Based in Howard County, Maryland, Christina Tundo Photography serves all the definitions of family within the DMV area, preserving the authentic moments, both big and small, that you want to hold onto forever.
As the spring quickly approaches, it’s common to see family photographers advertising their spring calendar. You might see announcements of “spring minis” as well as photographers talking about a regular, full session. If you’re wondering which is the right fit for your family, today’s blog post is for you! We’re going to talk about how to decide between full vs. mini sessions with your family photographer!
These full sessions are what you think of when you think of a portrait session. They’re usually a longer period of time, anywhere from 1 to 2 hours and at a location that’s been hand picked for you. Usually, we’ll gather information about your preferences and suggest a few spots in the area. Because of the length of these sessions, we have more time to work together and get everyone comfortable in front of the camera. It can take 15-20 minutes to warm up to a photographer, especially with younger kids.
Full sessions are also at specific times of day for the best light and can often happen between two locations – or with multiple outfits, depending on your package. Full sessions are also more of an investment. You’ll have to decide if that’s a pro or con for you! But, they often include a bit more for that price, in addition to the extra time and custom location. For me, my packages do include print credits for high quality images so you actually get to enjoy the portraits we created (and they don’t just live online!).
Well, they’re just like they sound! Mini sessions are usually between 10-20 minutes depending on the photographer. They’re set on a specific date with a specific location, and for a shorter amount of time. These sessions are generally back-to-back with other families and utilize the same setup or location for each family. Mini sessions are budget-friendly and quick! If you’re a busy family or on a budget, that’s a plus.
But, mini sessions are less flexible. You don’t pick the location or time of day – you have to work with what the photographer is offering. And, because there’s less time, you’ll usually receive way fewer final images than a full session.
If you’re working with me for either type of session, rest assured, my mission is still the same. I want to produce high-quality images of you and your family that you’ll love for years to come. For both full and mini sessions, I still send a questionnaire because I want to know your family and understand your goals for the session. You’ll still have access to my client closet and styling assistance so you get the images you dreamed of.
Of course, with both full and mini sessions you’ll receive hand-edited images and high-res digital downloads for your family. I’m not joking when I say I want you to LOVE your final images. These portraits should be loved – whether we spent an hour together or 15 minutes.
How many people are in your family and do you have toddlers?
I recommend full sessions for larger family groups (think 5+ people) and if you have young kids. You may think young toddlers (anywhere from 15 months to 3 year olds) only last a few minutes for photos, but a full session allows time for them to have breaks, get used to me, and explore. Minis can add extra pressure on yourself and in turn your toddler when there is only a 15 minute period of time.
When was the last time you had professional photos taken? Was it a mini or full and how did it go?
If you have not been photographed in a while, full sessions are perfect. If you have had a full session and have a specific number of images you want, minis are great!
How do your family members do with photos?
I’ve had clients tell me before that they book minis just because they know people get cranky. I’m all about that. Do what works best for your family!
What does your schedule look like?
Sometimes mini sessions are the best way to guarantee working with a photographer you adore. If you’re busy (or they’re busy!), booking a mini session guarantees that you’ll have a spot with them. Not to mention, it gives you a little taste of what a full session could be like!
Additionally, some photographers offer seasonal mini sessions, so you might be able to get photos at a time of year you wouldn’t otherwise – like Christmas or Easter.
Whether you decide on a full session or mini session, know that your photographer wants you to have the BEST experience you possibly can. From start to finish, we’re making sure that you’re happy and love your final images. There’s no wrong response to what kind of session you decide to book, trust me!