"Do you do mini sessions?" It's not the number 1 question I get asked by any means, but it is one I get nonetheless. The short answer is no, but there's so much more to it than that.
I'd like to preface this whole thing by saying I'm not knocking mini sessions. Some photographers do them and they do them in a way I'm totally envious of. It is it's own art, just not mine. You're not going to catch Nicholas Sparks writing suspense novels and you're not going to find me shooting minis. I tried once, and there was nothing mini about it for me and I'm not doing it again. Nope.
Mini Sessions are too short. We're talking 15 minutes of mom and photographer trying to keep everyone on their "best" behavior while mom is worried about Sally's bow being in the wrong spot, little Johnny can't get his finger out of whatever hole he just discovered, and dad still isn't even sure why they're there to begin with. Everyone shows up stressed out and hopefully they get that one everyone looking at the camera photo they came for. The Christmas card shot.
The problem is what are we trying to remember here? Are we trying to remember those super cute coordinating outfits mom bought or are we trying to document the way mom brushes that sweet toddler hair from little Sally's face or the way Johnny's arms wrap around dad's neck and his eyes squeeze shut or the way your littles finds you in a moment of uncertainty or that sideways "I'm trying not to laugh" smirk of your pre teen? My vote is for the latter. Those are the moments that make me tick as a photographer.
Ask yourself who these photos are for. Where do you want them to end up? If your answer is Facebook or a Christmas card, mini sessions might be your jam. If your answer is on your wall or in a stunning coffee table album or some super fun square prints that your children can touch, then maybe minis aren't your jam. Maybe you'd prefer a good Nicholas Sparks book over James Patterson. There's no wrong answer here.
90 minutes is way more time to just relax and not worry and to just savor a few "real" moments with your loved ones.
But to prove my point I'd like to show you some photographs from my latest session that happened after the first 15 minutes of shooting (the standard mini session length of time).