What's the difference?
I apologize in advance: every photographer does mini-sessions slightly differently. It’s just one of the upsides to working with creative professionals—lots of variety! Hopefully this will give you a quick overview on how I structure my family sessions so you can choose the best fit for your crew: a full session or a mini-session.
They’re small in a lot of ways, but they can still pack a powerful punch. This is a 20-minute session. The booking fee is $79 and images are $37 each.
This is a great choice if:
- You only want digitals (think Christmas cards)
- You have a very busy schedule
- Your family is full of humans that are quick to smile and follow directions fairly well
- You just need a few shots: think family shot and individuals of the kids
Don’t pick this if:
- You have children that are at that difficult stage where they don’t listen and tend to do their own thing
- If you’re considering ordering an album (as there may not be enough images)
- You’d like to pick through various poses**
- You’d like different background(s)*
- You’d like to have different groupings besides the large family shot and individuals of the kids. i.e. you’re looking for a shot of mom & daughter(s) together, dad and son(s) together, siblings together, including the dog, etc.
Most clients wonder how many shots they will get with a mini-session and my answer is “it depends.” If everyone co-operates, moves quickly and follows directions, you’ll be surprised how many shots we can tackle in 20 minutes. It also depends on the location. If we’re in a busy, public place that requires working around the public, that can consume some of our time together.
- For a mini-session, you’ll find you spend almost as much time and effort getting ready for a mini-session as you would a full session, but you’ll have a lot less to show for it.
- There’s no guarantee all your images will be spectacular. With only a 20-minute time frame, there’s not much time to relax, work on posing, and capture various expressions.
This session is longer, usually around 45 minutes. The booking fee is $175 but you’ll be able to choose from a variety of packages (ranging from XXX to XXX) that include digital images, prints, canvases, albums, etc. or you can choose to buy individual items, as you would a mini-session.
This is a great choice if:
- You want wall art or an album
- Your family has some humans that take a little while to find their smile
- You’d love some variety in setting and background*
- You’d like lots of grouping options**
- You want images that will become keepsakes (presents for grandparents and other family members)
- If you haven’t done a family portrait in over 2 years
Don’t pick this if:
- You just want a couple digitals (think Christmas cards)
- You think a 45-minute session it too long
- You’ve never done family photos before and you’re just not sure how it will go with your crew
- This is an ideal option if you’d love an iconic family photo for over the mantle, in the family room, or the foyer, etc. Decorating you home with family images elevates your décor, adds personality, and reminds you on the busy days that “you’re in this together”.
- One of the biggest advantages to the full session is there’s more time to relax, work on posing, and enjoy yourselves. This will result in more images, so you’ll have better ones to choose from.
- During the full sessions there’s time for full length shots, waist-up shots, and close ups.
Regardless of which session you choose, I encourage you to do something with these images. You've put a lot of time and effort in getting ready, showing up, and creating a memory—it would be a shame if these images languished on your laptop and just pop up as memories every year or two. Make prints, order canvases or put them in a book.
Whatever you do, don't let them become screensavers!
**Sets/grouping options and various poses: for mini-sessions, there's time for a family group shot and individual shots of the kids. In a full session, there’s additional time to do different set/grouping options and poses. So, in addition to the kids individual shots, you might get: a sibling shot, mom with the daughter(s), dad with his son(s), a shot with the dog, the kids playing together, parents with each kid. There's also time to try different poses within each set/group.
*Mini-sessions don't always have time for different backgrounds. This is one of the big differences between mini sessions and full sessions. With a full session, we can usually choose a location that has different backdrops within a short walk of each other.