Since mini sessions for photographers are meant to be done in such a short amount of time, usually about 20 minutes, they are inexpensive for your clients, and time-saving for you! You can pack an entire day or weekend with back-to-back 20-minute mini-sessions and make a huge profit. (Okay, Kara, we get it, you love mini sessions, tell us what we need to know already!)
Here are 5 ways you can level up your mini sessions immediately:
One: Choosing Your Mini Session Location
Every professional photographer has their go-to location. Unfortunately for you EVERY professional photographer in your area probably has the same go-to location. And when it comes to mini-sessions for photographers, shooting in a super public place can be risky. Mini-sessions should be kept on a tight schedule. Flying footballs, dogs, or nosey park patrons often cause sessions to take longer than necessary. My biggest advice when it comes to your mini-session location is to choose a more secluded location. Even if your location is an empty lot next to a vacant parking lot, as long as you have the run of the land and can freely set up, you’ll be good to go. Here are a few ideas for outdoor mini-session locations:
- Property of friends or family
- Park or open space
- Path or trail
- Farmers field or property
- Tree Farms
- Empty commercial or residential lots
No matter what location you choose, make sure you do your due diligence before your mini-sessions and make sure you have permission to photograph on the property. There is nothing more embarrassing than being kicked out of a location in front of clients.
Two: Pricing for Success
Pricing your photographer mini sessions largely depends on your market and your level of experience. If you’re an experienced photographer with loyal clients and you’re willing to invest in an assistant (more on that later) you should have no problem charging your clients $275-$375/mini session. If you’re a newer photographer who is just starting out, I would highly recommend giving yourself a little buffer between sessions and charging around $100-150/mini session. For arguments sake, let’s say you charge around $200 per mini session, and shoot 15-minute sessions. You’re going to walk away with around $800 an hour!
Three: Booking Strategies
With an assistant (don’t worry we’re getting there) you’ll be able to book your sessions extremely close together, so you’ll have a new client or family ready to go every 15-minutes. I know that sounds scary, but I promise you can pull it off! Pick a day, or even an entire weekend, and book your sessions back-to-back. Be sure to stress to your clients how important it is that they show up on time. Tell them to arrive for their time slot 15 minutes early, that way, you won’t have late comers ruining your strict timeline.
Keeping your mini-sessions super short is the key to making a large profit, staying organized, AND STILL being able to get your client a full gallery. Let’s be honest, most kids are not excited for photo sessions anyway – and on top of that most families don’t need a full portrait session every single year. Keep your mini-sessions short and sweet, kids and families will be happy. It’s really a win-win for both of you.
Four: Hire A Mini Session Assistant
If you haven’t caught on already, I HIGHLY recommend that you hire an assistant to help with your mini-sessions. A reliable assistant is the key to keeping your mini-sessions running smoothly. Sure, you are thinking to yourself; “Why waste the money, Kara, I can do it all by myself.” I PROMISE you, hiring an assistant is totally worth it, and, if you charge $200 per session ($800 per hour) you can definitely afford to hire a photography assistant.
An assistant’s job at a mini session is to:
- Greet your clients
- Pose your clients
- Watch for the weirdness (clothes, positioning, fingers in noses)
- Get the smiles
- Watch the clock
- Keep it moving
So, when you’re looking for an photography assistant, be sure to hire someone who isn’t afraid to get silly in order to make your clients smile. Assistants should be organized, vocal, and ready to get weird if it’s necessary. If you follow any of my advice from this post, please let it be this one! Hiring an assistant is the best way to make a huge profit off of your mini-sessions. Trust me, you won’t regret it!
Five: Gallery Delivery
Ready for this one? When it comes to mini-sessions, you should be giving your clients all of their images. Yep, you heard me right, all of them.
Photographer mini-sessions are completely different from regular photo sessions. Mini-sessions are meant to be just that, mini. You shouldn’t be spending nearly as much time on them as your regular sessions. Your time is valuable. The most cost-effective option is to give your clients all edited images rather than deal with the client back and forth. The back and forth ends up behind time consuming, and since each session is only 15-20 minutes, its worth it to just deliver all the images, and your client can choose which photo suits them best.
Six: The 15-Minute Mini Session for Photographers
I get it, it’s scary. 15-minutes is not a lot of time, especially when you’re dealing with small kiddos. However, I can tell you from years of working with, assisting in the field, and teaching photographers HOW to efficiently and profitably run their mini sessions that it absolutely can be done! In the Mini Session Business course I cover all of this and more (bonus, I even show you how running a post-gallery upsell isn’t bringing you home all the money you thought it was!). If you think mini sessions are in your business plan, this course is not to be missed – don’t believe me? Read a few student reviews below…
STUDENT’S TESTIMONIALS: MINI SESSION BUSINESS COURSE
“Mini Like a Pro is a GAME-CHANGER if you are considering adding mini sessions to your business! I’ve always been a little scared to try mini sessions because I had never done them before and wasn’t sure if they would add much to my bottom line. Kara’s program is super easy to follow but jam-packed with information. My favorite module was the Profit Calculator, where she helps you understand how to price for profit while staying competitive in your niche. She also explains exactly how to run the mini sessions – including what emails to send clients, how to prep them before the session, and how to keep things moving the day of. Plus, she gets through the material quickly which is great when you’re trying to run a business and don’t have time to spend hours and hours watching a course! Highly recommend this course, especially if you’re a busy business owner who wants to diversify!”Rachel Elle Photography
“Kara’s method for running mini sessions will take out all of the guesswork, and put you in total control of your mini sessions. From initial planning to gallery delivery, no detail is left out.
After implementing Kara’s methods, my mini sessions went from chaos with only a few usable images, to a well oiled machine that has allowed me to book, shoot, and deliver hundreds of client galleries over the past few years.
Not only is it great for business, but my clients love them as well! They are quick and energetic, and allow me to deliver a sizable and diverse gallery that keeps clients returning year after year. Whether this is your first time running mini sessions, or are looking to take yours to the next level, this course is exactly what you need!”Felicia Williams Photography
“The Mini Like a Pro course changed my mind from wanting to NEVER put on minis to wanting to do them every season. Providing these minis for my client base and future clients with Kara’s workflow was a big success for me this past year. I went from booking 1 or 2 minis, to selling out. Her methods of marketing make sense, are applicable to any photographer in any niche, and provided clear and fast results. Even in a saturated market, I was able to stand out and fully book and rebook my mini sessions. I would highly recommend any photographer investing in this course!”Meredith McCann