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What is a Photography Mini Session? - Everything You Need to Know


detail photo of mother holding infant's hand

You may have heard about photography mini sessions through your local photographer, a friend, or even through your neighborhood's Facebook group. And it's possible that after all you've heard of them, you might be left wondering what all the fuss is about!


In the past decade or two, mini sessions have become increasingly popular among photographers and their clients – and for good reason. In this blog post, I'll break down what a mini session is, when they're more appropriate over a full private session, the pros and cons, and more!


So let's get into it!



mom poses on hay bales with two young boys in front of old fashioned blue truck

What is a Photography Mini Session?

Mini sessions are basically a shorter version of a standard photography session that happen on the same day as other photography clients, and sometimes they involve special props or themes (like during the holidays, for example.) The idea is that every client gets a designated time slot and your photographer can work with each group back to back without having to change locations.


Mini sessions are are set for a specific date and time by your photographer. The full event often spans a full or half day (sometimes a weekend) and is held in a specific location chosen by your photographer.


During mini sessions, clients receive a short, designated time slot during which their photos will take place – often anywhere from 5 - 30 mins. During that time, they receive the designated amount of time to take photos with their photographer. After the session, clients receive the edited photos from their photographer (typically in a digital gallery.) Galleries are smaller after a mini session than after a standard session and often include a total of 5 - 10 digital images.



dad lifts son in the air and both are smiling

When Should I Book a Mini Session vs. a Full Session?

Mini sessions are a great option for photography clients for several reasons. Here are a few:

  • When you are working with a tighter budget, but still want to capture those special memories! Because of their shorter duration and the convenience of completing many sessions in one day, photographers frequently offer mini sessions at a lower price point, making them more accessible than a standard session.

  • If you're looking for photos for a specific or seasonal reason (Mother's Day or Father's Day gifts, Holiday cards, etc.) Mini sessions are most commonly held during the holiday seasons, therefore they make wonderful gifts for parents, they're great for holiday cards, and they make for a fun tradition (seeing the Easter Bunny or sitting on Santa's lap!)

  • If you have family in town for a short visit and want to document their time with you. Mini sessions are a great way to do family sessions without having to spend a fortune. A mini session won't monopolize your family time, but you'll still end the trip with special memories made.


baby dressed as reindeer poses on santa's lap

When Are Mini Sessions Held?

Mini sessions can be held whenever your photographer sees fit, however they're most commonly held around holidays or new seasons. They are a great way for photographers to handle the busier seasons, and make for great options for gifts or holiday memory keeping. Here are a few examples of the types of mini sessions I have personally held for my clients:

  • Spring/Easter mini sessions

  • Mother's Day mini sessions

  • Father's Day mini sessions

  • Fall mini sessions

  • Winter mini sessions

  • Christmas/Santa mini sessions


mom holds infant cheek to cheek with her in front of neutral backdrop and flowers

How Much Do Mini Sessions Cost?

Every photographer and mini session will be different. The reason for this is that some mini sessions require the rental of props or locations (like an old fashioned truck or a local pumpkin patch), the hiring of characters (like Santa or the Easter Bunny), or a special studio space with decor. Other mini sessions are simple and require less preparation on the part of your photographer (for example, a simple fall mini session held at a local open space.)


Regardless of what type of session you've signed up for, you can count on your mini session costing you less than a full 1-2 hour private session with your photographer. Typically mini sessions cost between $100 - $300 dollars or so, however it's always best to check with your photographer before booking.



mother, father, and two sons pose with easter bunny in front of balloon arch

The Pros and Cons of Mini Sessions

As with any kind of photography session, there is a time and a place for mini sessions. Let's talk about what the pros and cons might be so you can decide whether a mini session or a standard session is right for your needs.


The Pros:

  • Mini sessions are more affordable

  • They're not a big time commitment

  • There is less planning involved


The Cons:

  • You get a limited amount of time in your session

  • You get fewer photos in your final gallery

  • Your session is not customizable

Interested in learning more about my upcoming mini sessions? I list all upcoming mini sessions on my website!


If you don't see any mini sessions listed in the navigation menu, there are not any mini sessions currently scheduled, but you can contact me here for information on booking your custom photography session.




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Are you interested in scheduling your Colorado Springs photography session? Click Here

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