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Mini Sessions VS. Full Family Photography Sessions

Updated: May 21, 2020

Happy Valentine's Day, guys! It just so happens that I just did my first ever Valentine's Day Mini Sessions at the beginning of this month. See some of the cute photos below!

The set-up included light pink and rose gold pillows, some Valentine's-themed balloons... and of course REALLY cute toddlers and babies!!

Valentine's Day Mini Session

Creative mini sessions
Mini Sessions

And, on the topic of mini sessions... it's about to be that time of year again here in College Station, Texas (blue bonnets!!) and you may be trying to decide if you should get family photos taken.

And if you do, should you opt for mini sessions or do you book a full family session?

There are some real benefits to booking minis! BUT there are also benefits to full sessions that you just can't get with minis. The right choice for your family all depends on what YOU are looking for and what you want to get back from your session! College Station will be covered with blue bonnets and spring wildflowers in no time, and I know I'll be offering Spring and Blue Bonnet Mini Sessions this year along with scheduling Full Family photos sessions amongst all the pretty flowers!

So, mini session vs full session... which is a better fit for your family?

Here are some reasons you might prefer a mini session:

  • Your family consists of only adults and older children. Families without toddlers and babies will have an easier time finishing photographs quickly. Older people take direction easier and will be able to transition from one shot to the next, without needing extra time in-between.

  • You want only a few updated photos. Maybe you just did a full session in the fall, so you're not looking for that much variety in your photos again this spring. You're sure you only need a few posed photographs to update your frames, and you won’t need much time in front of the camera.

  • You have a smaller budget. This is a big reason minis are awesome! Minis are usually cheaper than a full family session, because they don't take as long to shoot and the return on photos includes less than a full session. This can be the perfect exchange for still getting photos even when needing to save some money.

And of course.. If you want a holiday theme. This is an obvious one! Want to celebrate a holiday with some special or uniquely themed photos? Minis are always a great opportunity for that. Full family sessions don't offer many props (aside from a blanket) or holiday setups. Like the Mother's Day Mini Session below!! That's where mini's always win.

Speaking of... please leave a comment below or on my Facebook share of this post if you think I should do Mother's day minis again this year! I would love to hear from you guys on whether it's something my clients would want the option of or not!

NOW! Here are some reasons a full session might be a better fit for your family:

  • HEAR ME OUT ON THIS ONE. This is a longer point and it will probably SURPRISE many of you! I hear this literally all the time... people choose mini sessions for their babies and small children because they think it's all their little one can handle. Now, this may be totally true in select situations. BUT!!! Very often... the extra time you have in a full family session gives those upset little ones time to relax! Babies and toddlers can be easily overwhelmed by the rush of mini sessions. Crying toddlers and babies is totally normal and it happens in sessions ALL THE TIME! But... it's usually much easier to work around for mom and dad when in a full family session. There is more time for rocking and calming them down, more time for tickling, playing little games, and "taking a minute" to get the sweet photos of your little ones that you ACTUALLY want!

  • You want more options and more variety in your photos. You want all the sweet, sentimental, and silly candid shots and not just the posed shots. A full session means that we will have double the time to capture photographs. In the end, you will have more shots to choose from. You will often even have enough to fill a memory book to keep on the coffee table and add to the shelf, for your family to easily look back at ("Our Family- Spring 2020").

  • And last but not least, if you have a vision for your own photos and want more of a say in how the session goes. If you have ideas for poses, you want personal props (like for a baby announcement), if you want an outfit change, or if you have multiple locations in mind. Mini sessions are very structured and done in the same set-up, same place, with a certain flow of poses & usually little wiggle room because of time constraints. With a full session, the photos are more customized to fit you and your family and capture you guys just the way you envisioned!

SO! If you're thinking about getting family pictures taken this Spring, but you have been wondering whether you should wait for a mini session sign-up or if you should just schedule a personal family session, hopefully this post helps you make the decision!


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