What can we expect
from your keynote?
Sue Bryce: In short, this
presentation is about facing
your biggest fears. I was the
classic artist when I started:
I had a beautiful folio, but
I didn’t know how to sell
it. Then I became an employed shooter, so
selling wasn’t a problem. I showed up, took
great images, and the studio did all the
selling for me. But after 14 years of shooting, I
realized I was a 32-year-old in a cool but low-
paying job, and wanted a change.
Everything you do in business, from
the marketing to the consultation to the
education and connection, is selling. But
selling is a cumbersome, sometimes never-ending process. Clients come back to choose
their portraits and then there’s more selling,
follow-through service, follow-up referrals,
and then rinse and repeat! And if that isn’t
hard enough, try doing all of that when you
feel the pressure of a competitive industry
and a whole lack of self-value. No wonder
people quit; they get beaten down by wave
after wave of non-creative challenges.
The light for me was learning to receive
money for my craft, to sell my work without
feeling sick inside, to value my time and
my product, and to create products that
are easy to sell. In this industry, we are all
faced with the same fears: rejection, being
undervalued, shooting and burning, and not
respecting your own craft. This is about finding
the courage to face those fears and make a
profitable portrait studio that you’re proud of.
Why are you excited about this topic?
SB: I have been lucky enough to mentor a
group of photographers for three years now,
and watching them adapt to the process of
shooting, printing and selling is incredible.
I am watching people build businesses,
and then double and triple their sales!
We think too often that the client drives
the trend for product, but that is simply
not true: the photographers do. What led
my transformation from a broke artist to a
successful one is recognizing that I’m capable
of selling my work. Teaching that thrills me!
What do you hope photographers and
filmmakers glean from your talk?
SB: I want you to make money, and I want you
to sustain an income from your photography.
I want you to fall in love with printing the way
you fell in love with the darkroom way back
when a print meant more than a downsized
Facebook version of your creative mastery.
I want you to fall back in love with making
images, and to recognize that what you create
will be priceless to a family for generations!
You are more than a CD-burner. You are an
artist and a craftsman and you stop time for
people. When you raise your personal value,
it will be reflected in your sales.
What are you newly incorporating into
your presentation that you may not
have found to be as relevant before?
SB: Three years ago, I was watching the
documentary The September Issue. There’s
one scene where Anna Wintour, the editor
of Vogue, walks into the final edit room
where the magazine’s September issue was
displayed all along the wall on a light box.
My brain exploded: What a great idea!
Imagine a client walking into my studio, and
there on a wall were all of her portraits edited,
finished and beautifully lit. Nowadays I call it
“The Reveal Wall,” and it’s become a practice
that I often do for clients.
In this year’s presentation, I will show you
how wedding and portrait photographers
of all genres are transforming their sales by
respecting their work. Clients appreciate that
you value what you produce. Sell it with pride!
Remember that these images are a legacy—
they will outlive you—so start treating your craft
with the respect it deserves.
“Amp Up Your In-Person Sales,” by Sue Bryce,
will take place March 8, from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
BY STACEY GOLDBERG
It’s hard to believe that in
less than a month, we’ll be in
Las Vegas for one of our favorite
weeks of the year. We’ve been
talking about WPPI since last year’s
show wrapped, and now it’s finally
time to delve into what to expect in
2016. Here, this year’s keynote
speaker Sue Bryce, a recently
named Canon Explorer of Light and
published author of Portrait Posing:
Posing 101 for Every Body Type,
dishes the details on her highly
anticipated presentation. We also
asked a handful of educators across
genres—from newborn to sports
upcoming WPPI experience, and
be sure not to miss our exclusive
look into some of this year’s
exciting new tech toys.
SITTING DOWN WITH SUE BRYCE,
WPPI KEYNOTE SPEAKER