Why You Should Be Offering Photoshoot Mini-Sessions

Why You Should Be Offering Photoshoot Mini-Sessions

The idea of discounting our work is something most of us don’t even want to consider. We’ve spent a ton of time honing our skills and have more invested into our work than the consumer can possibly understand. That’s why mini-sessions are perfect — if you have the time.

My company decided to offer mini-sessions this summer. For $150 dollars, you could get 15-20 minutes of shooting time and five edited images from the set presented in an online gallery for you to choose a single 8x10 inch print from. All five images then become available for download via the online gallery at a web-sized resolution for sharing with friends and family.


We decided to offer this discounted service to appeal to those who ask for simple requests that we were confident we could fulfill in a very short amount of time. The plus to this is that we gain potential future clients, and we make a few extra bucks during the times of the week we generally don’t book sessions (midweek afternoons). These sessions ultimately led to us filling up our schedule for the next couple of months, without interfering with larger jobs we had already secured.

While you may pride yourself on the images that you create during longer, more demanding photoshoots, once you become proficient in producing a certain style of images, it doesn't take much to reproduce them on a smaller scale. This is essentially what we’re doing with our mini-sessions; creating images that don’t require a large level of production for clients that simply don’t require all of the bells and whistles associated with your other offerings.

Is the mini-session concept for you? Well, that’s for you to decide. From a business standpoint, it makes sense to fill your time that isn’t so full of demanding jobs, with ones that aren’t. The added income is typically welcome, the added work in post is reasonable, and the potential for building a professional relationship with a new client and expanding on that is what businesses like the ones we run are all about.

Do you offer mini-sessions? If so, what made you decide it was a good idea? Share in the comments below.

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Frank Withers's picture

I don't think it's a bad idea, just make sure your clients don't run with it and milk you for your little $150 fee.

We do a few different things like this. The trick is to make your cut price offering sufficiently different enough that it doesn't cannibalize your regular business. So with our standard shoots we generally shoot for a couple hours and the client pays somewhere around a grand.

To contrast with that a couple times a year we have a budget day for students where they can come in and I shoot for free. I think the studio charges $50 a head. Then I just earn by charging a fee ($35 each) for basic edits of however many photos the students want to order. We can have 20 people in who get shot quickly and they can order 10 photos each. So as a money spinner it's one of the better days we have.

The offering is different enough that I don't think we're stealing clients from ourselves and it acts as a great introduction to our studio for future clients of our regular packages.