Christmas mini sessions are a huge hit with families who celebrate the holiday! Make your photos extra-magical with tips from our pros.
Holiday mini sessions are perfect for every holiday, every season, and every kind of family. In this article, we’ll focus on Christmas mini session ideas!
What are Christmas Mini Sessions?
Christmas mini sessions are short holiday-themed photo shoots, with multiple clients booked back-to-back to maximize the photographer’s time, creativity, and profits. The mini session format allows families to get print-worthy pictures that are fun, fast, and less costly than booking a lengthy portrait session.
“Holiday sessions are an opportunity for families to spend time together while I’m creating beautiful images of them, capturing the love and real moments!”
—Toronto portrait photographer Bruna Rico
Trendy Inspiration for Christmas Mini Sessions Outside
“I pick my mini session themes and props depending on current trends,” says photographer and educator Rebecca Rice. “Lately, red, vintage trucks are super popular, so my Red Truck Christmas Mini Sessions have been a best-seller!”
Where to Find Your Own Vintage Truck
If you want to go BIG and hop on the red truck trend, you might consider investing in a vintage truck, like Maine Tinker Photography did. “I use it every year!” owner and lead photographer Siobhan says.
The truck doesn’t even need to run if you’re only using it as a prop!
Instead of buying, you may want to rent a vintage vehicle from the owner. If your mini sessions are a financial success, you can consider a purchase later. But huge cars and trucks aren’t your only option!
More Ideas for Unique Christmas Props
- vintage chairs or sofas
- cozy blankets and quilts
- colorful throw pillows
- Christmas trees of any size
- wreaths and garland
- string fairy lights
- sparkly, oversized snowflakes
- Santa hats
- a handcrafted bench or church pew
- wintery scarves
- brightly wrapped packages
- plush stuffed animals
- giant candy canes
- old steamer trunks
- basically any and all Christmas decorations!
Location Tips for Your Outdoor Christmas Mini Sessions
If you’re lucky enough to live in a snowy environment, any available park or wooded area will automatically spark holiday joy! Encourage your clients to dress warmly for the weather—and to keep their cars nearby so they can stay toasty until their session time.
Expose for the snow so you don’t blow-out the highlights!
Keep your holiday mini sessions simple with outdoor locations that don’t even require props, such as:
- old red barns
- Christmas tree farms
- a colorful town square
- alleyways strung with garland or lights
Elegant Inspiration for Christmas Mini Sessions Inside
Whether you own a studio space or rent one for the day, indoor spaces are a great choice if you want to avoid weather delays.
“My simplest holiday setup is a gray couch with a wreath hung over it. It was a hit! My clients loved how simplistic it was—and very tasteful.”
When shooting inside, Austin, Texas, photographer Logan Fahey suggests that you establish a health and safety plan.
“Will you spray props down between sessions? Can you provide hand sanitizer? Will you be wearing a mask?” asks Logan. “Think about these things ahead of time, and make sure your clients know what precautions you are taking so they feel safe.”
Holiday Mini Session Posing Tips
A mini photo session is short by definition, so you’ll want to have a few go-to poses planned out in advance. Know where you’ll have people sit or stand, and prepare a space that works for even your largest family grouping.
Posing doesn’t have to be complicated, though. Bruna shares, “I like to pose my clients first, and then I ask them to tell each other jokes, give tickles, and share a big family hug!”
Be a Smart Scheduler
“I found my sweet spot for minis is to schedule 15-minute sessions back-to-back in a block of two to three hours,” says Rebecca. Don’t forget to add a five minute break between each session so you can sanitize, set-up, and rehydrate before your next family.
Christmas Mini Session Packages & Prices
“My minis include five digital images with a print release, and I up-sell the additional digital images,” explains Rebecca.
To further boost your profits, learn from The Blumes’ savvy approach. They incorporate a gently guided presentation that always results in exciting sales and earnings!
Easy Ideas for Christmas Minis Marketing
“Use a real family in your promo shots,” instructs Rebecca. “Your minis are way more likely to book if there’s a real family in your photo instead of just a picture of your setup!”
Reward some friends or past clients with a free mini session in exchange for their permission to use their images for advertising. Choose photogenic people who take instructions well so you get the best marketing photos possible. Remember: your goal is to entice new paying clients!
Market to as Many People as Possible
“Posting to your instagram and business Facebook pages isn’t enough,” Rebecca says. To get your mini sessions in front of a larger audience, consider these marketing tips:
- post to local Facebook groups
- purchase targeted ads on social media
- email your list of previous clients and inquirers
- partner with a local business who can help promote you (like the aforementioned Christmas tree farm)
A Sample Marketing Timeline
“Give yourself PLENTY of time to market!” Rebecca says—and we can’t agree more! For the ultimate results, your marketing timeline may look something like this:
- August: choose your photography backdrops, design your family Christmas setup, and photograph your models
- September: create your promotional materials and launch your marketing campaigns
- October: photograph your mini sessions on one or more days
- November: hold your virtual sales presentations so prints and Christmas photo cards can be delivered in time for the holiday
- December: deliver your clients’ products and handwritten thank you notes
Sprinkle Some Extra Magic on Your Minis…
Logan makes her mini sessions extra special by giving each client a little gift bag.
“Throw in some candy canes, chocolates, and other fun treats!” Logan shares. “I also include a ‘next steps’ card that tells them when their ShootProof gallery will be ready, along with any other details they should know.”
Want to shoot amazing mini sessions all year ’round?
Check out our resources for:
- Make BIG Money with Mini Sessions
- The Complete Guide to Mini Sessions
- Fun Mini Session Posing
- Winter Photography Tips