Capturing beautiful family moments through professional photography has become a cherished tradition for many. One of the first decisions you’ll need to make when planning your family photoshoot is whether to opt for a mini session or a full session. Mini sessions are a popular choice for families looking for updated photos. These quick, condensed photoshoots can be a convenient option and work well for some families. But full sessions offer a number of benefits. As a lifestyle photographer dedicated to capturing genuine family moments, I tend to favor full sessions over minis. Here are 5 reasons why a full session might work better for your family.
A mini session may sound great until you arrive to your session and your adorable toddler decides to have a meltdown. You begin to panic he won’t pull it together before the allotted time is up. You grit your teeth and your spouse gives you the side eye. So much for the relaxed, joyful and loving family photos you envisioned. The great thing about a full session is that there’s ample time to allow kids to warm up or settle down.
Unlike mini sessions, which can feel rushed and stressful due to time constraints, full sessions provide more opportunity for relaxed interactions that often result in the most beautiful and authentic family photos.
With this in mind, I let families know that there are no rigid time limits (other than the setting sun), when they book a full session with me. This takes the pressure off everyone and contributes to a relaxed, fun and enjoyable experience for all.
Full sessions provide the flexibility to choose a location that is meaningful to your family. They also allow time for your family to engage in a favorite family activity that offers more variety, resulting in a more personalized and diverse collection of photos.
Mini sessions often stick to a themed set-location, which is great for keeping sessions quick and efficient, but this efficiency can come at the cost of variety in your photos. There’s limited time for location variety, or letting little kids explore their surroundings. This can lead to a collection of images that feel repetitive and lack the diversity that full-length sessions can offer. Generally, full sessions allow for more variety in the location setting, as well as more opportunity to let kids play, pick flowers or throw rocks in a pond. This results in a wider variety of images.
As a lifestyle family photographer, I thrive on exploring unique settings, experimenting with different angles and compositions, and allowing families to express themselves in their own way. Mini sessions typically prioritize speed over creativity, which can lead to cookie-cutter photos lacking that personal touch.
One of the joys of family photography is capturing unexpected, candid moments that unfold naturally during the session. With mini sessions, there’s often no time to patiently wait for these magical moments to happen. The focus is on getting as many shots as possible within a short timeframe, which can result in missed opportunities for capturing the heartwarming, unscripted interactions that make family photos truly special. Full-length sessions also allow for a more opportunities to capture the little intricacies that make your family unique.
So, while mini family photo sessions may work well for some, my passion lies in creating timeless, genuine, and emotionally resonant images that reflect the true essence of a family. Full-length sessions provide families the space and freedom needed to capture these moments authentically, without the rush and stress that can accompany mini sessions. Ultimately, my aim is to provide families with a memorable experience and a collection of photos that they will cherish.
In the end, the choice between a mini and a full photo session for your family comes down to your specific needs and preferences. Both options offer unique advantages.
Whether you opt for a mini session or a full session, investing in professional family photography ensures that you’ll have cherished memories to look back on for years to come.
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Winner of the Westfield Area Most Loved Family Photographer award by Hulafrog two years in a row, Debbie Camba Photography is a New Jersey Family Photographer based in Scotch Plains. She specializes in capturing candid and meaningful moments that reflect the love and wonder of childhood and family life.
Debbie photographs families outdoors and in homes throughout Scotch Plains, Westfield, Mountainside, Cranford, Summit, Madison and the surrounding area, including Basking Ridge and Bernardsville, as well as Morris County and Middlesex County. She is available in other locations upon request.
Debbie was awarded Master Photographer Certifications by the National Association of Professional Child Photographers (NAPCP) for demonstrating excellence in the craft of child and family photography.