For the longest time I avoided the mini session scene. They seemed like TOO much work, tons of preparation, lots of stress, and all at a crazy fast pace. While some of this is true, I’m SO glad I’ve started offering them through RR Photography. While they might not be the full session experience, they are a great way to get classic images at a fraction of the cost.
I just delivered the final galleries from my preschool and kindergarten graduation mini sessions that I offered this Spring and I have to say, I had an absolute blast. In the past I’ve only done minis using natural light at an outdoor location. This go around however I decided to avoid the unpredictable Spring weather by offering in-studio, fully controlled sessions which totally proved to be the way to go!
PROS: There are many benefits to mini sessions. They are much cheaper than a regular rate and usually have a fun and unique theme. The fast-pace shortened sessions are great for kids (and let’s be honest…most dads) who don’t LOVE being in front of the camera. Being able to get in several appointments vs. turning people away during a fully booked month is also a huge advantage.
CONS: Some of the downsides of minis are clients don’t get as many images as they would through booking a full session. Also, as much as I try to form a quick bond with clients at my mini sessions, they don’t get the full personalized experiences.
WELCOME GUIDES: Welcome Guides are the best way to communicate essential details to help pull off a seamless mini session for both the client and photographer! A huge chunk of time is spent in scheduling, preparing contracts/paperwork, communicating information, and creating the themed backdrop.
As I mentioned above, mini sessions can be hard to truly connect with a client. That’s why I always put an about me page in the guide to help them get to know me better so we can hit the ground running when they show for their session.
I never want people to feel caught off guard when the session is over quickly. If they know what to expect going in to the shoot, they’ll come prepared to make the most of every minute.
The last thing you’ll want as a photographer (and client) is frantic texts wondering where to meet and what time. A clear and detailed explanation of location and parking is an important detail that will help clients to feel at ease and know exactly what to expect.
This page is probably THE most important bit of information in the entire guide. If one session runs late, it potentially can ruin the rest of the scheduled appointments. Showing up even five minutes late to a 20-minute session is a HUGE deal and cuts into the overall experience and options on images to include in the final gallery.
For this particular themed shoot, the props and gown were provided. Be clear with what to wear and what will be provided the day of the shoot.
So what’s next? For many people the turn around time is extremely important. Whether they need the images for Christmas cards, graduation announcements, or new prints gifted to grandma, they will want to know when they can expect their final gallery.
Overall, shooting mini sessions is a blast. It’s opened the doors for so many opportunities to meet new clients that have turned into returning clients who book full sessions! I love being able to provide everyone the opportunity to get professional photos at a great price. I can’t wait for my next mini session!