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How to Start a Photography Business

Lesson 11 of 87

Mind Mapping

Pye Jirsa

How to Start a Photography Business

Pye Jirsa

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Lesson Info

11. Mind Mapping
Jump into step one for strategy and planning with mind mapping. Use this technique to brainstorm and build ideas using nothing but a sketchpad and a few minutes of time.


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

Mind Mapping

So we're gonna figure out what it is that we want to do. But first, this is the fun part. I'm gonna show you guys mind mapping. This is Gizmo. He's like my nephew. I'm like his godfather. Justin's dog, who I take care of a lot. Both their dogs. Puppies make every slide better, right? (audience laughing) Totally. Totally. I'm gonna put him on every slide. This is my mind mapping journal. I actually brought it just to show you guys. I want each of you. Oh I should have put up an affiliate link for a sketchpad. I want each of you guys to go out and to buy a sketchpad. It can be anything. Just a $5 sketchpad. Make sure it's large enough size. Like small ones don't really work that well. This is my mind mapping journal. I'm gonna show you guys how mind mapping works. Anybody here heard of mind mapping before? Perfect, perfect. So how many of you do it regularly? Slightly less hands. I want you guys to do it every time you have a new idea. It doesn't matter whether you want to write a bo...

ok, whether you want to start a business, when you're competing on you know, what product do I want to make? It doesn't matter. Do a mind map each time. So my journal is filled with all sorts of these things. And I give you guys, you'll see the next slide. Well, we'll get to it in a second. I give you an example slide that'll actually detail this out so you have an example of what it looks like. But let's go through what this process is. And I'm hoping that you guys use this frequently enough that you're filling out these journals. That's about a month worth of mind mapping. I'll go through a full journal, a full sketchpad every two months, okay. So do it a lot. It's a great activity. The reason why I encourage this on a sketchpad is the way that you're gonna think and map things out works better when you're not thinking about how a software interacts. Okay, when you're thinking about oh what was that shape on this software, it interrupts your flow. What your mind map is supposed to be is I want you guys to set a 10 minute timer. Whenever you're mind mapping it shouldn't be a long period of time. This isn't brain storming to think of like every single possible idea. What this is is you set a 10 minute timer and you start with a central idea. And that central idea can be something, anything. It could be, let's say choosing a focus for photography because that's kind of the subject that we're on, right. So you're gonna put focus in this little box right here. And then you're gonna map out well what if I did weddings. Okay, give it a circle and tie it. And then start putting down what you think shooting weddings would be like. Well I'd probably have some good brides. I'd have some bad brides. Long hours. Travel. And keep tying it back to the central idea. And then you're gonna go well what if I did newborns? Newborn. Now the way that I can flow through this process is very different on paper versus as you can imagine through an application. There's mind mapping software out there. I just don't find them to be useful. And they're also expensive. So this is, oh my goodness patience. Working with a newborn every single. That requires a lot of patience. Parents that are very protective. Careful, like I have to be like safety is such a big thing. Okay, my target is moms. And you can kind of without even doing any research on these subjects, you can put together a pretty clear picture on all of these different arenas and what to expect within them right. So from there you can say well I kind of like weddings or I kind of like newborn. Now I'm gonna go and do a little more research on it. But you can put all of your ideas down on a piece of paper. I'll do this with goals. I'll do this with business plans. I'll do this with books. I have like 15 mind maps just for this course, one for each chapter. So every single chapter starts the same way in this course. I think there are some examples in there for you guys. But every one of 'em is gonna start. So I have a chapter on strategy. Okay, and I sat there and went what do I want to include in strategy? Oh I want to do porters. I want to do branding. I want to do all these different things. And I would tie them all back to this and I would branch off on each one. So in 10 minutes, I have an entire chapter written down. And now all I have to do is organize my thoughts. Does that make sense? I'm hoping that you guys do this for literally anything you guys take on. It should work for, well for me it works for almost anything. So it's one of those like exercises that it's very simple. Some of us learned it but we don't quite understand the power of it. But our central idea goes to the branches. We use simple keywords. You can add colors and shapes if you want. I keep mine pretty simple. I used to put shapes and make it all doodlie. But again, I don't like thinking anymore. I like it to be free flowing. And to do that, it's just simply getting the ideas down. Cool? This one thing, if you start doing this now, all of you guys online. If you guys start doing mind mapping with everything that you do, spend 10 minutes and set your timer, it'll change the rest of your life. It's simple, but it works so incredibly well. So this is to give you ideas. So the 12 week business plan, this is what the mind map basically looked for that. Photography as a business, this is what the mind map looks for that. Expectations, aspirations. So this is every one of these chapters laid out for you so you can see. And this one I am kind of, I went through marketing. And then I went through and gave them numbers to see which one is like kind of a priority if I'm just starting a business. So I'm hoping you guys can see from this journal that basically, well and my phone number's right below that. I didn't want to you know. I love you all but I didn't want everybody calling me all the time. Okay. So mind map your strategy and plans. This is where I want you to pause and mind map what your strategy is, yes. Then do you take the mind map and convert that to an actual schedule? Is that what you do? We're gonna get there. Okay. And this is actually a little bit of a trick question. Because I'm hoping that if I said right now, all right mind map your strategy and plans, I'm hoping that you guys go, what? How? 'Cause we haven't gotten there yet. But you can't. So you can't yet. That will eventually become basically an analysis for the business. And then it's eventually gonna become a plan that is gonna get to it. But the mind map is like the beginnings of formulating the strategy which is your central topic. The plan is gonna go around it. And then you're gonna basically formulate that into an organized, cohesive series of information.

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!