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    Mini-Sessions Shooting Workflow | Mini-Sessions Tips

    Let's talk Mini-Sessions Workflow…I’m a HUGE believer that you can absolutely capture a full gallery of images during a 15-minute mini-session! Being able to capture those must-have shots that fill a gallery is super important if you’re planning to up-sell after the session. (HINT: You SHOULD be up-selling!! Read “How to Up-Sell Mini-Sessions WITHOUT IPS”)

    I’m not going to lie…if you don’t have a plan going into your minis, you probably won’t get all of the shots you’ll need. You’ll freeze. You’ll get overwhelmed. You’ll end up wasting precious time trying to come up with poses. (I know this because I’ve been there.)

    I learned early on in my mini-sessions journey that I needed a solid shooting workflow if I wanted to get all of the shots I needed to maximize my revenue. 

    It may sound kind of funny, but I actually shoot the EXACT. SAME. SHOTS. during every family mini-session! (Keep reading, I share it below!) Sticking to this shot list helps guarantee that I get that full gallery with must-have shots that families HAVE to buy. Of course there will be variation from family to family because everyone has their own special family dynamic, but following this general shooting workflow will help you tremendously!


    So let's dive right in to my mini-sessions shooting workflow!


    Whole Family Together

    I always start my sessions with the whole family together. They can be sitting or standing depending on your location. If there is a child that is a little hesitant, shooting the whole family together helps to get them more comfortable. I get a variety of different shots like everyone looking at me and smiling, mom and dad looking at each other and the kids looking at me, a group hug, group tickle fight, etc. Make sure to get close-ups as well as wide shots.


    Mom & the Kids

    After the family shots, I ask Dad to step out and stand behind me to help get the kids to smile with Mom. I like to get shots of all of the kids with Mom, and then individual kids with Mom if we have time. These are great for things like Mother’s Day posts!


    Dad & the Kids

    Next, I have Mom and Dad trade spots. We get a lot of the same shots as we did with Mom. I usually have Dad stand and either hold the kids, or hold their hands. Occasionally I’ll have him kneel down to the kids’ level, but some Dads have a hard time with this pose if they have knee or back problems. I always ask first to see if it’s something they can do.


    All the Kids Together

    At this point, I have Dad join Mom behind me and keep all of the kids in place. My goal for this step is to capture sibling fun! After getting a few of everyone looking at the camera and smiling, I snap lots of candid shots. I have them tickle each other, play games, sing, whatever will pull out the giggles and fun.


    Kids Individually

    Once I have the group shots that I need, I make sure to get shots of each child individually. My goal here is to capture their unique personality. I always get a smiling shot first, then I try to get them to laugh and play. Mom and Dad usually help to pull out their personalities. 


    Whole Family Together (again)

    By this point in our session, everyone has typically loosened up quite a bit. I like to get some more family shots to have just in case. I try to change it up from what we did at the beginning so they won’t have duplicate poses. If they were sitting, I have them stand. If they were standing, I have them sit. The more variation, the better! 


    Just Mom & Dad

    These shots are some of the most important in my opinion. I can’t tell you how many times a couple will tell me they haven’t gotten any photos of just the two of them since their WEDDING!! I like to give them a chance to snuggle in and flirt a little. I usually have the kids help try and make the parents laugh. If the kids are younger and are upset, take the photos anyway!! The beauty of photography is you can’t hear it! The parents will cherish those photos, even if they were taken in the midst of chaos.


    Any Other Shots They’d Like

    The last thing I do before ending any session is I ask if there are any other shots they’d like us to get. I assure them that we got everything on my list, but this gives them the chance to request anything they were wanting to get and didn’t. 9 times out of 10 they’ll say they’re good, but occasionally I do get a request or two.




    I hope this mini-sessions workflow was helpful for you! Try implementing this workflow in your next photography session. Make sure to get a bunch of different angles, and always capture the candids in-between!


    Want more amazing help with posing your families? I created the Complete Family Posing System (LINK: just for you! (And the best part is it’s only $49!!) 

    • Posing Workflow
    • 60 Family Posing Prompts
    • Sample Full Gallery
    • BONUS: Up-Selling Crash Course
    • BONUS: “Up-Selling the Full Gallery” Email Template

    More Resources:


    You may also like…

    “4 Reasons Your Mini-Sessions Aren't Booking”

    “4 Steps to An Excellent Client Experience For Your Minis”

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