I love the idea of Mini Sessions, and there is definitely a place for them if you’re looking for a quick posed family photo without a lot of time or investment. However, I value a deeper connection with my clients and that’s hard to do with Mini Sessions.
Mini Sessions are usually 15-20 minutes long, at one location, with staged props possibly used for small children. There might be several families lined up waiting for their turn.
I am not a fan of the assembly-line feel. I don’t want clients to feel rushed. In addition, connection and relationships take time to build, and genuine natural expressions are hard to achieve in the first 15 minutes.
Brady is a perfect example. He came to me right after a soccer game and was still in his uniform. He hadn’t eaten yet, was tired and cranky, and stated that he absolutely did not want to be there. I sympathized with him, kept talking to him and we kept going. There were a lot of wooden-faced shots for the first 20 minutes. I was my usual goofy self and was undeterred. Tweens (ages 10-13) are one of my favorite age groups to work with.
Suddenly, at that 20 minute mark, Brady and I connected. He actually laughed and smiled for the first time. That laughter continued. I was now a friend, not a stranger anymore. From then until the rest of the session, he was talkative, laughing and even suggesting things to do. He was showing me his dance moves by the end of our 45 minute session. We were best friends by the end, and he told me he had a great time. I told Brady what a trouper he was for sticking it out. He is an amazing kid and I had such a fun time with him.
This sums up why I don’t do Mini Sessions - most people are stiff and self-conscious for the first 15 minutes. Usually I see the magical transformation and connection occur right when a typical Mini Sessions ends, which is the exact time I want to keep going to get those naturally expressive shots, the relaxed smiles and families laughing together.
Will I ever offer Mini Sessions? Definitely, but only to existing clients who I already have a relationship and connection with. If you are interested in your own relaxed and playful non-mini session, contact me below!
Scroll down to see Brady’s transformation from sullen to relaxed and happy.