I will be the first to admit, I was more than a little hesitant to offer Valentine's Minis. I am based in Colorado and I assumed that Valentine's Minis would be a flop here. Colorado families tend to be more outdoorsy and laid-back, making highly themed studio sessions a bit less popular. I follow dozens of photographers based in the South who knock it out of the park when it comes to these so I decided to give it a try!
...and after three consecutive years of Valentine Mini success-- I think I am officially ready to admit I was wrong! Valentine's Minis can do great ANYWHERE as long as you have a good pulse on what your clients want and plan accordingly. Here is what I would have told Stephanie from three years ago:
Offer two different theme variations. I am lucky to have a local studio that always provides one theme (like the Kissing Booth above) then I also bring in my own second set. This way you can do images in both sets or give your clients a choice if they have a strong opinion. I also like to ensure that one theme is "boy-friendly" meaning not ALL PINK. A majority of my clients who book Valentine's Minis happen to have sons and as a mom with boys--we often get the short end of the stick when it comes to style. It is always a top priority to me to give options that speak to all parents of all kiddos!
MARKETING / TARGET AUDIENCE
I market my Valentine's Minis as a kid-centered event! I of course allow parents in the photos if they want, but I never market these as something for couples/romance. Nothing against doing that, but when you make any mini session vision too broad--it will not be as successful as if you really got specific in WHO this is for. If you really want to offer a couples event, go for it! Just make it separate from your kiddie Valentine's Minis.
I offer nearly a THOUSAND mini session slots each year. My most popular is Fall with Holiday and Santa themes shortly following. For reference, I sold over 100 Santa Minis in 2023. Valentine's Minis are NOT one of the most popular. In fact, they are my lowest selling. Because of that--I only offer 12 spots. They typically sell out at that number and is an easy one day of minis while still being financially worth my time. Do not expect Valentine's Minis to be your biggest seller. Start small and grow!
I hope this helps you in offering Valentine's Minis! These are truly some of the sweetest sessions that my clients just LOVE.
All my Best,