I'm a born and raise Bay Area Kid. A Film lover, dog mom, avid reader, vino enthusiast and Trader Joe's #1 fan.
15+ pages of tips and tricks, outfit inspiration and shopping list that's budget-friendly and size inclusive.
Okay you’ve heard the word “mini session” thrown around quite a bit, but what does that actually mean for a photographer and client?
Simply, a mini session is a shortened photoshoot where clients receive a limited amount of photos usually for a reduced cost compared to a full session. Every photographer handles mini sessions a little differently, but for me – I will book out a weekend around fall + spring in a single location and book 10-15 photoshoots for about 10-30 minutes each. So that means, for 2-3 hours, I have back-to-back clients ready to have their photo taken! I love to offer these sessions to my previous clients first to get some updated photos between their regular sessions.
Since we are working in a short time frame, I want to make sure that we do everything we can ahead of time to prepare for your session. That way you can show up, smile, and be on your way! Here are five tips to help make your mini session fun, easy and stress-free experience:
It’s important that we maximize our limited time together – that’s why planning to arrive five minutes ahead of time is crucial to a successful mini. Being five minutes early allows you to prep your kids, get outfits in check and also just have a moment to relax before you hop in front of the camera.
I know life can be crazy, traffic exists and tantrums happen, but please do everything you can to be early. Take into consideration parking and how far it might be from the location, how long it might take to find your photographer or how long it takes your kids to warm up to a new person.
I promise that being on time enables you to not stress and allows you to really focus on having a good experience with your photographer, family and partner.
Sometimes during my full session, couples and families will bring their outfits with them and ask me which would look best. With mini sessions, we don’t have time to pick outfits together, so I encourage you to show up fully dressed with the outfit you planned. But don’t worry, you can always text me ahead of time on outfit ideas.
Here are few quick tips on picking your outfits:
Since we are working against the clock here – I encourage bribing with your littles. Is that bad? Probably, but if you have a high-reward toy/treat that you know will capture the attention of your kids – bring it! I’ve had a lot of parents resort to a snack to help bribe little ones into focusing.
One thing that always works and always makes the cutest most engaging photos, is doing a small activity together. For example, bringing bubbles and playing with them together as a family. Or bringing a disposable camera and taking photos of each other. Bringing a group activity to do ensures that you all are playing together and engaging with each other!
My last trick? While we want playful and smiley photos – sometimes getting that smile is hard or maybe your toddler is starting to hit their photo wall. When this happens, bring a bribe! Treats, candy anything like that are always a good way to bribe kids.
I say for the babies, but honestly – this a rule that can be applied to any human being who is prone to spills. Please bring a backup outfit for your little ones, as blowouts, accidents, spills can happen. While I can edit out most things, it’s a lot easier when I don’t have to!
As a good rule of thumb, I recommend bringing a full backup outfit for kids under the age of two. For anyone over that age, bring a sweater or a different shirt that can be changed or layered if spills happen.
Start practicing say “no” but with a smile. I know that sounds crazy, but during your session, your instincts is to make silly faces or maybe tell your littles “no” when they aren’t cooperating. But here’s the thing, the moments your frustrated are the moments they decide to be really cute. So, throughout your shoot, make it a habit to always be smiling at the camera, your kids or your partner.
You know what’s scary? New people, in a new environment with a camera pointing at your face. This is scary for adults but it’s also really tough on littles. While I will do everything in my power to help your kids get used to the camera and acclimate to a photoshoot, with minis we really are limited on time. So, to help prep your kids – start talking about the photoshoot early on. Practice taking photos of them on your phone, telling them to smile or say cheese, then let them practice taking photos of you! Use my name a lot so they know who I am and start hyping them up! They need just as much encouragement as you do to get in front of the camera.
Before you even walk to the location – take a big breath!
You did your job, you prepared the kids, you planned the outfits, and you booked the photographer. Leave the rest up to me. I am excited to meet you and help pose your family in ways that are natural. Don’t worry if your kids aren’t warmed up to me – or that maybe they are having an off day, I promise you aren’t the only family who has these concerns.
My job is to make you feel comfortable, so you can be confident in front of the camera and we can get some great photos for you to enjoy.
Sometimes I get clients who want to do something a little extra to make photos an even more special experience. Here are some local vendors who I love to work with to help elevate any photoshoot. Booking with them is not a requirement! So, if you’re looking for hair and makeup or even a florist – here are few of my favorites:
Alright, you’ve got all my tips to help you prepare for your mini session. Post-photoshoot, I’ll send 2-3 preview photos for you to enjoy that will be included in your overall gallery. Your full mini session will be delivered in about 2-3 weeks! Once delivered, those images will be available for you to download, share or print as you please.
The good news? This year you can print holiday cards directly from your gallery! Super exciting.
I can’t wait to see you in person.
I have three mini session dates this year and there’s still availability! Click below to book your session today.
Missed my current mini sessions? No worries – I try to plan them twice a year. Join my Newsletter today to get early access to my minis. Get in contact with me today and see when my next availability is!