Christmas always seems to be around the corner (no matter what time of year)! Families tend to want to plan early to purchase holiday cards, so it’s never too easy to get a head start as a photographer! Christmas mini sessions can be a really lucrative offering for your business if you are willing to put in the time and plan them out.
What is a Christmas Mini Session?
Christmas mini sessions are short photo sessions that tend to be much shorter than a typical hour long session, and the client receives less images. These tend to work really well for kids to hate taking photos, just sayin’.
Family photos are ALWAYS trending right before the holiday season, so make sure to plan early and get those clients on your calendar.
Photographers tend to start planning mid-year for their mini sessions, and actually execute the sessions in September and October for the following December. You don’t want to leave them until the last minute, as sometimes your clients will want to order holiday cards.
You can push this date back if you plan to shoot at a Christmas tree farm, where you tend to want to use actual live Christmas trees with REAL snow…hopefully, maybe. In that case, you’re looking at planning sessions in November and panic editing at 3am to get them out before Christmas.
The next question is how many sessions do you think you want to plan in one day or one weekend. You can space them out hourly, to give yourself plenty of time, OR, you can get your blood pumping a little and plan them 15 minutes apart!
Tip: On the first run, we’d suggest spacing them apart. It may make for a longer day, but there is nothing worse that getting stressed and flustered if your clients don’t show up on time!
You can use a calendar to schedule in your minis and make sure to have that with you on the day of your sessions. Another quick tip…make sure you have each client’s phone number and email on that sheet just in case you need to get in touch.
Marketing your mini sessions is really where you need to focus your efforts. You can share in the obvious places like social media, your blog and website, and via email. You can also reach out directly to past clients and potentially offer them a first shot as one of your highly coveted spots. Offering a discount to past clients is always a great way to get them excited.
Another way to gain interest is by offering mini session gift certificates. Friends and family can buy them for one another. Maybe you can offer a print credit of $20/each if two families book together!
You simply need to think outside the box to get people interested in what you have to offer. Remember, you need to be different than the 50 other photographers in your area offering Christmas photos!
Pricing can vary greatly for mini sessions, but can range anywhere from $75-$350. You can choose to offer one package (with a set time and set number of images), or you can offer different packages with varying amounts of photos.
So for example, you can offer $150 holiday mini sessions that last 15 minutes and your clients get five edited, high resolution photos. Obviously, you can charge and offer whatever you’d like, but this tends to be something standard you’d see in the industry for a typical shoot and burn photographer.
If you plan, say, 15 mini sessions at 15 minutes each, that could add up to a cool $2,250. Not bad for a day’s work!
You can really be as creative as you’d like! You can buy backdrops to hang in a studio space, or in your home, offer lifestyle Christmas minis in the homes of your clients, go to a Christmas tree farm, or even hire your own Santa!
Another great way to serve your clients and get them excited about their photos is to offer Christmas cards! This is a great way to make a little extra money, as most people love a one-stop option for their photography and prints.
Overall, Christmas mini sessions are a great way to get repeat clients every year and bring a little joy during the holiday season!