Why I Love Photoshoot Mini Sessions

I love seeing family photoshoots. From the perfectly coordinated outfits and accessories to the unique location choices. Before I had kids, I had high expectations of the impeccable photo shoots and photos my family would have for every event and holiday.

Hahahahaha. Now, I have two kids, and I know that that was extreme wishful thinking. I truly commend all of you who are able to do it and I’m admiring your photos in awe and confusion. On one hand, I’m amazed that your kids are looking at the camera and standing still and on the other hand I’m stressed just thinking about the chaos and coordination I know must have taken place to make the photo happen.

So what does a parent who wants professional photos taken but can’t figure out if it’s worth the time, money, and sanity do?

Enter the mini session

I don’t think I had ever heard of a photoshoot mini session before I had kids. They are perfectly advertised for parents and they suck me in repeatedly. Here are 5 reasons why I love mini sessions:

  • They are quick. I’m talking 15-30 minutes quick. My kids are 2 and 10 months and have nearly non-existent attention spans. Anything longer than a mini session is guaranteed to be ruined by tears, multiple breakdowns (parents included), and destroyed outfits. Can a photographer get the absolute best photo ever in that short period of time? Probably not, but it’s my only chance of getting any photo at all with my crew.
Photo Credit :: Justen Williams, 343 Media
  • They are casual. Mini sessions tend to be less formal and everything about my life right now is “less formal” so it’s perfect. Less pressure to purchase new items for everyone or to dress my little kids in clothes they may not be the most comfortable in. For our mini sessions, we have worn everything from pajamas to Saints gear… all items we already own.
Photo Credit :: Stephanie Jones Photography
  • The photographers are used to kids. Lots of mini sessions are geared to kids and family photos. In my experience, photographers who photograph kids often know all of the tips and tricks. And my kids need all of the tricks (my toddler will emphatically yell “NO CHEESE!” at any camera and request for a smile). I have left every mini session we have done sure that we won’t get a single decent photo, but somehow the photographer has worked their magic every time.
Photo Credit :: Jillian Marie Photography
  • They are themed. Mini sessions are often themed, and I love that! It eliminates the pressure of having to make a lot of decisions. I just don’t have the mental head space to make any more decisions. A themed shoot minimizes needing to find a location, props, or think a lot about outfits.
Photo Credit :: Justen Williams, 343 Media
  • They are cheap. Now cheap is relative. These are still professional photographers adequately charging for their time and talent, but mini sessions will always be cheaper than a full photoshoot. Mini sessions are perfect for a smaller budget or to spend an amount that you will be less inclined to be upset about if the photos don’t come out perfectly (i.e. if your toddler acts like a toddler).
Photo Credit :: Heidi Weinmann, Weinmann Photography

For us, mini sessions are the answer to my desire for family photos. Has your family tried a mini session?

Danielle is a native New Orleanian. She graduated from Ben Franklin and attended the University of New Orleans' undergraduate and graduate schools. She and her husband Abraham married in 2017 and welcomed their son Blaise in June of 2019. She balances motherhood with working full time as the Director of Finance and Operations at a local CMO. As a first time mom she is learning to embrace the chaos. Danielle’s current struggle is getting her little one to nap as well at home as he does at daycare and to utilize his sippy cup. This type-A mama can usually be found on the go with a to-do list and a plan. She enjoys gift giving, thrifting, watching tv and sewing. Additionally, she never turns down a happy hour or beach vacation. She is excited to experience New Orleans as a mom and is truly proud to call it home.

3 COMMENTS

  1. I loved your article, Danielle! I am new to New Orleans, well, sort of, my family and I have been here for three years, but I say only a year because COVID took two of them. My question is do you have any recommendations for a photographer for the mini shoots. I never thought of doing one, but I graduate from Loyola in May, and we haven’t had any family photos in four maybe five years, so this would be a good time to do it. I’m a mom of two boys, 7 and 8, and getting them to smile can be a chore.

  2. This is nice Danni… You are all grown up with a family of your own. It is great to see you and your family in this article. Congratulations and wishing you and Abraham the best. James and I have 2 boys as well and it is a balancing act most of the time. Do your best and enjoy life and continue to take plenty of pictures, they grow so fast…

    Sherry & Steve’s -SIL (Raquel Robertson-Frye)

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