Mini sessions are short and sweet versions of our full sessions. We are working in a limited time frame so it’s important to plan ahead.
- Be on time! Please arrive a little before your session time so you are ready to shoot AT your scheduled time (meaning having your kids in their clothing, hair fixed, face wiped, etc) Sessions will be booked back to back so if you are late, you will only have the remaining time to complete your session. This is most important! Allow 30 minutes for your session (shooting time will be 20 minutes). If you have any questions, please let me know beforehand.
- Parking may be limited: Some locations (primarily Haywood Hall) may have limited parking. Please leave yourself enough time to park and walk if need be.
- Have a Game Plan: Due to the time restrictions on these minis we will first focus on a particular shot – family shots, individuals of two children or less, sibling shots, etc. If we have time after we have gotten that shot, we will try for others so be prepared to tell me on that day which shots you prefer most. Remember that these sessions only yield 10-15 images so too many poses means fewer of each one to choose from.
- When you arrive: I will likely be working with the client booked before you when you arrive. Please do not disrupt that session or distract the children being photographed so I can ensure I will have the full 20 minutes to work with each child. Be sure to keep those kiddos in the shade on hot days!
- Prepping your younger kids: Tell kids that they are going to play and have fun while they have their pictures taken but don’t spend too much time with rules or guidelines or what to expect in the days before. You don’t even need to tell them to smile big for me (if they smile on demand it will be a weird smile!) it will be better if I get a genuine laugh on my own. Please don’t bribe them with treats during or after a session for a good smile (or threaten to take treats away if they don’t – this does not work). Trust me, I am not above a good bribe every now and then but a young child can not grasp the concept of being good now for ice cream later. They want ice cream NOW! I have games and songs and tricks up my sleeve to help kids warm up so the goal is for the experience to be fun on it’s own, without needing any additional incentives.
- Food at a photo session is never a good idea. It leads to messes and meltdowns. Feed your kids well before the session (lots of protein and little sugar) and they shouldn’t need to eat during the time we are together. THIS INCLUDES CANDY! Trust me when I say there is a difference in behavior before and after sugary treats are introduced. More often then not when parents introduce a candy “bribe” it signals the beginning of the end for a portrait session. I work to get honest and natural expressions so please give me room to get to know your child. If eyes are on you, they aren’t on the camera (yes, that means you dad jumping up and down behind me!) so I may ask for a little space to connect with your child. This sometimes means having the parents and/or other siblings take a little walk just out of sight (we all know kids save their best behavior for strangers and their worst for mom!). I ask that only people being photographed are present at the session to minimize distraction.
Keep in mind that mini sessions only give us 30 minutes of time together. If your child takes a while to warm up to new people a mini session may not be ideal for your family.
WHAT TO WEAR (Mini Sessions do not allow time for outfit changes)
- Clothing will set the tone of your portraits. Simple and classic clothing will create timeless images. Fun or trendy outfits work as well, even favorite dress up clothes can make for adorable shots.
- Avoid logos, text and characters.
- Avoid white/cream – it can make fair-skinned children appear washed out, and pull the focus away from expressions on darker-skinned children. Colors are always a better choice, saturated colors (vs. pastels) are even better.
- When photographing families or siblings, keep everyone in similar tones but outfits don’t need to match. Think coordinating, not matching.
- Texture photographs beautifully. Clothing with texture adds depth to your images, denim photographs well. Layering clothes adds interest.
- For adults, stick to classic shapes and lines and choose comfortable, loose fitting clothing. Don’t dress like you’re going to a business meeting, even if you ARE going to a business meeting afterward.
- Shoe styles can be distracting, and can date an image. Keep shoes as simple as possible, avoiding sneakers and other clunky styles (no Crocs allowed!). Barefoot is always best!
This means you parents! Your child will respond to your mood so staying relaxed (and patient!) throughout your session will ensure a relaxed child. I may ask you to step just out of sight so that I can better connect with your children. If they are watching you they aren’t looking at the camera!