Mini sessions are a fantastic way to capture beautiful moments with your family, update your family photos or get some images for a holiday card. But remember, these sessions are fast and furious. To ensure that you make the most of this short and sweet photo session, here are some valuable tips and ideas:

Session Start Time: Be Prompt and Prepared

Arriving 5-10 minutes early to your location is essential for mini sessions. With limited time available and other families likely before and after you, punctuality ensures you get the most out of your session. Do whatever you need to do to be ready: set out clothes and other items the day before, set an alarm for earlier than you think you need, make sure you know where you're going for your session, look up the traffic on an app like Waze. Then when you arrive early, enjoy the extra time and lowered stress you just gifted yourself. Use this extra time to fix hair, gather toys, and get your little ones ready for their close-ups.

Location, Location, Location

One of the downsides to minis session is that you don't get to pick where the photoshoot will be held, that is up to the photographer. However, sometimes, like with fall minis, I will offer a few different locations to choose from. If that it the case, choose a location that fits your family's vibe. Do y'all hate the sand? Opt for an indoor location and save yourself the stress. Love adventure? Somewhere woodsy or beach is probably for you!

Dress Comfortably and Stylishly

Choose outfits that not only make you feel beautiful but also allow you to move freely. Mini sessions often involve playful interactions, so opt for clothes that are comfortable and suitable for sitting on the ground or chasing after your kids. Consider mixing colors and patterns to add a touch of individuality to each family member's attire.

Accessorize for Added Style

Along those lines, accessories can add flair to your photos, so don't hesitate to incorporate them into your outfits. Hats, jackets, scarves, statement jewelry, etc. accessories can enhance the overall look and feel of your fall mini session.

Activities for Candid Moments

Of course I come to all my sessions with a slew of games, prompts and ideas to keep your children interested and your session feeling candid and full of connection. But you should also think of fun activities or games to engage your children/family during the session. You know them best after all. Whether it's tickling, reading a favorite book, playing with toys, or dancing, these candid moments often result in some of the most heartwarming and authentic photos.

Embrace Spontaneity

During the session, I will let your child take the lead. Lifestyle sessions capture the genuine essence of your family dynamics. Whether your child is giggly and happy or quiet and serious, trust your photographer (me☺️) to capture those precious moments as they unfold naturally. Your biggest job is to smile like everything is going perfectly while I coordinate everything else!

Avoid Messy Snacks

If your little ones need a snack before the session, opt for cleaner options that won't leave stains on their faces or clothes. Avoid chocolate, candies, or juices that may create messy distractions during the shoot.

Keep It Light and Fun

Before you get to your session, maintain a relaxed and positive atmosphere. Children pick up on the energy around them, so staying cheerful and stress-free will help create a pleasant experience for everyone involved.

Minimize Electronics

Turn off electronics at least 15 minutes before the session...trying to pry an iPad from a kid is never fun and will almost always end in tears. Instead, engage with your children on the way to make them feel excited about the upcoming adventure. Play music, car dance, play a silly game. If everyone is having a good time you'll be rewarded with more joyful and natural expressions in the photographs.

Let Your Photographer Work Their Magic

Finally, trust my expertise. I pride myself on my ability to capture beautiful and authentic moments, so resist the urge to direct your children to smile at the camera constantly. Instead, enjoy the session and let me do what I do best. Nothing ruins the moment faster than bribing or scolding your child.

Which on of these tips was the most helpful or most surprising to you? Send me a quick note at or CONTACT ME so I can know if this has been helpful!