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  • Amanda Chesher

Full/standard session VS. Mini/petite

I am sure most of you have heard about mini sessions in the photography world. But what is a mini session and how it is different from a full session? What are the pros and cons and how do they work?

I offer several different themed minis in the studio year round. And I can tell you that they are very different from other sessions.

Full sessions allow for more customization. The locations are usually different from one session to the next. They typically take place at a park or beach, farm or forested areas. Studio sessions can be offered at times at well. There is also longer time frames for full sessions, often between 45 minutes to an hour. This allows for time to set up larger groups in poses and walk the area for a variety of backdrops to be included in your final gallery. This allows for outfit changes if the client so desires. Due the amount of time and variety that is allowed with a full session there are normally a larger number of images included in the final product. While there is more room for time, images and customization, this also means that a full session is also more in the cost as well.

A mini session is just that, it is mini. They are quicker in time spent in front of the camera and fewer images are included. They are designed to be short and sweet. These sessions normally allow up to 15-20 minutes of camera time and include less then 10 images, amount depends on the photographer and package created. Due to the time frame, outfit changes are normally not possible. They are always done at set locations, with the same backdrop or theme and are set up to be back to back with booking. This means that your photos will look like a lot of other families images as well. Because of the way they work, they are usually reduced in price.

Mini session are offered in batches. They work business wise as photographers are able to bring in many clients at one time without spend time tearing down and setting up different props and set in between clients. The back to back bookings helps to cover the cover the cost for photographers to do business (the purchase of backdrops, props and such) Therefore a single person cannot book a mini session outside schedule times created by the photographer.

So to sum it up for you


- longer time in front of camera

- higher in price

- more images

- clients input in creative themes, props, locations, etc

- You session will be unique to you


- faster sessions

- limited amount of images

- available during select time frames only

- no input on backdrop or props

- images similar to many others

- cheaper in price

- great for smaller children

Mini sessions are great for themed sessions or holidays. Sort of like limited edition menu items. They allow for updated photos with fun ideas behind them. You don't need about 20 different Christmas photos, just a few to mark the holidays and for cards and such. Depending on your needs mini sessions can be great. But something like a full family session or maternity session, birthday celebrations; mini session are not ideal.

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