What is a Mini Session?

Mini sessions are short photoshoots that are more affordable than standard family sessions and result in a smaller quantity of photos. My minis, for example, are 20 minutes long and result in 15 jpeg files. Minis are also typically held at a predetermined location during a set time frame with limited session slots for you to choose from. In short, think professional quality photos without spending a lot of time or money, but with minimal flexibility.


Short But Not Always Sweet

The biggest mistake I've seen is when folks automatically equate the short duration as a win for their kids (and even partners/spouses) short attention spans. Short sessions don't always work out for every family. Some younger kids may need time to warm up to the photographer (if they don't already know the photographer). Infants tend to have unpredictable schedules that may not align with the time of day you booked your mini. Children's ages, their temperaments, and their respective personalities should be heavily considered. And if y'all tend to be late to things and are late to your session, you'll likely miss out on one or two "must-have" photos as there won't be any scheduling room to add back lost time.

Other Factors to Consider for Your Family

Aside from the time factor, here are other common factors to consider before booking a mini. This list is not meant to be exhaustive, but rather a starting point in your decision making process. Note that I purposely left out budget concerns.

Minimal flexibility

Double check that you are good with the selected location and the predetermined rain date. If you're dying to do your session at a particular location, minis might not be right for you. Are cloudy skies an aesthetic "ick" for you? Cloudy skies - without some other element like rain - may not be enough for the photographer to push the minis to the rain date. What about hot or chilly weather? If you are particular about weather conditions, make sure to check the photographer's weather policies before booking.

Reduced Photo Count

Minis will result in less photos than standard family sessions. This may be exactly what you need if you just want a couple shots, like an updated family photo and a solo photo of each kid. But if you want to add more image variety, like parents only, each parent with each child, boys only, girls only, etc, then a mini might not cut it. You should always check with the photographer to see if your photo goals will be met before booking.

Including Pets

It really depends on your pet(s) temperament. Can they sit for a quick photo? Or will all family members and the photographer be taking extra time to get them to be in the shot? If the latter, you will have to consider how much time that could take away from the other photos you want taken. You should also consider what your pet(s) will be doing during the remainder of the session when they are not in the photos. Can they wait well or will that be an issue on its own?

New* Photographer

Minis are generally a great way to test out a new (i.e. new to you) photographer to see if ya'll are a great match. By match, I mean do y'all vibe well, do they work well with children, do your children like them, do they make you feel at ease, etc. In my biased opinion, it's easier for kids to do photoshoots when they know the photographer so finding and sticking with a photographer y'all mesh well with will do wonders for your future photo needs, especially if longer sessions are a possibility in the future.