In 2017 I found a niche that really suited my business and my stage of life. I'm a wife, mother, and entrepreneur. I enjoy and absolutley LOVE each of these but there are times when the roles of one can interfere with the growth in another. I want to see my photography business grow but not at the expense of my two most importatnt roles as a wife and mother. How do I get around this?
Photography has been an outlet for me to be creative, meet people, and grow in ways I never dreamed possible. I want to see my photography business grow but not at the expense of my two most importatnt roles. I have found that if I meet my clients where they are that they will meet me where I am too. I don't mean this in "meeting at a location" but rather having a mutual understanding for one another. Most families can't afford photography sessions every couple months that cost $250+. But I have found that most families can afford $50-60 every couple months or "seasonal" photos of their kids/family in quick sessions that still produce quality images.
Mini sessions have done just that. I don't consider them a "cheap" option. I am not a "cheap" photographer but rather I am using resources and minimizing my cost of doing business to keep my clients cost reasonable too. How do I do that? I'm glad you asked. Let me show you through a comparison. What you see below is that to offer mini sessions at my home ( or sometimes my neighbors) I don't have to take into account travel, extra set-up/tear-down time, or a babysitter. These are just a few of the things that I have to think about when planning and preparing for sessions.
Mini Session On-Location Session
Travel Time TO location: N/A 20-30 minutes
Set-up Time: 5 minutes 10 minutes
Session Time: 15 minutes 15 minutes
Travel Time FROM location: N/A 20-30 minutes
Tear-down Time: 5 minutes 10 minutes
Babysitter Hours: N/A 1.5 hours minimum
Now I'm talking about a mini session that is 10-15 minutes. I select the dates available, time slots, theme, and the location which is usually at or near my home in Poquoson. Full sessions are a minimum of 30 minutes, at a location chosen BY the client, on a date that specifically works FOR the client, and at a time that is BEST for the clints. Mini sessions can only accomodate immediate family and sometimes setups are just for kids and not suitable for adults because of space. Full sessions can accommodate larger families and can even include grandparents.
(left): Family Session, 30 minutes, Location: Fort Monroe (right): Mini Session, 10 minutes, Location: Poquoson @ my home
You can see just some of the factors that play a part in session preparation and the behind the scenes details that are part of my business. Although these numbers aren't ALWAYS the same, they are pretty accurate on average. I am considering offering mini-sessions at a different location other than my home but the details like dates, times, theme and location would all still be decided by me, the photographer. The session fee would be higher than if I was photographing at my home but less than the fee for a full session.
So why do I tell you all of this? Again, thanks for asking! I think it's important to be authentic with my clients and share some of the ins/outs of how my business runs. 2017 was a great year of growth, across the board, but I'm excited to see what 2018 will bring A&R Photography's way too!
What's your preferred season for family photos? What draws you to use a photographer? What kind of mini session theme would you be interested in booking?