Today is Part II of a Guest Post written in collaboration by Morgan and Krystal. If you missed Morgan’s contribution, click here.
So, now you want to know how and why you should turn all those mini sessions into an event. Keeping in mind that the goal is to maximize what you can give to your family and friends without burdening your home or business. Planning a mini-session event will include a lot of the same things that other social events will but will need to center around the photography. First of all do not plan to do it all yourself. You will burn out and regret planning it in the first place. Remember you want this to be a win-win for your loved ones and you. Come up with a form letter to send to all those who you think will want to be involved. Included in this letter should be all the details about what to expect from the photography and price perspective. Be sure to tell them all the things you would tell any regular customer (what to wear and other details). This may seem obvious but remind your loved ones to bring extra clothes to change in and out of. A family picture ruined because of soiled clothing (caused by other activities and a meal) does not make for a fun evening. You should also include a list of contributions each family should choose from. This list could include but does not have to be limited to:
A HOST: It might best to do this at someone else’s home. Let someone else take the burden of having a tidy house off your shoulders. Of course this is one responsibility you may want to hand pick because it is the location you will be shooting at.
ASSISTANT TO THE HOST: Someone will need to be on hand while the host is getting pictures taken. At any social event it is better to have more than one person on the job as host. It just makes for a smoother, more enjoyable evening for all. Do not worry over this yourself on the day of the event. Let it go.
KID CHASER, REFLECTOR HOLDER AND JOKE TELLER: Otherwise known as your assistant. Get someone who will follow your directions but isn’t afraid to make a fool of themselves for a laugh. They should have a list of whose turn is next and be on top of telling that family to get ready for their turn. They can chase down random items you need and in general just be there to help the shoots move along smoothly.
PROP SUPPLIER: Do you know someone who has a lot of cute, fun stuff that they would be willing to share for the day? Or someone who has some great furniture that can be brought outside? A bunny for Easter shoots? Get one person to track all these things down and be responsible to get it to the event and get it back where it belongs. Now, let it go.
FOOD ORGANIZER: This person will organize the food needed to feed everyone. Be sure to set the parameters that everyone will need to bring something and that you (the person doing the work) will not be bringing anything. Let them do all the communicating with this issue. Now, let it go. Do not stress out over it. As a side note, this may be a responsibility that either the host or assistant to the host can fill.
BABYSITTERS FOR EDITING: This may also be an area that you will want to ask only those who you really want to watch your kids. Be sure to ask enough individuals for enough time to adequately edit the event.
Now this is the part that you add responsibilities tailored to your event and your group’s preferences. Do you want to plan for games? Do you want to plan a simple craft or other activity for the kids? You don’t want a meal? Just plan some light refreshments. Your group isn’t going to want to socialize together? You can make it a drop in and out kind of even. Many of the above responsibilities will still apply.
It’s really not complicated and I think the planning will get easier each time you do an event like this. But, you do have to let some of these tasks go to other people. If you can do that, the event will be a lot more fun for you and your family.
Like Morgan said, put some boundaries around what you can do and stick to them. This should reduce the tension and the drain on your home and business.