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Portrait photographer’s tip on how to get the most our of your mini photo session

So you booked a mini photo session with a local photographer and you’re worried that you won’t get the photos you are looking for.  Or maybe you have been contemplating booking a mini session but are worried that it might not be the right fit for your little ones or family.  I’m here to help you decide and give you a few hints on how to make the most of those mini sessions.

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First off, you need to decide when it is a good idea to book a mini photo session instead of a full session.  Mini sessions are great if you have older children, want a themed photo, or just need an updated photo of your kids.  When photographing 1 or 2 kids that are easy to direct (i.e. a 5 year old that can be easily asked to sit still and will actually sit still), a mini session might be a great fit.  If you have a baby who is under 1 and isn’t mobile yet, a mini session might be a great fit.  Another great time to book a mini photo session is if you are looking a couple posed photos around the holidays.

It’s a good idea to book a full session if you are looking for a session to reflect you and and your family.  Another time to book a full session instead of a mini is if you are looking for a variety of backgrounds as well as types of photos – both posed and playful or “lifestyle.”  Lastly, I always recommend booking a full session if you have young children or toddlers (i.e. an 18 month old is usually more interested in chasing down, well, pretty much anything, than posing for a photo) – while they can surprise you by following every instruction, it’s always better to give them time and space to get used to their surrounding and take lots of breaks.

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Now that you’ve made a decision on the type of session that’s right for your family, let’s talk a little about how to get the most of the mini session (check out this post about preparing for your custom family session).

  • Pick an outfit that matches the set/location/theme.  If you are booking a Valentine’s mini, as an example, a white, pink, or red combination is a good idea.  If you are booking a beach mini, be prepared to go barefoot and find a more casual outfit that will fit the beach setting.

Madison CT Photographer | Spring mini session

  • Be on time or even a few minutes early.  The great thing about mini sessions is that they start and end quickly.  The tough part about mini sessions, especially with multiple kids or younger children, is making sure that not only are you on time, but the kids are out of their car seats, hair brushed, and ready to go because you have limited time and sessions are booked back to back with about 5 minute breaks in between.

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  • Make sure the kids are ready: feed them a snack, make sure you choose a spot that fits with the nap/sleep schedule.  Happy kids = great session and happy parents!  It’s wild how hunger and tiredness can affect a child’s ability to follow instructions.


  • Communicate with your photographer!  Make sure to talk to your photographer about what you want to get out of those photos – are you looking to update a canvas or large print in your home?  While mini sessions are often pretty routine, there is still room to adjust to make sure that you are receiving the products that will fit your style and your home.  As an example, if you are looking to have a 3-series canvas print, your photographer will shoot complimentary poses or setups to make sure that they look great together.

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Here is a list of the upcoming mini sessions:

  1. Valentine’s mini scheduled for January 23, 2016
  2. Mother’s Day mini
  3. Summer beach mini
  4. Fall mini
  5. Winter/Holiday mini

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Catherine King Photography


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