How photographers can make the most of Valentine’s Day with mini sessions AND strengthen their business for the year to come.

January 3rd, 2024
valentines day card of baby from a mini session

As a photographer, you might already be familiar with the lucrative opportunities Valentine’s Day mini sessions present, but have you ever considered how they can also elevate your business for the upcoming year? Dive into these insights to not only maximize your Valentine’s season earnings but also strategically position your business for sustained growth in the months ahead.

What’s so great about mini sessions at the beginning of the year?

Running a successful mini session campaign will allow you to:

  • Reconnect and Re-engage: After the flurry of year-end holidays, Valentine’s Day offers a golden opportunity to rekindle connections with your client base. When reaching out about Valentine’s portraits, consider introducing the idea of spring sessions. This dual approach not only strengthens client relationships but also pre-fills your calendar for the upcoming months.
  • Craft Exclusive Offers: Elevate the allure of your mini sessions by integrating an exclusive product. Having a game plan in place ensures you cater to diverse client preferences. Whether it’s custom cards, a set of photo magnets, or a framed print, provide options that resonate with the essence of Valentine’s Day.
  • Refresh Your Digital Presence: Utilize Valentine’s Day sessions as a catalyst to invigorate your social media content. Capture those poignant moments, amplify them with relevant hashtags, and watch engagement soar. And remember, if a specific image garners attention but doesn’t convert into a sale, give it a fresh twist, add your watermark, and share it. The ripple effect might surprise you.
  • Maximize Upsell Opportunities: While mini sessions are concise, they offer a canvas for creative upselling. Transition seamlessly from vibrant, playful shots to sophisticated black and white captures. By diversifying your poses and offerings, you cater to varied client preferences and expand revenue streams. And if ever concerned about background elements, leverage post-production techniques like integrating hearts for a cohesive Valentine’s vibe.
  • Expand your Audience: Valentine’s Day minis are perfect for couples at any stage of their relationship, from sweethearts or newlyweds to those celebrating decades together. They also provide an ideal opportunity for families with young children to capture adorable images for gifts or cards. And don’t forget about pets! Many people are passionate about their furry companions (aka “fur babies”) and don’t hesitate to place large orders of prints and other photo gifts with all their favorite photographs of them.

tan short haired terrier with a long stemmed rose sitting on a bed covered in rose petals

Planning and pricing mini sessions.

Planning a Valentine’s Day mini session promotion requires careful preparation and execution to ensure success. Here are steps photographers can follow:

  • Define Your Objective: Determine what you aim to achieve with the mini sessions. Whether it’s boosting revenue, attracting new clients, or engaging with your existing client base, having a clear goal will guide your promotion strategy.
  • Set Clear Pricing and Packages: Decide on the pricing structure for your mini sessions. Determine if you’ll offer a single package or multiple options, and consider including exclusive products or prints to enhance the value proposition.

Pro Tip: Consider offering a Valentine-themed mini session priced at $150, providing clients with a concise yet impactful 20-minute experience. In return, they receive five meticulously edited, high-resolution digital images. Naturally, your pricing strategy should resonate with your expertise level, the intricacy of your setup, and any promotional offers you might be rolling out.

To illustrate the potential, 10 mini-sessions across a weekend, each priced at $150 could potentially accrue earnings of $1,500, without factoring in any additional revenue avenues like upselling opportunities.

  • Choose a Theme and Location: Select a romantic or love-themed backdrop that resonates with the Valentine’s Day spirit. Whether it’s a cozy indoor setup or a picturesque outdoor location, ensure it aligns with your brand and appeals to your target audience.
  • Plan Session Logistics: Determine the duration of each mini session, ensuring you have adequate time slots available to make the day profitable. Factor in setup and teardown time, as well as breaks if needed.
  • Promote Your Mini Sessions: Utilize various marketing channels to promote your Valentine’s Day mini sessions. Leverage social media platforms, your email newsletter, and your website to create buzz. Consider offering early bird discounts or referral incentives to encourage bookings.

Pro Tip: Announce the upcoming mini-sessions on social media, and tell your followers that newsletter subscribers will get first dips on the time slots. Link out to your newsletter sign-up via your profile and watch your email list grow–AND these highly engaged clients will help fill your time slots quickly. 

  • Leverage Client Testimonials and Reviews: Showcase testimonials from past clients who’ve enjoyed your mini sessions. Positive feedback builds trust and encourages potential clients to book.
  • Optimize Booking and Scheduling: Streamline the booking process by using online scheduling tools or platforms like Zenfolio’s BookMe feature. Make it easy for clients to view available time slots, select a convenient time, and complete their booking.
  • Prepare for Post-Session Delivery: Plan for post-session activities such as image editing, retouching, and product delivery. Set clear expectations regarding turnaround times for delivering edited images or products. Utilize Zenfolio client galleries for seamless, professional, and profitable image delivery.
  • Follow-Up and Engagement: After the mini sessions, engage with clients by sending thank-you notes, sharing sneak peeks of their photos on social media (with permission), and offering exclusive deals for future sessions. Building a lasting relationship with clients can lead to repeat business and referrals.

For more information on setting up your first mini session check out this article: How to get started with photography mini sessions.

When diving into Valentine’s sessions, Zenfolio’s toolbox is like having an ace up your sleeve.

  • Use Zenfolio to flaunt your best work in a beautifully customized online portfolio
  • Spotlight those special packages, sprinkle in some client love, and watch couples flock to your lens.
  • Make it easy for clients to book. BookMe by Zenfolio makes setting up mini sessions for Valentine’s Day a snap. 
  • Dive into Zenfolio’s blogging feature. Share past sessions, sprinkle in some client stories, and watch that engagement soar. 

Valentine’s Day mini sessions transcend the one (albeit very fun and lucrative) event; they’re about cultivating client relationships, offering value-driven experiences, and strategically positioning your business for sustained growth. Embrace these insights, and let this Valentine’s season be a building block in your photography journey!


  • Cheryl Dell'Osso

    Cheryl is the Director of Content Strategy at Zenfolio and the Owner/Photographer at Portraits by Cheryl and Seniors by Cheryl in Raleigh, NC. Cheryl has mentored countless new photographers looking to build successful photography businesses.

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