At this time of year, you're probably used to seeing all sorts of holiday sales and specials being offered. So how can you adjust the photography services that you already offer in order to suit the season?
Whether you've been working as a professional photographer for years or you're brand new to the industry, offering Christmas mini photoshoot sessions can be the perfect way to reconnect with past customers and bring in new business. We'll be diving deep into everything you need to consider when planning your holiday photoshoot photography packages like what should be included, how to price your photography experience, and how to market your services using your online portfolio in the midst of the pandemic.
What is a Mini Session?
As a professional photographer, you may have already come across the concept of offering smaller photo packages in addition to your regular photography services. Mini sessions are a great way to fill out your online gallery of images, gain client reviews, boost your income, and connect with new clients. If you are just starting out and you don't have a consistent stream of client work coming in, or you're looking for some new ways to earn money with your photography, mini sessions could be the perfect choice to offer a new service and attract new clients.
The difference between a mini photo package and your regular offerings is that with mini sessions, the photo package will involve a shorter shoot time and fewer final images. You can decide how long you want your mini sessions to be, but most photographers offer approximately 30 minutes to an hour session. You should have your deliverables figured out and clearly communicated ahead of time, so that the client understands how many edited photos they will receive and in what timeframe. Mini sessions, like any photo package, can be offered at your client's venue, in your designated studio space, or even outside, weather permitting.
Why Should You Offer Mini Session Photography Packages?
The major plus side to offering mini photo sessions is that it allows you to work with a new demographic. One of the benefits of having a job in photography is that there are so many potential clients out there who need your services, and they may not even know it yet. For example, small business owners need product photography for their online stores, and hair and makeup artists need pictures of their work to show on social media to gain clients. In addition to professionals looking for photos to benefit their businesses, plenty of individuals also need your services for personal use, like couples who want to capture their family and sharing the holiday spirit during Christmas.
Offering mini sessions is a great solution for photographers and clients because photographers are able to provide service at a lower cost while clients are able to get high-quality images with less commitment. These mini sessions are a great way to connect and impress potential clients to return. If you’re attracting new clients, a short Christmas mini session makes for a great opportunity for clients to try out your service and understand your style even more.
What is a Christmas Mini Session?
Mini session packages can look very different depending on your photography style and vision for the images. Some photography professionals might decide to go for a more minimalist setup, while others will choose to focus on themed shoots with props and styling to reflect a particular time of year.
Christmas mini sessions can include photography services for families, couples, friends, and simply anyone who wants to capture their holiday cheer and spirit. For most people, they want to hire a photographer to capture their family for the holiday and using them as a Christmas card. Therefore, the setting of your mini session can be quite versatile.
Some people may opt for a mini session in their own home to capture a homier feeling. Perhaps the family is decorating the Christmas tree, or they are simply gathered together for a family portrait by the fireplace. You can also offer your clients the option of shooting at your studio for something more simplistic. Another great location for your mini session could be a park, farm, or outdoor space with Christmas lights and decorations. These outdoor shoots can also take advantage of the snowy weather.
No matter what your photography aesthetic is, you can adjust your photo packages to include a Christmas mini session by selecting a few choice design items or even editing in some seasonal cheer in post-production.
What Types of Christmas Mini Photography Packages Can You Offer?
Whether you generally only offer wedding photography packages or you're all about capturing a model's outfit for a fashion magazine, you can find a way to tie what you do into a Christmas mini session photo package.
Seasonal family holiday photos aren't the only Christmas photos available! Many other photography niches can take advantage of the time of year. For example, your boudoir photoshoot can get a winter makeover by using lush white fur and decorative snowflakes. Wedding photos can emphasize the location of the ceremony and the holiday-themed decor at the event. If you live in a tropical climate and you usually offer vacation photos for couples on a world trip honeymoon getaway, you could even do a tropical Christmas theme by bringing traditional elements to the beach for a fun juxtaposition.
Why Should You Offer Christmas Themed Mini Photo Packages?
Even if you offer general mini session photo packages at all times of the year, it's definitely worthwhile to put in the effort to brand your package as a Christmas mini session in order to take advantage of seasonal sales. With so many consumers searching for unique holiday presents online, you'll want to take advantage of Christmas-related keywords so that your name is showing up on their search engines.
Many product and service-based businesses make the majority of their yearly income in the fourth quarter due to increased shopping in preparation for the Christmas holidays. At this time of year, everyone is scrambling to take some gorgeous family photos for their annual holiday cards or looking for a way to celebrate all that the Christmas season has to offer.
If you’re looking to take the extra step, you could even update your existing photography website with new designs and colors to reflect the holiday season. To successfully get your services as a photographer seen by the right clients, think about creating content and adding keywords your ideal customer is likely to search for when looking for a seasonal photo package. Update parts of your website to communicate why your ideal clients need a Christmas photo package, what they will get out of it, and what makes your specific photo package the right choice for them. In addition to the images you're providing, you may even want to offer to include prints that your clients can use to create a photo album or frame and give as gifts on Christmas morning.
What Do You Need for a Successful Christmas Mini Session?
The main difference between a Christmas photo package and your regular offerings as a photographer are the props and decor that you use to set the scene. Clients who want a Christmas themed photoshoot are not looking for a simple black backdrop that they could put together themselves at home. No matter what design choices you make, you want the experience to be special and memorable.
Depending on your niche and aesthetic, you may want to keep it to a simple setup by only using a select few seasonal elements, and keeping the focus on your subject and the camera. On the other hand, if you prefer a more maximalist approach, this is your opportunity to make the most of the seasonal decoration aisles at all your favorite stores.
If your client is heading to your photography studio to do the Christmas mini session, then start with a basic setup and adjust the elements until it suits the look that you're going for. Make sure you bring in props and decor to increase the holiday spirit in their photo. From Christmas trees to fake snow and sleighs, make sure you are prepared to create an atmosphere that can reflect Christmas.
Photography is a crowded market, so distinguish yourself from the other options out thereby making it very clear what it is that you're offering, what it will look like, and why they should choose to book you instead of one of the other photographers offering a similar service. Make sure you communicate with your client beforehand to understand what type of photos they’re looking to capture. This will help to prepare your studio and get the appropriate decorations.
How Should You Go About Pricing Your Mini Session Photography Packages?
Figuring out how to price your photography services can feel overwhelming, especially when you're first starting out and don't know what you are worth yet. It's always a good idea to start with some market research. Look into what your peers are charging, especially those who are at a similar point in their career as you.
If you're new to photography, your prices are probably going to be on the lower end. However, you still want to keep in mind the costs you have to cover, from camera gear to studio rental to post-production software. It can be tempting to offer your photo package at an extremely low price in order to get more clients, but when you present yourself as the most budget-friendly option, people tend to see your work as less valuable.
If you already have a pricing structure set up for your regular shoots, you can use that information to come up with a new quote based on the deliverables that you're offering in your mini sessions. As with your regular photography pricing, you need to account for more than just the amount of time spent physically shooting photos on location. A huge part of the photography process is editing your images, receiving feedback from your clients, and making adjustments to fit their needs. Make sure that you're including the time, effort, and resources required when you come up with your pricing for your mini sessions.
It's always a good idea to slightly overestimate the amount of time you'll spend on a project when quoting a price so that if the project does end up taking more time than you had planned for, you won't be losing money. You should also consider what deliverables you will be providing, like how many final photos your client will receive, how these photos will be printed, or whether you will offer card printing services when determining your pricing structure.
How To Market Your Christmas Mini Session Photo Packages
It's one thing to have the skills and talent to capture beautiful, high-quality photos that you know clients will love and a completely separate thing to know how to market your services so that you can connect with clients who are lining up to pay for your photo packages. Marketing may not come naturally to you, but don't worry! We're breaking down our favorite techniques for marketing your Christmas photography packages this holiday season.
Make it clear what you're offering.
First, you need to make sure that you have photos that offer potential clients a clear understanding of the exact service that you're offering. For example, if you usually create corporate portrait headshots, but now you want to offer family Christmas photoshoots, you'll need to take some new photos to effectively communicate your new offering. A great way to do this is by offering your friends or family members a free mini session in exchange for using your photos of them to bulk up your online portfolio and attract mini session photography clients.
Use social media to build your audience.
While it's always a great idea to maintain your own website for your business, it's also important that you show up where your potential clients are already hanging out. This means making use of the biggest social media platforms so that users who are casually scrolling can discover your brand and what you do without having to seek out your services. Plus, these days social media platforms are commonly used for businesses, and you can even set up your profile so that you can sell your products directly through the apps. Social media sites also offer the use of paid ads, where you can customize the type of consumer your ad will reach based on inputting specific demographics.
Get in touch with your previous clients.
Even if you did a photoshoot with someone recently, you never know when they might be ready to do another one! Don't forget about the connections you've already made with previous clients when you're marketing your mini sessions. Reach out with your new offering to see if they're interested, and ask them to share a review on your page or send your information to their networks. You can even incentivize them with a referral deal so that when someone they sent books your services, they get a discount on pricing or additional deliverables on their next shoot at no extra cost.
Leverage your email list.
If you send out a monthly newsletter, this is the perfect chance to inform them about your new service. If you don’t have a newsletter, you should still always be building your mailing list in addition to your social media community. When someone signs up for your newsletter or purchases your services, you already know that that means they're interested in what you do. A well-kept mailing list gives you direct access to the email inboxes of people who are ready to buy from you or are at least considering it. Send them a quick email and note to let them know you’re available for booking for their next Christmas mini session.
Increase demand with limited availability.
The fact of the matter is, people always want things more when they find out that spots are limited. Other ways to convince potential clients who are on the fence are to increase prices after a certain date and have a cutoff date if they want image delivery in time for Christmas.
Now you know everything you need to know about mini sessions and how to make the most of your brand new seasonal offering! Get out there and start marketing your awesome skills. We can't wait to see the results of your Christmas mini sessions.
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