Tips + Advice

Getting The Most Out of Your Fall Mini Session

September 20, 2021


I'm a California wedding and engagement photographer. The blog has past weddings, planning advice, photo education and more!

Hi, I'm ashley.

We’re starting to say goodbye to summer and HELLO to fall which means it’s finally time for all of the beautiful, golden fall (and holiday!) mini sessions! Working with families this time of year is one of my favorite things… especially when it’s crammed into just a couple of days! I love the excitement on my mini session families faces as they walk up to me before their session and the anticipation they feel as they wait their final gallery. But there’s one thing we need to talk about and that’s exactly how you can get the most out of your fall mini session WITHOUT any unnecessary added stress or worry before and on the day. Here’s a few of my most favorite tips:

Arrive 5 minutes early so you’re not rushed

Nothing throws off the mood of your entire mini session worse than stressed out parents because they were running late to get to their session. A fight with your kids or your spouse on the drive to the location because you’re not sure if you’re going to make it on time can really throw off the entire time we have together and not allow you to really be present in the moment and enjoy it. My biggest tip is planning to arrive early. If your session is scheduled for 1:30pm, write it in your calendar as 1:25, so that way there’s no doubt if you’ll get there on time. A little extra wiggle room is so much better than running up right before go-time!

Have snacks, treats or an incentive to bribe your kids with

Yes, these sessions are short which is already a plus for your kids! Chances are getting them to cooperate for 30 minutes rather than a full 1-2 hour family session is going to be a piece of cake! BUT if you know your kids are bound to complain or be uncooperative, plan ahead and bring snacks or treats to bribe them with. One of my favorite things is when parents plan an exciting outing after the session (like a trip to an ice cream shop!) that they promise to take the kids out to if they behave… it works like a charm! Oh, and ladies, this works well for some husbands as well… so think ahead haha!

Try on your outfits beforehand

This seems like a DUH! obvious tip, but you’ll be surprised how many people will buy new outfits (especially for the kids) and wait until day-of to try them on. Alleviate this easily avoidable stressor by trying out outfits the week of. This ensures everything fits just how you want it, they coordinate together well and everyone will be comfortable come session day.

Here’s a pinterest board I put together for all of my Fall Mini Session clients full of outfit inspo, feel free check this out when planning your fall photos! My two biggest tips when it comes to picking out outfits for a photo session are: 1) coordinate don’t match, and 2) avoid putting everyone in patterns, solid neutrals always do well with a sprinkle of patterns in between!

Bonus tip: Don’t forget to remove tags on new clothes so you’re not yanking them off mid-photo at your session!

Let your photographer know if there’s a certain song your kids love

This tip is super beneficial, especially for families with younger kids! Sometimes getting a baby to smile or interact can be difficult, so if your photographer knows ahead of time a song they love to dance to (cue Baby Shark!) they can have it handy to pull out for some help if and when it’s needed.

Be ready to roll with it, have fun create moments with your family

My biggest tip is to show up not expecting everything to go as planned. We will roll with the punches and have the best time! Connection and authenticity drive my work and I am always aiming to capture personalities and real moments between families rather than filling your gallery with lots of stiff poses. In order to do this, let go and don’t worry about everyone looking at the camera, I’ll take care of that! Get ready to laugh, play and create memories with your kids! You’ll be so glad you did 🙂

I hope you find this helpful! Whether you’re booked with me for an upcoming fall mini, you’re considering booking or you are trying to plan for a session with another photographer, this is bound to help you!

If you missed out on booking a session with me this year, but are interested in working together for a mini session next time around, click here to be added to the mini session waitlist!

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I'm Ashley, a California wedding and engagement photographer. The blog has past weddings, planning advice, photo education and more!




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