Why I don't do Mini-Sessions
I had so much fun at this session with Scarlett and Jackson. Once again, this was a mother who was concerned that it would be difficult to get photos of her little ones because they "won't stand still" or "have a hard time following directions." Well that's pretty typical of every 1-5 year old I've ever met, but the good thing about my sessions is that they don't have to stand still, and they don't really have to follow directions either. I don't do much posing.....what two year old is going to respond appropriately if I say "put your right hand here and tilt your head to the left slightly." Yeah, none of them.
I pride myself on capturing families being themselves and having a good time. So instead of posing, we play games. The way this looks varies depending on the ages and personalities of the kids, but it includes things like racing, playing Simon Says, throwing leaves at me, peek-a-boo, hide and seek, jumping, wiggling, ring-around-the-roses, etc.
So when I (fairly often) get asked if I offer mini-sessions, my answer is no. I don't think mini-sessions fit my style, and they don't inspire me at all. And if I wanted to be doing work that doesn't inspire me, I'd still be making way more money as an Engineer. Mini sessions are by design, 10 - 20 minute sessions where I would book clients back to back and they would essentially split the cost of a full session to cover my time and expenses, while giving them a deal. Typically in those sessions, the goal is to get one or two images of the family looking at the camera and smiling. There's no time to get to know the children, to let them warm up to you, or to capture them truly being themselves. It's just not my thing.
What I'm thinking of offering instead
But I would like to be able to offer my clients a way to supplement their annual family portrait sessions throughout the year with photos of their children. So I've been playing around with the idea of a "Portrait Playdate" for kids. I would offer these events during the slow season (so not in the Fall obviously). I would accept up to about 10 children (no adults) for the session and charge a small session fee per child (probably about $30 per child.) We would, as a group, play games like I do at my family sessions, but my goal would be to get individual photos of the children. After the session, all the parents would have access to the gallery and could choose to order digital images and/or prints.
Portrait Playdates would not be a replacement for family sessions, but a way to get more photos of your growing kids throughout the year. There might be different options or "themes" such a playground session, a last minute sledding session (if we actually get snow) or maybe a swimming session in the summer. So please comment below and let me know if this is something you'd be interested in booking for your children.
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