Mini Session vs Full Session

The holiday season is just around the corner (!) and for many of you, that means it is time for the annual family portrait. Lots of photographers offer different options for the holidays and amongst those options are the infamous mini-sessions. These can be a great cost-effective way to get a few photos for your holiday cards but admittedly they are not for everyone. So how do you know if it’s the right fit for your family?


A true mini-session does not just mean a shortened session – these are prescheduled session dates created by a photographer in a specific location that allows multiple families to be photographed in one day at a discounted rate. Sometimes they incorporate special locations – for example, mini sessions in a sunflower field, at a Christmas tree farm, or pumpkin patch. Sometimes they include special characters – we’ve had special appearances from mermaids to superheroes and of course our annual visits with Mr & Mrs. Claus! All that “extra” not what you’re looking for? That’s ok we have mini sessions at lovely nearby locales perfect for year-round wall art and holiday cards alike.

mini sessions might be good for you if…

  • You just need a few photos – if you recently had photos taken or you know you are having a major life change soon (new baby, wedding, etc) and will want new photos soon this is be a great option. You just want a few pics of the kids to throw on your holiday card or to remember this season by and you don’t have a lot of time to get it done!
  • Your kids are great with strangers – one of the hardest parts of a mini session as a photographer is trying to get kids warm up to a camera fast enough to get all those gorgeous options you would get in a full session. If your kids love to pose for pics, or they are just outgoing in nature, mini sessions can be awesome. Only you know what is best for your kiddos!  
  • Your schedule is flexible – mini sessions take place on prescheduled dates and times. I know between kids sports and work events it is sometimes hard to work around someone else’s schedule! And every parent knows its hard to get out the door on time!

A FULL session would be better for you if…

  • You want to include a lot of people – family photos are often the perfect time to get multiple generations together and document all those beautiful relationships. Gather your siblings, parents and grandparents and the family and let’s capture your family legacy in a place y’all love.
  • Your children and/or pets are easily excited or very shy in new circumstances. Full sessions are not on a strict schedule so we have plenty of time to walk around, play a little, get to know each other making the whole situation more comfortable for anyone who is a little camera shy!
  • You have a favorite place or date/time for photos – maybe it’s the location of your first date or your child’s first birthday. Maybe you just love a particular beach or a there is baseball field you spend every Saturday morning at – that’s where you want your photos taken! Or maybe you want them taken on an anniversary or for a specific event and you can’t wait for a mini session schedule. These would all be good reasons to schedule a full session.

Still not sure what would be best for your family? Give me a call and let’s talk and decide which option will leave you loving the experience. And stay tuned – holiday mini sessions and the ever-popular Meet & Greet with Mr & Mrs. Claus are just round the corner!


You never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory – let me help you capture it



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