For family photographers, mini sessions can be a super fun time. What’s not so fun? Figuring out your mini session photography pricing. There are so many factors that go into packaging a mini session offering, from the time spent to prints and files. Let’s take a look at what goes into the cost of shooting mini sessions for families.
Decide on a shoot fee for your mini session photography pricing
When it comes to pricing out your photography offers, there’s one thing that varies heavily between photographers: the session fee.
This price can range anywhere from $50 to $250 depending on what’s being offered.
The session fee is the base price it will cost a client to have their photo taken by you.
Choose how long your mini sessions will be
Mini session photography can last anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour.
Decide on what makes you most comfortable, and what kind of experience your ideal client would like. Would your potential clients prefer to show up to your set and have a few photos taken with their baby before they start to cry? Or, instead, would they rather have a longer session that gives time for tweens to get comfortable?
How many sessions will you do per day? Per season?
Figure out how many mini sessions you want to do per shoot day, and per season. Many photographers offer seasonal mini sessions with specific setups during a set number of days. If you’re doing 20-minute sessions, you can squeeze way more clients into a single day than with hour-long sessions.
Examples of how to space out your mini session timing
- 20 minutes per client, 10 minutes in between sessions
- 30 minutes per client, 15 minutes in between sessions
- 1 hour per client, 15 minutes in between sessions
Sell digital files from mini sessions
Some photographers bundle the digital files into the session fee. Typically, this mini session pricing would cost more since you’re giving the printing rights to the clients. Photographers who use this “shoot and burn” method often take on fewer clients at a higher price for their sessions.
Others choose to sell the digital files for their sessions. This allows for parents to pick their favorite photos from the session without having to purchase the whole gallery. When they buy the digital files, they’re usually buying the printing rights along with them.
Sell prints from mini sessions
Print sales are a major part of mini session photography offers. Families love to have prints to decorate their home with – make sure they know they can get that from you! Share print photography packages after the session that let clients choose what they want to print with you. You can bundle these into groups of sizes; ie. ten 4×6 prints, two 8×10 prints, one 11×14 print for $XX.
Creating print packages will help clients easily understand your mini session photography pricing. If you’re bringing them in with a low session fee, sharing print packages will show them what they really get when they work with you. Bundling them up makes it easy for busy potential clients to choose printing options.
Create referral offers for mini session photography
One of the biggest parts of marketing your mini sessions is creating referral offers. Plenty of parents are looking for no-hassle photography sessions. If they see photos of someone they already know, they’ll often trust the opinion of those closest to them.
Share special photographer offers for clients who refer you – whether that’s a certain % off their print order, a certain number of digital edited photos, or a discount on your next photography mini session day.
Be upfront about your mini session photography pricing
Your potential clients never want to feel like they’re being misled. Always be sure to be upfront about your mini session photography pricing. If you charge $30 for a session fee but $300 per digital file, your customers need to know that. Be open with your communication and make sure everything is understood ahead of time.
Share the full scope of your pricing with clients
Create a document or email template that shows the full scope of your pricing. Show them the session fee that is separate from the print or digital file costs. This is such an important step in the process to make sure your photography clients don’t feel “ripped off” or like their time spent wasn’t worth it.
How to share your mini session pricing
- Create an email response template to share pricing
- Share a PDF of your mini session pricing and how to book
- Design a page on your website to show the pricing of your mini sessions
- Record a video for clients explaining your mini session packages
Remind clients they can book a full session
If you’re talking with clients and a mini session doesn’t seem like the right fit, remind them they can book a full session with you. Full sessions are great for families who want to explore an outfit change or multiple locations.
If you feel like a client may need more attentiveness overall, suggest booking a full session for one or more hours of shooting, as opposed to a mini shoot.
Take a deposit for your mini photography sessions
Always be sure to take a deposit for your photo shoots. Your mini session pricing can be perfect but if your family photo clients bail on you last minute, you’re not making any of that money and have given up a spot that different clients could have used. Parents have a million reasons to cancel the session last minute, so be clear that your deposit is non-refundable.
Get a model release if you plan to advertise
If you plan to advertise with the photos you’re taking during these mini sessions, remember to get your clients to sign a model release. This is crucial if you plan to put out advertisements to raise awareness for your sessions. You’ll want to make sure you’re covered and your families are okay with you using their images on social media.
Define your mini session photography pricing for success
Mini sessions are a fun time for professional photographers and up-and-comers alike. Deciding on pricing can be tricky, and you may have to shift your offerings between session seasons to see what works best for you. Remember that the key to pricing correctly is transparency: whatever your prices are, make sure your clients are aware of every cost.