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October 04, 2023

Designing and Marketing Fall Mini-Sessions: Ideas for Photographers

The fall season brings great ways to attract new clients—and bring in additional revenue. Namely, you can build excitement around your brand by taking advantage of the beauty of the season. Whether you specialize in family portraits, pet photography sessions, engagement photography, or something else, fall mini sessions can help you attract new clientele. 

Let’s explore how to prepare for fall mini sessions and then market them to your clients. 

How to Plan Fall Photo Sessions

Planning appropriately will help you deliver the best value to your clients. It will also ensure you’re not putting in more time and effort than you should be. 

Timing for Fall Photo Sessions

Check when fall foliage will reach its peak in your area by using this interactive map. Note that autumn scenery will be beautiful before and after the peak as well, just like a sunset. However, you may have only 3–5 weeks in which the weather is hospitable and the colors are vibrant. Keep this limited time frame in mind when planning your offer.

Choose a Theme for Fall Mini-Sessions

Consider partnering with a local apple orchard or pumpkin patch to offer fall mini-sessions. You can stay at one location for numerous sessions per day, and they can help promote your offering. Local parks with forests, trails, and streams can also provide captivating backdrops for engagement photography or any type of portrait. 

Your customer base might have great tips on where to hold fall photo sessions. As you research locations, ask them about their favorite places for fall family fun!

Of course, you could also hold sessions in an indoor studio with props like pumpkins and baskets of apples. 

Consider Your Lighting Options

Scope out your desired location to see what the lighting is like at different times of day. Do you need to hold most sessions at golden hour? Or does the location offer ways of muting direct sunlight, like an enchanting autumn forest path?

You can also use techniques like backlighting or side-lighting the foliage to add a beautiful glow to the colorful leaves. 

Set a Timeframe for Mini-Sessions

Mini-sessions should last from 15–30 minutes. Set a clear length, like 20 minutes (or provide two different options). Also set a rain date for your mini-session, in case the weather doesn’t cooperate!

Share Advice on What to Wear

Lighter neutral tones tend to look good against a stunning autumn background. They blend well with the scenery without blending into it. Encourage families to wear a mix of outfits with these tones rather than dressing exactly alike.

Double-Check Equipment

Finally, assemble and test your gear the night before each session to keep everything running on schedule. Adjust your camera settings based on lighting and other conditions. Pack backup equipment, too—consider bringing an additional camera body and lenses, just in case. And always have extra batteries and memory cards to make sure these sessions run smoothly. After all, you don’t want to keep a whole line of customers waiting.

Marketing Your Fall Mini-Sessions

Here’s how to build excitement around your fall mini-session offerings and broaden your customer base.

Create Urgency

Offer mini-sessions for a limited time only to create a sense of urgency. For instance, offer them during the month of October or from one week before to one week after the fall colors will peak in your area. You can also offer current clients a limited-time discount for referring their friends. Have them make a deposit to book a spot.

Provide Affordable Options

Mini-sessions can make photography accessible to budget-conscious customers without causing you to undersell your work. And they work great for family portrait sessions with antsy kids!

Offer two or three package deals for mini-sessions. Specify the number of photos that clients will receive for each one, such as 5 photos for 15-minute family portrait sessions or 10 photos for a 25-minute session. Providing a limited number of photos will reduce the time required for the editing process. 

Attracting New Clients Through Outreach

Launch your offer via a social media post and email newsletter, if you have one. Show samples of your work, selecting your best fall-themed family portraits from your portfolio—or take fresh ones featuring friends. 

If you have a strong social media presence, past clients can easily tag you on photos, too—a great example of word-of-mouth marketing. Seeing their friends’ beautiful photos on social media will be more than enough to convince people to book with you.

Look for partners to help promote your offering, too. For example, work with a kids’ clothing store, cross-promoting one another’s posts. Or partner with a pet store or groomer for pet photography sessions.


Here’s a sample template for a post or email message:

It’s the perfect time of year for engagement photos! From now through November 1, I’m offering a special deal for happy couples: a 20-minute photo session by a waterfall framed by gorgeous golden aspens or a session in a meadow bordered by colorful rolling hills. Capture these special moments in stunning photos that you’ll treasure forever. 


Package 1: 20-minute session, 5 photos ($105)

Package 2: 30-minute session, 10 photos ($150)

Add Value with Print Packages

Enhance your clients’ satisfaction (and your own profits) by offering print packages. Families can frame their beautiful high-quality photo prints and display them in their home for many years to come. Offering a mix of digital and print options will add value and cater to every budget.

Ultimately, a mini-session allows new clients to experience your services, sparking their interest in a full-length session in the future. You’ll gain exposure for your great work, and new clients will be thrilled to have photos that are a true work of art. 



American Forests, “Estimated Fall Foliage Map


Iris, “How to Use Fall Mini-Sessions to Market Your Photography Business,season%20and%20your%20client%20base


Jenna Brisson, “3 Ways to Prepare for Your Fall Engagement Photos,of%20a%20brightly%2Dcolored%20backdrop


Joy of Marketing, “11 Tips for Profitable Mini-Sessions for Photographers


Outdoor Photography School, “How to Photograph Stunning Fall Colors


Strawberry Kit, “Five Great Tips for Marketing Your Mini-Session