Mini sessions: a word that evokes a lot of passion in some photographers.
There are some who loathe the idea alone and would not possibly ever consider running them.
Then, there are others, who run them multiple times a year and they are the butter & butter of their business.
But, let me remind you that being busy does not equate success!
Let's be real for a second, if you aren't making a profit off of your mini sessions, then why waste your time doing them?
I won't hold back by saying that mini sessions are A LOT of work, and doing them for pennies, will only run your business (and quite possibly your sanity) into the ground.
However, they can be just as, if not more, profitable than your normal sessions.
You heard that right!
So, whether it's your first time ever running mini sessions for your photography business, or if it's a hundred failed attempts later, having a plan and keeping a few things in mind before running them will help ensure a more successful event and more money in your packet.
Let's dive in and get your mini session game into play.
Make them exclusive
Exclusive, what does this mean in the case of mini sessions?
Simply put, make them different than your normal sessions AND only offer a set amount.
If you just offer "fall mini sessions", then what incentive is there to book a normal session from you? Especially if you don't put a cap on how many you book & how many dates you have open!
By offering a themed session only once or twice a year, it will show others than your business is more than just minis. And if a client wants more control of their photo session (location, date, time, etc.), then they HAVE to book a normal session with you.
Know your numbers
Before you even start the booking & planning process of your minis, you NEED to know your numbers.
This alone will determine if you will be profitable with your mini sessions or not.
How you determine your numbers is based on many factors, but it simply boils down to these main points: running your CODB (cost of doing business), how many sessions you want to book, how much time are you offering per session, and what your clients get with their session.
But, the bigger question is: How much is my time worth and how much money will I need to make in order to feel good about a mini session event?
As I've said before, minis can be a lot of work, and if you don't come out the end feeling like you made your time worth it, then you aren't doing yourself any favors.
Hold up, aren't minis supposed to be cheap?
Wherever you got that idea, you need to put a pin in it and never think about it again - seriously!
Mini sessions are NOT cheap sessions. Mini sessions are simply smaller versions of your normal sessions.
So let's say that you charge $500 for a 1-hour session with 15 images included. Your mini session price & package should be determined on how many clients you can photograph in 1 hour to make up that $500. Then, you can determine how many photos you include from there. So, if you want to spend a longer time on minis and book fewer sessions, you could book 2 per hour at a $250 price point and include 7 photos.
This is merely an example and I highly encourage you to run your numbers instead of slapping them on the wall in hopes that it will stick.
Make upgrades irresistible
When you start with a smaller, more condensed mini session package, this gives you a lot of wiggle room to add upgrades.
This is why I am such a huge fan of not including a large number of photos or prints in the starting package - you'll end up being more profitable if you meet your numbers AND THEN earn additional on top of that.
So, how do you do it?
Include less and have them wanting more by doing your best work!
Instead of only giving them the exact number of photos they purchased, have them choose from a larger gallery. In my experience, over half of clients will choose an upgrade option because they can't narrow it down.
Talk about a good problem to have in your business!
This is how I personally make my mini sessions worth my time and super profitable - I give my clients plenty of options to choose from and they get to decide if they have photos they can't live without.
Edit photos faster
Like I said before, time is money, and the more time that you spend on little tasks, the less your time ends up being worth.
This is why learning how to edit photos in lightning speeds, without compromising quality, will be such a huge asset to your photography business & help make you all the more profitable!
If you are spending more than 1 minute per image that you edit, or more than 1 hour for a 1 hour session (and even less for a mini session!), then you could be wasting your time.
Lightroom tutorial: Edit multiple images at once with batch editing
In Editing with Ease, I help photographers cut down on their editing time to be more profitable - so you can start putting more money back into your wallet & work less than ever before!
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