Mini Sessions And Why I Don't Offer Them.
Updated: Oct 17, 2019
I get asked all the time "Do you offer mini Sessions?"
Now I don't dislike mini sessions, I actually have many photographer friends who do these successfully. Mini's definitely serve their purpose, I find them a great substitute for holiday photo's at the local mall. A mini session photographer can do great things and often give you amazing backdrops to aid in themed shoots. There are many photographers who offer this service, I just happen to not be one of them.
I do not offer them because I want to give you so much more than a mini session can give you. I want to give you an experience in connecting with your family, in rediscovering your love and bringing it to the surface.
Mini sessions are designed to be quick, but lets be honest you put a lot of thought into the your outfit choices, ensuring you have the time in your schedule, etc. You end up putting a lot of time and energy into a 15-30 min session.
On the photographers side it's not just 15-30 min session and an hour or two editing. The time I put into pre session planning and the communication with my families would be the same amount of time I put into a full session. Not only does it not make sense for my cost of doing business, it more importantly it does not allow me to create opportunities for deeper levels of connection between you and your loved ones.
If you happen to have a child or loved one who is shy or doesn't like being photographed, how can I make them comfortable and at ease and enjoy being photographed in 15-30 min session? The answer is: I can't. Maybe other photographers can, but I am looking for so much more. I want to be able to tell your family's stories with photographs. I want you to look back and have an emotional connection to your images, I want you to feel that love over and over again.
Let's also remember that small children aren't meant to sit still or "behave" as we adults sometimes expect them to. What if your child just woke up from a nap just before the session, and they need a little time to adjust and get in the mood for having photo's? Mini sessions are often booked back to back and there is no extra time available, will you be getting the very best images from that session?
During a session with me, I find it so important to create a trusting relationship with all members involved in the session. I want to learn about each of you so that you feel comfortable joking or getting deep and meaningful with your family in a way that isn't forced, but natural and organic.
Let's face it the average family does't model so when it comes time to have a photo session everyone looks to the photographer for guidance. Most of the time posing feels like posing, a little awkward, a little uncomfortable, all of which come through in the photographs. Given the opportunity to feel comfortable and at home, free to express your feelings for your loved ones, how do you think you would react to those photographs?
While the cost of mini sessions tend to be the draw for people wanting nice photographs on a budget, I have heard more than a time or two that they felt it was rushed and they feel like they didn't get all the images they wanted.
Well that is because mini session photographers do these in mass production over a set period of time, they want to book as many people as they can to justify the cost of their set up and the time put into each mini session. So there is no room for extra time and if everyone doesn't cooperate during the shoot, you may not be left with many images from it.
My collections start at a minimum 2 hours and can go up depending on how in depth/how much you want photographed. It's a documentation of your life at this moment in time, these images are meant for reflection and allows you to be brought back to those moments.
So if you feel that your family would benefit from extra time, to be comfortable, and to trust in the process perhaps investing in sessions that are longer would be in the best interest of your family.
So no, I do not offer mini's. I offer an experience, that includes love, emotion and the melding of kindred hearts.