What To Expect: Mini Session

Sep 6, 2021

Photographers have coined the term “Mini Session” but not everyone is in the loop on what exactly that means! I wanted to share some insight into what these sessions are all about and why they are so great!

What makes a mini-session different?

Short & Sweet. Most sessions will be 20 minutes in length, which is ideaaaal for families with young kiddos, dogs, or spouses that hate photoshoots (we all know someone who hates photos). This is different than a portrait session which tends to be an hour or two, possibly with multiple locations and/or outfit changes.

Location & Time Specific. Many photographers will pick a date (or multiple dates) and specify a certain location and grouping of available times. This makes it easy and efficient for the photographer to get as many shoots done on one day as possible without having to travel to multiple locations. For me personally, I have shoots every half an hour, each 20 minutes long with a 5-minute buffer on each side for anyone running late, and I usually schedule 6 sessions a day. I offer both studio and outdoor sessions during each season. Late summer and Fall are the busiest times of year with people wanting photos with fall leaves, shots for holiday cards, and Santa photos.

Any & All Shoot Types Welcome. Mini sessions are ideal for SINGLE families but these are also great for headshots, quick senior photos, couple sessions, tinder photos, best friend pics, dog photos, birthday photos, etc.

A Note About Edited Images. Your photographer may also offer a small gallery of a select number of images, and some will have the option to upgrade to all of your edited images for an additional fee. As for my sessions, you will receive all edited photos included in the cost of your mini-session. It was too hard for me to narrow it down to a small number like 5, 10 or 20, so while my mini sessions may have a higher price point, you will be receiving all of your edited photos. They will be sent over in a digital gallery, and you will be able to choose and download your favorite images (or all of the images), you will have both websize photos for posting and hi-resolution files for optimal print quality at your favorite print shop. You can also purchase prints, gifts, and more directly through the print shop in your final gallery (I receive a commission for each order as well).

Most Affordable Option. Not only are these a great way to get a quick photo shoot to update your frames or gift something to family members, but it doesn’t break the bank either. By sacrificing preferred location and time preferences, you are getting a great deal on the cost of your photo session. Win win! I also offer multiple shoot discounts, payment plans, and gift cards.

What does the shoot look like?

On the day of the shoot, you will arrive at your location and all you need to be ready for is to smile pretty! For my clients, I usually encourage them to bring props, like blankets (for any seated shots, or warmth) or maybe a letter board, balloon(s), possibly sports jerseys, anything that might make their photos even more special to them. These are quick photoshoots in one location, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add in a quick shirt swap or prop addition.

Loved that they used their mini-session as a pregnancy announcement opportunity.

Make sure to arrive with plenty of time to find parking, if necessary, as well as to find your photographer’s location. I don’t always have my phone on me while shooting so you might have to do a lap to see a short gal practically doing yoga poses trying to get “the shot” (that’d be me). Some sessions take place in a studio and there might be a harder time finding parking. Most street parking in the city is free on Sundays so keep that in mind, as well as looking for “load/unload” signs and their times of enforcement.

How often do mini-sessions occur?

Usually, I offer mini-sessions almost monthly. I have started to add studio mini-sessions to get more photos done in this PNW climate and keep us out of the cold, wet weather. In the past, I have announced these on my Instagram page, but I have recently started letting my newsletter mailing list have first dibs, so make sure to get on that list to have your first choice of dates and times!

What sessions are NOT great for mini sessions?

There are certain situations when a mini-session may not be ideal for your photoshoot! If you are trying to coordinate extended families or multiple families (your family, your brother’s family, your parents, your in-laws, etc.) this would be better to either schedule two mini-session time slots back to back or set up a separate 45-60 minute shoot with your favorite photographer (hopefully that’s me). There are just too many moving pieces and family photo combinations to fit into a 20-minute time span. Trust me, it doesn’t work.

Other sessions that may be more fun as a longer portrait session: newborn & maternity photos, senior photos, engagement photos, or branding photos for your business.

Next Steps!

I hope this helps give you an idea of why mini-sessions are so popular and why they might be the perfect fit for your family! Whether it’s a mini session, longer family session, maternity, wedding, etc. please reach out to me via contact form and we can get your event on the calendar!



  1. Kellian England says:

    I am looking to give a one of your mini sessions for my son and his wife for Christmas. They got married during covid and have no real photos of them together. They live in Shoreline and Traci locker gave me your name.

  2. […] Mini sessions are one of my favorite ways to capture families (or really anything!). They are quick, efficient, a great deal, and so many photos in such a short time. […]

  3. […] Mini sessions are one of my favorite ways to capture families (or really anything!). They are quick, efficient, a great deal, and so many photos in such a short time. […]

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