I get asked about mini sessions a lot. What exactly is a mini session? What does it entail? How is it different from a full session? Well I decided to write a post about mini sessions (AKA "minis") to let you all know how they work - please note this can vary from photographer to photographer.
Let's start with the basics.... What is a mini? In one sentence, a mini session is a condensed version of a full session. However, there is more to it than that. Mini sessions are not available year round and not available to be booked at the request of a client. Minis are offered a few times a year (usually seasonally) and are offered for a specific day that I set. Last year I did all four seasons (Spring, Summer, Fall and Christmas). This year I have done Spring and Summer minis will be announced soon. But with baby #3 coming Oct 1, Fall & Christmas will most likely be out. Unless I get some crazy bug up my.....well, you know.
They usually run about 20-30 minutes and that goes FAST. Believe me. For that reason, minis are limited to groups of 5 or less. They are offered at a reduced cost and you receive a smaller amount of high resolution files. I pick one location and everyone will have their session at the same place, during their designated time slot.
Typically I will post the event on Facebook but I will also start to be blogging about the upcoming minis as well. I try to post the even at least a month in advance if possible. A certain number of time slots will be offered and it is first come, first serve for time slots. After our session, you will receive an online gallery for you to select your images from.
So all of that sounds great right? But how is the mini session different from a full session? You've already read that the time, cost and number of files are reduced for a mini session. But to me, that is not the biggest difference. To me the biggest difference is STYLE. A mini session tends to be down & dirty. More posed shots than candid and pretty straightforward. Group family, siblings and individual shots are my focus and go in that order of priority (unless requested differently by the client). Once in awhile there is a little extra time for some "fun" but otherwise it is usually pretty tight.
With a full session, we have much more time (usually 1-2 hours), can work in varying locations if possible, and tends to be more relaxing. We can still do the posed shots that we get in a mini, but then we can "play" and make some magic. We can work together to customize your session if you are looking for a specific type of feel (country, urban, rustic, etc) for your images. And of course more convenience since we can work around YOUR schedule.
Minis are a wonderful way to quickly update your family photo, grab some new ones of the kiddos, or have a group done that usually don't have pics professionally done together (grandparents, cousins, etc). But if you are looking for something beyond just a posed shot, something more like art, then a full session is the way to go. Let me also make another note here. Mini vs. Full session can also depend on your family. Some kiddos need a little extra time to warm up to the camera and not feel shy. A full session is definitely better here. Other kids are D-O-N-E with pics after 15 minutes. A mini session just might be the way to go for them and try a full session when they are a bit older.
So I think that's about it. If I missed something, please feel free to comment, email or FB me with any other questions. All of the above images were taken during mini sessions, so I'll leave you with a few more shots from full sessions. In the end, what is really important is getting some family pics taken whether mini or full session. Time waits for no one and you'll never regret having that family picture in 20 years!