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Why you might want to skip the MINI SESSION for your family photos

 Here's why mini sessions are NOT always the best idea for family photos, especially if you've got young kids.

Mini Sessions might seem like the optimal way to go with getting new family photos, right? I mean, they're low-cost with little time commitment, will give you that one perfect picture for the announcement or end-of-the-year holiday card, and can be a great way to test out a new photographer without making a major commitment, right? I mean... what could go wrong?

BUT PICTURE THIS: You step into this adoooorable new shop that you've never been before. There are So. MANY. Things. to see. You're SQUEEEEEING with glee and getting ready to drool because you just can't stand the cuteness, but before you can do ANYTHING you're suddenly yanked by the arm to the center of the store where everything is just out of sight, and definitely out of reach. You try to sidestep to a colorful shelf that calls your name, but you're redirected again. Told you can't even LOOK in that direction. Frustration mounts, you find yourself checking your watch over and over again, wondering WHEN you can just have a peek... when you're suddenly pulled out of the store and led away.

Not cool, right?

Unfortunately, mini sessions with young kids can be a bit more difficult than you might expect, because this is what it feels like to them. This is what your toddler feels like whenever they're brought somewhere new and magical, and aren't allowed to touch or look or explore at all. And told to sit still and look straight ahead. But SMILE, dammit!

While most moms tend to want to book a MINI session because the kiddos' attention span is incredibly limited, this is actually the opposite way to go. A mini session can be "crunch time" if you're trying to get all those smiling family photos, and with little time to wiggle or play, the kiddos tend to melt down even more.

But by booking a full-length session, there's still in-between time for them to easily make the transition from moment to moment, stop for a snack, and explore the area from time to time. There's also plenty of time for everyone to warm up to the camera, and for authentic personalities to shine through. A full-length session ensures that everyone is able to actually ENJOY the experience all the way through, and alleviates the stress of worrying whether or not the kids will "behave" for the camera.

Now, before you start to panic because you've already booked that mini session or your budget just won't allow for the full session at the moment, let me remind you: the MINI session CAN be an absolute blast. I still actually offer them myself (only at certain times of the year), and get GREAT results every time. But the KEY is to remind yourself that this is, truly, a MINI session. You won't be able to get those 25 dream Pinterest poses or multiple locations or outfits in 20-30 minutes without giving yourself, your family (and the photographer) a heart attack in the process. Instead, pick out one MUST-HAVE photo idea, and leave room for plenty of candid moments. And start saving up for a bigger session to get the rest of those dream photos you crave.

Try this: If time and budget allows, book a FULL-LENGTH session instead of a MINI. It's toooootally worth it. But if you just can't swing it at the moment, start saving up for the future. And for now, pick out one or two MUST-HAVE photographic moments for the MINI, and save the rest for later.

Ready for even more SIMPLE TIPS on how to prep for the most stress-free family photo session EVER? Coolio. Just click here.