Feel EmPOWERED by SUE BRYCE :
The Best Photography Education Online!
I’ve been a member of The Portrait System (powered by Sue Bryce Education) since 2016 and here’s why I believe it is the best online photography education.
When I first joined I was a shoot and burn photographer working for free or charging $75 for a session and providing a painfully large number of digital images on a cd to each of my clients. I felt like I was always working, had no time for my family or personal life, and at the end of the year when I sat down and looked at the numbers I was actually losing money in my photography business.
Everything changed when I found Sue Bryce. A confident businesswoman and professional photographer who not only built a million-dollar photography business starting from her humble garage studio in New Zealand but has become known as one of the most influential portrait photographers of our time. Sue now heads up an educational platform called The Portrait System (previously called Sue Bryce Education) that teaches photographers how to value themselves, take photographs that clients love, and build a photography business that is profitable and sustainable.
I’ve learned so many things from The Portrait System platform. On it, you’ll find over 1000 how-to instructional videos and hundreds of articles on a wide range of topics from business, to technical skills, posing, styling, retouching portraits, money management, and self-value. You will also find studio tours, behind the scenes, downloadable PDFs and worksheets, and regular live events on a broad range of topics hosted by Sue Bryce herself. Regardless of how many years you’ve been working in your photography career, your level of education, or your technical skill level there is content on The Portrait System platform that will benefit you, your business brand, and your photography.
I believe The Portrait System is the most valuable and comprehensive educational platform available in the photography industry. Are you ready to invest in yourself?
Top 10 Reasons to Become Member of The Portrait System
The following subjects and resources are all included with The Portrait System membership. From time to time The Portrait System offers a free access week where you can explore the entire site, absolutely free! Use the links below to view some of my favorite subjects (note: some of the links below will only show you the entire content if you are an active member or during free access. If you are not yet a member you’ll still get a glimpse into the content offered regardless of your membership status so feel free to explore and pick up a few tips and techniques along the way!)
When I was first starting out I had no clue how to properly pose a client. Through the many posing video tutorials, printed PDF guides, and posing cards from The Portrait System I have now learned how to pose any client, regardless of body type, shape, size, or age in a way that flatters their unique self and shows them at their best. Forget “I’m not photogenic” or “I have to lose 20 pounds before I book my session”. The Portrait System shows you how to confidently pose your clients and get results they will love.
The Lighting Series
Lighting for photographers. I think it’s one of the most important photography skills to master. The Portrait System teaches you how to light a portrait in all sorts of situations – whether it is on location or in-studio. You will find extensive resources about how to use natural light, backlight, continuous lights, and strobes on the Portrait System platform. In addition, I recommend The Lighting Series by Felix Kunze, and the companion workshop The Location Lighting Series. This is a comprehensive collection of lighting tutorials produced by The Portrait Masters and the Sue Bryce team and hosted by Felix Kunze. He has an amazing ability to break lighting down in such an understandable way. I learned more from Felix than any other lighting tutorial I’ve ever watched, and I use his methods every single day in my own photography studio.
You can’t help but love the look of hand-painted canvas backdrops. From subtle vignettes and classic old masters style backgrounds to grungy urban textures and magazine-style modern looks. Made famous by the master backdrop painter Sarah Oliphant and photographers like Annie Liebovitz and Mark Seliger, modern canvas backdrops are a beautiful and functional staple in the photography studio. As amazing as they are, they can be a huge investment. One of my favorite tutorials included in the Sue Bryce Education membership is how to create gorgeous hand-painted backdrops using inexpensive supplies from your local hardware store. Learn how to make your own DIY Canvas Backdrop for a fraction of the cost of purchasing them with your membership, or pick up a few tips for free by reading about how to make your own hand painted canvas backdrop on The Portrait System blog!
Polyboards and V-flats
A staple item for commercial photographers and professional photography studios, v-flats are used as a lighting tool to reflect light (white v-flats) or block light and control shadows and contrast (black v-flats). On the Sue Bryce Education platform, you will learn how to make your own v-flats (also called polyboards), how to use them to modify and shape your light, as well as how to use and modify them as backdrops. You can also pick up a few tips for free by reading how to make v-flats and polyboards on The Portrait System blog!
How would you like to get a behind-the-scenes look into real portrait photography studios?
See how other professionals set up their studios, design their space, market their business, and interact with clients. Whether serving your clients with a makeshift studio in your living room or opening up a storefront studio in your town it’s so interesting to see how other professional photographers set up and operate. You’ll see inside some of the most successful portrait photography studios in the world, with sneak peaks inside the studios of Sue Bryce, Kelly Brown, Kristina Houser, Wendy DeCraemer, Ashleigh Taylor, Ann Landstrom, Paul Gero, Andrew Knowles, Kitti McMeel, Lenka Jones, Matt Stagliano, Stacy Murphy, and Felicia Reed. Start touring now.
Pricing Guidelines for Photographers
One of the most important things to consider when operating a professional photography business is pricing. Set your prices too low and you won’t end up covering your expenses and paying yourself a fair salary at the end of the day…but how do you know exactly what the best pricing strategy is to ensure your clients are getting great value while your business is profitable and sustainable? The Portrait System education platform for photographers contains several courses, tutorials, and downloadable PDFs that will help you ensure your pricing reflects the service and value you give your clients. There is even a course on how to price your first portrait package while you transition from shoot-and-burn to a sustainable professional portrait photography business model. Read all about it and watch as Sue Bryce gives you clarity when it comes to pricing guidelines for portrait photographers.
As a bonus perk of being an annual member of The Portrait System you receive an exclusive invite to join The Portrait System Facebook Group. This isn’t your average group…it is full of positive and supportive photographers who are genuinely interested in helping each other. Celebrate your business wins, seek guidance when you aren’t quite confident of your next steps, and receive support when something just doesn’t go the way you intended. Through the Portrait System Members Only Facebook group I’ve made friends, nurtured professional relationships with colleagues and vendors, and always know I can find gentle critique, thoughtful answers, and supportive comments.
Self Value & Confidence
Perhaps the single most important video tutorial I have ever watched on The Portrait System platform is Sue’s talk on Self Value. This is available to anyone, either with your annual membership subscription, during a free access week, or as a bonus for simply signing up to the SBE mailing list. If there is one thing you do for yourself or your business today WATCH THIS. It will change how you feel about yourself and ultimately help you shift your mindset and help all areas of your life, including your business. Once you’ve done the work and self-reflection through the many topics related to self-value on the SBE platform take the Confidence Workshop, available to SBE members.
Business & Money Management
So by this point if you have taken action and done the work to implement what you’ve learned so far from The Portrait System you will have money flowing in. But how do you manage and keep it? Do you have money leaks? Is your business set up in a way that maximizes profits? Is it sustainable without burning yourself out? Money is a topic that most people avoid talking about. We have so much pain and fear surrounding money. Here’s a tip – if it makes you feel pain or discomfort then it’s probably a block you really need to face and figure out how to navigate around. Sue’s workshop and courses on money leaks, guilt and shame that are often associated with money, and your ability to receive and manage money – taking your photography business from survive to thrive, are essential.
Awards & Accreditation
Why is it important for photographers to strive for awards and accreditation? Reputable international awards and accreditation programs will help you grow your confidence and skills as a photographer, validate that you (and show your clients) are working at a professional standard and give you a feeling of accomplishment and pride. Sue and her partners have launched an international awards and accreditation program called The Portrait Masters Awards and Accreditation program. The Portrait System course on preparing for awards and accreditation will prepare you as you take steps down this important path in your career, and as an artist.
Be inspired by the winning entries in the Portrait Masters Awards Galleries. You can see my award-winning image “My Friend Gus” in the January 2019 Award Gallery and read my personal tips on creating award-winning entries on The Portrait System Blog.
How much does The Portrait System Membership cost?
There are 3 different tiers of membership in The Portrait System so you can choose the path that’s right for you. The beginner membership plan is for people just starting out in photography who are looking to learn skills and start building their portrait business. The Beginner membership includes access to a limited library of educational content essential for starting up a new photography business, access to The 90 Day Challenge, where members learn and grow together, and have access to their very own private Facebook group where they can ask questions and cheer each other on in a safe and supportive environment.
The Professional Membership includes access to the full library of educational content and videos, all live broadcasts with Sue Bryce and guest educators, AND the new Pricing Calculator which will help you figure out what prices YOU should charge based on your personal goals and situation. Also included in the Professional Membership is a free ticket to WPPI, exclusive partner discounts, the Studio Startup Tracker, and the ability to earn special Gold and Platinum benefits.
The Premium Membership includes all of the above PLUS first access to purchase tickets to special events and The Portrait Masters Conference (the hottest ticket in town!), store credits to shop at The Portrait Masters Store, legal contract templates, the POSE series course by Sue Bryce (also available in the Portrait Masters Store) and access to Sue’s Listening Library.
Interested in becoming a member of The Portrait System?
Now you can try some of the favorite content from The Portrait System absolutely free! Access The Portrait System platform and start learning how to build a six-figure photography income from a selection of the favorite courses and videos on the platform…absolutely FREE! See for yourself why The Portrait System is the best value in online photography education.
The Portrait System platform can be a little overwhelming at first – there is just SO MUCH CONTENT! If you are a new member I suggest you start exploring with some of the content I’ve linked above in this blog post or take a tour of The Portrait System website with Nikki Closser. Nikki is also the host of The Portrait System Podcast and has a successful portrait and personal branding photography business. She shares her knowledge in her course, The Personal Branding System, available in The Portrait Masters store.
If you agree that The Portrait System is an amazing resource and would like to sign up for an annual membership, use my exclusive affiliate link to sign up, and I’ll give you a $75 coupon to spend on digital backgrounds, textures, and overlays here at Alana Lee Photography!