Mar 28, 2019
How to Host Successful Mini Sessions | Photography Education

Have you ever hosted mini sessions in the past, and wound up not booking as many spots as you had hoped for? 

I'm going to share a few helpful tips that have successfully boosted my mini session sales.

What's your idea?

Before you host your event, you need an idea.

Some ideas of when/where/what to host:

Holiday Mini Sessions 

Families usually want to send out holiday cards every year! This could be for Christmas, Easter, etc.

Scenic Locations 

Look for the touristy locations within your state, and host them there. Or choose a beautiful scenic location like a field of flowers that are in bloom, or at the beach!

Out of the box ideas 

This is all you! Do some brainstorming and think of ways to stand out among the crowd.

Amp up your audience

Let them know that you’re going to be releasing your time slots for your mini sessions soon. 

Give them a time and let them know when they should be on the look out for your mini session post. Post at a time when people would be active (maybe in the morning while they’re sipping their morning coffee, or during their lunch break, etc) You get the idea.

The more time you spend amping up your idea, the more you are setting yourself up for quick and successful sales. I usually like to ask my followers if they're interested in mini sessions, or do a poll option on Facebook/Instagram giving them a choice to choose their preferred date. This gives me an idea of when I should host my mini sessions before even releasing them.

If you live somewhere (like Oregon) where the weather is unpredictable, make sure you have a back up date. Be upfront about your back up date on your booking page, so others can know ahead of time that they have a flexible option in case of inclement weather.

Limited Spots

When I was first starting out, I made the mistake of opening up WAYYY too many spots at a time. I wound up not booking up all the spots and had gaps in between my sessions (eeeek). Now I like to start out with a smaller number of time slots. I can always add on more spots or additional days over time if I receive more interest.

The Facebook Event

Create an event on Facebook for your mini session event.

When you create an event, it will be available to view within your community. People can click on "interested" and their friends can see their interest in your event too.

Once someone clicks "interested", they'll be able to receive updates every time you post to that event page. Think of it this way, maybe someone isn't ready to book a spot but is thinking about it. You can keep them updated within the event page of available spots, and give them reasons to book.

Give them the option to receive updates about the event if they're in decisive. They may change their mind and wind up booking a spot after all!

Boost your event

Within your event, you'll have the option to boost it. I usually throw on about $50 and boost for a few days. If you have about 10-20 spots, that equals out to only paying about $2.50-5 per client. 

You need to think about who your target market is. Is this for couples, families, babies, etc? If I’m doing fall mini sessions, most of the time it is families who are wanting to take pictures for their holiday cards. 

My target demographics is therefore parents, so I choose who I want to boost to and leave it for a few days. I like to boost it for “Interested” rather than “Buy Tickets Now” because sometimes people are indecisive and not ready to book immediately. I like to post within he event page and give them a reason to book. 

Big Cartel

There is a selling platform called Big Cartel, that helps you sell products and set quantities so you don’t double book. It also makes it super easy for you and your clients because you don’t have to talk back and forth with a ton of people. Clients can go and checkout directly through your booking link, and you can contact them by using the e-mail that they provided during checkout. This booking link can also be posted in many places.

A few examples of where to display your booking link:

  • Link it to your Facebook Event
  • Share it on your Facebook Page (Business + Personal)
  • Add it to your LinkTree/Bio on Instagram
  • Send it to your Mailing List

During the Mini Sessions

If parking is quite a distance from the area that I am shooting at, then I will usually leave about 5-10 minute breaks in between my mini sessions. This way I’m leaving enough time to walk back and meet my next clients, or simply providing lee-way time just in case we run behind. Sometimes clients can be late!

If you do not wish to have breaks in between, then I usually suggest having an assistant. You can have an assistant who will meet with your next clients, and walk them over to you so you can immediately jump into your next session.

Use a SmartWatch (Or Phone) to silently vibrate whenever your time is up. No one wants to hear an awkward timer go off in the middle of their session when they’re taking pictures. A silent little nudge can help remind you. Add each time slot to your calendar, and your smart watch will remind you of client names at every appointment.

Use Google Earth to screenshot a map, and circle the parking / meeting areas for your clients so they know where to park.

& That's it!

I hope these tips helped you! Now get out there and plan your next mini session event!

Photos taken at my Smith Rock State Park Mini Sessions in Terrebonne, Oregon

To receive updates about future mini session dates, sign up for my mailing list using the link below:

Are you a photographer?

Want to receive updates for educational opportunities? Sign up for my educational mailing list here: