Self-Value and Putting Yourself Out There with Sue Bryce

April 26, 2021 Podcast


Episode 73: Sue Bryce

In this Portrait System Podcast, Nikki Closser welcomes Sue Bryce for a conversation about self-value, confidence, and being the face of your brand.  How do you put yourself out there and why is it so challenging? Sue speaks from her own experience about how she went from being someone with a great folio that she couldn’t sell to becoming someone who was able to put herself out there on an international stage.

In developing your business, you’ll need to have a presence on social media, at networking events, and with potential clients. In order to do this, you need to practice. You need to own your skills and your path, and you need to learn how to love both your strengths & your weaknesses and discover how your weaknesses are also your strengths.

Be sure to listen to the whole podcast to hear Nikki and Sue’s wonderful, warm-hearted conversation about their own journeys in breaking through to selling their photography with full value. And read on for some of Sue’s beautiful photos, quotes from the podcast, and the challenges Sue has posed for you, which are your self-value homework.

What is Confidence?

“What is confidence? Confidence is knowing what your faults are, and being ok with them, and liking yourself anyway. Once you get all of those things, it doesn’t matter what anybody says to you. You just realize it’s not about everybody looking at you. It’s about you sending out the message to everybody else – what you want, who you are, what you do – with confidence. And you have to do it to build it. So, you can’t just sit at home and practice confidence with your social media without posting. You have to try everything.”

“Confidence and networking is not about getting people to like you. It’s about being ok if they don’t.”

“Everybody thinks it’s hard. But the truth is, it’s learn your product, learn your service, learn your pricelist, learn everything there is about your studio, and then learn what it is you love doing about it. And then you just speak through that, and inevitably what comes forward is this flowing voice of just enthusiasm. It’s filled with information. It’s enticing. It’s exciting. And you’ve just got to keep practicing until you find your voice.”

“You’ve got to hit it all. Hit that money value. Hit that pricing value. Practice. Find that confidence. And really just start showing up and being more because you’ve got to see yourself as more to be more.”

Challenges from Sue

“I’m going to challenge you all right now. Everybody out there listening to this, hear my words.”

  • Have you been photographed by a professional photographer? And have you paid a professional price for that work? And is that work on your ‘About’ page, in your studio, framed on your wall? Because what has more value than walking into a studio and saying, ‘My portraits were taken by Nikki Closser, My portraits were taken by Gerson Lopes. I go to professional photographers because I’m a professional photographer. I honor it. I value it. I pay for it every year.’ Because that’s the whole point, and until you know what it’s like to stand in your clients’ shoes . . . and if you haven’t done that, why not? . . . Every single website I review on people who are failing to break through in their marketing or in their selling, they don’t have an ‘About’ page. They don’t have beautiful portraits. They don’t know the value of portraits. And they don’t know because they’ve never experienced it. Do the full experience. Experience how nervous you feel. How served you feel. How present you feel your photographer is with you. They heard you, listened to you, saw you. . . This is what you’ve got to learn. You’ve got to learn what it feels like.”


  • If you haven’t written an epic bio, watch the 3×3 Bio on SBE. Go & do it right now and connect it to all your social media. . . . You’ve really got to say it and write it down like it’s not you saying it.”


  • “And the third one, and this is really hard to hear, but it’s really important. Your first impression is everything. It’s more than what comes out of your mouth. It’s how you dress, and how you hold yourself, your body language, and the energy you have in the room. . . So, yes it is your physical self . . . But it’s not your physical self, it’s about you giving yourself a little more care – spruce it up. Give yourself some self-love and talk to yourself. Guys and girls, it’s not about being physically perfect, it’s about dressing nicely and owning the power of you being a business owner. Walking into a networking event and saying, ‘Hey, I’ve got something to offer. Nice to meet you,’ and just being confident in yourself.”


  • I challenge everybody out there. . . to just sit down and write out some of your biggest character defects, and some of  . . . what you think are definitely . . . winning things about you  . . . like for instance, I have always been bossy, and I’m going to own that, in the negative. In the negative, it’s not a nice thing to say. In the positive, when I started to see that it wasn’t bossy, I have a natural authority. . . You’re going to start looking at your bad things, and then you’re going to start thinking, well, it’s bad because someone told me it was bad, but the truth is that I can actually reframe that as being something really positive in my business. . .What is your strength? And also what is your perceived weakness? Flip the perceived weakness into a strength right now. Change that story. More importantly, tell me what these things are that you think are bad about you. I’m intuitive and I’m empathic. In the negative, I have little boundaries with people. I can be very personal very quickly with people because I feel so much that goes on with people, and I forget how jolting that is. But in a photoshoot, it’s my greatest skill. Everybody has these things that we think are bad, that we think are good. Just find them. Whatever you think your weakness is, look at it again, and just sort of tell me, how it can contribute to your confidence and how can it contribute to building that business that you really love.

“You just have to be confident enough to ask interesting questions, and then listen.”

Literally, I’ll spend my life teaching self-value because it just changes:

  • the way you shoot,
  • the way you sell,
  • the way you market,
  • the way you present,
  • the way you put yourself out there.

Also, a big part of self-value is asking for more. . . You have to get to abundance through self-value because in order to ask for more, you have to step up. You have to receive more. And in order to receive, you have to believe you’re worth more.

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Sue Bryce of Sue Bryce Education

With 30 years experience, Sue Bryce is one of the most recognizable photographers in the imaging industry. New Zealand born and raised, Bryce now lives and works in Los Angeles.

Her contemporary glamour portrait style transcends past stereotypes and has changed the face of portrait photography. In 2015, Bryce was greatly honored to be chosen to represent Canon USA in the Explorers of Light program.

Follow Sue: InstagramFacebook Website 

Sue Bryce Education is an online education platform & community for contemporary portrait, connecting to photographers globally through live broadcasts, videos, in-person workshops, and The Portrait Masters annual boutique conference that hosts the Awards + Accreditation program.