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How to Start a Photography Business

Lesson 21 of 87

Luxury vs Consumer Products & Experiences

Pye Jirsa

How to Start a Photography Business

Pye Jirsa

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Lesson Info

21. Luxury vs Consumer Products & Experiences
What's the difference between luxury and consumer, besides just price? In this lesson, Pye walks through the different qualities that tend to be associated with luxury brands compared to consumer goods -- and how that relates to photography.


Class Trailer
1 Class Introduction 13:12 2 Common Myths & Unknown Truths 11:42 3 The Road Ahead 13:03 4 Find Your Passion 06:06 5 The Lin & Jirsa Journey 13:54 6 Part-time, Full-time, Employed, Partners? 03:51 7 Stop Wasting Time & Money 06:07 8 Your 12 Week Roadmap 04:33
9 Great Plans Still Fail 06:01 10 Strategy Vs. Planning 04:16 11 Mind Mapping 07:25 12 Select a Focus 14:16 13 Competitor Research 09:34 14 S.W.O.T. Analysis 13:54 15 Strategy & Long Term Goals 03:50 16 Values, Vision & Mission 27:49 17 Effectively Managing Your Time 15:05 18 Artistic Development 07:30 19 Create Your Plan 13:12 20 What's Your Product 10:51 21 Luxury vs Consumer Products & Experiences 11:44 22 Quick Break for Econ 101 16:31 23 Your Target Market & Brand Message 21:25 24 What's in a Name 09:20 25 Your Client 'Why' 05:43 26 Crafting the Why Experience 24:17 27 Document the Client Experience 08:29 28 Business Administration Basics 27:03 29 Book Keeping Management 06:51 30 Create the Logo & Branding 07:04 31 Portfolio Design 15:11 32 Design Your Services & Packages 18:51 33 Pricing Fears & Myths 08:46 34 Three Pricing Methods 25:39 35 Package Pricing Psychology & Design 06:15 36 Psychology of Numbers 07:29 37 Pricing Q&A 23:51 38 Grass Roots Marketing 09:36 39 The Empty Party 07:03 40 Friends & Family Test Shoots 16:28 41 Join Groups 04:32 42 Second Shooting Etiquette 07:44 43 The Listing & Classified Hustle 14:10 44 Make Instagram Simple 13:55 45 Your Automated Pinterest Plan 08:01 46 Facebook Because You Must 07:37 47 Giveaway & Styled Shoots 12:17 48 Content Marketing & SEO 08:12 49 The Monster: SEO 07:26 50 Selecting Your Keywords 05:45 51 Testing Your Keywords 07:53 52 Grouping Main & Niche Goals 12:39 53 Your Content Road Map 11:47 54 Content Marketing Q&A 10:45 55 Inspiration to Keep Working 07:45 56 How to Craft Your Content 15:03 57 Internal Linking Basics 05:30 58 Back Link Building Basics 04:55 59 Link Value Factos 14:38 60 Measuring Link Value 04:24 61 Link Building Strategy & Plan 06:10 62 Link Building Plan: Vendors & Guest Writing 06:45 63 Link Building Plan: Features, Directories, Comments 03:11 64 Link Building: Shortcuts & One Simple Tool 14:44 65 What is Sales? Show Me! 12:58 66 Your First Massive Failure 05:17 67 The Sales Process 07:31 68 Your Second Massive Failure 05:23 69 Understand Buyer Psychology 10:00 70 Step 0: Building Rapport & Trust 15:14 71 Step 1: Identify Need or Want 15:39 72 Cognitive Dissonance 12:01 73 Steps 2 & 3: Value Proposition & The Solution 14:21 74 Step 4 : Close, Make the Ask 04:32 75 Step 5: Follow Up & Resolve Concerns 06:13 76 Family Photography Hot Seat 12:06 77 Business Example Hot Seat 15:52 78 Boudoir Photography Hot Seat 16:09 79 The Best Sales Person 07:45 80 Your Mindset, Vibrations & Frequency 06:56 81 Always Positive, Always Affirming 11:55 82 The Second Money & Dual Process 07:39 83 Chumming the Price Waters 03:57 84 Creating Want or Scarcity 09:54 85 Timeless Advice on Being Likable 11:53 86 Selling Over The Phone 10:59 87 Forbidden Words in Sales 11:40

Lesson Info

Luxury vs Consumer Products & Experiences

Luxury versus consumer products and experiences. Gosh, I can talk about this stuff forever. I love it. This is an exercise we're actually gonna do. Right now. We're gonna mind map a luxury versus consumer experience, and what we're gonna do is you're gonna do it while looking at this first. I want you to look at these two images and I want you to map out luxury versus consumer as your central branch, central topic, and you're gonna branch out, and give me different words and different things that apply to each of these different buying experiences. Right now, let me hear it. Just words. Clutter. Cluttered on the left. Elegant. Elegant on the right? Functional on the left. Functional on the left. What? One versus many. One versus many, that's a great one. Focused on the right. More what? Boring, yes. Minimalist on the right side. Maybe missing functionality and utility? On the right side, maybe missing functionality or utility? Yeah the side looks very functional, ...

there's places to sit, there's options. Yes. Joe. Exclusivity on the right. Exclusivity on the right. They have one person wait on you. Process versus experience. We're getting a lot of good stuff, so let me get the mic. We're getting more than one word. I was expecting like one word from each of you. We're getting, okay, so where's the mic. Grab the mics. Jason. On the left, I see a process and on the right I see an experience. Very interesting. Anybody else? Let's pass the mic over. I see clear quality versus quantity. Quality versus quantity. Okay. Cool, let's do one more. I want you to write that down on your paper, by the way, as you guys are defining these two things out. And now let's go to this one. Grab the mic when you have something to say. Define out these two different experiences. More organized. More organized on the left side versus the right side? Quality versus quantity on the right. Quality versus quantity on the right. More expensive on the left. That's an interesting assumption, 'cause you wouldn't know that. But you feel that, right? Presentation on the left. Versus just whatever on the right. I see a lot of uniformity in the as opposed to kind of chaos and options but very chaotic. Yes. Julie? It's more difficult to access the products. It gives you more want, I guess? Isn't that kind of interesting? Like they place it in ways that you kind of need someone to help you a little bit, right? Massive on the right versus exclusive, maybe? What was that? Massive versus exclusive? Yeah, like massive, like broad market versus exclusivity on the left. Very good. I think you guys have this. Lee, go ahead. Even the walkways are designed differently, you've got like a freeway on the right and then you've gotta get in and you sit down or, not sit, but. Okay, so this is very interesting that you guys have identified all this and you're spot on, okay? I want you to put that into your mind map. So you've got this central topic of luxury versus consumer. I want you to branch left to consumer, branch right to luxury. And I want to you define out all the words that you just put in each of those categories. There's the words that you guys really stated already. So in a luxury versus consumer good. On the consumer side, this is, by the way, a Honda dealership. We can't show logos obviously, but this is need over want. We all need cars, right? We need to get from one place to the next. That's how the showroom is kind of set up. This is a consumer product. These fulfill needs. Many product choices. We maximize, there's a product for everybody. Right? We got something for all of you. You want something small? Put you in a Civic. Want a big van? Got that too. We got it all. Maximizing usage of space. Well we gotta have a lot of space to be able to present all the different options that we have to give you. Products become commodities. Meaning brand perception aside, would a Honda or a Toyota or a Hyundai all fulfill the same need? Yeah and in fact, Honda and Toyota, in terms of brand and quality, I know all of us have preferences, but outside those preferences, it's the exact same product in terms of what it can do, in terms of its niceness and everything, right? These are commodities. The features are prevalent. Right, they're displayed everywhere. What does it come with? What is the engine size? Leather? Genuine leather? Patent leather? I don't think anybody puts patent leather in their car, that'd be weird. You'd have like a, like get in and there's a purse-type seat. This is all want over need. This is a Bentley dealership. Does anybody here need a Bentley? No. You could say I need a car, but you can't say I need a Bentley. I really gotta have a, well if you sat in them, they're pretty freaking awesome. Seriously, though, they have this fur under your feet. You're sitting in like, your shoes are on like this ridiculous, like $10,000 fur. Which if you take your shoes off, oh, it's so good. I'm just saying. But there's no way I need that. I want it. Few products and choices. Minimalistic open spacing. Do you not think that here the product is presented as a piece of art versus here the product that fills a need. It's a commodity, correct? Experience values trump, experience and value trumps the features. Prices are concealed. Now here's the interesting part. Where does photography fit? The service that you're offering, because this goes to your question. Anybody. Like, I wanna hear what your thoughts are. Is photography a consumer product or is it a luxury product? (students talking) Let's hear it. I consider it more of an investment, than. Okay, an investment in which side? Uh, to the consumer, 'cause they're, they're paying you to do this spectacular job. But a luxury consumer or a commodity consumer? That, that's where I struggle with that market. Because you have the photographers that that are in your area that charge $ and give you everything and you're out, you know, they kind of under-price you, and you're, you don't fit in that market, but then, it's kind of like, well, do I just stick with my pricing or do I raise it? Well, let me get to this. You are, okay, let's think of it this way. 15 years ago, you could have said photography was a commodity and a luxury. I'm gonna say that today you can't. Today photography, as a business, is a luxury. Why? Don, right? Yes. 'Cause everyone can take pictures. You are abso-freaking-lutely correct. Your, what we've talked about, your phones, the fact that everybody has Rebels, every single one of these inventions which we call the democratization of production, has taken this entire industry's commodity and destroyed it. It's gone. If you wanted to, this is why K-Mart photos. They're all getting rid of their photo stuff. Right? Everybody can do that stuff at home now. You don't need like your pictures on your iPhone are good enough. You don't need someone kind of not really learned photographer in a studio taking crappy pictures of your family for $20. That's gone. What's left is photography as a luxury. So here's the next question that I hope makes you stop and think for a second. Why would a consumer brand and a consumer business model fit your luxury product? And don't tell me that you don't offer a luxury product. If you're a pet photographer, I can take good pet photos with my phone. Boudoir? I stand in the mirror all the time naked and I just do that, like, I just go. I really don't. Julie, don't look at me that way. It's okay. But seriously, how would it fit? It doesn't. And that means that this whole mindset of the feature sell, which is what everybody started doing, is gone. When we get to sales, I'm gonna blow you out of the water. Why are we feature selling a product that has nothing to do with features? Would you walk into a Bentley dealership? This, this is some basic, let's think just on this topic for one second. Who in their right minds would go into this place and be like, are the seats genuine leather? Is, does that sound ridiculous? Um, what's the mileage on that car? Like, does it get good gas mileage? You're laughing 'cause it's a ridiculous thought. Because all of us know that you go into this place to buy an experience. You know that if you're paying 300, 400, $500,000 for a car, they damn well better be using genuine leather and have actual Rolex faces for all the timepieces in the car. And they're gonna do all the things necessary to make it so you never have to ask those kinds of questions. It would be silly, likewise, to go into a Luis Vuitton store. This is Luis Vuitton on the left side. Girls, how many of you would go into a Luis Vuitton store and ask the price? That's an embarrassing question to ask, isn't it? What would you do instead? I really love this one. Let me look at this one real quick. And you pull it down, and you kinda like, flip it around a little bit, and like, there's a tag, and you're just like, ding, oh, I saw it, okay, and then you kinda put it back. Tell me that's not how you do it. Like as inconspicuous as possible. Why is that? And yet, people will come into your business and hound you on your price constantly. Do you think it's because you're prepping them to do that? Absolutely. I'm gonna teach you how to get them away from it, and a part of it is gonna come from the presentation of your product. Understanding first and foremost that photography is not a commodity. It's a luxury.

Class Description

The content and opinions expressed in this course are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem

Short on time? This class is available HERE as a Fast Class, exclusively for Creator Pass subscribers.


  • Start a photography business
  • Develop the ideal business structure and business plan
  • Research competitors and the market in your area
  • Build a short-term and long-term strategy
  • Create a marketing plan and marketing materials on a budget
  • Confidently conduct an in-person or phone sales session
  • Manage small business tasks from accounting to strategy


Professional photographers aren't just people with a knack for photography and a good camera -- because launching a small business on nothing but passion is a sure-fire way to fail spectacularly. Layer business savvy, marketing know-how, professional grit and more onto your existing passion and learn how to start a photography business. Take your hobby, vision, and creativity and build a career -- whether you are looking to run a full-time business or just a side gig.

Led by a photographer that's also a certified public accountant, Pye Jirsa, the class teaches the ins and outs of launching a photography business from the ground up. Along with three full days of instruction, Pye shares a 12-week plan to get your business up and running, a business expense calculator and more inside the class workbook. Understand what gear and skills you need before you launch and how to build a portfolio by photographing family members or organizing a stylized shoot.

Stop feeling overwhelmed by the monumental task and tackle one task a day in a 12-week plan. Brainstorm names for your business and learn the different types of business licenses available. Secure a domain name and build a website that's easily searchable. Develop a marketing plan with little investment. Master in-person sales and book your first session.

Whether you want to venture out in portrait photography, commercial work or any other client-based type of photography, learn the "business" in photography business with Pye Jirsa.


  • Photographers ready to launch a business
  • New professional photographers looking to grow a young business
  • Photographers interested in working in weddings, portraits, newborns, maternity, families, seniors, engagements or commercial photography


Pye Jirsa is a wedding photographer with Lin & Jirsa photography -- but besides running a successful photography business, he also has a background in accounting, creating the perfect blend for teaching the ins and outs of running a photography business. Along with working as a photographer and educator, Pye is also one of the founders of SLR Lounge, an online resource for photographers.

Learn from a founder of a photography business that photographs more than 300 weddings a year. Pye's Los Angeles and Orange County wedding photography business has been named among the top 100 wedding photographers by Brandsmash.


Armstrong Su

This class and materials are to the point and eye-opening on the business side of photography. Pye Jirsa is an amazing and fun teacher as well! Most photographers need more business classes offered to bring us who love to create art back to reality for a more successful business that makes a living on it's own. This course will definately get you started in the right direction and so cheap too! Great investment! armstrong outdoor tv case outdoortvcase Pye Jirsa is one of the best instructors that I have the pleasure to learn from. He and his team have given me so much more than they'll ever realize. Knowledge, wisdom, training, friendship, mentoring, inspiration, joy... I cannot thank Pye enough for changing my life for the better. I owe them more than they'll ever realize. Thank you, Pye Jirsa!!!

Angela Sanchez

This class has been an eye opener for me; a point of change in my vision as photographer. Pye is and AMAZING, INSPIRING, GENEROUS instructor, with an, authentic desire to help people and to share with them the best of his knowledge. I will not have enough words to say thanks to Pye Jirsa, as a teacher and as a human being, and thanks to Creative Live who allows us to benefit from the experience of such a knowledgeable, educated, well-versed photographer and instructor. 1000% recommended!

Yenith LianTy

Been following this guy forever. Pye Jirsa may be well known in the wedding & portrait photography world and if there is something that this guy knows it is how to create a business, a sustainable one. The workbook he provided is comprehensive, and I honestly wish I had this when I first started out as a photographer! I love that he talks about his failures, keeping it real and honest for anyone starting out. He is definitely one of the best instructors around, super humble, down to earth and with a sense of humor to boot. The course is worth it! THE WORKBOOK is AMAZING! SUPER DETAILED!