the end of the day, it didn't matter how I priced that. What mattered was my average, what I was working towards in my average, how I spoke about my average, what I set up as my average, how I sold my experience to get my average, how I consistently marketed and sold and shot to that average, and that when somebody spent $800, it wasn't a bad sale, and when someone spent $8,000, it wasn't a good sale, 'cause all it was was contributing to my average. So I took this price list, and I started my business. And I was earning $400 a week. And then I started my own business, and it was big, and I taught the photographers, and we had an average of 1850 a week. And it was consistent. Even the girls were pulling 1850 per shoot in average. And then I moved to Australia on my own, and my average went up to $3,300. So what changed? What changed? Never once my price, 'cause my price never shifted once. What changed was my value and service, because when I went out on my own, I decided to change what I was doing and how I was doing it. And instead of doing three shoots a day at $ and driving myself into the ground trying to market, retouch, and shoot that, I did one shoot a day. I spent longer with my client. I gave them more pre-service, more after service, and my average doubled immediately. Do you see that? It doubled. So I work less, enjoy it more, for a higher average. So your only goal is to value yourself, put a number on it, get an average from it, work out the profitability, and then raise it to the next level every single year, month, annual quarter. Your only goal is to raise your? [Audience Members] Average. That's it. All you have to do, raise your average. And the more you believe in your service, the more you believe in your value, the more you believe in yourself, the higher your average will go. All right, Shoebox Photos, yes, but what is that value? Why doesn't anyone say, this is the market hourly rate for editing, for shooting, so I can have a formula. Here she says it's not emotional. Okay, I get it. I'll give you a market hourly rate. I'm worth $500 an hour. To shoot, because it takes me an hour if I think of all the consultations and calls and everything I do with my client, and then I spend an hour on hair and makeup, and then I spend two hours shooting them, and then I spend an hour retouching them, and then I spend an hour selling to them and then doing their final production. And that, to me, equates to $500, six hours, $500, $3,000 plus tax. My market rate, right now, compared to my average, is the amount of hours that I'm getting from my average. So again, I'm going back to my value in average, but I'm sourcing that hourly rate from there. That makes me worth 500 bucks. So when I'm paying an editor $25 an hour to retouch my images, and I hate it, doesn't it stand to reason that if I'm making an income while she's doing my retouching, and I'm worth $500 an hour, that I can outearn her anyway, and I should be, doing what I love. That would be smart business. So what is the hourly rate? It is your average divided by the time it takes you to do it. And again, you've come, is it the chicken or the egg? Exactly, that's where I was going next. Yeah, so. If your average is $700, and it's taking you seven hours, then you're worth $100 an hour. And I suggest you either change your price point at that moment or change how you're doing it to get more profitability. Then your average will go up. And if you don't, then it stands to reason that you're only going to be worth $100 an hour. And I'm worth $500 an hour. And when I'm doing a job I hate from now on, I think to myself, could I outsource this for less than $500 an hour? And if the answer is yes, why the hell would I be doing it? But the trick is, is if you pay somebody to do the job you hate doing for $25 an hour, you've just lost 75 bucks, which nobody wants to pay, 'cause it's 75 bucks, and you could just do it yourself, is that when they are doing the retouching, you have to be doing something that makes $500 an hour. You can't just go to the beach. Or you can, and just have a good life with your kids, and just lose $75 instead of hating what you're doing. All right, now, I just said to Kenna, I just said to Kenna about never changing my price but my value going up. And Kenna and I were just saying, I guess for the last three years of chat hosting, Kenna has had this conversation online over and over and over and over again. So I said to Kenna, I want you to hit me with every question that she constantly gets asked about price. So very first one, most likely the most common that we always have, Shannon Elizabeth says, I have absolutely no idea what to charge. I've always done free portfolio building shoots. So now I just don't know how to start charging. Agnes Bergman Pinto says, my biggest challenge how to start out and charge and determine how much. When you start out and build portfolio, are you supposed to do it for free, or can you charge, and how much? And from there, how do you move up? So it's for those people who are just starting their business and really just, they don't know what number to start at. How much do you wanna earn? What if I said I don't know? You don't know how much you wanna earn? How much do you wanna earn? (audience laughing) That was the greatest deflection (audience laughing) in Creative Live history. That was like NFL shit right there. That was just like, voom, voom, whoosh, gone. And I was like, did you see that? Did you see Kenna? (laughing) Did you see that quarterback? She was out of there. (laughing) And passed it to the front row. (laughs) I've had a longterm goal of wanting to make six figures by the time I'm 35. I just had an aha moment when you said, (laughs) I had no idea that what that $100,000 dollars would be is 10% of what my gross sales should be. That's right, so you need a million dollars. So that means that I have to, in order to reach my six-figure goal- What's your average sale? I don't even, this is- You need to go home and look it up? Yeah. What do you think it is? $1,000? Well, 'cause I do weddings and portraits, so combining- But you have an average in there. Combining those, I would say probably 750. Okay, 750. So times that by, or divide that by a million. Yeah, I know. (laughs) That's all right. That's like, what, 1200 shoots a year? Right. Yeah. That's seven a day. That's 1,333. (laughing) That's doable. Yeah, not. Four shoots a day, every day of the entire year, basically. Yeah, so we need to triple your average, right, or double it, or just at least get it up over 1,000. But the idea is, one thing is really interesting, and that is how much, go back to that question online, how much do you wanna earn? Be careful saying, I want six figures, 'cause you might put on a lot of weight. What you get, you ask for, six figures is- (audience laughing) (woman talking quietly) Yeah. I always sort of think to myself, at the end of the day, you need to make goals for work, not income. So I don't ever say, I want to make six figures, so there's a million dollars. I want to make $100,000, sorry. I want to make $100,000. Instead, I would rather say, I want 100 photo shoots. And my current average is $1,000. So I want 100 photo shoots. It's easier to find 100 photo shoots than it is to find $100,000. Do you know that? You know why? 'Cause there's 100 photo shoots sitting in front of me right now. But if I'd asked you all to give me money, you'd say no. So if I give you something in return, then obviously the money is there. So that tells me that once I make the goal for 100 photo shoots, and I'm gonna get $100,000, I then need to up my service and my value and my product, and then I'll earn more. And I didn't put a cap on that. And I potentially could up my average three times that and earn $300,000. So why put a limit on what you're gonna earn when all you need is the work, not the money? And also, there's a different energy in working for money than there is working for shoots. So when I tell you to go out and find 100 shoots, you'll talk to 300 people, 400 people. But if I told you to go out and find $100,000, you won't be able to find it, I guarantee it, because there's a difference in the energy of that. Now, back to the question, how much do you wanna earn? Big deflection from Ann Closterman over to the front row, and then we're back here again. How much do I wanna earn? Well, when I left my studio, I knew I had to earn $400 a week to survive. And that's what I earned. So that's my wage mentality. So to me, a folio was worth $400. And that's, to me, exactly what I charged. And it's exactly what I earned, because my mentality was, I can survive on what I've earned for the last 10 years. All I had to do was survive. And I had a survival mentality, not a thrival mentality. And I decided right then that I just needed $400. So to me, a folio was $400. Two folios was $800. Ooh, I'm getting rich now if I do three. And that was exactly what I attracted. It's exactly what I got. It's exactly what I set as my standard, and it's all that I earned. So then, when I started the studio, I don't actually think I started making money until I got staff. There is nothing like having to pay other people to make money. And then all of a sudden, I had a reason to go for a higher goal. And every time I went for a higher goal, I got more of that percentage. And then I realized what I was doing. I was working for other people, and I was getting the payoff from it. But I never did it for myself until now. When I left the studio, I had the biggest rock bottom year of my career. I left the studio, moved to Australia, and failed for a whole year. I couldn't even book shoots. I remember booking a shoot. I sold $400. Now, this is four years ago, sold $400, and this girl went home, told her mum, and her mum rung me and told me I was a ripoff and she wanted a refund. I sat down and cried. And then I realized the whole time I'd built that studio, I was working and making money for others. But I never valued myself. And I learned that after building a two million dollar studio in three years, not before. So that value is the key to changing what you earn. And it will absolutely blow you away. So what is a folio worth? Whatever you put on it. You think it's 200? That's what you'll get. If you think it's 400, that's what you get. If you think it's 1200, that's what you get. And if you put 1200 on it and you get no bites, I don't believe that you believe it's worth that. Or I don't believe that you are offering more in physical value than the dollar value you're receiving. Wouldn't you agree? I would challenge you, because if you, there is nothing in my price list that people go, you know what? That's too expensive. I believe it. So once you believe it, people stop asking. In fact, we used to joke about it at the studio. We were in our sales room, and we used to say, you know, Sarah, remember when we started our business and people would go, they're how much? And we didn't believe in that price list. We didn't believe in that. And then our sales went right up, and we were averaging 1850. And then we knew it was worth it. Now that we know it's worth it, nobody asks us anymore. Is that the law of attraction? I don't know. Do we believe it? Yes, I don't know. But it is in direct proportion to what you believe. And it is instantaneous. So if you believe it, you'll sell it. So you can put whatever you want on it. Just had my own little personal aha, just here, I just had this, it was just clear. You say what it is, and then it is. Yeah, right. Is it really that easy? Yeah. Do you believe it? Isn't it just perception? Tell me something. When I said you don't write thinner on what you wanna be list, don't write thinner, on every one of my lists, for 10 years, I've written thinner. Even though I've been way thinner. And I was not happier. And I've gone back and forth a few times, way thinner, way bigger, way thinner. And then I settled somewhere in between. And last year, when I wrote my list, for the first time, I thought, I'm not gonna write thinner on the list, 'cause I'm just gonna accept that now is what I've got. I'm gonna rock it, I'm gonna love it. Instead of living in the future, when my body is perfect. Don't you love that one? Girls, never gonna happen. Your body is perfect now. And it just occurred to me, when I met Jill, 'cause I was still, I'm old, I'm fat, you know. And then I watched that beautiful girl, and her chest has been cut away, and how could I ever complain about my breasts when I know her? And how could I ever complain about my body and my health when I know her? You know, if you complain about your thighs, go and meet someone with no legs. Get some perspective. And that changed me, because I realized I didn't have to put, I'm thinner. I now love myself more now than I have at any other weight. And it doesn't matter what I am, because the more I like it, the more it changes anyway. And it just seems to be getting better, and I don't know why. But 'cause maybe it's just I think it is. And nothing shifted. You don't have to lose weight to fall in love. In fact, you put on weight. You didn't put on weight and start hating yourself. You put on weight because you did hate yourself. And so no amount of weight loss will change the fact that that was your truth, and that's how you got there in the first place. And I'm using weight as an example because to me, weight is no different than money. It's no different than value, success, love. They are the same, same door, you know, same pathway. It's the same thing in relation to what you believe about yourself. So it's where I'm at. All right, Sue. There are people in the lounge that are still pushing back. Go, push. And saying- Push. Yes, but I'm still not sure where to start. (laughing) They're saying, but the person's question was, they don't even know what to start to charge with. They've not charged previously. But you have to start somewhere. You have to crawl before you can walk, walk before you can run. What do I do? Okay. Trish, I'll add on. Trish had said, if you've never charged, you have no idea what someone will pay for your work. And you can't show them previous paid jobs so they trust you. Okay, trust you. So you trust yourself, that you are worth that, because that's what you're really saying to me. Okay, but you live in a world where everybody's a photographer. And there's a million different people that can give you their price. And you know what other people are charging. So don't lie to me when you say, I don't know what to charge, because you know exactly what Joe Blogs down the road's charging, don't you? Because you've already sent them emails. You already got your friend to send fake emails so that they got their- (audience laughing) Oh, everyone's done that, right? So the idea is I don't believe that you don't know what to charge. I mean, ring 20 photographers and say, listen, how much do you charge for a portfolio? And charge around the same amount of the people you think your work is like, if that's your problem. But what is it you wanna earn? If you wanna do a full day shoot for 1200 bucks, put $1200 on it then and include everything. Work out your profitability, start shooting, work out an average, and then try to up your value and up your profitability. You wanna start at $400? Start at $400. Just be careful what you give for $400, 'cause if you give everything for $400, you will just get $400 clients, and no one will value you. So come in at a value somewhere between 400 and 1200. Do you know what the national average sale of a photographer in America is? 900 bucks. Average, and that includes all the big studios, that includes weddings, $900. So that tells me, and in Australia and New Zealand, 1100. Our average is higher. And when somebody puts in the chat room right now, but is that the dollar exchange, (audience laughing) you don't read my emails, all right? So when somebody puts that, is that 'cause your dollar value, we are dollar for dollar, by the way, America and Australia, not New Zealand. New Zealand's about 76 cents. But the truth is it's in correlation to what you earn, the dollar that you earn in the same country. It's an average. It is not, you know, comparative. So our average is a little higher, but then we have a smaller economy, which means that we have a higher price point. You understand? A price point will be driven down in all countries where there is a larger population, because there is more competition and a lower price point above all, overall. But the truth is, is that we are only sitting $200 higher than you as an average, national average. And $1100 average is not much. And that's average, meaning a lot of photographers are pulling eight grand, a lot of photographers are pulling, Gary Hana had a studio in New Zealand since 2007, and then obviously, two years ago. So you had five years in business before the earthquake hit you. We did. Yeah, do you believe that that's around right, $1100 for an active studio? What was the question again, sorry? Do you think that is about right, $1100 for an active studio? You know, lots of photographers, the average. Most photographers are only pulling $1100 average, wouldn't you agree? It's a big question, because there weren't that many studios in Christchurch. And so to say most, because there's a lot of people working from homes. And I'm not sure if you should actually distinguish between working at home and having a studio, because you should still be charging the same amount of money. I'm sorry, I mean all photographers, not studio. Right. I just meant the bigger studios also. That includes everybody. Yup, and as you say, there'll be people who are successfully charging lots more. But I figure probably about $ would be a good average. 'Cause most people think that's incredibly low. And when you ask most people what they're earning on average, they tell you three grand or two grand. And it's not true. Because remember I used to tell people what my average was, and the studio that we built in Auckland was 1850. And I was the lowest average of everyone I met. And I thought, oh, clearly I'm not doing very well. And I was pulling 450 shoots a year. So I realized something in that moment, that people don't really know their average, and they haven't really worked it out. So I would challenge that for new photographers. The first, when I started, I charged $175. For everything. For everything. I gave people a disk. Did you make money? No. No. No, so my average, I would never have said, if I were to say, my average was 1800, I would be like, oh, yeah. I mean, I would say, whose average is under $300 right now? I mean, whose average is under $500 or is, I think we're talking even lower numbers. Yeah, well, let's talk lower. Okay, so average being across the board, and then an average of the entire income from all photographers divided by the amount of photographers, just like our portraits, if your average is under $300, you must be in business for under a year. Would that be right? Nobody would be in business for over a year at $300 if they didn't have a part-time job. Do you have another income, another source of income? Yeah, so it's not possible. It's not possible that you would earn, that you would be in business over a year at an average of $300 unless you had a supplementary income or a husband. That's what it was, is I have a husband, and I relied on his income. And so my average sales, I did a lot of portfolio building, 'cause I just relocated to a new location. You don't have to explain it. We all went there. Yeah, and so my, when I went through when I was prepping for this, and I actually did my average sales, I wanted to cry. 'Cause it was 235. But why did you wanna cry? Because I knew that I was undervaluing myself. Yeah, you're undervaluing yourself. But you know, at the same time, your rent's being paid, and you're eating, right? Yeah, I have a great life. But my business was not a business. And so that's why I'm here. Ah, so here's the problem, because the average photographer judges you, because they see you as being the photographer that is ruining my business. (audience laughing) Here it is, ladies and gentlemen, we found her. (audience laughing) We just outed her internationally. Sorry. We found her. I'll put her website up in a minute so you can all send her death threats. (audience laughing) This woman is single-handedly taking down our industry. (audience laughing) And the best part about it is clearly she's doing thousands of portraits a year at an average sale of $235. Not. How many portraits are you doing a week? Be honest. Be honest, two sessions a week is like the max I'm doing right now. Yeah, so you're not hurting my industry at all. No. No, what you're doing is hurting yourself. Okay, so now that you know better, you're gonna lift your average. Yeah. Great. Absolutely. Right, and there it is. Nobody is bringing down our industry, 'cause people like me are doing workshops to lift the international standard of portrait photography for free around the world on Creative Live so that we can all come up together. But there will always be newbies. And those newbies need to learn value, professionalism, service, and they have to learn how to make an income. And we all did it, so why can't they? And I do not look at those newbies and say, you know, that newbie down the road, she's charging 200 bucks, and she's shooting better than me. Because if that newbie was shooting better than me and stealing my clients, I would either have to go and get another job or I would walk down and say, come and work for me. I'll pay you twice as much, and then earn seven times more. 'Cause I know what I could really sell her work for. So come on. There is no such thing. Those are just excuses and blocks. So your average is too low, and you need to triple it, at least in the next week. And if you tell me, oh my god, I can't triple what I charge 'cause I won't make money. Can you see the oxymoron? I can't triple my price list, 'cause then I won't make money. (laughs) It's kind of funny, right, that we even think that way. I can't stop doing that, how will I make money? Trust me, once you stop doing what you hate and you have to go and do something else, and if it's something you love, it kinda gets exciting. And then before you know it, it's like, woo, these people are rushing in the door. And then you stop getting excited, and people stop coming in the door. And then you have to reset that. Oh, it's a default setting. Did I not tell you that? Oh, sorry. All of this inspiration right now will be gone tomorrow. (audience laughing) All of it. You will default to self-hate, and you will default to fear, and you will default to victim, and you will default to no money. So you have to reset it every day. Reset it and push it a little further and a little further and a little further until this is your new truth. Okay? Microphone? Last year was the first year I decided to charge for portraits. I was only doing weddings. My average, I did figure it out at my end, was about eight to 900 dollars. It was, there's a number- So 850. Yeah, we'll go with that. (audience laughing) So I have 10 packages for my seniors, which I know, I'm sitting with Amanda, and I've got this price list that I think's a couple pages. And, but- An 18 year old wants 10 choices. Have you seen their stores? I mean, Claire's has tons of silver earrings. You can never have too many. No, but I keep a lower package, because I do have girls from schools all over in a large area. And I want to attract them, as well. But do I have to get rid of those to up my average more? How do you know that's their price point? Well, I don't, 'cause I mean, people in trailer homes have big screens. But, you know, I don't know. Yeah, why they're in trailer, 'cause they have big screens. I know. In fact, poor people spend more money than rich people. I think poor people are better clients than rich people. Rich people wear their money. Like, if they're wearing it on their finger, I know there's nothing in the bank. I know they're faux-rich. And then the really rich ones, they're plain. Have you noticed that? The really rich ones, there's no diamonds. There's no shoes. Plain, plain, plain. Big money. So if I'm good in service and experience, which I think that I am doing very well in those parts, how do I raise my average without raising my prices? Without raising your prices, how do you raise your average? Yes. You need to get rid of your cheapest price first. Okay. Yeah, that's the first stop, is take your bottom package off. Completely. Yeah, absolutely, completely. Then you need to plump up your highest packages. So like give them more? Yep. Give them more product, or just charge them more? Give them more product. Give more. I don't know how much more I could add to the top package. (audience laughing) I mean I'm basically giving them my children, my husband, my big screen TV. But you can't be, because if you're still working from that lowest average point, and your highest point has everything, then you're not selling everything. You're selling a lower average. I'm so confused right now. Okay, maybe break that down. (woman laughing) All right. I think what you need to do is shape up your bottom package, and come in at the lowest point you're prepared to be paid for for a shoot. Let's say that's 600. You think that's high? Okay. (woman talking quietly) Okay, and what's the lower one you've currently got? So you shave off the 400 package. You shave off the 400 package, and you come in at 650 as your lowest possible package. Okay. Okay, the only person you have to sell that to is yourself, 'cause you're the one that's thinking, oh, no, what about the people that think that's too expensive? Someone who will spend 450 for great shots will spend 650, don't you agree? What's 200 bucks? 'Cause I'm just not giving them the option to go any lower. Yeah, but then, A, you take away their option, and, B, you adjust it in yourself. I don't want less than 650. I'm worth that a day, right? Yes. Then you go up to your highest package, which is? 3,000. 3,000, and that's a nice, plump everything package? Besides my big screen, yes. Okay, so then you make your 650 package, your 850 package, and your 1250, whatever they jump up at, a little less than what they are now so that everything looks really plump from 1250 up. So the more money you spend, the more you get. Okay, which is how it's structured, but I think just getting rid of the lower ones will help me feel better. But as long as you do feel better. Well, I kinda feel like crud when they only get the 400. It's more like I didn't do my job or I didn't sell them correctly. Okay, this is not based on your performance, ego. That is not based on your performance. It is based on your service. You don't get paid because you underperformed, or didn't get paid because you underperformed. You didn't get paid because you offer a package for $450. And they're like, sweet, I got all that for 450. They didn't decide that because you didn't take good enough shots, ego. They decided that because that's what you offer, wouldn't you agree? Yeah. The only person that has to get their head around that is you. If you adjust that, try it. But believe it. And if it doesn't work, I don't believe you believe it. It's kinda like when they get the witches in Salem. And they tie rocks to their feet and throw them in the lake. And if you drown, you weren't a witch. And if you float, we'll burn you at the stake. (audience laughing) All right. All right, I've got an out there. It's like, if she fails, it's like, well, Colette, the only person standing in your way is you. But the truth is, is it is. So Salem witch hunt, that's exactly what it is. Tie rocks to your feet, and if you float, you know you're a witch. Okay, Sue, we have a ton of people coming in. Go. With the common question that we always see every single time. Every single time. Rajeet Kiddy says, my problem is clients who want me to just give them the CD because they'll print them for cheap. That's all they want, is digital images. They don't want anything more. So charge $1800 for a CD and put it in a beautiful box. But what if that's not my client? What if I, what's the next one? What if I live in a small town? The next one is, what if I, Amelia Renee One, what if you live in a small town and everybody wants cheap work, and you know you're worth more, but you can't get people to buy from you, even if you believe you're worth it? That sounds like about five belief systems on I'm not worth it, and you think you believe it at the end. Didn't you hear that? Nobody will pay my prices, I'm not good enough, I'm not good enough, nobody will pay it, I live in a small town, there's no money here, and by the way, I don't believe any of that's true. (laughs) Okay, all right, now, let's go down that path, 'cause I'm kinda like, I grew up in a small town. And I live in a very small town of farmers. The farmers' wives do not wear diamonds. They do not buy Gucci shoes. They do not have hair extensions or plastic boobs. That rhymed. (audience laughing) A farmer's wife lives and works on a farm, and she lives on the land, and she doesn't wear makeup, and she often has short hair. I built a studio in Caracca, in my garage, in that town, and my average sale was $1850 overnight. And that farmer's wife had more money in the bank than a rich woman in town. She had more money because she didn't spend it on herself. And I just don't believe you can't draw an income from a small town. I don't believe it. And I believe that you will draw whatever you see. So unfortunately, if that's what she believes, and then she finishes it with, even though I believe it, I don't believe it. Don't you agree, now that you know the truth? Now that you have seen, and you can never un-see, out there. I just have to say, it's mindset. Somebody wrote on the Facebook page last night that I challenged Sandra on her blocks yesterday and that they think maybe Sandra wasn't blocked. She just doesn't know how to market herself. From Gina Spearoff Miller, but how can I educate my clients about prints versus disks? Again- This is how I do it. Yeah, what are the words? This is what she's looking for. What are the words? Ask me how much I charge, and then ask me if you can have a CD. Hey, Sue, how much do you charge? My images start at, well, actually, I do a full package for $3,300 dollars. Okay, and could I just get a CD? Well, yeah, you get a CD with it. But can I get a CD by itself? Well, it's $3,300. You might as well get the folio, as well. (audience laughing) 'Cause then, do you know what? You get both. And the cool thing about that is, you don't have to go and print them, 'cause I've already done it professionally for you. You get a beautiful folio box, and you get all of the images on CD so that you can put them on Facebook, Twitter, and print them out and give them to your grandma for Christmas. And you can do that down at the local mart, if that's what you want. Because everything you buy from me, you will get on an electronic CD the size that you bought it without a watermark. You've paid for it, they're your images. With a smile on your face, just like that. (audience laughing) So, Gina, that's the answer to, I don't know the right words to get across that my service and prints are the better way, are way better than the cheap photographers selling basically nothing. Again, who cares what the cheap photographer selling nothing is doing? I care what you are getting. And you are making it about somebody else. Stop making it about everybody else and listen to your own block. Stop blaming other people that don't even exist, 'cause that person is not surviving. We know it. She's certainly not thriving on $235 down there, are you, darling? And the truth is, is at the end of the day, that is the bottom line. I'm not gonna stand here and tell that until you believe that. If you wanna charge $1200 for a folio and they just want the CD, then you can say, oh, don't worry, everything I sell you also comes with a CD. And if they say, but can I just have the CD? Say, but it's $1200. You'll get both. So what they're really saying is, but wouldn't it be cheaper for me to get the CD instead of the prints? The cost is not in the prints. The cost is in creating the images and doing the retouching, which is on the CD. The cost has already been incurred. So however you buy them, you're gonna get both from me. And then flip it immediately to value. You can then take that CD and print as many as you like, 'cause you bought them, and they're yours. You own those. I'm giving you the rights. And all of a sudden, the person sitting there's thinking, I'll own them, and they will be mine. (audience laughing) But if you battle constantly with what you believe is that belief system and blame the industry for it, you are not looking at the single biggest block sitting in front of you, right now, and that is a money block, pure and simple. You don't believe it. If you say it like that, I swear to god that it'll shift in your business. Does anybody have anything to say to that? Good or bad? Manda. I have a question. Stand up. I know I have a few people that we were talking about this the other night, when you're doing the multiple, like four girls, say. And they know that when they buy it, they're gonna get it on a disk. How do you make it so that they don't just buy the few that they all like and get a few of them, and then take the disk and print them for the other three girls? Do you know, does that make sense? When I do the shoots of the three girls, I do one shot of them together. Girls don't buy images of them together. Okay. They buy the individual shots. And I give them the group shot as a freebie. And that's in the marketing challenge that I've got for shooting those girls. I mean, some people were asking me that, too, and we were talking about it. That's perfect, that's a perfect reason. You don't shoot a whole load of girlfriends together. People don't buy that. They buy images of themselves. They do the experience together. And that is the difference. Russ? Okay, so Mich C, right now I'm not using packages, just selling a la carte. Do I have to make packages to increase my average? No, a la carte is the highest way to get paid, because with a la carte, it is quite simply, what they are choosing, it's menu. That is just menu, on the cart, there it is. Choose what you want. In order to up your a la carte, in effect, a la carte is the highest level of selling. This is the highest level of selling, here, because people believe if they have a package, they feel safe that they're gonna get that money. But with a la carte pricing, that's when you have to be really experienced, because this means, I don't know what I'm gonna get. But the irony is, is you're not getting a consistent amount. You're getting an average. So in order to raise that average, you need to either add on, like CD or enlargement or framing. You need to add on something, products, or add on value. Include the makeup, you know. So the only way you can lift your average in an a la carte menu is to take it up with add ons or extras, or if your service is tight, and your experience is incredible, then it stands to reason your average will come up for those two reasons. Because when you offer an incredible service and an incredible session and a high rate of photography, and then you are really following through on an a la carte menu, your referrals will just be consistent. That's how I built my business. I think the packaging is really for that startup photographer, and the a la carte menu is for the serious business. What would those add ons be? A CD, packaging, an upgrade on size of the image. So instead of discounting, you could say, I can make that a bigger size. Framing discount, framing-mounting discount. It would be making the experience better, making the experience bigger, making your session longer, longer in your consultations so they have more personal time, so they really feel like you're attracting that client that's really into the experience. There's a million ways to bring up your value, offering champagne, buying a coffee machine. All those finishing touches that make you feel like you've walked into Gucci in Rome, and the difference between walking into Gucci in Rome and walking into Forever 21 in Seattle. And I bet that you would then feel like you're giving more value. Yes. And then you would believe it. And then you would also feel like you were getting more value, and you were happy to pay for it. So there's ultimate, lots of ways to add value without discounting. But the truth is, is you need to just constantly be monitoring the average cost, 'cause that is what you're earning, regardless of your price list. If you are constantly monitoring your average, now, why when I ask photographers what their average is, they can't tell me? Why don't you know what you're earning? Or do you know and just don't wanna tell anybody? And regardless of your price, you only have three options. You either up your price, up your service, or up your value. And imagine if you did all three. 'Cause that's what I did, and now I'm here. So say I'm that new photographer. Yes. And I don't even know what to include in my packages and how to start building a package, how to start pricing the different ones and how to, how do I find out what people want? Okay, don't ask the people. (audience laughing) Because what people want is not what they buy. What people want is what you tell them to buy. So remember when we were talking in the marketing about the biggest name in telephones. Was it Nokia? Remember when Nokia was the biggest cell phone in the world? The biggest, can't remember if it was Nokia or not. I put it on my keynote for the show reel. Someone out there will know. And basically, they were dominating the world in cell phones. And Steve Jobs brought out the iPhone. And Nokia spent millions of dollars and did an international survey on touchscreen phones. And all the people said, no, we don't want touchscreen phones. So they never made one. Now, a market-driven product can't be driven when the market doesn't know what they want. And Steve Jobs not only decided he knew what we wanted, he decided he would revolutionize what we wanted. And then we all went, well, I love a touchscreen phone, and I would never go back. But we didn't know, 'cause we didn't have one, right? So don't ask your market what they want. And even though there is certain market-driven products, what you offer will be reflected back straightaway. You can adjust it after you decide. So let's say you go, and it's a $600 folio, and you're not getting any bookings, 'cause they're all like, your work's not worth that. You adjust your value, you adjust your service. Still not getting it? Okay, yes, you will. And that means you need to shoot better. There'll be one block there. But once you clear it, it'll be flow. But the truth is, is do not ask your market what they want, 'cause they do not know what they want. I would go for 10 to 20 images, because that is enough for everybody to build an album. 10 to 20 images, for me, is a good number for you to work retouch. It's a good showcase of a shoot. Don't give them more than 20. People are like, I gave 60 images on a folio. I was like, how long did that take you to retouch? What, 12 hours? What are you, stupid? And then I think to myself, you don't blind people with that sort of work. You just give them the 20 best ones. How do I decide which are the best ones? Well, if you don't know that, you should work that out pretty quickly. So I would say 10 to 20 images, and anywhere from 400 to 1200 dollars as a starting price makes me feel comfortable. And you adjust your average immediately and then work out what you're getting. And I will say that with regards to 10 to 20 images, it's one of the hardest things to do when you're a newbie, 'cause all you want is validation for all of them. It's just pathetic, but it's so divine, because it's what we all did. And I daresay, if you say, this is what I'm gonna charge, and this is the package I'm gonna do, I would suggest you do of two things. Three things. I suggest you go and work in a studio, an amazing studio that you respect and admire. Work for free, and wash the floor if you have to. That's what I was prepared to do to become a photographer. I said to my boss when he, Russell Hamlet, I said to my very first boss when he employed me, I will clean the toilet and mop the floor every day if you let me work here. And I did. I worked 10 to 12 hours a day for Russ. Blood, sweat, and tears. I loved my job that much, I was prepared to do it for nothing, you know? And I suggest you go and work in a studio that you admire, even if it's for two weeks so you can work out their system, their value, what they charge, and how they work so that you can base your business on that. Or I suggest you watch Creative Live, because, I mean, free education, there you go. People telling you exactly what to charge, right there and then, and then work on your value and work a system that works for you. And the third one would be go into the industry, or just go and get a full-time job in the industry. If you're that fresh that you're struggling to price your work, it's probably not good enough to sell yet. It's okay to be a newbie. But don't be a newbie and starve. It's okay to have a job and be training in photography, as long as you are moving forward and building a business. And so go and get a job and preferably, go and get a job in the photographic industry. Now, I'll tell you one thing right now to all the fledgling photographers out there. The one complaint I hear from thousands and thousands of photographers is, I wish I could find a retoucher. Is that true? So when I was at my lowest point, at 28, 29, I hated photography. I was struggling. I didn't want to shoot families. I wanted to shoot glamour. I hadn't started my own business. I made an income on the side from teaching photographers how to do Photoshop and doing their Photoshop for them. If that's a way into the industry, then I could find you 100 photographers that would employ you tomorrow. And then you're in with some of the biggest names in all of our country. And if that's not an education in how to run your own business, then maybe you should think about not going into business. 'Cause if you don't wanna know how to educate yourself to business, then you're not interested in it. Tacy says, Sue, thank you for this morning. My 13-year-old daughter came in right when you were discussing self-worth and self-hate. Her response, OMG, mom, is she talking to me? Now I get it. Gosh, that hit me. Wow. You know what, somebody sent me an email yesterday, and I read it to Kenna and Russ, and I just started to cry. And I just, I get amazing emails. God, I get amazing emails. But this one girl sent me an email the other day to say that she's 15 years old, and her mum's a solo mum, and her mum got breast cancer when she was and had a double mastectomy and never told her, 'cause she didn't want to worry her. So she said that she was going away for a week and left her with friends. And she said, my poor mother went and did that on her own with nobody to hold her hand, to be strong for me. Nobody to support her, nobody to hold her hand, and I just cried my eyes out. Ah, and I just think to myself, ah, you know what? Photography's an interesting beast, right, because we capture human emotion. We capture people. Everything that we do is about emotion. Everything that we do is about our reflected self. It attracts a certain type of person, and it's really crazy, and it's an interesting industry, and it's a beautiful industry and one that I've loved for 23 years. But the truth is, is at the end of the day, what we deal in is human nature. We capture human emotion. We freeze it for all time. In fact, one of my all-time favorite sayings that I used in my marketing was, you are someone that I love, and I wanna capture you for all time. So I would show a picture of a mother and daughter, and I'd say, you are someone that I love, and I wanna capture you for all time. And use it, because it is priceless, and it is beautiful, and it's the truth. And thank you, that is the best thing anybody could ever say to me, because I think to myself, at the end of the day, when a 13 year old feels like that, then we can change that. We can change it for our daughters, sisters, nieces, nephews, sons. And that is perfect, 'cause we were talking about business. (audience laughing) That's what it's all about. Right? And money. That's what it's all about. Wow. So, Sue, just wanna take a step back. There are a number of people that didn't fully understand when you were talking about the 10% and that I needed to make a million dollars if I wanted to take home $100,000. Yes. A lot of people had the specific question, I'm just doing it for myself. I don't wanna have any employees, I just wanna be by myself. So why do I need to put 90% back into my business? That seems like a lot. Ah, well, the government takes 30. So that's not yours, anyway, which leaves 60. And then you have to pay your rent, your expenses, your cameras, your backdrops, your insurance, and then you have to pay any contractors, whether you outsource or not. And then you have to advertise and market yourself. And then, if anything happens to your studio, or you wanna upgrade, you then have to go up another level. So that 60 percent's pretty much sitting quite happily in your business. So the idea that you would operate a business the same way you operate your dollar for dollar living, week by week, is laughable. Because if you have no shoots for two weeks, where will the income come from? And it's not in the bank. So you cannot spend your income the way you did when you got a wage, because the thing is with a wage, it's that everybody thinks the same thing. It's gonna be there next Thursday. And then we live like that, and then we have a crisis. And then we look in our bank accounts, and we go, oh, it's not there anymore. And then we have a who moved my cheese scenario. (audience laughing) And somebody writes a book about moving cheese. And I always say when it comes to the crisis or when it comes to the crunch, or when it comes to losing everything or losing your home, not getting insurance for it, when it comes to being at rock bottom, you know who's swimming naked when the tide goes out. And if you're swimming naked and you have not saved, banked that money, and your business doesn't have some income behind it, your income is not there, or you haven't prepared for tax, you're in trouble. That is basic, common sense. I save my tax, I pay it immediately, because I don't wanna get caught out. Do you know how many first businesses don't pay their tax in the first five years? That's why they fail, 'cause they spent too much money and didn't focus on earning more. It's a simple fact. You save your tax, and then you take 20% more, and you put it in a savings account. And that is your business account. Then you pay yourself and all of your auxiliary expenses. And what's left is yours. And so in order to raise that bar, you need to raise your service, your value, your product and everything around it. It's just commerce 101. I loved that discussion, Sue. We could've gone on forever. I was gonna say, we could go on and on and on. It's a powerful discussion. And you know how many but what if emails I'm gonna get now? But what if, but what if. And there is no what if. It's a bottom line. It's same as self hate, apathy, victim, negative voice, small thinking, same thing, bottom line. What about repeat clients? When I go home and redo my pricing structure and raise them up, what about those clients that come back, and they're expecting to see the $450 with a CD? Ah, you have two choices. You could either offer them, only, a $450 CD for repeat business, if they give away 10 of your vouchers to their friends, because they're repeat clients, so they really liked you and they were prepared to spend more money with you. I'll give you the same deal if you help market me. How's that? Yeah. And then, don't tell anybody that I charged you 450. Tell them all that I charged you 1250. And then those people that come in will come in on your recommendation, on 1250, and thank you so much for being a repeat client. And I'm prepared to look after you like that every year for the next five years that I'm here in business. Awesome. Because you mean a lot to me, and you came back. Thank you. There's always a way, people. There's always a way. You must open your mind. Expand it to positive thinking instead of what you don't have. Stop seeing lack, stop seeing scarcity, see abundance and then make abundance out of it. There's no such thing as a free lunch. The best business advice I got was this. The richest man I know in Australia that is one of the most talented portrait photographers looked at me, and he said to me, Sue Bryce, in the next three years, I see you at the forefront of international photography. I went like this. (laughs) What? And he goes, yeah, I just wanted to tell you that. And I was like, me? I'm in my garage. And he's like, yeah, don't worry. I'm not worried about you. He goes, I just wanna give you some advice. I said, okay, what is it? He goes, what's in it for me? And I was like, hm? And he said, every transaction you do in your business, I want you to say in your mind, what's in it for me? So I can give you a CD for $450. But what's in it for me? What are you gonna give me? I'm happy to charge you the original price, 'cause I like you. You've come back. How about you do something for me. There's no such thing as a free lunch. There is an even exchange, left for leaving, right for receiving. There is an even exchange, 50-50. And if you hand it off and ask for it back and then receive gratefully, you will be abundant. That is just a fact. So thank you very much. I'm happy to charge you $450. I'm so glad you're gonna give away these people. And you're not gonna give them 10 vouchers and let them walk out the door. They're gonna give you 10 names. You're gonna write a personal card from your clients and send it directly to that person.

Class Materials

bonus material

Business Checklist
Keynote Part 1
Keynote Part 2
Posing Guide: Set Map and Outfit
Posing Guide: Flow Posing
Posing Guide: Couples Posing
Posing Guide: Curves
Posing Guide: Teen Posing
Posing Guide: Family Posing
Posing Guide: Over 50 Demographic
Posing Guide: Beauty Shot
Posing Guide: Posing Men
How It Works
Styling and Wardrobe

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

I have purchased four of Sue's courses and love them all. I have learned so much. I found the lesson on connecting with people thru their eyes has made a huge difference in my photos already. Her before and after's made me cry. I want to be able to take these kinds of photos for my family and friends. I just love what she does. She is such a great teacher. I learn much better seeing things done, so this was the perfect choice for me to learn. I love Sue's humor, her honesty, her detailed teaching and sweet and wonderful personality. Her sessions will or should not disappoint anyone. It is the best money I have ever spent on self-help teaching. Thanks a million creative live. You GOTTA LOVE SUE!


Pure gold. Sue Bryce is likable, talented, funny, and an amazing teacher. She calls you on your BS (your excuses for why you aren't succeeding), gives you business, posing, marketing, pricing and LIFE advice. The class is 58 hours long - and you spend the majority of it looking right over her shoulder, through her lens and watch her walk through many, many photoshoots. She verbally and clearly repeats several critical formulas for success so it's imprinted in your mind. Her advice is crystal clear and your photography will dramatically improve after this class. Before Creative Live, you'd NEVER have had the opportunity to shadow a photographer of her quality... hands down the best photography class I've ever taken.


I have just began this course and I am excited to see how following her model will help me to improve and get my business started. I have been through the first two days and there is lots of information to absorb and things to get in order before I begin the actual challenges. I am thankful that there are photographers out there who are will to reveal there secrets ad are truly invested in others improving themselves in all aspects of their life and not just their photography skills. Thanks Sue Bryce for your passion for empowering woman and your knowledge of creating and sustaining a business by being true to who you and commitment to the improvement of others! I am excited to grow myself and my business, I am confident this will be worth every penny! Were the templates for the email PDF included in this course

Student Work