So you just saw that a photographer near you has posted a photography mini session announcement, and you’re intrigued. But you’re also full of questions like “what IS a mini photo session?” and “how many photos am I going to get?”
Maybe you’re even asking yourself if you should skip the fall or Christmas mini session and just book a regular family photo shoot to get that perfect Christmas card picture, and maybe a few prints for Grandma and your living room walls. How do you choose?
Hold on! Take a breath!
As a photographer who offers one or two mini sessions each year, on top of those regular family photo shoots, I can tell you that you’re not the only one who has had these questions. I get them every single year.
It’s why I’ve put together this guide to help you choose if a mini session is right for you … or not!
Read on for answers to some of my clients’ most common questions from how much do photographers charge for mini sessions to whether or not you should tip your photographer (I know I’m a bit biased … but I promise I get brutally real!).
We can’t really dig into all the details of photography mini sessions without first explaining what the heck it is!
The simplest definition? A mini photo session is really just a short version of a regular photo session.
Hey, I said it was simple, didn’t I? But let’s dig a little deeper into the major differences from a regular session:
Mini sessions may have a theme as simple as “spring family,” like the photo at left of a family having fun in the spring!
I know, I touched on this a little bit above, but I’ve found that the length of time of mini photo sessions can be confusing, so I want to dig a little deeper into the differences in that chunk of time vs. that of a regular session.
The time photographers spend working with clients varies pretty widely, in much the same way that the art each photographer creates varies. Hey, you choose a particular photographer to capture your family’s memories for a reason, right? They’re unique in their craft!
In that sense, I can really only speak to the time I allot to my regular sessions, but I’ve spoken with some of my fellow photographers and I can say this is a pretty fair breakdown of the differences between regular and mini sessions!
Regular sessions last anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours, depending on type of client, number of people being photographed and any additional services (e.g. a make-up artist).
The advantages of this longer time period:
Mini sessions can run anywhere from 5 minutes to 20 minutes, depending on the type of client, number of people being photography and any additional services (e.g. a holiday themed mini session with Santa visiting!).
The advantages of this shorter time period:
This is always a question I’m asked when I advertise it’s time for mini sessions, and it’s a fair one! I want my clients to know up front what they’re paying for.
I’ll preface my answer, however, by saying this is simply how I run MY mini sessions. Each photographer does things just a little bit differently.
My mini session clients receive:
Yup, it’s the big question you’ve been waiting for! I realize I saved one of the big questions for almost last, but I think it helps to understand what is involved in the cost before I start pulling out numbers.
The good news: Mini sessions are (almost always) less expensive than regular sessions!
The bad news: There is no one specific price photographers charge for mini sessions.
This isn’t a fluke – the expenses that each one is taking into consideration varies too, from the photographer’s insurance and equipment costs to the money paid to assistants or a visiting Santa, and even rental fees to make sure of a specific property!
In this day and age, it’s hard to know when it’s polite to tip and when it’s not expected. So should you be tipping your mini session photographer?
That’s truly up to you. While tips are always appreciated, they are also not expected from me. I make a point to also pay my photography assistants a fair wage, so tipping them is not necessary either. Then again, if you’d like to tip my assistant, that would also be appreciated!
Basically? You can’t go wrong either way!
Did you skim all this information, hoping you could just get a quick and easy breakdown to compare a mini session and a regular session? This one’s for you!
|Mini Sessions||Regular Sessions|
|Limited to specific weekend||Available throughout the year|
|Limited time slots available||Scheduling is more flexible|
|Time is short – 10 to 20 minutes at most||Time is longer – 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours|
|Small # of photos to choose from||More photos to choose from|
|Limited to specific theme||Can be custom-fit to your needs|
|Limited to specific location||Location choices available|
|Lower price point||Higher price point|
Want to learn more about photography sessions in the Sullivan County NY Catskills? Send me a message!