Preparing for Your Mini Session:
What to Wear, How to Get Kids Prepared & More
One of the most popular sessions for my clients are mini sessions. Longer sessions are great for outfit changes, if you think you child is shy and needs more time or if you have a specific location or date you would like your photos taken at. Sometimes kids get bored with a longer session, so mini sessions are the perfect amount of time to get enough images to fill your frames before your child loses interest. They are quick and easy but sometimes you may get overwhelmed with what to wear and how to prepare.
Do you have a mini session coming up or considering one?
Outfits are the hardest for many of us. Mini sessions are usually scheduled a few months in advance so start thinking about what you want your child to wear when you book. Wear colors that go with the season- since we are usually in the outdoors- think about what colors will be behind you. Fall colored leaves in the fall and pastel flowers in the spring. Blues, pinks, purples, yellows are good for Spring and Easter mini sessions, gold, red, black and navy are good for Christmas. I tend to lean towards recommending casual and comfortable. If having family images done- don’t try to match exactly but compliment each other in color and pattern.
1 – Make sure you do a dress rehearsal. Don’t put the clothes on your kids in the car without having them try them on days or weeks before hand. You don’t want to find out Junior grew three inches and his pants are now capris 5 minutes before your session starts!
2 – Make sure they don’t itch them or are too tight/loose. This will cause their beautiful smiles to be distracted.
3 – Send me a text or email with snap shots of your outfits if you have questions or are unsure. I might not be a fashionista but I have a great eye and can alert you to a possible conflict with the outfit you want.
4 – Don’t worry too much about shoes if they are stressing you out! Depending on the season we can go barefoot or I can avoid the shoes in most shots if preferred.
5 – When trying to coordinate siblings/family start with the one piece you are dead set on using. Then pull complimentary colors / patterns from that one for the rest of the family.
6 – Don’t forget to accessorize IF possible. Don’t get hung up on it but hats, jewelry, jackets/layers help to add style and personality into your outfits and photos. No necessarily needed, but an added bonus. Be careful not to over accessorize. Wearing a huge statement necklace when you never wear one might not really reflect YOU. Keep in mind while you want to look your best- you still want to look like YOU. If you need an idea of jewelry check out the blog post I wrote about Plunder.
7. Don’t make a drastic change right before your min session shoot. Getting a new drastic hair cut or color change that may not work out the way you imagined may not be the best idea. Hair will always grow back or out- but if you have a sessions worth of images of that unflattering hair cut you may not be happy with them. Make any drastic changes to your appearance at least a few weeks prior to your session.
When you book your mini session start talking about it NOW with your kids.
IE “Mommy is so excited I scheduled photos with Mrs Megan” or “Do you remember when we went to the park and did photos….”
1 – Talk to your kids (and husband!) NOW about the photos and the upcoming mini session. The more you are excited about it, and the more you show how important the photos are to you the more they will care about it and be excited too.
2 – Show them photos we took together last time, or if this is your first session with me show them photos of them.
3 – In the days leading up to the mini session discuss it with them. Let them know what they are going to be wearing and what they will be doing. Kids do better if they know what to expect. Maybe even practice using a cell phone camera- let the kids take pictures of you!
4- The day before remind them! The day of the mini session tell them the schedule of the day. Keep them in the loop (provided they are old enough) so it is not like, “Hey put this on…ok we are heading to the photos…jump out of the car and smile”
5 – Make sure they have a snack before the photos but not to get all over their clothes!
6 – Arrive EARLY! Kids sometimes get tired and fall asleep in the car. Mini session slots are usually back to back so get them up, out of the car if possible and familiar with their surrounds.
7 – Have a reward for good behavior! A little bribe doesn’t hurt. I often feel like, “My kids should behave well regardless if they are getting rewarded or not.” That is true. However, I don’t want to test that when my photo time slot is on the line. They are doing me a favor by behaving well…because I want these photos most likely more than they do right now 😉
8 – RELAX! This can be the hardest. I am going to capture your kids being THEM. That is what I am going to capture, regardless if they are sweet as pie or stubborn as a mule. I am going to most likely get them to smile, get them to laugh and get them to show me a little bit (these are mini sessions!) of who they are That is my goal but I need you to relax, enjoy the sessions and let me do that. If they don’t cooperate perfectly? That’s okay too. Some of the most memorable images I’ve captured for families- that they cherish years later- are the ones where they kids aren’t sitting perfectly still and smiling like a model.
Are you interested in a mini session with M.Gioeli Photography? Check out upcoming mini sessions here.
Megan is a family, children, maternity, newborn, baby, high school senior and wedding photographer. She specializes in family photography, children photography and newborn photography at an affordable price. Most of her sessions takes place in an outdoor setting in Mocksville, Advance, Clemmons, Winston-Salem and Kernersville, NC. Her main goal is to capture lasting photos for you of your kids being kids, you being you and your family being your family!