I have offered mini sessions in my business since the beginning of my business. I have such fond memories of mini sessions! The reason I started offering them at all was because it made me feel better about raising my prices. I felt guilty for raising my prices, so I offered mini sessions so I could work with the people that had kind of gotten me to the point I was at – essentially thanking them, while charging appropriate prices and still having boundaries around that lower pricing.
Fast forward to today, I have my own studio, White Space Studio, where we host sets where photographers can come in and use those to host their own mini sessions. I also have spent the last couple of years teaching other photographers how to host lucrative mini sessions, and I think mini sessions can be just that!
Mini sessions can be such a fantastic thing to build your portfolio, to better your client experience, increase your automations, etc. – there are so many benefits to mini sessions, but many times photographers miss the boat. Too many photographers look at it as a way to make fast cash, but then it doesn’t actually make them fast cash. I believe we as photographers can get better at mini sessions, and that’s why today’s episode is dedicated to talking about this topic.
Recently I had a big win personally when I hosted my annual mini session day for brand and headshot photography in January – I did $5,000 in one day! I was thrilled with this. To give a little background, I do these sessions every January and the previous time I made around $1500.
This big win caused me to get really reflective on what I did differently to get these results, what I can learn for next time, and if I can replicate this. In this episode, I’m walking through a few of the things I did this time (and over the years) in order to get this $5k result from my mission session day. Here are some of the things I discuss:
- Getting to this point takes time; it doesn’t happen overnight
- Pricing your sessions
- Meeting people where they are
- Bonus tip: be sure to schedule a lunch break for yourself
- Setting clear boundaries up front (remember mini sessions are NOT full sessions)
- Making sure you truly enjoy mini sessions if you are going to keep doing them
- Launching to a waitlist
- Email marketing
A few highlights from this episode:
[3:37] – The first thing that I want to point out that I think is really important and may cause you to roll your eyes at me is that this does take time. Branding takes time, and I do credit a lot of the success of this day to the brand that I have built.
[5:53] – So much of branding, especially personal branding, is just getting in front of people, reminding them that you exist, that you’re here, that this is what you do, that this is what you are good at. And that doesn’t happen overnight.
[11:22] – These are mini sessions. Everything about them is mini. You get a mini amount of time. You get a mini amount of photos. You bring a mini amount of props. Mini, mini, mini..
I hope these mini session tips were helpful! Remember, it takes time and often involves some trial and error with your mini sessions – you may host a session and not make any money or hardly anyone will book. It’s alright, don’t give up! Take time to reflect, refine your process, and keep working on growing your brand. There are many factors that come into play with mini sessions, so keep at it, and I know you will continue to be more successful with each time.
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