Mini vs. Full – Which Session is Right for You?

Since announcing our Holiday Mini Session dates, I’ve been getting a number of emails asking me, “What is the difference between a full session and a mini session, and which should I book for my family?” I thought a blog post was in order to explain the differences and help you decide which was best for your family!

All of our sessions include our unparalleled customer service and gorgeous heirloom quality products. The differences are in a few key areas including: date & time choice, location options, length of the session, variety and number of images, and cost.

Below I’ve broken them down in bullet points to give you a quick overview of each session type.

Fall Family Portraits by Just Maggie Photography - Los Angeles Family Photographer

Full Sessions

  • Date & Time Choice: Full Sessions are on the date & time of your choice, depending on our availability, of course, and the best light of the day.  We prefer to shoot in the mornings and in the last two hours before sunset, but we can also work around your schedule to choose the best time for you.
  • Location Options: This is the biggest perk of a full session. We can shoot wherever you’d like from your home to the beach to a park or museum. It is entirely up to you and we LOVE shooting at places that are meaningful to your family.
  • Length of the Session: Full sessions are an average of an hour and a half but can go longer or finish sooner depending on whether I’ve got the shots I wanted and whether your kiddos are still having fun. I’ve had sessions go up to 3 hours because the kids were just having so much fun and the sun had not yet set, and I’ve had sessions wrap in about 45 minutes because the little ones were getting tired and hungry. No matter the length I always get a full gallery of images that you will love.
  • Variety & Number of Images: A full session normally produces 60-80 images. We shoot a lot of variety from a few posed smiling shots, to more candid shots of your family being together having fun. We get shots of not just the whole family, but of Mom with the little ones, Dad with the little one, sibling shots, each of the kids separately showing off their individual personalities, and we always get a few shots of just Mom & Dad together because we know the last time you had one of those was probably from your wedding.
  • Cost: The session fee for a full session is $250 and our Print and Digital Collections start at $1200.

Should I Book a FULL Session?

Full Sessions are perfect for the family who wants to capture what their family is like in this moment in time. Full sessions are able to capture the relationships in your family, and the personalities of each of your little ones in a location that is meaningful to you. Full sessions give you the entire portrait experience from working with me to choose your location and outfits, to spending time together as a family in front of my camera playing and showing your family’s joy and love.  AND if you have babies, toddlers or kids who are very shy and need time to warm you may want to consider a full session to give them a little more time in front of the camera to ensure that get those great shots you’ve been dreaming of.

Ready to book a Full Session? Email us now! We have a few spots still open this fall?

Fall Family Portraits by Just Maggie Photography - Los Angeles Family Photographer

Mini Sessions

  • Date & Time Choice: Mini Sessions are held just 4 times a year on set dates and times, because they are shot back-to-back in a single block of time. Our Winter, Spring, and Summer Minis are usually on 1 date and block of time each. Because our Fall Holiday Minis are very popular, they usually get 2-3 dates with spots in the morning and afternoon.
  • Location Options: We hold our Winter Sessions in our Studio, Spring Sessions in a Wildflower Field, Summer Sessions at a Pool, and our Fall Holiday Mini Sessions are held at a few different locations including parks and wooded areas.
  • Length of the Session: Minis are 20 Minutes
  • Number of Images: A mini session normally produces 15-20 images. Because of time restrictions we focus on shots of the whole family. With a few posed smiling shots as well as more candid shots of your family being together having fun. We’ll also get some sibling shots, and time-permitting some individual shots of each of your kids.
  • Cost: The session fee for a mini session is $95 and our Print and Digital Collections start at $295.

Should I Book a MINI Session?

Mini Sessions are perfect for the family who wants to capture a special milestone, needs just a few updated family portraits, or just wants to try out a budget-friendly alternative to one of our full sessions. They are perfect for your holiday cards, gifts for the Grandparents, and a few new images to hang on your walls.

Ready to book a Mini Session? Check out THIS POST for our Holiday Mini Dates and Details

2017 Holiday Sessions are Here!

It’s the fist day of fall! That means it’s time to announce our always popular Holiday Mini Sessions!

Our fall minis sell out very quickly every year, so get in touch NOW to book your spot! Email us at hello@justmaggie.com for more info and to book!

Holiday Mini Sessions by Just Maggie Photography - Los Angeles Family Photographer

This year, you asked and we have provided! More MORNING sessions are available this year to accommodate all of the little ones who might be napping during our afternoon session times. PLUS we have even MORE LOCATIONS available this year.

Mini sessions are 20 minutes and produce a gallery of 20-30 images to choose from. Sessions are a $95 Session Fee and Print & Digital Collections begin at $295.

HOLIDAY MINI SESSIONS

NOV 4th MORNING (8-10am) – Urban Pasadena with Maggie – SOLD OUT!

Urban Brick Family Portraits by Just Maggie Photography Los Angeles Family Photographer

NOV 4th MORNING (8-10am) – Woodsy Santa Clarita with Megan – 3 Spots Left!

Fall Family Portraits by Just Maggie Photography Los Angeles Family Photographer

NOV 4th AFTERNOON (3-5pm) – Garden Park Mission Hills with Maggie – 3 Spots Left!

Garden Family Portraits by Just Maggie Photography Los Angeles Family Photographer

NOV 4th AFTERNOON (3-5pm) – Woodsy Pasadena with Megan – 3 Spots Left!

Mom and Daughter Fall Family Portraits by Just Maggie Photography Los Angeles Family Photographer

NOV 18th MORNING (8-10am) – Garden Park West LA with Megan – SOLD OUT

Fall Family Portraits by Just Maggie Photography Los Angeles Family Photographer

NOV 18th MORNING (8-10am) – Urban Pasadena with Maggie – SOLD OUT

Fall Mini Sessions Pasadena 8

NOV 18th AFTERNOON (3-5pm) – Woodsy Santa Clarita with Megan – SOLD OUT!

Fall Family Portraits by Just Maggie Photography Los Angeles Family Photographer

NOV 18th AFTERNOON (2-4pm) – Woodsy Pasadena with Maggie – SOLD OUT!

Fall Mini Sessions Pasadena 6

Email us at hello@justmaggie.com with the date and location you’d like for more info and to book!

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Why Family Portraits Matter

There are a lot of snapshots from my childhood. Photos of me and my brothers and sister at the beach, at holidays, playing together in our backyard. There are even some shots of us with my dad, but looking through our family photos it’s almost impossible to find a photo of my mom. There’s the one of her pregnant with my twin brothers, and the one of her at Easter with an amazing perm. And there are no portraits of my whole family all together. No portraits showing me what we looked like all together as we grew through the years.

There’s a saying I love, “The days are long but the years are short,” that reminds us that the time we have with our kids at any age is fleeting. Sometimes it may seem like otherwise, when they are painting the wall with mac and cheese or when they are singing ‘Let It Go’ for the thirty-fourth time today. But then it seems like all you do is blink and your baby is in high school.

With your precious family time flying by so quickly, family portraits matter. Recording memories matters. Setting aside just a few hours every year to capture your family’s love and unique relationship truly has the biggest return on investment of anything your family will do together. These will be images that your daughter collects when she makes a slideshow for her wedding or the images that your grandchildren pore over to see what their dad used to look like.

I believe that annual family portraits are more precious than anything else you could buy. These are the things that childhood memories are made up of. These are the moments that your kids will be looking for in twenty years.

Most of all, I believe that Mom needs to get in front of the camera, instead of always behind. Don’t make your kids have to search for the one moment that you were all in a photo together. Think about how much your own mom was part of your childhood, and how much you wish you could see that when you look at your family photos. You are the most important person in your child’s life, make sure you exist in photos for them.

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