Mini sessions seem to bring about love or hate responses from many photographers. They either rave about or condemn them in a scary sternness, yet I have to wonder about the usefulness of them. Some budget-minded people may not be willing to shell out hundreds of dollars for a portrait session and prints, or maybe their schedule is not conducive for a trip to the studio. Either way, mini sessions can offer several advantages that might make it worth it for your photography business.
Clients, and potential clients, may be working on a budget and not want to spent $200 or more to get a professional portrait done of themselves or their family. These twenty minutes sessions give them a chance to get that image to share at a price that they can afford. It can also lead to more referrals if they are happy with the experience that translates into more business for the photographer.
Another advantage is the convenience. For the client, it could be instrumental in their decision if you are willing to go to a location near them instead of them finding the time to come to the studio. A familiar place can also help a person or family feel more at ease while you are taking their portraits. Having a portable kit is always beneficial if you plan to do any location work.
Of course, there are challenges as well, such as working with existing light conditions at different locations, working in a smaller space than you may be accustomed to, or working around anything that Mother Nature throws at you. There can always be equipment failures and a myriad of other problems that could arise. On the plus side though, you could be finding locations for future shoots or personal projects that may come up.