Which is best for your family?
Do you prefer a full session or a mini session and why? This is a question I asked my clients, friends, and followers recently and I got a lot of responses but this one question was answered in almost the same way by everyone and I'm going to share why everyone might be wrong! *Gasp* I know. First I'll explain the difference between and full session and a mini session and then I'll let you in on a surprising revelation that just might change your mind...
Pros of a Full Session
- You get the full client experience
- You get a more personalized experience
- You get more time so that nothing is rushed. This also means more time for shy or grumpy little ones to warm up.
- You get more photos in your gallery to choose from.
- You get more variety in your gallery.
- You get to choose the date, time, and location of your session.
- There is more flexibility for rescheduling or if something needs to change last minute.
Cons of a Full Session
- It costs a bit more (keep in mind you get more too.)
- Little ones may get tired or "be done" before the session is over.
Pros of a Mini Session
- They are short! Perfect for busy families, uninterested dads, or anyone with a short attention span.
- They are easy to schedule. You know the date and times available and just pick your spot and show up!
- You can test out a new photographer without investing much time or money.
- They generally cost less than a full session. (More on this below)
Cons of a Mini Session
- Yes, you may pay less but you get less in return. Your experience is not the same as a full session and things may feel a bit rushed or impersonal.
- You don't have as much time to get to know the photographer or for me to get to know you!
- If kids aren't behaving, there is no time to take a break and no do-overs later.
- If it is a themed session or in a special location, it may not be possible to reschedule if you have to cancel for personal reasons.
Obviously this list is a little one-sided and I think you can see which session has more pros and fewer cons. It is possible I forgot some things on both sides but I really do feel that a full session is better than a mini session in just about every way. The value I provide in a full session is just so much more than I'm able to provide in a mini session! With that said, I do love minis and there is a time and a place for them and for some families, a mini is going to be best for them and that is OK! If that's you, awesome! I hope to meet you at a mini session sometime. And you can rest assured that I do my best to make all my clients feel appreciated regardless of their session type.
Now for the #1 reason moms say they want a mini session but should consider a full session instead.
The answer literally everyone but one gave for why they prefer a mini session to a full session was some form of this:
"My kids won't last/are too wild for a full session."
Which sounds like a really good reason and for some, it's 100% true. Don't feel bad if this is how you feel! However, and I alluded to it above in the lists, sometimes your kids might actually need more time, not less. Some kids are just shy or act out in front of the camera because they are nervous or uncomfortable or are just being kids. I love working with children and I have a lot of tricks I like to use to get them to be the adorable children you know them to be for photos. Unfortunately, a mini session doesn't give me a lot of time to work with them to get them to warm up to me and be comfortable in the situation. I do my best in a mini session but sometimes we just have to move on and it could mean missing out on some of the photos you want the most if the kids aren't cooperating.
So if you're tired of wrangling your kids for a 10-15 minute mini session begging for just one normal smile, allow me to suggest considering booking a full session. I promise it will end up being less stressful and I have some ideas for ways to make your full session fun and unique so that it will get your kids excited and smiling genuinely. If that sounds good, let's talk!
Now, if your husband is the reason you need a mini instead of a full, I have tricks for him too but maybe we do a mini for the family photo and then a full Mommy & Me session for you and the kids. Insert laughing/crying emoji. I'm kidding...kinda. Seriously though, if you've got any concerns about your family in particular and you want to discuss it with me before you book either a mini or a full session, let's do it! I love chatting with anyone and everyone about all things photography.