What is a mini session for photography

What Is A Mini-Session?

If you’re a photographer looking for strategies to increase your income, you may have Googled and stumbled on mini-sessions. (If so, you’re on the right track!) Minis are a photographer’s secret weapon for increasing income. Over the last 4 years alone, mini-sessions have allowed me to pull in over $10,000 from a single day of work. 

But let’s back up first!

If you know what a mini-session is, great! If you’re reading this and asking yourself “Wait…what is a mini-session?” then let me give you all the details. These are too good a tool for you not to learn what they are and how to fit them into your photography business.

What is a mini-session?

Mini sessions are smaller versions of your full photography service. They let people experience what your sessions are like without the scary investment of a full session. Minis happen fast, with multiple people booked for the same day. It can be hard to visualize the difference between a mini-session and a full photography session, so here’s the TL;DR version.

What a mini-session includes vs a full photography session:

  • 10-20 minutes long
  • 5-10 clients booked on 1 day
  • Lower session fee
  • Low barrier for clients to say ‘Yes’
  • The photographer chooses the location and theme
  • Includes 0 – 5 images
  • Upsells available
  • 30 minutes – 2 hours
  • 1-2 clients a day
  • Regular session fee
  • High barrier for clients to say ‘Yes’
  • The client chooses the location and theme
  • Includes 0 – 100s images
  • Collections & upsells available
Types of Mini-Sessions: Family
what is a mini-session in photography

Can you spot the major differences? 

While you may charge more for your regular session, the reason photographers love minis is how much profit you can make with so little work on their part. (Imma put a BIG disclaimer here – there’s a lot of organization and marketing that goes into minis, but compared to a full session you’re doing less photography and editing involved!)

Here, let me highlight the key differences a bit more for you. 

Stacked Sessions in 1 Day:

With your full photography experience, you may only be able to see 1-2 clients a day, depending on how long your sessions are. Mini sessions are shorter, and they’re always scheduled as stacked sessions. Meaning, you see people back to back. So, even though you’re charging a slightly reduced session fee, you’re getting 5-10 of them at once. 

That’s a quick cash injection right there!

Short Session Times:

The reason why you can stack sessions is because each session takes no more than 20 minutes, with short breaks between. (Which is where they get the name “mini” from!) You schedule just enough time to get some amazing images without compromising the value of your full sessions. 

And if you’re worried that 20 minutes is not enough time to get the impactful images – don’t! You’d be surprised how many images you can take in that time. The key is to remember you’re not delivering a gallery of 50 – 100s of images for your mini-session clients to choose from. (More on that later!) Plus, the more you do minis, the more efficient you’ll get. After one or two rounds, you’ll probably find that you can start doing them in 10-15-minute intervals and still get the good shots!

Number of Images:

This one is the hardest for photographers to wrap their heads around. You may be used to delivering galleries with 50 – 100s of photos for your clients to choose from. Minis don’t do that. Each photographer is different, but most mini-sessions include 0 – 5 images. That’s it! It’s the cost of getting a session at a reduced rate.

After that, clients can pay extra to order more images, albums, or the whole gallery. Which is great for you for two reasons:

  1. You have to edit fewer photos to deliver mini-session galleries
  2. You have more opportunities to upsell

And trust yourself to know that clients WILL want more of their photos. Last year I sold full galleries to over 50% of my mini-sessions. At full price. Which is exactly how I was able to get to that $10,000 in a day cash injection.

So now that you know what min-sessions are…let’s talk about where they fit into your photography business.

how many photos should you give for a mini-session
what is a mini-session for spring

Where Do Mini Sessions Fit Into Your Photography Business?

The short answer – that is up to you. I’ve found that offering minis once or twice a year makes them feel urgent and exclusive. It gives me enough visibility to reach new clients, turn past clients into repeat clients, and book a few full sessions. 

But every photographer is different. Some family photographers and brand photographers have entire subscription packages that offer 3-4 mini sessions a year if you purchase them. They still set the date and theme, but they work it into their services as an add-on.

My advice is to master mini-sessions first. Make sure you love them (because we both know you’ll love the money!) Then, see if you want to offer them a few times a year vs as a regular upsell package to clients.

If you’re ready to run your first mini-session or master mini-session marketing, look at these amazing resources below! 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Girl, I soaked up everything I could too! Join hundreds of other photographers who get freebies, actionable tips, and behind-the-scenes sneak peeks at how I started, grew, and now run a multi-6 figure photography business (and studio!). Let’s make this inbox official.

photography education

Can't get enough?

Thank you for subscribing!

5 steps to a more confident, in-control mindset

free guide

Sign up for access to the guide as well as awesome resources and inspiration sent straight to your inbox!

thank you!

I'm Angelica Pompy

I'm a photographer, business coach, speaker, wife, and dog mom. I can also be your biggest cheerleader. Let's turn your photography dreams into a fierce and profitable reality!