We are yet again entering another season of Mini Sessions! I've seen lots of you doing Valentine Minis and I know we personally are gearing up for Spring Minis. Seriously, time is flying by! One of the questions I run into all the time is "How do I price my Mini Session?" In order for you to determine this you have to know your cost of doing business! So grab a pen and paper or pull out your notes on your phone! Everyone should be pricing your mini session to be profitable.
Before diving in, mark your calendars next week - I've got some live, FREE classes and would love to see you in there! The class is called Three Steps to Running Fully Booked Mini Sessions. Tell your photog friends and join me! I'll do a Q&A at the end as well, so after listening to today's podcast if there are still some lingering questions you can ask away! I only do live classes twice a year and this class is brand new so you don't want to miss out. You can register for the class HERE!
The first mistakes I typically see photographers do is pricing their minis wrong or structuring their minis wrong. In order to accurately price your minis you need to be sure what you're offering is, in fact, a mini. My working definition is a short, 10 to 15 minute session with five images included. Remember, it's a limited number, we are not giving a full gallery. Mini sessions are on a date and at a location that you the photographer chooses. Mini sessions are not just short full sessions! If you have a 30 minute "mini session" that a client can book any time they want - that is not a true mini session. A Saturday time block you chose with a pre-set location determined by you is your mini session! (Off the soap box now haha) That is your structure. And that is where you see mini sessions be profitable!
How do you know if you are pricing your mini session correctly? Do you just look around and try to match other photographers? Do you just throw a number out there? Here's how you break it down to know for sure that you are profiting on your minis! I love math, but I know not everyone here does. So, I'm going to break this down super simple and if you need to pause while making your calculations, do it!
Go in and add up ALL your expenses in a single month. This includes your CRM (Client Management System), rentals or mini session sets, G suite if you have a custom domain, your emailing system (I use Flodesk and absolutely LOVE it - you can use my discount link HERE!)
Here's the benefit of owning your own business - you determine things like this! Obviously, you need to be realistic, but do not pay yourself the same hourly rate as the student working at Costco. Give yourself the space to pay yourself appropriately for your time. The time you spend in your photography business is time spent away from the people that matter most in your life. So you want to be compensated appropriately for that time.
I would say a typical estimation (on the low end) is about 6x the number of hours you spend on the session. So, if you ran your mini sessions for 2 hours you multiply that by 6 and end up with 12 hours. The reason for this is because shooting the session is not the only work involved. There's the marketing, the client communication, the editing, the delivery, etc. This gives you a close estimation.
Listen in on the podcast to know how to plug in all these numbers. I am a firm believer that you shouldn't charge anything less than $150 for mini sessions. Once you do, you're getting into all the price shoppers and super difficult clients. Last week I did a podcast on How to Deal with Difficult Clients and although there is a way to handle them I'd rather not have to! When you price your mini sessions correctly you attract your more ideal client.
Pricing your mini session doesn't have to be difficult to determine. Use the equation, pay yourself adequately for the work spent away from loved ones and don't talk yourself down. It doesn't matter if you live in a small town or your city is oversaturated with photographers! When you recognize your worth so will others. Don't hesitate to reach out for help, I'm cheering you on!
+"How to Deal with Difficult Clients" Podcast
+Three Steps to Running Fully Booked Mini Sessions
Correct Minis Structure (2:38)
Calculate Your Expenses (4:51)
Determine Your Hourly Rate (6:24)
Calculate Your Number of Hours Spent (7:25)
The CODB Equation (8:53)