Mini Session Expectations

Have you ever wondered, What is a Mini Session and how is it different from a regular photo session? Below I have listed Kara Hanes Photography’s 7 steps on how I set them up and what to expect.

Mini Session: a smaller-than-normal photography session used to introduce people to the custom photography experience. It takes place at a predetermined location, at one of the predetermined times, limited pre-session consultation, limited number of “poses” and typically one outfit. Mini sessions are typically 15-20 minutes long. People receive anywhere from 15 to 20 images in their galleries. Images are softly retouched, meaning that I make exposure and composition adjustments if necessary. Very large and obvious blemishes may be removed if they are easily accessible. (These sessions do not include the full photography experience due to it’s discounted pricing, shortened time and minimal amount of images given.)


1.) 1-2 months in advance I will post marketing for a mini session along with details. These get posted on Social Media and are no cost to me. 90% of all my clients are through social media and referrals. I usually only offer these types of sessions 1-2 times a year as a way to build my clientele and offer a discounted option.


Marketing details usually include: Session Date, Cost, How many images to expect, amount of shooting time and an image of the location I’m shooting along with the address. I also post a call to action if interested. I always have potential clients e-mail me for more information so that they can get to know me, my shooting style and details on how to book the session.

2.) When an Inquiry is received I will list the times that are available for a shoot. All times are on a first come first serve basis. I do not book a time for a mini session until the full payment is received (I usually give 48 hours before re-opening the session time). The reason for this is because handling money the day of the shoot takes away from the time I could be spending with the client and these sessions book fast!


3.) Once a client books their time slot I send out a google calendar invite to help myself and the client keep track of the time, address and all those little details needed for that day.

4.) 1 week before the session I will send out a reminder e-mail with details. Subject: Mini Session | This Saturday (With the Time you are scheduled), In the e-mail I will remind you of your time you are scheduled, The location and details about what to do when you get there, and what to expect after the session (how long it will take for images to be ready), (if outside) the weather expected as well as what the back up plan is. I always wait until 2 hours before a session before making any decision on whether or not to postpone and reschedule the date. (In Michigan weather changes on a dime).

5.) On the day of the session I make sure that there is a visible sign for you/the client to know where to meet me. I make sure that all of my sessions in my google calendar alert me when it is the next client’s turn and have it on vibrate in my pocket so that I know how to keep on schedule.


6.) I stress to all my clients that it is important to be on time or early so that little ones can warm up to the idea of getting their picture taken. I do not allow extra time as it can run in to the next clients scheduled session.

7.) After the session I will send a quick 1 image sneak peek 24-48 hours later followed by Instagram and blog posts while you/they wait for images to be ready.

Most of my returning clients know that I don’t plan mini sessions often. The reason for this is that the hardest part about mini sessions is not being able to chit chat and get fun stories out of my clients. One thing I love so much about being a photographer is making new friends, learning about people. I just don’t get to hear that as much in mini sessions, because we get right down to work!




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