Finding a great location will make or break your mini-sessions. You could have the best set-up, but if your location is problematic, your minis will struggle.
Minis are unique because you stay in one place for at least 2 hours, so you’re having to work with changing light. This can get tricky, so it’s important to be very intentional when choosing your locations.
There are a few things I look for when I choose a location for mini-sessions:
1. Look For Open Shade
It’s unrealistic to only shoot mini-sessions during golden hour. Since I know I’m going to be shooting for a couple of hours with changing light, I try to find locations with lots of open shade so we can try and keep the lighting as consistent as we can. Open Shade is basically a big shady space, usually next to a building, tree, or other structure that provides a lot of shade for a long time.
In my field locations, I look for the biggest tree to shoot under. That way I only have to move a little bit as the sun moves to stay in the shade. (Note: I never shoot with the tree as my background since that doesn’t lend itself to my light and airy style. I just use its shade.)
2. Avoid Busy Areas
When you’re picking your mini-sessions locations, try to avoid busy areas where there is a lot of foot traffic.
It’s the worst when I have a family perfectly posed, kids are cooperating, I’m about to snap the shot and..PEOPLE walking right behind us! Yes we can photoshop that stuff out, but it’s so much better if we don’t have to. I look for spots that are secluded enough to not have to constantly worry about people getting in my shot.
I don’t know about your area, but in mine there are some clear hot spots that photographers LOVE to shoot at. If I know I have to shoot at one of those spots, I’ll try to schedule my minis earlier in the spring or fall to try and avoid the rush of people.
3. Make It Convenient For Your Families
Another thing to consider is how easy or difficult it is for your clients to get to your location. What is the parking like? How far will they have to walk to get to where you’re shooting? Is the terrain easy to walk in heels? (Gotta think about those mamas!)
I always include very detailed directions to our spot in my Final Info Email, but the easier to get to the better. If I know my spot is out of view from the parking lot (at a park or something like that), I bring an assistant with me to help walk my families to and from their cars.
I hope this info is helpful for you! Get creative and think outside of the box when looking for new locations!
You may also like…
“3 Tips for Advertising Your Mini-Sessions”
“3 Reasons to Send a Mini-Sessions Questionnaire to Clients”
“How to Up-Sell Mini-Sessions WITHOUT IPS”
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