Behind the Scenes: October Mini Sessions

Maybe you’re brand new to the concept of mini-sessions, and you’re not quite sure how it all works and whether or not it’d be a good fit for your family. In a nutshell, mini-sessions are a lot of quick family sessions, back to back, in one single location. Here are a few “Behind the Scenes” tidbits and glimpses to give you an idea of how I make a whirlwind of 20 minutes work for everyone.

1. I have a hand-held roster ready to go. I usually tuck it away in my back pocket, and it has times, names, number of kids, and ages. That 30 seconds of preparation between each mini-sessions is really key to forming a quick plan and making the most of every minute.

2. I choose one spot to hunker down for each session, but I assess the light throughout the day. The light will change naturally, so my location will change as needed as the light does. As far as location goes, keeping it simple and minimal is best.

3. I have a shot list. I have a little list on my phone to ensure that I nail those very “basic” shots during each session. Yep, I’ve been a photographer for a long time, but I still carry that list. It’s all a part of being prepared.

4. That being said, I’m flexible. Try telling a 2 year old that you have a shot list. Try it. This is the primary reason I DO create a list: flexibility is required for mini-sessions. Very rarely do I get to go down my shot list in order. If I did, I wouldn’t get through it.

5. I’m a people watcher. That’s right… when you’re not looking, I’m watching you. It’s my way of getting a quick reading on what’s natural and normal for you when I don’t have my camera in your face. It’s my way of cutting through the nonsense to figure out how to make you instantly sink into the familiar when I’m directing and posing you, because ultimately that’s what I’m after in a very short timespan.

6. I have an assistant. Goodness gracious, I could not do it without an assistant. She generally makes my life easier by just being a second set of eyes, a wrangler of the toddlers, a time watcher, and a little reminder voice in my ear: “Don’t forget xyz” which can be easy to do when you’re photographing 22 families in 48 hours. Shout out to Cassie for being my life-saver during October minis (and for taking these photos)!

Like I said, you guys, it’s a whirlwind and it’s a ton of fun, but when you go into mini-sessions prepared to make them work? There’s some serious magic that happens!

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