When booking a session, you may be wondering if a mini session will be enough time or will you need to schedule a normal session. For reference, some mini sessions will be outdoors for 20 minutes. Will that be enough time to capture what you’re wanting? In this blog, I will be discussing some key questions that may help you decide which session to book.
What is the size of the family?
Typically, a mini session is great for families with 1-3 kids. I’ll be able to give you photos of each child individually and with each parent, as well as family photos. But if the size of the family is bigger than that, then it gets more challenging to get all of the photos that many families want. With 1-3 kids, it’s doable to photograph each child with each parent, but obviously the more kids there are, the more time it takes. So If you’re a big family just looking for some group shots of the family and the kids together, a mini session is a great option. If you want a more extensive shot list, a full session is the better direction.
What are the ages of the kids?
Through many sessions, I’ve come across multiple ages. With older children, doing a mini session is best. They are typically better listeners and due to time restrictions, that is an important factor. With infants (0- 6 months), they’re more limited in poses and you’re holding them most of the time which makes it easy to get some great photos of them.
And then we have toddlers.
As a mom of two (including one at the tail end of the toddler stage), I understand this stage of life. With toddlers, take into consideration their temperaments. Are they super outgoing with strangers? Are they pretty easy-going? Or are they on the shy side, or will they take some more time to warm up? Are they the type of kid that runs as soon as you put them down, or do they tend to stay put when you put them down?
Real World Examples
I’ll give two examples – one with my own family and one with the C family. After reading, think about which one is your family more like.
My kids ALWAYS take about 20 minutes to get comfortable with someone, no matter how many times they’ve met them. We’ve used the same photographer since my daughter was six months old, and three years later with photos twice/year, we’re finally cutting that warm-up time to about 10-15 minutes. We always need the time to warm up, relax, and then get all of the great photos. So to say the least, they don’t do well with 20 minute minis.
The C family sisters were some of the most joyous siblings I may have ever encountered. They were easy to warm up to me. They were easily able to express their love for each other in front of me too. It was evident that they truly loved spending time with each other. Unlike my own family, they didn’t need time to warm up and relax. Because of that, we were able to get a wide variety of shots in a small amount of time.
What location are you wanting?
I always have a variety of options of outdoor mini locations, and most people are able to find a location that fits well with what they want for their photos. But sometimes you want a special location that’s not on the mini session list and that’s ok! In that case, a full session is great because you’ll be able to pick any location you choose.
As a side note, take into consideration how you want to look at your location. The C family did a great job thinking of a location and how they wanted to look in it. The green from the middle sister’s headband matched the mom’s dress, and the dad’s shirt had elements of both mustard and green. I loved the care that went into their outfits to have them tie together.
So take into account these key questions before booking! There’s a reason why clothes aren’t one-size-fits-all, and photography isn’t either. But there is truly an option for everyone! So tell me – is a mini session right for you?
Ready to book your family photo session? Click here to get in touch!
And follow on Instagram at @kathleencurto for more behind-the-scenes and inspiration photos!
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