Are 10 Minute Family Sessions Successful?
A consistent review I receive from clients is a positive one for my time efficiency during their session.
Get in, get the shot, and move on!
Having worked with a few thousand families in my 11 year career, I've learned a few tricks that I'm excited to share with you. These tips will be helpful for other photographers or people looking for a new photographer. When I book my ultra mini sessions, which are my seasonal sessions (Cherry Blossoms when we lived in DC, or fall follage) and time is literally of the essance to work with as many families, as efficiently as possible... I book sessions at 10 or 15 minutes apart. NEW clients booking for the first time almost always asked if that was even enough time. Which I would reply, YES! Learning how to have quick posing and transitioning between combinations of people is key. It took me about 4 years to master a routine of how I work through family combinations. I rarely have to break routine.. but sometimes it's necessary to help the whole session continue smoothly, such as a toddler needing a minute to get use to whats going on, seeing I'm a "cool mom" type person and they can trust me with some of my tricks mentioned in my last blog.
I set up my phone to record a session with a (model) client and her 2 children. I hit all the marks we wanted to hit in the session. And if I did individuals of her children it would have taken under 40 seconds for me to get wall worthy shots (that just wasn't in our objective for the session). Enjoy watching our raw footage with added in finished images from the session - complete with some fun real life commentary (such as eye boogers and stuff in teeth, LOL). I do monthly content sessions with this momma, so we did add in some individuals at the end while I had her with me.
Also enjoy the raw commentary, haha!
The order in which I shoot: 1. Whole family or group. This allows for the youngest of the family to get use to the idea of whats happening. They are most comfortable with their known big people. So I keep them together while time allows for the young to see me as an "okay" person. 2. Group of Children. I usually say something funny like "Okay, kids! Kick our parents out, so you can show them how it's done!" And after I get them set in a pose usually a line like "Act like you really like each other today!" -always give off a funny smile (make sure you're ready to capture it).
3. Individual children. Now the kids are having fun and love to hop in the line to get their solo time to shine.
4. Parents. Now that I know we're hitting all the pictures wanted, I can move onto the parents - as adults, I can expect them to still be ready to go, unlike kids who lose their motivation to behave rather quickly.
5. More whole family. Ending the session with extra family pictures that are more fun then the look and smile in the beginning... Play fun games such as the one in the video (Look at the person who ___ ). Sometimes they walk towards the light and butt bump. And then run back to me. I adjust my games for the age levels.
That is my 99% success rate order. I'm also the type of photographer that will have a family come back if we are not satisfied with the end result pictures. I would much rather you have wall worthy family memories! And if it only takes an extra 30-60 minutes another day, it's worth it!
If you're wondering why I find it worth it, we have a daughter, who passed away when she was just 3 months old, Caralynn. Family pictures are priority to me and my life work. I honor our daughters memory by giving thousands of families the physical memory of their family at that time in their life.