Full Family Session or Mini Session. Which is right for your Family Photography needs in West Tennessee

You May Be Wondering….

Mini Session VS. Full Session?

One of the most frequently asked questions when clients inquire about Fall Family pictures in Middle and West Tennessee Area, is mini or full? If you are thinking of scheduling a family session but think “a mini is all we need”.  Or maybe, you are unsure of the difference between a mini or full session, then this post is for you!  I am going to share the biggest differences in a fall mini session and a full family session.

Now this applies in a variety of different ways.  The allotted time we are actually shooting as well as the prep time! Listen, no matter what type of session you choose, the time it takes for you to bath, clean and dress everyone in your family is THE EXACT SAME!

As for the session, I know you may be thinking “I have really young kids and they won’t make it more than 15 minutes”. Or maybe you have teens and you are also thinking “my teens won’t enjoy this so they will only give us 15 minutes”. First let me jump on my soapbox and say having family professional family pictures has nothing to do with anyone behaving, sit-in still or acting a “certain” way.

Please know, that family sessions with Studio 84 Portraits are anything but sit still and smile at the camera or say “cheese”. I want to remind you I am here to capture your connection with each other not my camera!  And don’t forget I have traveled all over the country photographing children and teaching families to connect and play fun games to engage with each other.

Fall Family Mini sessions last 25 minutes.  The biggest downfall is that your child doesn’t have time to warm up to the idea of my camera joining the playdate. I can’t tell you how many mini session clients text me from the car saying “I wish we had done a full session because the kids didn’t want to leave since they were having so much fun”.  A mini session time might be for you if your family has recently had a session and needs a new family portrait.

Full Family Sessions start 1.5 hr before the sun sets and last until the sun is gone or your kids are done with me. (Spoiler: the sun ALWAYS set’s first!) This gives us time to get the belly laughs, the in between moments and the sweet snuggles plus every little detail that typically goes unnoticed.

Being on the clock adds stress to ANY situation.  Knowing you have 25 minutes puts pressure on you and your family to “nail” the “perfect shot” quickly. Plus having a family ahead of you or after you in the schedule can make those minutes tick by in a blink. Not only does the time cause worry but the weather adds to the worry as well.  If I am shooting mini sessions, you can guarantee their will be another family before or after your session.  Therefore, if the weather causes us to reschedule I am juggling a reschedule date for multiple busy family’s on top of my own. While I do offer one rainout date at the time of booking, we all know Houston is notorious for giving us weekends of rain in a row.

If a Full session needs to be rescheduled it’s much easier to do since we are only dealing with your schedule and mine. Plus, I set aside weekend dates for full sessions every month.

The biggest difference in a mini versus a full family session are the choices.  Mini Sessions have set locations, set dates and a set package.  This can be great for those of us that don’t like to make decisions because the selections are all made for you. Mini session are also a wonderful option for clients who have a more mindful budget.  However, a lower cost also means the package is significantly smaller.  Therefore, you will have fewer images to choose from.  This year’s mini sessions include 5 full resolution digital files. Great for a Holiday Card or one large framed print.

However, if you want your session somewhere special or have a vision for a location that suits your family then a full is best. If you are looking to create an heirloom album to pass down to generations of your family or fill a gallery wall in your home, then a full session will provide the most image choices.

I offer Family mini session twice a year, in the fall and in the spring. I choose to have my family photographed yearly by booking a full session but I have always offered both options to my clients.  If you have always booked a mini session I would encourage you to take a leap of faith and book a full session this year. If you aren’t a fan, then you can always go back to minis next year.  Ask yourself what the goal of your session is?  If it’s for a quick updated family portrait then a mini is for you.  However, if you want to freeze the story of your family because your kids are growing up too fast, then a Full session is for you.

No matter which you choose I challenge you, as a mom of two pre-teenaged boys and a pro photographer to book the opposite next year. You see, we don’t get this time back friends!  You will never look back in 5 years and wish you hadn’t captured those moments I promise!

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