for my clients, but it bonds them to the
artwork that we created together. This way,
I am no longer selling to my clients. I am
simply guiding them and allowing them to
choose what is valuable to them.
Now that I knew how to sell, I needed
to know what to sell. I love simplicity, so
I wanted my product listing to be the
same. I created a new product line of four
canvas wall art collections, one album,
and a portrait box. That’s it. I created a
spreadsheet that detailed out my cost of
goods, retail pricing and net profit on every
product I offered. Then, I calculated what
I needed my monthly net profit to be and
divided that by the number of shoots I
wanted to do per month. This gave me the
magic formula I needed for my business.
For example, if you wanted to net $60,000
a year, you would have to do 2. 5 shoots
per month with a net sale of $2,000 each.
If you need to net $2,000 per session, you
can see which of your products will get you
there the easiest—those are the ones you
show your clients first.
Money is the way that clients reward a
business for providing amazing service,
so I needed to open myself up to portrait
session sales that I had never even dreamed
about before. As silly as it may sound,
artists have a tendency to stop their clients
from spending with them when the dollar
amount exceeds their own comfort zone
of spending. You often hear people say, “I
can’t charge that, because I would never
spend that amount myself!” But we must
remember that our clients are adults who
can decide to spend their money any way
they wish. As photographers, we have
infinite opportunities to provide value
(and be rewarded for it), because we are
documenting relationships in people’s lives
that will grow and change and never be
exactly the same again. For some people,
what we do is priceless. By offering them
artwork for every room of their home, we
are offering them ways to celebrate their
happiness every day of their lives. The best
way to make it easy for your clients to invest
their money is by pre-designing artwork for
them in design software and then revealing
it to them in person. I use Fundy Designer to
design and sell everything I offer, and even
build invoices and place orders directly
to my lab, Millers, right in the software. It
makes the process easy and streamlined for
both my clients and my studio.
What started as a way for me to get
through year one with a newborn turned
into a huge shift in my business and my life.
On my quest to find a way to work less and
make more, I found a way to bring meaning
to what I do and bring significance to my
clients’ lives. I went from $500 shoot-and-burn portrait sessions that my clients were
mildly happy with to a $4,000 sales average
and clients that cannot thank me enough. I
focus on giving value to my clients, allowing
them to decide what they value, and I spend
my extra time experiencing and enjoying
life with my family. Define what makes you
happy, make a plan to get there, and make
everything you do about your clients. The
rest is just 1s and 0s.
Christine Yodsukar hails from Boston and currently splits her work/
live/play time between Los Angeles, Portland, Oregon and the rest
of the world. Along with her husband and business partner, she
took her photography business from $100 weddings to a six-figure
income in just three years. You can see her frequently on WEtv as a
wedding and portrait photography expert. She is passionate about
teaching other wedding photographers to grow their businesses
so they too can live their happiest lives.
I hated the word “sales,” but if I wanted
to work less, I had to embrace the
idea that selling is not a bad thing. So I
set out to learn everything I could.
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Image by Sal Cincotta
From small box
to large display