Why are Mini’s so important, and are they for me?


Feb 29th 2020

Written by Genevieve Rose. 


If you’ve been on social media recently, you would have noticed a flood of photographers advertising ‘Mini Sessions’. If you’re someone who loves updating your family photographs, you may be considering booking one of these sessions, and wondering whether it would suit your family’s needs better than the normal “Full Portrait Session”.

The appeal stems from being able to have beautiful, professional images taken for half the cost, and completed in half the time. This is more achievable for families with younger children and busy schedules. (I’m speaking to those mum’s whose children cannot sit still for more than thirty minutes, and who get up to all sorts of mischief.) I know them well, because I was one of those kids. I feel sorry for the photographers who tried to take my portrait as a child…

From a business perspective, Mini Sessions can be incredible, but they aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. Considering this, I decided I would give you some considerations for choosing whether a Mini Session is right for you and your family, and explain why they have become the new best thing.

So firstly, we need to look more in-depth at your expectations/ needs.

Some families love to update there family portraits, getting a few professional images done, then Mini’s are exactly what you’re after. They range from fifteen to twenty minutes long, and include ten high-resolution images. In saying this, 10 isnt the limit, photographers generally offer the option for you to purchase more images, or the entire gallery, depending on what you’re after. This means that no matter what, Mini’s can usually meet your needs. Now with that being said, if you are someone who has made a mood board, and have specific shot ideas, a Mini Session might not be the best fit for you.

Twenty minutes can go by pretty quickly, spending time on making things perfect, and having a list of requirements can sometimes take that up. Due to the limitation on time, its unrealistic for the photographer to constantly be checking lists, making sure they’re completing the client’s wants and needs.

Upon booking a session, discussing with the client about their family dynamics, and what they want out of the session, is an important aspect. This ensures that their needs are put first. Mini’s can be very unpredictable and well…fast, so having a few wants and goals is achievable, but if you have more extensive needs, then a full Family Portrait Session would be more suited to you.

What have we learnt?

Book a Mini Session if you are wanting; a few good photos, have a shorter, less detailed wish list, and are willing to go with the flow of a fast, less predictable time slot.

Don’t book a Mini if you have; a longer, more specific set of shots in mind, and you don’t feel comfortable with the unpredictability of a shorter spot to accomplish them in.


Next, we need to think about the PERSONALITIES OF YOUR KIDS.

We must consider that, truth be told, our children are not the same, and well.., we dont want them to be. They do as they please, they love to explore and to be free spirited. My aim as a photographer is to bring out their individuality. Engaging with them, letting them be wild and adventourous, and documenting this for you as they grow. To do this, they will need to warm up to me and the environment allowing me to capture the best images for you.

You must consider that on occasions, there will be those who do not warm up right away, and only towards the end of the Mini do they finally relax; but then it’s too late. There are also very high energy kids, who just simply refuse to sit still, no matter what we do. If you just read those lines and are thinking, “Yes, that’s my kid,” then a Mini Session might not be the best fit. However in saying this, lifestyle photography comes into play, during those situations: chasing the young ones around as they explore naturally, getting those unposed shots.

Listen up, class!

Book a Mini Session if you are wanting to; capture your children as they are. They may be smiling (or not), laughing (or even crying), and everything in between.  If you kids are known to be very cooperative, that listen well during a short amount of time, then you will suit well.

Don’t book a Mini if you are wanting;  a larger amount of time and opportunity to capture the exact kinds of photos you want. Or, if you have a difficult or high energy child and are not confident that the shots you  want could be nailed during a small time frame. (Keep in mind that this is one great advantage of a full session!  You have that extra time for kids have time to warm up, and we have time to burn off that energy and snag some amazing moments on your list).


Money is always the biggest consideration… so, WHAT IS YOUR BUDGET?

When considering what photographer to go with, budget is a big factor. Photographers price to ensure they are competiative with there well, competetors , as well as to ensure they can pay their bills.

If you’re on a tighter budget, a Mini session will fit in well with your needs. You may have a certain photographer who you have been following for ages, who’s work you just adore. They may be, unfortunately, out of your price range, a Mini session is a great way to get photos from him or her without completely blowing your budget. Mini’s can range from $50 – $150 depending on the photographer, so it’s necessary to scope out your local photographers and who is offering the most affordable Mini’s to your needs.


Oh no, where are the keys?… ARE YOU CONSIDERED A FLEXIBLE PERSON?

If you’re always the person running late to things, a Mini Session might be a big source of stress, as they are often fully booked, with back to back clients. I don’t know about you, but my keys have a mind of their own. Due to this, even if you’re five minutes late, photographers will be unable to honour any lost time, as it will run into another client’s time spot. Forfeiting your spot altogether if you’re running late may be your only option in this instance.

And again, are we getting closer?

Book a Mini session if you’re; super punctual. Confident you can get you and your family out the door and to your session before it starts.

Don’t book a Mini if you would find it; hard to honour a very specific time slot, or your kids are on strict schedules that you don’t feel comfortable deviating from.


“Oh look, Halloween Mini’s! I want photos, but maybe without the setup… or costumes…. maybe I’ll just ask for no setup…” ARE YOU HAPPY WITH THE THEME/ LOCATION?

Mini sessions are known to have themes, especially if they’re held seasonally. If you’re looking for a family shoot that includes everyone, booking a Mommy + Me Mini isn’t the best fit. It’s beneficial for you to actively follow your chosen photographer, being aware of what they are currently offering, as it’s important you are happy with the setting and props being used.

One last time,

Book a Mini Session if you; like the location and/or props being used, and it is similar/ on point with what you were hoping for in your pictures.

Don’t book a Mini if you’re; just looking for photos in general, and don’t favour the setting and/or props that the photographer is advertising in the session.


We have reached the end of your lesson… I hope you have gained the information needed to help make the best decision. As you can see, there are many different factors to consider when choosing which session would be best for your family’s needs. Hopefully, these pointers will send you in the right direction! I love hosting Mini Sessions: I get to meet so many different families with their own stories to tell. And you know what? I love telling them.

Are you thinking of booking a Mini? I might just be holding one soon, so go check it out!

You can follow my Facebook Page for regular updates in regards to events/ offers. https://www.facebook.com/PhotosbyGRose/

Edited By Alicia- Jayne Rose.