Home Forums Let’s Talk Photography christmas mini sessions

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  • #23227
    braixenlayne
    Member

     

    I’m offering Christmas mini sessions this upcoming weekend and was looking for additional advice on how to set them up. I have 4 set up for the sessions right now and will be conducting them over a span of two days. I work for a well known professional photographer in my town and he’s allowing me to use studio space. (These sessions are completely free but is also requesting donations for the domestic violence shelter in my town in exchange for photos. Again, I am not making a profit.

     

    I guess I’m trying to figure out how to set up with props without coming off as tacky? Anyone ever photographed Christmas minis? What was your experience?

     

    Thank you!!

    #23229

    I’ve never been on either side of a mini-session.  It sounds a bit like dress-up night on a cruise ship, minus the ship.  They set up a few “studios” off the main dining room and invite people to stop by for photos, which they then put into a gallery, hoping to have them purchased by the subjects, as mementos of the trip.

    You could do something similar.  Set up a decorated Christmas tree, put a few wrapped boxes under it.  Place a couple of chairs and/or a couch.  Have people come in and sit.  Take a few photos.  Have them pretend to open some of the presents — keep some extra wrap handy in case kids are too enthusiastic and tear off the wrap.  Take a few more photos.  Done!  Tidy up and you are ready for the next session.

    #24895
    matthewden
    Member

    Good planning .

    #24909

    Since this is back on top of the list, and it’s now mid-February, did the mini-sessions run?  What did you do?  How did they turn out?

    #24949
    Don
    Member

    The term “mini session” screams “faux” to me. Am I crazy?

    #25016
    Bill
    Member

    The term “mini session” screams “faux” to me. Am I crazy?

    Nope, not crazy to me.

    WTH is a mini-session anyway?

    I have a session fee or sitting fee as they used to be called,but the concept of a mini-session boggles me.

    The only thing I can grab is that you are breaking down a hour long session into quarters or something, instead of booking for the entire hour.  Am I right or way off base?

    Either way, I’m sure glad I don’t have to worry about that, I have a flat rate per hour and another rate per diem

    #25026
    inkh3art3d
    Member

    Bill, most people do mini sessions as a marathon. Charge a set price for the time/talent + a product or two with the ability to purchase more and do this many times during a day or weekend.

    Local going rate is $250 for 30 minutes + 5 digital images. Lowest I’ve seen is $45 for 30 minutes with at LEAST 30 images on a disc >.<
    They can be quite lucrative if done well, especially if used in conjunction with in person sales.

    #25051
    Don
    Member

    Because mass production is so conducive to creativity.

    #25054

    The photography business is different than Photography.  The objective of a photography business is to use photography to rake in cash.  The objective of Photography is to make beautiful photos.  In that regard, if mini sessions, or mass production, can be quite lucrative if done well, then in a business sense it is actually quite creative.  The business requirement is to provide a product that the customer will pay for.

    #25057
    EyeDocPhotog
    Member

    The objective of a photography business is to use photography to rake in cash

    Inasmuch as the typical MEDIAN take-home pay for a portrait / event photographer in NYC hovers somewhere under $40K, I’d suggest a Zen sand garden rake would be appropriate.

    #25058

    Inasmuch as the typical MEDIAN take-home pay for a portrait / event photographer in NYC hovers somewhere under $40K,

    Really!  Amazing!  That would make them right at home in Brooklyn according to:

    http://www.slate.com/articles/business/moneybox/2014/01/new_york_city_census_data_manhattan_and_brooklyn_are_much_poorer_than_you.html

    Yet recently released census data paints a different portrait. Measured by median income, Manhattan and (especially) Brooklyn are much poorer than you think. Manhattan’s median annual household income is $66,739, while Brooklyn’s is a mere $44,850. Its less fashionable neighbor, Queens, outearns Brooklyn at $54,373 per year. New York City’s most suburban borough, Staten Island, is also its richest, with a median household income of $70,295, while the suburban counties surrounding New York are all richer than any of the boroughs.

    Do you think “event photographer” includes wedding photographers?

    #25060
    EyeDocPhotog
    Member

    Well, I had the funny picture in my mind of a struggling photog using Zen rake with Monopoly money, and I had to make it work somehow. 🙂

    I know that census and salary data is so skewed depending upon where you look and who you ask and, most of all, who’s telling the truth, that it is all suspect. I surmise that the only way to truly know is to examine one’s bank statements and deposit tickets. If you ask my out-of-work radiologist friend how much he can expect to earn, his outlook will be VERY different from the students you interview right after their white coat ceremony.

    My mom lives on S.I. (the northside, not where Sandy hit) which is still my official address for many, many things in my life, including my photog business and for my website and for FB, and while she does live in an affluent area (whatever that means anymore), I can assure you there are many people who are struggling to make ends meet. Too many cars they can’t afford, McMansions on every block with no furniture inside – opulence out the wazzoo, but no one to pay for it.

    And I did think an event photographer was the same as a wedding photographer – isn’t a wedding an event in the photog world? I guess I’m wrong?

    #25063
    picstop
    Member

    “The photography business is different than Photography.  The objective of a photography business is to use photography to rake in cash.  The objective of Photography is to make beautiful photos.  In that regard, if mini sessions, or mass production, can be quite lucrative if done well, then in a business sense it is actually quite creative.  The business requirement is to provide a product that the customer will pay for.”

    There is nothing wrong with assembly line photography because, as CC says, the business is about making money.  We as photographers may balk that it’s not “pure photography” but if you can balance quality with the “take a number” formula, then why not?

    #25064

    And I did think an event photographer was the same as a wedding photographer – isn’t a wedding an event in the photog world? I guess I’m wrong?

    I was just looking for an opinion.  I know there are photographers that only do weddings, there are others that only do portraits, and some who do portraits, events and weddings — and have three different web pages advertising those services, as well as pages for commercial work and personal projects.  I think a wedding may be a big event in someone’s life, or it could be multiple events in someone else’s life, but the photographic expectations are different than for most other events, more of a personal service.  I see weddings as one area; birthdays, christenings, bar/bat mitzvahs, as another; and, “events” as being corporate parties, school reunions, charity activities, etc.  Some people will specialize in one area, others will shoot everything but have specialized advertising so it appears they specialize, and others just shoot what they like, or can get.

    Anyone else have an opinion?

    #25097
    bananaslugs
    Member

    There is nothing wrong with assembly line photography because, as CC says, the business is about making money.  We as photographers may balk that it’s not “pure photography” but if you can balance quality with the “take a number” formula, then why not?

     

    Yeah god forbid someone tries to *gasp* make some money to pay the bills. How plebeian of them. Look, I appreciate good photography and detest bad photography as much as anyone else here but photography is really a luxury at the end of the day. “Pure” photography (there’s a reason the starving artist stereotype exists) doesn’t always pay the bills and people have bills to pay.

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