7 Reasons You Need a Mini Session & 3 Reasons You Don't

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Mini sessions are exactly what they sound like: a photoshoot that lasts only a fraction of the time a regular session does. Mini sessions vary in style & duration but usually revolve around holidays or special events. They are a way for photographers to offer their services at a discounted price while opening their availability to a wider group of people in a shorter amount of time. But how many times have you seen an advertisement for a mini session being offered & thought, "that's all I get for all that money!?" Sure, a mini session takes a lot less time - for you - but not exactly for the photographer. The photographer is still in charge of organizing the event, corresponding with a large group of people, designing the set (or finding a professional designer), active creative guidance for hours at a time, & lots & lots of follow-up, editing, storing of photos, creating online albums, more follow-up & more correspondence. Rest assured, mini sessions are usually a really good deal & here are 7 reasons you should probably be considering scheduling one:

1. You have a smaller family (or only want a small number of family members photographed)

Think about it: Dad is standing idly by with his hands in his pockets while Aunt Bertha is lining her lips for the third time. The Grandparents aren't exactly sure what they're supposed to be doing & Sally, who just turned 18, isn't very impressed. All the while, Mom is chasing after little George & Margaret. This is typical behavior for a full-length photo session &, as a professional photographer, I am more than prepared to guide any family through having their photos taken. However, in a situation like this, you may guess it would take a little bit longer to accomplish the same thing a smaller number of people can accomplish during a mini session. That is why mini sessions are fantastic for families who intend on photographing four members or less! -Guidance may still be necessary, it just won't take as long.

2. You are due for portraits anyway

Admit it, you've been telling yourself for almost a year now you need to get updated photos of the family! Mini sessions are a totally appropriate time & way to accomplish just that!

3. You're not ready to invest in a full session (& that's ok)

Most photographers offer several packages & the goal of offering such an assortment is to cater to as many clients as possible. Some people want the maximum amount of photos & time while some just want the bare minimum. How many times have you told a photographer, "I really just need one good photo"? That's perfectly acceptable! (Though, with me, you'll always end up with at least five!) Perhaps a two-hour session isn't realistic & neither is the price of one. But most photographers, like myself, always offer full sessions. So, while you always have the option to upgrade or schedule a full session, perhaps you're only searching for something more basic at this time. Mini sessions are the most basic you can get but they still accomplish everything you're looking for!

4. The process of a mini session is extremely cut & dry & turn-around on photos is much faster than a full session

First of all, the fact a mini session is already scheduled for a certain time & date takes a lot of guess work out on your part! Basically, all you have to do is just show up! Second, I can't necessarily speak for other photographers on this but, for me, it's a lot less time-consuming when I'm going through photos taken in a much shorter amount of time. Less photos to go through means I'm processing and sending you your private album from which to choose your top images within days!

5. You want to commemorate a special holiday or event

Valentine's Day, Easter, Fourth of July, a new grade, graduation, Christmas - whatever the holiday or event, you never want to forget it! After all, Little Johny is only going to be three on Easter once! (They grow up so fast, don't they!?)

6. They require less planning on your part

Because mini sessions are typically scheduled around holidays or special events, finding something to wear takes a lot less effort on your part! For instance, Easter is known for soft, pastel colors. So there you go! & to reiterate, a time & date is already set so most of the work is already done for you!

7. You have small kids

I can't stress this one enough. With small kids, most people want the most "bang for their buck" during a photo session, meaning they want to take up as much time as possible. But it's important to remember that children under five years old will find themselves getting bored or frustrated with taking photos especially if it takes longer than about 30 minutes. In many cases, allowing children to just run around & be themselves is completely appropriate. However, in many cases it's not, especially if a child is on a strict schedule or routine. 30 or less minutes for a photo session for kids of this age is the right amount of time to capture some amazing photos you will cherish forever!


Now that you have 7 really good reasons a mini session may be absolutely perfect for you, here are 3 reasons one may not be so perfect:

1. You have more than four family members you want in the photo

See no. 1 above :D

2. You want to capture a lot of emotion in your session

This is the goal of many, many people & it only makes sense. Some occasions such as pregnancy or getting engaged elicit a more emotional response & clients want to harness that emotion. These types of occasions are not always appropriate to do in shorter amounts of time. As a photographer, I allow more time for my clients to ease in to their session before getting comfortable enough in front of a camera to be emotional or vulnerable. I allow no less than an hour, sometimes two for sessions such as these. 

3. You simply don't want to have your photo taken

Come on, everybody wants a copy of your beautiful face & your kids' beautiful faces. Don't be like that.

There you have it, folks! -Everything you need to know about the importance of mini sessions. While I always offer a mini session in my package selection for those who have younger children or who are not looking for much by way of quantity, I will be offering themed mini sessions in the very near future! Be looking out for announcements on my Facebook page!

Leslie HandComment