How Lacey went from $20 to $1,300 Photo Shoots

Lacey Beldock: I just hit $30K. I’m pretty psyched about that.

Molly Keyser: Yay. Okay. Cool. We are going to get started. What did you just say to me? You just hit $30K?

Lacey Beldock: I just hit $30K. Yeah.

Molly Keyser: That’s a good way to start out the interview. That’s awesome. Okay, cool. I am here today with Lacey Beldock. I am pronouncing your last name, right?

Lacey Beldock: Yeah.

Molly Keyser: It’s so funny how I talk to you online almost every single day, but I’ve never had to pronounce things out. Do you do that too? Okay. People always call me Keyser, which is kind of funny. Anyway, I’m here with Lacey Beldock with Sheer Lace Photography in Ogdensburg, New York, which is a mouthful and she’s been a photographer for ten years now. You can check out her website at Sheer Lace Photography dot com, so hi Lacey.

Lacey Beldock: Hi.

Molly Keyser: Tell us. Where is Ogdensburg?

Lacey Beldock: It’s way, way, way, way up in New York. I always joke that it’s near Canada New York because literally we’re on the river between US and Canada, so really, really far north.

Molly Keyser: Nice. Awesome. Cool. What we’re going to basically into today with Lacey is, she’s been a photographer for ten years. She started out doing just $20 photo shoots and her recent sale is $1,300 for one boudoir session, so I’m sure everyone watching this is like, “Okay, how did you do that?” I just want to take us way back to when you first started, so could you paint a picture of what was your photography business like when you first, very, very first started?

Lacey Beldock: It was pretty sad. I actually brought my camera because one of my family members was like, “Hey, you should buy a camera and save money on your wedding photography.” I did not do that, but I bought my camera for my wedding and I gave it to …

Molly Keyser: Wait, you were going to do your own wedding photos?

Lacey Beldock: No, I gave one of my friends my camera to take pictures during the wedding, but I did hire a wedding photographer because I was like, “No, no. I know that’s a terrible ideal.” Then, I set a goal and I was like, “I’m going to pay back my camera, whatever it costs.” It was, like $1,000 or something. They’re so cheap nowadays, but I paid back my camera. I did $20 photo shoots. I did family sessions in the corner of my living room with this crushed velvet black backdrop and sand that I jimmy rigged myself. It was literally $20 and then you got a CD with all of your images and I did, I don’t know, whatever the cool software was back in the day. It wasn’t even Photoshop. It was Paint or something.

Molly Keyser: MS Paint.

Lacey Beldock: Yeah, then I was like, “Okay, I just need to keep moving on and up.” I struggled with my business for literally the last eight years, or not the last eight years, but I struggled with my business for eight years and then somehow, I stumbled upon this free lighting video from this modeling chick and I was like, “Okay. I don’t really care …” Maybe I could learn something about lighting because I was working in my basement and I had no idea what I was doing.

Molly Keyser: You weren’t shooting boudoir at all?

Lacey Beldock: I accidentally did a boudoir session at a wedding. This was like, in 2008 or 2009 right after I got my camera. I was literally on auto for eight years and she was like, “Hey, I want to do this for my husband. Will you do it?” I was like, “Are you going to pay me if I say no? Oh, sure, yeah, I’ll do it. What is it? We’ll learn together.” I did it and I was terrible. I actually can’t remember the bride’s name because I really want to reach out to her and be like, “Let me redo that for you because that was really bad.” I hated it. I hated it at first, which is really ironic.

Lacey Beldock: I found your lighting video and my friend was like, “Hey, will you do a boudoir session for me? My boyfriend and I have been together for ten years and we’re getting married and I want to do this for him for our anniversary,” so I did it and I was like, “Yeah, I just watched this video. I think I can do that. That’s cool.” After that, I was like, “Oh my God. I love this. This is so cool. Why did I hate it eight years ago?” It’s just been steady growth ever since.

Molly Keyser: That sounds awesome. Thank you. Okay, cool. Basically just to recap, you started out doing, tell us a little bit about, you started out doing $20 photo shoots. Tell us a little bit more. That started because you bought this camera for somebody to maybe shoot your wedding, but then you ended up hiring a wedding photographer and then, how did you come about doing $20 photo shoots?

Lacey Beldock: I was literally just asking everybody that I worked with or my family that I knew. I was doing senior sessions for my cousins and anybody that I worked with. We did family portraits for Christmas and stuff and I literally just was like, asking everybody and anybody if they would practice with me and I’d make $20 and I was like, “Hey, this is grocery money. Sweet.” After, I burned out and I was like, “I don’t care about photography anymore. I don’t want to do this anymore.”

Molly Keyser: What did they get for $20?

Lacey Beldock: Okay. They just got a CD with images, like 50 images or 100 images or something like that.

Molly Keyser: Did you edit them all?

Lacey Beldock: Yeah, but I was terrible at it. I spent a ton of time.

Molly Keyser: Yeah, so how much time do you think you spent for the $20?

Lacey Beldock: For sure, probably six to eight hours on a $20 photo shoot. It was ridiculous.

Molly Keyser: We all start somewhere, but I like, I mean, look where you are now, but I like to paint the picture. I know there’s other photographers listening to this that are only charging $20, $200, whatever it is, but when you really break down how much time it takes you to edit and how much time you spent with the shoot and all of your costs and all that stuff, even if you’re charging $200, you’re definitely losing money on your business. I think that’s really an important thing to talk about. You did those $20 shoots and then you burnt out and then what happened?

Lacey Beldock: Then, I just, well, actually, I ended up losing my job. My pharmacy closed and I was devastated. They were like my family. I was just like, “Okay, I’m going to pick up photography again.” I had been learning because I had a child and I wanted to document his life better and then I had another child and then I lost my job so was like, “You know what? I’ve been learning about this and I really want to do better and be better and hey, maybe I can pay off those looming student loans for a degree I don’t even use.”

Molly Keyser: Yeah.

Lacey Beldock: I’m like, “I think this is my path. I’m going to give it a try again.” Like I said, I found your video and timing worked out perfectly. One of my friends was like, “Hey, I need this boudoir session,” and I did it for her for free, obviously, because she’s legit my best friend and I loved it. I was like, “Okay, let’s pursue this.” Then, I just started asking, again, asking anybody and everybody if they would practice with me and then I got your model call and that spun everything basically into place.

Molly Keyser: Awesome. When you did your very first boudoir shoot and you ended up not liking boudoir, like the very first one, what made you not like boudoir and then what made you change your mind about boudoir with the second photo shoot?

Lacey Beldock: I think it was because I had no idea what boudoir was. I, as a boudoir photographer, I want to slap myself, but I thought it was steamy porn, creepy, like I was uncomfortable being around women taking their clothes off. The area that I was shooting in, it was this really old tower and the walls were laffin plaster. It was all chipping away. There was graffiti on the walls and I feel like, there was these teeny tiny little windows that were four feet deep, so no light was coming in. I felt like I didn’t like the experience, so I didn’t want to do that again. It never crossed my mind that I could make it better, you know what I mean? Learn new situations, learn new techniques. Again, I was on auto, so I had no idea photography speaking what I was doing.

Molly Keyser: Yeah. That’s so interesting what you said about how you tried it once and you didn’t like it, but really, it was how you had to change the situation. It wasn’t actually because it was boudoir. That’s so interesting. How do you feel about boudoir now?

Lacey Beldock: I’m obsessed with it. I eat, sleep, breathe, talk, all the time about boudoir photography, dream, of course.

Molly Keyser: You’re wearing your Booty Babe shirt and I’m wearing my Booty Babe necklace.

Lacey Beldock: Yeah, I know. I love it. I love it.

Molly Keyser: What do you love the most about boudoir photography?

Lacey Beldock: My favorite part is when they’re just so nervous coming in and then they get their pictures done and they feel so great. They just feel so much better about themselves. There’s a change. You literally can see a change when they come in and they’re in their shell and then they come out like, “Oh my God. I feel so great.”

Molly Keyser: That’s so good. That’s exactly what boudoir is. Oh my gosh. I love it. As a photographer, what’s your favorite part of boudoir from a taking photos perspective?

Lacey Beldock: Getting paid.

Molly Keyser: I love it. I thought you were going to say lighting. That’s so funny.

Lacey Beldock: I do like lighting. I’m obsessed with fake lights and fake windows. I really think it’s fun to … Oh, my battery is low. Sorry. I think it’s fun to turn a not so, and it’s funny because I didn’t like my setting at first when I was shooting and now, my shooting room is still dark and dank and I literally have zero windows, but I love it now. I know how to make it work.

Molly Keyser: Yeah, that’s such a good point. You know how to make it work. Actually, tell them what you’re teaching at Booty Camp Live in April 2019.

Lacey Beldock: How to fake a window.

Molly Keyser: How to fake a window. Yay. Yeah, I know. That’s so cool. Like she said, her studio doesn’t have a lot of windows and stuff so she had to figure out, how can I make a really cool window with artificial light? Honestly, when you live so north that you’re almost in Canada, it doesn’t even matter if you have actual windows because the light is never consistent.

Lacey Beldock: Exactly.

Molly Keyser: It’s hardly ever even there.

Lacey Beldock: I give total props to wedding photographers. I can’t switch sets so quickly. I’m a control freak. I like having things the same every single time and being able to focus on my client rather than, “Oh, what should my ISO be?”

Molly Keyser: My anxiety with weddings was always when, I shot a lot of barn weddings when I used to shoot weddings and with a barn, the bridge always comes in from these barn doors that open up in the back and the groom is in the front and the front is always super dark because it’s a barn and the back is always super bright back lit when the bride walks in and oh my God. I would always have to put it on aperture priority or have two different cameras with two different settings and be like, boom, boom, boom. It’s freaking impossible. Boudoir is so much easier. You just focus on one client. You’re in one room or wherever you’re shooting. Totally. Let’s see here. What was your business like before you joined Boudoir Certified?

Lacey Beldock: I’ve been working with you for probably a year, maybe a year and a half, so it was much better than $20 photo shoots. I think I was averaging between $500 and $800, I would say. I don’t remember the numbers exactly, but I was doing okay. I knew I could do better. I wasn’t getting the bookings that I wanted to. It was very sporadic and I would have dates that would be available, and then no one would book them and I wasn’t really sure what was I missing. I mean, I was doing okay. I was on the right path.

Molly Keyser: Yeah, $500 to $800 is way better than $20.

Lacey Beldock: Yeah. That being said, I had worked with you for a long time so I was getting the good information. I was getting the right verbiage.

Molly Keyser: What were your reservations about signing up for Certified? You had already worked with me on another product? What was your reservation before signing up for Certified?

Lacey Beldock: I had this really bad idea in my head that I could do it on my own. I was like, “I think I’m in the right direction. I’ve going up. I’ve got this good growth going on. Maybe I should just try and do it on my own.” I feel like the timing was really bad. We had just bought a house and we were in the process of moving the month that you started Certified. I really, really wanted to do it. I knew that it would work and I knew that it would be great, but I was like, “You know what? I think I’m going to save myself the stress right now and I’m just going to go on my own.” I’m kicking myself because I lost so much money by not doing it.

Molly Keyser: I mean, yeah. What do you mean? How many months between then, then you signed up, so you’re saying you made lower money then?

Lacey Beldock: Exactly. I had no clients between January of this year and I think I started shooting again in February. I had purposefully blocked off my calendar because I knew I was going to be moving, but I feel like I could have been shooting. You know what I mean? I didn’t want to put the work in because I didn’t really know what I was doing, so it was easier for me to be like, “I’m going to stop shooting right now.” If I had been in Certified, it would have made me do all the work and I would have made all the money.

Molly Keyser: I love it. Your reservations were, the timing wasn’t perfect, right, and what was the other one?

Lacey Beldock: That I thought I could do it on my own.

Molly Keyser: Yeah, that you thought you could do it on your own. Okay. Cool. How do you feel now? What would you say to somebody who has those exact same beliefs, or what would you have said to yourself in January?

Lacey Beldock: I’m seriously kicking myself. I should have been a part of that. I should have been there. I should have done it. Well, I was thinking that I could do it on my own because I already had all of the camps and the eBooks and everything so I was like, “What else new could be in this program?” I was like, “I’m petty sure I got it all. I’m fine.” If you’re thinking you’ve already invested in something and it’s going to be a waste of your money because you’ve already invested in marketing camp or whatever and now you want to invest in Certified too, it’s so worth it because it’s not just all of the pieces. I feel like it’s a shaft. I could have all of those ingredients, but I don’t know what to do with them. I don’t know the right way to put them together.

Molly Keyser: Such a good analogy.

Lacey Beldock: Thank you. You gave me all of those pieces and then you were like, ” This today. This next week.” It literally has set my plate. You say business in a box and it could not be more true. It’s so easy. I mean, it’s hard work, but it’s simple.

Molly Keyser: I just love your impression of me. You’re like, “Do this. Do this.” That’s so awesome. Yes. When you decide to work with me, I am your business coach and I will tell you what to do. That is so true though because, and I’m so glad you feel that way. That was my whole purpose was to really give people just not only the pieces that they need, but the actual process to follow, so what do you feel was your favorite thing that you learned in Certified?

Lacey Beldock: Man. I feel like I learned a lot about sales that I was lacking before. I was always skeeved out about the money aspect. I felt like that was a dirty process to me. I wanted the sales. I wanted to make the money because I had my own goals, but I felt like asking them for money, nobody wants to pay for this stuff. They just want to do the experience. They don’t want to pay for it. Once I learned how to do it, like the right way to do it, the stuff just sells itself. It’s awesome.

Molly Keyser: Yay. I forgot to ask you, what did end up making you decide to sign up for Certified? You had all those hesitations. What actually made you be like, “Okay, I need to do this,”?

Lacey Beldock: I went to Booty Camp Live last year and I was like, “I have to do this. I have to be a part of this.” I met all of the people that started with Certified and I was like, “I’m like them. They’re like me. Look at them killing it. I can kill it too. Let’s do this.”

Molly Keyser: That’s awesome. Oh my gosh. I’m so excited for Booty Camp Live. Seriously. I spent all weekend pinning ideas to decorate. It’s going to be crazy awesome.

Lacey Beldock: I’m so excited.

Molly Keyser: Okay. Your favorite part of Certified was sales, so I’m sure everyone is wondering. You started out doing $20 and with a couple of my products, it helped you get to $500 to $800, and then where are you at now with your average sale?

Lacey Beldock: My average sale is around $1,300. I just made a sale that was $2,300 last month.

Molly Keyser: Nice. [crosstalk]

Lacey Beldock: Yes. Yeah. Two different.

Molly Keyser: For $1,300, you’re doing just a one on one boudoir shoot and they get the hair and the makeup and the photo shoot and probably ten pictures, I’m assuming, maybe.

Lacey Beldock: It’s 20. I have not raised my rates to the [crosstalk]

Molly Keyser: Lacey, Lacey, Lacey. We’ll get her there. You’re raising them January 1st, aren’t you?

Lacey Beldock: Yeah. Yeah. January, they’re going up.

Molly Keyser: I just yell at you live on Facebook, like Lacey, but seriously, look at you. $20 to $500 to $1300, I mean, that’s amazing. Then, come January, you’re going to raise them again. Then, I mean, I know you’ll have a $2,000 average, at least.

Lacey Beldock: I know it.

Molly Keyser: You just had a $2,300 sale, so what was that like? How did you feel?

Lacey Beldock: It feels ridiculous for me to say that. I cannot believe that I made that much. It’s not even about the money. She came to the session and she was so quiet during the whole thing and she just didn’t really have a reaction and then she got to the viewing of the images and afterwards, she was like, “Okay. I can’t possibly narrow it down any further. I have to take these home.” It just felt so great that she loved herself that much and she loved my images that much. It felt so great.

Molly Keyser: Yay. What would you say to any photographers watching this who don’t think or believe that any photographers can get paid $2,000 for a photo shoot?

Lacey Beldock: It’s so not true. It’s so not true. It’s funny because one of our first interactions together, you probably don’t remember it, was [crosstalk]

Molly Keyser: Here we go.

Lacey Beldock: Because you blasted me on your email. You were like, “It doesn’t matter if your town is tiny. You can do this.” I was like, “You know what? I’m going to prove her wrong. I’m going to do model calls and it’s going to tank and then she’s going to be wrong.” Here I am, [crosstalk]

Molly Keyser: That’s the best story I ever heard. Let me get this straight. You replied to one of my emails?

Lacey Beldock: Yep.

Molly Keyser: You were like, “Model call won’t work,” or something.

Lacey Beldock: I was like, “My town is so tiny.” In my defense, it is four times smaller than Eau Claire.

Molly Keyser: Tell us how many people live in your city.

Lacey Beldock: Less than 10,000, if 10,000.

Molly Keyser: You wrote me back. Oh my God. This is hysterical. I never knew this. This is the best story ever. You wrote me back and what did you say?

Lacey Beldock: It just said something like, “I don’t know if it’s going to work.” I think I was not having good luck with it or something and so you asked me to reply back to your email or something and so I replied back and was just basically just complaining about it and you were like, I just remember you got so mad that day. You were like, “It doesn’t matter if your town is small. You can do this.” Here I am, same town, did not move. I mean, I did move, but not that far.

Molly Keyser: Did my reaction actually make you do it?

Lacey Beldock: It totally did because I was like, “I am going to prove her wrong.”

Molly Keyser: That makes me really happy because I always get super heated and I feel like I’m yelling at people and I’m like, “Oh god. They’re probably going to go cry and never do it,” but you did it. Yay.

Lacey Beldock: I did. I feel like I’m the kind of person, I respond to that. I’m the kind of person that reacts to that like, oh, you can’t do it. I’m going to do it anyway. I’m going to do this.

Molly Keyser: That’s so awesome. You had to prove me wrong. That’s great. I love it. That’s so awesome. Before Certified, you were doing $500 to $800 in sales and now you’re doing $1300, but sales aside, what is your business like now that you’ve gone through Certified? How has your life changed? You’ve been in the program now for …

Lacey Beldock: Probably six months, I think. Seven months.

Molly Keyser: You joined what, in April?

Lacey Beldock: April, yeah.

Molly Keyser: Oh, yeah, like five or six months. Yeah. What is your life like now? How is it different?

Lacey Beldock: It’s a lot more predictable. I like the consistency that I have now with Certified and I really enjoy knowing that I can set these goals and make these goals and help out my family. If something happens, I’m able to step in and make the money, if need be.

Molly Keyser: Again, sales aside, aside from the actual program, the actual CBPD membership site, how do you feel about the community in Certified?

Lacey Beldock: So good. It’s so good. We’re all in each other’s groups. We actually have some group chats and we’re constantly talking about things and bouncing ideas off each other. I feel like whenever somebody has a problem in the group, everybody just jumps on it and they’re like, “Here’s what I did. Maybe you could try this. Maybe you could try that.” I just feel like everybody’s so nice to each other in that group. I love it. It literally is like a family and I’m so excited to hug everybody when we get to Booty Camp.

Molly Keyser: I know. Me too. You come to all my Q and A calls. Have you missed any?

Lacey Beldock: I think one. I don’t remember. Oh, it was something with school. I think my son was graduating.

Molly Keyser: I do one weekly Q and A call every Monday and my teacher’s assistant Sara does one every Wednesday. Do you go to Sarah’s too?

Lacey Beldock: I try too, yeah. I try to go to hers too.

Molly Keyser: What I’m noticing is the students that get the fastest and best results are the ones who attend the Q and A calls, so if you are someone who is in Certified watching this or considering joining Certified, that’s really, I feel like, what could make it break it for you. Make sure you go to those Q and A calls and also, why wouldn’t you? You’re basically getting a one hour coaching session twice a week every single week included. You know? Awesome. Okay. Cool. My last question for you is, what would you say to anyone who is considering joining us in the Certified family?

Lacey Beldock: I mean, obviously, do it, but I think it sounds really scary to invest in something that is an unknown to you, but you got to find a way to make it work. If you want it bad enough, you will make it work. Don’t pull that cord. I think if you want it bad enough, you’ll find a way to make it work. Just do it. Make it work. You’re going to learn so much and if you’re an implementer, then it’s going to take off like wild fire for you. If you’re a complainer, it’s not going to work.

Molly Keyser: I love that. If you’re an implementer, go for it. If you’re just going to complain about things, it’s not going to work. I love that. If people are sitting here thinking, “Oh, how do I know if this girl is actually a photographer? How do I know if she’s actually real? How do I know if this isn’t a scam?” Can people reach out to you? How can they reach out to you and find out that you’re a legit real photographer person?

Lacey Beldock: I get that a lot. I feel like, people call me the Molly girl. I don’t know why.

Molly Keyser: That’s awesome.

Lacey Beldock: [crosstalk] like Molly. People have been reaching out to me in the past, but yeah, feel free to send me a message. I’m a real person. I’m not really that extraordinary of a person. I’m not …

Molly Keyser: Yes, she is.

Lacey Beldock: I know, but I’m not super famous or really smart or I don’t have a ton of money to throw behind all of this stuff. I just did it. I feel like, I know everybody says this, but if I can do it, then you can do it. My town is so small. It’s known for meth labs and it’s a really small area. We’re on the border of Canada. There’s nothing remarkable about my town. There’s actually tons of photographers in my area, tons of shoot [inaudible] photographers, so it’s not. I had a terrible space. I literally had every single poor excuse for why I couldn’t be successful and then the day that I decided that I was going to be successful was the day that my business started taking off, so yes, please message me. I would shoot down every bad excuse and I will encourage you.

Molly Keyser: I love it. Yes. If you want to be encouraged and just make sure that Lacey is not a robot, which she’s not. I just think it’s funny when people are like, “Are these people real?” I’m like, “No, we’re fake on Facebook Live.” I don’t know. Her business is called Sheer Lace Photography, S-H-E-E-R Lace Photography. Her name is Lacey Beldock, L-A-C-E-Y B-E-L-D-O-C-K, so you can look her up on Facebook if you want to. Thank you so much, Lacey. It’s been really, really fun chatting with you.

Lacey Beldock: Yes, thank you Molly.

Molly Keyser: Yay. Oh, and if anyone has any questions or whatever, you can comment below. We’re happy to answer and if you do want to learn more about Certified, if you want to schedule a 60 minute complimentary strategy session with us and learn more about the program, see if you have to apply and see if you are accepted. Go to www.boudoircertified.com/case3 to check it out. Thank you Lacey and I will see you real soon in the Facebook Group.

Lacey Beldock: Bye Molly.

Molly Keyser: Bye.

 

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Molly Keyser

Boudoir photographer and business coach, I am dedicated to changing the world with the power of a camera. Originally from Wisconsin, I'm now in Texas, but I help photographers around the world learn how to go full-time with boudoir photography.