Unpopular Opinion: Mini Sessions Are NOT Worth It!
by Candace Miller Photography, Montrose CO
That’s right friends, I said it. It’s out there in the universe for everyone to see. I hate mini sessions and I’ll tell you why, but first let me give you some background on the subject. A Mini Session is usually a photo session that is very VERY short…I’m talking like 15-20 minutes and sweet (supposedly) and sometimes photos prints or digitals are included in the price up front, or sometimes you choose your prints and products from a gallery online.
Now, I have several issues with this type of session, so I’m going to try to stay off my soap box for this post because none of you want to hear me rant, BUT I do feel that it’s important to understand the reasoning behind why I don’t like Mini Sessions and why I don’t offer them any longer. These points will be in no particular order but all have their own significance.
– STRESS FACTOR!
If you are a mom of littles or you have multiple children, you know how hard it is to get your children to cooperate for a photo. Add in a stranger with a weird new tool (the camera) in their hands and 15-20 minutes may be about the time it takes for the crying to stop. It may be about the appropriate time for the baby to spit up on the new outfit, or a diaper blowout. If your kids have never met the photographer (Me) then they might not feel very confident about what I’m asking them to do or why they should smile at the big black box in their face. “Why is this crazy lady making goofy faces and asking me so many questions!?” (I like to talk to kids to get them to give me more genuine smiles), but if they don’t know me, 15-20 minutes may not be long enough for your kids to warm up…some teens HATE having to smile on command and it takes a military force to break the code! So these types of things need more time.
– A TON of work goes into the set up and all the sessions take place at the same location.
All the photos are going to look the same…adorable but the same. And unless that photographer (me again) gets enough people to sign up for those mini sessions, they won’t break even on the amount of money and time they spent setting up just the background. Now some are simple and can be outside at a beautiful venue without a charge. However, most gorgeous places charge us to use their space and it’s a little pricey.
– The price is always expected to be little to nothing.
However, we put in as much work (OR MORE…usually more) for these types of sessions to make sure they are perfect and absolutely adorable, and no matter how many people say they want a mini session, when it comes time for booking, the price will be too much.
– Having a gallery online only makes placing orders more difficult in my experience.
I’ve been in the photography business for 19 years and almost every time I post a gallery online, it is harder for my clients to make a decision on their order. Instead, I offer reveal/ordering sessions where we go over everything together so that if they have any questions, I’m there to answer those. The order is placed right away and they leave happier knowing exactly what they are getting instead of being unsure of what they ordered.
I have offered mini sessions in the past, so all of this is coming from previous experience and if you have any questions, you are welcome to contact me anytime. But to me it just makes more sense to have a complete full session, where you can be stress free knowing that we can take as long as we like, there is no time crunch. We can go to any location of your choosing, we are not bound by the outlines of the mini session location, and you will know what all the prints and products available are because I will be with you every step of the way. You won’t have to sacrifice anything because it was a mini session and that was all you got.
If you would like a list of my Fall dates that are available, I would be happy to send those your way.