A MINI SESSION IS A GROUP OF SESSIONS, SCHEDULED BACK TO BACK
Mini sessions are scheduled within a certain period of time, with several sessions back to back. This allows the photographer to offer you a “better deal” because the photographer is saving travel time. Your photographer does this by staying in the same location for multiple sessions. They can also save editing time as they edit multiple galleries from the same location and similar times of day. Your photographer will usually require a substantial deposit to hold your session time, and missed sessions cannot typically be made up.
A MINI SESSION IS USUALLY BASED AROUND A PARTICULAR THEME
Typically mini sessions occur around a specific theme. Sometimes this is a holiday such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentines Day, or Christmas. Other times it may be a portrait theme such as Glitter Minis, Mermaid Minis, or Superhero Minis. These are as much fun for the photographer as for the client! Photographers love to branch out and enjoy our creative side, and minis are a fun way to do something a little out of the norm and make something exciting for our clients to enjoy. These themes are often able to be more elaborate (or in different locations) than would be feasible for a regular session. This is because the costs involved may be spread out among multiple sessions.
A MINI SESSION IS SHORTER IN LENGTH (AND NUMBER OF PICTURES) THAN A FULL SESSION
Often mini sessions run between 10-20 minutes in length, and include a small number of guaranteed images with extra available to purchase. Your photographer is hoping that you’ll love your portraits so much that you’ll want to buy more. You’ll get an opportunity to download your (maybe 5 or so) portraits and then the remaining files will be available to purchase. This can be an awesome deal! But you can also (often) end up spending as much or more on your session than you would on a full session to get the same number of photos.
WHAT A MINI SESSION ISN’T
A FULL SESSION… BUT CHEAPER
Pretty much every photographer out there has been asked to make a session a “mini session”. This usually prompts a chuckle (or a grimace, depending on the mood of the photographer). What the client is really asking is: “I love the quality of your photos… I love that you’ve invested time and money and education- it’s really paid off! Now what I’d love is if you could give me THAT quality of photos, but pretty please make it CHEAPER and FASTER.”
Oh dear portrait session client… we often wish that as well. We wish we could deliver the BEST portraits from our session within five clicks of the shutter. You only need FIVE beautiful pictures? Easy peasy. One, Two, Three, Four, Five … and we’re DONE!
I promise NO PHOTOGRAPHER out there would be doing one (or two or three) hour long sessions if they could get the same quality of photos consistently within the first ten minutes of a session. I find that the first 20 minutes or so of a session RARELY yield the best portraits. It takes a little bit of time to find my groove with each of my clients- I’m learning what looks good for them, and they’re learning to relax into the session and are getting comfortable with my flow.
Full sessions also give clients a better variety to choose from. As an artist I may look at a photo and think it’s gorgeous, while it just doesn’t click with my client. Or a picture that isn’t MY favorite may just capture that typical expression of one of your children and so you JUST LOVE IT. A full session gives time to get all of this variety for you. Then you have a better chance of getting something you really love.
SCHEDULED ON DEMAND
As mentioned above, mini sessions work because the photographer is able to schedule a LOT of sessions back to back. For this reason, a mini-session can’t just be scheduled on demand. If you’re REALLY wanting a mini session, and you can’t find a one that fits what you have in mind, then here’s my advice- approach your photographer with a list of several different clients who are all wanting that same kind of mini session- on the same day- back to back- and ask if your photographer would be willing to do this for you. My bet is they would. But a single session will never be a “mini session”.
WHY MINI SESSIONS?
TO HAVE A FUN THEMED SESSION
Mini sessions are perfect if you’re looking for something a little bit out of the ordinary! Christmas Mini Sessions in particular have gained popularity in recent years. These are a great way to get a picture for Christmas cards, or to hang in your home as decor. Mother’s and Father’s Day sessions are a fun gift for parents, as they don’t often get professional pictures with their children. There are so many different types of mini sessions out there, and each is a fun way to get photos you wouldn’t normally receive in a full portrait session.
TO TRY OUT A NEW PHOTOGRAPHER
A mini session is a great way to try out a new photographer! There’s less risk when you pay less for your session up front, and only purchase the portraits you really want. As I mentioned previously, this may backfire if you end up loving too many of your portraits- and you may end up spending even more than a full session on your photos. But that will only happen if you really like your pictures. And in that case, you can book a full session with that same photographer next time!
OF COURSE, I’D LOVE TO BE YOUR UTAH COUNTY PHOTOGRAPHER! IF YOU FEEL LIKE WE’D BE A GOOD FIT, CONTACT ME HERE