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The Golden Rule of Mini Sessions

It’s that time of year again! Starbucks released its Pumpkin Spiced Latte’s early and Pinterest is flooded with DIY Halloween Costume Ideas. But an even bigger implication that fall is here, is that photographers everywhere are flooding Facebook groups with cheap Fall and Holiday Mini Sessions ads. And let’s be honest here, we see these ads alllll year long.

We have already written the ultimate guide to Mini Sessions (Read it Here) but just for fun, let’s do a little extra math on how your mini session pricing is effecting your full session pricing and ultimately, the success of your photography business. And yes, I can totally hear my 6th grade math teacher saying “I told you so.”

The Golden Rule of Mini Session Pricing is that your Mini Sessions should NEVER be a better value than your full sessions. Why would someone pay $500 for a full session when it’s cheaper to buy 5 $50 Mini Sessions and get more images? Look at how sodas are packaged. When a 12 pack is $6, they don’t price a $6 pack at $2. Otherwise, people would just buy two 6-packs because you get the same number of sodas for cheaper. If you price your minis so that they are a better value than a full session, clients will just wait for your next mini and never do a full session. You do not want to devalue your business just so you can do Mini Sessions. So, if your full custom sessions are $500 for 10 digitals, your digitals are valued at $50 per digital. So in order for your mini sessions to be a better value, a Mini Session for 5 digitals would need to be priced at MORE than $250. 3 Digitals would need to be AT LEAST $150.

And I know what some of you are thinking. But it’s a shorter session. BUT remember that people are busy and not everyone WANTS a long session. Use the shorter session time as a selling point. Think of it like Rush Shipping. People typically have no problem paying more to get something faster. You are an amazing, efficient professional and can give people beautiful photos without having to sit through a long session. This is a HUGE plus for clients with busy work schedules or toddlers (and husbands) who have short attention spans. If someone DOES want more time, then up sell them on a full session! Because Mini Sessions should HELP your business. Not Hurt it.

Now let’s look at the math the other way around….

Let’s say you price your Mini Sessions at $50 for 5 digitals….. That’s 10 per digital… So if your full sessions include 15 digitals, you are going to need to charge LESS than $150 for a full session….. And $150 or less for a full session with digitals isn’t a professional rate. You CANNOT make a livable salary on that price for a full, individual session including digitals. It's not mathematically possible.

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