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15 minutes

Fifteen minutes is and isn’t a lot of time for photos. With cooperative subjects in the right settings, it might be all you need for an awesome portrait. With a larger group or less cooperative subjects, it can be hit or miss. You might get something great, or you might get something that’s just OK and if you’d had more time, you would have gotten a picture of that grumpy kiddo smiling a natural smile.

silly faces

You might get a photo like this when your children are asked to do something. I think it’s adorable, but it wasn’t really what I was looking for out of this session.

I want to set up some mini-session days, and I wanted to give potential clients an idea of what they might get from a fifteen minute session. I’m still working out the details of what you’ll get with the session and the pricing, but I do want to schedule 15-minute time slots. I’m going to allow five minutes in between sessions, but that is for me to regroup or setup, not for shooting. If you want some extra time and sign up for two, you’ll actually get a 35-minute session.

sibling hug

These are my kids. They’re used to me taking photos and can get pretty ornery. I usually have more success when having me there with my camera is new and exciting to a child, and a parent can provoke a nice expression while my face is hidden behind my big camera. This blog contains the edits of the images I photographed in 10-15 minutes with them. You can expect photos of at least this quality with a 15-minute mini-session, and you’re likely to get something better. Each child only got a few minutes of individual portrait time, and some of it was spent trying to bribe them to just let me get one nice photo, pleeeease….and then you can play some more.

smiley girlmore smiles

My daughter will cooperate for a few minutes, sometimes. The poor kid has the same smile I have, with her upper lip trying to disappear. She didn’t take my direction too well, but I still got some decent shots.

not smiling boytalking boy

My son was either giving me a super-cheesy smile, looking in the wrong direction, or talking. I’m not thrilled with these photos, but it’s a worst-case scenario for only five minutes with a kid like him. I had a lot of photos like these where I didn’t quite catch him at the right moment, because he does not hold still or listen to direction. I’m usually pretty good at anticipating and being ready when the moment happens, but a very short time with a very unpredictable kid is a challenge.

cheesy grins

Cheesy grins can be fun at times, but I have a lot of photos of their cheese face and I was really trying to capture something else. You might love having the cheese faces in photos…just let me know what your ideal photo is as we’re getting ready to start your session.

true selves

These aren’t the expressions I was hoping to put on my wall, but this is probably my favorite photo from the session. It captures my children’s personalities. Maybe I should frame this instead of something more typical. I try to give my clients options, with more traditional images and ones that are more humorous or artistic.

So what could you get from a fifteen minute session?

With one child, you’d get three times as much time for an individual portrait as I had with these children. You would have a wider variety of photographs. You could do a mother-child, father-child, or family portrait. (Keeping in mind that the more people, the more time it can take to have everyone looking good at the same time!)

With two children, you’re taking more of a chance if you expect a good group photo and individual shots. You can see how it went with mine. Maybe these photos are fine with you and I’m just too critical, but I know I could have done much more with about twice the time.

With more than three children, or older children and adults, you’ll have to use your judgment and decide if you’d rather purchase additional time slots or hope everything goes smoothly. Some older children and adults take a little longer to get comfortable in front of the camera. It’s usually the opposite with small children, whose attention span diminishes as the shoot continues. I’d be happy to discuss options. And of course, a personalized photography session is always an option. I wanted to provide the mini-sessions as an option for those who don’t need a full session.

You might go in with one portrait as the priority, and if everything was going well, you would have time for more groupings or kinds of photos. With a short session, it’s important that I know if you really want a close-up photograph, a full-length shot, straight on photograph, unique perspective, etc. I try to get the necessary photos first, and if time allows, I can try more things.

Now to choose a location and date for my first mini-sessions!

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