Mini Session vs. Full Lifestyle Session: Which one is right for you?

I've been asked many times, "Why should I do a full session when we could just do a mini session?"  Well let me tell you, there are many reasons!  I'll just jump right into it! 

Who is a good fit for a Mini Session?

  • Families who just want a couple of updated family photos for their holiday card.  This is the BEST use of mini sessions and why I do them in the fall!  If you want a bunch of combinations, kids alone, mom with kids, dad with kids, you're much more likely to be happy with your outcome if we do a full lifestyle session.  Sometimes, kids will come ready to go and we can get plenty of options, and other times that 15 minutes was just enough time to get a couple good family shots and that's it!  
     
  • Families who have older kids (around four and up) and just want a full family session once every couple of years.  Typically, older kids have a little more patience and can work with me better to knock out some family photos and a few other combinations in that fifteen minutes.  
     
  • Those of you who want a quick "in and out" session.  Again, like above, if you're not wanting a bunch of combinations of photos, a mini session is perfect to get that family shot and be done.  If you're wanting to make the most of your time, make a concerted effort to come calm, happy, and flexible with your kids.  Kids will be kids, even at photo sessions!  It is my job to work with their sillies and make the best photos out of them.  So just follow my lead, and we will make the absolute most of your mini session if that's what you choose!

Here are some examples of what to expect from a mini session:

Who is a good fit for a full Lifestyle Session?

  • Those of you who want a relaxed session with plenty of time to capture your family naturally. The beauty of a lifestyle session is there is "down time" between the more posed shots to let life happen.  Those snuggles you love with your kids, the giggles from the tickle monster, the jumping your little boys like to do or twirling your little girls love, all of those are things I'll be able to capture at a full lifestyle session.
     
  • Families with younger children (specifically three and under).  Younger kids just take more time to get comfortable in a new setting.  A full session allows for plenty of time to let the kids get used to me and used to the camera.  It also allows them to "get their sillies out" and take breaks during the session, which I've found to be so helpful with young children.
     
  • Parents who want more options!  If it's been a while since you've had a full family session and you're really looking to get all the combinations (family, kids individually, kids together, mom with kids, and dad with kids) captured; then a full family session allows for plenty of (not rushed) time to capture those things.
     
  •  Someone who wants more time customizing your session and discussing the styling for your family.  This is an often overlooked aspect of photos.  While I will certainly send suggestions for mini sessions and give guidance, I send lifestyle session clients an individual email that is customized to their family.  We can go back and forth to find the perfect fit for your family both with location and outfits.  It truly makes such a huge difference in the outcome of your photos and I can't stress it enough!
     
  • A family that wants control over their location and date!  Sure, with a mini session you will be choosing if you do your mini at one of the offered parks outdoors. However, when we do a lifestyle session we will discuss several locations available to your family... parks, farms, your home, so many options!

Here are examples of what to expect from a lifestyle session:

If you're still unsure which type of session would be right for you, just ask!  Send me an email and let's chat.  I'm always happy to discuss questions and concerns with clients.  And if you want to be the first to know about fall family session dates and mini session dates, be sure to get on my email list