Excuse me while I get on my soap box. If you don’t feel like reading this perhaps slightly annoying but also perspective-altering rant, here’s the summary: book a full length session, it’s better, I promise.
And just so we’re clear: the above delicious shot in holiday themed outfits was 100% NOT a mini session. Nope. We got a full stunning gallery out of this shoot that went into an archival heirloom photo album. That’s how I roll.
As an NY natural light portrait photographer with over 10 years of experience in Westchester, Garrison, and NYC, I’m all about delivering timeless and authentic photographs that bring your unique stories to life. However, if you’ve been following my work for a while, or you’ve submitted my contact form and noticed my slightly sassy “I don’t bargain or do mini sessions” note (that saves me a lot of time to be honest), you’ve likely noticed I don’t offer what many call “mini sessions.” When I first started off I did and quickly realized they are problematic. Here are important reasons why I stick to full sessions only.
This is a taboo subject and it’s really important to talk openly about so you get a sense of why photography should be an investment. Let’s begin with the economics of running a professional photography business. It isn’t simply a matter of snapping pictures and handing them over. There’s equipment, maintenance, insurance, and continuous learning, not to mention the time and dedication required to masterfully edit your photographs to create the works of art you see in my portfolio (hair toss). In order for me to offer you the level of expertise you deserve and to continue to do so sustainably, I need to price my work in a way that reflects its true value. AKA, $200-$500 mini sessions are not. a. thing.
More importantly, I firmly believe that genuine, emotive photography shouldn’t be confined by a stringent time limit. Every family, every child, and every individual responds differently in front of the camera. It typically takes more than 10-15 minutes for everyone, especially children, to feel at ease and begin showing their authentic selves. My sessions usually last around an hour, but that’s flexible. The goal is not to rush through the session, but to create a relaxed, enjoyable experience where we can connect authentically, capturing your family in a natural and beautiful way.
I know! So true! Listen, if you are into them, go book one with another photographer and see how it goes. Maybe it’s exactly what you need. My response to the above would be – 1. you get what you pay for and 2. all good things take time. You aren’t simply paying for the length of the photoshoot; the shooting time is only a fraction of the process. Post-production work, such as curating and editing, typically takes up to 10 hours per session. The result is a beautifully edited gallery of frame-worthy photos that you’ll treasure for a lifetime.
While mini sessions might seem less time-consuming, that’s actually not my experience. Shorter sessions make it challenging to capture all the magical moments needed for a beautiful gallery. If we consider the occasional necessity of composite images, especially when young kids are involved, the mini-session paradigm becomes even more complicated.
As for holiday-themed photos, while they can be charming and fun, I prefer to focus on capturing timeless images that resonate deeply with the essence of your family. Images that you would be proud to display on your walls. The Christmas crying shot above is actually a favorite of mine because it is just so cute and funny and really captures the essence of the holiday mini shoot. If it were my kid, I would totally print it. And….this wasn’t the only shot we got at this shoot, we had time to get many more (happier) faces.
If holiday-themed photos are important to you, we can absolutely incorporate them at the end of our full session. After we’ve shared a wonderful hour together, filled with laughter and authentic moments, we can bring out those holiday outfits and capture a few special themed shots before we call it a day.
I’m here to help you capture the everyday magic of your life, to honor the love of your ever-evolving family, and to create portraits that will serve as keepsakes for generations. I promise it will be worth your investment. Let’s tell your story, together.
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