The word “mini-session” seems to be a buzz word in the photography world. People throw it around a lot. I’ve seen some photographers get really heated when talking about minis because they don’t understand how they can possibly be profitable. (HINT: They ABSOLUTELY are when done right!)
There seem to be a lot of misconceptions about mini-sessions, so I think it’s time to clear them up! These are some common lies people believe about mini-sessions. Maybe you’ve been guilty of thinking some of these things. First of all, it’s ok! You don’t know what you don’t know. My hope here isn’t to bash you over the head for believing these lies. My goal is to possibly change your mindset about mini-sessions so you can see how truly profitable they can be.
Lie #1: You have to charge super low because it’s a “mini.”
So if you’ve been around me any length of time, you know I preach understanding your Cost of Doing Business. (Read “How to Price Your Mini-Sessions”) I have done the math, and if you’re charging less than $100 for a mini, you’re not paying yourself enough. (I know that’s a bold statement, but stick with me!)
When we use the term “mini” we’re talking about in terms of the amount of time and number of images. Your mini-sessions shouldn’t be a better deal than your full sessions. (If they are, you’re going to want to take another look at things.)
Imagine your photography as a cake. Your minis should be a bite of cake, not a huge piece that fills your clients up! They should be left wanting more, not fully satisfied. So structure your minis right and charge accordingly! (More on that in “What Is A Mini-Session? (And What ISN’T)”)
Lie #2: You have to have a large client base to book minis successfully.
I can’t stress enough how UNTRUE this one is! I actually wrote “How to Book Mini-Sessions (With No Client Base)” for this reason. If you don’t have a big client base (or none at all), don’t worry! You can definitely book successful mini-sessions!
The first time I ran mini-sessions, I had ZERO clients. I literally had only worked with family and friends at that point. Well that little newbie ended up booking 16 spots for spring minis! (Read what I learned from those minis HERE.)
It’s all about knowing who your ideal client is and marketing to them well. They don’t have to know who you are yet! That’s the whole point of marketing. Do it right, and they’ll find you!
Lie #3: You’ll only get price-shoppers when booking minis.
This one really gets under my skin. Professionals who have been in the game a long time are usually the ones to tell newer photographers this when they talk about minis. (And it’s flat out NOT TRUE!)
I can speak from PERSONAL EXPERIENCE: From someone who shoots 150+ minis per year, it is possible to get AMAZING clients who book minis!
- Value photography
- Value me as a person
- Don’t haggle me about pricing (trying to get discounts)
- Usually purchase more than what comes with their session
- Are extremely loyal and come back time and time again
- Tell all their friends about me
When you price correctly and market well, you’ll get incredible clients!
There will always be the handful of people who are price-shoppers and are difficult to work with if they do book you, but over the last few years I’ve had about 3 of those. Out of close to 400 families!! Those are pretty good odds if you ask me!
Lie #4: You have to spend $100+ on a cute set-up.
This is SO far from the truth! The most I’ve ever spent on a setup was about $50. A couple of the minis I run during the year don’t have a setup at all!
Take my fall minis for example. The goal of my fall minis is for families to get a handful of updated photos to send out in their Christmas cards. That means no setup is required! They just needed a time and a place to get some photos done, so that’s what I provide for them. We pick a beautiful location and they can hang those photos in their house if they want to.
Even my themed minis with setups can be reused year after year, so it’s a one-time investment! (PRO TIP: Keep your props!!)
Lots of studios I rent out now for Valentine’s minis and Christmas minis have props available included in the rental fee, so I don’t even have to buy a setup!
All that to say, you don’t need a setup to have successful minis. It’s absolutely okay to use only a blanket for your fall minis. Sometimes less is more!
If you can stop believing these lies or using them as excuses (because that’s what they are), a whole world of possibilities will open up right before your eyes!
Don’t let these lies get in your way. Decide today that you aren’t going to believe them, and instead have that mindset shift to Profitable Mini-Sessions. I bet you’ll see a huge change!
You may also like…
“5 Signs That You’re Ready to Officially Launch Your Photography Business”
“3 Tips For Getting Promo Shots to Advertise Your Mini-Sessions”
“Mini-Sessions vs. Full Sessions (and Why Minis WIN!)”
Thank you!! i recently did your mini shoot course and learned some things. As a result I advertised earlier than my usual, advertised in local FB groups; in first day received over 20 inquiries and have already booked several sessions. And when the hubs saw my ad suggested I included more than the 5 Digital photos I offered and I said — no!! I am going to up-sell additional photos, not give them away. So…big thank you.!!
That’s so awesome!!! Way to go!
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