Photography Tips

I often get asked whether I will be offering Mini Sessions anytime soon, and while I do enjoy offering them once in a while, they are not for everyone. Today I am sharing some pros and cons of mini sessions so you can decide whether they might be a good fit for your family

Pros and Cons of Mini Sessions
Pros and Cons of Mini Sessions

Pro #1: Short and Sweet

Time is valuable, no matter who you are, and I can certainly appreciate that. An evening long lifestyle session might not be in the cards for your family or this season of life, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t update your family photos. Mini sessions allow you to get those updated images of your family without requiring a big time commitment.

Con #1: Short and not-so-sweet

Some kids are shy or play strange when they meet a new person, and warming up to a new adult can be hard. If your toddler or pre schooler is shy, a longer session may allow us more time to get to know each other. A 20 minute session may not allow me a lot of time to get those genuine smiles and laughs that photograph so beautifully. Mini sessions are typically stacked back to back, which also does not offer a lot of flexibility with timing.

Pros and Cons of Mini Sessions
Pros and Cons of Mini Sessions
Pros and Cons of Mini Sessions

Pro #2: Budget friendly

Typically mini sessions are priced accordingly. When mini sessions are stacked throughout a day, there is limited travel required, and of course the shooting time is also shorter. This, as well as the decreased amount of photos being edited and delivered allows for the price to be cheaper.

Con #2: Smaller gallery of images

Shorter sessions mean smaller galleries. Of course if you are just looking for a few new updated photos for your holiday card, this may not be a bad thing, but my full session galleries are typically 100-200 images, whereas a mini session would give you 20-30 images. Not only do you get less images in your gallery, but you also get less variety. My family sessions are a mix of posed and lifestyle, but working with a limited amount of time means there may not be enough time for details or candid moments.

Pros and Cons of Mini Sessions
Pros and Cons of Mini Sessions
Pros and Cons of Mini Sessions

Pro #3: No planning required

Mini sessions are typically pre-planned at a specific location and time that you can choose from easily. This takes any stress out of deciding a location or activity for your session. All you need to do is show up!

Con #3: Not as personalized

Choosing to do a full lifestyle session gives you a more personalized experience and images that reflect your family. In a mini session there is not enough time to incorporate the interests of your family, and the gallery may not reflect your personality as well. In a full session we have more flexibility, we can explore your home or another location, play games and relax a bit more which provides a personal touch to your gallery.

Pros and Cons of Mini Sessions

After hearing about some of the pros and cons of mini sessions, what do you think would work best for your family? Remember, what works for you now may be different another year and choosing what is best for your family right now is what is most important!

If mini sessions are for you, I always invite my email list first – you can join my email list here to be the first to know!

Thinking a full session might be more your style? Reach out today to reserve your session!

The Pros and Cons of Mini Sessions

Coming from a blended family myself, I can appreciate that photographing blended families may be stressful or intimidating. Having a few tactics to help you navigate family dynamics and ensure everyone has fun is important for creating lasting client relationships.

1. Start with a group shot

photographing blended families

No matter the family, I always start with a more posed group shot. Especially when you are dealing with younger kids (or teens!), getting that shot off the hop saves you from a potential melt down getting your way later on.

2. Read the room

Family dynamics are tough. Everyone is entitled to their own feelings around the experience, and getting family photos might not be their first activity of choice. Respecting their feelings and boundaries is important for creating trust and connection. Ultimately if someone doesn’t want to be there smiling you aren’t going to change their mind, but by showing respect for their feelings you might make an otherwise uncomfortable situation an enjoyable memory.

photographing blended families

3. When photographing blended families, focus on the kids individually

Grouping kids is often requested (usually for the sake of sharing images with grandparents) but it can also make kids feel excluded. Spending time chatting with each child individually makes them feel special and builds a rapport that can extend through the whole session. It can also provide you with talking points and bonding opportunities later on in the session.

photographing blended families

4. Gather information ahead of time

Having an intake questionnaire or email conversation before any session is important for you to gather information about the family structure and any potential roadblocks. Prior to photographing a blended family you may want to know what sorts of groupings they want, if anyone is hesitant to be there, or what the kids are interested in. The more you know, the more you can prepare yourself and show compassion.

5. Most importantly, have fun

A blended family session is a family session. The most important part of my family session experience is creating a fun memory for the entire family. I treat every family with equal respect and kindness, in the hopes of creating a relaxing and enjoyable encounter that will leave them feeling good. I bring compassion and understanding to all of my sessions so we can create a comfortable environment to have fun in!

Photographing blended family sessions is always special to me, being from one myself. Bringing two families together is tough for a lot of reasons, but is can also be amazing. If you’d like to book a family session with me, get in touch today!

Photographing Blended Families: 5 Tips for a successful family session

So you have welcomed a new baby home, and now you’re wondering how to prepare for your in home session. Here are my favourite pieces of advise:

Tip #1: Dress Comfortably

Usually within the first few weeks after having a baby, looking stylish is the last thing you are worried about. Comfort should be your number one priority. Choose something that fits well – not something you have to squeeze into – and you can lounge in. A lot of what we do in a newborns session is snuggle, so you don’t want to be restricted. Neutral colours and denim will never go out of style, and something that complements the decor in your home is an added bonus!

How to prepare for your in home session
How to prepare for your in home session, Sarnia Newborn Photographer
Sarnia Newborn Photographer
Sarnia Newborn Photographer
How to prepare for your in home session Sarnia Newborn Photographer

Tip #2: Pick up little bit – but don’t stress!

Decluttering helps the focus of your images stay on you. Generally the nursery is a clean space we can use because it isn’t used much in those first few weeks. If the light is best in your master bedroom or living room then I suggest clearing off your nightstands or coffee table. Most people don’t notice little things like that, but if your favourite water bottle that always sits at your bedside is bright pink it might be a bit of a distraction! Don’t worry too much though, I am always moving little objects out of the way for the shot and I do not judge!

Sarnia Newborn Photographer
Sarnia Newborn Photographer
Sarnia Newborn Photographer
Sarnia Newborn Photographer

Tip # 3: Have a bottle ready or be prepared to nurse

At almost every single newborn session the baby needs to be fed – even if you have just done so! I suggest feeding them right before I arrive, but mentally preparing yourself to do it again is helpful. Babies just want to eat and snuggle. If baby is hungry we take a break and I get to chat with Dad for a few minutes or give your fur baby some loving!

How to prepare for your in home session, Sarnia Newborn Photographer
How to prepare for your in home session, Sarnia Newborn Photographer
Sarnia Newborn Photographer
How to prepare for your in home session, Sarnia Newborn Photographer

Tip # 4: Take a deep breath

Sometimes this is the first time in a few days that you get to just chill with the little one and talk to another mom. You are doing great and that baby is so loved! Take a deep breath and soak up their perfection because that look on your face is the best photograph. Breathe in that little blessing!

Sarnia Newborn Photographer
How to prepare for your in home session, Sarnia Newborn Photographer
Sarnia Newborn Photographer
How to prepare for your in home session, Sarnia Newborn Photographer
Sarnia Newborn Photographer
How to prepare for your in home session, Sarnia Newborn Photographer
Sarnia Newborn Photographer

Interested in an in-home newborn session or looking for a Sarnia newborn photographer? Get in touch today! I would love to hear from you and get started on planning your relaxing and loving newborn session!

Brittany VanRuymbeke is a Sarnia Newborn Photographer specializing in in-home lifestyle sessions that are easy, relaxing and family-centred. See more newborn sessions here.

How to Prepare for your in home session

  1. […] you’re looking for advice on how to prepare for your session, you can read my blog post here with lots of tips on preparing for your Wallaceburg ON Newborn […]

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imagery by BRITTANY VANRUYMBEKE | site design by LUNAR & CO