Preparing for Your Fall Mini Session
How are mini sessions different than full sessions? Well, for the photographer, it's like speed dating. It's a lot, it's fast and it's... well it's fast. For me, I LOVE hanging out with my clients. Whether it's in their house or at a park, I chat the entire time. I like taking my time to get to know the kids and make them comfortable. I love hearing about your work and your life. During mini sessions, we don't get this luxury. I have very specific times set aside for each client leaving no room to have a casual stroll and photo shoot. Which is okay! That's the point of a mini session. To squeeze in several sessions so everyone can get those few update family portraits they want and they're lots of fun to do! Because it's quick in nature, there are a few ways to prepare for your mini session. I also added in some outfit ideas. So, let's start with that.
This can be tough, I get it! As you're strolling through Old Navy or Target, keep this in mind... coordinate, DON'T MATCH. Listen, I've done it. Everyone in a black shirt and denim jeans. But don't do it! Pick a color palette, say - cream, navy, yellow and gray. Then, piece together all of your outfits with these colors. Maybe your little girl has on yellow leggings under her jean skirt with a yellow head bow and a white stop. Dad has on a grey sweater and jeans and mom has on leggings and a plaid blouse with blues and yellows in it. Mix and match, it doesn't need to be perfect!
Next, layer. Textures are awesome. Put on that faux fur vest, have a button up under your sweater and roll the sleeves. pick a sweater with lots of texture, eye lit fabric, etc.
Stay away from black and white. White blows out and black gets clipped. Navy and beige are okay.
Stay classic.... if you want. I use the 90s as an example, but all of a sudden these trends are back. Lularoe. Love it. But if you wear some busy Lularoe leggings in your pictures, there's a possibility they'll look outdated in just a couple years. You want to be able to enjoy your family portraits for years to come, not be embarrassed by your outfit in 3 years and tuck the pictures away. But hey, if you love the busy patterns and you're embracing the return of the 90's, do it.
Speaking of patterns, stay away from things that are too busy. I always suggest staying away from thin lines. They don't photograph well and get "zig-zaggy". Some patterns can look beautiful and bring texture. Just take a look at it. Is it really busy for your eyes? Does it look weird when parts of the fabric get bunched?
Accessorize with classic pieces, too. Pearls, simple necklaces, etc. Some jewelry is gorgeous today, but trendy. Simply decide if you feel like it'll look too outdated in a few years. Maybe the answer is yes and you're totally okay with that... then that's okay with me too!
Here are some examples of some gorgeous families who really pulled it together for last year's minis!
I schedule these sessions back to back. Some people only have 15 minutes for their session time. Please, please come early so that you're ready to role. I do my very best to stay on time so that no one else is late. If you happen to be running late, it will either cut into your session time, or you'll have to wait for sessions to be done to step in to get your pictures taken. If you're early, it's super easy for me to have the next person lined up and to step in when the family I'm working with is done. Then sessions run smoothly and all are happy! Also, if you're early and the next person is running late, it's very easy to swap times and get you in ahead of time while waiting for another family. Pick up what I'm putting down? ;)
If you are early, hang back a bit - choose a spot that you can see me, but not be extremely visible to the family I'm working with. If you're running late or someone gets sick (it happens!), call or text me to let me know as soon as you can. I can then start the next group early, take a break, etc. I'm hoping to have an assistant with me to help keep things running smoothly.
Coming early may also give your little one some time to warm up. They can watch what I'm doing, become familiar with the location and ease into their session with a little more comfort.
If you're anything like me, you're crazy busy, forget to answer e-mails, sometimes forget deodorant and get by each day by the skin of your teeth. So, this also means, that you'll be scrolling through your e-mail or FB on the morning of the session trying to find where I said to meet, then looking for the location on your GPS as your putting you're seatbelt on. Literally not kidding, this is my life. So, I get it. 100%. BUT, if you have time and you're local enough, head on over to the location spot ahead of time so you know where we're meeting. I haven't chose the exact location for Peace Valley Park, but there are only so many parking lots and then likely the need to walk down a path a bit. I've given spot on directions before and some people still can't find the right parking lot or spot to meet. It's the nature of places like this! The Lehigh Parkway is similar.
I will be posting specific locations and directions to find me before your session. If you can't get there to scope it out beforehand (like me. I'd totally be laughing and saying "yeah right!" as I read this), then try and plan to get there a few minutes earlier yet so that you have cushion room to get lost. If I don't have an assistant with me, it's very likely I can't take calls or answer texts while I'm shooting.
PREPARE THE KIDDOS
Be sure your little one(s) get their scheduled nap for the day so they feel rested. Also be sure their bellies are full! Bring some snacks along to avoid any hanger! Also, if they have a favorite toy or lovie, bring that along, too. Do they have a favorite character or song? Let me know ahead of time so I can use that to help get smiles. I have no shame when it comes to getting kids smile! ;)
I'm seriously super go with the flow in my sessions. I just love being with you and capturing your love. You made it to your session! Everyone is dressed, everyone is there, you made it! Now hang out for a few minutes and just be a family. I'll handle the rest.