the journal




fresh 48



A question I get asked about a lot is, “should I book a full or mini session?” As with a lot of questions, the answer to this is “it depends”. I usually respond with a lot of the information below, but rely on the parent (usually the mom) to make the call. After reading through this, you can probably have a pretty good idea which session may be better for your family this year. The answer to this question can and will likely change as children grow up and go through different stages. I think the answer to this question may depend on the photographer you are working with as well.

My mini sessions are very interactive (just like my full family sessions). Typically children are so engaged in what we are doing that they are successful. For some families, either type of session would work just fine. However, it is also important to consider what type of gallery you are looking to get. Typically both mini + full sessions will include combinations of each child, siblings, each child with parent, parents alone (sometimes), and full family. However, with mini sessions there still will be a lot less time for more natural embraces and interactions (so called “in-between” moments) to develop. So far it’s been all about the children, but don’t forget that parents also become more comfortable in front of the camera as the session goes on..

Let’s break down each session type…


  • Cheaper (get that one out of the way)
  • Typically less images are given (i.e. 5-15)
  • Parents can feel more “pressured” b/c of the time constraint
  • Short + sweet
  • Best for children with very short attention spans
  • Can be a good option for older families i.e. teenagers (as the shorter session can be more appealing)
  • Typically offered only certain times/themes (depends on photographer)
  • Certain locations only (due to easy access etc)


  • Typically more images are given (depends on photographer or package)
  • More laid-back (less pressure to “perform”)
  • Best for shy, slow to warm up children
  • Best for “wild card” kids (i.e. could have a meltdown)
  • Boasts a bigger variety of gallery
  • Best for adventerous families
  • Can incorporate more personalized activities or spaces (i.e. your own home!)
  • Allows for more natural embraces + interactions (i.e. “in between moments”)
  • Variety of locations and scenery (see my fave locations here)

Ok, so now you have all the info to help you make an informed decision on booking a mini or full photography session for your family. If you are still unsure about which type of session to book for your family this year, feel free to reach out and we can talk through it!

Do you want to see more examples of family photo sessions? Check out my family portfolio page!

Are you ready to get on the calendar? Contact me.


Is a Mini or Full Session Better for My Family Photos?