Lets consider this a public service announcement... for mamas!! The general consensus among photographers (at least the ones I chat with) is that mini sessions do not garner the response that we're expecting. There are probably many reasons why photographers aren't filling in their mini-session slots, but I'd like to propose an alternative option: "Framily" Mini Sessions! (If only there were a place for this idea on Shark Tank)
Last summer, I was booked by a group of families to do a one hour "framily" mini session. It was my first such booking, but it honestly worked out much better than expected. There were four families, who are all close friends... practically a family. The session took about an hour, but each family had ample time to get a family shot and multiple shots of their kids. The hour session cost the same as a family booking because the post editing requirement for me was the same as an average family booking.
So, what were the benefits of this "framily" session to the families (compared to a normal booking)?
1. Cost: the most obvious benefit is that four families (in this case) split the cost. For a natural light photographer, on location, you're generally looking at a $300+ cost (for good reason too... I'll probably blog about this later). When four families split the cost and time, it brings the cost down, but they still get enough images to document their littles at that stage in life (which is ultimately the purpose of a family session).
2. Props: work together to curate a setting that works for everyone. Recycle props; style your shoot!! For this particular booking, three of the families had daughters. So they coordinated together for two gorgeous floral crowns from Sunshine Design Florists in Pensacola, Florida. Simple but effective!
3. Cooperation: It's easier to coerce your kids (and your husband) into going along with this idea when their friends are involved. For this session, all of the kids played together, and I pulled one family away at a time. For the littles, if they weren't ready yet, we went on to another family to give them a break - no wasted time! Additionally, all the kids playing together allowed for some great candid shots
4. Group shot! As a mama, I want to be able to share images with my kids when they get older of them and their closest friends. Why not let a professional photographer take those images.
To recap, "framily" sessions are the way to go!!