It’s that time of the year again…. Christmas Mini Session days are among us! Anytime you take the time to have family photos taken, it can be stressful. But during the holidays, it can feel 10 times worse! The reason I became a photographer was to help ease the stress when it comes to family photos. So let’s talk about a few tips to help you have the best Christmas Mini Session Yet!
1. Christmas Mini Sessions are shorter in time, so they go QUICKLY!
Christmas Mini Sessions are about half the time of my regular family sessions. My mini sessions last up to 20 minutes. I book clients every half hour, so there is a little wiggle room between each session. This is helpful in case your little one takes a minute to warm up to the camera. It also allows time that if you happen to be late, you have 10 minutes to arrive after your scheduled time. Don’t worry! If my client before you is running late, I will shoot up until your start time to ensure we begin on time.
You should always plan for traffic, the time to park, and having to get your little ones dressed at the location. I also give my families the address to our location a week ahead of our Christmas Mini Sessions. I let them know to input it into their GPS to plan and familiarize themselves with where they are going. This year, I am hosting my Christmas Mini Sessions at Country Cove Christmas Tree Farm.
2. Prep your little ones!
Remember to prep children for several days before your Christmas Mini Session. Remind them, that you will be taking fun and magical pictures at the Christmas Tree Farm or whatever other location you may be at. Let them know that you only have 20 minutes, so everyone needs to be good listeners with the photographer. Start getting them excited about the session! Show them photo examples of what they are going to be doing. Now, I never expect perfect smiles or perfect poses by any means. We will play games and have tons of fun! I am not against bribery either! Bring their favorite snacks or gummies to help them get through the session!
3. Expect things to not be ‘Perfect’!
I want you to forget the word-perfect! This one is a hard pill to swallow sometimes. The perfect Christmas Mini Session doesn’t always exist or work out. Now, I’m not saying that we won’t get some great photos, but perfect smiling faces or poses might not happen. Kids will be kids, especially toddlers. Sometimes, no matter what me and you try, little ones are not in the mood and that’s okay! This is where being a ‘lifestyle’ type photographer can come into to play. Some of my most favorite images are the ones where no one is looking at me or my camera lens. I love laughter, and loving smiles towards each other. I will always try to get the “Christmas Card” shot, but sometimes, it ain’t happening and that’s ok. Your kids will feed off of you, so as long as you are having fun, they will too!
4. Don’t overthink your outfits!
Before you go out and buy all new outfits for your family, check your closets! The last time that we had family pictures made, I got my husband and daughter’s outfits from their closets. Don’t make it this big ordeal, seriously. ‘What should we wear’ is the most common question that I get. I could go on for days about this topic. But instead, check out my 5 tips for what to wear for family photos!
5. Trust your Photographer!
Once you arrive at our Christmas Mini Session location, try to relax. Take a few deep breaths, and know I have you covered. Kids tend to respond better to direction if their parents are not the ones telling them what to do. I generally ask parents to follow my lead, and if I need help, I’ll definitely ask for it. All of my sessions are child led, meaning if the child doesn’t want to do something, then we don’t do it. I will try other ways to get a shot that I want, but ultimately it is all up to how the child is feeling during our session. I want your moments not your poses, as the popular photographer quote goes. If you have a bribe, please let me know, so I can use that throughout the session if the children get restless. Trust your photographer — know that I will take care of things to the best of my ability, and will always try to deliver amazing photos of your family.