What is a Mini Session?
I have been a professional photographer for 13 years and one of the first things I did to start my photography journey and get my name out there was photographing people at Mini Sessions. I had a wonderful mentor/friend and the best advice she gave me was “practice, practice, practice!” She said if I was passionate about taking pictures, then I had to practice with as many people as I could. I had to learn about my camera functions, lighting, posing, and more. I practiced with family and friends to be the best I could be! I would bring my pictures back to her and she would critique them. I highly suggest that you have a mentor that can give you honest feedback and help you grow or join a photography Facebook group. You have to be thick skin, take the constructive criticism and learn about it! I did! It is the only way to grow!
Becoming a photographer does not happen over night. It takes hard work and dedication! I was blessed with a wonderful mentor/friend. I took so many classes that I really should have another degree. Haha! (My degree is in elementary education - hence why I love children and working with them.) I researched and studied all the time of how to be the best photographer I could be! I practiced everyday! I was determined that I was going to be a full time photographer and I did it! You can too! Just practice and dedicate yourself!
After working with family and friends, I started to become confident enough to take pictures of others. I knew if I wanted to be successful, I had to get my name out there. I started with mini sessions. So, I would create photography sessions mainly at outdoor locations such as parks, fields of flowers, old houses with beautiful porches, and more.
What is a Mini Session? A Mini Session is a short session lasting anywhere from 5-30 minutes based on the type of session you are offering. This is a great opportunity for people that do not know you to try you out at a lower price rate than your regularly priced sessions. When I started off which was in 2007, I did not charge anything for a session fee. They would come in their allotted time slot and I would take a variety of pictures and poses. I would then upload them to a gallery and they would have a few days to purchase their photo package. This was a great opportunity for me to practice even more and to meet new people. I began to build a customer base of clients that are still loyal clients to this day.
Facebook was fairly new back then, but it was growing rapidly. People would share the pictures I took and people would call me and book their photography session with me. I had my logo on all of the pictures I shared. People would call me and say I saw my friend had pictures with you, and I would like to have pictures taken with you. It was a snowball effect. Mini Sessions gave me an opportunity to meet and work with new people.
I mentioned that I started out not charging a session fee. I did not charge because I was building a portfolio and I was still learning. Today, I charge a session fee, then they pay for a picture or digital package. You need to charge according to your expertise and experience. Don’t look at what others are doing! Don’t compare yourself to the photographer down the street! If you do, it will be hard for you to grow and you will be distracted and wonder if you are doing what is right or wrong. Do what you think is best and covers your time. There are many steps to capturing just one session. There are things to remember when deciding how to price your sessions. My process involves: book the appointments and get deposit or session fee, phone calls, travel, time to take pictures, editing, ordering, and delivery. All of that adds up to a lot of time. So, keep in mind when you are coming up with your pricing.
With my photography, I have always had a simple and natural approach. For my mini sessions, I would bring a few props whether it was cute, colorful chair or crate to sit on, a sign that designated the holiday or something fun that did not distract from the child. You want the focus to be on the child. My favorite place to shop for props is Hobby Lobby. They have a wide variety of cute chairs and crates. In addition, they have adorable, cute signs for every holiday. For example, Merry Christmas, Happy Valentine’s Day, etc.
Below are some of the most popular Mini Sessions I do. I have created mini session templates for you to advertise with. Theses are designed in Photoshop for you to drop your picture examples in to show your clients what you are offering. Always take an example picture for your advertising. Pictures tell the story of what you are going to give them.
CLICK HERE to purchase templates.
15 Mini Session Ideas
- Back to School
- Floral Swing
- Milk & Cookies
- Mommy & Me
- Pumpkin Patch
- Tree Farm
I love photographing Mini Sessions. It gives me the chance to meet new clients. My absolute favorite Mini Sessions are the Santa sessions because of the pure joy and excitement of the children meeting Santa. What is your favorite Mini Session?