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Easter Mini Sessions

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Easter Mini Sessions

By Paige Cerulli

Easter mini sessions are a popular way to celebrate the holiday. Make your mini sessions irresistible with these top tips from professional photographers.

What is an Easter mini session?

Easter mini sessions are short, prop-heavy photo shoots that are typically designed for kids. As a photographer, you can create a styled setup and then book short sessions back-to-back to minimize costs and maximize your productivity. Families get Easter-themed shots for a small investment, and you can quickly photograph many clients in a single day without having to travel or create different setups.

What to charge for an Easter mini session

The photographers that we spoke to typically charge between $85 and $395 per child for a mini session. That fee includes three to five high resolution files. Photographers often offer a discounted fee for siblings, and mini sessions take 10 minutes each. Giving parents the option to purchase extra images, either individually or as a bundle, can make mini sessions extra profitable.

Images by: SHANNON PAYNE PHOTOGRAPHY

Posing tips

Easter mini session props can naturally capture kids’ interest and encourage interaction, so you may not have to come up with too many posing ideas. Nashville photographer Shannon Payne of Shannon Payne Photography uses baby lambs for her Easter minis and finds that the lambs make for easy posing prompts. “I ask the kids to pet, hug, and kiss the lamb,” she says. “The kisses are always the best!”

Chris Dowd, San Diego photographer and owner of All Colors Photography, held Easter minis in a studio and used props including a manzanita tree branch. “For these, it was great to play peekaboo with the branch when [the children] were laying on the floor,” she says.

Since time is limited during mini sessions, have some poses ready to guide the shoot if needed:

  • Holding, patting, or hugging an animal
  • Lying among or holding Easter eggs
  • Sitting in or just behind an Easter basket
  • Holding props like Easter eggs or an Easter basket
  • Sitting on a hay bale, wooden box, or picnic blanket
  • Looking through an Easter basket
  • Throwing Easter eggs toward the camera

Easter sessions should be fun, so don’t be afraid to keep things light and bring out kids’ playful sides. “Depending on the age, I like to use the “no smiles allowed” prompt or fart jokes,” says Dowd.

Prop ideas

There are so many potential Easter props and styles that you can create an Easter mini session with a unique and distinctive touch. For his in-studio Easter minis, Dowd pairs the manzanita tree branch with a white wooden chair and vintage blanket.

Payne holds lamb minis on the lambs’ farm, and the lambs serve as the main props. “I bring along quilts and crochet blankets for kids to sit on,” she explains. “Older children love to hold the lamb, so they will sit on the quilt. I also bring a chair and crate for toddlers.”

Some ideas for Easter props include:

  • Hay bales, a bench, or a wooden crate for kids to sit on
  • Picnic blankets
  • Easter eggs of varying sizes, including giant artificial eggs
  • Easter baskets of varying sizes and colors filled with eggs
  • Easter garlands or wreaths
  • Potted plants or vases of flowers
  • Easter décor, such as rabbit, chick, or lamb stuffed animals or statues
  • Live animals, like rabbits or chicks
  • Bunny ears for kids to wear

What’s the best time of year for an Easter mini session?

While Easter minis will naturally take place around the holiday, make sure that you advertise and schedule the sessions far enough in advance of the holiday so that you have time to deliver the images to your clients. Dowd says that her turnaround time is usually one to two weeks depending on the season. Consider how many sessions you’re booking and how much editing time you’ll need.

Start generating interest in the mini sessions early on. Payne sends emails to her newsletter clients and shares teasers in her Instagram stories to build interest in the sessions each year. “I then set the date that booking will begin and announce that date several weeks ahead of time,” she explains. “My lamb minis usually book up in about five minutes.”

Dowd holds mini sessions monthly, incorporating Easter minis into that established schedule. She first announces the mini sessions on his VIP group on Facebook for past clients, giving them the option to book before the general public. Then, Dowd announces the sessions publicly on social media about 12 to 24 hours later, and sends an email blast.

What should the subjects wear?

The color scheme for your Easter minis will partially depend on your props and décor. Neutral tones are versatile and work with nearly any prop. Pastels are also popular in the spring. For example, since Payne’s lamb sessions take place on the farm, she recommends casual clothing in earth and neutral tones.

Encourage clients to avoid big, bold patterns, which don’t tend to photograph well. You might provide some example outfits or a list of desirable colors to help guide clients. Dowd encourages clients to bring their own extra props with them, such as religious or sentimental Easter props. This can make a shoot even more meaningful for clients.

Images by: ALL COLORS PHOTOGRAPHY (CHRIS DOWD)

Tips for a successful Easter mini session

Schedule your minis so that you have a bit of time to catch up if you end up running behind. Payne schedules 10-minute mini sessions with a five-minute buffer, so sessions are scheduled 15 minutes apart. Dowd schedules 10-minute sessions, and after five or six sessions she reserves a 10-minute time slot for a break, which also lets her catch up on any delays.

Overshoot during the session, too. Dowd shoots anywhere from 25 to 50 images during a 10-minute session. She says that having a variety of shots almost always leads to upsales, which can maximize your return on each session.

Keep your sessions consistent to save on editing time, too. “Editing tends to be quick, since the scenario and light are the same, and that is key to making your mini session very efficient,” Dowd explains.

Finally, if you plan to use live animals in the session, look for animals that are well-socialized and comfortable interacting with children. “I recommend finding a bottle fed lamb and having the lamb’s handler work as your assistant,” Payne says. “Bottle fed lambs are much more domesticated, and having their handler with them makes them feel secure and comfortable.”

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