Choosing Between Mini Sessions & Full Photo Sessions | Minneapolis Photography

by | Oct 24, 2023 | Family Photography, Kiddos, Locations, Mini Sessions, Sessions

I get a lot of questions about the differences between full sessions with my studio, and mini sessions – so I thought I’d break things down a bit for those of you working on deciding between the two!

Full disclosure though, mini sessions and full sessions actually serve different purposes. Mini sessions aren’t a REPLACEMENT for a family session, they’re more like a bite-sized snack to keep your photos updated in between the longer sessions you book with your kiddos. But I totally get that there might be reasons to choose one or the other, and I want to make that easier! So… what should you think about when you’re choosing a session type?

Comparing Mini Sessions & Full Family Sessions

1. Session Speed

The first thing to think about when it comes to Mini Sessions vs Family Sessions, is the speed. And when I say speed, really what I mean is how long you’ll be in front of the camera, and the pace at which we work. I won’t lie to you – I like things fast on an every-day basis. But at minis? We’re SPEEDY.

I don’t mean that in a stressful way though – and in the 5-15 minutes (depending on the type of mini you book!) that you’re in front of the camera, we will ABSOLUTELY make magic!! That’s not something you have to worry about. But it does make a difference if your kiddos take a long time to warm up to strangers. In that case… it might be best to reach out about a longer session!

And the reverse is true, too. If you’ve got fast-paced little mini humans, it might be best to consider their attention span when you’re booking your session. Maybe they’d be perfectly suited to the pace of a mini session!! Even if they are though – I’ve never met a toddler I couldn’t keep entertained for the length of a full session. Full sessions with Jessica Strobel Photography don’t technically have a time limit, we work together until we have enough. But they usually end up in the 45-minute-ish kind of time range!

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

2. Images in Your Photo Package

The number of images that come with your session are another defining difference between Minneapolis mini sessions, and full family sessions. Minis come with 1-3 digital images, chosen from a gallery shared with you. There will usually be a handful of extra images you can choose between, and if you want to order more, you can definitely add them on!

Full sessions, on the other hand, come with 5 digitals included, and the galleries you can choose additional images from are larger. We have time for more poses, and wardrobe changes (if you choose to have wardrobe changes in your session time!) and so there’s a lot more options after your session!

So if you’re hoping to outfit a gallery wall, for example, it might be good to head in the direction of a full family photography session, instead of a mini. But if you’re just looking for a single image for your Holiday Card this year, then a mini might do EXACTLY what you need!

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

3. Your Photography Session Theme

Another major difference between mini sessions and full sessions is the THEME involved! Mostly, that at mini sessions, I choose the location, the set, the props… You get to choose your wardrobe, of course, but beyond that, the creative choices are mostly in my hands. And not only are they in my hands, they’re decided for you, ahead of time. When you look at my mini session calendar, you’ll see that there are different locations listed, all associated with a specific set. And when you show up that day, you’re going to have your session in that place, with those things, at the time that you choose.

Whereas with a full session… the options are basically endless. We talk about what you want out of your session, choose locations that work for you, and it’s an entirely bespoke experience. Of course, if you want to give me a couple of ideas and let me run with them, amazing! I have no problem with that at all. But if you want to be involved in the creative aspects of your session design, you CAN be. We can create the perfect set for the session you imagine, we can talk about your wardrobe – with certain session types you even have access to a client closet!

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

4. Picking Dates & Scheduling your Minneapolis Session

Ahhh the question of timing. I can keep this one a little bit more brief, because it’s super simple. Mini sessions have set times, in set locations. So when you take a look at my calendar for them, you’ll see what’s available, and you can book right there. But… if none of the times work for you, that’s not super ideal.

However, with a full family session, we will work with your calendar and set a time that works for you AND for me! Since they’re custom booked, we can talk about times of day, days of the week – anything that’s needed to set up a time that works best for your family. So if you’re someone who needs a little more control with your calendar, then it might be best to reach out about booking a full family session! And if you’re not – then either should work for you!

5. Image Editing Turnaround

I started this off talking about how I like things fast, and so it’s only fitting that I end that way too!! That fast thing? It applies to the turnaround on your images, too. But it’s the only thing I’m going to mention here that is THE SAME between mini sessions and full family sessions!

Whether you book a full session, OR a mini session with Jessica Strobel Photography, you’re going to get your gallery to review and choose your favorite images within 24 hours of the session. There’s no waiting around, there’s no sneak peeks and then a gallery in a few weeks… you get them as immediately as possible.

And then once you’ve picked your favorites, you’ll get your final edited images within a week! So if you’ve got a purpose for your photos, like they’re going to be gifts this Christmas, or they’re going on your walls… you won’t have to wait.

I don’t like waiting – and I think you shouldn’t have to either!!

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

Got Questions?

So, I’ve thrown a lot at you here, and I hope it was helpful! But if you’re still trying to weigh your options, reach out to me! I would love to talk you through more differences, and maybe even help you decide which session type would be best for you and your family right now.

Remember – you don’t have to choose between the two, either! Mini sessions are like snacks, and full sessions are a main course. Both are important, just at different times of the day!

family of four smiling at the camera in a minneapolis public park at golden hour
Jessica Strobel holding multi-colored doughnuts over her eyes, smiling wide

Hey! I'm Jessie - 

And I'm so glad you're here!



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