"My child won't last an hour, so mini session is a better fit"
Have you ever made the statement “My child won’t last an hour, so a mini session works best for us” or “all we need is a one picture”? At first glance, a mini portrait session may seem like a wonderful idea. Especially since you may see or hear so many other families requesting the same thing. As a matter of fact, this seems to be very common request made by many parents in the Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. area. However, once the session is going well; time is up.
The biggest challenge for families and mini portrait sessions are the ability for families to connect with the camera and themselves in a quick amount of time. The overall goal of hiring a professional photographer is to get beautiful quality family portraits. As these pictures will become a loving remembrance of your family's current stage. One of the biggest issues being overlooked is the ability for the child to warm up and connect with your family's photographer.
One of the first questions I ask potential clients looking for a family mini session is how quickly will your child warm up to a stranger or does your child have reservations with their photograph being taken? If your child is reluctant to have their picture taken; a mini portrait session may not be a great fit. This is especially true if you have several children of different ages.
In addition, as a mother of a child diagnosed with Autism, I understand the sensitive nature and care it takes in getting younger children to warm up to the camera; even strangers. Furthermore, how to get a genuine smile (I’m not to proud to act wacky or blow bubbles to grab their attention). As a parent, we can always tell if our child is giving a fake smile (if you’re like me; those are the worst). If you’re ok with just capturing your child in their current mood and not overly concerned with whether they smile or not, then a mini session may be suitable.
Awkward face, closed eyes, mid-blink eyes; these are just a few things that make it difficult to take just one photo. Moreover, the more people within your family’s portrait, the more challenging it will be to take just one photo. Sometimes it takes a few pictures to get everyone looking at the camera with a smile and without eye blinking. A shorter family photo session may also limit the final amount of poses you may get for your family pictures. Yes, a beautiful family portrait can be created in a short period of time, especially if there aren't a lot of people. However, for families the overall goal is to capture the family, the couple, the siblings together, and the siblings individually.
As a professional family photographer, it’s my responsibility to educate and equipment my clients with the best information. I want you to have the most memorable and wonderful experience
Sometimes that’s informing my clients a mini session may not be a great fit for their family.
Why mini sessions may be challenging...