Mini sessions can be such a double-edged sword in your photography business.
On one hand, they can bring in a lot of new clients, sessions, and profits all in one day or afternoon.
On the other hand, they can be burdensome to edit - especially when you are trying to keep your time and costs to a minimum so you earn more money!
(psst...read this post to learn how to be more profitable with mini sessions)
But, it doesn't have to be this or that.
You can actually photograph multiple sessions, keep your editing to a minimum, and send off those finished galleries within just a matter of minutes. In fact, I do not spend more than 15 minutes per mini session and can pump out 4 per hour.
In this post, I am going to show you exactly how you can accomplish this too!
If you're getting burnt out on mini session editing, then read up, this is going to be good.
Be picky about the location
I cannot stress this enough. The location is not near as important as you might think - what matters here is the quality of light.
If you are photographing outside for your mini sessions, be mindful of the light during the day. Having a cute setup is nice, but if the light is bad and it makes a mess during your editing, is it even worth it?
Example: this session was taken during midday on a sunny day. I placed my subjects on the ground away from the sun in a patch of shade to avoid harsh light on their face. This resulted in better lighting that was easier and faster to edit.
But, when I stood them up, more light flooded my camera and created a washed out look that took me longer to edit. So don't forget - light and placement is key for better photos! (check out this tutorial on how to fix this problem in Lightroom)
Be mindful of your camera settings
There's nothing worse than getting caught up in a quick mini session and forgetting to check your camera settings.
Been there, done that.
It's worth every second or minute that it takes to setup your camera settings before you start shooting - because it will cost you more with your editing if you don't.
Choose the best lens
Depending on the given light at your location, you will also have to consider which lens to grab for the job.
When you're working against the clock and hard lighting conditions, then knowing which lenses in your bag that will help you create near-perfect images is invaluable.
If there's a lot of sun, then using a long lens might create washed out photos, so make sure that you grab an appropriate focal length for the setting.
Example: for this photo I used a 50mm prime lens. Because of the sun, subject placement, and time of day, a longer lens would have allowed more light into my camera sensor and washed out the photo. But, choosing this lens along with placing my subject more carefully, only a small sunburst was captured instead (which was completely intentional by the way).
Shoot with the end goal in mind
This merely means to aim for a perfect photo, every time you snap the shutter.
Being aware of your settings in relation to light and client placement will help you edit quicker - as there will be less mistakes to fix.
It's also worth noting that the QUICKEST way to edit mini session photos faster is by keeping each session in the same general area with similar lighting - this will make it easier to batch edit and shave off a slew of time behind the computer screen.
Use presets & batch editing
When you create an atmosphere that helps creates perfect photos, using presets and batch editing your work becomes the pinnacle of FAST editing.
Here is exactly how I am able to edit my mini session photos sessions in 15 minutes tops:
1. I cull down the session to my final picks
2. I choose the best Lightroom preset for the session and edit the main photos/lighting types from the session.
3. I batch edit the photos that are similar to the main photos.
Once those main photos are done, editing the rest is super quick! Check out this tutorial on how to batch edit in Lightroom.
For tree farm sessions, the Storyteller presets are rapidly become my favorite set to reach to first.
They are great for bold, crisp photos while getting that slight desaturated green style that resembles the classic film look.
For urban sessions, Life in Color is my go-to collection.
I LOVE using the 'Dazzlin' preset to enhance creamy skin tones and also add a burst of color that truly makes urban sessions shine.
Ready to make your mini sessions the most successful event ever?
Check out these posts to help you get started: