Mini Session – Affordable for Who?

Mini Session – one of photography’s buzz words right now.  So, what exactly are mini sessions?  Well, many people have them confused with “small” or “short” sessions.  There are some photographers who label their smallest package “mini” (I once did that), but I am not referring to those.  I am talking about the limited, special occasion sessions.
The only reason they work for photographers is because we can get many people through the session in short amounts of time.  When done correctly, they are ONLY profitable when the photographer can book back-to-back clients to cover the overhead costs.  Let’s use Christmas as an example.  Some of the hidden costs might include:
Tree Farm, $50 -$100/ hour
Santa, $60-$300/hour
Props/Backdrop, $200+
Assistant $100+
Editing/Gallery work, 2-5 hours per client 
Varying rates for taxes/insurance (that’s another post because not every photographer is operating legally)

As you can see, $50 per client is NOT profitable.  Yeah, you might hear some people say “Oh, they just do it for fun so they can charge less.”  Well, guess what?  We all do it for fun!  We love photography!  But, honestly, would you go to work for free even if you love your job?  Probably not.

This is why mini sessions are offered on specific days.  If you miss out and request a mini session with “just a few” pictures, it is not worth our time and money to do that for you.  At that point you will need to pay for a regular offered package.  I understand that you will only use a few, but the photographer is snapping upwards of 50 pictures to get just the right images for you.  That is a lot of editing and culling after the session.

I hope no one takes this message personally.  I get the request for a mini session A LOT, so I thought it was time to offer a more clear explanation.  If you mean to request a small package, then perhaps asking the photographer for their package options would be a better route than requesting a mini session.

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