When it comes to scheduling your senior photo session, many photographers will give you the option to either schedule a full or a mini session. Which option is the right one though?
There are a few differences between traditional and mini photo sessions that you should consider as you plan your senior shoot. Here is what you should be aware of:
Traditional senior sessions are longer.
While a traditional senior photo session lasts at least an hour, a mini session doesn’t take longer than 20 minutes. Photographers generally schedule several mini sessions in one day because they’re quick and simple. Chances are, if you choose a mini session, you’ll be given a few time slot options since the photographer is also working with other clients on that day as well.
You can try more poses during a traditional session.
If you have a lot of posing ideas a mini session probably isn’t the right choice for you. Mini senior photo sessions give you less time to experiment, so you’ll need to have a specific idea of what you want. Of course, your photographer will help you narrow things down so that you get the most out of that short session time.
Outfit changes aren’t an option.
Have more than one outfit in mind for your senior session? You will need to schedule a traditional photo session. With a mini senior session, there won’t be any time for outfit changes. However, a full session allows for several different wardrobe ideas.
You receive fewer photos after a mini session.
After a traditional senior photo session, you can expect to receive around 60 photos in your gallery, while a mini session only results in 15-20 images. Be sure to weigh your options when considering different photographers. Is the amount of images offered worth it for the price point? Also, some photographers offer less retouching with mini sessions. (Although I will retouch just as I do with a full session purchase.) To be honest, I have more females choose the full session while most boys choose the mini-session option.
The costs are different.
As you can imagine, a traditional senior photo session will cost more because it requires more of your photographer’s time. If you have a tight budget or the need for only a few images, a mini senior session would be the better option. For full-service photographers with a consistent portfolio and a well-established business, you should expect to spend anywhere from $900 to $1800 for a full session. On the other hand, you may spend $475 to $700 for a mini session. Keep in mind that the full sessions sometimes come with extra items. For example, when booking one of my full sessions, clients have the option to include a custom album and prints as well.
So which option is right for you?
If you want to make the most of your senior session by incorporating different outfits, locations and poses, a full senior session is an ideal choice. With a full session, you’re also able to create custom albums from the many images you receive. If you’re happy with a handful of photos shot at your favorite location with one outfit, a mini session is a perfect fit. A mini session will give you the right amount of images that you can use for invitations and gift prints for family members.
If you need advice while sorting through different options from photographers, I am happy to help. With numerous photographers out there and the various options they all offer, I know it can be so overwhelming! I don’t mind helping you choose the right fit for your session.