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Mini Sessions #36862
10/14/11 09:12 PM
10/14/11 09:12 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Canada
Nicole St-Onge Offline OP
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Nicole St-Onge  Offline OP
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Joined: Jun 2011
Canada
Do any of you pet photographers out there do "mini sessions?" Or offer specials for the holidays?

I see a lot of family photographers heavily discounting what they would normally charge and advertising these 15 minuet sessions for $50 that include a few images on disk (about 5)and an 8x10 or a couple of 5x7s etc...

Thoughts?

Re: Mini Sessions [Re: Nicole St-Onge] #36864
10/15/11 12:08 AM
10/15/11 12:08 AM
Joined: Feb 2005
Manhattan, New York, New York
James Morrissey Online content
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James Morrissey  Online Content
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Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Feb 2005
Manhattan, New York, New York
Hey Nicole,

I don't. However, I don't have a studio and I don't do a lot of events at places. I wish I could as it seems like a great way to raise revenue.

James

Re: Mini Sessions [Re: James Morrissey] #36865
10/15/11 12:33 AM
10/15/11 12:33 AM
Joined: Jun 2011
Canada
Nicole St-Onge Offline OP
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Nicole St-Onge  Offline OP
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Joined: Jun 2011
Canada
I was wondering if these mini session really work to your advantage and actually bring in revenue or are they just too gimmicky?

How much should you be discounting off your regular prices? Or do you design new "special" packages just for these type of things.


If people know that you will have these mini session often will they still book with you at full price?


What are others are charging for mini session and what do they include vs. your regular session pricing.


Last edited by Nicole St-Onge; 10/15/11 01:27 AM.
Re: Mini Sessions [Re: Nicole St-Onge] #36871
10/15/11 08:14 AM
10/15/11 08:14 AM
Joined: May 2008
Virginia, USA
Jim Poor Offline
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Jim Poor  Offline
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Virginia, USA
I've done mini sessions in two ways.

The first is as a fundraiser for rescue at a location where folks all come on one day. The second is as a coupon deal from Wooftastic Wednesday (like Groupon, but from a local dog magazine).

In the first case, I've done as many as 30 sessions in a five hour period. That was way too many and we were totally frazzled. 4-5 an hour is a nice average, but unless we take appointments we normally end up with a rush at the start time and a rush near the end time. We have one of these on 19 Nov this year for a group we've worked with for several years now. We're charging $40 for the session and giving $20 back to the group, prints purchased separately. This will be our fourth year doing this for this group and we've never done fewer than 15 sessions. Of all those clients, only one has ever converted to a regular, private session client.

We offer packages specially designed for these events. The contents of each package have changed each year, but what we've found works best is one basic package, a mid range package price just above it, a higher end package, and a "yeah, right, nobody will buy that" package.

These are not money makers really. We average $400 in session fees (our take) and a $400 donation to the rescue. Most clients purchase the mid-range package with a few on either side of that. We started offering the "nobody will buy it package" after our second year, and out of all these events for this group and others we've sold three of them. We price it in the $300 range.

This year, we're trying something new. Each mini-session client gets a postcard offering $150 off a private session, plus an additional $100 donation to the rescue. We put 200 of those in the goody bags at our last event (18 Sep) and haven't had any takers yet.

******

The coupon deal is ongoing. We offered a $49 mini session with one 8x10 or one digital file included. All other prints are offered at my regular private session prices. We sold 27 with an expiration date of 15 Dec and mandatory "expedited processing fee" after 15 November. So far, 16 have booked their appointments and nine of those have been to the studio for their session. One upgraded to a regular session by paying the difference.

Of the nine sessions conducted, only two have placed their order, they each selected only the included digital file. The one who upgraded to the full session makes the campaign a success.

****

For reference, my private sessions are $350 (I frequently have $100 or $150 off offers out and about) and average print sales run about $1200 so one session plus print sales has the potential to out-perform an entire event with a lot less work.

We're trying to transition to our fund-raisers being $150 off a regular session with $100 back to the rescue and done at the studio. We don't get inundated all at once, but four sessions make as much for us, and for the rescue, as a whole day event before any print sales are even considered.

Forgive the rambling, but I hope that helps.

Re: Mini Sessions [Re: Jim Poor] #36873
10/15/11 10:13 AM
10/15/11 10:13 AM
Joined: Jun 2011
Canada
Nicole St-Onge Offline OP
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Nicole St-Onge  Offline OP
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Joined: Jun 2011
Canada
Thanks for the information. I think this is just a case of me trying to find my grounding an establish myself. My area, like many, has an overwhelming population of photogs who practically give away their stuff for free; $700 weddings and $75 for family photos on a disk. Then we also have the elite group, the guys that know their value and charge accordingly.

I'm still trying to figure out where I fit in as a pet photographer. But I certainly dont see the guys who charge $3500 for a wedding making up these discount days or mini sessions. So Im not sure its worth it and Im not sure how I feel about it. I do like some of the ideas that Jim pointed out in his note. Jim's whole take on it seems a lot less gimmicky then what I seen where people give away an 8x10 plus 5 images on a disk for $50.

***

I got caught-up in the moment this month and thought I would give it a whirl and put together a Halloween mini session for the $50 price but so far no takers. This could of course be over shadowed by the free photo day that I will be doing for Pet Value and the Animal Rescue.

Last edited by Nicole St-Onge; 10/15/11 10:20 AM.
Re: Mini Sessions [Re: Nicole St-Onge] #36876
10/15/11 02:27 PM
10/15/11 02:27 PM
Joined: May 2008
Virginia, USA
Jim Poor Offline
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Jim Poor  Offline
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Joined: May 2008
Virginia, USA
If you do the mini-sessions in conjunction with a local rescue their list is where the marketing comes from.

We average booking about 10% of those invited to a mini session fund-raiser through the rescue.

For the Wooftastic thing, we got about 1% response from their list, which isn't uncommon.

Re: Mini Sessions [Re: Jim Poor] #36887
10/16/11 12:07 AM
10/16/11 12:07 AM
Joined: Jun 2011
Canada
Nicole St-Onge Offline OP
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Nicole St-Onge  Offline OP
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Joined: Jun 2011
Canada
Originally Posted By: Jim Poor
If you do the mini-sessions in conjunction with a local rescue their list is where the marketing comes from.


I might consider that for next time. I really want to do the run through with the Halloween shoot I have coming up at the pet store and see how it all works out before I make decisions.

Now that I am picking up some animal rescue groups to work with, I'll also be donating gift certificates to my studio for their various fundraisers.

I do like your $49 package idea. smile


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