Boy, THESE are all the rage, aren’t they? You spend a tiny amount of money on a short little session and just hope for the best. I see SO MANY. I did the numbers. Sometimes, these are great. Sometimes, I think “ohhhh….get a real session…” Why? Why would you opt for a whole photo shoot when you can get some “digital images” for next to nothing? Let me ‘splain…
First, full disclosure. I don’t really DO mini sessions. I want to talk to you, get to know you, know what you’re looking for in the shoot, discuss clothing and really be IN THE KNOW. I then want to take whatever time it takes to get you what you want. You want a photo above your fireplace? You want a bunch of 5×7 photos to give to family? You want a folio box that you can keep forever? Why are we shooting? I want you to come in to the studio and SEE what a folio box is, see what custom framing I offer, know what your goal is and for YOU to know that goal. This information in itself is worth what you might be paying for that mini shoot. So, I don’t do them.
THEN WHY ARE YOU WRITING ABOUT THIS, ROBIN??? Because it’s out there and it’s happening frequently. Aside from the above, my “beef” with them is this: They tend to only offer digital photos.
The day I hear someone tell me that they found some old 5 1/4 floppy drive that they were over the moon excited to find because it held the memories of their parents’ photos, etc. I might change my mind. I have never heard that. I hear people happy to find PRINTS that hold memories. Digital media only holds it for a while and then it’s outdated. You find an old floppy drive and you trash it. You find a photo of your mother when she was 20 and you keep it, share it, show it to the kids, and love it. (You can give me an AMEN here…)
Don’t spend $50 or $100 on a ding dang disc. DON’T. Just bite the bullet and spend a little more on something that will LAST.
Mini sessions CAN be done effectively. I’m actually promoting one now. (YOU SAID YOU DIDN’T DO THESE, ROBIN!) I know. I typically don’t. It’s my one time of year that I do. Santa comes into my studio and every 15 minutes for a day, kids and families come through to get their photos with Santa.
FIFTEEN MINUTES!? Yep. I do 15 minute sessions. Why? Because they’re kids. They need a magical conversation and experience with Santa. They need to go before they start trying to figure out the magic… Which means, in this case, there’s no three part shoot. (come in, discuss, then come in and shoot and then come in and view). But there IS a two part. They KNOW what they’re coming in for, so they come in to do it. They come BACK in the view the photos. It’s not a disc. It’s their Christmas cards that are custom made, it’s a folio box with their child’s experience, and sometimes, it’s a framed print or two. I’ve run the gamut with what I sell on Santa photos. My preshoot information? It comes with me and Santa. We decide certain poses that will happen…and then we capture conversations and the natural flow of the visit. It’s magic.
So yep, I’m doing my once a year “mini” session. I haven’t done anything “mini” with it. I’ve only altered where my time is spent. My families still get full service, full prints, full product line (even add in the custom cards) and it works. Full service. Full experience.
HOW DOES THIS WORK, ROBIN, WITH EVERYONE ELSE DOING CHEAP DIGITAL MINIS?
It works beautifully. I will sell out my times. When I run into these people throughout the year, I will hear about their EXPERIENCE, how much it meant to them. When they take out their photos from last year, it will spark the desire to come back…and I know, one day? These kids will be parents, and they’ll have amazing photographs to show THEIR kids. THAT means the world to me….but it will mean the UNIVERSE to them, their kids and their grandkids…
So as you see all of these “cheap mini sessions” showing up…please be mindful. You’re creating your kids’ memories here. That’s not where you want to “cheap out”…