Full Session vs Mini Session | Saint Marys GA - Fernandina Beach FL Family Photography
Family Session on the BeachCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography
It's that time of year again. School is starting back up and soon families will be looking to book a photo session to get some updated family photos for this year's holiday card. Photographers are releasing available fall dates for family sessions and/or holiday or fall mini sessions. I'm often asked if I offer family/holiday mini sessions, and most of the time I don't have the opportunity to give the full explanation, so they get the short answer: I'm sorry, I don't. I prefer to spend more time with my clients.
But the explanation for why I don't do them is important. So I'm writing this blog to shed some light on why I prefer full sessions for families. Sure my short answer usually eludes to why I prefer full sessions, but what does that really mean to someone who doesn't know what an experience with me is like or has maybe only had a mini session and never experienced a full session?
Here's why I prefer having a full hour (or longer if needed):
1 - We can take our time. There's nothing worse than being stressed or worried about how your kids will act for pictures and if you'll get that perfect shot you've been hoping for and then on top of that, there's a time limit. What if 20 minutes isn't enough? For some families, it may be enough time, but I'd rather skip the stress and pressure of only having a short time frame. There have been many times where someone takes a while to really open up and feel comfortable in front of the camera so we can get natural expressions. Or maybe a little one fell asleep on the way to the session and wants nothing to do with the camera for 20 minutes. With a full session, we have the time and flexibility to take breaks and regroup when a little one is over it or has a meltdown. If we need to go longer than a typical hour, we can. Family SessionCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography
2 - Variety. A full session allows for me to capture more variety so you can fill your empty wall in your house with several images from your session or fill an album capturing your family memories.
Family Sunset Session at the BeachCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography
3 - Customizable. I love providing a custom experience for my families. We can choose a location that has meaning to you and your family or is simply a place that you love. We choose a date and time that will work best for you. There's no need to fit into a mini session schedule at a location that you may or may not want.
Backyard Family SessionCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography
4 - High Service. I spend quite a bit of time on clients, an average of about 10 hours from start to finish. I walk my clients through session preparation, including clothing selection, as well as the ordering process and helping to narrow down which pictures they like best and what they want to do with them. I don't want my clients' images left on a hard drive and forgotten about. Your photos should be printed and enjoyed every day, either on your walls or in an album where you can look through them whenever you'd like. I help design wall layouts, as well as the albums, and offer high quality professional products that will last a lifetime. I will even come to your home and hang your wall art for you. This kind of service is just not feasible with mini sessions.
Family Session at Driftwood BeachCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography
Now, this isn't to say that I never do mini sessions. I do offer child mini sessions (child only), maternity mini sessions (mom only), and baby plan members have the option of a mini session around the holidays for that quick updated photo for holiday cards.
You can read more here about a recent family session that truly needed that full session time (and then some) and we ended up with great images that the family loves. This family actually had a holiday mini session with me two years ago before I stopped offering them. After delivering her album we chatted about the difference between the two experiences and she was so glad she had a full session this time and wouldn't want another mini.
Need to update your family photos or get some on the wall? Contact me today for more information on scheduling your family session!
*Disclaimer: I know there are many photographers out there who offer mini sessions and do them very well. This post is in no way discrediting the way they do things. I am writing from my point of view and how things work best for me, my business, and my clients.
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Kimberly Tank is an award winning professional photographer and artist in Saint Marys, Georgia, servicing Camden County in Southeast Georgia (including Kingsland & Woodbine) and Northeast Florida (including Yulee, Callahan, Fernandina Beach, & Jacksonville). Using natural light and custom on location sessions, Kimberly Tank specializes in the family and child photography; providing an exceptional customer experience and helping you turn your family memories into works of art.
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