Money-Making Mindset with Carrie Roseman

September 24, 2021 Artist Spotlight

Clubhouse Conversation: Carrie Roseman

In the latest episode of the Portrait System Podcast: Clubhouse Edition, Kevin Conde and Ashleigh Taylor chat with Carrie Roseman of Carrie Roseman Studios. Carrie runs a very successful portrait, boudoir, and personal branding business. Her average sale is $6,000, and her creative fee, that is, her sitting fee, alone is $1,500. Carrie hasn’t always charged this much. When she first transitioned from wedding photography, her average sale was $1,800. It took her a lot of inner work to overcome everything from money blocks, self-value blocks, and imposter syndrome before she felt confident to ask her clients to value her work and her time at this level.

Be sure to listen to the whole podcast to hear how Carrie sells her $1,500 creative fee as well as why she easily values it at that level. You also won’t want to miss hearing about how Carrie sets boundaries on her time, attention, and schedule. She also gives invaluable advice on how to achieve higher sales averages with personal branding clients, and she tells you why treating every client like the crème de la crème will give you fantastic referral rates.

In this blog, you’ll find some of Carrie’s beautiful portraits, links to her websites, and answers to some bonus questions.

To hear more from Carrie, check out Achieving High-Value Sales with Carrie Roseman.

Here are links to some of the SBE courses referenced in this Clubhouse Conversation: Self-ValueThe Money Wheel of Misfortune, Money Leaks, and Money/Business: Survive to Thrive.

You might also enjoy these Portrait System courses on body image and boudoir:

Get to Know Carrie Roseman

Q: When did you first come across Sue Bryce Education and how has it affected your career?

A: I first came across SBE pretty soon after it started — I think early 2016. After I decided to stop shooting weddings, it helped me jump full into doing IPS (in-person sales) and getting professional portrait pricing into my business while selling a tangible printed product (along with a digital product), which was what I always wanted to do: focus my business around seeing the print. 

Q: When first starting out, many photographers hit roadblocks on their journey to starting their business – whether feeling their equipment isn’t good enough or feeling they need a studio to start a business. What roadblocks did you encounter and how did you get over them?

A: When going full-time portrait (approx. 12 years into my career), I did get a new studio space, but it had nothing in it at first. I had no idea how I wanted to shoot or what I wanted to shoot. So I just dug in and got started. Of course, money blocks and boundary-setting blocks came up that needed consistent work until I broke through. This is the work of self-awareness and pivoting as needed, facing the fears, and dealing with them head on. This is life work and work I do consistently, every day.

Q: How do you feel about your current work/life balance?

A: My current work/life balance has gotten a lot better this year — with very consistent work of letting the team I’ve hired actually help me and me relinquishing control. I do take time off now and am present in the moments outside of my business. That was difficult for me to learn, and it is still being very much a process. Because what is the point of working for myself if I’m not actually enjoying the life I’m creating?

Q: What is your favorite advice that you’ve been given along your journey that has helped you the most? 

A: Better done than perfect.

Also: what someone thinks of me is none of my business. And what someone has in their bank account is none of my business.

These ideas/sayings help remove my need for outside validation. I will never please everyone. And that is fine.

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Carrie Roseman of Carrie Roseman Studios

Follow Carrie: Website – Instagram Facebook



Click Here to Read the Podcast Transcript

FULL TRANSCRIPT: Please note this transcript was generated by AI and may contain errors. 

This is the Portrait System podcast, a show that helps portrait photographers and people hoping to become one, navigate the world of photography, business, money and so much more. We totally keep it real. We share stories about the incredible ups and the very difficult downs when running a photography business. I’m your host, Nikki Closser. And the point of this podcast is for you to learn actionable steps that you can take to grow your own business and also to feel inspired and empowered by the stories you hear. Hey everyone, this week your clubhouse guest with your hosts, Kevin and Ashleigh is Carrie Roseman. She was episode number 83, and she is back again to talk more about mindset, how she runs a business, and to answer questions from the audience again.

00:00:42:03 – 00:00:52:00

If you’re not on Clubhouse, make sure you jump on because you can ask our guests questions live and be featured on the podcast. OK, let’s get started with Kevin, Ashleigh, and Carrie.

00:00:52:22 – 00:01:23:04

Welcome everyone to the Portrait System podcast Clubhouse Edition. My name is Kevin Conde, and I’m here with my co-host Ashleigh Taylor. If you’re not familiar with the portrait system, we are a portrait photography podcast that is powered by Sue Bryce Education. Nikki Closser hosts our regular Monday episodes, and Ashleigh and I host our Clubhouse Edition, which is live here on the Clubhouse app every Friday at Noon Pacific, and our episodes are released on Thursdays. You can tune in on your favorite podcast app by searching for the portrait system. Ashleigh, how are you today?

00:01:23:15 – 00:01:35:05

I’m great, Kevin, and I’m so excited to be here co-hosting our chat again with you today. I’m excited to introduce our guests for today. Carrie Roseman, who is a portrait photographer. Welcome, Carrie.

00:01:35:16 – 00:01:39:14

Oh yeah, thank you so much for having me. I’m so excited to be here.

00:01:40:01 – 00:02:12:04

So Ashleigh and I had listened to your podcast episode with Nikki Closser, and it was full of amazing information that we felt we wanted to have you on. That way, we can go even deeper into the process of your business, the type of mindset that is needed and the steps that you take to be so successful. We learned that your sales average is sitting at around 6000 a session now, but obviously that’s not where you started when you finally made the leap from wedding photography to portraits.

00:02:12:24 – 00:02:16:17

What did your pricing look like? What would you say your average was at the time?

00:02:17:03 – 00:02:20:12

Oh my goodness. This is this is a great question, and

00:02:22:18 – 00:02:58:27

it was very scary to make the leap because honestly, I had no idea what I was doing at all. And that’s, you know, finding Sue Bryce and Sue Bryce education, I think, was just starting around that time. That is really what made me make the leap and give me the courage into going into like full portrait full IPS. Like, I was scared constantly at first when she suggested, like, Oh, the lowest possible thing you should sell is like nine hundred dollars or a thousand dollars.

00:02:58:29 – 00:03:21:18

I was like, Oh my God, nobody’s ever paid me this much for portraits before, so I had a lot of work to do there. But once I kind of got into the flow and started to sell in-person sales and selling, you know, collections for what we call, you know, like a sustainable business, I think it was a pretty immediately around eighteen hundred

00:03:23:03 – 00:03:43:23

and my packages have gone through several incarnations over the last five years or so. So that may have been. One of my top packages back then, I honestly can’t remember what my pricing was like, I think my lowest package was like twelve hundred or something, but yeah, it was probably when I made the switch around.

00:03:43:25 – 00:04:02:09

And when as you’re transitioning over from weddings to portraits. Was there ever a moment where you might have hit like a speed bump? You might have had a slow period as you’re transitioning over that, you’re like, Nope, nope, I’m out. Back to weddings? Or was the transition smooth enough and slow enough that it didn’t really affect you?

00:04:02:22 – 00:04:34:04

Yeah, no. I mean, it was definitely bumpy and there was a lot else that was going on. I think I mentioned this in my podcast with Nikki that I had a second job for a long time, like I was a server and a bartender and in hospitality and bars and restaurants for twenty two years of my working life. So there was like a part time job involved with kind of giving me a little bit of comfort and help while I was building up my portrait business.

00:04:34:06 – 00:05:04:14

So it took quite a bit of courage to actually make the full leap from just like leaving any of those jobs into going full time portrait like and being a full time entrepreneur. So that jump actually happened in 2016 2017. I think I think it was July of Twenty Seventeen, so it’s been about it’s been four years now that I’ve been just like fully just like self-sustaining entrepreneur.

00:05:04:16 – 00:05:17:17

So I did have like a little bit of help from part time work along the way. But then when I went full in, it was really scary. I can’t remember if I’m answering your question fully.

00:05:18:27 – 00:06:00:17

No, that’s awesome. I wanted to say, first of all, congratulations on the four years of being full time. That’s amazing. And I also love that you brought up having a part time job and also like a day job because so many of our listeners and members also are coming from that place. And I think sometimes people develop a lot of shame around it. But I always think like it’s better to have security and be able then to charge industry prices and practice and grow your business, kind of scaling it the right way with, you know, not trying to undercut just because you’re trying to get by when you have a part time job.

00:06:00:19 – 00:06:17:03

So maybe you could speak to that aspect, like did having the hospitality job like help you to like, stay confident with your pricing and not jump around a lot and really move the ball forward with growing your business?

00:06:18:05 – 00:06:48:26

Um, well, this this is an interesting question. I mean, I I’m happy to talk about this because I think not enough people talk about this. Like I’ve been a portrait photographer for 17 years, but for several of those years I had a second job. I think the one of the biggest gifts that the service industry gave me was the fact that I was all about service and I was detail oriented and I knew how to make people feel seen and taken care of and anticipate their needs as far as pricing goes.

00:06:49:09 – 00:07:19:21

I had a lot of money blocks to work through at the same time that I found, you know, Sue’s education. I was also starting to work with like a life coach and a business coach. So I’ve had, you know, and then there’s mentors in our industry as well. Of course, obviously Sue and everybody else in the group and looking up to those people and then having somebody in my personal world who was helping me very directly break through blocks that I just didn’t know how to break through on my own.

00:07:19:28 – 00:07:53:14

And pricing and money was a huge part of that, and it wasn’t just something that I worked on once. This is and still even to this day, it’s very consistent work. It’s like peeling back the layers of an onion to break through blocks sometimes. And I think that’s where sometimes photographers or people working for themselves in general or creative people get hung up because they they get impatient and they’re like, I worked on this, like, why isn’t it working? And it’s like, it’s a process like, it’s OK, give yourself some grace.

00:07:55:02 – 00:08:32:25

So again, I hope that I’m answering your question there, like having having the the support of the part time job where I was making, you know, like when I was where I don’t know wherever I was working at. Finally, 250 in a night, it was like amazing. And then all of a sudden like, I’m charging that for a session fee. And then I was like, great, and then I get self-portraits on top of that. So it gave me confidence in that way in and it gave me confidence to leave that job in that way because I’m like, Well, I can make way more obviously selling portraits than I can if I’m busting my butt all night, you know, serving drinks and food.

00:08:33:07 – 00:08:48:01

So in that I I loved that work. I’m really glad that I had that experience, but at the time that I made the jump to full time like I was, I was really ready for it. I mean, I was scared, but like, I did it anyway.

00:08:49:17 – 00:08:51:06

So I hope that answers the question.

00:08:52:08 – 00:09:21:06

Yeah, totally. Could you talk through some of your first money blocks that you had to get through? Because I think that’s a huge thing for again, the people in our group and our listeners. It’s just about what is that work that we have to do? Like, is it journaling? Is it mantras? Is it all of the above? Is it looking at our personal history? You know, like, can you talk a little bit about your first blocks and what came up for you to overcome them?

00:09:21:23 – 00:09:56:03

I think one of the first major blocks around the money piece was the fact that I was not my client at that time. And there are, you know, when people are creating work that they are then selling. I think people have a really hard time creating a departure around that where they’re like, Oh, well, you know, I wouldn’t pay this much for photos. It’s like, but that doesn’t matter. You have to get over that and just feel like my time is worth the price that I’m asking for.

00:09:56:09 – 00:10:36:12

My art is worth the price that our mouths before, and I know that to my core. And even if you’re not your client right now, it doesn’t mean that you won’t become your client. And I think that that’s an evolution that that is is really important. I do think that portrait photographers so, so, so so should have this experience and pay that money to another photographer that they love. But sometimes it takes a little while to step into that, and that’s totally fine. But that was probably the big one where I constantly was kind of judging everything by the measuring stick through my own eyes like, well, I wouldn’t do this, but it doesn’t matter.

00:10:36:14 – 00:11:14:12

I’m not my client. How do I? How do I separate the mindset around that? So when you start to learn these things and like journaling definitely helps. Like, I’m somebody who remembers things. If I write it down, my vision boards, all of these things like I’m very tactical kind of person. I like to touch things and write things. So just getting through those things like journaling a lot definitely helps. But then working with my coach and and realizing like what the work we are actually doing and the work for personal growth in general is very much about creating a different neural pathway in your brain.

00:11:14:23 – 00:11:34:01

So you’re breaking old patterns, you’re breaking old mindset, you’re breaking old negative thoughts that come in in order to create the new habit, create the new way of thinking. And you know, and then you can kind of start to detach the emotion around it, and it’s definitely a process.

00:11:35:13 – 00:11:57:29

So with those money blocks of comparing what you’re able to, I guess, afford versus what someone else can. Those are the money blocks. Were there any self-value blocks that you felt you had to work through as you’re growing your business to then ultimately allow you to then take off?

00:11:59:22 – 00:12:56:05

Yeah, I mean, for sure, the the self-value piece was huge because it’s like, OK, I’m asking these people to pay, you know, twelve hundred fifteen hundred eighteen hundred and then obviously growing more from that through through the years, I’m asking these people to pay that. At first, it was like going through some level of imposter syndrome. I’m like, Well, is this even worth it? Like, you know? You know, and then not sounding confident in asking for the money in those sessions, but through every session, getting a little bit more practice, gaining a little bit more confidence helps me step into that value every single time because not only was I judging myself, but then it was like I was also trying to anticipate Do these people have the money to spend? Do they value what I’m doing like? Oh, I can’t imagine them spending three grand on this or whatever, and it’s like I was so in my own head about it that.

00:12:57:06 – 00:13:01:05

That kind of got in the way of serving sometimes, so.

00:13:02:23 – 00:13:04:11

I am I answering the question, yeah, I

00:13:04:22 – 00:13:40:14

know it’s so important that you brought up like judging when a client, you know, when you when you think maybe a client can afford something. I recently shot like a college graduation, and it wasn’t that I didn’t think she could afford it, but I was just like, Oh, like, that’s just not that’s not my normal clientele. I usually photograph women in their 40s or 50s, and maybe I just didn’t realize how important, like college graduation photos would be to someone because it wasn’t important to me when I graduated college and she bought my biggest package.

00:13:40:20 – 00:14:16:16

She was thrilled. She was like crying. She was like, These are the photos I’ve dreamed of, like my whole life, and I’m like, Oh, wow. Oh wow. It just kind of like brings it back and like, Yeah, maybe there was this tiny part of me that like when she inquired, I was like, Oh, I don’t know if this is my client, you know? But luckily, I’ve been in the, you know, the field long enough to know to like, you know, lead with service trust that someone knows how to make the best decisions for themselves, educate them on pricing, let them make their own decisions, educate them on the packages, let them make their own choices.

00:14:17:20 – 00:14:25:01

But in the beginning, I might have sabotaged myself too with judgment. So I think it’s a really good thing that you just brought up right there.

00:14:25:17 – 00:14:45:06

Yeah, I think it’s I think it’s incredibly important that we know at the core that is none of our business what’s in somebody else’s bank account, and it’s not our place to judge them if they drive a beater car, if they drive a BMW or if they live in a big house or small house, people are going to pay for what they value. One hundred percent every time.

00:14:46:00 – 00:14:55:10

Exactly. And all those values are can be so wildly different, too. Kevin, I’ll toss the next question to you, Carrie.

00:14:55:13 – 00:15:20:16

So you obviously, you exude confidence. You following you online. We just see it. Is this something that you’ve always had or you felt you’ve had to grow with the experience of shoot after shoot, as you were saying, is this something that you’re like in the beginning with your clients or now with time? Now, obviously, boom, boom, boom. I can do this. So then you can then exude that confidence.

00:15:21:12 – 00:15:52:05

This is a great question, and I love this. I have always been a confident person in things that I was good at. So I was always confident in my ability to make beautiful portraits. So I think that was very helpful where I wasn’t confident that the areas that I needed to work on was my self-value and the money mindset stuff like.

00:15:52:26 – 00:16:32:17

And that my ability to talk to people like and even, you know, if you wanted to. If you guys had a podcast four years ago and you were like, Hey, you want to come on my podcast, I would be like sweating and freaking out and not able to speak coherently because I was just so nervous and I wasn’t practiced at it. But through networking and, you know, working with my clients and everything, I got a lot more comfortable. And then one of my coaches said to me over, you know, years ago, something that always stuck with me is that you can’t say the wrong thing to the right person and you can’t say the right thing to the wrong person.

00:16:32:19 – 00:17:08:09

So I’m like, OK, even if I fumble of my words or whatever, it’s fine because the people who I’m talking to or say on a consultation call, if I’m like fumbling, bumbling, like I still book to those people because they valued what I did and we made a connection and they liked it and they wanted the portrait session. So. And other times, when I’ve been completely flawless, people are like, OK, no, not for me. And I’m like, OK, you just have to like that. So that’s something that kind of helped me in my mind as far as gaining my confidence even around talking about my business or what I do or saying my prices.

00:17:08:18 – 00:17:41:17

You know, it’s it’s really important, I think, to treat everybody that comes in like the creme de la creme client and like, they’re all going to spend a million bucks because if you treat them like that, they’re going to feel seen and amazing and will likely spend more than they were anticipating anyway. But even if they bought your small package, it doesn’t matter because they’re still probably bragging about you to all their friends. So it’s like you want to treat everybody amazing and give great service. And you know, and it’s just kind of grows from there.

00:17:41:19 – 00:18:11:23

So that’s really kind of helped me step into the different levels of confidence. Like it’s it’s been a process like I’ve always been confident at my photography. I had to get confident at speaking, you know, speaking about money and asking for the money. I had to be confident in creating boundaries with. My clients like, for example, around rescheduling things like that and now part of all of that, what has gone into that is.

00:18:13:07 – 00:18:43:16

Just valuing my time, you know, knowing what my time is worth, knowing what my 17 years of experience is worth, knowing how much I put invested into my education and I’m going still going to workshops, you know, paying for online courses and all of the things like, what is that worth and standing in that power. So that’s really kind of helped my confidence as well. Like, I bring a lot to the table and I know that I can talk to anybody in a room and give value. So and I know I’m not for everybody either.

00:18:43:18 – 00:18:50:15

So I have really big energy and it’s not for everybody. And that’s totally fine. I got it. I got it.

00:18:51:15 – 00:19:26:01

I think one of the points you just made to you, if I can backtrack a little is really key to that, like around setting boundaries and valuing your time more. I definitely think and I know I had fallen into this, and I’d be curious if you did along the way, too, that there is a point where you start charging more like you’re starting to get these really high averages. But at least for me, it was always like, Oh, now I almost need to like, work harder. I need to prove that I’m worth this like, like essentially that at a $5500 and eighteen hundred dollar average sale.

00:19:26:07 – 00:19:51:13

That was fine cause for. But to like do the exact same work and to suddenly make twice or three times the amount on the shoot. There was this feeling of, Oh well, maybe now I need to like add more like I need to be more available or more flexible or, you know, so like, how did you ever have a feeling of that and how did you like make that shift to really valuate your time?

00:19:52:18 – 00:20:27:22

This yeah, this is another great question, and I love this. And Sue talks about this to an SBE and all of that about how like, oh, just because we have like a bigger package, it doesn’t mean we need to throw in the kitchen, sink in our first born child and our pets. And you know, like people just want to be served at a high level and actually something that helped me break through learning this was also through coaching and things like personal coaching, masterminds and things that I’ve done and where I’ve seen really high performing coaches in all different industries.

00:20:27:24 – 00:20:59:11

And they coach all different things where their highest price thing that they offer is often the least high touch thing because the people who are paying like the high price want efficiency and expertise the end like so that it kind of helped me wrap my mind around that because too, I was like, Well, maybe I should throw in a wall portrait, or maybe I should throw in this, and maybe I should send them this. And it’s like they want to be taken care of and they want to be seen.

00:20:59:13 – 00:21:16:26

And yes, gifting is nice, and I do gift in my business as well to my to my clients. But they’re not expecting you to throw in like every product under the Sun, just because they spend a top amount with you. They are hiring you because you are efficiently going to get exactly what they want,

00:21:18:13 – 00:21:45:02

and they’re they’re willing to pay the luxury price for it. So that’s kind of the shift that I had to make around that. But yeah, it was it was definitely a process because there was a time when when I was like, Let me add this on and let me add this on, and then you kind of break it down. And it’s like, You know what? I’m actually confusing my client like, I mean, they’re coming to me to be efficient. And I’m like, Oh, but this and this, and I was like, No, make it easy to understand they’re paying for your expertise the end.

00:21:45:24 – 00:22:21:18

Yeah, I think that’s such a good point, too, with personal branding shoots like I know for me, my really high touch, high end personal branding clients like they actually don’t want the longest photo session in the world. They don’t want to have like a whole storyboarding session. They’re like, I trust you know, the shot they need. Like, tell me what to bring. Send me links to outfits or whatever. I’ll come with it and just, you know, like just bang these shots out for me because I’ve got a million other things going on in my my life.

00:22:21:26 – 00:22:27:09

So I think that that’s so important because it’s like, yeah, when people are really high end, they just want great service.

00:22:27:29 – 00:23:04:24

Mm hmm. Yes, absolutely. And they and these high-performing people who are coming to get these like, you know, brand refresh or whatever. A whole new photoshoot or just new head shots or whatever images for a speaking gig or something like they’re busy, they’re really busy. So it’s like, make the most of your time with them when you do have their attention and then like, knock it out of the park when when they’re in front of you. And not only are people paying for efficiency in your expertise, but they are also paying for you, like they’re buying you like that’s what they’re buying.

00:23:05:29 – 00:23:20:10

So Carrie, how do you then determine what is when crafting a package, what is considered? Something that you’re giving them for your expertise and efficiency versus this is giving them the kitchen sink.

00:23:21:27 – 00:23:32:12

Where do you draw that line like, oh, maybe I shouldn’t add this wall portrait, because this is me giving them the kitchen sink vs., OK, this is just enough. This is what they’re looking for.

00:23:34:23 – 00:23:40:14

Hmm. I have my thinking face on which you guys can’t see because we’re all on audio.

00:23:42:15 – 00:23:44:26

But I have a thinking face and it’s on right now, so

00:23:46:15 – 00:23:51:23

that’s a good question. So I think this has to just do with how I crafted my packages in general. And

00:23:53:18 – 00:24:16:02

my business is that is at the point where I’ve been very successfully selling the folio box and digital packages for branding. But I mean, I always want people to have the printed portrait just because they’re getting digitals doesn’t mean that the price has changed. So I do it like most a lot of us in SBE do it where they get the corresponding digital file for any print that they purchase.

00:24:17:24 – 00:24:53:05

So I’ve been really trying to make a push for wall art because I really want to be decorating the walls of people’s homes, and I think it’s really important I grew up in a home like that. So I find it to be nostalgic and important for me, especially, but I don’t add my packages in general. When people are getting like collections of a number of images, I have them set up for a 10, 15 or 20 portraits and then they can add on five or add on singles. Once they get to that top package, if they want more than 20, but I don’t include like a wall portrait with that top package.

00:24:53:07 – 00:24:58:13

If they want a wall portrait that’s added on at whatever the wall portrait prices for the size they’re buying.

00:25:00:03 – 00:25:31:18

But I do. So I don’t know. Am I answering your question, Kevin? I don’t do like a kitchen sink thing, but I do gift and if somebody. Is kind of like hemming and hawing between for example, getting like the budget they have is for like a wall portrait, but they want a set of 15 images, but they can’t quite afford both and that maybe they go down to like the 10 to get the wall portraits. Sometimes I’ll do an ad more for more then, but my pricing is such that I can do that.

00:25:32:07 – 00:25:43:29

I can entice them to that package where they’re really getting what they want and not feeling disappointed by not having the extra five portraits that they wanted.

00:25:45:15 – 00:26:13:27

And that’s something that we’re totally allowed to do, and I feel very at ease in the sales room. Now talking about that and giving more for more because my pricing is such that I can offer that. And again, it’s not for every client. Not everybody’s expecting that. But if somebody is hemming and hawing and I’m like, I don’t want them to leave here disappointed and they really do deserve these portraits and like, what is it to me if I gift them a couple extra like, I will do that to close the sale. So that makes sense.

00:26:14:18 – 00:26:27:00

Of course, while we’re on the topic of product and pricing, I know you went over it with Nikki, but can you kind of reiterate kind of what your packages are and what comes in them?

00:26:27:22 – 00:26:35:09

Sure, sure. OK, so I know that some people are probably surprised at by session fee. So I’ll start there

00:26:36:25 – 00:26:43:09

and I do a really good job at selling the experience on this when I’m on the phone with my clients.

00:26:44:27 – 00:27:17:06

But because it does include a whole lot, so I make it sound really enticing and amazing because it is and it does require a lot of effort that it’s a custom session design. We have wardrobe guidelines and a wardrobe consultation, so we get your outfits planned up for the photoshoot day itself. We have professional hair and makeup. It’s up to a four hour shoot with five looks. It’s a fully guided shoot, so you’re not going to have to guess how to stand, where to put your hands, where to look. I’m going to coach you through all of that. And then we also have our photo premiere session, and that’s when you get to choose the collection and buy your photographs.

00:27:17:08 – 00:27:52:05

So I describe it like that and I say I charge fifteen dollars for that. And then your portraits are purchased separately. So portrait packages start at 10 with thirty one hundred, then fifteen for thirty seven fifty and we do twenty for forty five hundred. And then we can add on five for eight, seventy five or singles for four fifty. I usually don’t hit them with like like all the add on prices I usually give them, like the range is thirty one hundred forty five hundred and sometimes people spend 10K plus and sometimes people come in and spend three.

00:27:52:07 – 00:27:57:21

The average spend, I say, isn’t about the $5000 range, so that’s pretty succinctly how I describe it.

00:27:58:27 – 00:28:07:16

The 1500 does that include that doesn’t include any credit towards portraits, and that’s just strictly your your creative fee.

00:28:08:04 – 00:28:39:29

That is the creative fee. And you know, I when I first put it up that high again, this was like a scary move and I didn’t like I didn’t just decide one day like, Oh, you know what? Like, six ninety five isn’t enough. I’m just going to charge fifteen hundred. This is something that I actually got encouraged from a coach, and I online like networking retreat thing that I went to, which I was the only photographer in the room. And I was with all of these super high performing coaches.

00:28:40:01 – 00:29:14:25

And when I talk about super, it’s like multi six and a seven figure business people and somebody stop the room and said to me, I wouldn’t even take you seriously unless you were charging four figures to work with you. And I was like, Oh, let me let me think about what I’m doing over here. Receord scratch. Like, Yeah, it was like a pin drop. You could hear a pin drop in the room like and I was just like, Oh my God, like, maybe I’m am I undervaluing myself? And then I thought about it and I was like, OK, I’m going to I’m going to try this out and try this on, see how it feels and people pay it.

00:29:15:03 – 00:29:58:18

And so I was like, OK, great, this works. This is, you know, but it did take me. It took me a few times of being like, and it’s fifteen hundred dollars, you know what I mean? Like, of course, I was scared at first, but but now I’m just like, Well, I mean, that is what it is, but it also gives me room in there to, like, have a continuing client rate for less. Obviously, if I want to like have continued like I can like gift stuff to my returning people like it gives me some breathing room and it gives me breathing room around having the full team in the studio, which sometimes it’s like a little bit of a full house, which is good, you know, with my hair and makeup person and I have a video person and an assistant sometimes.

00:29:58:20 – 00:30:37:01

So there’s quite a few of us. I have worked with the stylist and sometimes my behind the scenes social media gal  is there so we can post the stories in real time. Like there’s a lot going on. It’s not like I’m. Making a ton of money off of off of the session fee, I’m just I’m trying to cover the costs, so I’m not coming out of pocket on the back end when I’m selling the product. And I know there’s so many different ways of of selling and figuring out cost of doing business and overhead and all that stuff. I was just really concerned about trying to figure out what felt good for me and how I wanted to run my business going forward.

00:30:37:10 – 00:30:52:17

If it feels good to charge two fifty four fifty five fifty eight hundred twelve hundred, whatever. Like all of it works, it all works, at least, doesn’t it? Obviously. Yeah, this is just what feels good to me right now.

00:30:54:04 – 00:31:08:08

And you know, and maybe I will add on like I’m I’m tempted to add on a wall art credit just to encourage more while our sales. But we also see I think that would be like a special kind of promo that I would do.

00:31:09:13 – 00:31:24:08

Now we’ve also reached the time for audience questions. So if you are listening and you want to ask a question, please just raise your hand by hitting the hand icon in the lower right and we can bring you up onstage and ask your question.

00:31:24:23 – 00:31:38:25

And while we wait for questions, I was going to ask is, is your average based off? Is your pricing the same for all across the board? Because I know you said beauty, boudoir, and branding, is that charging the same across the across the board?

00:31:39:07 – 00:32:12:28

Yes. Yeah. And one more thing I want to say about the session fee, too, is for a while there I was charging like in the five fifty six ninety five range for my session fee. And when I was describing the experience and everything it included and then saying, Oh, and and I charge five fifty for that. And people were like, Oh my God, that’s it. Like, I heard that from people and I was just like, OK, maybe it is time to raise this. So it’s just kind of it’s feeling in your gut what feels good.

00:32:13:00 – 00:32:41:12

And then, you know, also kind of like listening for the direct feedback that you’re getting from the people who are paying you. Like if you have people who are really quick yes, on things and notice it to you for free yourself. When you go and buy something and somebody calls you a price that is less than you thought it was going to be, you’re like, Oh my god, yeah, take my money right now. Like, You know what I mean? We’ve all had that experience, so I just kind of want people to to start thinking in that way as well.

00:32:42:21 – 00:32:57:22

When it comes to how you get your clients and are keeping your calendar filled. Are you mostly working off referral? Do you run ads? Do you still go to networking events? What is your what is your marketing mix like?

00:32:58:18 – 00:33:26:23

Well, I’m happy to say that networking in person is finally happening again, so I really love networking, so I’m trying to ramp up that effort, and I’m also networking online to reaching out to people and connecting with them and finding out about their businesses. So that is a big part of it. But it’s also definitely a lot referral based and those are the best right because it’s it’s warmed up usually have, you know,

00:33:28:16 – 00:33:50:19

people like talking very amazingly about you and then they, their friends reach out and that that’s always the best. I love that because my clientele, like, I want more of them, so they send me their friends. Yes, absolutely 100 percent. And I do get I do get some cold leads sometimes that come in through like someone will say, Oh, I found you on Google, and I’m like, Oh yes, my SEO is working.

00:33:52:10 – 00:33:58:26

You know, that always surprises me, but but in a good way. But yeah, I would say mostly referrals.

00:34:00:00 – 00:34:06:13

Awesome. Well, we have a question from David Franco, said David. If you want to go ahead and ask your question and unmute yourself.

00:34:06:29 – 00:34:52:09

Hello. Hi. I’m David Franklin from Los Angeles and I’m a photographer. I I don’t really shoot a lot of families, but I shoot them because they pay me the most and hearing these stories about people that are really successful, like personal branding sessions and stuff like that. Like, I would love some insight on how you’re approaching these sessions to get the higher sales, because whenever I do personal branding, people only really want like three or four images and then the sale is pretty low overall. And I love like just some, I don’t know, I guess, tips or insight on like, how are you pushing these averages to get into, you know, like the higher figures to kind of make most of the make people excited and to get people like, you know, really spending more money on the personal branding session? Does that make sense?

00:34:53:08 – 00:35:25:15

Yeah, that’s that’s a great question, David. And you know, a switch that I made over the shutdown last year. I did a lot of like revamping on the back end of my business and restructuring pricing and like updating my ideal client avatar over our for four months shutdown. And. Part of what was involved in that was dropping my ala carte. I am not going to put my energy into creating an entire portrait session to sell three portraits. I’m just not doing it like I would do it for wall art if we were.

00:35:25:17 – 00:35:57:10

But that’s that’s the kind of thing that you can find out during your discovery calls in the booking process and your intake. And if you’re having any sort of consultation with your client is finding out what are we shooting for? What’s the end product? And sometimes people don’t know, and that’s fine, too. But again, like my smallest package is 10 photographs. But if I have somebody who wants to come in and they’re like, Oh yeah, I’m definitely just going to get the 10 and I’m like, Great, then we will do three outfits for your shoot.

00:35:57:16 – 00:36:30:07

Like, I’m not going to max it out and do five outfits and spend four hours shooting to create 100 images. I’m showing them to narrow it down to 10. Does that make sense because it also gets overwhelming and confusing for the client at that point? So I guess the long winded answer here is to trying to find out a little bit more at the beginning what what you’re creating for them and then they’re counting on you to be the expert on like if you’re doing a whole personal branding session, there’s no way you’re going to need under 10.

00:36:30:09 – 00:36:38:10

Like most of my personal branding, people get between 20 and 30 40 photographs, and they really do need that for their business.

00:36:40:26 – 00:36:43:19

So I hope does that does that help you because like,

00:36:44:27 – 00:36:54:18

no, no, that’s this is super, super helpful. I never really thought about that. I do ala carte pricing for my personal branding because I always I like I get very.

00:36:56:15 – 00:37:30:05

I still have money blocks that I’m like, and I try to like, make it easier for people that just need a picture for their, you know, their social media or whatever. But then I end up feeling disappointed because I’m like, Well, I know we have all these amazing images, but I didn’t educate them on the pricing well enough to really like, you know, make use of their time in my time. So hearing about your process is actually really helpful. I think I might start doing that. I might just start doing saying, you know, this is my package, this is my lowest package and this is what you’ve get with that. And, you know, as educating people and not doing the ala carte thing because I think you’re right.

00:37:30:07 – 00:37:37:24

I think it’s like, I want to make use of my time and not feel like I’m wasting my time. You know, so yeah, this is good. This is super helpful. Thank you.

00:37:38:16 – 00:38:10:28

You’re welcome. It’s also very much about, you know, checking in with what feels aligned with how you want to work. And this is like constant self-awareness work. I had a couple of like low sales, like single image sales that weren’t wall Mart, and they bought that because I allowed it to happen and I didn’t do enough on the discovery part to really, like, figure out what they wanted. And then I was disappointed just in the fact that, like, I own responsibility for that, I let it happen.

00:38:11:00 – 00:38:41:12

I sold that. That was fine, but I decided to draw a boundary for myself and say, I’m not doing that going forward. So how do I craft this experience around, you know, like if I have somebody contact me and they’re like, Oh, hey, I just need a couple of headshots. If they’re a returning client, I’m happy to create, you know, somebody I want to work with again. I’m happy to create something around that. But cold traffic coming in like a one coming in for one headshot or two at doesn’t really make sense.

00:38:41:14 – 00:39:24:08

Like I would rather do the full portrait session. Now I’ve done days in my business where it’s like I’ve done a headshot. I guess people call it minis. I don’t really like to use that term, but like I’ve done, like several people in one day, just concentrating on headshots. But. I don’t know it just after a while didn’t really feel fulfilling for me, either, so I stopped doing that. So if somebody is going to book in for portraits for their business, they’re having a full session and they’re getting at least 10, and I guide them in the way that I let them know. I’m like, I, we are going to create these beautiful images for you, and I’m going to guide you through the selection so we can get the most dynamic images that you need for your brand and people like, Oh my God, you’re going to help me do that? And I’m like, Yes.

00:39:24:23 – 00:39:32:06

And I say people generally like more than they think they’re going to. So I just want to prepare you for that. But if you are set on the 10, we will get you to the 10.

00:39:32:22 – 00:39:52:04

And so if somebody if somebody approached you and they said, Hey, you know, I really need an updated LinkedIn photo, I love your style. I would love to shoot with you. Are you like right away now educating them on pricing them for like a 10 image package saying like, Oh, well, this is like the start about, you know, like, how would you how do you kind of like that make sense?

00:39:52:18 – 00:40:25:13

It depends on where the inquiry is coming in from, because I try to direct everyone back to the contact form on my website because it makes people jump through some hoops on there. It’s ask them for a little bit more information. It tells them right there that my session fee, my creative fee is fifteen hundred. And then ask them to pick from a dropdown. What is their level of investment? Because I want them to see the numbers upfront. But this is again, this is just what I have found.

00:40:25:15 – 00:41:02:17

That’s working for me, that’s working right now. Rather than just getting on the phone with all of the cold traffic from everywhere who has zero idea about what I charge, I felt like I was spending so much time on the phone with people who weren’t qualified. So it’s just a way of trying to filter down the leads that are qualified into your business to get you your valuable time on the phone. So it has helped increase my booking rate because people are like at that level, if they’re willing to fill out the form and they’re willing to see the prices and they’re willing to schedule their phone call, then they’re usually willing to have the portrait session.

00:41:02:27 – 00:41:33:21

So that’s that’s just a filtering process that I have gone through. But if I meet somebody at a networking event and they’re like, Oh, hey, I need a LinkedIn shot, I’d be like, Great, I’d I’d love to talk about a portrait session with you and what that looks like, you know? And I kind of describe it from there, and I kind of frame it from the fact of like, what? Hey, let’s see if this is a good fit like this is this is what I offer. Is that exciting for you? You know, like I try to make it sound energetic and exciting, you know, like, so thank you.

00:41:34:19 – 00:41:48:16

You’re welcome. Thanks so much, David. I see that Dallas has a question. Dallas if you could unmute yourself, state your full name and ask your question. That’d be great. Hi, Carrie, thanks so much for your great talk today. My name is Dallas.

00:41:48:22 – 00:42:01:07

I’m a portrait and branding photographer in Alberta, Canada. I’m so impressed by all the work you’ve done on your self-value and delivering this high end experience to your clients. And I’m really

00:42:01:09 – 00:42:04:21

curious about the work you’ve done around boundaries

00:42:04:23 – 00:42:06:13

because you’ve been talking

00:42:06:15 – 00:42:10:29

about, you know, how you’re working with these busy people who are high achieving, who want

00:42:11:01 – 00:42:18:12

an expert, but you’re also protecting your own time by putting these boundaries in place. So I’m wondering if you

00:42:18:14 – 00:42:24:28

could speak to that at all about how you deliver this high-end experience that makes people feel well-served,

00:42:25:28 – 00:42:58:09

but also like gently or maybe firmly states your boundaries like from the get go. Thank you. Yeah, this is a great question, and this is something that I think we all kind of struggle with, and it literally is just from having experience figuring out like what you’re willing to do and what you’re not and kind of being gentle about it a little bit, not just being like, oh, you know, like ruling with an iron fist and like talking to people like that. But for example, I don’t give out my personal cell phone number anymore.

00:42:58:19 – 00:43:13:03

I have a business phone number through Vonage, which I have an app on my phone so I can still talk to my clients or text them on my phone from the studio number. But I also don’t answer like, you know,

00:43:14:18 – 00:43:55:06

I try not to have people contact my clients, contact me through DMs and things like that, because then the communication gets lost. I try to keep everything in the same place and we can text clients through the business line. But I also don’t answer after hours and things like that. I have my business email on my phone turned off as well, which I know some people are probably like gasping at the fact that I just said that, but I have a studio manager who monitors my inbox and like, if there’s anything super pressing, like if I’m away from my computer and I haven’t seen an email like we communicate on voxer, but I.

00:43:55:08 – 00:44:15:25

See the e-mail every day, I just I need to step away from it after hours and on weekends, so I’m not one of the, I guess again, a long-winded way to say one of my boundaries is around my time and I’m not available on call twenty four seven because I will go insane. I just can’t. I can’t do that. So.

00:44:17:25 – 00:44:54:05

I mean, if somebody kind of oversteps the boundary or. You know, I just kind of gently lead them back. I have a reschedule policy that we go over right when they book in so they know they can’t reschedule four times like that’s not a thing that we do in my business. There’s also, you know, just like and I’ve had people be really distracted on a phone call or something, and maybe I’ll get off the phone and say, maybe we can talk again at a point where you’re distraction free. You just say things like in a nice way that lets people know, like, Hey, I’m giving you my full attention.

00:44:54:13 – 00:45:25:05

I would like to get your full attention. So I’m just touching on a few different things here. Dallas, I’m not sure what boundaries you are referencing, so I’m trying to just touch on a few different ones here. Yeah. Oh, it’s so helpful. Yeah, I guess email time was one of them. The cancellation policy. It just yeah, I guess if there’s any other things that have come up for you that have been a problem that you’ve then said, Oh, I need to fix this and make sure people know what my expectations of them are. And then had to reinforce it.

00:45:25:07 – 00:46:01:06

But it sounds like you’ve covered a lot of bases. So you’ve got this. Thank you for those tips. You’re welcome. And the reschedule one is huge, and I think that’s something that we do get tested on like every once in a while, even if even if we do, you know, have great clients, it’s like before on the booking call, before I take any money from anybody for their session fee, I take their session fee over the phone. I will say, OK, I just like to go over our reschedule policy because we’ve selected these dates on the calendar and the way that I operate.

00:46:01:08 – 00:46:35:06

We select three dates. That’s the portrait shoot itself, the reveal and ordering appointment and their wardrobe consultation. And so I say we just ask that you honor these days we selected for your shoot. And in the case where there’s something emergent where you need to reschedule, we request a 14 day notice in writing through email. And if under 14 days is given, then there’s a $500 rescheduling fee and we allow one reschedule per photoshoot. If a second rescheduled request comes in, then a whole new session fee is required to get time back on the calendar.

00:46:35:20 – 00:47:07:11

And then I say all session fees and all fees for everything we create is non-refundable. And I say, Do you have any questions? And they usually say, No, that makes sense. And I said, I’m ready if you are. And they say, OK, so I just kind of wanted to throw that in there, too, because I think a lot of people struggle with that. And then they also like and they’re booking details, the email that gets sent out after we booked them and also reiterates the reschedule policy. And then I do. I’m a photographer that works for the portrait agreement, and it’s also an important agreement.

00:47:07:13 – 00:47:24:29

So that’s great. Carrie, that’s really helpful. We have time for our one last question from Ann Landstrom. So and just go ahead and ask your question. We do want to wrap up at one, Carrie. So let’s just try to keep mindful of that too. Yeah. Hi, Ashley and

00:47:25:01 – 00:47:37:06

Kevin and Carrie. My girl, I know Carrie pretty good, but I’m going to give her a question to a two-part question. Question number one, How much do you divide on working

00:47:37:26 – 00:47:40:16

on your business versus in your business?

00:47:40:19 – 00:47:47:02

Question number one and number two, what does Carrie do when she’s not working? Oh my goodness, and I love you.

00:47:49:04 – 00:48:24:24

Great questions, OK? So, um, right now the working on my business is like 90 percent of what I’m doing versus, I mean, obviously, I’m working in my business too. But there’s just so much moving and shaking on the back end of my business. Then I know that we have to get off this call. I don’t have. And you know, a little bit about what’s going on. I don’t have time to get into all that, but I would say it’s a little bit unbalanced right now, and I’m working very heavily on my business and I do have a team and I’m like training people to help me in all the ways that I need help.

00:48:25:23 – 00:48:29:10

And then what does Carrie do for fun? Um,

00:48:31:00 – 00:48:41:26

I like to go out to eat, and I do like to cook and hang out with friends that we might I almost said my fiance, I mean my husband. We just got married in June,

00:48:43:13 – 00:49:02:10

so that was exciting. We we also bought a house last year, so it’s like hanging out outside like this the first time we’ve had outdoor space in five years. So we like to sit out on the porch and things like that. So just like, I don’t know, these sound like boring things, but they’re exciting for me. That doesn’t not boring at all.

00:49:04:20 – 00:49:05:15

It’s pretty awesome.

00:49:06:13 – 00:49:19:03

Well, thank you there. And as Ashleigh said, we are trying to wrap up, but I did have one final question for you with where you are in your business and how successful you are. What are your future goals? Where are you trying to go next?

00:49:20:24 – 00:49:25:05

Oh, I love this question too. Because, you know, there’s always goals on goals, on goals, right?

00:49:28:14 – 00:49:59:18

I’ve actually ventured in like a lot of people in our community and the online education space, so specifically around posing. So I’ve I’ve started doing that and coaching a bit as well. So I’m really excited about that, actually. I think the thing that’s really exciting, the idea about for me is doing workshops like hosting workshops and retreats and things like that. Creative retreats are, you know, photographer retreats.

00:49:59:20 – 00:50:04:26

So I think that is definitely things that are all in the mix.

00:50:06:18 – 00:50:34:26

When? Who knows? But you know, we have things in the pipeline, so. So that’s exciting. But yeah, I mean, and then as far as like the portrait side. I really want to be just selling like really big wall art, so that’s that’s something that a skill set that I’m starting to develop and learn on is like, how am I going to create portrait sessions specifically around creating wall art? Like, that’s my next big thing

00:50:36:12 – 00:50:46:17

with a good friend of yours, Felicia Reed. I know that wall art is one of the things that she sells a lot of. I’m assuming Connecticut has a lot more wall space than we do here in California.

00:50:47:24 – 00:51:19:27

I don’t know. I don’t know. We do have just like anywhere, you know, there are some places over here with like really big houses and but old homes. Sometimes it’s like weird the way that they’re structurally configured. You’d be surprised some big houses like I go into them and I’m like, you guys don’t actually have much wall space in there. So it does depend on, you know, somebody has ability to have in their home. First and foremost. But yeah, I know and I and I love Felicia and I’m good friends with her too. And and she does sell a bunch of wall art as well.

00:51:20:03 – 00:51:28:18

It’s very satisfying when people buy the wall art because it’s like, yes, like, put that on your wall, remind yourself to like that’s who you are every day. Like, I love that.

00:51:29:09 – 00:51:31:22

And then when people come in, let them know who shot that picture.

00:51:35:24 – 00:51:36:21


00:51:37:11 – 00:51:49:14

Well, Carrie, it has been an absolute pleasure. We’ve just scratched the surface. We had so many more questions, but we have hit the one hour mark and I before we go, I just want to give you the opportunity. Let people know where to find you.

00:51:49:29 – 00:52:17:00

OK, awesome. Yeah. So website is Carrie C A R I E R O S E M A N dot com and socials really active on Facebook and Instagram and both of those places, as at Carrie Roseman Studios. And obviously, you guys can shout me out and find me right in the SBE group. I’m in there a lot. So happy to connect with people there as well.

00:52:17:18 – 00:52:50:02

Perfect. Thank you very much, everyone. Please, please, please be sure to follow Carrie Roseman has some amazing content online is very active, as she says, and please make sure to follow The Portrait System on Instagram and on Facebook as well. Also, be sure to go check out the blog post associated with our Clubhouse interviews at Nikki Closser has just released a personal branding course that is available to check out on The Portrait, which also looks fantastic.

00:52:50:08 – 00:53:19:23

So check that out if you are a member of Sue Bryce Education and you have more questions for Carrie, as she said post it on the member’s Facebook group or tag Ashleigh or myself. If you have any questions for us as well. If you are not a member of Sue Bryce Education, if you are interested in learning more about how it can help your business succeed, please email Ella in support at Thank you again for joining us and hope you can join us next week.

Thanks again for listening today. And don’t forget, you can listen to either me or our special guests every Friday on Club House at 11:00 a.m. Pacific. Thank you so much for listening to the Portrait System Podcast. Your five-star reviews really help us to continue what we do. So, if you like listening, would you mind giving us a review wherever you listen? I also encourage you to head over to, where you can find all of the education you need to be a successful photographer. There are over 1,000 on-demand educational videos on things like posing, lighting, styling, retouching, shooting, marketing, sales, business, and self-value

There’s also the 90 Day Startup Challenge, plus so many downloads showing hundreds of different poses. We have to-do checklists for your business, lighting PDFs, I mean truly everything to help make you a better photographer and to make you more money. Once again, that’s