Mini sessions. You see them advertised all over Instagram and Facebook. They are usually held around Fall or Spring, and they are the perfect opportunity to get some quick and (supposedly) affordable family photos. But, as professional photographers, we have our reservations about mini sessions. Here’s why:
They’re often rushed – most mini sessions are only 10-20 minutes long. The photographer has to fit in as many families as possible in a short amount of time, so there’s not always time to get those perfect shots. And, let’s be honest, getting everyone to cooperate – especially small children – in a short period of time is no easy feat. If you’re looking for something more laid-back, relaxed, and natural-looking photos, a mini session might not be the right choice for you.
No time for personal connection – Because mini sessions are scheduled back-to-back, it’s hard for the photographer to get to know their clients before the session even begins. That lack of personal connection can be evident in the finished product.
Crowded with people – Have you ever been to an outdoor mall on a Saturday afternoon? It’s loud, there are people everywhere, and it’s just generally overwhelming. Now imagine trying to take photos in that environment. That’s what mini-session locations can be like during peak season. Photographers are jockeying for position to get the perfect shot while also trying not to be in each other’s way. It’s not ideal by any means.
Hidden Fees – Most places charge photographers a fee for using their scenes and setups. So while you may think you’re getting a discount, you’re actually paying the same for fewer images.
Help other small businesses – Many farms are local, family-owned businesses that we love to support and help grow.
Super cute backdrops – Mini sessions often take place in really cute locations like pumpkin patches or Christmas tree farms. Honestly, this is the main reason we offer mini-sessions. We LOVE a cute backdrop even for our family and some are too cute to resist! BUT if you’re looking for awesome photos with a gorgeous, natural background, we have you covered! We have designed an 18-page location guide of our top 10 places. It has photos, details, a map overview and a comparison chart to help you pick the best place for your next session.
Ultimately, whether or not mini sessions are right for your family comes down to what you’re looking for in a photo shoot experience. If you’re okay with things being a little bit chaotic and less personal, and if you don’t mind booking well in advance with little to no wiggle room, then by all means let’s do it! However, if you want more one-on-one time with your photographer or want to ensure that your family gets plenty of individual attention, then you might want to opt for a traditional photo session instead. No matter what you choose, professional photos are always worth investing in!
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