We've put together some Christmas mini session ideas and tips to help with the stress of planning your holiday sessions. Holding Christmas mini sessions can be rewarding and profitable, with the right planning and organization. You do not need a lot of props, often times a backdrop and just a couple of props are perfect.
Choose a theme
Decide on a theme. If you are shooting more than one Christmas mini session theme, offer each theme on a different date. This will save you the stress of setting up multiple sets on the same day.
Market Your Christmas Mini Sessions
No matter how talented you are, your mini sessions will not be a success without a good marketing campaign. Promote your mini sessions on social media websites, like Facebook and Instagram, about a month before your mini sessions. Hazy Skies Designs has a large variety of Christmas mini session templates to help save you time. You will also want to post your marketing material on your blog and send out a newsletter. Be sure to let your clients know that you have limited spots available. It will encourage clients to hurry and book before the spots are filled. You can also call "VIP" clients and let them know that you will be opening up mini session dates. Encourage them to hurry and grab a spot before everyone else is notified.
Scheduling Your Christmas Mini Sessions
It's best to schedule all of your mini sessions one after another, on the same day. If you are shooting multiple themes, shoot one theme a day. Allow a maximum of 3o minutes for each session and don't forget to schedule breaks for yourself. Ask clients to arrive 10-15 minutes early so you do not fall behind schedule. Require full payment in advance so you do not have to worry about collecting any payments on the day of your mini sessions. When clients are booking their mini session, save your self time by also scheduling their viewing session for a later date.
Before Clients Arrive
Before your first client arrives, you'll need to assemble your backdrop, lighting, and any props you are using. Have everything ready the night before, if possible. If you are still putting your set up together when the first client arrives, it will put all of your sessions behind schedule. Be sure to take test shots with a subject, in advance, and look at the test shots on a computer screen, to see if any unwanted shadows or flaws appear. Go over all of your equipment to be sure everything is working properly.
Don't Over Do it
Stay on schedule. If you've allotted 30 minutes for each session, stick to that time frame and do not go over. Don't shoot too many photos. If you take too many photos, the process of editing and making proofs with take longer. Carefully choose which images to create. While it's true that you won't want to take too many shots for each session, be sure to create enough different images - from full-length to close-up, and at different angles - so that you'll be able to sell more than one print.
During the Sessions
Mini sessions are fast passed, so you won't have time to coax little ones into behaving for the camera. Have a few treats on hand to improve children's attitudes. Recruit a parent to stand off camera to persuade their small children to smile, laugh and be themselves.
Make sure the environment is comfortable and inviting. If for any reason your clients have to wait, you don't want bored and cranky kids. It will show on camera. Have a nice seating area with toys for kids. Set up a table with snacks and refreshments.
Find someone to help out of the day of your mini sessions. If you do not have an assistant, ask a friend or a spouse to help.
With the proper planning and prepping, Christmas mini sessions are a terrific way to offer your clients images that they'll value and share.
Below, are some Christmas mini session themes, to give you ideas for your holiday sessions.
Christmas fireplace mini sessions with the "Plaid Christmas Fireplace" photo backdrop.
Home for the holiday mini sessions with the "Red Christmas Door" photography background.
Our Miracle on 34th Street mini sessions with the "Miracle on 34th Street" backdrop.
Christmas gingerbread house mini sessions with the "Candyland Gingerbread House" photography backdrop.
North Pole mini sessions with the "To the North Pole" photo backdrop.
Another option for North Pole mini sessions with our "Sleigh Ride Set Up" photography backdrop.
Night before Christmas mini sessions with our "Christmas Window" photo backdrop.
Christmas toy shop mini sessions with the "Christmas Toy Shop" backdrop.
Hot chocolate mini sessions with the "Hot Chocolate Stand" photo backdrop.
Christmas pajama mini sessions using the "Christmas Wreath Headboard" backdrop.
Christmas lights mini sessions with our "Twinkle Lights and Sparkle" bokeh backdrop.
Winter wonderland mini sessions with the "Winter Wonderland Trees" photography background.
Christmas baking mini sessions or milk and cookies mini sessions with the "Christmas Kitchen" photo backdrop.
Candy cane mini sessions with the "Candy Canes" photography backdrop.
The "Christmas Barn Doors" photo backdrop is perfect for winter mini sessions.