Does a "mini" get max results?  Michelle Ma Belle Photography

Does a "mini" get max results? Michelle Ma Belle Photography

Most of you have heard the term “mini session” when referring to family portraits or themed photo sessions for your little ones; they have become quite popular and a highly sought after type of portrait session in recent years.

A miniature version

But what is a “mini session” exactly? What does “mini” mean? The answer to this can vary depending on the photographer so I can’t answer for all of us in the industry, but I will tell you how a mini session is different from a standard family portrait session with Michelle Ma Belle Photography.

min·i | adjective

  1. denoting a miniature version of something.

Just like its definition, a mini session is a shorter version of a standard family session; typically about 1/3 of the session length. A mini session involves less customization; in most cases, the dates, times and locations are predetermined. And there are fewer photos taken and processed. 

Taking these session details into consideration, a mini isn’t necessary “cheaper” than a standard session.  A standard session is much more personalized and tailored to suit my client’s needs; it allows my client to have a fully personalized and custom photography experience. Ultimately, the choice between opting for a mini session or a standard session should be based on your photography needs and goals, and less on the session fee.

The Breakdown


session fee: $150 vs $150 (yes, same price)

session length: 20 mins vs 45-60 mins

session location: predetermined vs client selection

session date/time: predetermined vs client selection

session photos: gallery of 15 images vs gallery of 30+ images

The reason a mini and a standard session are priced equally is because the mini includes a selection of three high resolution digital files; additional print and digital products can be purchased afterwards.

With a standard family session, the session fee and print/digital products are separate investment; each aspect of the session is customized to fully suit the family’s needs, style and budget.

When a mini gets max results

There are times when a mini session is a great option for a family;

  1. Wee ones. Young children grow super quickly, daily it seems, so having professional photos taken more frequently to document each stage is often preferred. Minis are a great way to update your frames without a significant investment each time.

  2. Seasonal needs. Whether you need some festive family photos for Christmas cards or want to grab a few photos with the spring blossoms, mini sessions are often themed and set at unique locations to take advantage of seasonal foliage and settings.

  3. Busy bodies, busy lives. If you’re concerned about children handling a full session or just don’t want to invest as much time into planning your own ideal session (and like having all the details decided for you), then a mini might be your cup of tea.

Keep in mind, that whether you choose a mini session or a family session, you will have access to purchase printed products and additional digital files directly from your online gallery.

Still not sure what type of session you need? It never hurts to ask!
Contact me today to chat about your photography needs.
You can access links to the fall mini session line up and online booking for fall family session on the Investment Page.

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