Every fall, ads for photography mini sessions appear all over social media and google. While some photographers loathe mini-sessions, I look forward to them all spring and can't wait to begin advertising them to my clients. Mini sessions are a wonderful way for me, as a photographer, to capture several families in one night, allowing me to serve more families throughout the busy fall season than I could if I tried to capture each of those families in a full 60 minute family session.
While I love mini-sessions, I recognize that they are NOT for every family. Today I want to share with you what my ideal mini session client looks like so you can determine whether this might work for your family photos this fall season or not.
An Ideal Mini Session Client Only Wants a Few Photos
If you are a person who loves to update their family photos every few years or so, but doesn't need a large gallery, a mini session would be the perfect fit for you! I give 10 edited high resolution photos for my clients in an online gallery for them to download. (There's an option purchase the full gallery as well.) If all you are looking for are a few photos to update your picture frames, create a Christmas card, and send to the grandparents, a mini-session is just for you.
An Ideal Mini Session Client Has Older Children
or Children Who Warm Up Quickly
My full family sessions typically last 45-60 minutes. One of the reasons they are this length, is because it takes a little while for kiddos (and parents :) ) to warm up to me and get used to being in front of the camera. As I'm culling my sessions I can see the progression of relaxation among my clients. Typically the beginning of the gallery is more posed and stiff, while those towards the end are relaxed, fun, and have that beautiful lifestyle feel that is characteristic of my work. In a mini session I have 20 minutes MAX to capture your family! If you have kiddos that are shy or take awhile to warm up to new people, then a mini-session probably isn't for you. However, if you have older children, out-going kiddos, or are a previous client, I can absolutely capture your family authentically within 20 minutes.
An Ideal Mini-Session Client Has a Relaxed and Laid-Back Personality
No matter what your personality type is, family photos always come with a level of stress. Getting everyone dressed, loaded up, and (somewhat) excited about being in front of a camera is a task in and of itself, even for the most laid-back parent and easy-going kids. If you are a person who puts a lot of pressure on yourself, your spouse, and your kiddos to behave well and smile at the camera for photos, I'm probably not the best match for you and a mini session would most likely feel too rushed. My family sessions have a very laid-back and relaxed feel, which isn't everyone's cup of tea-and that is perfectly ok! I tend to let the kiddos lead the session flow. If they want to snuggle mama, that's what I capture. If they want to play games with their siblings, I work that into a photo op. I do my best to get that perfect posed smiling-at-the-camera shot, but it's not guaranteed and I never promise that to my clients as it's not my primary focus as a lifestyle photographer.
So, is a mini session the right fit for you?
It is if:
You want just a few updated family photos.
You have children who are older or who warm up quickly to new people.
You're looking for a relaxed, laid-back, short family session with your people.