Is a mini session right for me?

I never really cared about taking photos until I started having kids. Now my camera roll is filled with rows and rows of tiny toes, shaky and blurry faces, and videos of my boys smiling and laughing. I literally can’t take enough photos of them!

But there’s nothing like my professionally taken photos. If you’re anything like me, you love the idea of taking family photos (because let’s be honest mama – you spend more time behind the camera and have very few photos WITH your kids).

However, logistically family photos may seem a bit daunting and THAT is where mini-sessions come in.

As a mom of two toddlers, I completely understand that it’s important to capture beautiful, professional photos that YOU get to be in but an hour long session just doesn’t sound fun or even feasible for your family. Here are some things to consider when deciding whether a mini session is right for you and your family.

christmas mini session


First and foremost it’s important to have the right expectations about mini sessions. If you’re looking to grab a few updated photos of your family, this is exactly what mini-sessions are for.

However, if you have a very specific shot list of images in mind then a mini session is not the best fit for you. Mini sessions usually have a set theme and the session time is under 20 minutes which doesn’t leave a ton of room to get the main shots AND add in a custom list of shots.

I always ask my clients if they have a a couple of photos they’d like to get but this is only after we get all the “must-have” mini photos done. Anything can happen during a mini session from an uncooperative child to dad getting a stain on his shirt, so a mini session is not best if you are looking for a very specific list of images that are outside of what is already planned for the mini session by your photographer -ahem me lol

If you have a long list of photos you’d like, I’d recommend booking a full session.

A mini session is perfect for you if you just want a few good photos, have a short (or non existent) list of photo ideas, and are willing to go with the flow of a fast, less predictable time slot.

A mini session is NOT the best fit for you if you have a detailed list or a more specific set of shots in mind.


As a photographer, I go above and beyond to bring my energy and personality but you know your family best. Mini sessions last on average 10-20 minutes and this does not leave a ton of time for spouses and kids to get to know each other.

That being said – if your family members don’t enjoy taking photos or have a shorter attention span a mini-session is actually a great fit for them.

The idea is that because mini sessions are a short time frame, your family is less likely to get annoyed, tired, or frustrated during the session.

On the other end, if you know that your children may be SUPER camera shy for one reason or another, it may be worth it to book a full session or at the least, two back to back mini sessions.

At the end of the day it’s important to think about how is your crews temperament around taking photos. Pre-teens and teens prefer mini sessions because they are very uninterested in hour long photoshoots with their mom (little buggers ha) and mini sessions are also great for toddlers and babies because they don’t have to “sit still” for long.

A mini session is perfect for you if you’re ok with capturing the season and temperament of life your family is currently in. You’ll be happy whether they smile (or not), jump, flip, and everything in between because you know that this is just the season you’re in. This is also great for you if your family hates taking photos and you don’t want to go through the drama of a longer session.

A mini session is NOT the best fit for you if you’re really wanting specific photos or if your littles need a lot of time to warm up to strangers. Keep in mind that this is one great advantage of a full session! Your family will have time to warm up and get used to being in front of the camera, not to mention during a full session there is time to let your family take breaks and burn off some energy if need be in order to capture the amazing moments on your list.


A lot of mini sessions have themes, for example: Mommy + Me’s, Fall Mini’s, Christmas Mini’s, etc.

If you book a mini session at a Christmas tree farm, expect all of your photos to have Christmas trees in the background. When you go to book a mini session, make sure you really like the location and props being used.

Here at KHP most of our sessions are minimally decorated but it’s important that you pay attention to the location and decide how you feel about the background before you book your mini session.

A mini session is perfect for you if you are excited about the location and like the props being used.

A mini session is NOT the best fit for you if you don’t like the theme or location. It won’t change just because you book it. What you see advertised is what you’ll get so be mindful that there is usually no flexibility on the style or theme of the mini session.

There are so many things to consider when choosing between a mini session versus a full session. I hope these points gave you a few things to consider before you book. I love mini sessions for so many reason and I recommend them often because I know how important it is to document as much of your family as possible. It’s worth it!

Are you thinking of booking a mini session, or is a full session a better fit for your family?


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