Themed mini-sessions are a great way to bring in a large number of new clients within a short period of time. However, the downside of a themed session is that you may struggle to sell larger portraits to these clients on the backend.
The themed portrait special is a session where you create a “scene” for your portraits. For example, you may run a Valentine’s special where you photograph babies with hearts and angel wings, or a Christmas special where you photograph the family on a tree farm.
As you can probably imagine, theme sessions work better with some holidays than others. We mentioned in the last post that it’s a good idea to choose some odd holidays to form your promotions around, like Groundhogs day or Presidents Day…
But you probably won’t have too many takers for portraits of kids dressed as groundhogs or Abe Lincoln! 😉
One thing I want to note is that running a themed promotion does not mean you have to go crazy with props and scenery. There are a few levels of “themeiness” you can choose from.
Levels of Themeiness
I not sure “themeiness” is a real word, but let’s look at how elaborate the theme is in relation to the prices charged.
In my experience, a lot of clients really enjoy quick little theme sessions and find a lot of fun in booking them. However, most clients will not invest a great deal of money into themed portraits in comparison to a more classic portrait.
For example, if you are offering a Valentine session with a cloud set and putting little wings on the kids (I’m not making this up, we did this many years ago!), people may want a few small prints at reasonable prices. However, the vast majority aren’t going to purchase a 30x40” wall portrait of their daughter in angel wings to hang over the living room couch.
Super-themey portraits are more of a novelty and an experience than anything. My usual rule of thumb is the more props involved, the less I can charge. You will most likely want to offer special packages or prices on this little theme sessions.
That being said, it is not bad to offer fun little specials that bring new clients in your door. If they enjoy their time with you, they may very well come back to you for more portraits in the future. Just don’t expect to make a fortune upfront off of this type of promotion.