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How to Start a Photography Business

Lesson 25 of 87

Your Client 'Why'

Pye Jirsa

How to Start a Photography Business

Pye Jirsa

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Lesson Info

25. Your Client 'Why'
Craft a simple statement that builds the experience, or the why that you want for your clients. Learn what that "why" is in this lesson.


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 Client 'Why'

This is that meaning and the experiential part. Isn't it funny that we define all these things before we even do the packages? Crafting the experience. I want you guys to think of this. I want it to be short and simple. I want it to have a meaningful message to your clients. I want it convey and be something that your company and team can rally behind which means that before you can do this you probably do need to have your vision and mission and core values established. Correct? Here's ours. So, our client why. When they walk through the door, we have these messages up on the wall. I'm gonna play a video for you guys so you can see it. On the left side it says, "Stop. "Breath." On the right side it says, "Family. "Friends, family, love, experiences, memories." When you go around the corner it says, "Lost in the digital world," on this side and when you step into the main gallery it says, "life belongs in print." This is part of the brand experience that we create when you come to us. ...

On the right side here, these are all client praise and love. So as they walk through this tunnel they go, "what are these? "Oh, these are all of our clients "and the thank yous that we've received." So, it's this process. Now, what I'm gonna tell you is I want you guys to define your experience the exact same way with one, a disrupter. What the shit is going on? (audience laughs) I bet all of you are paying a little more attention than you were just a second ago. (audience laughs) Okay. That's a disrupter. It's something that, it's so odd and unusual, it makes you stop and call yourself back to presence. It's an interesting thing. If you ever watch Tony Robbins, he does it all the time. He drops the F bomb constantly. He comes on stage and like the first thing he says is like an F bomb. Snap. I'm here. What'd you say? You don't need to do that. (laughs) Like when your clients come in there, "what the shit's going on guys? "So happy to", no don't do that. Sorry audio guys. (laughs) That was loud. I should have given them a warning. But, it had to be done, Kenna. (audience laughs) Had to be done. Ours is stop, breath. How unusual is it to walk into a studio and for the studio manager to say, "stop. "Breathe." I want you to look at the words on this wall. Right then you're probably going, like as a client that walks in like, "whoa, whoa, this is different. "What, what, what's happening?" And now, that busy work schedule, the traffic that was just bugging you all the way over here, the planning and all the stuff that's gone into wedding, and all the stresses, they kind of fall into the background for a second as you are called to presence and that's what a disrupter does. For you all, you're not gonna have a studio yet. We're gonna talk about that 'cause you can create the exact same experience in a coffee shop. Let's go through what this means though. Let's take a tour. Okay, so when you open our studio there's our lovely reception team, Corinne and Leanne. This is our front foyer where our clients will take a seat. Right here, the first things that you see, boom, stop, breathe, friends, family, love, experiences, memories and they stop. We're gonna give you the presentation in a second that our person will do. They see the lost in the digital world and the wall and they walk into the main gallery where they see life belongs in print. Kind of all these different moments that we've captured. Next to each card is a description of that moment and what it meant to those people and a description of that piece of art. Yup, that's an elephant. (audience laughs) This is client reception. We project everything onto the wall in the back. And over here on that far side is design consultation. And you're about to see Bekah open up and go, "what the heck are you doing?" Here's design consultation right here. This is a full 'nother room. And, there she is. (audience laughs) Okay. Okay, great, so, I don't have a studio yet. Fantastic. What the freak do I do? Remember, this was my studio for three years. This message and, by the way, my other studio wasn't that much better. I only had one little space to meet clients that was nice and then all of us would just, when they went to the bathroom, oh man, we better have established value before they need to go to the bathroom because when they had to go to the bathroom they went all the way through the warehouse and through everything and we're like, "oh no, it doesn't look good anymore." So, it's all about building the experience and you can do this anywhere you want. Let's talk about what the experience is.

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!