Important Mini Session Tips

Hello! I took a little break from blogging last week as I’ve been busy working on some changes + improvements to my site and client work. You’ll notice I’ve added a detailed list of what my services are – kind of a “duh” moment. I’ve made some changes to my home/contact page as well that I’m happy with (Let me know what you think below).

But ANYWAYS I’m refreshed and ready to be back into blogging this week.

I can’t believe it’s already November – you know what that means. Christmas stuff is already in stores and holiday commercials have started running. It’s not even Thanksgiving yet! In ten years I’m predicting that the Christmas craze starts in August – every year it seems to be a little earlier.

In November, people also start thinking about the Christmas cards they are going to send out. Enter, the mini session.

I started doing mini sessions three or four years ago. They are PERFECT for beginner and experienced photographers alike. Today I’ll be sharing my tips for being successful hosting your first mini shoot!

Why I love mini sessions:

1 | It’s a chance for people to try you out: So let’s say you’re a new photographer trying to get clients. People don’t know you. You’re not established. It makes people a little unsure about booking you at your full price. A mini session is a great way for people to give you a shot. It’s less time and less money for them, and you get a chance to show them how great you are!

2 | If they love their experience, they could turn into long-term clients: Many clients that have booked mini sessions book again year after year – and several have even booked me for full priced shoots or even weddings!

Tips for rocking your mini sessions:

1 | Set a firm time limit and stick to it.  I’ve done 20 minutes and 30 minutes – either is fine. It’s really up to you. Just don’t budge on the time because if you have them scheduled back to back, you don’t want to run over and over until you get to the last session and have bad lighting because you dragged on for too long. Which brings me to my next point:

2 | Try to schedule sessions with a buffer. I like to shoot all of my sessions in one day. My favorite way to schedule shoots is to do 20 minutes of shooting, but have people scheduled every half hour. That leaves ten minutes in between in case a family is running a little late or they’re trying to get a crying child calmed down, etc.

3 | Bring props. Even if you don’t really want to bring themed props (although that’s fun!), bring some things like blankets or chairs. Simple props help create some variety which is helpful considering you don’t have a lot of time to shoot.

4 | Bring an assistant. This is SUPER important. You’ll need someone to keep track of who is coming when, to organize people while they’re waiting, help get a baby to smile, and just anything else you will definitely need. This assistant doesn’t need to have knowledge of photography – usually my mom or my husband act as mine.

5 | Utilize social media. Not only do you need to be announcing your sessions regularly for at least a month in advance, you need to be using it AFTER the shoots too. Post a few previews for each session on Facebook and tag them in it. Their friends will see it – hopefully prompting them to like, comment, or even follow your page. Even if you only did five sessions but tagged everyone in the photos, that’s A LOT of people that are seeing your work! Social media is the best for free advertising. I’ve gained many of my clients after they’ve seen their friends/family tagged in my photos on Facebook.

6 | Offer extra value. Go the extra mile: give them an extra edited file (geez this is starting to sound like a poem), take a few extra minutes, and genuinely listen to your clients’ ideas. Make them feel at ease. The best way to ensure that they keep coming back is to be helpful and make them feel important!

Have you done mini sessions before? What would you add to this list?

Also, I still have room for more sessions this year…contact me to set up a time!