'Tis the season....of mini sessions, and it's probably my least favorite part about being in this industry during this time of year. The frantic, high strung energy stresses me out. I'm in quite a few photography groups, and I see multiple posts per day about how mini sessions have turned into a disaster, photographers are burnt out, they've barely made any money, and haven't been able to spend time with their families. Mini sessions are a lot of work for very little reward, and here's why I don't offer them anymore: 1. Mini sessions don't offer the photography experience that I want my clients to have. I'm all about adventure, storytelling, wandering, and playing. We talk, we hike, and connect, so that beautiful moments happen naturally. You don't get that in a 20 minute session, which almost always never ends up being just 20 minutes, because wrangling children is like herding cats, someone always ends up crying (sometimes it's mom), and there's so much pressure on everyone involved to be "perfect" because you're on a very short time limit. There's nothing personal about it, and that doesn't feel in alignment with anything that I do.
2. Mini sessions don't pay the bills.
This is my full time job, so yes, I have to be able to make a profit. Since there's people out there who charge $60 for mini sessions, I'm not their first choice. The last time I offered mini sessions, I spent almost $500 on props and decor, and didn't book one mini session because I'm not the cheapest. I get it, but it's also just not realistic. I would have to do 9 sessions just to breakeven at that rate, which leads me into my next point.
3. BURN OUT. This time of year is about spending it with family, reflecting, and connecting with our loved ones, but for those who have 20+ mini sessions scheduled within a 3-4 week time period, they're running around like their hair is on fire with shooting, culling, editing, AND delivering in time for clients to make their holiday cards. This doesn't leave much time or energy for anything else. Burn out can cause for your work, home life, and your sanity to suffer. That's not where I want to be, especially around the holidays.
Mini sessions just aren't my jam. I find that they don't offer any value, especially when it comes to the images and experience that I want to create for my clients. My goal is to capture meaningful connections and beautiful locations, where we explore and roam, and you're tangled up in the moment. I breathe a little easier reading that, don't you? Wander with me