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Holiday Session Planning and Booking Tips for Wedding Photographers

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The holidays are right around the corner, and this is the perfect time for you to plan and book holiday sessions for your clients. Holiday sessions are a great way to add extra income during the slow season, and help you meet new clients who are perfect for your photography business. You may be thinking how adding holiday sessions may add too many tasks to your plate, but we have the perfect solution for that. Below, we share how to properly plan and promote holiday sessions so you can book more clients. Plus, ways to encourage add-ons from every session!

Plan Holiday Sessions

Take some time to write out everything you need to successfully plan your holiday sessions. The steps you need to take involve deciding upon these items:

Number of sessions you offer. Choose how many sessions you will shoot (within reason) for holiday sessions. Keep in mind, holiday sessions are quick, but can add too much work to your plate if you overbook yourself. Set a number of sessions you want to book during this holiday season before you move on to the next steps.

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Which days you will take bookings. Since holiday sessions are usually short, you can probably shoot multiple ones within a few days. Once you decide if you want to shoot all of the sessions on one day, or a few for two days, choose specific dates to offer. Make sure to be mindful of the holidays, when people (and you!) will be out of town or busy with loved ones.

How long each session will take. These sessions will be significantly shorter than a full session. Each should be very quick (15-20 mins), which allows you to shoot multiple ones on one day. Set an amount that works for you, and allows you to produce great photos.

The number of people per session. Holiday sessions may bring your past and current clients and their family members, or new clients with theirs. When you work with large groups, it can become time-consuming. Think about how many people you know you can shoot within the timeframe you have for each session.

Where the sessions will take place. Choose a location close to your target market, and one where you are already familiar with the area. This helps you quickly shoot on the day of the holiday sessions, since you know where the best backgrounds and lighting spots are.

Specific details for clients. When you discuss holiday sessions with clients, mention the specific details for them. These include how many outfit changes they can have and what colors each person should wear to compliment the location.

The price of each session. If done right, holiday sessions can contribute to your overall income. You want to charge a price that covers the time you spent and the products you deliver, and maintain a price that fits with your brand. To help get an estimate of where your prices should be, write down how much you charge during a full session and divide that by how many holiday sessions you are shooting. Make sure this number is something that you know clients will pay for, and will allow you to make extra income through the sessions.

How many images clients receive. Every time you work with clients, you want to share about the image count. This sets expectations from the beginning, which eliminates miscommunications after the shoot. Decide on how many images you will deliver, and share the turnaround time for them.

Related: Do you know if you’ll make a profit by the end of the year? Fill out our Pricing Calculator for Wedding Photographers to find out! 

Promote Holiday Sessions

Now that you have your holiday sessions planned out so they are a positive addition to your business, it’s time to promote them to your past, current, and potential clients! The steps to take for this are as follows:

Send out emails. Use Holiday Session Email Templates to speed up the communication for your sessions. These emails help you announce, confirm, share about previews, deliver the gallery, and offer products to clients.

Create a blog post. With the same details as in your announcement email, share the exact information about holiday sessions on your blog. Create a post dedicated to the sessions, and don’t forget to share it on your social media platforms to encourage followers to visit your blog.

Share on social media. Just like any announcement you make on social media, get your followers excited about holiday sessions. Create messages which best relate to each of your audiences on social media, and let them know you are booking holiday sessions for a limited time. Make sure to include the deadline to sign up, and that you only have a few limited spaces. Additionally, place the link to your blog post where the information is to sign up, to make it easy for them.

Related: How can you become comfortable with in-person sales?

Encourage Add-ons

Holiday session images create perfect photos for your clients to share with their loved ones. Even though you aren’t sharing as many images as you would usually in a full session, still encourage add-ons. This can still be something you set expectations for before the clients book you, whether you share about it on your blog post, social media, or when you discuss the session over the phone with clients.

Depending on your time constraints (because holiday sessions should be an addition to your income, not something that costs too much in time and money), provide a list of options for products. These can include high resolution digital files, prints, albums, or holiday cards. When your images return from a wedding photography post production company, place them in a gallery where your clients can easily access them. You can then continue to plant the seed for product sales.

Download our Holiday Session Email Templates for the Wedding Photographer to take care of the email communication between you and your clients!

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