What’s a mini session?

Hey hey hey! I’ve been tossing around the term “Mini Session” for years now and finally decided, ~hey maybe I should explain this term for those who aren’t in the photo world!~

Mini sessions are a way for me to help my clients who don’t need a full-blown session – they just want to get a few good photos perhaps for holiday cards, updating their gallery walls on their homes, sometimes for save the dates, and sometimes just to have some updated images!

So let’s get into it… what is a mini-session?

Simply put, a mini-session is a smaller version of a full session. Sounds pretty straightforward. But let’s break it down a little further.

Logistics of a Mini Session:

  • 15-20 minutes long.
  • Scheduled back to back.
  • Location is a spot the photographer chooses.
  • Date is a day the photographer chooses.
  • Includes 8-10 images (mine are 10).

So what makes it different?

  • Sessions over 20 minutes are considered full sessions.
  • It isn’t custom to each client – meaning the client doesn’t get to choose their own date or time.
  • A full gallery of images.


For me, my minis are 20 minutes long. Clients are asked to arrive 5 minutes early so when I am done with the client who booked the time slot before theirs, we can jump right into their session! If clients are late, that cuts into their session time because I have another client arriving right after them and can’t extend out of the kindness of my soul.

Mini’s are scheduled back to back to maximize time of mine and of the clients. Back-to-back means I can provide more clients with my services!


Something I love as far as minis go, is that I set the parameters.

I try to select a Saturday or Sunday where I have no weddings or other sessions. This is generally when most clients would request a session anyways, and it’s easier to do them on a weekend than a weekday.

Also, I always select a location I’m familiar with. This allows me to explain things like where to park and where to meet in more detail so there is less confusion on the day of the mini sessions.


Mini sessions do mean fewer amounts of images, but that’s okay! I typically deliver a gallery of 30 images and let my clients pick the 10 that are included in their session, or purchase additional images.


So clearly, mini sessions aren’t the solution for everyone, BUT they really do allow clients to get a great selection of images in a quick amount of time!

If clients are looking for a custom session – a date they chose or at a specific location – generally mini sessions ARE NOT the solution for them. I encourage these folks to book a full session.

The types of sessions that work well for minis are families (immediate families, not large extended families), couples, maternity, and individuals. The timing is best for groups no larger than 6 people!

Any questions? Feel free to email me – nikkischellphotography@gmail.com!


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