Did you know it’s not too early to begin prepping for mini sessions for the New Year? Nope! In fact, I personally love mapping out a game plan for the year to come. Especially since I am a newborn photographer, I only take a limited number of clients per month so prepping for when I will offer mini sessions each year allows me to steer clear of potential due dates clients may have that are already on my calendar.
So, how do you begin prepping for mini sessions?
One: Decide if Your Photography Business Needs to Offer Mini Sessions
First and foremost, you need to look at your photography business and decide if you need to offer mini sessions. Some photographers never offer mini sessions while other photographers LOVE hosting mini sessions each year. I have a full blog of questions here that you need to ask yourself before diving into the world of mini sessions.
Two: Decide What Type of Mini Sessions You Want to Offer
Yay! You are going to offer mini sessions. Now, you need to decided what type of mini sessions you want to offer your clients. From family sessions, holiday sessions, mommy and me, etc. you have truly endless options.
Typically when offering family sessions the hottest seasons are spring and fall. Spring is popular because of the full blooms. Fall is popular because of the fall foliage and people are beginning to think about Christmas card pictures. While you can offer family sessions anytime of the year, knowing the most popular times of the year will help you sell out your mini sessions dates.
I’ll be writing a blog post very soon on types of mini sessions you can offer your clients!
Three: Look at Your Personal and Business Schedule
Once you’ve decided what type of mini sessions you want to offer throughout the year, look at your calendar (both personal and business!). What dates are available to serve your clients? Do those dates line up with the type of sessions you want to offer? If so, go ahead and pencil in one to two days of that session idea on your calendar.
Four: Turnaround Time for Delivering Galleries
I’ve seen this happen far too many times where photographers select dates to offer mini sessions, but don’t give themselves enough leeway to edit and deliver the galleries. For example, if you are offering Christmas PJ minis so clients can use them on Christmas cards, you need to select a date that does two things. One, that allows you plenty of time to edit and deliver the gallery to the client. And, two that allows your client plenty of time to order Christmas cards and mail them to their family and friends.
So even though your mini session is Christmas-themed, you may consider offering these minis around the middle of November.
Five: Decide Who You Will Offer Mini Sessions To
I, personally, only offer mini sessions to former clients. However, you may want to open your mini sessions to all and that’s okay if you do! If you do open them to the public, I highly recommend announcing your mini session dates to your previous clients first and then announcing about two to three days later to the public.
By deciding who you want to offer mini sessions to, will also help you decide on how many time slots for each day you want to make available.
I share ways to market your mini sessions in this blog here.
Six: Begin Brainstorming Location and Pricing
I included location and pricing in the same point because if you are going to be utilizing a studio, there is often a rental fee that you’ll pay upfront as the photographer. It’s important that your mini sessions, of course, bring you profit. So, make sure to divide your rental fee by how many time slots you are offering and add that into how you factor your overall pricing of each mini session.
Seven: Decide The Tools and Systems You’ll Use for Your Mini Sessions
In order to have successful mini sessions you have to have tools and systems in place prior to announcing dates. For example, are you going to utilize social media to announce your session dates or your email platform?
Next, once you have someone ready to book how will the schedule their session, sign their contract, and pay their retainer?
There is a process to having clients book a mini session and if you can make it streamlined and painless, I promise your clients will love you for it!
Eight: Schedule Your Editing Time
I touched on this in point four, but I highly recommend when mapping out your mini sessions that you add one date after your sessions are over and mark it as a “work day.” This day will be a non-negotiable. So, if you’re like me, and a work-at-home-mom then I know I need to schedule to have child care set up for my work day. Again, prepping ahead time for all the things that revolve around offering mini sessions.
These points may make it feel like offering mini sessions are WAY more work than you thought they would be. I want you to know that mini sessions are not meant to be full-blown photography sessions, but you still have to properly market them and prepare for them. Once you begin offering mini sessions year after year, the prep beforehand becomes second nature.
I’ve been offering mini sessions since 2016 and I could literally plan sessions in my sleep (and I probably do – ha!). If you want to learn more about mini sessions and how to sell out your mini sessions every single time you offer them, you can click here to learn more about my mini session course.