We are so excited to have a guest post for you all today on a useful topic, particularly useful as we enter the holiday season:  5 Quick and Easy Steps to Holiday Mini Sessions. Whether you already offer mini sessions, would like to offer mini sessions but never have, or would like to have your family photographed during mini sessions and are trying to find a photographer running a proper operation; we’ve got all your answers right here from a trusted directory member – Olga Kubrak of Olga Kubrak Photography.

xo, Lisa and Rachel 

5 Quick and Easy Steps to Holiday Mini Sessions

A little under two years ago, I was a newbie in this business and felt that Mini Sessions would provide me with access to many new clients, bring in a quick cash incentive and ultimately allow me to practice my art while I perfected it. Although the sessions I offered at the beginning were successful, I run the show a little differently now and with even better results!

If done correctly, Mini Sessions are a quick and effective way to gain exposure, reach out to new clients and make some extra cash before the holidays roll around. Mini-sessions are meant to be a peek into what you would normally offer at a full-blown session. Whether you have never offered them before or already ran them a few times but they did not yield the desired results; the five simple steps below will ensure that your next holiday mini sessions will sell out like hot cakes. Time to start planning those Holiday Mini Sessions!

Preparation

I cannot begin the stress the importance of planning ahead when offering Holiday Mini Sessions. Sitting down with a cup of coffee, pen mini sessionand paper at least 8 weeks prior to the date of the holiday of the season is my favorite way to prepare. I jot down ideas, create Pinterest boards, and research what was offered in my area the year before and so on. Before you begin to get the word out, you must have all the answers to the questions your clients could possible ask you. Design your package carefully basing it off what is realistic for you to achieve. Some photographers offer 3 sessions a day, while others happily photograph up to 6 different families in one afternoon. The ideal number of clients for me is five. I tend to schedule families with smaller children earlier on in the afternoon so that we do not go shooting into the early evening with a cranky, tired child.   Did you see a set up idea you love? Make sure you can source all the props. Plan to offer multiple weekends of mini sessions? Be sure that your schedule is cleared and you are not committed to anything else.

Location

5 Quick and Easy Steps to Holiday Mini SessionsLocation can make or break your Holiday Mini Session. Take the time to drive around your town and look at parks, trails, picnic areas or other points of interest. The location of your Mini Session must be conveniently located for your clients. After all, no one wants to drive for 45mins with two or three children in tow to only spend 15-20mins actually taking pictures. Once you have determined your location be sure to visit it during the time frame when you plan to offer your sessions. Is 3pm a great time to be out on that field or is it still too sunny with lots of unattractive shadows? You will only know this by physically checking it out in advance.

Price

If you were hoping to see a set rate in this paragraph, I am sorry to disappoint you. The value of your Mini Session solemnly depends on your experience, skill set and the ability to market your services to the right client. Having a set amount in mind also helps. Decide what you would ideally like to make over a number of days, split that up by the number of Mini Sessions you plan to offer per day and voila – you have your session fee! When I first started out, I was new in my town with no client base what so ever. I decided to offer $45 mini sessions that were 20mins long with the sole purpose of building my portfolio, meeting new families and to practice as much as I could. Now that I am confident in my skills, talent and equipment – I charge three times that amount and yet I am still the cheapest in my area. So figure out what works for you and base your fee off what your goals truly are.

Getting the word out

5 Quick and Easy Steps to Holiday Mini SessionsNow you that you have an idea, time to implement it! What use are these brilliantly designed Holiday Minis if no one knows about them? I tend to market my mini sessions to families with children in my area and surrounding towns. You do not need to spend big bucks to get the word out, trust me. Everyone you know is your resource and helpful vessel for reaching potential customers.

I am a member of many local community groups on social media and I always make sure that I get the word out well in advance to give my clients enough time to plan. Same goes for my daughter’s dance class, gymnastics class and swimming lessons. I leave my business cards at reception desks and pin posters to community boards in relevant locations. Also, do not be shy about handing out your business card to that mom pushing her twins on the swings. She may just become your long term client! If none of these methods apply to you, turn to your friends. Surely you have friends whose kids go to preschool, activity centers or even the play ground. Ask your friends to help get the word out! Hint: also keep the email addresses of everyone that inquires and books with you. Eventually you will build a database large enough to fill all your spots through one simple email shout out.

Communication

5 Quick and Easy Steps to Holiday Mini SessionsHoliday Mini Session posters can only carry so much information. There is a lot more you can offer your client to help them prepare for the photo shoot and get the most out of it. Make sure you always ask for the clients email and email them additional information shortly after they confirm their interest. This is a win-win method. In my emails I explain what the client’s should expect from the photo shoot, what the set up will look like, what props will be made available and how payment needs to be made. Additionally, I attach an outfit guide that is suitable for the season in question and this is always a big hit with my clients! If possible, also offer a map or a pin to the location of the mini sessions with directions on how to get there. You can even create a little FAQs section in your email to communicate any information you may feel is relevant. In return, be sure to ask your clients the names and ages of all the participants so that you are prepared (and maybe even armed with a few treats) at your Mini Session!


About Olga Kubrak:guest blogger Olga Kubrak

Olga Kubrak is a natural light photographer in San Diego, California; specializing in newborns, children and families. She particularly enjoys photographing children and gets all of her patience and love for pretend play from her sweet 4 year old daughter. If Olga is not behind the camera or the monitor editing, then it is likely that she is snacking and sipping wine to yet another addictive Netflix series.

Where to Find Olga Kubrak Photography:

Web: www.olgakubrakphotography.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/OlgaKubrakPhotography

Instagram: @olgakubrakphotography

Pinterestwww.pinterest.com/olgakubrak/