If you're like most folks, you're probably debating if a Full Session is really worth it or if you should just book a Mini Session. There are many factors when it comes to deciding between the two and I've created this fun decision tree to help you figure out what's best for your family. (Any other info graphic nerds out there like me?! hehe I just love a good flow chart! :P) The suggestions I make in it are based on my 15+ years a professional photographer and seeing how both types of sessions work for various types of families. Start at the top with the first question and move through the questions until you arrive at an option. After making your way through the tree, scroll down for more detailed information on each type of session.
First things first... photography can be an expense that adds up quickly. And I can imagine how tempting it is to opt for the Mini Session right away since it's the budget friendly option. But there are some scenarios where I would highly advise against it. My first question the decision tree is big hint. I've found that children between the ages 3-8 can sometimes have a harder time focusing during family photos. And when you book a Mini Session, which will either be 20 or 30 minutes long, that simply is not enough time for me to get my job done. Parents stress out, then the children usually follow suit. Which just makes for a bad experience all around for those of us involved. But I know this doesn't apply to all children between those ages. And you definitely know your children more than I do. So if your young child/children are used to do photos with a professional photographer annually, then a Mini Session will be just fine. But if your child/children have never done family photos before, a Full Session is a must. Mostly so that they can get into the swing of things and so that I have time to get their true personalities out. Regardless, I trust you to make the decision you think is best for your family!
There are other session types that I don't offer a Mini Session option for because I need more time. Those things include Senior Portraits, Personal Branding, First Birthday/Cake Smashes, and Newborns. I want you as my client to have a great experience working with me. And in order for that to happen, we need the appropriate amount of time for your session type. I've definitely tried doing Mini versions for those types of sessions and the time crunch is stressful. There is nothing like a newborn who is hungry and/or fights the sleep to stress you out a bit. And for my senior portrait sessions, I really want to get to know the senior and that takes time. It can be awkward being thrown in front of the camera to document such pivotal time in one's life. I don't want seniors to look back on their images and feel that awkwardness. I want them to look back and remember how much fun we had. Long story short: I don't like being stressed out. My clients don't like being stressed out or to feel awkward. So allotting the right amount of time is the best choice.
If you're looking for the quick bulleted list for each type, here ya go!
Mini Sessions are:
Perfect if you need something short and sweet
20-30 minutes long, depending if you book a seasonal mini or book my year-round rate
Can be lifestyle in-home or outdoors
Limited to a 15 mile travel radius
Great for families with older children
Perfect for an updated family photo
A budget friendly option
Full Sessions are:
Great for little ones who may need more time focusing
Up to an hour and a half long
Lifestyle in-home or outdoors
Long enough for a wardrobe change
Long enough to accommodate larger groups, such as extended families
Ideal if you're wanting to shoot at location outside the 15 mile travel limit. 50 miles round-trip are covered with a Full Session. There is a small travel fee for mileage beyond that.
I hope you found all this information useful. Like I mentioned before, the Mini Session may be tempting. But it may not be ideal for your family at this point in time. In which case you'll want to book a Full Session. But the good news is that if you haven't booked a Full Session with me yet, you get $50 off your first one!
If you're ready to book your session, regardless of the type, click here to see my current availability!