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    Mini-Sessions vs. Full Sessions (and Why Minis WIN!)

    I feel like this is the great debate: mini-sessions vs. full sessions…which one is better?

    Of course everyone’s business model is different, but I believe that mini-sessions are WAY better than full sessions during peak seasons of family photography (i.e. Fall & Spring). 

    I’ve heard photographers say that they’d NEVER shoot minis during the fall when everyone is wanting photos because that’s when they can book the most full sessions…and I think they’re WRONG! (I know that’s a bold statement. But stick with me! I have some really good reasons.)


    Full Sessions

    I believe if you aren’t running minis during our busiest seasons, then you’re wasting time and leaving precious money on the table! (Remember, minis don’t have to just be the cutesy set-ups for kids. You can do fall family minis without a set-up and sell out every time!)

    I used to do full sessions like everyone else. You know, the typical hour session. (Let’s say I charge $300.) When the day for my session came, I'd drive to their location, shoot for an hour, and drive home.

    Maybe I had a session on Saturday and Sunday. I'd do it all again. Drive to their location, shoot for an hour, and drive home. (Sound like a broken record? It sort of is!)

    Including drive time, I ended up spending 3 hours of my precious time in two days serving 2 families.

     2 families x $300 each = $600.



    Now let's change it up a bit. Instead of a single one-hour session, I switched to shooting 15-minute sessions for half the price and included 5 images.

    I found that I could get plenty of beautiful images in a shorter amount of time and kids were actually able to cooperate during our session time, so that gave me an opportunity to up-sell the additional images afterwards. (Read about why I structure my minis like that HERE.)

    With this set-up I'd drive to the location, shoot eight 15-minute sessions back-to-back, and drive home.

     8 families x $150 each = $1200!!!


    The winner…

    I think the winner is clear. I have now served 8 families, spent LESS time (because I only had to drive there and back once instead of twice), and made TWICE AS MUCH as if I just did 2 separate one-hour sessions!! IN ONLY 2 HOURS of my time in one day!! (And don’t tell me I’ll be spending more time editing…these minis take about the same time to edit as one full session anyway.)

    I don't know about you, but I'd do just about anything to double my income for less time.

    PLUS, my clients are amazing (because of intentional marketing), I have a system in place to help me get a FULL GALLERY in only 15 minutes, and I make EVEN MORE MONEY up-selling afterward!! (Automated, of course! Read “How to Up-Sell Mini-Sessions WITHOUT IPS)



    So what do you think now? The great debate of mini-sessions vs. full sessions…Did I sell you on minis?

    I do think there’s a time and a place for full sessions (like during those off-seasons when things die down, or for sessions that can’t be a mini like maternity or newborn photos), but our busiest seasons are not those times.

    More Resources:


    You may also like…

    “Lessons From My First Set of Mini-Sessions”

    “4 Reasons Why Your Mini-Sessions Aren’t Booking”

    “4 Steps to An Excellent Client Experience For Your Minis”

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