Faith + Full Time Focus | Why Mini Sessions Are Not In My Business Plan + Why That’s Ok

Last month I had reserved a date to offer mini sessions to my clients.  I offered eight spots, 20 minute session each, and you would receive 10-15 fully edited images.  I was offering this for a whopping $50!!!  $50, friends… that is a steal!  I wanted to do them because it seemed like every other photographer was doing them so I figured that I should be too!  Why not give it a shot, right??  It was my first time offering mini sessions so I figured that by keeping the session price really low, I would fill more spots!  I started to advertise 9 weeks before the session date and was overly confident that I would have the spots all booked!  

There are quite a few things that are appealing about mini sessions…

1.       If you normally only practice one type of photography (such as weddings or seniors for example) mini sessions allow you to open up your services to other areas that you typically wouldn’t photograph (like families or children)

2.       The rates are typically lower than a full session, so clients that are looking for a deal or clients that may not be able to afford a full session with you now have the opportunity to work with you!

3.       You are able to reach SO many people all in a short amount of time and give them beautiful photographs!  Hopefully through these sessions, you are able to make a good impression and your mini session clients will remember you when they are ready to book a full session!

4.      From a financial standpoint, you can probably end the day with a nice paycheck… $100 a session and eight sessions… You’re looking at an $800 payday.  Don’t get me wrong, we are working our behinds off session after session, but the end of day pay is a nice bonus to invest back into our businesses!

The seasons are changing and with that, I know that you’ve seen the abundance of mini sessions that other photographers are offering right now!  You may even be offering mini sessions yourself and that is wonderful!!  I am so happy for you and I truly hope that you have much success with them!   A lot of people are very successful with mini sessions, but I have discovered that they are just not right for me or my business.

Out of the eight spots that I had available, two were booked.  Two.  I was expecting to book them all, book them fast, and was prepared to offer more sessions earlier in the day if they were in high demand.

Part of me was discouraged as time got closer to the min session date.  I felt as though by not being able to book these sessions, it meant that I wasn’t good enough.  I was grateful for the two that had booked, but felt like I was doing something wrong to have six other empty spots.

It wasn’t until after the mini sessions that I realized a very important fact.  Mini sessions go against the brand that I am building and when you take that into consideration, it is sort of like going against my entire business plan!

I want every session to be a memorable one for clients!  I absolutely love being able to talk with my clients and get to know them better.  I make sure to schedule enough time with them to ensure that they feel comfortable with me, feel relaxed in front of the camera, and feel joyful in the time that we have together!  I want their smiles to be genuine and I want them to leave their session trusting me and glad that they chose me as their photographer.  I want them to feel like friends when we finish their sessions because as far as I am concerned, every client is a friend.  

Thats the type of experience I want to always deliver to my clients.  My entire brand and business plan have been growing from that pillar of delivering an awesome client experience from start to finish.  I cant build that kind of a relationship in a 20 miniute session.  

I also will be brave and admit that the financial aspect really played a large roll in my decision to offer mini sessions.  I began thinking of the equipment that I will eventually buy and I was eager to make money fast to be able to invest it back into that equipment.  Now, I was hesitant to disclose that little bit of information but let me follow that by saying it was a lesson learned.  

By only booking two of the eight sessions I was offering, I was able to see the reality of the fact that I should NEVER make a business decision solely based on money.  What I love most about this business is the people that it brings into my life.  i get to be present for so many special milestones with my clients and give them beautiful images to always remember this special moment in their life.  That is why I love my job.  It has nothing to do with the money and everything to do with loving on people.

The reason I felt as though I should share this experience is to encourage you to learn from my mistake, keep it in the back of your mind, and remember it when it comes time to make business decisions for yourself.  Remember why you love this creative adventure you are in and remember that your values should always be looked to most over the the possibility of a large payday.

I feel the need to follow up this post by saying that I am more than grateful to my clients that did book a mini session with me!!  I am always so thankful for all of my clients that have supported this dream of mine!  This post was in no way a complaint about the time we spent together.  Y’all were such a joy to work with and I cant wait to have the opportunity to work with y’all again!!  Kenzie was so enthusiastic and excited to be posing in front of the camera.  Jenna seriously rocked that golden hour lighting and looked so gorgeous!!

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