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Spring Mini Sessions

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When is the best time for a Springtime Session?

By Kris Ann Valdez

Springtime blooms create an irresistible natural backdrop for family photo shoots. With clients requesting the outdoors this time of year, our photographers share their best tips and tricks to make the most of these mini sessions.

Spring shoots are typically booked March-June. If your clients are keen on wildflowers, most bloom March-May, but it’s important to research your specific area.

When shooting outside, most photographers shoot during golden hour, typically the hour after dawn/before dusk when the light has a warm, reddish hue. 

Where should I shoot my mini session?

Jessica Penny of Harper Rae Photography says that she looks for an outdoor location with depth, meaning layers. Both light and objects help create depth. 

Other places to shoot include green spaces or indoor studios with floral arrangements/decor. Don’t stress too much though- mini session can be dubbed “spring- themed” simply by the outfit choices, such as florals or pastels.

Images by: Harper Rae Photography

What to charge for a spring mini session

The photographers we spoke to charge $225-400 for 15-20 minutes of shooting. For seven images, one photographer says she charges $375-400, with an available upgrade of $295 for the entire edited gallery. She sends the entire gallery as a watermarked preview without the option to download. 80% of clients opt to purchase the upgrade because they want the 40-60 additional photos.

It also helps to run promotions, such as “motherhood minis” session for Mother’s Day. Example pricing for this is $275-300. Of course, you’ll want to price yours according to your area and demand.

Posing tips

Meredith Minor of Meredith Minor Photography says she plans ahead “pulling inspiration from “Unscripted, Instagram and Pinterest. I also have a list of games/ideas in my phone,” she says, which are “great ways to bring some laughter, joy, and the ability for the families to relax and connect.”

Jessica says she uses prompts in her sessions, but for minis she sticks to a maximum of five. Prompts might include: 

  •          Full family shot
  •          Just the kids
  •          Dad with the kids
  •          Mom with the kids
  •          Parents together

It’s a good idea to start with the wide shots then work towards the details. Remember, these are mini sessions so don’t try to fit a full shoot into fifteen minutes!

Images by: Harper Rae Photography

Prop ideas

Meredith focuses on family interactions, so the only props she needs are a blanket (to sit on) and maybe elements from the location (wildflowers, shells, rockets, etc.).

This spring, Jessica used an “antique blanket, paper airplanes, and nature’s offerings- flowers!”

Tips for getting a good shot

Because Meredith shoots outside, she says the most important thing is to find the best light.  Like Jessica, she starts with the family/group shot first—the classic one with everyone smiling, which is usually stiff and awkward.

Then, she coaches clients to “relax, laugh, and breathe calmly. We start a game that the kids will enjoy and encourages movement, interaction and play. I also encourage the family to be affectionate with one another. At the end, I take a few more shots of everyone smiling, those usually turn out great because they are now used to me, they have had some fun, and they are smiling for real! “

Jessica agrees that a great shot relies heavily on choosing the right location, time of day, and moving her subjects around as she clicks. Her motto is simple: “Prompts and play create the magic!”

What should the subjects wear?

Jessica takes a casual approach to styling families—whatever they feel comfortable in. “I may throw in some color/tone recommendations and a few suggestions but for the most part, I let the family choose!”

Meredith provides a styling guide to her clients that includes tips, ideas, and where to shop. She even links to her LTK (Like to Know It) and Amazon shop where clients can view her photography styling ideas. If they are still stuck, she refers them to a stylist she trusts.

Images by: Harper Rae Photography

What is the biggest challenge of booking a mini session?

If a photographer’s work is specific to golden hour, they may choose not to book all the time slots and opt instead to work with 4-6 families. This strategy isn’t for everyone, but it does ensure that the last 2.5 hours of daylight are optimized. It also allows golden-light photographers to edit true to their style, which is heavily dependent on the time of day.

This is where an indoor setting will have the advantage because you can book additional slots without worrying about losing the light.

How do you generate interest in your mini sessions?

It’s important to create buzz around your mini sessions. Meredith recommends doing a countdown to when they will go live and leveraging your email list. She opens her minis to her email list first and then opens it to her social media following for the first 24 hours. 

Letting your followers know there are only a select number of sessions available drives bookings. Regardless of how many sessions you book though, be inspired by the beauty of springtime—wildflowers only bloom once a year!  

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