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Taking on Unicorn Sessions

THIS IS A GUEST POST COURTESY OF Deirdre Giumetti OF Shooting Star Photography


Unicorns are a hot trend right now. I have realized that both boys and girls actually love unicorns. Who doesn’t? I’m now into my thirties and I still find them absolutely magical! When it comes to ideas for our photography businesses, it can be an extra incentive and wow factor for our customers. There are a few things you may want to consider prior to doing these sessions, as these unicorn sessions do come with a few risks.

One is insurance. My basic photography insurance does not cover injuries while working with animals. I have added onto my policy in the past few years to include this. Also, you need to check into the law requirements in your state. In my state of New Jersey, we have a statue (NJSA 5:15 to 5:15- 1 12) that basically covers if an injury does occur. However, to cover my basics, I also contract with a petting zoo company, that way I am dually covered and I also verify that they are insured.

I don’t recommend doing this with children under three years old. I also never allow any clients to be placed on the unicorn itself. That way it makes things go smoothly and less risk to have any injuries. You can have the nicest horse and temperament in the world. It only takes something little to frighten them.

Another factor to consider is pricing. Most of these petting zoos will charge you a travel rate and/or hourly rate. It’s been in my best experience, to get the best bang for the buck, to offer mini sessions. I can do about 5 sessions in an hour and within that hour. You have to ensure that your unicorn has a break to eat and drink. I don’t suggest going more than two hours for these. With every session, I make sure the handler is close to the client and I edit them out the photograph in post-processing. It’s important to be versed in Photoshop in order to do so.

In terms of locations, I generally scout out a wooded area. That way we can take a little more time if needed and offer the best available lighting for this setup. As lighting is crucial for these sessions, I set up a dress station and require people to arrive a half hour early to pick out the dress they wish to wear and get ready. My schedule is very strict and I do stick to my time limits for each client. The unicorn horns and florals I provide are mostly from Etsy but I have also purchased some from Hobby Lobby and Factory Direct Craft.

As always, I can’t stress enough that safety is usually the biggest concern when working with little clients and animals. It takes experience and time to find out what works for you! However, if you do it right, you can make these very profitable for your photography business!

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