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Mini Session Pep Talk 🤍

Our time together is a team effort. I promise to come to the table with my very best and do everything I know how to make your session successful. I will pick out a location that's beautiful and functions well, I'll have a game plan in place on how everything will unfold, I will instruct you on where to stand and what to do with your hands, I will observe the different personalities in the group to choose poses that work well for your dynamic, and I will let my creative gifts come through to create beautiful, timeless photos for you.

Your job? Just. Let. Go.

I know how important this session is for you and how much effort you put into making things go well. I also know, after many years of experience, that the #1 thing to cause things to not go well is simply over-stressed, unhappy people. Kids will be kids - they can be unpredictable and hard to "force" into good behavior, but I'm really good with them and have a lot of tricks up my sleeve to get results. Grumpy grown-ups, however, are much harder to navigate and really set the tone for how things will go. So for this short time I ask that you & your partner set any annoyances aside, leave the stress in the car, let go of expectations of perfection because that is not where the beauty lies, and remember that it's just photos! You can let go and trust that I got you, because I do.

Tips

• Be early! Your scheduled time is when photos will START. Give yourself enough time to get there and do your final touches so you're all set to go.
• The mini is 15 consecutive minutes long. This makes it not ideal to do outfit or location changes. If you're super set on an outfit change let's chat about some ways we can make it go quickly!
• Follow the guidelines in the "what to wear" section below - These tips are there for a reason (because I learned the hard way, ha)!
• Let me know if you're wanting to include a pet as I have some guidelines for that.
• Got kids? Checkout the thorough list of advice I have below for each age group (but seriously, read this. It's SO helpful for both of us).
• Lastly - You are not here to perform for me, you're here to interact with the people you love and I'm here to document it. Keep that at the forefront of your mind. 🤍

What to Wear

Pro Tips for young kids

I am a mom. I get It. On top of raising a very spirited little girl, I’ve been doing photos of children for over 15 years and I can confidently say that I do really well with kids. I “get” them, I see them, and I have a number of ways to help them through the photo session with minimal stress and lots of fun!

  1. HAVE THEM HELPWhether it’s help in choosing outfits, coming up with photo ideas, or help in choosing a reward for good behavior, getting them involved makes them feel important, included, and in control.
  2. GIVE A PEP TALK – Explain what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, how long it will go, and what they get for doing well.
  3. BRIBERY – I am not above a good ole bribe, and this is the perfect time to implement one! It can be a treat for after the session, a fun activity, a toy, bubbles during photos, or whatever works for your family.
  4. YOUR MOOD – I know photo sessions have the potential to be a little stressful – you have to get everyone ready, be on time, and not be awkward in front of the camera (I’ve been there too – it’s hard!). Do your absolute best to stay positive, joyful, and laid back throughout it all. Not only will it trickle down to the kids, but photo sessions are a collaborative effort and your mood will totally help me do my job and give you the best results! 
  5. TAKE A STEP BACK . . . This one is tough for parents, I GET IT – you want your kids to behave and so you step in to try and help, but this is where things can sometimes fall apart. When kids have too many people telling them what to do they start to get overwhelmed and shut down. 
  6. TRUST ME AND FOLLOW MY LEAD During sessions I try to get on the children’s level and build a trust with them. We will go on adventures, look for bunnies, inspect pine cones, walk like elephants, run/jump/twirl/etc. Sometimes the things we are doing aren’t the most photogenic, but trust me – I have a plan. Please do your best to just trust the process 
  7. STEP IN WHEN NECESSARY – Safety is priority #1, if your child is doing something unsafe you are of COURSE allowed to step in and I would actually prefer that you did! Also, if their behavior has gone totally haywire and you need to pull them aside for a few minutes you are more than welcome to. 

Pro Tips for older kids

As I write this I have a 12 year old daughter, and I have the utmost empathy for her at this age. Around the age of 11 our kids start to shift. They are no longer “little kids,” they are “big kids” and they are so tender, vulnerable, confused, and special. Honestly the best advice I can give for those of you who have older kids is to just leave them be. They know how to behave and follow direction, and chances are they’ll behave better for me than for you (this is a sign of a healthy kid!). They’re likely not thrilled about having their photos taken and that’s ok – this is what minis are for – so I try and honor their discomfort by not overdoing it. Nothing about my job is so important that it’s worth making a kiddo feel uncomfortable or insecure. Here are a few other tips:

  1. INCENTIVE – Just like I mentioned above, a little incentive can go a long way! Have something fun planned for them after the session – ice cream, extra screen time, etc.
  2. GIVE THEM SPACE – Too many grown ups telling them what to do can backfire. Let me be the annoying one who gives instructions so you can just be the grown up who is relaxed and having fun. You don’t need to tell them how to stand or how to smile – that’s my job and I can tell when they’re not giving me their real smile! I have some tricks to get it out of them. 😉
  3. LET THEM BE THEMSELVES – Whether they’re more reserved or more energetic, trying to get them to act other than who they really are will feel uncomfortable for them which LOOKS uncomfortable in the photos. Also, let them have a say in what they wear. Identity is SO important at this age, and feeling comfortable in what they wear will help their confidence.

Understand that with this age group we will likely get less candids and that is absolutely ok. Again, minis are PERFECT for preteens & teens!