Photo mini sessions are always fun, exciting, and lucrative. It is a great way of accumulating substantial money in just a few days. However, making quick cash should not be your main priority as a photographer- you should think of photo mini sessions as a way of widening your clientele base.
While in most cases the exciting part is on the shooting aspect, the stressful preparation and editing work can pay off handsomely in the long-run.
Now that we are approaching the Christmas period, I am sure you have put into thought the idea of organizing a Christmas mini photo session. And I am here to give you tips on how to prepare a successful Christmas mini session.
Before we delve into the Christmas mini photo session ideas, let’s discuss what a mini session entails.
What Is a Mini Session in Photography?
We can term a mini session as a short photo session. Normally, a full photo session involves taking tens or hundreds of shots in multiple locations. However, minis are all about sessions that last for 15-30 minutes. They involve a few edited photos for the clients to choose from. These sessions are normally cheaper.
These sessions are normally offered during holidays like Valentine’s Day, Easter, or Christmas holiday. You, as a photographer, have to put together a unique theme depending on the occasion. In this case, you have to create a Christmas theme.
Not only are minis popular with photographers, but also with clients (mostly families). This is because, for you as a photographer, mini sessions offer a perfect opportunity to develop a new clientele base and build new relationships that could eventually lead to full sessions in the future. For clients, they are popular for being affordable and also because a client can get professional photos within a short time to use for holiday cards or to share with friends.
So, how can you prepare for Christmas mini sessions as a photographer? We have put together some helpful tips to help you prepare your Christmas mini session so that it can run smoothly and set the foundation for long-term relationships with your clients.
PS- The tips we will share revolve around a photography studio, but if you don’t have a studio, you can designate an area, say a garage or empty store, and decorate it with props and Christmas-themed decorations.
Christmas Mini Photo Session Tips and Ideas
Choose a Theme
As a photographer, you need to set the mood by selecting a theme that goes with the holiday in question. In this case, you need to pick a unique Christmas theme. Remember that in most cases, minis attract families, and in this case, the main audience is the kids. Therefore, when selecting kids, know what will appeal to them depending on the holiday they are celebrating.
During Christmas, one of the most popular themes is the Santa theme. Add fun to the Santa theme by having cute props such as Christmas trees, Christmas presents (just wrap beautifully empty boxes), and much more. You can also have a cute chalkboard where you write the name of your client or their favorite phrase and use it as your prop for their family portrait. Maybe even have a small desk or fireplace where you can arrange props that your clients carry with them.
You can make a lot of money and even get a new clientele base in a weekend of shooting Christmas Mini Sessions. If you are pressed for finances, check online stores for cheap props. You will be surprised to find unique things that can help you decorate your studio or makeshift location for Santa mini sessions.
Get an Assistant
As we mentioned earlier, although mini photo sessions can be fun to shoot, they can be stressful, especially when it comes to scheduling and making the whole process run smoothly.
That’s why we recommend that you have an assistant who can help handle non-photography tasks such as scheduling, greeting clients, setting up props, etc.
Your assistant doesn’t necessarily have to be an assistant photographer. He/she can be a friend, husband, wife, or someone for hire. Delegate tasks that relate to organizing your clients and scheduling so that you can focus on photography.
Set Limits for Number of Photos and Session Duration
It is important that you be clear about your limitations to avoid conflict and confusion. You don't want clients to take advantage of your mini sessions, and also, you don't want to disappoint clients that may have high expectations of the number of photos they will get from your minis.
Therefore, make sure to communicate about the number of photos you will take and edit for your clients and the session duration. Also, specify that payment will be made before the session. Also, state that refunds will not be offered and emphasize the need for clients to keep time, if it is written in your photography agreement.
Remember that the goal is to serve a good number of clients during this time so as to increase your chances of having more long-term clients. Therefore, don’t keep your client waiting for mini sessions.
Also, make sure you stick to the set time frames and limits. Don't shoot too many photos as they will give you a lot of work when it comes to editing. Again, choose which images to create- from close-ups to full-length photos. Yes, have a plan of the shots to take.
Prepare Everything Before Clients Arrive
It is important that you assemble your lighting, backdrop, and any props you are using the night before your mini session starts. You don't want to keep your clients waiting as you set up your studio. This will delay your sessions and give a bad impression of you.
Also, be sure to take test shots with a subject in advance and check on your photo editing to see if there are unwanted flaws or shadows.
The point is- Make sure everything is all set before your mini session starts.
Have Treats and Toys for Kids
Mini sessions are short, and thus you don’t have a lot of time to sweet-talk kids to behave for the camera. Therefore, have a few treats with you to encourage kids to quickly calm down and look at the camera. Learn tricks on how to be friendly to kids during photo sessions. They will come in handy during these mini sessions.
Another thing- make the seating area comfortable and inviting. You don’t want your clients to get bored as they wait for their session. Therefore, set up a table with some refreshments and snacks as well as toys for kids. Make sure to ask parents if the kids are allowed to have the kind of snacks and refreshments you have provided.
Promote and Market Your Christmas Mini Sessions
You need to spread the word using a well-designed graphic that showcases all the details. Use social media platforms such as Instagram, and make sure to use relevant hashtags such as #Yourlocality, #Christmasminisessions #Christmasshoots, etc.
You can consider using social media ads to boost your coverage. When running ads, choose your target audience based on location, gender, and age.
Also, encourage your friends and family to promote your mini session offer on social media. You can also post flyers in strategic points in your locality, such as homeschool groups, sporting groups, local moms groups, etc.
Finally, ensure that you reach out to your existing customers via emails and SMSs. They might spread the word for you as well.
Have Branded Giveaways
I mentioned earlier that the main goal of hosting Christmas mini photo sessions is to expand your clientele base- you want your mini session to showcase your skills and professionalism as a photographer so that your client can be encouraged to book you for full photo sessions.
There are several things you can do to encourage your mini session clients to book you for full photo sessions:
Give special discount cards. You can design and print coupon cards for a special discount on full-photo sessions. Make sure that you indicate the discount cards are just for new clients. This will make them feel special.
Design a professional-looking welcome guide for your brand. You can use a mini photo session to lure your customers into hiring your full photography service. The best way of doing this is by having a welcome guide that features your portfolio, photography services that you offer, as well as useful content that portrays you as a knowledgeable photographer.
Give promotional items. At the end of your mini sessions, you can give your clients branded pens, caps, key holders, water bottles, or something cheap but useful to them. Every time they see your promotional item, they will remember you.
Remember that the more comfortable a client is with your mini session, the more likely they will book your services later on. Therefore, make sure to give your best and leave a lasting impression in their minds.
With prior planning and prepping, Christmas mini photo sessions can be a great way of landing new clients and making quick cash.
We hope these tips help you to prepare a successful Christmas mini photo session event this year.
Posted in: Photography for beginners