We’ve got a brand new episode of the Business Journey Podcast for you today talking about more mini-session tips. This is a super popular and often requested topic: prepping for fall mini-sessions as a photographer! We talked about prepping for mini sessions in the spring time, and now that fall is fast approaching, we wanted to help you get ready again. I know it seems like July is TOO early to prep for fall mini-sessions but I promise you, it’s not! Now’s the time to start prepping, seriously.
One of the biggest mistakes I see photographers make when it comes to mini-sessions is that they wait too long to start planning. If you wait until the leaves change colors to start prepping your fall mini-sessions, you’ve already missed your window. Start implementing these tips now – I start booking my fall and Christmas mini-sessions in July and they book out every single time. Prep doesn’t just mean tell people it’s happening. Do some of the behind the scenes work now, too. One easy thing to do? Start making your rentals now – indoor spaces, props, trucks, whatever it is you need. Book and schedule them now before they’re filled up for the fall and winter season!
In order to advertise, you’ll need promotional shots. Now’s a great time to get them for your sessions. If you’re using a new location, host a model call (or ask a former client) and have them pose for you. If you’re using a setup with props, make sure you have photos of clients in the setup! Hopefully you’ve got some from last year, but if not, get it set up and have a model call. I know in the spring, promo shots can feel really tricky but for the fall, it’s a LOT easier. Depending on the location, it can be really easy to make the images look like fall photos. And if you need a little help, I’ve got a Fall Bliss preset in my shop! It’s seriously like magic. You can put it on any photo and have it look like fall.
Anyway, for promotional shots I usually do a model call. I usually have interested families sign up through my email form (it adds them to my email list, so even better!) and then choose one family. They’ll come be my models and get 5 images for their time. You can always upsell with additional images, too! They get beautiful images and you’ve got the ones you need to promote your fall mini-sessions. Win-win!
Alright, I know that sounds a little vague. But get out your calendar right now (paper or digital!) and let’s dive into the timeline of fall minis. Decide what dates you’re doing your fall and/or Christmas mini-sessions. I usually offer one date at three or four locations (so a total of four mini-session dates) for the fall. If this is your first season of sessions, just start with one date – you can always add more later! We tend to offer our fall mini-sessions in September. We may offer an early October one because people start to realize they never had family photos that year, but by the end of October and into November, we’re pushing Christmas mini-sessions SUPER hard. I like to know that we can turn our images around in plenty of time for Christmas cards. It saves everyone’s sanity, really. So, pick the dates you’re going to offer (and rescheduling dates, too).
Now, we start figuring out how to advertise those mini sessions! Look at the date of the sessions you’ve picked and count back 6-8 weeks. That’s when you need to start advertising your sessions. I start by opening up my books to my email list first. Then, a a few days later, they open to the public. This is where your planning really comes in handy. You need to sit down and make sure everything is ready to start advertising at that point. Have your images ready, emails written, social media posts prepped. Do the hard stuff now because when the fall comes in, it gets BUSY. Every photographer experiences that! Set yourself up for success now.
Right now, in the summer, you should be prepping for fall mini sessions by doing a few things. Decide on your dates, book rentals, grab promo shots at the location(s) or setups your using, and lay out your marketing schedule. Use this slower summer season to set yourself up for success this fall. You’re going to be amazed at how much better it feels to sell out your mini-sessions because you were so prepared with these mini-session tips!
Don’t wait to prep + book rentals (3:10)
Take promo shots (5:09)
Plan backwards (8:40)
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