Mini VS Full Session

Mini sessions are a very popular way to get updated photos as children grow, or for families to get quick, updated family photos throughout the year. But in many cases, the benefits and custom service experience of a full session, Classic or Deluxe is a better fit for families who are planning a photo session to mark a milestone or special occasion, especially for extended families or clients who want to get the most from their images with wall art galleries and custom products.


What is the difference between a Full Session and Mini Session?

Here's the thing, I made a list of the technical differences, and a lot of it won't even matter or make any sense to you. But the real difference is the experience you will have. Portrait sessions are one of those things that when the experience is fantastic you love the end product even more. It's actually an intimate experience that has far better results when you trust and open yourself up during the session, which honestly takes a little time, and something we can't aim for in 20 short minutes.
With short mini sessions we move quickly - we get great images, but they are more posed and standard looking images.
When we have time to explore, relax, engage and play, we get images that are so much more!

I know you're worried about your kid behaving and an hour is just too long for them. Most the time it takes kids some time to warm up and get in the groove of the session, and we get the best stuff once they relax and start being themselves. This rings true for Dads too. Yes, some kids nail it right at the start of the session and those are typically the kids that have their photos taken frequently. So if you haven't done a professional photo session it is probably better to go with a longer session so your kids have a chance to relax.

Here are a few differences between a Mini Session and a Classic Session.

Classic Session:

    • $350 Session Fee
    • 60+ minutes
    • Priority editing
    • Images are available for purchase in 30 Megapixel image size
    • Includes all my tools and tricks
    • Custom use of flash / strobe lights
    • Access to extensive Wardrobe & Prop Library
    • Custom session planning services
    • Personalized session experience to capture the dynamics of your family
    • Specialized props as appropriate 
    • Printed 4x6 proofs of entire gallery 
    • Personal help to designing the best way to enjoy your images.
    • Purchased images get final touch up editing
    • Really aimed at capturing you and your family dynamics.

Mini Sessions:

    • $295
    • 20 minutes long
    • 8 edited image of your choice with jpeg file 
    • Images are 4 Megapixel image size
    • 1 lens is used
    • Basic sets of my choice
    • We use props on hand, not custom designed
    • Max 6 people
    • No weekend dates
    • An Online Gallery is issued instead of an in-person reveal session
    • This is quick on all levels and not personalized 

Milestone Session:

    • $250 (+ $50 cake & Bath splash = $300)
    • 30 minutes long
    • 30 image gallery
    • An Online Gallery and an in-person reveal session
    • Baby only session
    • We use props on hand, not custom designed


  •  Variety: I go for all the basic poses and arrangements at each session but with a full session we can try those poses in multiple locations and get it just right rather than a forced pose in a mini session. You get multiple looks, locations and feelings with a full session. Typically we get the perfect pose at the start and then move onto more fun and get that connection that is so wonderful to capture. 


  • How You’d Like to Display Your Images: Besides the immediate gratification of sharing on social media, digital files are not your best means of cherishing your images. Don't lock them up on a hard drive and ignore them. Let them evoke smiles every day! Have them bring back the warm love feeling with your gaze every time you walk by them. Trust me, they look way better printed, and I only use the best labs to provide the highest quality and unique products. I keep your images indefinitely and when you qualify for an online gallery, you're getting all your images safe and secure to share and adore from any internet ready device.


  • Age of Children & Dynamics of Family: As mentioned above kids actually love the longer sessions and it gives us all time to relax and capture your true personalities. We have the time to move about, they get comfortable with me and start to play, making for dynamic and personalized images. If there is a tantrum we have time to decompress and calm down during a full session. If there is a dirty diaper don't fret we can change it and still have time for great images during a full session. If it's a mini session, especially on a Limited Edition day where sessions are back to back there's not much time to diffuse a tantrum or clean up a mess.


When a mini makes sense


  •  Update: When you want a few images of just the kids, as they grow and change too fast, and you did a full session not to long ago, yes to a mini! When you want to capture a milestone of a kiddo. When you simply need your holiday cards done. When you love the season and theme, don't miss it! 


  • Getting to know your photographer: A full portrait session is an investment, but it is a smart investment when made with the right photographer. You need to trust and jive with your photographer. You have to like their style and level of professionalism. If you want to try out a new photographer a mini session is a safe way to do that. Though I don't provide the same personalized service with minis as I do full sessions, you will still get a sense for who I am, how I do business and if you enjoy the session and your final images.


  • Age of Children & Dynamics of Family: Yup this again. You know your family better than anyone else. Some kids are naturals in front of the camera and know exactly how to pose so we can move through the session quickly. If you're a naturally photographic family that just wants to get a great portrait, let's do a mini. But if you want more, with the full experience, let's do a full session.

Hello, my son is the hardest person for me to photograph, by far! This is the photo I have printed large for my wall. Why? Because he would not sit still for the session, or in life! This is what he is, a blur of chaos that makes me laugh, keeps me trying to keep up and I'm always bewildered by him.
A perfectly posed image, though I have many favorites from this session, was not what was appropriate or tugged at my heart at this point in life. You can also see the rain drops, yup it rained when I traveled 95 minutes to do a photo session with another photographer - you've gotta hear about that adventure here.


As a professional photographer with 15 years experience, I would be thrilled to help you plan your perfect session -- whether it’s for your family, maternity, newborn, or a special occasion. Check out to review your options and book your session today!

Leave a Comment