Mini Session for Senior Pictures | Will it Work??

by | Mar 26, 2024 | Family Photography, Kiddos, Senior Photos, Sessions

We’re approaching the summer (I know, how has that happened already??) which means, it’s time for mini sessions. And not just mine, either! This is the season when minis are all over the place, with all kinds of themes and focuses. And if you’re a savvy spender with a teen who’s coming up to graduation, you might be wondering: Can I book a mini session for my teen’s senior pictures?

The answer is technically yes, however… there’s more to think about than just cost and timing when it comes to senior pictures! There are a ton of differences between mini sessions and full sessions, and almost all of them come into play when you’re choosing whether to use mini sessions for senior pictures!

How many images do you want?

One of the biggest considerations you should make when you’re choosing between a mini session and a full session, is how many images you want to receive. Most mini sessions are pretty light on the images included in the session fee – normally to the tune of one or two images. That’s intentional! Mini sessions aren’t designed to be a full meal, they’re a snack size. To keep your family images or portraits updated between full sessions!

Full sessions, on the other hand, come with a whole range of numbers of images. My standard sessions come with 5, but you can upgrade to include as many as you want, up to the full gallery! And of course, you can upgrade a mini session gallery too – but… there are going to be fewer images to upgrade to, since sessions are shorter, include only one location, and are focused on a specific theme.

So if you want to be able to upgrade to a gallery that includes a TON of images, then a mini session for senior pictures might not be the vibe you need!

brothers in matching navy polo shirts during Minneapolis Fall Mini Sessions

How are you going to use the images?

If you’re having trouble with the question of “how many images do you want” and you’re thinking to yourself “I could probably be fine with just one or two!” I want you to ask yourself something before you make the decision 100%. Ask: how am I going to use these images?

Are they primarily for the memories? Do you plan on printing some? What about your kiddo’s graduation announcements? In all of these situations, you’re going to want a different number of images. If you just want one for their graduation announcements… a mini session for senior pictures might actually work for you! But if you wanted to print a handful for family and friends, or to hang in your own home… that might not be the case. So think about how you’re going to use the images you get in your final package!

A mom hugging her two daughters during a Minneapolis Fall Mini Session

Do you want wardrobe changes?

Now, another big difference between mini sessions and a full senior picture session is wardrobe changes. When you book a full senior photo session, you can talk to your photographer (me!) about how many wardrobe changes your teen gets in their package. We’ve talked before about how every photographer handles including wardrobe shifts differently, but this is also something to talk to your teen about.

Do they have two outfits they DEFINITELY want included? What about images with their cap and gown? Maybe they even want to bring their prom dress, and really make a day of it when they come into the studio. These are all questions to consider, because if you replace a full senior picture session with a mini session, you’re not going to be able to fit in wardrobe changes. There’s simply not enough time to change clothes in the space allotted in the studio/on location during a mini session!

Think about the experience

Once you’ve considered the cost, the wardrobe changes, how many images are included, etc… it’s time to think about one more thing! The experience. Having a mini session for senior pictures is definitely going to be a different experience for your teen than having a full session!

Full senior picture sessions can include all of the things we’ve talked about here that minis can’t… but there’s more to it than that. Minis are quick. And when I say quick, I’m not kidding! They’re usually between ten and twenty minutes, depending on the location, theme, and purpose for the mini sessions. At the end of your time in front of the camera (or your kiddo’s, in this case!) someone else will pretty much immediately slide into place after you, because of the way mini session days are designed.

And for a mini, that’s not a problem! That’s literally their job. Like I said, they’re a snack, not a meal. But a senior picture session is supposed to be focused on your teen. It’s THEIR time. THEIR day. A moment to really focus on the things they’ve accomplished while they were in high school. And the focus of a full session allows that to happen. They can bring outfits. They can have different sets included. You get a LOT more options.

Best friends posed against a pink backdrop for Minneapolis senior pictures

Ultimately it’s up to you!

At the end of the day: whether a mini session for senior pictures will work for you is UP to you. It comes down to what you need the photos for, how you feel about the experience your teen will have, as well as factors like cost and timing.

If you’re struggling to choose, reach out! I’d love to talk to you about how to choose what type of session will be best for your teen, and whether you can repurpose a mini session for their senior portraits, or whether it would be best to look at a full session.

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