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Andrew has been a producer and director in the creative industry for over 10 years. He has served as the Director of Photography for the Toronto Art of Fashion Annual and worked as a lead in producing content for events including America’s Next Top Model Live. Coupled with a professional back ground in Human Resources, Sales, and Photography; and as a WPPI judge of 4 years; Andrew’s core value is serving others who have a passion to grow their professional and artistic careers. As a coach and business mentor, Andrew guides other like-minded business owners and studios around Canada and the US, to 6-figure profits with his zero-risk, win-win approach; giving his partners sustainable, scalable business models and systems to work with to achieve their goals. Currently, as the creative director for FABLE Studios in Toronto Canada, Andrew is responsible for leading 14 full time crew members where they aim to change the lives of 1,000 boudoir photography clients per year in the boudoir genre.
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About Jenn Bruno Smith:
After leaving a successful career as a speech pathologist and clinical liaison, Jenn moved into pursuing her business full time. She has been shooting boudoir exclusively for 4 years and teaching marketing and business to the photography industry for the last two.
You can catch up with Jenn in her group The High Rollers Club- IPS, Business and Marketing for Boudoir photographers.
Email questions, comments, and client horror stories to
Andrew: Hey, they’re high rollers.
Jenn Bruno Smith: I have a special treat for you today. Jen. Bruno Smith here. And I am here today with Andrew Yauch from Fable Studios in close to Toronto, Canada. Andrew is a producer and director in the creative industry. For over ten years, he served as the director of photography for the Toronto Art of Fashion Annual and worked as a lead in producing content for events including America’s Next Top Model Live. Coupled with a professional background in human resources, sales and photography, and as a WPP judge for four years, Andrew’s core value is serving others who have a passion to grow their professional and artistic careers. As a coach and business mentor, Andrew guides other like minded business owners and studios around Canada and the US to six figure profits with a zero risk win win approach, giving his partners sustainable, scalable business models and systems to work with to achieve their goals. Currently, as the creative director for Fable Studios in Toronto, Canada, Andrew is responsible for leading 14 full time crew members, where they aim to change the lives of 1000 clients per year in the boudoir genre. So welcome, Andrew. It is so good to have you here. This has been a long time coming.
Andrew: Thank you. Yeah, it has. Thank you so much for the flexibility and doing this with me. I appreciate that.
Jenn Bruno Smith: Yeah, of course. I love talking with other successful entrepreneurs. And you, sir, are that you are doing some pretty impressive things over there in Canada. Just talking numbers quickly like. Right. And we’ll kind of back up and start from the beginning here in a minute. But to kind of give a spoiler, I’m looking behind you and you actually showed me a scan and there are orders and orders and orders do you want to show. So we’re streaming live to the high roller Facebook group. But do you want to show the high rollers that are watching live? All of these album delivers deliver.
Andrew: So our studio is currently active and we have sales sessions going on. We have shoots going on. So the only place I could kind of hide and do a zoom was it was in our our kind of production room where we receive all the deliveries. And so I’m kind of here in this like little mini fort of production work, but this is all of the orders that have come in in the last week from our Supplier Graph Studio. And this is just from all the wall art to all of the folio boxes and the albums and just it’s like Inundated. It’s crazy. And we had to make more room because we have more deliveries coming in today that’s come in by the truckload every day. It’s incredible.
Jenn Bruno Smith: That’s amazing. So let’s talk numbers and then we’ll kind of reverse and go back to the beginning. So what is your studio at year to date and then what do you what are you trending towards for the year end?
Andrew: So we’re pushing so we’re currently at 1.7 million. We’re making that push for 2 million, but with the proviso that we have half of the week or half of December off because we’re taking the entire crew to Antigua this year to to just cut, cut back, relax and just chill out for for a week. But so we’re our goal is to hit 2 million before the end of the year.
Jenn Bruno Smith: Doesn’t mean.
Andrew: Next. Yeah next year is is our is going to be lofty we’re going to aim for 3 million. So it’s been incredible.
Jenn Bruno Smith: That’s amazing. So 14 crew members, how many shooters is that?
Andrew: We have four photographers, four photographers. We have a video production team. We have administrators, we have two bookers, a booking manager, and then our artists are researchers.
Jenn Bruno Smith: That’s amazing. So before we got on, you were saying that you’re doing 50 to 60000 in a week.
Andrew: Yeah, it’s getting to that point, and that’s why we’re going to be pushing for 3 million next year. We were kind of in a 20 to 30 K a week range and then we started getting to the 40 K week as as our averages kind of went up in that 40 k. We started launching towards that 2 million and we weren’t too sure we were going to hit our goals for the end of the year to hit 2,000,001.5 for sure. But then we started having 60 K weeks and I remember posting in the group a couple of a couple of weeks ago, I think three weeks ago at the beginning of October, and we had a record 60 4k week and two or three weeks after that we had another record week of 60, almost almost 69 K in a week, and I didn’t post about that, but I was just like, Nobody is going to believe this. But I mean, it’s it’s been incredible, you know? I mean, we just we aim to serve. We aim to please. And, you know, you put that out in the universe and it just comes back to you.
Jenn Bruno Smith: I love that. And, you know, I do hear. So every now and then there’ll be someone in the Facebook group that’s like, I run a seven figure studio, and then I look at their stuff and I’m like, You’re not running a seven figure studio. Come on. But I know that you’re actually running a seven figure studio, which is super impressive. And so, like on my end, I just had a 54,000 a week last week, but it’s just me doing ordering appointments. And there are two shooters right now, or three shooters total, but it is a lot of fucking moving parts to get that to happen and it’s a lot of work. So and also I might have a 54, 50, 60,000 a week, but then I might have a week where it’s a little slower for me, so I have time to recover. So doing that every single week is super impressive because that is like another level of just having it all together, you know what I mean?
Andrew: Yeah, and I think that’s I think that’s the one thing that we don’t have a lot of is that downtime. We’ve structured our system really well so that it kind of works for everybody and nobody’s burning out. But, but, you know, as, as an entrepreneur, I’m sitting here and I’m like, I have 14 mouths to feed, let alone the mouths I have at home. So that pushes you, that guides you, that that makes sure that your moral compass is on point, that makes sure that you don’t have those I want to quit days that make sure that you have those days where you’re fighting for other people, not just yourself. And I love that. I love that I would grow our team twice the size if I could, because it’s it’s I just love being able to bring a group of people together to collectively create something that brings joy to other people’s lives. But you’re right. It’s got to be systematic.
Jenn Bruno Smith: Yes. Or else everything falls apart. So let’s go back to like booking a little bit, because I like what you said about you have 14 miles to beat. I feel the same pressure. Like whenever I’m doing anything with the businesses, I’m like, I have full time employees, I have employees I need to provide for. I need to book so that it is it is a lot of pressure.
Andrew: So how.
Jenn Bruno Smith: So? Two questions. In the US, we’re feeling this crunch of this recession that’s happening. My cancels reschedules are super high this year and I know if my studio is a microcosm for what’s happening in the rest of the industry, the other studios are feeling it too. So how number one are you feeling any of that there? And number two, what are your top ways that you’re marketing? Because you do So my studio is just boudoir. You have lots of different like you’re shooting lots of different genres, right? No, not only boudoir.
Andrew: No, we’ve only Yeah, we. Yeah, it’s only boudoir now. So we’ve. That’s amazing. Yeah. So we, we’ve actually stopped doing weddings altogether for the first eight years of our ten years, we just celebrated ten years this year for the first year. Just thank you. We’re just a wedding studio. And then before the pandemic hit, we said, you know, let’s, let’s think of a shift. Let’s do something else. We we have this studio space. We actually don’t use it for anything else. So then we got into senior dog portraits, you know, So these are dogs that are only eight years and up and these are legacy portraits. And we were selling wall art and and that was great for a time and you know but it gets really messy like you really have to love dogs to want to be able to do that full time all day every.
Jenn Bruno Smith: Day like messy like as in dog fur or messy as in hard to like, handle.
Andrew: The people, all of the above. I mean, in a sense that like the fur, the accidents, I mean, you do not get into the pet portrait business without expecting massive cleanup all day, every day. And sometimes, you know, it’s sometimes it’s not about the dogs. It’s about the, you know, their parents, the owners that, you know, it’s not necessarily a bad dog. It’s a. It’s a bad owner, you know. And as people we you know, we we learn how to to train our pets and raise our pets, but some people don’t. So. So then we said, okay, what else can we do? And then we dabbled in in children’s portraits and some fine art family portraits. And then we just, you know, I just said, there’s got to be more. And then we said, What about boudoir? You know, we’ve always abstained from boudoir. I don’t know why. It was just one of those genres that we we didn’t touch. It’s just like maternity. And I will to this day, I will not do maternity. It’s just not a thing. God bless all of you who do. Newborns and maternity are a special breed and I love you and you’re awesome. But not for us.
Jenn Bruno Smith: That’s the hard the newborns, especially that you have to love your.
Andrew: Job to do that. Yeah, that’s what I meant. And the newborn.
Jenn Bruno Smith: But newborns are hard.
Andrew: Yeah. Yeah. So then boudoir came around and we for the last two years, we’re doing half, half of our week with dogs. Half of our week was Boudoir. And then, and then we had a year of data and we said a lot of our 80% of our revenue do is in boudoir. And then we so we just as of this year, over the summer, just everything else kind of faded out and we’re only boudoir because we were doing 12 sessions a week and then we moved to 20, then 24. Yeah. And now it’s now we have the capacity to do 36 sessions a week. That’s amazing.
Jenn Bruno Smith: So you joined Mastermind two years ago. I saw. Wait, two years ago. When did you join? See.
Andrew: It was. Yeah, it would have been two years ago, right around the point where we were exploring genres. I think I bought every course available to me in all the different genres. And it’s funny, when you first started the High Rollers Club in the Mastermind, I remember getting a call from from Kenny or I just I don’t remember who called us originally, but it was at this point where we were so. Tired of weddings and we weren’t making any money and we were struggling. This is just before the pandemic and kind of deciding where our shift was going to be. And then we had a couple of coaches come our way and they taught us how to operate a business and run a business. And one of the opportunities we got was to join High Rollers Club and we didn’t go for it. We didn’t go for it because it was a week later than what we already agreed to work with another coach. Right? And then sure enough, fast forward a year after that, we ended up going with high Rollers club and and the mastermind and when you when, when you don’t they say that decisions are you know the universe favors people that make quick decisions. Well here’s here’s a lesson the offer that I got to join mastermind early on in its infancy was way cheaper than what I paid to be in Mastermind a year later.
Jenn Bruno Smith: So we were in beta. So whenever we had initially talked, this was the the the infancy stages of Mastermind. So we were in the very, very beginning and doing like the beta joining and but then so, so then a year later you joined and.
Andrew: You later joined and I’m just like, oh, I shot a I should have got it at the ground level. But you know what? It’s okay for us. It was still a great investment. And I’ll be honest with you, we haven’t implemented everything that you have to offer yet. And and to us, we’re like, if I’m being honest, I would say we’ve probably implemented 1% change, like 1% of What’s.
Jenn Bruno Smith: Your business this much?
Andrew: Oh, my God. Yeah. Just even. Just the one thing that we implemented and I’ll share this with you right now. Yeah, like the one because. Because my my partner, Michelle, she was focused on the marketing side of things, and I’m focused on the shooting and selling side of things. So both of us are attacking the course from two different angles. And the first thing, the biggest nugget I took from you, and then I ran with it and just exploded us was if you want to sell more, show more. And it hit me and I’m like, Why am I only showing people 40 images from the session, right? And then I doubled what I showed them and it raised our average sale by $1,000 clearly every single time. And it changed. Like we went from doing ten K a week to 20 K a week and 20 5ka week. Just by changing one thing that you suggested that I took from you and I was just like, Yeah, that was gold. So you that makes me.
Jenn Bruno Smith: Feel so good. That’s so awesome.
Andrew: Thank you. It was so silly. I’m just like, what? Why was I limiting myself to begin with? I don’t know. I just felt like you don’t want to show them too many. But now they love it. They love seeing more options and variety, and it’s given us such a beautiful way to kind of present these these portraits to our clients. And that’s all that’s a testament to you.
Jenn Bruno Smith: Thank you. What was your sales average before you join Mastermind? And then what is it now?
Andrew: I’m just Oh my God. I was lucky to get maybe a 9 to 1 $500 average. When we first started out, we were always gunning for 16 and, you know, we would always be in the 9 to 12 range. And then we started kind of implementing some of your teachings in the sales side of things. And that’s when it started getting to that 1600 dollars average. And then we started doing better in the in the in the studio and shooting better and getting more variety. And then it went to a2k average. And right now I would say we probably have a 20 $200 average, but in the last month and it’s why we’re having record weeks is our clients are now into the 34k average range, which is fantastic. So yeah, so our next jump is to, to really dive deep in the mastermind and figure out how is everybody else getting the five and six K averages. Because if you need to.
Jenn Bruno Smith: Change to phase three pricing.
Jenn Bruno Smith: That’s what you need to do. You are so ready to do that. Like you don’t even need to think about it. January one, you change to phase three. And for the people listening on the podcast or in the Facebook group, there’s I break down pricing into three phases. Phase one, Phase two, Phase three, and each phase is associated with different like levels of booking and like how comfortable you are with sales and things like that. You are ready for phase three pricing.
Andrew: Yeah, I totally agree. And if anyone’s and here’s the one thing about everyone that’s worried about raising their pricing, because you can say, Well, if I raise my pricing, I’ll lose more sales, etc., etc.. I mean, the way you’ve structured it, if people raise their pricing and go to phase three, the way you you’ve laid it out, I mean, even if they lose more sales or lose some clients or clients don’t book because of the pricing, the ones that do well make up for those losses. So you’ll be you’ll be making more and doing less work. So there’s nothing wrong with that at all.
Jenn Bruno Smith: Absolutely. Yeah. No, it’s it’s absolutely true. So booking, how in the world are you booking this many people per month and have. You implemented any strategies for Mastermind to help you stay booked? Because that is those are impressive numbers.
Andrew: Yeah, well, we started with with a giveaway business model and where we said, you know what, nobody knows us. We don’t have a portfolio in boudoir, so let’s give away all these sessions and say, Here’s the session we’ll give you. We’ll even give you a credit towards the artwork. So just come on in and try us out. If you have a great experience and you love everything, buy something. If you don’t want risk free, you walk in, you get a couple of portraits with your credit and you’re out of here.
Jenn Bruno Smith: Were you including hair and makeup with that?
Andrew: Absolutely. Yes, I was. Yeah.
Jenn Bruno Smith: So it was read and this is what I hear you. I’m going to stop you right now because this is a big mindset block for so many photographers. They will be like, but I’m going to bring people in and I’m going to be in the red and I don’t want to be in the red. But that’s the thing is you have to take the gamble. And if you can do what you need to do on the back end, like shoot to sell and produce a quality product and show enough images, it’s basically like a no brainer because you might be in the red when you start, but you’re not going to be in the red when you finish. So I love that you had that mine. And this is another thing I find two really successful entrepreneurs have this risk reward mindset where they’re not scared to take the risk because they see the reward at the end of the tunnel. People who are stuck in this only risk mindset never take the risk because they’re so focused on the risk that they don’t even see the reward at the end. So I love that you’re I love that you’re going down this path and I’m ready to hear more.
Andrew: You? Well, you’re absolutely right. I mean, you can operate from two different houses. You can operate from scarcity or you can operate from abundance. And the minute that you change that scarcity and that fear and just go with pride and abundance and and it’s not a gamble because at the end of the day, you’re gambling on yourself. Right? And that is, is probably one of the easiest bets you can make in life. So we we ran with it. We said, okay, let’s do this, let’s let’s give and we’ll receive and the implementations from the mastermind shooting to sell and then going through that whole process and making, you know, that’s what that’s where it made it. And at the end of the day, if you create an experience and everyone that comes in the door is coming in and coming in for a free session, which includes hair and makeup and and we have we actually have our own I forgot to mention, we have our own full time makeup artist on salary. That’s great. And now we’ve hired two more because of, you know, doing 36 or 36 a week.
Andrew: So, yeah, it’s incredible. Yeah. So imagine all the ladies that work here who, if hair and makeup, have nothing to do. Well, they have a free salon, like, right here at work, right? So. Right. Yeah, they love it. That’s great. That’s great. But. But so we we ran with a giveaway model and we, you know, we just said, let’s serve. Let’s let’s lower the barrier of entry. Give clients who were afraid to do this or don’t have the money to do this initially to, you know, and, and we ran with it. And it’s been incredible and it’s been spreading like wildfire. And, you know, and then we just said, okay, well, let’s take this and think of different campaigns that we can do. And one of the most successful ones that we started off with was, you know, hey, ladies, if you’ve missed your birthday because of COVID, here’s a gift for you. Right. And I mean, obviously everyone in two years missed their birthday and milestone birthdays, right? So so that was huge. So our birthday giveaway was fantastic.
Jenn Bruno Smith: And then were you running ads to these or were.
Andrew: You you’re running? Yes, I ran ads and I said, I want to tell as many people as possible that they can sign up for this. And you have to be careful in how you qualify. You can’t just give it to everybody. You need to be a smart business owner and make sure that you’re qualifying to some degree to make sure that you’re not giving this to people that are just models and want something for their portfolio or people that want this for their, you know, their own intentions, like only fans or something like that. These are, you know, you need to attract people who need this in their lives because they’ve either they’re either celebrating something or they are overcoming something or they’ve gone through a trauma, you know, be it whether it’s physical, mental, sexual. And this is something that is a tool for them that is going to help them with their self confidence, their self esteem, their positive mental health. Right.
Jenn Bruno Smith: And absolutely the emotional attachment is what the emotional so is the is the reason why people invest. So if there’s no emotional involvement there, the chance of them investing is much less. Which is why just to like break that down for people that are listening because they might have heard that top line of what you said, but like to break it down even more. The reason why you’re not giving sessions away to like Instagram influencers and like because that’s the other thing is I hear a lot of new photographers being like, I’m going to partner with an Instagram influencer, and I’m like, Hmm, that’s not going to get you anywhere. So finding people and finding clients that have that emotional need for the shoot because they value it and people will invest in things they value. So that’s how you should be qualifying based on the potential for that value evaluation. I guess from the client, not so much like the social status. However, that can help too, especially if they’re like the cool girl and their group of friends, but specifically Instagram influencers and models. They’re not really going to get us anywhere building a studio usually.
Andrew: So yeah.
Jenn Bruno Smith: Especially like the younger ones.
Andrew: Yeah, it might be great for a few pieces to your portfolio or anything like that, but that is really it. And at the end of the day, that doesn’t even really serve you because your real clients do not look like models. They do not look like influencers. They are real everyday people, they are women, they are moms, They are, you know, health care workers who wear scrubs every day. They are just you know, they’re not the people that, you know, sit there and take selfies all day. And on Instagram, you know, there are people that have there are people that have never seen themselves the way their loved ones see them. And exactly what we do, we make it a mission to show them what their loved ones see. And that’s where their eyes just open up. And that’s where they value what That’s when they value what you.
Jenn Bruno Smith: Do, right? Absolutely. So what is your what is your ad budget now? What are you spending? Because I’m sure people who are not running this scale of a studio are like, what? But what is he spending and ad money? Because you know that that is something everybody’s thinking right now. What is that ad spend?
Andrew: Are no more than 1700 dollars a month. That’s amazing. Yeah.
Jenn Bruno Smith: That’s amazing.
Andrew: Yeah, that’s incredible. That’s incredible. If you can take 1700 dollars a month and turn that into a 200 K month, I think that’s a pretty good investment.
Jenn Bruno Smith: As a pretty good investment. That’s amazing. And you’re running Facebook ads in Google ads.
Andrew: Have you even touched Google yet?
Jenn Bruno Smith: Amazing. So this is all Facebook ads.
Andrew: All Facebook.
Jenn Bruno Smith: Incredible. That’s amazing.
Andrew: I think it’s I think it’s dabbled into going into Instagram now. So that might raise the ad a little bit, but not by much. Maybe 2000 at the most.
Jenn Bruno Smith: Good for you. So you have your booking team that’s on the other side that is closing these people and scheduling them in. And you have the full time hair and makeup. Let’s talk about the schedule of the studio because fitting in 36 sessions a week is a lot of moving parts. So what is the typical schedule like a typical day in your studio?
Andrew: So on the six by six model, which we’ve adopted now for a month. Previous to that, we were four day or four days a week, five sessions a day, and then five sessions a day for four days a week. We just played with all the different combinations, but we found a sweet spot six by six, which basically gives us like an average day would be. So our sessions are eight, ten, 12 to 4 and six. So we basically operate from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.. And that’s sustainable because we have the amount of people that we do, right? So we basically have the morning crew and the afternoon crew and everyone’s happy with that because they literally come in, they work 6 hours, they go home like it’s great when they get paid full time. So yeah, it’s awesome. So hair and makeup starts at 8:00 AM. Then they’re on set for nine, nine, 15, and then the photography team works with them for about an hour and maximum hour and a half. And while they’re in studio, the next client is in hair and makeup. And it’s just a systematic process. And at no time does anyone feel like they’re going through an assembly line. At no time does anyone feel like they’re being rushed or short change because there’s somebody else before them are ahead of them or behind them? It’s just meant to be an incredible experience. And we’ve just set up a system so that everybody who’s responsible for their area knows how to transition from client to client. We’re sanitizing in between sets like it’s it’s just a very systematic approach.
Andrew: And the mood boards that clients share with us give us that creative license to do something different on every on, on every session. And that’s kind of the really key thing about it is that you can you can bring a system, but as artists we get bored. You know, it’s like doing the same thing all the time on every set. And, and that’s so that’s why we add that flair, we add that mix for our photographers who crave that, you know, that, that variety and say, Hey, here’s the client’s moodboard, this is what they’re envisioning. So let’s work on sets three, four and six, and let’s do this. And maybe we’ll throw the angel wings on this for beautiful silhouettes. And again, it’s a creative kind of collaboration every single time. So photographers not shooting any more than three sessions per day and the other and then the other team is shooting the other three. So that’s kind of like a day in the life. Now. They come back a week later and while we have sessions going on the other half of our studio in the in person sales, they’re going through the experience and going through the presentation and then their their process of selecting their favorites and then picking whether they want to find an album or a folio box or wall art and, and that’s it. So it’s, it’s, it’s like a little awesome little beehive of positivity and energy and empowerment going on every single day.
Jenn Bruno Smith: That’s amazing. That’s amazing. So do you have a question here? So do you handle the Facebook ads in house?
Andrew: We used to. So my partner, Michelle, she used to take care of the Facebook ads and that was just based on courses from here and here and here. And then we said we’re just at the point where we’re growing so much. And Michelle’s passion is more in the styling and fashion of things and kind of creating sets and running most of the operation of the business. So then we said, you know what? We’re going to farm that out. And we have a digital marketing agency that that took over and kind of ran that for us.
Jenn Bruno Smith: That’s great. That’s great. So there’s another question here. What do you mean by mood board and how is that handled on the front end?
Andrew: So when when a client books their session. So the one thing about giving away these sessions is that you’ve got to make sure your clients have skin in the game. So every single client is putting down a $250 refundable booking deposit, and that is kind of your filter on whether they’re serious about this or.
Jenn Bruno Smith: Not, even when you’re giving away. So like when you’re giving away the session, then they’re putting down a $250 deposit and that goes towards their order.
Andrew: Correct. It’s totally refundable. They totally refundable. Gotcha. Yeah, it’s fully refundable at their ordering session. So which basically means we’re going to credit it back to you. Whether you use that to buy more portraits or you use that and you just want it back and you just want to walk away with your freebie, that’s totally cool. This base, this model is a is a risk free approach. But we know on the back end that if we create an amazing experience and they’re emotionally connected to this, they’re not walking out of here with nothing they own, they’re going to want something. So absolutely. And that’s the that’s the gamble in yourself is that you you know, we gamble on ourselves every single day to make sure that our clients have an amazing experience so that they want to give us money. They want to because their purchase with us is a byproduct of how we made them feel.
Jenn Bruno Smith: Absolutely. Yes. People remember how you make them feel.
Andrew: You got it. You got it for sure. So so in the to answer your question, in the in the booking process, the mood boards come into play because we say, okay, we’re going to send you a confirmation email with your dates and times for both your session and your and your ordering session. We’re going to send you a prep guide and go through the prep guide because it’s going to talk about the outfits it’s going to talk about. And the prep guide is really important because that covers 90% of the things that you basically have to repeat to every single client. So you send a prep guide and most of them read everything through and through most of them, right? So you have a little bit of explaining to do for some that opt not repeat it, but but you know who they are right off the bat because they haven’t done certain things. But part of the the part of the prep guide is you’ve got to do some homework. So what we’d love for you to do is put together a little Pinterest board of what you have in mind for boudoir. And this does two things for for us. This gives them an opportunity to think about all the different ways and things and moods and from the light and airy to excuse me, to the moody and dramatic.
Andrew: And it’s it plants a small seed in their head that it’s not just one or two photographs. I need this and I need this. I need standing, I need sitting, I need in a chair, I need lying down. I need and that kind of So now they’re they’re putting in their heads everything that they need. But it also from a creative level, gives us an opportunity to understand what boudoir means to them up here. Because for some people boudoir is just something where my, my, my shoulder, my, my dress just comes off the shoulder and I show a little bit of skin for others. I mean, boudoir could be something more risque or even bordering into the into the sexual or raunchy. And whichever way it goes, at least we have an indication, an idea. And that’s all we need, because then there’s no kind of disconnect in what we’re creating versus what they think they’re getting. And the best part about this is, is and this is really important, you got to tell them that we’re not meant to copy what you’ve placed in your Moodboard, but we’re meant to use it as as a source of inspiration. So based on the outputs that you bring, the mood board you put together and the sets that we have, we’re going to create something beautiful and unique for you.
Jenn Bruno Smith: I love.
Andrew: That. And that’s where it really hits home.
Jenn Bruno Smith: I love that we do the same. I always tell them at the end of the day, though, not every pose works for everybody. So we’re going to use what you’re giving us and we’re going to make it work the best for you. But I love how you’ve kind of put that into perspective, that it gives them planning to see that they don’t just want one, they want many, many. So going back a little bit. So you were shooting weddings. How many weddings were you shooting a year?
Andrew: Oh, my God. We were 60 to 80 weddings a year.
Jenn Bruno Smith: 60 to 80 weddings a year. So that’s multiple weddings in a weekend.
Andrew: Yeah. Yeah. That’s where our crew started off being so big. We had eight people full time, just photo and video, and we would be we would have the capacity to do four weddings a weekend. And it was it was really draining, you know. And you do that over the eight year span that we did it. And you start to really lose your passion and love for for for doing this. But as soon as you open that window or that door to realize we can serve one family in a 14 hour day, or we can serve six women in the same amount in less time in a 12 hour day and impact more people. So our vision of of wanting to change the lives of 1000 women this year, we’ve already hit it. We’ve attained it, you know, and and we never we didn’t think it was possible, but now our vision is, okay, next year we’re going to change the lives of 10,000 women. And the way we’re going to do that is because everyone freaked out and we were like, We’re going to do ten times more. And no, what we’re going to do is we’re going to take a portion of the money we make and let’s let’s change lives outside of our studio. Let’s donate to breast cancer awareness. Let’s let’s let’s do. Create a fund for female entrepreneurs. Let’s create a fund for battered women. Blitzer Let’s. So that way we can spread the money. Yeah. And that’s the best thing, you know, some of the biggest and leading entrepreneurs out there. They say if you want to. Your paycheck is in direct correlation to the amount of people that you help or the problems that you solve. I love that. And so we said, let’s just let’s reach more people.
Jenn Bruno Smith: Let’s do that. I have so many wedding photographers, newborn photographers that come to me and are like, I can’t do this anymore. I’m tired, I’m drained, I’m missing time with my family. I’m missing weekends. I can’t imagine as a mother with young children missing these weekends, with them as a wedding photographer and. And they’re like, What do I do? I love shooting. And so and I tell them, I’m like, Transition to boudoir. And they’re like, That’s a big step. But you are literally proof that you did it with the help of Mastermind and you’re running a multi million dollar studio and it is so impressive. It’s so impressive.
Jenn Bruno Smith: The work that you’re doing and.
Andrew: It’s way more it’s way more rewarding, but not only to our clients, but just in our own souls, like just to knowing how much we’ve impacted and changed our lives. You know, as a wedding photographer, you know, we we create we create and capture memories for these clients at the risk of losing our own memories with our own family. That’s true. It’s true. It doesn’t feel as good at the end of the day. You know, you have wedding hanging over the next day from your body just being so drained. Right. It never feels like that in the studio.
Jenn Bruno Smith: No, it is. Every single session when I shoot boudoir, it’s the only thing I shoot. But every single session is inspiring to me. And almost every single client at the end is like or at their ordering appointment is like, You have changed how I see myself. And that is it doesn’t matter how much money they pay you hearing that almost every single day, multiple times a week is payment in itself because you know that you’re changing the way someone sees themselves. And that will make me emotional. But it’s true. It is the most it is the most rewarding thing. And it’s you know, boudoir is so addicting. And I love I love that you’ve made this transition and you’ve done it so seamlessly. And not only that, you’ve done it with a team of people along with you, which is incredible. Do you ever miss it? Do you ever miss the weddings?
Andrew: Oh, my God, no. And this is this is a very recent story. But I said, you know what? We’ve been doing weddings for eight years. We have an incredible reputation. Our work is fantastic. Planners were for us all the time for the high end weddings. So I said, Let’s have that. Let’s have that few price if you really want us, this is our price, you know. And we did it and somebody paid it. And I remember being at the wedding and it was a beautiful Nigerian wedding. Like just the culture was just fantastic, like a dream wedding to be at the people, the joy, it was just incredible. The food. Oh, my God. The food. And I remember sitting there being like, I’m so hating this right now. I’m getting great work. I’m getting like, they’re doing like, I’m doing amazing work for them. Stuff that I would easily add in my portfolio and want to show the next client. But my heart and soul was just like, I’m not here. Like I’m not here. So the money didn’t matter. They paid me $20,000 to be here today, Right? And I don’t want to be here. So the money doesn’t matter. And what I was missing was that emotional connection. There isn’t a week that goes by that we’re not in tears with one of our clients because they’ve changed their lives so much. You know, like we get emotional just talking about it.
Jenn Bruno Smith: You just think if you’ve done it, you know, like when these people talk to you, you know that what you’re doing is literally making a difference in that person’s life.
Andrew: Yeah, that’s true.
Jenn Bruno Smith: And not only that, but then it trickles down to this person’s children, especially their daughters. That is that is what I found. The most, is that we’re impacting not only our client, but our clients, children.
Andrew: And everyone around. Yeah, it’s powerful because what we’re doing is we’re giving them the opportunity to see themselves and appreciate themselves differently. And when you do that, people become the better version of themselves, the best version of themselves that directly impacts everyone around them. So it’s really cool. And that kind of just hit me now and that we’re trying to serve with 1000 women a year and next year we want to do 10,000. But I think we’ve already done 10,000 because it just kind of connected with me, Jen, as we’re talking about this, that we’ve changed the lives of the people around those people. Absolutely.
Jenn Bruno Smith: Absolutely.
Andrew: We’ve done it. We did it, you know, So that’s kind of cool. That’s kind of cool. So.
Jenn Bruno Smith: Yeah, of course. Of course. What is what is the one piece of advice, the biggest advice that you have for wedding photographers that are done are just ready to transition out the need something else like because it is fear. Change is scary and leaving something that you know, and you said it, you have this existing client base, this reputation, these connections. It’s very scary to make a switch like that. So you’ve done it and you’ve done it successfully, and you’ve done it with the help of Mastermind, which warms my heart. So what is the one what is the biggest piece of advice you have for these? I’m saying wedding photographers. But you know, there’s other genres, too, that are just, you know, I don’t want to say soul sucking, but they are hard. So what is your advice to those photographers that just need a change and just can’t do it anymore?
Andrew: I think if there’s anything I’ve learned in the last year or two or even just in the last 30 days, don’t be afraid. Like really don’t be afraid. You know, you you love what you do. You have a passion and a craft that can be something that that creates something to change someone’s life and be a part of their life forever. Don’t be afraid. You know, it really is way more easier than you think to change niches, to change business models. And the best part is, is that your clients coming in tomorrow have no idea what you used to do yesterday. I love it. And that’s that should hit home with anybody that really has their heart and soul into the into photography, but just isn’t into the genre that they’re doing. Boudoir may not be the last thing that we do. We may find them to do something else. But right now, I mean, we’re we’re, we’re happy. But were we scared to try boudoir where we try to to switch into genres where we, you know, terrified of cutting all those wedding deposits out, you know, And yeah, of course we were. But it wasn’t until we leapt through and just made the jump and valued ourselves and believe in ourselves and gambled. Gambled on ourselves that we came out on top, you know, And anybody can as long as you just don’t be afraid. Don’t be afraid. Yeah.
Jenn Bruno Smith: I always I tell people that are thinking about joining mastermind like if you’re feeling the fear that’s the time to jump. Because that fear means that you are in a place of discomfort and change. And growth happens when you’re feeling that discomfort. And, you know, I think people sometimes people are like, Oh, I don’t know about that, but it’s true. It’s coming from a place of where you really need to feel that discomfort in order to grow and to experience growth. And so the other thing is I think that is so important is to have that community behind you. And that’s something we’re really proud of in Mastermind is that we have this community that includes people like you who are fucking killing it and surrounding yourself with just thoroughbreds, people who are just focused and dialed in and ready to help people make a change like that to me is something that I’m so proud of too.
Andrew: And kudos to you because you’ve created such a great support group, you know, a network of people, especially in the mastermind, you know, people, if you’re considering the jump from being in. The the main group to jumping into the mastermind. Know that you have a community of people that have not only gone through what you’re about to go through, but have made all the mistakes that you can learn from. And that’s a really cool part of everything, because all you need to do is just, hey, quick question, everybody, and boom, you’re flooded with advice and not just advice from random people who think they know what they’re doing. These are people that have gone through it, experienced it, had the heartache, had the triumph, and they’re there to support you. Like you can’t get an education platform that does better for you than that. Like, that’s that’s like at the tip of your fingertips. Business support, HR support, sales support, marketing support. It’s incredible. Like what you’ve created in that community is phenomenal. So, you know, and I’m grateful to be able to just add value to it once in a while by saying, Hey guys, look what we did. Like, Hey, this is a great celebration and and it’s awesome. It’s awesome knowing that even that just a small post once in a while and those updates really motivate others, you know? So everyone contributes a little bit, a little bit, but it all helps and it adds to the community. And I think it’s the heart and soul of what you created. And, you know, I’m grateful that you you have that. So thank you for having us.
Jenn Bruno Smith: Get me all teary eyed over here and thank you. That is incredible feedback. And it is. Every now and then it hits me again that what we’ve created is this beautiful community of people who are changing thousands and thousands of people’s lives, and not only our clients, but our employees, Right? The people that we’re able to support and provide food. And, you know, it’s it it is it is humbling. So thank you. Thank you for sharing all of this and all of your knowledge and your experience and your wisdom, because, man, like it is so inspiring because you I think sometimes people think that it’s not actually happening. Right? Like you see these testimonials and you’re like, sure, yeah, right. Like, I think even sometimes still with me, I’ll tell people that I’m running an almost seven figure studio and they’ll be like, You have three kids. You live in Delaware. Like, are you serious?
Andrew: And yeah, but it’s true.
Jenn Bruno Smith: And seeing the face and hearing the story from the actual person that’s doing it is very inspiring. So I really thank you for coming on and just sharing your story and being an inspiration to our community, to our future community members. Like it’s it really is impressive and we’re so glad to have you as part of our little our little community that we have, which isn’t so little anymore. But it is amazing.
Andrew: Quite a bit. You’re so welcome. You’re so I mean, I’m happy to donate my time and give back to to the people that helped raise us to where we are. So that includes you. And thank you for everything. Jen, Thank you so much for putting your mind and on paper and getting a system that works for people, you know? And if anyone’s ever thinking about whether they can make the shift in their community and because that’s everyone thinks, Oh, my town is too small or, you know, I mean, there are people in your community that are in the luxury world or in the mid, you know, blue collar level, like those your clients are everywhere and they will spend money and they’re spending their money somewhere. Why not with you?
Jenn Bruno Smith: Absolutely. People will pay for what they value. And when you provide the value, they will invest. And when you match it with the emotion and people can tell that you’re passionate about what you do, they know they can tell and people will feed when you are authentic and genuine in your interactions. And people know and they they they will value that. So if people want to follow you and they want to see your work and they want to see what you’re doing over there on Instagram, where can people find you at? Where can they follow you?
Andrew: Oh, yeah. Awesome. So our our studio is a fable boudoir one with the number one on it. And that is our fable. Our boudoir studio is Instagram. Me personally, I’m on Instagram as Andrew underscore images, and I’ll be honest with everybody out there listening like we do not have a huge following. We do not have a lot of social media activity. It’s probably our biggest weakness in all of this. And if I’m being honest, it’s because we haven’t had time to log on and upload things and we’re just we’re serving, you know, 20, 30, 36 clients a week. Ain’t nobody got time to log in and post something like it’s, you know, So it might be one of our investments for next year to have somebody come on board as a full time marketing person because we love sharing the stories, we love sharing the testimonial videos, we love sharing, you know, all this stuff. And I think we can use that platform early next year to really get more of that gratitude out to people. And so that’s the thing. But yeah. Fable Studios, one sorry, Fable Boudoir one and. Andrew underscore images.
Jenn Bruno Smith: I love that. And going back to what you said about only completing like 1% of mastermind, but nuggets are that nuggets hit you and made a core difference. This is something we hear often because sometimes it just takes those like five or ten like nuggets or courses or modules to implement to really make a difference in what you’re doing. And a lot of our photographers who really find success take those nuggets, implement them, and then they just get too busy and they’re like in the community hanging out in the Facebook group and the course is there when they need it. But it is something that and the course keeps growing. So you might have it might have been at 15% at one point, but out that 1% now. So I think that that but anyway well.
Andrew: And that’s just it and I’ll correct myself. We’ve probably implemented way more than 1%, but it just feels like the course has grown so much that I feel like I haven’t even scratched the surface on all the information and resources that are there. You know, and that’s a testament to you that, I mean, we’ve made so much change with what I feel is that 1%. But there’s so much there’s so much on there, Jen, Like, there’s just so much value. All the calls you do every week. I mean, I wish I had more time to be on a lot of those calls or listen to them. But in the marketing stuff, like there’s so much value there, everybody like it’s it’s there is something there for you, regardless of the investment you like, It’s it’s one that will honestly double, triple, quadruple. Like for us, it’s like more than ten times 1000 times this investment. So kudos to you, Jen. It’s it’s fantastic. And what I invest in it again what I pay double. Yeah, probably. But I mean, it’s it’s incredible.
Jenn Bruno Smith: Thank you. This has been so nice and so refreshing for me. I’m going to have to go have a good cry after all this. Andrew. My goodness.
Andrew: Jeez. Big virtual hugs, love. There you go.
Jenn Bruno Smith: I need to give I’ve given myself a hug over here. This has been so wonderful. Why? See you at WPP this year. Are you going?
Andrew: I so I was contemplating going. I was a little sour on the whole, you know, competition thing because that was been my passion in my life. But Pete Right. You know, wrote something and he said, you know what? If you if you love this and you want to support it, don’t walk away now. Don’t walk away in the hard times. Weather the storm and be there. If it’s something that you support, if it’s something that you love, be there not just for the competition, which is the heart and soul of be there for the people in the community. And that really sunk into me and I think I’m going to lick my wounds and end up being there anyway and being there to support the community and, you know, just kind of weather the storm and we’ll get through it. So do I mean, am I angry that I’m this close to master and I was going to get it this year? Of course everyone is. Everyone is different. But I miss the judging and I miss seeing those beautiful creations and the works of art. But I’m really excited. I think I’m going to go and go anyway and just, you know, connect and network with the educators and teachers and pick up something new for anything. At least be there to impart some knowledge and help somebody else with their business.
Jenn Bruno Smith: I love that. Well, hopefully we’ll see you at WPP this year. And thank you so much for joining us. I know this has been so inspirational, one of probably my favorite podcast ever. So thank you. And make sure you guys listening And then in the Facebook group, go follow Andrew and say hi. Let him know if you guys have any questions. You can email us at t h r c podcast at gmail.com. And until next time, high rollers dream big and hustle harder.