Are Mini Sessions Worth It? | Minneapolis Mini Sessions

by | Dec 22, 2023 | Family Photography, Kiddos, Mini Sessions, Sessions

You might be wondering why anyone would get a mini session when you could just get a full session devoted entirely to your family. And I get it, it’s a valid question! Or, flip side, if you’ve recently HAD a full session, but you really like the location of an upcoming mini session, and you don’t know whether you can justify having a mini so close to your most recent photo shoot.

But here’s the thing: mini sessions and full sessions serve DIFFERENT purposes! They’re not really intended to do the same thing for your family, and there are a lot of reasons for that. Just because you already had dinner doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a lil square of chocolate before bed, right? And (flip side, again) just because you had a snack at 3 doesn’t mean you’re going to skip dinner.

Minis are SNACKS. And snacks? Snacks are AMAZING. Full meals are too, but you get what I mean, right? So – what makes mini sessions worth paying for?

Loads of things!!

Mini sessions are QUICK.

At first glance this might sound like a cop-out because why pay for something if it’s going to be done in a flash? (See what I did there? Photography pun?) But I’m guessing the parents in the room are already with me on this one. Mini sessions are quick and that’s MAGIC. It means you don’t have to worry about your kiddos getting impatient and grumpy. And it means you don’t have to carve out a ton of time in your already busy schedule. Plus who has time to stain their shirt? Not your kiddos, because they’re done so fast there wasn’t time for them to make a mess of anything! (Though if you plan on giving them snacks in the car, pro tip: switch their shirt RIGHT before the session starts!)

The speed of a mini session isn’t just about it being “quick” it’s about it being CONVENIENT, and something functional you can fit into a random week without all the fuss of managing everyone’s schedule. And that level of convenience? ALWAYS worth it.

Family of four posed smiling together for Jessica Strobel Photography winter mini sessions

Mini sessions are FUN.

One of the cool things about mini sessions that kind of pairs with them being so quick, is they’re super fun. Your teen doesn’t have time to be angsty. Your toddler doesn’t have time to have a terrible-twos moment in front of the camera. They’re too busy having fun, because of the whirlwind timing involved! It’s almost a trick in and of itself. Without time to get in their own head about what they’re going to look like on camera, we’ll get genuine, gorgeous smiles from your 15 year old daughter. And I basically won’t bother explaining the tiny-human equivalent, because if you’ve worked with me, you know: whether it’s a mini or a full session, I’m basically the toddler-whisperer. (No really, it’s a thing. I have a whole history working with kiddos that’s prepared me for this!)

But it’s not just about the kids having fun, it’s about YOU having fun too. Because without worrying about a toddler who’s gotten tired of walking around and has entered the twisty-tantrum place, or trying to get your teen to smile… YOU get to have a fun, stress-free session experience too. And then at the end of it all you get those stress-free moments documented to hang on your walls! Really no downside there, right?

A toddler boy in a grey shirt and jeans plays with his father's face while holding a newborn baby minneapolis midwives

Mini sessions can be CASUAL.

So this one is really moreso up to you, because you CAN dress up for your mini if you want to. In fact, wardrobe is ENTIRELY up to you, and if you wanna go full-glam… more power to you! But my mini sessions themselves are designed to be casual. They’re not full of complex posing – but don’t worry, you’ll always know what to do with your hands (I promise!)

When I mentioned that mini sessions are like a snack, this is part of what I meant. They’re casual documentation, instead of a formal “meal” at the table, if you know what I mean. And with the pressure off, we can truly capture joy. That’s one of the most beautiful things about mini sessions, in my experience. I’m not saying we don’t capture true joy in full sessions, I mean we do that with EVERY session in my studio. But there’s something about a whirlwind mini session that brings down people’s walls (like the overthinking teen I mentioned!) and lets you be yourself.

family of four smiling at the camera in a minneapolis public park at golden hour

Mini sessions can be CASUAL.

So this one is really moreso up to you, because you CAN dress up for your mini if you want to. In fact, wardrobe is ENTIRELY up to you, and if you wanna go full-glam… more power to you! But my mini sessions themselves are designed to be casual. They’re not full of complex posing – but don’t worry, you’ll always know what to do with your hands (I promise!)

When I mentioned that mini sessions are like a snack, this is part of what I meant. They’re casual documentation, instead of a formal “meal” at the table, if you know what I mean. And with the pressure off, we can truly capture joy. That’s one of the most beautiful things about mini sessions, in my experience. I’m not saying we don’t capture true joy in full sessions, I mean we do that with EVERY session in my studio. But there’s something about a whirlwind mini session that brings down people’s walls (like the overthinking teen I mentioned!) and lets you be yourself.

family of four smiling at the camera in a minneapolis public park at golden hour

Mini sessions help you feel more like you can EXPERIENCE your life.

Ya know how the purpose of a snack is to tide you over between meals? Like, you get a little hungry, so you go grab a bag of chips or a banana or whatever. So that you’re not hangry by the time dinner comes around, right? Well that’s what mini sessions do too.

And that’s important, because we live in a world where we carry cameras in our pockets all the time. We feel like we have to document everything from the pretty coffee we got at the cafe last weekend to our kiddos playing in the livingroom. We’re the constant documentarians of our own lives.

But when we’re constantly seeing our OWN LIVES through the back face of our phone, instead of with our eyeballs while we’re living it… we’re not actually experiencing those moments, and honestly that’s a shame. You should get to LIVE those moments with your family.

So the point I’m getting to here, is when you get in the habit of booking mini sessions between your bigger full family photo updates, you KNOW you’re going to have new photos of your son when he loses his front teeth. And they’re going to be way cooler than the ones you could take on your phone. You’ll KNOW you’re going to get some pictures of your toddler’s early-walking stages, because… you’ll have a mini in that time frame. I’m not saying don’t take pictures of your kids – but I AM saying that when you get in the habit of booking sessions, even mini sessions, it helps to relieve the pressure associated with remembering all the things, and documenting all the moments. That way you can LIVE them.

family of four smiling at the camera in a minneapolis public park at golden hour

So, are mini sessions worth it?

Ultimately, that’s something you’ll have to decide for your family. But I personally think it’s an absolute yes! To be real with you (like I always am) whenever I offer minis? I get my own kiddos involved, and use it as an opportunity to update my pictures of them. Because when I’m out with them in the world, or we’re doing things at home, I don’t want to feel the pressure to document all of those moments. I want to live them, with my family.

And I think you should be able to too.

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