12 Month Startup


Join our step-by-step program, guided by three expert teachers and a supportive community of mentors and peers.

If you love portrait photography, this incredible course is for you. If you want the freedom of owning your own business, or are looking to increase revenue for your existing business, the 12-Month Startup is a step-by-step guide for achieving your goals. The program is led by world-renowned photographer and educator Sue Bryce and two of her protégés, your breakthrough coaches, Cat Ford-Coates and Saray Taylor-Roman. Sue, Cat and Saray have all of built six-figure businesses with The Portrait System business model. Even if you are starting with nothing, you can join now, and you’ll learn everything you need to know to launch a sustainable, successful business. Say goodbye to your day job forever.

Start Here


Introduction: Clarity is Power!

12 Month Startup Graphic

In this introduction to the brand-new coaching program for The Portrait System, Sue Bryce sets the stage for the transformational experience of building a business—whether you’re starting from scratch or are looking to make a breakthrough that takes you to new heights.

Through Sue’s teaching and the expert coaching of Cat Ford-Coates and Saray Taylor-Roman, the 12 Month Startup will help you find what lights you up and define what you want as a business owner and photographer. “Clarity is power!” Sue says. “When you have clarity and you’ve got that certainty and conviction, you really know what you want, you know who your client is, you know what you want to create—it’s easy to show up every…single…day.”

Get excited to set your intention for this year of coaching; to learn what lights you up; to confront fears and uncertainties and uncomfortable moments and turn them into the experiences that make you an incredible business owner.


13:46 Introduction: Clarity is Power!
1:54:14 Money & Pricing

John Greengo’s Camera 101 Masterclass

Whether you just purchased your first camera or you’re looking to brush up on your technical skills, this masterclass is great preparation for the 12 Month Startup.

Internationally acclaimed photography guru, John Greengo has teamed up with world-renowned portrait photographer, Sue Bryce to bring you the ultimate camera fundamentals course. Whether you just purchased your first camera or you’re looking to brush up on your technical skills, this comprehensive class will cover all your bases on your journey to create beautiful portraits.

John Greengo is especially known for his visual teaching style and incredible simplicity in explaining your camera’s complicated functions. Learn all about the different types of cameras, and how to find your correct settings when it comes to shutter speed, ISO, aperture, and more. Explore the different types of flash and lenses, master your focus, and learn how to set your camera’s functions to best serve you. Then watch as Sue demonstrates John’s teachings in action at the end of each lesson!

When you fully understand your camera and how to use it, your confidence behind the lens grows immensely and your work inevitably improves. Invest in your photography, master the fundamentals of your camera and watch your photography flourish.


00:32 The Camera Introduction
13:29 The Camera
23:26 Camera Systems
03:00 Sue Demo: Shutter Speed and Movement
00:30 The Sensor Introduction
16:22 The Sensor
03:25 Sue Demo: Overriding the Sensor (Dark Background)
03:24 Sue Demo: Overriding the Sensor (White Background)
00:50 The Lens Introduction
18:39 The Lens
14:49 Aperture
03:59 Sue's Go-To Lenses
00:37 Focusing Introduction
16:30 Perfect Focus
03:00 Sue Demo: Toggle and Recompose
00:54 Exposure Introduction
10:44 Exposure
22:13 Exposure Modes
07:17 Sue Demo: Pushing the ISO
00:36 Flash Introduction
07:42 Flash
02:44 Sue Demo: Natural Light vs. Strobe (Natural Light)
04:18 Sue Demo: Natural Light vs Strobe (Strobe)
00:34 Camera Settings Introduction
18:24 Camera Settings
06:59 Sue Demo: Picture Style in Camera Settings

Training Materials:


When Am I Good Enough to be Paid?

For so many creative small business owners, the journey to building a valuable brand and service starts inside you. In this talk, I unlock the secret fears we all feel, and I share the progression of my own personal path to value and getting paid doing what I love.

I AM SO EXCITED to share this with you!


1:30:25 WPPI Keynote

Want to dive in deeper on this subject? Watch these related courses:


The Money Wheel of Misfortune

If you don’t address the problems you have that ultimately affect your ability to RECEIVE and MANAGE money, you just cannot run a successful business! Learn the eight styles of being blocked around building wealth, so you can apply the antidotes for healing those blocks and take steps toward manifesting a more enriched and enriching future.


05:29 Introduction
12:07 Avoidance
09:34 Guilt & Shame
10:07 Not Receiving
13:53 Over Giving
09:52 No Boundaries
10:24 Over Spending
06:03 Resentment
11:36 Tight Fisted

Training Materials:

pdf Wheel of Misfortune Workbook.pdf


Manifestation… Manifest-ACTION!!

In this talk from The Portrait Masters Conference, Sue speaks from her heart about how to properly manifest success in your life, not just by willing it, but by acting on it!

Manifestation… Have you found yourself in a slump? Maybe feeling trapped or like you aren’t doing what you feel you were born to do — just stuck? You aren’t alone! So many others have felt this way, including Sue Bryce. In what could arguably be her most heartfelt video to date, Sue shares her incredible story of the highs and lows in her life. She talks about how she built a successful business but something was still missing. Sue took a leap of faith and failed miserably, hitting rock bottom, before picking herself back up to create another successful business, while also stepping out of her comfort zone to become the teacher/speaker we all know and love.

Watch as she shares the steps it took to to get her here. How she learned that manifestation was more than simply trusting what the universe and her gut were telling her—that is was also putting it into action so she could be ALL IN.

Sue Bryce LIVE Q&A

Then, tune in to the LIVE Q&A. Brush up your “3 areas that surround creating” — emotion, mindset, and action. Sue will give you some great advice with some very hard truths to help you break out of your slump, get out there, and become the best version of yourself, which will help you create the best business you can. Great business = Great return! Learn the importance of not just manifestation but also manifestACTION!

It’s easy to put your dreams out in the universe, or start a vision board, but until you take the steps to manifest those dreams, they will only remain dreams. Sue uses her past experiences to help teach you how to love yourself, accept yourself and accept what the universe wants to give you.

If you have been down on yourself because your business isn’t growing like you want it to, you’re unsatisfied in other aspects of your life and that impacts your business, or if you just need a little push into positivity, then you won’t want to skip this video. You will find yourself having “aha” moments, laughing, crying and then just all together getting amped up for this new year. Do yourself a favor and just push “Play!”

“The state in which you dwell is the state in which you are creating and manifesting from at full power.”

—Sue Bryce



1:19:00 Keynote
33:55 LIVE Q& A

Training Materials:

mp3 Audio Only

MONEY + PRICING for Profit + Sustainability


Money & Pricing – Month 1 of the 12 Month Startup

Graphic for Money and Pricing portrait photography coaching

Don’t become one of the 50% of businesses that fail in their first year because they run out of money! When you understand the fundamentals of money and how to price your product and service at a level that matches your worth, you can be truly successful in your business.

In this first session of the brand new 12-Month Startup Coaching Program, Cat and Saray will teach the financial fundamentals you need to master to run a profitable and successful business—money, value, and pricing. When you understand these fundamentals and tried-and-true methods for money success, you and your business can thrive, not just survive. For those with existing portrait photography businesses, you’ll learn the three areas you can improve to make more money.

The 12-Month Startup Program is a step-by-step guide for achieving your goals. The program is led by world-renowned photographer and educator Sue Bryce and two of her protégés, your breakthrough coaches, Cat Ford-Coates and Saray Taylor-Roman. Sue, Cat, and Saray have all built six-figure businesses with The Portrait System business model. Even if you are starting with nothing, you can join now and learn everything you need to know to launch a sustainable, successful business.

Jump into the full course and all the month’s lessons here!


25:51 Sue's Challenge
1:14:52 Coaching session with Cat Ford-Coates and Saray Taylor-Roman

Business Goal Setting

How much money do you want to earn this year?

Create a marketing plan and take action… so much easier said than done, right?

How do you project income and bookings?
How do create a schedule that supports future goals?
How do you create a Marketing Plan?

Join me for for this session as we make big goals, big dreams, real targets, and discuss how to go after them.


2:02:02 Business Goal Setting 2018

Training Materials:

pdf Business Goal Setting [PDF]

Soul Business

Ask yourself, “What am I hearing from the people around me?” These people are telling us what we need to hear because they are reflecting what we are expressing to them. Their objections reveal where our perceived shortcomings are holding us back.

We need to confront these negative limiting beliefs so that we can overcome them, get past them, and re-write them. These old beliefs no longer serve us. It is time for us to acknowledge them and our path to growth so that we can get out of our own way and build successful businesses.


41:52 Wk 1 — Mirror Mirror

Make Goals for Work, Not Money

It is all about the law of action, not attraction. In this powerful video, Sue shows us how to change obvious desperation into empowering intention, how to look for people instead of money, and how to truly turn a dream into a reality. Sue shares how there is freedom in setting goals, how to turn our words into action items, and what we should prepare for after we decide to stop being idle and start being positively active in our business and our personal lives.

Key Points:


The first thing Sue does when she wakes up in the morning is set her intention for her actions for the day.

That is ACTION. It’s not lying in bed hoping you are going to attract what you want, but going out and doing what you need to in order to acquire what you want.


One of the most important things about setting goals is to MAKE GOALS FOR WORK, NOT MONEY.

We energetically repel money when we don’t have a strong value system around money. We repel money when we have guilt around making it or about being wealthy.

“We need to make our goals around our work! When I started my business in 2003, I wrote that I wanted 10 photo shoots per week with an average sale of $1800. It took me 12 weeks to reach that goal. I went from being poor to having money, and I had a lot of lessons around managing time and money. I laugh now at 10 shoots per week — sounds absolutely crazy to me!”

You need to be really careful about turning your goals from WANTS to NEEDS.

When you focus on NEEDING money, your energy shifts. It shifts into an energy of desperation.

Instead, shift your focus to finding people to shoot.


And once you find the people, you give them GREAT service and product and then they pay you really well.

When people desperately need to make a sale, they push it away because their energy is in a space of desperation and their NEED IS OVERRIDING THEIR SERVICE.

When you are in space of needing money, YOUR CLIENT FEELS IT. They feel that you are in an energy of taking, even if they don’t know what they are feeling. They do feel it!

This energy translates into every post you write and the way that you sell yourself!

Knowing your average sale is, of course, very important (have a look at the average sale video if you haven’t already). If you want to increase your average sale, you must set your intention every day.

For example, you want 3 shoots per week at a $1200 sales average. You aren’t looking for $3600 per week, you are looking for 3 PEOPLE per week who you can give incredible service to.

There is a HUGE difference between the success of the person who gets up in the morning with a bad attitude — looking at other people who are more successful, whining on Facebook, telling themselves they aren’t worth it — and someone who wakes up in the morning with an action plan and with a positive attitude full of love and joy for what you do!



Walk towards it every day!!! You must make a daily action.

Have the attitude that life isn’t happening TO you, it’s happening FOR you!!!

Take little baby steps but walk towards your goals!

“What we vividly imagine, most ardently desire, enthusiastically act upon, must inevitably come to pass” ~Collin P. Sisson

Sue shares her own personal goals in this video. Tell her what YOU want in convocation.


15:51 Make Goals for Work, Not Money



Portrait Genres & Products — Month 2 of the 12 Month Startup

graphic for Portrait Genres & Products lessons

To go into business and earn money with your portraits, you must be clear on what you are selling, how you are pricing it, and what you are calling it so that your clients can understand it.

This month, you’ll learn about all the different types of portrait photography you can leverage to earn revenue and which products you feel most energized to offer. You’ll also learn how to create cohesion among your brands and products by connecting your images with simple descriptive search words that are easy for your clients to understand. For those ready to expand their business, we’ll go deeper into your messaging and marketing, working on clarity and how to show value and create desire.

The 12-Month Startup Program is a step-by-step guide for achieving your goals. The program is led by world-renowned photographer and educator Sue Bryce and two of her protégés, your breakthrough coaches, Cat Ford-Coates and Saray Taylor-Roman. Sue, Cat, and Saray have all built six-figure businesses with The Portrait System business model. Even if you are starting with nothing, you can join now and learn everything you need to know to launch a sustainable, successful business.

Jump into the full course and all the month’s lessons here


16:26 Sue's Challenge
1:33:45 Coaching session with Cat Ford-Coates and Saray Taylor-Roman

Want to dive in deeper on this subject? Watch these related courses:


Pricing & Product

In the Pricing and Product lessons, Sue teaches you how to create a pricing structure based on your value, your experience as a business owner, and your experience with being a paid photographer.

Knowing your worth is crucial in business, and these lessons focus on understanding your value. Topics include: identifying your blocks when it comes to your self-value, understanding your value as a creator, understanding the value of your time, and understanding the value of your craft. As well, we’ll look at how to get your pricing to industry standards and all the possibilities for pricing plans, packages, and more. The more you understand your value and demand your worth, the more you will see your business soar.

Once you’ve finished this week, we recommend visiting the Sales Intensive for further studies on this topic.


These lessons are part of the 90 Day Challenge, where Sue gives you all the tools you need to create a business and thrive. Whether you are a beginner, building your business from the ground up, or an experienced photographer, taking your business to the next level, this course will help your business grow!


01:38 Introduction
05:08 Intro to Pricing
22:03 Pricing Guides
11:41 Fantasy Price List
09:11 Pricing Breakdown
04:00 Digital Presentation vs Printed Reveal
14:32 Gift Vouchers
04:15 Shame & Guilt Receiving Money
56:32 Coaching with Nikki

Training Materials:

pdf Pricing & Product Guide
pdf Sue's Next Steps & To-Do Check List

Continue Learning...


Pricing to Sell

You need to lock down your prices before you can really learn to sell because you can’t sell until you are sure of what your product is and how much you are selling it for.

Learning pricing is a challenge because there is no international standard for pricing portraits, and the pricing people use really runs the gamut. No one has set a standard, but Sue is going to tell you what she thinks the standard should be and why.

Additionally, in this lesson, you’re going to learn how professional photographers in The Portrait System community are pricing their products. You’ll also learn some basic sales psychology that will help you understand how you should set your prices and why.

You’ll get armed with the knowledge you need to create a base price list for your products and service. By the end, you’ll be ready to set prices for your sitting fee, three packages — low, middle, and high, and your a la carte items.

After you complete this lesson with its homework, you’ll be ready to head on over to the Sales Intensive next.


57:05 LIVE

Training Materials:

pdf Pricing to SELL.pdf

Average Sale

For success in your business, your average sale should be the most important thing you not only focus on, but simply KNOW. In this lesson, Sue coaches on how problems in our business are never with our client or competition but with ourselves. You’ll learn the questions you should ask yourself each day, how to properly reflect back on each shoot to get more out of the next, and the importance of having a mentor. Finally, Sue shares the best business advice she has yet to give. Hint: it has to do with bums.

Key Points:

* You should always know what your average sale is. BE HONEST with yourself and include the no sales.

* Knowing your average sale helps you focus on how to lift your average INSTEAD of thinking about how to get more money.

* The more consistently you provide excellent service and product, the more people will talk about you, the more bums on seats you will get. Start doing this and you will make money!

* Once what you are doing starts feeling really good to you and you are at a value point that is very comfortable to you, you will start moving products and attracting people. When your energy is in alignment, you can’t help but do it!

* When you get a no sale, instead of complaining about it, ask yourself, WHAT DID I DO WRONG? It is not the economy or what the photographer down the street is doing.

* If your average sale isn’t where you want it to be, YOU are the reason it is going wrong, and Sue will bring it back to you every time.

* If your income isn’t where you want it to be, you need to minimize your costs. If it doesn’t make the ship go faster, don’t buy it!

* If you get a no sale, you either:

  • Did not connect with your clients
  • Did not educate your clients
  • Did not give adequate service to my clients
  • Did not follow through
  • Did not produce the product that you promised

* You are your own boss and you need to ask yourself where you are falling down. If you need support, go get a mentor! If your partner isn’t supporting you around your business, stop talking to him about it! A mentor will tell you honestly what you are doing wrong and support you.

* People email Sue on a regular basis saying they want to quit if they got a no sale. If you want to quit every time you get a no sale, you are struggling with your own value. You perceive that the lack of value is coming from an outside source and it’s not!

* ANYTHING THAT BRINGS YOUR AVERAGE UP OR DOWN IS A LESSON. Have a look at your big sales and your low sales and think about what happened during those shoots. What was your energy level like? Did you connect? Your answers will be right there!

* SERVICE IS ABOUT GIVING. What you are GIVING to get paid. You must come to the shoot in a state of giving, not worrying about whether or not you are going to get paid.



21:16 Average Sale

Selling Framed Images

What you show and what you love is what you sell.

This is lesson will prepare you for the big selling wall portraits class. It is all about getting clear on what you love most to take you to the next level of selling. Lock down the points in this lesson and then head over to Selling Wall Portraits & Collections next.

To see how Sue shows what she loves, view Sue Bryce’s Studio Tour.


51:34 Selling Framed Images

Selling Wall Portraits

I have been selling wall portraits for over 27 years. Learn the techniques that create a visual collection for your clients so they can see their own portraits covering the walls of their home. The gallery wall and the ancestors wall are big sellers and most of your clients dream of creating something this beautiful for their homes with legacy images of the people they love. Plant the seed, show don’t tell, and let your clients decide by giving them gorgeous and enticing products to purchase.



59:37 Selling Wall Portraits

Selling Wall Portraits + Collections

This is our BIG sales class!

We did the prep work and in this class we are spending 3 hours on selling wall portraits, designer wall series, collections, packages, up selling with wall portraits, and closing sales.

Join us in this class as we dive deep into pricing, product, profit & cost of goods, sales cycle from consultation through the sales session, closing, service, handling objections, referrals, and a whole lot more.


1:50:27 Selling Wall Portraits 1
1:50:11 Selling Wall Portraits 2

Commercial Pricing with Rob Grimm

Four years ago, I was approached by a huge international company to shoot a ‘real women’ series of shoots.

I had to determine a quote, submit a proposal, create a vision board, and fly to New York to pitch the board of directors and their advertising and PR people.

My quote was in the tens of thousands of dollars. They accepted my proposal, and I did the job. (There is a whole lot more to this story, but boy was I out of my comfort zone).

As a portrait photographer and educator, I am constantly asked to help people learn about commercial pitching, pricing, and licensing. So I’m bringing in commercial photographer and educator Rob Grimm.

Join us for this lesson and learn how to pitch and win commercial work. We will cover how to price your services and time correctly as well as the ins and outs of commercial licensing.


1:17:17 Commercial Pricing with Robert Grimm

Glamour vs Boudoir – Find Your Style

Boudoir image by Sue Bryce displayed during conversation with Glamour Photographer Sue Bryce.

Boudoir that Empowers

For most of her career, glamour photographer Sue Bryce has been outspoken in her push back against the boudoir genre, which she feels can objectify women by focusing too much on their body parts and not enough on their souls and personalities. Then at the 2018 Portrait Masters Conference, Sue issued a challenge for anyone who was ready to step up and join her on stage as an educator. Boudoir photographer Kara Marie Trombetta answered the call, and Sue was blown away by the beauty, passion, and soul in Kara Marie’s boudoir photography, which is driven by her desire to empower her clients by helping them feel confident when they are at their most vulnerable.

Since then, Kara Marie has become a featured instructor for The Portrait System (formerly Sue Bryce Education), a featured speaker at The Portrait Masters Conference, and she has a Boudoir Series educational course in The Portrait Masters store.

Glamour Photographer Sue Bryce and Boudoir Photographer Kara Marie Trombetta

Glamour vs Boudoir

In this conversation, Sue and Kara Marie discuss the portrait genres of Glamour and Boudoir, which both have undergone profound transformations in the last 30 years. Sue and Kara Marie talk about the history of each genre and discuss how they have changed. Both glamour and boudoir have their own stereotypes and stigmas associated with them, and Sue and Kara Marie talk about how developing their own styles depended on engaging those stereotypes and pushing through them. Furthermore, they share how they each used their genre’s stereotypes as springboards for their success.

Sue Bryce shoots glamour. Kara Marie shoots boudoir. And Lara Jade shoots fashion.

Find Your Style

Sue and Kara Marie’s experiences of transforming their glamour and boudoir relate to every portrait photographer’s journey of developing their own style and career path. In this lesson, Sue offers valuable advice and key questions every photographer should ask themself as they engage in an exploration of genres while developing their unique style. This is key to building a successful business because no matter which genre you choose to focus on, your style will shine through it, and your passion for it will determine your longevity in the field.


You might also like:


59:40 Glamour vs Boudoir: Find Your Style



Service and Client Experience—Month 3 of the 12 Month Startup

What is it that makes clients come back again and again and refer friends and family to you? The answer is simple. It’s the quality of the service and experience you provide.

In this lesson, we’ll go through the eight touchpoints that create a step-by-step system, a momentum of service, from the first contact all the way through to after the shoot. You’ll learn how to make every point of contact with your clients positively memorable, helping them feel seen, heard, and taken care of. When they have this kind of service-oriented experience with you, they will want to come back for more and tell all their friends.

For those ready to elevate their business further, we’ll talk about how to optimize each of the eight client touchpoints, so you can build upon and improve the service you are already providing.

The 12-Month Startup Program is a step-by-step guide for achieving your goals. The program is led by world-renowned photographer and educator Sue Bryce and two of her protégés, your breakthrough coaches, Cat Ford-Coates and Saray Taylor-Roman. Sue, Cat, and Saray have all built six-figure businesses with The Portrait System business model. Even if you are starting with nothing, you can join now and learn everything you need to know to launch a sustainable, successful business.

Jump into the full course and all the month’s lessons here!  


31:28 Sue's Challenge
57:03 Service and Client Experience

What Our Members Are Saying

Sue is not just a mentor, in the area of photography; she's a life coach in the area of living. Simply put, Sue Bryce Education, was the best investment I have made into myself, and my business, since it began! David Lee
Sue Bryce Education allowed me to grow from hobbyist with a borrowed camera and a dream, to professional portrait photographer with a six-figure business. There is no way I would be here without her education. Cat Ford-Coates
Sue Bryce Education has given me ALL of the tools needed to take me from a "shoot and burn" photographer making less then $200 a session to a portrait photographer with a studio and over a $1200 average and growing in less than 4 months. Ashley Lindsey
Sue Bryce Education has been the single-most impactful thing I've incorporated into growing my business, and in many ways, my life! Andrew Knowles
Building a successful and sustainable photography business is no secret anymore. Sue Bryce Education provides you with every tool you need to master your craft, how to market and sell and overall how to become the best version of yourself. You just have to do the work! Ursula Schmitz
By far the best investment you will ever make for your business and for yourself. I will never let my subscription lapse. Never. Liz Wikstrom Barlak
In my photography journey, I have tried many educational platforms, but none felt as comprehensive as Sue Bryce Education. Without a doubt, if not for Sue and her teachings, I would not be seeing the level of business success that I am seeing today. Neon Howe

Ready to get started? Become a member today!

Invest in Yourself

Choose a plan that’s right for you.
Full Library & Digital Downloads
12 Month Startup
Unlimited use of the Pricing Calculator
Early Access to TPM Conference Tickets
Free Ticket to WPPI 2023 on Yearly Plan
New Live Videos
Access to Private, Members-Only Facebook Group
Partner, Portrait Masters & Portrait Masters Awards Discounts
Studio Startup Tracker
Ability to Achieve Gold & Platinum Rewards
$3,000 Value: SAVE $2,600!
$399/year $45/month
Everything in Professional
First Access to TPM Conference Tickets
$50 TPM Store Credit
3 Free Portrait Masters Awards Submissions Per Round
Contract Templates
Sue Bryce’s The POSE Series
First Access to Events and New Features
Sue’s Listening Library
Members-only Podcast
$4,500 Value: SAVE $3,800!
100% Secure Checkout  |  Payment Options