Which is best for you?

So, mini-session or a custom session? The choice depends on your budget, what you want and what your chosen photographer offers. There are a lot of photographers out there. Choosing the right one can lead to a long-term relationship where your family’s growth is documented through the years. Choosing the wrong one can turn you off of getting your photos professionally taken for a very long time. Also involved with choosing the right photographer for you is deciding between if mini sessions or custom sessions are right for you. Mini sessions are generally less expensive, but not as personalized or in-depth as custom sessions. There are benefits to both types of sessions but again, it depends on what you are looking for out of your session and what price point works for your budget.

Mini sessions offer, generally speaking, the most bang for your buck or so it may seem on the surface. Some photographers offer 15-minute sessions for $150 or less and include the entire gallery of images. How could you not choose this option? Mini sessions are usually rushed, you are placed in the same poses as the family before you at the same location and there is little personalization taking place. If you have never used this photographer before, there may be some awkwardness and anxiety during your session resulting in stiff, unnatural looking images. That isn’t always the case, but it is possible. The shorter session time can help reduce meltdowns, but you also run the risk of a meltdown taking place for the entire session.

With custom sessions, they usually last 45 min to an hour, but can go longer depending on the type of session you want. You and your photographers discuss possible locations and the best time of day for your session ahead of time either on the phone or in person. Your photographer will offer you suggestions on which locations they have been to before but ultimately the location is your choice. Since a custom session is longer than a mini session, it doesn’t feel as rushed. Meeting or talking with your photographer ahead of time helps to build a rapport allowing you to relax in your session resulting in more natural and genuine images. Because a custom session lasts longer than a mini session, you and your photographer can attempt every pose you have in mind in addition to the poses your photographer knows will look good. You also have the time to work through any potential meltdowns. With the additional session time included in a custom session, a wardrobe change or two is also a possibility. But this is something that would be worked out with your photographer ahead of time. These additional benefits of a custom session should result in a greater variety of images and a greater number of images from which you can choose your favorites.

As you see, which type of session you choose really does depend on what you are looking for and what your budget allows. There is definitely a greater value with an investment in a custom session, but mini sessions are a generally more budget friendly option for frequent sessions throughout the year.