How to have profitable mini sessions
I am a big fan of mini sessions. This comes as a surprise to lots of people, especially fellow photographers. I am primarily a wedding photographer and they don't understand why I would "waste my time" with mini sessions. They believe that full sessions are the way to go.
Let me tell you why.
You can serve more clients with mini sessions. You can make more money with mini sessions. And most importantly for that work/life balance, you can ultimately have more time with your family shooting mini sessions.
I also find mini sessions fitting perfectly into my business model for two reasons. The first reason is that I started with family photography. Way back to my humble beginnings, I photographed families that I knew personally and then word of mouth spread to other families. Many of the families that I still photograph during my mini sessions today have been with me since day 1. I love them, I appreciate them, and I want to continue to serve them. The second reason that mini sessions work perfectly for my wedding photography business is because I love LOVE being able to reconnect with my couples once they are in the next phase of life. I adore meeting their babies and being able to capture their love story far beyond their wedding day. It just brings me sooooo much joy. For these reasons I no longer offer full portrait sessions in my business, I only photograph families during my mini sessions.
If you are thinking about adding mini sessions to your offerings, or you are looking for a way to make your current mini sessions more profitable, below are some tried and true tips!
Start Advertising 8 Weeks In Advance
That may sound super early, but in my experience, it is the sweet spot. Start dropping hints in your social media accounts and in your email campaigns that you will be offering mini sessions. Give the date and location, but no need to put any other information out there quite yet.
While advertising be sure to let your followers know that there will be a limited number of spots. You could also offer VIPs (or those on your email list) access to signups a day before they are released! This always creates a buzz!
About 6 weeks in advance open up signups for your mini session. Post all over your social accounts and send all of the emails. Create a graphic (I use Canva) with a sample image, location, date, price, what they will receive and then include the signup link.
I personally use Honeybook for my scheduling. It can be a bit tricky to set up at first, but they are always super helpful anytime I needed any support.
Let Your Clients Know Up Front That You Will Be Upselling
One complaint I hear from photographers who refuse to offer mini sessions is that when they have tried minis in the past they still ended up delivering the same number of photos as they would a full session. So to them they are losing money because the time spent editing all of those photos wasn't worth it.
This isn't the way to go.
Let your clients choose their photos. If you are offering 10 images in your mini session, let your client choose the 10 images!
Here is how you do it. Let's say after culling one of the sessions you have landed on 30 images. Just sync a quick edit on all 30 of the images. Do not spend a lot of time on them. Then send all 30 images to your client (with watermarks over the images) and let them know that they only have rough edits and that you will be doing further edits on the images that they choose. Let your client know that they are able to purchase more than 10 if they wish. Set up a pricing structure where they can buy one more, three more, or the full gallery! Once the client tells you which ones they want, then spend your time and attention editing only those images. You might be surprised at how much more money you earn using this method. I know I was!
Selecting the images you send to your clients for a 15 minute mini session is HARD! So...don't do it anymore. Let your client choose. Trust me, as a mother, it will be super hard for them to choose and many will end up purchasing the entire gallery. Win win!
I hope that these tips were super helpful for you and that your next round of mini sessions are a smashing success! I would love to answer any further questions you have. Feel free to dm me over on the 'gram or send me an email. Mini Sessions are a great and seamless way to add a stream of revenue to your business. When done correctly they can enhance the experience that you give to your already existing clients!
Psst...before you go.
5 Ways To Take The Stress Out Of Wedding Photography
P.S. I also offer business coaching! If you are interested in hiring me as your coach (and number one hype girl) click here and scroll all the way down to contact me and see if we are a great fit!