Fall is a time of the year with plenty of great opportunities for themed mini-sessions such as Halloween, Harvest, Pumpkin patch and of course the most popular - Santa and Christmas mini-sessions.
Outdoor back-to-school mini session. Photo courtesy of Memories by Candace
If mini-sessions are still ahead of you or you are still debating whether or not to offer them this fall, read these six tips below that we prepared for you. We researched how photographers are handling the organization of their mini-sessions during COVID-19 and gathered the best ideas in one place so you can prepare better for your minis coming this fall.
1. Switch to outdoor instead of studio mini-sessions
Many photographers decided to move their studio minis to open air. With outdoor sessions, it’s easier to keep a safe distance.
You don’t have to wait with your Christmas minis until November or December like you usually did. Believe it or not, but this year many photographers are organizing their sessions in September in order to be able to do outdoor Christmas mini. With proper set-up, everything is possible!
Family fall mini-session
Fall is a popular choice among photographers for the theme of a mini session this year
If your minis were taking place in the studio before and outdoor sessions are a novelty for you, then take some time to prepare for these new surroundings. Watch this video created by Silver Paw Studio and see how Monique prepares for her outdoor mini-sessions and what advice she gives to other photographers:
2. USE FEWER PROPS - EASIER TO CLEAN AND SANITIZE
One of the tips from your fellow photographers on keeping your workspace safer for your clients and yourself is to use less props than you would normally use. Choose props that are easy to clean, wash and sanitize in between sessions. Clean and simple setup doesn’t necessarily mean boring. Sometimes less is more, so browse through your props and check what is and what is not essential to create a proper atmosphere and stick to the theme of your mini-session.
Dearheart Photography managed to create an outstanding back-to-school session with only a bench on a school bus parking lot
You can still stick to your theme while having fewer props on the setup. Beautiful back-to-school artwork by Debby Munro Photography
Simple can still be impressive. Photo courtesy by Kali Poulsen Photography
3. GO ONLINE
The situation we’ve all been put in right now is making the world switch to online and automated solutions. If you’ve been reluctant to implementing such solutions to your business before, now it’s the time to catch up. Try to arrange as many aspects of your sessions with clients online, before you meet, to avoid unnecessary interactions. You can create a blog post, pre-written messenger or email text describing the session’s protocol or record a video and post it on your social media. There are online tools that will help you manage your bookings. Among those recommended by photographers are:
There are many other online tools that will help you promote your minis online. For example, you can create a Facebook event on your fan page.
We have prepared a separate blog article to thoroughly present possible ways of promoting your mini-sessions online, including a complete checklist for promotion.
4. KEEP THE DISTANCE
Social distance is one of the ways to protect yourself and the people around you from the eventual infection and is practiced by many photographers who are now back to their usual business. Require the same from your visitors in order to protect yourself as well. Among other practices adopted by photographers are: wearing a mask, taking their temperature before the session, and offering no snacks and beverages served to the clients during the sessions. In addition, you may consider adding touch-free payment options to your business as well.
Front Porch Portrait by Jennifer Tanksley-Coss Photography
Outdoor Family Portrait by Jennifer Tanksley-Coss Photography
If your sessions take place in a studio and you're looking for ideas on how to prepare your workspace, watch Fienna from Wonder Fotografie comprehensively explaining how she manages her baby's photo sessions during Covid-19.
Do you have your own tips for making your studio a safer place for you and your clients? Please share your ideas in the comments below!
5. INFORM YOUR CLIENTS ABOUT THE SAFETY MEASURES YOU ARE TAKING
Once you created a plan for implementing proper steps to keep your mini-sessions safe, it's time to inform your clients about the measures you are taking in order to protect them. Make your clients aware that safety is your number one priority. Educate your clients about the fact that, as a photographer, you have the tools to operate safely and that there is no need to resign from something as important as creating and capturing important memories with their loved ones.
Have a look at the video created by Zoom Photography Studio where Guy and Anna present how their studio is being sanitized between appointments.
Remember, if you put a lot of effort into protecting your clients from germs during photo sessions, don't keep this fact for yourself. Create a blog post, social media post, infographic, a video, or choose any other way to let your clients know you are looking after them and that you keep your workspace a safe environment for them and for yourself as well.
6. MAKE UP FOR THE LOST REVENUE WITH PHOTO PRODUCTS
Or if the slowdown in bookings didn't impact your business, you can still increase your revenue even more with print products.
“Mini sessions are best done with a theme. This way you don't have to produce a lot of different photos for clients as you also have limited time. For my mini sessions, I love to include the Triplex as a product. You can easily get 3 different photos to include in a Triplex. They are a great gift option for family members like grandparents. I also do offer matted prints which serve as extra gifts too." - Tharwa Said Photography
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Watch Ana Brandt, world-renowned maternity & newborn photographer, professional photography educator, and business owner, discussing all things mini sessions: