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Fun and Successful Mini Portrait Sessions

by Mary Fisk-Taylor, M. Photog., Cr., CPP, ABI, API

We’ve been having so much fun at our studio with mini portrait sessions. These sessions are very short and precise, lasting only 20 minutes and are photographed during our regular business hours. Here are some of the guidelines we follow:

  • Mini portrait sessions are only scheduled on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday between 12:00 pm and 3:00 pm. We do not want to use valuable morning appointments, which is usually the best time for newborn sessions. We also do not want to use our evening appointment times, which work best for most high school seniors and families.
  • Sessions are scheduled in 30-minute increments.
  • There is only one background.
  • We do not allow clothing changes.
  • These are single-subject sessions so only one child is allowed in the image.

There is a promotional price list for the mini sessions and a reduced session fee. The advertised price and prices quoted over the phone or via email are kept fairly low and attainable to attract new people and allow existing clients to come in regularly for quick sessions instead of going to a mall photographer.

Samples from the mini sessions are displayed in several areas of the studio as large gallery wraps or fun metal prints. Since these items are in our larger collections, we tend to run a solid $500 – $600 average on the quick sessions.

Consider offering mini portrait sessions during your slower times of year or less busy hours during the day. You can even allow an associate or secondary photographer to photograph the sessions as a way to get their name recognized in the studio and give them great behind-the-camera experience.

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Comments to: Fun and Successful Mini Portrait Sessions
  • Avatar
    January 30, 2013

    Great idea! I have tried mini sessions before but they were always with groups which left me frustrated. I love the way this is set up and specific.

  • Avatar
    January 30, 2013

    Love this concept. I have struggled with losing some lower end clients I would like to keep but can’t afford to otherwise. I think this is my solution! You have made my day!

  • Avatar
    January 30, 2013

    What you recommend is the best way to advertise the session?

  • Avatar
    February 1, 2013

    Wondering too how you market them and although you’ve mentioned a couple of things that keep them separate from your regular sessions, I was wondering if you are at all concerned about clients booking the minis INSTEAD of a regular session? Lastly, can you offer any advice to those of us that would like to do this, but don’t have a studio space. Thanks!

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