Mini Sessions- FAQ
It is no secret that most children of all ages (and most husbands for that matter) have zero patience for photos. Their attention span is short. The studio sessions where you expect a two year old to sit and pose for photos for an hour is unrealistic, and usually shows in the final photos.
Over the last 10 years and hundreds of session I have found that the most useful sessions are those that are short in time, pre-themed and usually candid. Candid shots, where there are activities such as petting baby farm animals, are the fastest way to natural smiling and capturing real joy. It also keeps thing moving and children busy, two things that usually equal a successful shoot. Boredom is a sure way to fail.
A couple years ago I decided to take my photography business in a different direction. I ended full and personal sessions and moved to a mini session only business model. It really is the best use of time and always seemed to produce the best results. I also get to utilize my creativity coming up with fun themed shoots. It’s very rewarding having a vision and seeing it come to life, so when I do, I prefer to share it with several clients vs. just one in a single session.
Without further ado I would like to provide you with some answers to some very common questions regarding mini sessions. I hope you enjoy the session as much as I do!
Spring "Baby Animals" Mini Session
Q: What is a mini session?
A: Mini sessions are that: “mini.” They are 15-20 minute compared to a full session. They’re also referred to as “fall mini sessions” or “spring mini sessions” as many people use the photos for their holiday cards or gifts. They are usually always themed to capture candid shots such as family bonfires in the fall, or petting baby farm animals in the spring.
Q: When do you typically do mini sessions?
I typically do a mini session a couple times a year. I have a full time position running another company so reality is my time is spare. When I get inspired and am ready for a creative shoot I set them up and open registration. Future sessions are never guaranteed until registration is open. I honeslty don’t really know what I will be doing in the future until I decide to do it. I know it makes it hard to schedule and book, but please make sure you subscribe to my website so you will know when registrations open up.
Q: What can I use the mini sessions for? What type of session?
A: Mini sessions can be used for family portraits, headshots, seniors, maternity, pregnancy announcement, couples, solo/individual lifestyle photos or a just because session, etc. If you’re unsure if the type of session qualifies for a mini session, please shoot me a message. Usually I say, “Its your 15-20 minutes, do whatever you want with it. “
Q: What’s included in a mini session?
A: Mini sessions include 15-20 minutes of coverage (depending on the setup), 1 primary photographer (me), 1 outfit only (no outfit changes), 10-30 edited digital high resolution images.
Q: What’s the turnaround time? When will I get my photos?
A: 2-3 weeks. If you’re planning on getting your holiday cards ordered and mailed out on time, please plan accordingly. Please remember I shoot several families in a mini session and usually shoot thousands of raw images during the daylong session. It takes a large amount of time to review, sort, edit, upload etc. It is not just applying a quick filter and moving on. I use a combination of Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom to edit each photo. I have over 20 years of experience with this software and editing and graphic design is usually what sets me apart from other photographers. I enjoy the process and it shows on the final photos.
Q: How many people can I bring?
A: Totally up to you- however the more people, the less time and photos per person. If you would like to bring more family, you can book 2 sessions back to back to better fit in everyone. Its your 15-20 session, so its ultimately up to you how you use it.
Q: What’s the price for a mini session?
A: Currently, mini sessions can range from $150- $200 depending on what costs I have going into the shoot. In many cases I am renting or outsourcing animals or equipment for the shoot.
Q: What time of day do you shoot mini sessions?
A: This usually depends on the theme, for example, a spring mini session will be during the day, whereas a campfire fall session might be towards the evening. I always provide a range, for example 11am – 4pm, with a session every 20 minutes, this way you can choose a time that fits best with your family.
Q: What is the location of the mini session?
A: Mini Sessions will always be located at my home, usually outdoors in a park like setting. We have 20 acres and several different areas to use as beautiful backdrops. The familiarity also assists me with utilizing the lights, shadows etc to produce the best environment for the shoot. My husband is a carpenter/contractor so he usually assists me with setting up some awesome props and backgrounds. We have a lot of fun together coming up with ideas and setups. During the session you might see my son running around, or even my dogs, please note they are good girls and all bark, no bite J
Q: What is your photography style?
A: This depends on the shoot. Spring photos are light and airy while a fall campfire session will be more dramatic and warm. I adjust with the theme, lighting etc. I tend to lean on the artsy side of editing.
Q: What type of shots/images will I get?
A: You’ll get a mixture of posed (smiling into the camera) and candid photos. Plus, a variety of horizontal and vertical images – I like to mix it up! On average I would say most sessions produce 30 photos, but depending on how the children are acting, the lighting, or other factors, it may be fewer. The more smiling and cooperation, the more you will get.
Q: Am I allowed to bring a pet (s)?
A: Yes, of course, but only if I can pet them and love on them! They are family after all! Please let me know at the time of booking as I have animals that will need to be contained.
Q: What’s the process for booking a mini session?
A: You can book via a booking page I have setup; you’ll be able to choose the designated time slot. You will be required to Sign a contract and a 50 % down payment must be paid in order to reserve your spot. I will follow up before your session with final details. The deposit is non-refundable. Over the years I have had so many people book sessions, then never show up. Its a lot of work to setup and hold the sessions, and there is always a waiting list, so its important that there is commitment. The balance of the fee will be due at the session, if you want an online invoice let me know.
Q: What if I need to reschedule? What if there’s chance of rain on the day of?
A: In case you need to reschedule due to emergency, you can swap out your session time for a future date/location only if there is one available. I always play weather by ear. In the last ten years I only had to reschedule one or two sessions due to weather. Also, pray for cloudy skies, that lighting produces the best output for photos!
Q: What do I do when I arrive?
A: Because we book these mini-sessions back-to-back, there is no wiggle room on timing. If you are running late I unfortunately cannot give you extra time during your session since it would push back each session following. Please plan to arrive 5-10 minutes early, that way we can be sure to get all the photos you were hoping for of your beautiful family! I live at the end of a private dirt road. Please pull up and park next to the other clients. I ask that you stay at your vehicle until the client prior to you is complete, then you can walk up.. If you cannot see the location from parking please remain by your vehicle and I will come and pick you up (usually a golf cart) to take you to the session location.
I hope you enjoy your session as much as I do! To sign up for future mini session opportunities like our facebook page or subscribe to our email list for upcoming events!