So what should I book? A full session or a mini?Which is better? I've had this question posed to me a few times by clients, and neither is better than the other, it's all based on preference on your part, so I thought I'd help everyone out and break down how to decide which type of session would be the best fit for you. Let's start with the details of what each session entails.
A mini session is 30 minutes long at the most and generally is about half the cost of a full session. You can use these for any types of photos you like except for newborn photos or extended family photos. You can have up to 6 people total at a mini. I only run mini sessions as an event a couple of times a year, so these are held on a certain day, at a certain time, at a certain location, all chosen by me. I offer multiple time slots, so I shoot lots of families during these days. After the session, you will get about 30 edited images in your final gallery!
A full session is up to one hour long and you can use the session for anything you want! My pricing for all of the different full sessions can be found on the Investment section of my website. You get to have full control of when and where we have your session, and I generally only shoot your session that day. After the session, you will receive a gallery of between 70-100 edited images in your final gallery.
So, how do you choose? First, you need to decide if what you want photos for will be able to be done in 30 minutes or less. Families with older kids or kids who are great listeners? Yep, absolutely. Only child who loves new people? Sure! Expecting your first child? Go for it! However, if you have very young children, kids that can take some time to corral or who need extra time to warm up to a stranger (who is also pointing a camera at their face), these might not be for you. A mini session doesn't lend itself well to kids who are ultra shy because we have a very limited amount of time in which to capture photos, and if they tend to take a while to warm up to new people, then you aren't going to get the photos you want within our allotted time. Same for kids who run in opposite directions when you try and sit them together! Sometimes we just need that extra time, which means a full session might be the thing for you.
I realize that it seems counterintuitive to have a full session with toddlers, but the extra time gives them the ability to warm up to me, to play games aimed at capturing those gorgeous real smiles, and to take breaks for anything that comes up without stressing that your time is almost over before I need to move on to the next family. This brings me to my next point: you have my complete attention and energy during a full session.
Mini sessions are exhausting. Don't get me wrong, I love to do them because I know families love and appreciate that option, and I want to make my people happy!! However, sometimes I'm there for 5 hours or more shooting lots of different families, corralling kids, directing poses, walking around to different spots, keeping track of time, and by the end I'm wiped out and my voice is hoarse! I can and do still capture beautiful memories for you, but during a full session I'm fresh, full of energy and focused entirely on you.
Do you really want a specific date, time and location or are you super flexible and don't have a strong preference? If you want to be told where and when to show up, and don't mind which location you're at, a mini session is totally for you! For minis I choose the date, times and location months in advance. You can't book a one off mini session on a random Thursday in June, you have to book them as part of an event that I hold a couple of times a year. Really want that sunset time frame for the most beautiful light? That's awesome, I would too! But you'll have to grab that particular time slot before anyone else does (HINT: get on my mailing list to have first dibs at the time you want! It's easy to sign up in the Contact section of my website). Once it's gone, that's it. If you want full control of the date, time and location, you'll want to book a full session and then I will work with you to give you the exact date, time and location that's best for you.
Finally, what kinds of images are you looking for? Mini sessions tend to focus on more traditional portraits, though I do get in some candid moments and will include 1 or 2 in your gallery. You also only get about 30 images, which for some is plenty and for others doesn't seem like enough. It depends on what you like! Full sessions are a little bit of everything. Portraits, guided poses, prompted moments that result in candid photos, detail shots and documentary where I just shoot without giving direction. Your gallery will reflect that as well, and while you'll always get some of those "everyone look at me!" photos, there will be a good mix of images where your family is connecting and laughing and being authentic, and you get close to 100 photos in your final gallery.
I know that's a lot of information, but I hope it answered some questions and helped to narrow down what you're looking for. If you still have questions or aren't sure which option to go with, shoot me an email and we can chat!