Second Weekly Q&A Session
First, I just want to make a comment to everyone out there 'cause you were just showing me before we started, The Natural Light Challenge that you gave to our 28 Dayers out there. That you asked them to send in images, correct? Of their natural light work and my goodness. Not only was Sue blown away when them, I was blown away. You guys are rocking it. You are knocking it out of the park. There were some images in there where I said to Sue, "Are you sure those aren't yours?" That is what this program is all about right?
Right? So you're going to be blogging those? Is that correct?
Yes. I'm going to collage them because I've got over 200, so.
There were some that I couldn't use. They were either too small, or, or something was wrong with them--
But, I'm going to blog as many as I can and collage them and list the names. So, if you see your name come up then obviously, you know.
Share that out.
If you see your name on there, if you see your name ...
on Sue's blog, kudos and congratulations.
But just so you can see the progress of how well everyone is doing.
Also, InBedWithSue is the private group. People are posting hourly, like, it is going--
I can't keep up with that thread. It is going so fast. It is nearly 9,000 people in there and the feedback amongst you is incredible.
That's what I love is the interaction--
That people are having within there.
It's a good group.
It's a big community.
Big community. If you search for InBedWithSue on Facebook--
You'll find that.
InBedWithSue, one word.
Right. Alright, so let's get going.
Let's get going. So, I'm going to start, Sue, with questions from Day 8 which is Rules: Hourglass, Body Language, and Asymmetry.
So, we'll start with those and I have a question from Susan Carmody who says, "I'm finding it a bit challenging to get some clients "to relax through the shoulders. "Especially those that seem to have a bad hunching posture, "which is quite a few. "My specific struggle is the face." I'm sorry, is, um. "Or any tips on how to work this area "to get a longer, more elegant neckline."
Okay, so, the biggest problem is everybody has a default sitting. So, if I said to Kenna, "Sit up nice and tall "and drop your shoulders back and down "and then push your chin towards me." If I tell Kenna to do that, inevitably, as soon as I pick up my camera, she defaults back into a sitting position. So, then I'll say, "Kenna, lift up nice and tall. "Push your shoulders down, bring your chin forward." Then, inevitably, as soon as I start shooting again, she will default. Everybody defaults back into their comfortable neck and so I when I shoot, I pick up the camera and I'll say, "Okay, lifting up nice and tall. "Kenna, lifting up nice and tall, "push your shoulders down, "just drop your chin towards me, "okay, stay there, hold that, Kenna. "Hold that. "Push those shoulders down, Kenna. "Stay nice and tall. "Keep those shoulders back. "Relax your mouth. "Okay, I can see your shoulders rolling back, "Kenna, so hold them." I never stop talking. I reset, reset, reset. Don't let them default just constantly talk and make them hold it and you have to make them. People get frustrated. They're like, "I'm not getting this right." It's like, "You're doing so good, you're doing so good. "I've just got to hold you in this position," or I'll do this, lift up nice and tall, Kenna. Drop your shoulders. Bring your chin forward. Stop. Now, a lot of people can hold that, but for the ones that default, I have to keep talking.
That's great 'cause that is so successful when I've been on the other side of your camera.
Yes, and it stops.
It's a constant.
As soon as I see it,
Yeah. I'm like, "Stop."
That's it. Stop. Don't move, don't move, don't move. Good girl, push your chin forward. It's the same thing, I'm just assertive and I'm consistent.
Fantastic, thank you. So, Tatiana Kay says, "Hi, Sue and thank you for 28 Days, love it. "Question on poses, you've covered virtually everything, "that is true, but posing on the floor, "the shot from above, women request it a lot. "My specific struggle is the face. "Any advice here on how to keep the face oval, defined?"
Yes, lying on the floor, looking up, you need to role a towel, about this size, and put it behind the head so the head is elevated off the floor and then they can lift their chin up and over. You cannot tell it's elevated from above, but it just pushes the chin up. Otherwise, they sink straight back into a laying position. It does not work. So, just, fold a hand towel or a smaller towel or a thick scarf or even cardigan or sweater. Just roll it into a ball and just lie it across the back of the neck and the back of the head and it just pops the whole head up and forward and it hurts them, but they have to push their chin up and forward. A tip is, in order to do that, you have engage your abdominals 'cause you can't hold your neck without strong abs, so you just talk them through that and say, "Hold it." Be really quick, and then let them relax and be really quick.
Great, thank you.
Okay, a question from Shelly Porchetti, "Still struggling with the hands. "When I demonstrate, the client thanks they get it, "then they look totally clunky. "Do you have any more tips, tricks, or elaborations?"
Some people, I cannot bring their hands into the image. I cannot, they just do not have good hands. Just remember this, if Kenna's hand is here and it's towards the camera, so put your hand out towards me. The first thing I'll do is walk up and just turn it sideways like that. I think sometimes a sideways hand is a lot better than a front on hand and even if it's rigid, it's going to be better, or I remove the hand altogether or I'll just say, "Sit up nice and tall. "Bring your chin forward, relax your hands. "Sit up nice and tall, chin forward. "Hold that, Kenna. "Relax your hands, okay, remember to relax your hands." You've just got to reset, people will just default back, so they default. So, you're there to direct their pose. The whole point is that you are resetting it. Do I repeat myself? A thousand times.
Lift up nice a tall. Relax your shoulders, bring your chin forward, relax your hands. That's great, Kenna. Hold that, hold that. Push your chin towards me, push your chin towards me. Relax your hands. Good girl, stop. Relax your hands. Just keep saying it. They'll keep doing it and then they'll default back to it.
And just expect that.
And then, it'll just, you'll...
And it's confidence.
When you're posed and you're assertive and confident, people feel very confident with you, yeah.
Alright, great. Let's move on to Day 9, just so we can make sure we get through all of them. Styling and Wardrobe. So, from Collette Mruk or from Cara Broughton, "First, this is the best use of money "I've spent in my life, so thank you." Awesome, we love to hear that. "Question, could you give a brief list of what details "for wardrobe to go over in the pre-consult "when preparing clients for what to wear. "I'm starting with asking them "what they want to be photographed, "but when it comes to the ladies who don't know "how they want they want to be photographed. "When it comes to the ladies who don't know, "I am struggling in guiding them "since I am myself am just learning "the ins and outs of styling and wardrobe."
No, but everybody knows how they want to be photographed. That's not true. So, if somebody says, "I don't know," they are lying to you. So you go two places here, get online, get on the internet, Google, or Pinterest, any images you love, so I can get an idea of how you want to be photographed or go to my website gallery and have a look at everything that I've photographed and tell me what you like on my website. Those are the two things that you do. As soon as they identify with the shot, then you identify with the style and how they want to be photographed. I did not want to put a list of clothes up and there are basic rules. I don't like patterns, I don't like florals, but that's my personal choice. So, what I decided to do last night, was I started to write a list of my favorites and I am gonna make a PDF for that because so many people said, "Well, I know it's personal, "but could you tell us what you like." So, I talked to Aaron the producer and I said, "Look, I've got to write some more PDFs," 'cause I feel like I had to wait to get the feedback
In order to add on and there are now 11 PDFs going on this week--
That I have to work on throughout the evening. So, be patient with me. I'm still shooting, I've got three more days of shooting and I work until about 10 at night just trying to get everything out of my brain onto these PDFs so I can save them and give them to you and that is one of them. I'm gonna show you, tell you, my list of things, but really, it's about serving the client and guiding them. Fitted outfits always work best. Colors, primary colors. I'll put my faves and a few other tips on there, but yeah, Google, Pinterest, and my gallery and anybody who says, "I don't know how I want to be photographed," is not being honest. They always know.
They always, oh, then I'd ask one question, "Are you quite casual? "Are you a jeans?"
I don't own a pair of jeans, so I would, if you told me to bring jeans to a shoot, you haven't ask me who I am. You know, I would say,
I wear a lot of black.
I have never seen you in jeans.
Yeah. So, if somebody says I wear a lot of black, Then I would say, "Cool, you need to bring me "five different necklines and a white top "or a different color. "You can't bring five black outfits." So, you must ask, "How do you dress? "How would you like to be photographed? "Do you want to be quite glamorous? "Do you want to dance?"
"Do you want lingerie? "Be brave, bring it anyway. "You don't have to get it, so."
Then do you, do you talk about the tools or the pieces that you already might have at your studio?
Yes, and I've done it in my scripting with Jen--
But I will do more of that on the PDF, in fact, I thought I might script out that exact... phone call--
So, maybe you can practice that, so, that will just take me a few more days. That's all.
I bet the internet would love that.
You are giving it all. Okay, I'm going to skip to Day 11: Posing and Shooting Groups of 2, 3, and 4.
Let's see. So, a question is from, uh, let's see, I'm gonna skip that one. Okay... Daphne Chan, Daphne, hey Daphne. "My questions are about the mother and daughter shoots. "What is the most affective way to market them? "Do you market to mothers knowing "they will pay for their daughter's shoot?"
Okay, stop. The mother and daughter challenge is not out yet--
And the marketing challenges are not out yet, so there are four marketing challenges coming for all four shopping demographics.
Plus, mother and daughter shoot and they are full detail on marketing specifically to those demographics so they are so detailed it's crazy. Just to that demographic.
I'm looking forward to that one. Okay, question on curves. Curves. "How do you photograph a dancing curvy girl? "In my recent shoot, we she turned sideways to the camera her arms looked really big and the dress made her look heavier.
Okay, so, if the dress makes her look heavier, you need to and you are dancing then there's two things you can do, one of them is to trim and contour her waist in Photoshop and the other one is to trim and contour her arms in Photoshop. So, I'm not talking about surgery or weight loss. I'm just talking about defining a simple arm bump at the back, taking that down and just defining her waist. So, it's no different that shooting someone leaner. She's not expecting to look like a size zero dancer, she just wants a beautiful shot and if she's curvy and she's moving like that and you don't have so much control, keep the arms ways from the body, keep the movement. Keep lots of shape in the hips, so that you get some sway and then just a slight trim. There's a challenge coming out on contouring bodies on Photoshop which is something that I do really well. So, that will be really enjoyable, but yeah. It's the same thing when people say, "Could I pose a curvy girl in this pose?" Yes, she would just look curvier. But you remember the rules, she's got to lift up, it's about posture, long neck, open her shoulder and create waist.
It's got to go out and out.
So, whatever movement it is.
Whether it's dancing--
Or standing still?
Sitting, leaning, reclining. Push the booty back, lots of shape, then use that shape and enhance it.
And you would coach the person while they are moving and dancing?
Always, direct and coach.
Fantastic, okay, a--
And another good tip if they are in outfit if they've got bigger arms is I use lots of scarves, wraps, and fabrics around the arms 'cause I just think it looks better. It defines the shoulder, it trims the arms and it looks really beautiful. If they don't want that, if they've got good arms and you've just got them on a bad position, just trim it on Photoshop. Just slightly, just enough for her to like it.
Alright. Pricing. Products and price list.
This is always a big topic. Uh, Redhead April, "Pricing, when you said new photographers "should charge $400 for their lowest package, "what would you include in that package? "Seems like not enough to charge to provide a product."
"It seems like not enough to charge to provide a product."
So, in addition to, say, is that just the sitting fee or is there a product included in that $400.
Just so we're clear, about 90 people emailed me over the weekend with their price list and they had a price list that ranged from $150 to $260. We talked about this.
We didn't know what to charge when we were newbie photographers.
I charged $150 for a shoot, you charged a $
Yep. for a shoot.
And I gave people images on disk.
The whole thing?
Images on CD? This is ridiculous. The minimum should be 400. The minimum, be a minimum. So, when she says that doesn't seem enough, for her that is not enough. If that's your package, that is not enough. 20 years ago, in the studio, as you will see on the corporate headshot, we were charging $300 for three images, on a, three images, not on a CD. Three images for corporate looks. That was 20 years ago. $300 was what we charged back then. People are charging half that price now, 20 years later. This is ridiculous. When I set that starting point, I meant if you are new and you are starting to charge for the first time, you're starting point should come in at 400, 900, 1,250, 1,600, 1,850, 2,300. I gave the points of how I went up, but nobody should be charging less than $400 in a professional industry.
Just for the experience?
No, not for the experience, for the package. People are charging a $153.
But what would you have--
For a CD.
Right, in that package?
Whatever you want to give away but you must start at least at 400.
I don't care what people give as long as they are valuing our craft enough to be in at least the 400 range.
'Cause if they are not, they're not a professional standard. So, whether you are giving 10 images on a CD, or, I would rather you give 10 images for 400 bucks then 30 images for 150.
I mean, please, at least 400. I would prefer 900 to be industry standard, but at 400 is where you're at, then start there.
Excellent, thank you for clarifying.
Okay, from Kim Ortiz wants to know, "Why do you not require a minimum?" For your products?
'Cause that tells people that that is all that they'll spend. I would rather provide the maximum than the minimum, because if you say minimum order is 900, or minimum order is 450, maximum is 4,500, all they hear is 450. I would rather leave that open and say, "My best package is 3,300. "I want you to go towards that. "If I can't take images that are good enough "for you to want that full package then you can buy less." But why would I say, "You're minimum order is," It's like brainwashing. That's all you're going to spend. That's all you have to spend.
And to me, it's a limit. It's a limit I don't want to put on my sale.
I love that idea of saying the top package because I don't think I've ever heard that as a suggestion before.
Well, I'll just say it. My images start at 275--
My packages start at 1250, my most sold package is 3,300. The reason it is the most sold package is it comes with hair and makeup for the day, a location, beautiful outfits, a folio box, a CD of everything in an enlargement of your choice. It is my most popular package 'cause it is my most desired and plump value package and if I focus on that--
Then I am taking them to my high end, not going, "You can't spend less than $450," 'cause that's just focusing on scarcity instead of--
The best package I have.
Fantastic. That's super helpful. Okay, a question about your vouchers, from Amy W. Photo, "If someone has a voucher and brings in her friend, "is the $100 credit applied to both? "Is it split or does only one person get the credit?"
That's your choice. I apply it to both because as far as I'm concerned, I'm selling to two women.
If they are a mother and daughter, it only applies to them as a package.
Then, I offer them mother and daughter special which you're gonna see in mother and daughter marketing. However, if it's two separate girls, then I will just say, "I'm going to give you that $100 credit to both of you," and they always are like, "Wow, thank you. That's amazing."
Also, Maryann asked on my Facebook page yesterday, you said in the scripting to Jen that the gym has paid for your shoot and that doesn't sit will with her. I didn't lie. The gym has paid for her shoot, you don't know what the gym paid me to advertise to my clients, so that's not a lie at all and if that doesn't sit well with you, don't say it. If you have not paid, or they have not paid for it, you are giving it away for free. Don't say it, but they do not know, you do not know and when I market to the gym, I say to them, "I tell your clients "that you've paid for this. "It has a dollar value on it "and I let your clients think that you've paid for this." What they pay me for that service is not your business. It's not my client's business, but if I say that, I'll say it honestly. I don't lie about it. I just don't say how much they've paid for it. Good one.
Excellent, excellent. Okay, a question from Allison Ortner, again about pricing, and we do see a lot of our audience who shoots different genres and so her question is, "As one who shoots and markets to different genres, "creating a non-confusing price list is very confusing. "Is it okay to have different product and price sheet "for each genre I shoot as long "as the à la carte prices are basically the same? "For example, I shoot grads who only want wallets, "families where the moms want albums, "and I'm guessing glamour has something different."
Well, families and glamour should be exactly the same, for starters. Grads, definitely different. You need to create a PDF price list for each one of your genres and that's a really great way to open a conversation and dialogue with your client 'cause you'll simply say, "What sort of photo shoot do you want?" and they will say, "I want a family shoot," say, "Well, I'll send you my family portrait price list." Keep them separate if you want, but family and glamour shouldn't be different. Why would you charge a different price for a portrait just because it's a different genre. I've been in a portrait studio for 23, nearly 24 years in August, I have never charged a different price to shoot a newborn as I have a teenager, to shoot an older person, to shoot a glamour session, to shoot an engagement session, to shoot a family. I have an à la carte portrait price and it is the same price for everybody. I honor that because my work is exactly the same, it's just a different client. So, definitely, keep it the same. If you can and if you can't, design multiple genre PDF and open that discussion.
Okay. Fantastic, thank you. A question from Brenda Bachelor Jankowski, about wall art not folios, and this is just a, kind of a specific question. "When you offer the 11x14 print, "is that the finished size or is that the size of the print "that is put into a larger frame?"
It's the print size. The print is 11x14. I sell prints. Whatever they do with them after is entirely up to them. So if they frame it, that's entirely them. If they want a big frame, little frame, no frame, acrylic, mounted, matted canvas, that's up to them. I just sell a print size. So, 11x14 is 11x14 inch print.
Great, thank you. I saw another question about, um, why 7x10 instead of 8x10.
Because 7x10 is the first image on my price list which I addressed in Product and Pricing.
Great. A question from, um, let's see, continued on from Brenda, "When you give the digital images for the nine up, "do you give all the nine images sized at 4x "or one large with all of them together as it is "in the digital composite."
Okay, it's not a digital composite. It's nine photographs framed. I don't care how you put that together. You can take nine individual photographs or you can, I wouldn't load it into one, because then they have to try and kind of mat around it. It's so much easier just to hang, mount nine photographs and the fame I've currently got cut is 5x7. The whole is 5x7 inches. So, however you do that, you're framer will just take nine prints. What they get on CD is what they've purchased. So, if there is nine 5x7's, then on the CD, there will be nine 5x7's. That's it, yeah.
Thank you. Okay, another pricing question from Bridget Lopez, "How do you respond to clients, past or new, "politely, yet confidently, when they squeal "at your pricing and try to negotiate it." Maybe you don't have that anymore, but what would your advice be for people who do?
They squealed at my price list for years.
Years and years and years and when I dealt with it, they stopped squealing. So, when I stopped delivering from a place of lack, they started to stop, they just stopped asking. So, my work became desirable, my packages became valuable, and I used to deliver my price list from a place of complete fear. As soon as I started to say confidently, "My folios start at 1,250," nobody looked at me and went, "What?" And the only person who needs to shift that is you and don't tell me it's your clients. It comes from the way you say it, the way you deliver it, the way you address it, the way you present it. You're the one with the problem. Trust me, I have seen this hundreds of times in studios. You shift your value on your prices and your clients shift too. It's just an energy that you're emitting when you are saying what you're worth and you don't believe it and anybody who says that's not true, well, I've seen it for 23 years, and I'm sorry but it's my truth. Seen it, seen it a billion times.
I can feel that right now.
A subject that you are very passionate about, excuse me, and for those of you who have not yet watched Sue's segment on fear,
That was from the first two days when we did the kick off for this 28 Days program. It's posted on your blog.
It's on YouTube.
It's posted on, right,
on the course pages as a free watch, and I think that, it's so funny because in essence what you're saying is simple. Like that, you--
it just has to come from you and yet we all fret over this issue of valuing myself and my pricing and I wanna just say, Sabine here says the same thing, "Fear, fear, fear, Day 13. "How do I get over my fear to change the prices? "Our group on Facebook is full of fear. "My heart beats to extreme, "new messages indicate that people change "and they lost customers."
Change prices. You might lose customers that were used to your old price list, but that's your belief. What about the new customers? I don't know many photographers that are actively pursuing their current database. So, when they tell me they are losing customers, most of them are lying to me, because I do marketing talks and when I tell people, "Hey, what are you doing "with your current database?" Not one photographer has ever put up their hand and said, "I'm marketing to my current database." So, the only person who believes that is you. You're the one doing that. You're the one pushing away old clients. So, you're the one focusing on old clients. That is not true and the new customer that comes to you that has never heard your price list before, you're the one that's making a big deal out of it. Stop making a big deal out of it. Get out of your own bloody way for five minutes, deliver the value of what you're worth with a true heart, and everybody will want to buy your product. You don't want into Agent Provocateur, walk up to the counter, pick out a corset for $900, and then walk up and go, "What? "This is $900?" You just don't go into Agent Provocateur if you can't afford that. You might go in there and dream of owning a Agent Provocateur corset because you know it's $ and you're like, "One day, you will be mine." But you don't make a scene about it. The only person who is making a scene about it is the person who doesn't believe it's worth it and that is you. Yeah. You.
Amen. I'll say that again and again and again because this truly is one of people's biggest issues.
It was mine.
Yeah, it was mine.
I made no money and you know what, my work didn't get better. It didn't change. Everybody thinks if I shoot better, if I shoot better, if I shoot better, just change your value. You can do it. Yeah, go on my blog. Go on the course page, watch the video on fear.
Exactly, for the
more, the how's.
And if you bought the course, go to the first two days after fear, I did pricing. You know, pitch. Pitch from
enthusiasm not fear. It's a lie.
Right. Whew, a topic you are passionate about. I love it, I love it. (laughs) Okay, a question about, um, let's move on to Day about marketing a shooting the before and after.
I had a question, a quick question about whether you do before and afters for teen girls.
And do you market it that way?
Yes, yep. Everybody gets a before and after. And if I do a mother and a little daughters, I'll do the before and after together. I'm going to--
Post some more images on my blog about before and after when I blog this week because I've got some more feedback from the before and after and I'd like to show some more that I've got.
Great, that's fabulous.
Thank you. From Cara Broughton who says, "I've just finished watching the challenge "on before and afters, you mention that everyone "has to sign a model release. "Just wondering how you deal with people who resist this. "Do you ever agree to limit the use of their images, "but have them sign anyway, "or is just firm policy and how would you nicely put it?"
Hi, Kenna, welcome. Come in. Put your bags down. This is our studio, this is our fabulous makeup artist, who ever that is, blah blah blah. Before we get started with your hair and makeup, I'm going to take a before shot of you and here is your model release to sign. They sit down, they sign their model release. I don't even get questions about it. To me, it is not a thing. If you make it a thing, then yes. If they look at the model release and I go, "This gets emailed to you." If anybody ever questions it, I say, "You're welcome to read it. It actually protects me not you because obviously when you commission someone to take your portraits, they own them. So, your signing the rights to me. If there is any reason that you do not want your images online, we'll just make a note that I will show you the images first and that is a curtesy that I grant everybody. I would never put anything online until I've showed you first. I would also never show anything to anybody that you haven't purchased and everything you've purchased, usually everyone wants to show off. So, I just keep it as not an issue.
So, to me it's safe, everybody signs. I've never had anybody not sign. If they do not sign the copyright, I cannot photograph them. It is that simple. I would just have to say, "I'm so sorry, "but without that copyright, "I have no protection to my business. "You can just help your self to my work "and I can't photograph you." That's what I would say.
It's such a theme that I'm hearing for you, Sue, is that saying it with confidence and not creating an issue.
So, practice it.
Because, yeah, exactly. I mean, go a practice what Sue just said. Make notes of that because when you say it, I just believe you, whereas if I were to say to you, "Excuse me? Can you please sign this release?
Um, so I've got this, um, so, there's a model release,
and it says that, you know, like, we can use your before and after, and put, obviously, you know, and people stutter through stuff and they come across as meek and people look at them, and you know, most people being photographed are quite nervous. So, they're already coming in in a state of nervousness, so they're going to watch you and if they don't feel safe straight away, they're go to, you know, it's a really important energy to take control of very early on. You're in charge, you're in charge of posing, you're in charge of directing, you're in charge of sales, you're in charge of what they bought, you're in charge of your studio, your space, your camera, your makeup artist. Nobody ever messes with me on that area. This is my space, I own this space, thank you very much. You know, I'll do it confidently. I do it assertively and I do it with a full belief that I know what to do, so if you own that nobody will ever challenge that anyway.
Just like any other business.
Like any other business--
Any business you own
you're the boss.
Act like it.
Right. I love it. Love it, tough love here. Okay, Christina Chapola is asking, is having trouble with explaining or convincing clients to show the before and after picture.
Yeah, I don't have that. I do my viewing, I say, "This is your before and after. "I can't wait, can I put this on my before and after page?" Never had a no and that's how I say it. I love this before and after. Don't make the before look bad. Advertise with before and afters and then they'll expect it.
Mhmm, that's the key to--
Take the before, the before shot first and then they know it's there. Show it to them at the viewing and show it to them once and then move on to their afters, so that they get comfortable and make it a good before and after and everyone will be happy showing it.
Alright, sounds good.
Remember it's a fresh beauty image. It is not a, "Ew, isn't she hideous and now she's hot?" It is just like a beauty shot. Hair's back in a bun, shoulders straight, passport photograph, no direction, eyes to the camera.
Fantastic. Okay, (clears throat) excuse me.
I can hear the boys laughing.
(laughing) Alright. I just wanna, shout out a few people. Sky is saying, "Sue, you are the best. "Thank you so much for all that you are doing. "I just love this, this workshop "is the best thing I ever bought."
Little White Doggy has said, "Thanks for clarifying for me, Sue. I'm blushing now."
For whichever question that was.
Do not blush.
Just go and deliver.
No more blushing, you can do it.
Alright, I'm gonna now go back to Day 8 as we have more--
Questions coming through. I think I know what the answer to this is gonna be, but from Elisa Cicinelli, "How do you handle a chatty client," very chatty, with an emphasis, "who knows what her best side is?"
Nobody knows what their best side is. I can pose people right down to the last hair an eyelash on their face right down to where they look and I cannot pose myself in front of a camera. Take control and you know what?
That's what I thought the answer was gonna be.
Yeah, take control. The first thing I would say to someone is, "Lip's together." They can't talk with their lips together, so if they keep talking, it's like, Kenna, shh. Be still. Lift up nice and tall, lips together. Bring your chin forward, eh, shh. Kenna, be quiet.
Blah, blah, blah.
Mhmm, shh, zip it.
Kenna, psst, I'm in charge.
(laughs) Zip it. (laughs)
Just tell them to be quiet. Okay, let me go, let me take control, let me take control. 'Cause, why do they chatter? 'Cause their nervous and their nervous 'cause you're not talking and if you can't get a word in edgewise, then go, "Okay, stop, lift up nice and tall. "Listen to me, lips together, uh, shh." I've walked up to clients, with a tissue and said, "Spit out your gum."
And I'll, throw it out in the bin, uh, psst.
Again, it's directing.
And they respect you for that.
Assertive control because as soon as you take control they stop being nervous.
Right, I like it.
I like it. Okay, a question, for, from Lorie Houghton, "I have had a couple of shoots in the very past few weeks "where the woman, the women have an idea "of what their sexy look is."
Yeah, again, no they don't.
(laughs) "However, there is no expression "in their eyes, really, when they give this look, "so I get some nice shots, but there's no life. "We talk through the shoot and laugh "and I even ask for different expressions, "but as soon as their attention is back on the fact that I'm taking pictures, this look comes from them again,
Don't stop talking.
So, I can talk to you and you can give me real expressions but when my camera comes up, you're looking at my camera and not me, but you're still listening to my voice. So, if I can hold Kenna's gaze and say, "Kenna, look at me, look at me, "look at me, look at me, eyes to me, now keep looking at me, "give me a little bit more in the eyes, Kenna, "a little bit more in the eyes, Kenna, "a little bit more in the mouth, Kenna, "keep going, keep going, you know, drop those shoulders, "relax those hands, push your chin forward, "keep looking at me like that." Just don't stop talking because they are too busy listening to think about their own expression, so as soon as the camera comes up, do not stop directing.
A theme again, a theme again. Okay, a question from Danielle Tee on before and afters, "Do you have, "do you have two agreements, "the model release and the portrait contract?"
Uh, the portrait contract is the sales contract. Sales contract is not signed until they purchase their images. The model release is in order to protect yourself in order to photograph them, so you own the copyright of the images and that you can use them without getting sued. Two different things.
Great, but again, that portrait contract is not signed until they--
Until the sale.
Are actually purchasing.
Okay, from Christina Chapola again, "Styling and wardrobe, "I have collected quite a few gowns to offer clients "on top of what they bring in themselves,"
Awesome. "How do you make sure that each client "does not pick the same gown over and over "or is that an issue?"
You can't. If they want to wear the red gown, then the red gown is in your wardrobe. I don't want to clone people, but I love that people are starting to identify with images and say, "I dream of having a red dress shot." They won't just wear the red dress, so you can still use it in your marketing and advertising, but of course if they're gonna use the same dress, then that's going to happen. There's nothing you can do about that. Just shoot it and sell it and use their other images in your folio.
I mean people want what they want. I'm quite happy to photograph the same woman in the same dress 50 times and sell it 50 times and make, you know, $25,000 from a dress. I'm okay with that. I just won't show it 50 times on my website.
I'll show other images from that shoot. So, you've just got to coach them to bring the right clothes and then you can have a catalog of the wardrobe that you have, but just make sure that their, often I'll do skirts, so they can bring a different bodice and then their different bodice makes it look entirely different. Accessorize, but don't clone.
Great, I just wanna give Cara a shout out who puts in a comment, she said, "I did a two day display and listened to Sue "in between the two days, "the first day people left, I was apologetic. "The second day I sold it from a place of pride "and excitement and I got three bookings "and not one complaint."
Outstanding, yeah, pride and excitement. How could you possibly market your business from a place of scarcity and fear--
And feeling apologetic.
And feel apologetic for what you do? I'm not going to apologize for what I do. There is people in this world that probably think $3,000 for portraits is disgusting. There was a time where I thought $3,000 was disgusting, that's why I didn't make any money. I had to learn, in order to build wealth and make money, that I had to value what I did. If you don't value what you do, you won't make any money doing it. It is that simple and until you value yourself, nobody else will. Until you value yourself, Nobody. Else. Will. Simple.
And the worst thing is, is we have these massive egos so you're not going to value yourself, you're not going to build wealth for your family and feed your family and have a good, healthy life. Although, you're quite happy to look at other people and say, "You're a better photographer." So, you're quite okay to have a massive ego, but you're not okay to value yourself through that ego and say, "I am good, "I'm good enough in my industry, "Joe Blogs charges $8,000, I'm going to charge four "because that sits comfortably with me "and I give an incredible service and incredible product, "but more importantly, I do what I love "and nobody will ever stop me from doing that "and I enjoy doing it, "because it comes from my heart and soul.
Excellent, and you will say that over and over until each and every one of us--
Believes it for our selves.
Because I had to and nothing changed for me until I did.
Yep, excellent. Okay, a question from Allison Ortner on befores and afters, "Some of us, blonde, fair head women "look really different without makeup "and are very self conscious "to be photographed with out any. "Would you allow for a tiny bit of mascara "and eyebrow pencil for those very squirmish women?"
Um, no, because it makes the before and after better, but in saying that, I want to photograph my client in a way that they feel good. So, if they get their base foundation on and maybe a little bit of mascara, then, yes, I would photograph them again, but ultimately, at the end of the day, if you do that confidently, people are okay with their before and after. You don't need to shoot somebody with no hair and makeup on in an ugly way. Just in a clean, beauty style way. Just like I show you in Before and After. I mean she still looks beautiful, the girl that I photographed in the before and after, Kim, and I'm going to post her afters too, this week, and they are so gorgeous. I can't wait to show you her shoot. We did film it, actually. We filmed her whole shoot as an extra bonus video.
Great, okay, question from Teddy, on Day 13: Products and Prices, who, "If you could just clarify, "if we do the package with model, "are you saying that we just not also "offer loose prints at all? "I'm trying to wrap my brain around that."
Mhmm, okay, so. Definitely a paradox there because I say, "My images start at $275, "my folios start at $1,200, "but my best package is $3,300." So, I'm ultimately selling that biggest package although I'm not a package based photographer. I'm an à la carte based photographer, so I do both. I want you just to set your minimum price, so if you feel comfortable as a package photographer, where you want to know how much your going to earn, so my packages are 900, 1,600, 2,400, if that's where you feel safe and comfortable, then that's a good starting point for you. A lot of photographers don't want to move into à la carte pricing until they feel comfortable, because if you à la carte price from $75, chances are, there is a minimum purchase of $75. Then, if you're an à la carte prices, and you have a minimum purchase, so you say, "My images start at $75, "and I have a minimum ordering of $450." You're contradicting yourself because your saying, "I will sell images for $75, "but you can't spend less than $450." Why not just create a package where your minimum order is $450. Tell me what you feel comfortable being paid. Challenge that in yourself. You're the one that's setting the price. You're the one that's telling me what you're worth, you're the one telling me what you're value is. If you don't make that very clear, then you're gonna get a lot of confused clients. So, I do both, but I'm quite comfortable, that if I do a shoot and they buy one image and it's only $275, then I'm okay with that. It never happens to me now, but if it does happen, I'm okay with it.
Thank you for clarifying.
I want, yeah, yeah. Very important.
That's very helpful. Very helpful. Okay, question from Jame J.J. Me Photo, about pricing, "Could you please describe your "deposit and paying structure? "Do they pay by card, cash, etc.? "Do you take the deposit on their second viewing? "Or should be retouch on the day "and show the clients and take a deposit?"
I don't not take any money for my shoots until they are in their sale session. Once they're in their sale session, I then do this and I'm gonna do a challenge on sales, it's coming out in the last week, basically you're going to see my points. I was given three amazing pieces of advice that took me from $400 average to 1,800 over night and that was and that's what I'm going to show you in the sales challenge, but the best part was is how I learned to close a sale. So, I hear a lot of pitchy sales people teaching and none of it sat comfortably with me. I was so cringeworthy when it came to learning about sales and then somebody taught me how to say three major points and one of them was, "How would you like to pay for that?" That wraps a sale immediately. When I learnt to deliver, okay, first one was get out of the way, second one was, "These are my prices, these are your beautiful images, "what would you like to order?" and stop talking, and the third one is, "And how would you like to pay for that?" Straight away, those three points shifted me overnight. In fact, the joke is, I was struggling to get $400 a sale and, as I'll show you in Sales, that night I did three sales in a row and my new business partner sat with me and watched and I did three, $3,000 sales in my first eight weeks of business. I did three, $3,000 sales in three hours by just not talking and when my clients left,
(laughing) I sat down and cried because I just made $9, in an evening and I had never, ever considered that I could make that in a month in my life and I sat down and balled my eyes out and I couldn't believe it. So. Yeah.
I just wanna invite people to imagine themselves feeling that way, because that's powerful.
I just couldn't believe that.
To be in tears, because of the,
Not having the confidence and belief in yourself and then feeling that.
And I didn't dupe people, I took photographs, I showed them, I showed them my price list, I showed them the images on a plasma, and I stopped talking and I let them order and they ordered $3,000 each, all three people. And then I had $9,000 worth of payments on my cards, just going through my card that night and all of a sudden, I sat there and I was like, "I just earned this in a day and I did nothing "but take good photographs." I didn't dupe people, sell to them. I simply provided them with the images that they asked for and I gave a great service and they honored me and I felt honored, like I had never experienced in my life, and I remembered the shift that day,
In my own person, I shifted and that was simply three sales advice and I just could not believe it. It was that simple. I remember my mom and dad, I said, "I've just made $9,000 last night," and they were like, "How?" My dad said, "I've never, I couldn't make that in a month. "I couldn't make that, you know," and I was like, "Well, it's, yeah." So, anyway. The sales challenge--
Feel that, feel that.
I'm going to simplify it, no sales pitch. Just service and get out of the way. You're the one in the way. When you open that up, it flows in and it's just crazy how that happens, it's true. You're the one stopping your sales. Epiphany, right now. You're the one doing that, yeah, so.
Especially when you talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk,
Like you said, get out of the way.
Talk ourselves out of a sale, that's incredible. Liberating.
Alright, back to Day 9: Styling and Wardrobe. From Sky, "From where do you have the knowledge "to give the correct advice for wardrobe? "And do you help get the correct style "or which color is best for the person?" We've kind of talked about the others, but what about others--
Most people wear their own colors. You wear beautiful colors that suit you, you look in greens, you look good in blues, you look good in purples. I don't wear them, I don't wear your colors. I don't feel comfortable in your colors. I don't look good in your colors. I wear a khaki, I wear one type of blue, I wear black, I wear gray. I'm more monotone, I like white. I want to photograph the person how they are. I don't want to make them into something they're not, but there are basic rules. Don't wear white floppy shirts. They don't look flattering. So, I'm going to PDF my rules, but I've been a portrait photographer for 23 years. I know what looks good, I know what doesn't look good, but I can never, ever gauge what a client is going to bring in, so I make the best with what I get when I see it and I try and guide them as much as I can, so they're committed to the shoot. That, at the end of the day, is it. But when they look through my gallery, that's a pretty clear indicator that they have to bring in stuff and create a catalog just like I did in Pricing, so that people are educated in what to bring.
The more education you put into your client, the more qualified they are to spend money on photographs.
Right, the more they are engaged--
Way in advance.
I love it. So, furthering that, M.R.T, "Do you ever have clients come in with their wardrobe "before the shoot or send in photos of the clothes "so that you can plan out "the background--"
"To match the clothes?
We are talking about women here. You tell them to bring in four to five outfits,
They bring in 23 and then tell you they've got nothing to wear.
Good point. I love it.
Not a problem I've ever been faced
(laughs) with in my industry.
So, true. So, true.
Okay, a question about posing again from Jenny H., let's see, "Do you consult about wardrobe "with regards to arms?" So, she said, "I always struggle with the arms, "we'll then look at the preview on the camera "and they say, 'Oh, I hate my arms.'" Which we already talked about, but how about wardrobe and arms.
Do not show a preview where the arms do not look good. If you've got arms in a shot, the only preview I ever show is a close face shot and I bump the exposure a stop and a half. Blow out their skin tone a little bit and show them a really gorgeous shot. They're lucky to see one. The whole point is that they're getting really excited. You can get them excited without showing them the back of the camera, and never, ever show them something that you potentially will fix in Photoshop that's not their business to see. Because if you take away the things we don't like, then we focus on the things we do. So, unless your extending an arm and slimming it down in a pose, don't show it. Because they are not going to like it, and then they are going to leave thinking, "Oh, I looked fat in all of my images "and she didn't capture them." Why would you do that? Don't, make it a mystery.
So, do explain that to people when they are selecting their wardrobe for them to--
So you don't make it an issue.
If they don't wear sleeves,
Why would I tell them to wear sleeves.
And I don't know how big their arms are.
I've had skinny size zero girls go, "Don't give me fat arms." It's just a universal thing. Nobody wants fat arms, so don't pose arms against the body. Because they look fat.
Everybody's arms look bigger from the side and the best part is when you see yourself from front on in a mirror. You don't see yourself from side on, so most people are shocked when they see their arms. They're shocked when they see their arms and their shocked when they see their bum. Because their not things you ever see from the side or the back.
So, be careful with that.
Good point, good point.
Sweet Sassy Diva asks, back to vouchers, "I notice that you put a beautiful image, "beautiful images on your voucher. "Would it be more beneficial to put a small before "in the corner of the voucher card with the after shot?"
No, because I want it to be a generic voucher, not a before and after. What I want them to do is go to my website, where they will see the before and after gallery. I want them to focus on the gift of voucher, not the image on it. So, it's generic. It's just a beauty style shot. I've always gone with that. It's always worked for me because I wanted to advertise my portrait business 10 years ago, from a more commercial style, then from a portrait photography style. I wanted people to be attracted to it as a beauty brand and then identify with themselves on my website and get them to my website.
I thought they were more likely to keep it if it was generic image as opposed to a picture of a girl called Kate.
That makes sense.
Thank you. Okay, this is kind of a long one, but, Tatiana Que says, "On Day 13 challenge," specifically on gift certificates, when working with businesses, her personal challenge is what to offer on the certificate so that it would make sense even if the person would not go on, go beyond what is offered on that certificate, in terms of the amount spent. "My starting package is $450, "includes a 8x10 wrapped canvas. "I work with a makeup artist, I just can't "wrap my head around it, "how to make certificate both attractive, "but also financially safe."
Okay, so, what I do is I give the sitting. I give the complimentary sitting, double makeover and photo shoot, plus $100 to spend on photographs. You could do the same thing and then when they say, "Well, what's your first package?" you could say, "$450, so you could get that for $350." If you can't take the $100 hit on that package, make it $550 and give the voucher and say, "Then you get the full package, wrap, "and hair and makeup for $400, $450, "so you're getting $100 off "and a complimentary photo shoot." No such thing as free. And then they feel like their getting both, a complimentary double makeover, $100 towards anything they spend, which is $100 off any of those packages, and if you can't take the $100 hit off them and hope to sell more, or the next package up, raise the price of that package.
So, take into account,
When you're deciding what...
So if you're telling me, that you're not making money off the $450 package, I suggest you bump it up to 650 anyway.
Great, makes sense, makes sense. Okay, in marketing and shooting before and after, let's see, Susan E. says, "Starting out, the easiest way for me to do this "is to offer to shoot acquaintances, "but they are not my target market demographic," And I see that a lot in people getting started and finding who to shoot. "What do you think I should charge them "or should I not charge them? "I want them to walk away with something "so they have that experience, but I can't, but I can't--
I address this in, I address this in price list.
I have a friends and family price list. You give them a voucher to a dollar value, so even though they got it for free they say, "I got $400 worth," or whatever price you put on it, and "They're not my target demographic." My target demographic is women. From the age of eight to 83. If you don't know women, if you can't walk out into the street and find 10 women in a day that you would photograph of every demographic, then you're missing the point on what your target demographic is. Unless you only want to photograph 26 year olds that look like Victoria Secret models, then your demographic is going to get smaller. My demographic is pretty much gender. I photograph all women, any woman, and all women fit into the four shopping demographics. Everyone of my girlfriends fit into all four shopping demographics. There is, my demographic is everywhere.
And yours can be do.
That's what we're doing here, 28 Days to be Sue Bryce. Okay, Larissa Benamonts, "How much do you tell your makeup and hair, "makeup and hair artist, "you will pay them per client? "Do you pay at the shoot or after the client's sale session? "Once a week or a month or other?"
How long is a piece of string? How big is your ottoman? You negotiate in business with what you want to pay. So, the only piece of advice I can give you is do not ring a makeup artist and say, "How much do you charge?" Ring a makeup artist and say, "I have two shoots on Tuesday, "I'm paying $75 per person. "Are you available?" If she wants $150, she will say yes. If she doesn't, she will say no. You either outsource her, pay her weekly, or pay her monthly. Wherever that sits with you and your makeup artist, but you're the one who sets the rules there. I do not, as a business owner, ring up and say, "What do you charge?" 'Cause they'll tell me they charge $450 a day. I'm not paying $450 a day. I want you to do two makeups for $ and I'll supply you images for your folio and your website. There isn't a makeup artist alive that wouldn't do that for me and in fact, I could probably get it for free or $50, because I know so many women that want it, so just don't come from a place of how much are you, because she's just trying to honor herself. I get that, but if somebody said to you, "Would you shoot this wedding for $400," you would make a decision in that movement, "No, I'm worth more," or "Yes, I really need at $400, "I think it would be a good experience, "I'll say yes to that." But you know, that that's going to sit comfortably with you if you say yes. So don't negotiate, just tell them how you want to pay, what you want to pay, and the days you want to shoot, and you will find somebody to fit that, I guarantee it.
Directing and owning your business--
And being in charge.
I see the themes. Okay, from Simone Kay, Day 13, "Sue, you sell makeup and photo shoot for two, "two persons $190, can you give us an idea then "of what percentage of that we should be thinking "of for that makeup artist. "Is that 50 percent, 80 percent--
All of it goes to the makeup artist. It's a double makeover and photo shoot. My makeup artist will take $190 for both makeup.
Absolutely, that's my fee, basically, so. I'm quite happy with $100 ahead.
Sounds like that you have not had this issue, Tamika, "What if they just get hair and makeup and buy nothing?"
That means you did not educate your client on your cost, you did not ask your client how you wanted to be photographed, how they wanted to be photographed. You did not show the products when they walked into the studio and if you did all of that, then you simply did not deliver what you said you were going to deliver which is what they asked for. One of those things you did wrong. You are to learn which one you did wrong, maybe you emailed them and didn't talk to them on the phone, so you had no personal connection. Maybe you sent a price list but never talked about it with them, so they were a bit burnt about the price. Maybe you did not provide the right service or maybe you simply didn't take good enough photographs. The fault lies with you, not them. I would acknowledge which of those, deconstruct on which one that you went wrong, fix it for your next client and watch the energy shift in your next 20. It will be recurring, I guarantee it. I've seen it a million times, everybody falls down in one area. I know where my weakness is. I know where I fall down constantly. It's my default setting and it is something I have to constantly work on in my business.
Sue, what I really appreciate about what we're doing here and about your ability to be taking these questions and answers is that, just like, we have to continue to direct our clients when we're shooting them, you're continuing to direct us.
I have the same problem.
We default, and then you get us back in line. We default, you get us back in line, but I love that.
I have the same problems that I had 10 years ago,
In business, I just have different, I have a different set of problems now. They're the same problems, they're just at a different level. I fall down on the same areas in business. Follow through. Consultation. The second I drop the ball on both of those, I lose money. I'm constantly reminded those are my weak spots and I'm constantly reminded when the money shifts or drops out of a shot, that I've done something wrong. I've done something wrong in providing a good service for my client. If you go to a beauty therapist and you have a bad facial, you don't go back. You don't want to pay, you want your money back. I had a bad haircut. If you're giving 10 bad haircuts, sort it out. That is not your client base, that is you. So, I know where I'm weak and I know where I fall down. I correct it by looking at why did I not make my average sell this week, because I did something wrong with this client and every single time somebody drops in sales, I always look at them and go, "Let's deconstruct which one of these are you not doing." And they always find their week spot instantaneously.
And then you have that much more awareness.
Of course, I've been in business now for 10 years. I have to awareness on my service. If I drop that, I see it reflected in dollars immediately. So, in new business, stop blaming your client. Take responsibility for what you didn't do, learn from it, and then make sure you reset it, really important.
Well, I think that those are amazing words and advice to go out today on our Q&A 'cause it's already time is up. It goes so quickly. I just want to read off some comments to you, Sue, about what folks are saying. Emma Sibera says, "Thank you, thank you, thank you "for teaching us to value ourselves. "My mother keeps telling me that I'm competing "with Walmart and even though I know "my over all client experience makes the difference, "it is hard to erase that negative voice," Especially when it's Mom. "I can hear you give that "value yourself speech all day long."
Go the fear blog on my blog.
Exactly, let's see, Studio Maya says, "Just want to think Sue for sharing knowledge, "The Science of Getting Rich," the book you recommended, "Just changed my point of view "in the process of changing my life. "Sue, just for sharing, is changing the way "that I work and now clients "are showing up left and right." So, for those people who may have missed that, tell use a little bit quickly.
That's my philosophy, The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace D. Wattles. You can download it for free, it's a free PDF, it is the basis of formless substance written 110 years ago, it teaches you about opening up to money. That's all, it can be learned. It will change you, it changed me. Good look reading it.
Great, one more comment. G2, a regular, says, "Please pass on my compliments "to Sue, she looks amazing today. "Sue, that blue looks good on you. "So I'm glad that that is the one blue that you wear." Alright, Sue, any advice for people for this week of challenges?
Yes, more marketing coming. More Photoshop coming, more shooting coming. I wanted to get most of the shooting out first so you can keep shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot, practice. You don't have to keep up with the challenges. Like people are saying, "I'm falling behind, I'm falling," These challenges are with you for life now. You can do one a month, but just practice, practice, and master and just get into it and enjoy it. Share what you're doing on the Facebook page, share what you're doing on your Facebook page, send me those images, but I can't answer personal questions anymore. I'm getting hundreds of them. I had 700 emails yesterday. I cannot--
Answer your questions personally. You need to bring them to the forum where I can talk and open up the question to everybody. And you guys are doing so well, it's freaking me out. I knew that some of you would achieve this, but when I got those images I was like, "Oh my god." It is changing--
Yep, I was too.
The way you are shooting and I am blown away, so just go for it and enjoy it. That's all I have to say and just keep on and it and there is more good challenges coming.
Great, one more reminder, Sue, for people about what it is you are posting on your blog, 'cause you are blogging about all the challenges.
So what can people look for there?
Okay, so, clearly I'm behind. I have two more shoots to go that I'm shooting all today and tomorrow and Wednesday, we're wrapping up my final key notes. I have 11 PDFs to catch up on tonight. I have five blogs to write on every one of the challenges. I keep adding extra content--
Based on feedback that I'm getting 'cause the feedbacks coming in so good that I want to keep giving, and if it's feedback that's consistent, then I want to create a PDF around it. So, just keep watching. I will keep blogging and Facebooking when I create something new. This week is all about that. Next week, I will do it again. I'll just keep doing it and I'll put an extra shoot in there on Tuesday because I've thought of a new subject, so technically it's 29 Days and I also, there is 30 Days coming 'cause I did an extra shoot on Sunday.
When I should have had a day off.
can't stop. I can't stop, I love doing this. I can't stop and I want to keep showing you 'cause what I do is so awesome. I have a cool life. I have an amazing business. I struggled for the first 15 years of it. My last 10 have been amazing. The only person who had a problem was me, and, wow, I photograph people for a living. That is a blessing.
That is, we can all have that if we choose.
Yep, you do have that.
Alright, everyone. Well, thank you again for joining us here. Thank you, Sue Bryce. Thank you to the team here behind the scenes and we will see you all next week for another Q&A. Have fun this week guys and good luck with your challenges. We'll see you InBedWithSue, on Facebook.