There are many strategical and organizational components that come into play in order to run a successful mini session. Whether it be pricing, marketing, theme, or location, there is no doubt that there is a lot to pull together. Building on our previous post talking about How to Choose the Perfect Mini Session Location, today we’re going to dig down into how to run a successful mini session using stations. Just one of the strategies that is covered in depth in The Mini Session Business Course.
How to Run a Successful Mini Session Using Stations
Before we dive into how to run the mini sessions with stations, we have to understand what a station is and why it’s useful to you.
What is a Station
A station is a smaller location(s) or setup(s) within your larger location. Think of it as the exact spot you want your client to stand when you snap the image. With the station method there will generally be four(ish) stations setup that every client will utilize during the mini session. This number depends greatly on the session duration, however, I highly recommend sticking to a 15-20 minute mini session as your profits will increase exponentially in doing so.
Why Photographers Should Use Stations
Running your mini sessions with the station method does two things. First, it allows you to methodically and systematically move your clients through the session process. Second, it takes away the “stress of the unknown.” Because you are moving every client through the system in the same way, using the same poses (or backup poses) you don’t have to second guess whether you “got the shot.”
How to Setup Your Mini Session Stations
Mini session stations are meant to be moved through The stations are moved through fluidly with little to no adjustments to the set-up and props. They are very close together, within 20-30 feet (sometimes literally two steps and a turn to get a different backdrop).
Station 1 – Piece of Furniture — couch, bench, pew, chairs, etc.
- Kids on couch
- Family on couch
Station 2 – Open Space — shooting your environment
- Family standing
- Parents together
Station 3 – Small Prop — stool, bench, sled, etc.
- Kiddo individual
- Children together
Section 4 – Open Space 2 — shooting your environment
- Family standing
- Siblings standing
- Alt: Mom and Dad with kiddos
I strongly suggest you keep moving through the stations in the same order as it helps relieve the stress on you as to “where do I go next?!?” The only times I have had to reconfigure the station order with clients is when dealing with an uncooperative kiddo. At which point we continued with poses where the child and parents or whole family together were the focus.