by Sarah Petty
Many photographers have tried a mini photo session event.
These low-key sessions are a low-risk way for clients to experience your particular photography and personality, while simultaneously allowing you to gain exposure to new clients who can evolve into long-term portrait buyers in the future.
These mini photo session events can also be a quick way to pad your bank account for the months that aren’t filled with weddings or engagement portraits.
However, when minis go wrong — and without careful planning, they easily can — this quick money-making promotion turns into a time-sucking bust.
To help you better prepare for your next planned sessions, we’re sharing three mini session tips that can help you prepare for the insanity that often goes hand-in-hand with hosting a mini photo session event.
1) Don’t Go at it Alone
Mini events can cannibalize your regular sessions if you only offer them to your existing client list.
Instead, pick a partner business that shares your ideal target audience and offers a product (think: clothes) or service (think: hairdressing) that would appeal to your audience. A partner can be another local business, a charity or both.
As you search for the right partner for your mini photo session event, get creative. The ideal collaborator doesn’t have to be a kids’ clothing store. You can partner with an insurance agent or furniture store to host and promote your mini photo session event as well.
2) Offer Mini Session Only Pricing and Products
Our second of the mini session tips deals with pricing. Offering a mini session does not mean you offer the same products as you normally do for a cheaper price. If you did offer such a discount, clients would never want to pay full price for your photography again.
Rather, your mini photo session event should actually be mini in scope: one outfit, one prop or background, and one location ONLY.
As you select your product mix, be careful to showcase products you don’t typically offer so you don’t devalue your full sessions.
More often than not, I see photographers orchestrating mini sessions that offer so many products to choose from that clients are understandably overwhelmed. You don’t have much time, so pare down your offerings and options to a handful of packages or a la carte items.
To keep your mini sessions consistent with your overall brand, be sure to print special price lists for the mini photo session event that maintain a consistent look and feel with your overall event and brand theme.
3) Book mini-sessions in advance.
Don’t just set up a mini studio at a marketing partner’s location and expect people to wander in for photos while they are out shopping.
For this type of session to really work, you must book clients in advance and require a credit card deposit to hold their spot. This gives them a chance to come prepared for a portrait they want to purchase.
Ready to try your first mini-session event? Grab the free mini photo session event checklist of 22 must-follow steps for your next mini session here.
About Sarah Petty:
Sarah Petty runs one of the most profitable photography studios in the country, Sarah Petty Photography, according to Professional Photographers of America. She’s also a co-author of the New York Times Best Selling book, Worth Every Penny: Build a Business That Thrills Your Customers and Still Charge What You’re Worth. She teaches photographers all over the world how to make a fantastic living doing what they love without sacrificing their families and their freedom at her company Joy of Marketing.