7 Tips for Successful Holiday Mini Sessions

November 2, 2012

in Holiday Photography Tips, Photography Session Tips, Photography Tutorials

Great Tips for Successful Holiday Mini Sessions | via I Heart Faces

With the holiday season quickly approaching, we know that many of you are thinking of offering mini sessions to your photography clients.  Paige Ewing has been running successful holiday mini-sessions for several years now and is sharing some tips on our blog today for running a successful event.

‘Tis the season for “Mini Sessions”. These quick and quirky sessions are a way for you to offer your talented services to a number of clients, in a small amount of time, at a discounted price! We have approached that time of year where families are seeking fall portraits or some awesome shots to show off on their Christmas cards. Here’s how you can accommodate to the multitude of clients approaching you this season and still have time to do some holiday shopping for yourself. If you are just starting your own photography business, mini-sessions are an excellent way to get started and get your name in front of a lot of people.

Tips for Mini-Sessions

  • 1. Discount your price and cut your time in half.

    I offer 20 minute sessions and discount my regular session fee by 40-50%.

Great Tips for Successful Holiday Mini Sessions via I Heart Faces

  • 2. Include a product with the fee.

    You can offer a set of prints or digital images with a print release that is a part of their fee. My packages this year look like this: $75 with one digital image, or $125 for all digital images. Options are great, but keep it simple!

Great Tips for Successful Holiday Mini Sessions via I Heart Faces

  • 3. Choose a location and date.

    Whether you are doing fall portraits, Christmas portraits, or even in the spring, be sure to pick a central location that is easily accessible. Make sure you have permission to use the location first. Most public parks don’t require you to ask, but it never hurts to be sure. Check to see if they are having any major events happening that day so it won’t interfere with your plans.  If you find a private residence or business that you want to use, definitely talk to them first and get approval. Be sure to ask any details about parking or where they don’t want you to access.  It’s always better to be safe than sorry when you are dealing with other people’s time and money.

    Choose one or two days that you will be hosting the session and book everyone in a 30 minute time block, giving time between each client for you to breathe.

Great Tips for Successful Holiday Mini Sessions via I Heart Faces

  • 4. Get the Word Out!

    Market your mini sessions through online media like Facebook and Twitter. Create a flyer and post it to these sources. You can also send an email to your previous clients, inquiries, family members, and friends.

Great Tips for Successful Holiday Mini Sessions via iHeartFaces.com

  • 5. Theme or no theme?

    That is up to you! It is your creative work and you can decide to keep it casual, or choose a theme with props. Below is a picture of my daughter taken by Ashley Nelson Photography where they hired a Santa and decorated their studio. Beautiful, isn’t it? Photo credit: Ashley Nelson Photography

Great Tips for Successful Holiday Mini Sessions via I Heart Faces

  • 6. Don’t forget the parents.

    Be sure to let the parents know this session isn’t just about the kids, it’s for them, too!

Great Tips for Successful Holiday Mini Sessions via I Heart Faces

  • 7. Have fun!

    Don’t stick to just the ‘posed’ pictures. Get up, move around, and give them instruction on ideas. You can guide them to chase each other, throw leaves, kiss mom and dad, or just dog pile each other.  😉

Great Tips for Successful Holiday Mini Sessions via I Heart Faces

Best wishes with your mini session!

Natural Light Photographer Paige Ewing is a self-taught natural light photographer who’s not afraid to use an off-camera flash. She was inspired by her daughter to start her business and loves having a creative outlet that doesn’t involve pretending to be the Wicked Witch or Prince Charming. You can follow this photographer-mom on Facebook or at Paige Ewing Photography.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

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Sarah Miller August 29, 2013

I am just starting my business and I was thinking of starting off by doing holiday mini sessions. I was looking for a straightforward “how to”, and this really helped.


Sharon November 28, 2012

Great article! A few newbie questions…. Just to clarify, they get either the one image or all images and then they use it to create their own holiday cards or prints (whatever they want to do with it), correct? Do they get their digital images by downloading them or do you provide them on a form of media?



Caroline November 5, 2012

Thanks Paige :D.


Paige Ewing November 4, 2012

Hey Caroline, you should definitely let them know you plan to use the pictures for promotional or website purposes, and if they aren’t comfortable with that to let you know. You could have them check “yes” or “no ” on their info form if you have one for them to fill out. Good luck !! That’s how I started getting my name out, doing a similar event for Chic-Fil-A:)


Caroline November 4, 2012

I love the idea of mini-shoots, especially as a ‘name spreader’. I am doing them at our church’s Christmas Market this year. The shoot itself will be for donations towards our church building fund, then the clients will view and order online – and I shall hopefully profit from the sales. Do you think it’s ok to add a disclaimer that the images might also be used for promotional purposes. I’m thinking of adding it to information/email sheet I’ll need them to fill in. These will not be ‘booked’ sessions and I’m thinking 8 minute slots. Aiming for them to have 8-10 images to choose from. Am I being realistic enough, or over ambitious?


Paige Ewing November 2, 2012

Hey Everyone! I’m glad you enjoyed the article. Denise, I bought the template from Simply Couture Designs and created it in Photoshop Elements. Nichole, I post them online for viewing and they tell me which one they want digitally (since that is what I offer).


Declan Mc Glone November 2, 2012

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Amy Locurto November 2, 2012

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Angie November 2, 2012

7 Tips from @iheartfaces for Successful Holiday Mini Sessions: http://t.co/XqO5q5rt #photography


Denise November 2, 2012

Great article!! Would you mind telling me how to make these cute flyers? Love them!! Thanks :)


Nichole November 2, 2012

Definitely looking around my area for a place to hold mini-sessions :)


Nichole November 2, 2012

Great article! Do you then schedule in person sales appointments for each mini session or offer online viewing and purchasing?


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