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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).