Mini Session vs Full Session: Which is Right For You?

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Some may be wondering what the difference is between a mini session vs a full session. More than that you might be wondering which one is right for you. Today we are going to take a look at both sessions. I’ll provide an overview of both minis and full sessions so that you have all the details needed before booking your next session! 

The definition of mini session is a short 15 minute photo session at a specific date and location for a specified block of time that the photographer chooses. 

In contrast, a full session is when the client and photographer work together to choose the best date, time and location to create the client’s dream look. The duration of those sessions vary, but most photographers will block out 45 minutes to an hour or more of time.  

Family portrait session by CO photographer Catherine Chamberlain

Mini Session vs Full Session | The Pros + Cons

Pros of Mini Sessions

Mini sessions have many pros, especially for families with young kids! They are quick and to the point, leaving little to no time for kids to get bored. These sessions are perfect for kids that can’t do much longer than 15 minutes. Another perk is that mini sessions are at a lower price point than full sessions. 

Don’t be fooled though! The short amount of time DOESN’T mean you won’t end up with lots of images to choose from! I get every combination possible with a mini session! (family photo, mom with kids, dad with kids, siblings together, etc.). By booking minis, this also allows you to update family photos several times a year because of the lower cost. You can do them seasonally and have a full year of photos! This is also another benefit if you have young kids, because, as you know, they change so much in just a few months during those early years. 

Cons of Mini Sessions: 

While there are tons of pros to mini sessions, there are also some drawbacks. For instance, clients do not get to choose the date and location of the session. Those details are predetermined by the photographer. Most photographers do not offer mini sessions year-round. For example, I offer seasonal minis that I announce during certain times of the year. This also means that there are limited time slots available, which means you might miss out if you don’t book quickly. Mini sessions typically include a set number of images with no outfit changes, and usually one background or look. They are also limited to immediate family only.  

Pros for Full Sessions: 

Now that we’ve looked at the pros and cons of mini sessions, we will look at the benefits and drawbacks of full sessions! 

There are a few huge benefits to booking a full session! You, the client, picks the location, date, and time. Your session can also include extended family members and have multiple outfit changes and looks if desired. You will also receive more images than a mini session. If you have kids that take time to warm up to the photographer, a full session may be a better option as you will have more time to get the kiddos relaxed and comfortable. They can play and have fun being kids without the stress of time! I also love this aspect, because capturing kids playing and in their element usually provides the best photo ops. This also allows me to best capture their personality. Since we have more time during a full session, we will walk around and shoot at several different spots to add variety to your final gallery. 

Cons for Full Sessions: 

Obviously, a full session is more of an investment in time and money. While the benefits of a full session make the cost a worthwhile investment, I totally understand that it might not be doable for everyone in their current season of life. Another drawback to full sessions is that while you get to pick the date and time of your session, weekends fill up very quickly since I am only able to capture a couple of sessions a weekend. Due to the fact they take up more time and are often in different locations, I only have a few openings each weekend. 

Regardless of whether you choose to do a mini session or full session, we will make the most of our time together. I assure you that we will capture beautiful memories of your family that you will treasure for years to come.  If you are still unsure which session is best for you, reach out and let’s chat! We will make sure we find the best option for you!

If you are interested in learning more about my photography, please Contact me today to start a conversation! I can’t wait to hear from you! 

Find resources and view more beautiful families + Moments over on the blog! 

Top Family Styling Tips

Northern Colorado Top 10 Locations for Family Photo Sessions

Apple Orchard Mini Sessions at Ya Ya Orchard in Longmont, CO

Buckingham Park Maternity Session

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I'm Catherine and I'm so happy you're here. This blog a journal about our lives, travels, and the amazing families we get to serve. Stay a while and say hello!

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