Mar 28, 2017

4 Tips to Make the Most Out of Your Family Mini Session

Whether it’s a mini maternity shoot with a toddler in tow or family minis for a special event or holiday, mini sessions with kids pose a whole different set of challenges than standard sessions. Because you don’t have as much time with the family, it can be more difficult to get them to open up and get genuine emotion out of them. In the midst of trying to make sure the kids are under control, you also need to manage your relationships with the parents and still try to get a variety of shots for them to choose from.

After years of honing my own mini sessions, a few tips have always served me well to get the most varied galleries with the most authentic smiles possible.

1. Pick a Versatile Location- Whether it be a beach right next to a forest, or an urban location with different pockets to pop into- a diverse location can make all the difference in a mini session. Sometimes I make sure the light and lighting situations are variable, sometimes the backgrounds look different and sometimes, there are more angles than I can take because of steps or height differences in the location. The mini session locations I choose, including the one showcased in this article, have the ability to look completely different within minutes, which is key when rambunctious kids are in the mix and time is not on your side.

2. Be Your Clients’ Best Friend- At a mini session, you have a short amount of time to make an impression and get comfortable. When you meet your client, immediately act like you are best friends. That includes hugs if you are a hugger, telling them about what your kids did that day, or diving into a parenting topic you know is universal. Acting like you have just picked up a conversation with a friend instead of just having met them, gives your clients a sense of ease and lets them more easily open up with you because you are being open with them.

3. Play with the Kids Before You Shoot- Playing with the kids within the first five minutes has been something game changing I’ve implemented in the past year. I challenge the older ones to races, sing songs with the toddlers and play peek-a-boo with the babies. It immediately sets the tone for a fun-filled session and disarms them. They are no longer begrudgingly here to do something their mom is making them do, they are having fun and you are their friend!

4. Swallow your Pride- We all have moments each session when something just isn’t working. Most people’s instincts are to keep pushing for longer than you should to give your clients confidence in your abilities as a photographer. In a mini session, you just don’t have that luxury. If something isn’t working- say so! It doesn’t matter how long it took to get in that position or get the kids to calm down, just try something else. I’ve found that clients appreciate your professional opinion and are happy to change it up, too.

Save

share this post:

TweetShare on FacebookEmail

About the Contributor: I\'m a Bay Area photographer and mother of two, who has been encouraging tickle fights between siblings and couples to make out on camera (you know, in a classy way), since 2012.

 

comment on this post

Leave comment

Joanna Dixon Great advice!

liked this post? img you might also like...
  • Inspired magazine November 2018 cover
    November 2018 Inspired Magazine: Featuring Pamela Salai!
    NAPCP’s November 2018 issue of Inspired magazine features Pamela Salai of Pamela Salai Photography, holiday NAPCP Gatherings, details on the 2019 Educational Summit, child portrait session tips, 4 Myths About School Photography, and more! Grab a cup of coffee and dive in! Print your copy of Inspired straight from MagCloud! Share your favorite pieces with […]
  • #NAPCPThankful 2018 roundup
    Happy Thanksgiving
    Happy Thanksgiving! We hope all of our members and friends have a wonderful, memorable holiday with family and friends. Thank you to all who tagged photos with the #NAPCPThankful hashtag — we are thankful for YOU! Here are some of our favorites: babyrosephoto | catchiappaphotography | courtneyathome | jennyperryphotography | kateluberphoto | megsausted | osirisphotography […]
  • Redefining the One-Year Portrait Experience
    Inspiration — My one-year portrait elements are inspired by the parents, with my own neutral flair. For direction, this client asked for “rustic/floral”. She also wanted the look of a tutu in at least one portion, so I incorporated one of my many whimsical handmade dresses to tie in a classic, timeless look with a […]
  • Educational Summit 2019 speaker lineup presented by NAPCP
    Registration is NOW OPEN!! NAPCP Educational Summit
    Hey, NAPCP! We hope you’re feeling refreshed and energized. We hopped right outta bed this morning because we’ve been looking forward to this day all weekend! Join us and our 6 amazing speakers, in Atlanta, Georgia, for the NAPCP Educational Summit! January 23, 2019 In one day you’ll learn about how being “discovered” is the […]
img find a photographer
in your area
img

We are so delighted that you are here. The National Association of Professional Child Photographers is an association whose mission is to promote and support the artistry and integrity of professional child photographers. To accomplish this mission, NAPCP provides the most comprehensive resources for its members, bringing together a community of passionate artists committed to growth in their skills, their artistry, and their businesses.

NAPCP.com (formally pronounced "NAP-C-P") is a place where professional child photographers can come and connect, learn, teach, aspire and grow. It is also a valuable resource for parents who are looking for a professional child photographer in their area, and want to be inspired and educated about our specialized industry.

img award winning photos click here to view

img most recent issue
img vendors we love
napcp supporters

 
img helpful articles napcp resources
  • Inspired magazine November 2018 cover
    November 2018 Inspired Magazine: Featuring Pamela Salai!

    NAPCP’s November 2018 issue of Inspired magazine features Pamela Salai of Pamela Salai Photography, holiday NAPCP Gatherings, details on the 2019 Educational Summit, child portrait session tips, 4 Myths About School Photography, and more! Grab a cup of coffee and dive in! Print your copy of Inspired straight from MagCloud! Share your favorite pieces with […]

  • Educational Summit 2019 speaker lineup presented by NAPCP
    Registration is NOW OPEN!! NAPCP Educational Summit

    Hey, NAPCP! We hope you’re feeling refreshed and energized. We hopped right outta bed this morning because we’ve been looking forward to this day all weekend! Join us and our 6 amazing speakers, in Atlanta, Georgia, for the NAPCP Educational Summit! January 23, 2019 In one day you’ll learn about how being “discovered” is the […]

  • October 2018 Inspired Magazine: Featuring Inspired Gallery Event Winners!

    NAPCP’s October 2018 issue of Inspired Magazine features our Inspired Gallery Event winners. Dive in and see what holiday items are available in the NAPCP shop, learn more from our most recent Marketing Mondays and much more! Print your copy of Inspired straight from MagCloud! Share your favorite pieces with friends, family and clients. Save

  • September 2018 Inspired Magazine: Featuring Jaye McLaughlin!

    Our September issue of Inspired features Jaye McLaughlin of The Life in Your Years Photography! Read her exclusive interview, download your free motivational desktop wallpaper, access helpful resources and learn how to manage your time better in the busy season. Print your copy of Inspired straight from MagCloud! Share your favorite pieces with friends, family […]

Categories