How to Have a Stress-Free Family Mini Session

How to Have a Stress-Free Family Mini Session

From a client point of view, mini sessions can be stressful. You’ve booked a session with a photographer you may not know, and you have a short window of time to get everyone in your family to cooperate. Mini sessions are a whirlwind! It’s your turn to begin your session, then next thing you know, your time is up and the next family is getting set to start. So, the big question is: how do you maximize those minutes in front of the camera and keep your cool? Keep reading to find out how to have a stress-free mini session!

Photo from a mini session where three young girls are sitting on a couch. Behind them, their parents are kissing. The two older girls are covering their eyes while the youngest is looking directly at the camera.

1. Give yourself more time to get ready than you think you need and arrive to your mini session early.

This might seem obvious, but it’s easier said than done. When you’re trying to look your best and help other family members do the same, time can get away from you! Because mini sessions are generally booked back-to-back, and you will likely only have fifteen or twenty minutes for pictures, it’s important that you’re at the session location and ready to go before your time slot begins. If you give yourself and your family plenty of time to get ready, you can give yourself a buffer for travel time to make sure you’re not late for your session if you run into traffic. It’s better to be at the session location waiting to start than to cut into your session time or miss it completely.

2. Don’t stress.

This advice can be impractical and unrealistic sometimes. Your baby might be crying throughout the whole session and there’s nothing you can do to make them stop. This is a classic case of expectations vs. reality. Your session might not go as you had planned, but if you’re stressed, you’ll see it in the photos. The baby usually takes a break from crying and offers a small smile when you’re least expecting it–keep smiling so you’re ready if that moment comes. 😉 They always say, “the days are long, but the years are short”. Or something like that. You won’t have a crying baby forever—hold onto that moment while it lasts, even if it’s not ideal. Just do the best you can to help your child smile and don’t lose your sanity in the process.

3. If your kids are old enough to understand, offer a reward after the session and lay out the timeline.

Some kids enjoy photo sessions, and others hate them. Either way, if they know a treat is coming after the session, they’ll be more likely to cooperate to get their reward. In addition to their reward, let them know how long the session will last. It’s easier for kids to be still and follow instructions when they know it will only be for twenty minutes. If the session seems indefinite to them, they will be less likely to cooperate.

I hope these tips help you rock your next mini session with your family! Follow me on social media for more session tips and keep your eyes on the blog for future content!