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How to Start a Photography Business

Lesson 8 of 87

Your 12 Week Roadmap

Pye Jirsa

How to Start a Photography Business

Pye Jirsa

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Lesson Info

8. Your 12 Week Roadmap
Getting a photography business off the ground can be done in as little as 12 weeks. In this lesson, Pye shares the roadmap for a 12-week launch, using the included class workbook to build your plan of attack.


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

Your 12 Week Roadmap

So, your 12 week roadmap. (laughs) You either respect your time or be prepared to take 1,000 plus screenshots for the next three days. There's a lot of screenshots that they need. So, what I wanna do is cover the roadmap. Don't let this workbook freak you out. I know it's a little bit freaky. But, check this out. I'm just gonna scroll down to the right and what you see here is a full roadmap for all 12 of your next weeks, okay. So, don't freak out with it. What you're gonna do is you're gonna follow it week by week. So, if we go, look right at this first column, we're gonna see that we have a few choices to make. Areas of focus. We wanna do some mind mapping. We're gonna teach you guys about that in our next segment. We wanna do some analysis, competitor research. For artistic development, I've given you guys some kind of roadmaps here for what you can do, but you can pick your own, but have something each week for artistic development. Product development, we're not yet there. We need...

to figure out some things first. So, you just scroll down and you look at kind of all the different things that are needed and here's how the workbook works. So, look how it says, "use 04 FORECAST "for revenue forecasting." Right here. So, you simply go to 04 FORECAST. There are 15 workbooks in this document that will guide you through everything from what to purchase with all the different brands. This is your basic foundation kit with different brand representations of each one. Pick your poison. Lighting and creative kits and then full on wedding ready kit. We have your IT Guide, Software Guide, Legal Guide. Every piece of this is mapped out for you. Your competitor analysis that we're gonna piece together followed by a SWOT analysis, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats. Forecasting, we're gonna build client personas. So, that you guys can actually know who it is that you're marketing to. So, we have a template built in for you. A pricing template for cost method pricing. We're gonna show you cost and demand based pricing which is gonna be where we wanna put your guys. Finding mentors, vendors to work with for grassroots marketing, templates for, this is a email for a link request which we're gonna talk about when we get to SEO and content building. Also, we started on Craigslist. It's still completely viable. We did this eight years ago, nine years ago, finding 500 dollar brides and that's how we built the entire business. So, we're gonna show you that. If Craigslist doesn't work, you can find any other local classified to post in. The content pages that you need to build on your site. We have guest publishing for, again, SEO. All of these things are built out, all the way up to tab 14. There we go. Okay. But, let's focus on the roadmap for just right now. So, you'll see that month one is really heavy on planning and strategy. What I want is, this roadmap is designed to be used in conjunction with the class, okay. So, as you're watching the class, it's gonna define out section by section. So, the first thing we'll be covering is strategy and planning. So, all those things are covered. Then, you simply look at the roadmap and see, "okay, week by week, this is my plan. "This is what I'm gonna do." Then, we'll go into the next topic, product development. And the next topic, marketing, pricing, everything, sales. So, at the beginning, it's really figuring out our focus. Once we get towards month five, we're really kind of finalizing the product. So, if you look at product development, it becomes pretty heavy. We're developing what we actually wanna sell. Then, when we get down here to the bottom right, this is where sales comes in place because you really have nothing to sell until you've gotten out and started marketing. So, we're gonna cover sales strategies and psychology and how to actually make the sale. This is the 12 week roadmap and you guys can take this and adapt it to literally anything. Switching it out to any client serving business is as simple, so if you're client serving maternity, newborn, family, all of that, that's as simple as changing a couple of keywords in your copy. Okay. But, if you are doing commercial or something else, you can adapt it and kind of do a little bit of research on your own, but use the same formulas, the same plan to kind of create your own 12 week roadmap.

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!