Make Extra Money with Holiday Mini Sessions

Children in bunny earsEaster is just around the corner and this is a great time of year to make some extra money running some holiday themed mini-sessions. Here's some tips to get you started.

Mini-sessions are basically a taster of what you would normally offer in a full-blown session. They are designed to be quick and easy, with less time, less work and a lower cost for the client.

Instead of the full session with all the products you normally offer, these sessions are done in about 15 minutes, and the images available from the session might be only a dozen or fewer. It's a taste of your full service, at a fraction of the price.

This is a great publicity opportunity for your business. One wedding photographer we know schedules mini Glamour Shot sessions with local beauty salons. They handle booking the clients and they provide the makeup. All she has to do is wheel in a rack of sexy and fun costumes and take the pictures.

You want to set up the mini session around a specific theme. Holidays are great, and with Easter coming up that's a perfect time to try it out. You choose a date, a timeframe and the location, and the idea is to keep it really simple.

Have some props available to choose from so each session can be slightly customized.

You can market these to past clients, on your blog, and if you partner up with a location (say a children's boutique) then have flyers or postcards made up so the store can promote the event as well. It's great for them because it gives people a reason to come back to the store as well as an excuse to splurge on that sweet little Easter dress they've been eyeing. The idea is to start small in terms of your time investment and see if this is something you can build on in the future.

Keep the sessions brief – Set up your stage, plan your poses and shots and keep the line moving. Schedule no more than 15 minutes per client and let them know that's all the time they have.

Offer small packages of 5 or 10 shots, instead of the larger packages you'd offer a typical client. You should also offer a selection of products suited for this type of session. These sessions are typically not designed to sell albums, large wall prints and so forth. Think smaller. Think gifts for grandparents that don’t break the bank.

You can also offer a small freebie as part of the session, something nominal that will not hurt your orders or cost you any time. The point with these types of sessions is to create some cash flow during the slow season, so be sure that you have a plan to actually sell products or prints in addition to the session fee. Folios, greeting cards, small framed images, desktop image presentations and print packages all work well. You could also offer things like key chains, jewelry or other gift type items.

Please share your tips for making mini sessions successful!

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