Book a Full Family Photo Session or a Mini Session?

Should I book a full session vs a mini session?

I get this question all the time!  I love my clients but if I booked a full session for each one of them I wouldn’t have time to breathe.  I love to be busy but in this case I’d be swamped!  This is because the time for pre consult, shooting, culling and editing a full session can take anywhere from 7-15 hours. Wait , what?!  Yup, some sessions I can be very efficient but others just take time to raise them to the level of quality I expect.  So lets lay it all out…

In a full family photo session I will take about 500 photographs.  Yup, 500 is average depending on the ages and attitudes of the children. Why so many?  Well, do you have ‘blinkers’ in your family?  Does it seem like whenever Jane is in a good mood Alexandra is melting down?  Heaven forbid a dog walks by in the park as we are shooting – either the kids are afraid of the dog -OR- they can’t stop looking at him.  All of this is normal during a family photo session, I have to account for all  of this when shooting the session.  Secondly, getting a variety of shots – both posed and candid takes time.  I can’t just say – OK kids, look at me and smile and get a natural smile of true happiness.  You know the smile I’m going to get… the fake one.  Do you want a large print of your little one on your wall with a big fake smile on it?  Maybe… if you do then go for a mini session.  I also have to consider YOUR comfort level in front of the camera.  Most, in fact NONE of my clients are models.  Most people are ok with a selfie or two but getting cozy with me (aka a stranger)  pointing an intimidatingly large lens at you can take some time.  So our family photo session is going to take 1-2 hours.  The factors will be child attitude, parent attitude, surroundings, and don’t even get me started on different lighting scenarios.   Here’s my advice. 

Three reasons to book a Full Family Photo Session

Reason One

You are a new client.  I need to get to know what makes your family tic.  What makes everyone laugh, what a natural smile looks like!  .

Reason Two

If you are looking for a true lifestyle photography session.  The time it takes to get a variety of candid and more formal shots is WAY longer than 15 minutes.  Things need to unfold naturally.

Reason Three

If you have a specific date, time or location for your photo session.  Home sessions are very intimate, they are in your space, a place your family will always treasure.  I love the sessions I run in the city of Buffalo but choosing a location that is special to you and your family can turn out to capture images that will be cherished.


Since 2010 Erin Feuerstein has been known for her high level of taste and professionalism as a photographer in Buffalo, NY. She is recognized as one of the top food photographers in Buffalo and is a sought after lifestyle/ family photographer. She enjoys working with brands to elevate their potential earnings through better photography. Erin is easy to work with and is comfortable working in both on-location or in studio. 716-573-3311