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the senior cheatsheet
The only guide you need for senior pictures

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Hey friend! I'm Jaden! Wife, photographer, mom of 2, Georgia Souther Grad! Waking up every morning living my best life, working on my dream, and meeting amazing people along the way!


Savannah Family Photographer | Is a Mini Session right for you?

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What is a mini session and is it right for you?

Today I’m going to let you in on what a mini session is and help you decide if a mini session is right for your family! Over the years I’ve hosted several mini sessions and currently have mini sessions as a part of my seasonal offers so I thought it would be helpful to fill you in on some mini session basics. 

family of four in Forsyth Park having fall family photos taken


What is a mini session?

A mini session is a smaller version of a photo package offered by a photographer. 

Mini sessions are typically organized by a photographer in a specific location, on a specific day, during specific times and last only 10-15 minutes per time slot. They are often themed but do not have to be. 

How do I know a mini session is right for my family?

There are a few questions you should ask yourself when considering a mini session over a full session with a photographer. 

  • what do I want from the session?
  • what stage of life are my kids in (if you have kids)
  • how punctual am I/my family?
  • how many people are joining me for the session?
  • does the theme (or lack of theme) fit my needs?

What do I want from the session?

Thinking about what you want from the session is the first question to ask when considering a mini session. If you are looking for just a few photos of your family and aren’t worried about shooting in a specific location, a mini session could be a good fit. 

Since the photographer chooses the location and window of time for a session, you will want to be sure the location is something you like and the date fits your calendar. 

If you have a loose idea of what photos you would like a mini session could be a good fit. The shorter window of time makes for a quick photo op and if you have a long list of must have shots you may want to reconsider the mini session. 

Don’t be afraid to ask a photographer if they have a sample mini session gallery, seeing this could help you see the types of photographs a photographer can shoot of a family in the window of time they are scheduling.

What stage of life are your kids in? 

Depending on if you have kids and what ages/stages they are in a mini session could be a good fit for your family. 

Sometimes a short session time is a blessing, it limits the amount of time your little ones have to spend dressed up with a camera in their faces but it also could be a curse if your little ones take a little while to warm up to strangers. 

I’m currently in a stage where one of my children will hardly look at a camera and the other wants to run around like crazy so I get the struggle. 

family photographs Tybee island georgia beach photos of a small family

The is a mini session right for us right now when it comes to your family really goes back to the what do you expect from the photos. If you are wanting everyone smiling and looking at the camera and you know your little ones need time to warm up, a full session may be best but if you know the longer the session the bigger the meltdown, a mini may be just what you need. 

How punctual am I/is my family?

The is a BIG one when considering a mini session. The back to back time slots offered in a mini session mean you HAVE to not only be on time but actually a little early so you get the most time in front of the camera. Remember, the time you sign up for is a start time NOT an arrival time. 

If you or your family struggle daily with being punctual, a mini session may not be for you. Being late deducts from the amount of time you have in front of the camera and with a limited amount of time to start with you likely will be stressed and flustered when you arrive late and won’t be able to quickly jump from the car to be ready. 

The timeline set up by the photographer also doesn’t leave room for families to run late because there is likely another family right behind you and going over into their time to give you camera time throws off the clock. This is a time when lighting likely plays another part, even if you are the last family, running late may result in not having enough light to make your family shine. 

Bottom line…if you can’t be early and ready to go upon arrival, a full session might be more your speed. (but don’t show up late for those either!!)

How many people are in my family?

With a limited amount of time having large families will limit the number of photographs taken. It’s not easy to group large families together to “pose” and have everyone engage with the camera and having a short amount to time to do the family groupings can be hard especially if you want more than a couple of full group shots. 

I typically say no more than 6 in a mini session time slot. If you have more than that ask your photographer if they will let you book two mini sessions back to back to accommodate the larger party! Sometimes that’s an option!

What’s the theme?

Some, not all, mini sessions have a theme…Easter, Mommy & Me, Christmas variations, etc. 

If the theme you see is something you are interested in the mini session may be for you but if the theme is not something you are interested in then skip it! Please don’t come with your own props, or with your full family for mommy and me, or with all of your children for “baby’s first Easter”.

mini session ideas easter, mommy and me, and Christmas

It’s ok if a theme isn’t what you need and likely there are other offers out there that may fit your needs better. Also, while I”m on my soapbox…don’t send nasty emails or DMs to photographers who aren’t open to changing their theme to fit your concept or their date to fit your schedule. It’s ugly and there’s a person on the other side of the mini session advertisement. Ok…moment over.

So is a mini session for you?

You’ve asked yourself the questions and you’ve come up with honest answers, don’t lie to yourself about being able to be on time just this once. If a mini session is right for you, then the next step is to CLICK HERE to find the latest mini session offers I have. Sessions are offered in the spring and fall each year and spots are limited. 


  1. Dayanne Emory says:

    Hi! I am visiting Savannah this weekend to celebrate our 1 year wedding anniversary. Any chance you have openings for a mini session this weekend ( sept 18)

  2. Alex Guerrero says:

    Hi. I am new to Savannah and wondering if you will be doing Christmas minis? Our new baby girl is due in a few weeks so just trying to get ahead. Thank you,

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the senior cheatsheet
The only guide you need for senior pictures

follow me on instagram

Hey friend! I'm Jaden! Wife, photographer, mom of 2, Georgia Souther Grad! Waking up every morning living my best life, working on my dream, and meeting amazing people along the way!

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