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Why I Don’t Offer Typical DC “Mini Sessions”

mom, dad, baby and dog in backyard

Picture this: you’ve booked a mini session to capture your annual family photos. You know that your time in front of the camera is short (15-minute sessions don’t leave much wiggle room!), so you get everything organized the night before, from outfits and shoes to hair bows.

Everything is flowing well as you and your family get ready, but when you arrive at the session location, your children have fallen asleep in the car, your baby has a meltdown, and the dress you painstakingly steamed is now wrinkled.

Here’s the truth: the word “relaxed” is never used in the same sentence as “mini session.” I don’t offer (and actually hate!) the typical “mini sessions” so that my clients don’t have to feel this way: rushed, overwhelmed, disorganized, and stressed.

Let me be the one to tell you: when you only have 15 minutes of time to capture photos (and another client waiting in the wings for their mini session, which starts right after yours ends!), those feelings of overwhelm, discomfort, and stress often show up on your faces in the photos, and no one – including your photographer! – wants that.

Here are a few more reasons why I don’t recommend (and don’t offer typical) mini sessions:

  1. Kids can’t just be kids.

Because mini sessions are so tight in terms of time, there’s no room for children to warm up to the photographer, to settle down if big emotions are at play, to share little details like their favorite color or book, or even to have a snack or a bottle. I much prefer the opportunity to serve families – especially those with young children! – in a longer session with ample time for everyone to feel comfortable.

  1. Mini sessions tend to favor getting the “Grandma shot” – the photo of everyone looking at the camera and smiling.

When I’ve offered mini sessions in the past (especially in the fall), the goal for my clients was often to capture the “perfect” Christmas card shot – what I call the “Grandma shot” – where everyone is looking at the camera and smiling.

While I appreciate Grandma’s love for that photo, that’s just not my approach. I always capture the “Grandma shot” in every session that I do, but I believe that real life is picture perfect. Instead, I prioritize capturing moments that are less forced and stiff and that showcase your family’s personality. To me, mini sessions don’t often result in the candid, genuine interactions that become the photos you’ll cherish for years to come.

  1. Mini sessions don’t allow me the time to get to know you and your family and to capture what makes you special.

When I work with clients, I like to take the time to introduce myself to each family member, ask questions to learn about their likes, dislikes, and routines, and engage with them in conversation.

It’s important to me to offer a warm and welcoming photography experience that’s personalized to each client. In order for a shorter session to work well, we need to have a relationship built so that everyone is more at ease, and that’s not feasible in the span of a mini session.

DC Petite Sessions are a perk!

While I don’t offer mini sessions in the traditional sense, I do offer fall “petite” sessions to existing clients only as a perk! I value my full-session clients SO much, and I love to serve them again and again, and petite sessions are one of my favorite ways to do just that.

Petite sessions differ from mini sessions because they are not stacked back-to-back, and they are 30 minutes in length (often twice the time of a mini session). Because I already know you and your family, a 30-minute petite session feels like meeting a friend (with a camera in tow).

Petite sessions are one of the many perks that my loyal clients receive, so if you’d like to learn more about my full-session experiences so you can be on the list next year for petite sessions, reach out today!

dc photographer

meet natasha

I'm DC photographer, Natasha Sewell. I'm all about capturing those unscripted, full-of-personality moments in the comfort of your home.

As a mom of three and a former elementary school teacher turned in-home newborn and family photographer, I know how to get your littles to cooperate and have FUN!

Let’s get to preserving your family's real-life moments in the place you’re most comfortable – your home.

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