Wow this is so trendy these days "Mini Sessions" and its driving me nuts! Its all I see these days is advertised Mini Sessions by other photographers or photographer selling their Mini Session training secretes (especially around the holidays).
I absolutely disagree with this formula for MOST photographers. Most photographer have been in business a few years and do not have a brick and mortar store as well as a staff to handle clients. Mini Sessions is a volume game and I do not recommend my students do them at all and here is why...
Mini Session is another CODE for cheap photography! This is something as a collective group we need to avoid. Photographers who couldn't sell their services at their normal and reasonable prices are now resorting to "spending less time with their clients and offering a lower price point" in the hopes of booking clients. All this will do is attract cheap client, waste your time and devalue your services.
Mini Sessions take just about as long to do as a normal session. The only savings in time is your spending less time photographing your clients (in most cases 1/2 hour) but everything else that you would normally do for a normal session is about the same. Client communications, payment collection, further communications, prepping and setup, photographing, post productions, selling, image delivery and so on are virtually the same.
Most photographers are way to cheap to begin with and by charging less devalues you. Giving access to you at a cheaper price will not inspire a client to spend more with you later down the road. Why would they? What they got in the Mini Session will be good enough for most people and most will just wait until you have another Mini Session sale to book with you again.
Just because everyone else is doing it doesn't mean you should too! Let them drive themselves out of business with this model. It won't work... unless you a big established photographer. Don't be fooled!
Value yourself and don't give it away. If you have to do that you might as well just hang up your camera... sorry but lets face reality!