Today we are lucky to have photography extradornair, Angela Lang of Angela Lang Photography lending her expertise to us. You all may remember Angela from her tips on finding, booking and dressing for a photographer and this darling newborn session, she is stopping by for her monthly column to talk all things mini sessions. We have all heard about mini sessions but what are they and how are they different from a normal “session” with a photographer? Angela will answer all of those questions and more so without further ado, here’s Angela!
Mini shoots are a really fun way to have your child photographed. These sessions are unique because it has a lower time and cost commitment than a full session while still providing great photography by a professional.
The idea behind this kind of photography is to provide a different feel from one mini shoot to the next so that families can keep coming back for different looks. Sessions are done on a designated day when children and/or families are photographed in increments of 10 to 30 minutes, depending on how the photographer sets it up. Some offer mini shoots around themed holidays such as Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Independence Day, Halloween, and Christmas. Others make it seasonal such as winter, spring, summer, and fall.
Why do a mini shoot? It is an ideal set up for families that have very busy weekends, are on a budget, or they feel their child would do better with a short session. It’s also an easy way to try out a photographer. Parents may not realize it right away, but children who are photographed at an early age by a professional will be more comfortable in front of the camera. This becomes very valuable to parents when there is an investment being made for wall art, particularly for a full family session. It can be especially true when it is the same photographer — with each session the relationship gets stronger and more familiar. One of my favorite things is to arrive for a session and be greeted with a big hug from the children whom I’ve photographed for years. They draw pictures for me and some even tell me they love me. My cup is always very full from all this love from my little clients!
Mini shoots might be a shorter time and cost less, but should not be considered as less of an experience. When I do mini shoots, I first come up with the concept, set a date, and get the word out. Then, I spend several hours on Pinterest for additional inspiration, on Etsy buying props and accessories, and shopping at craft, candy, and novelty stores for the final touches. Two days before the session I build the set in my studio. This is the most challenging part for me — bringing it all together in a way that will photograph well. I love the moment when the children arrive wearing their big smiles and adorable outfits and I get to photograph them.
Kim and Greg are one of my most loyal clients. In addition to having both of their children photographed three times to document their first-year milestones, they’ve also come to every mini session. Naturally, Kim was the perfect person to interview for this column, and here is what she has to say:
How are mini sessions different than the full sessions that you’ve had?
It is based on themes which makes them especially fun. They are short sessions so it doesn’t take much time, and we get beautiful photos.
Why do you like the mini sessions that Angela does?
We often to get see some of the same clients so it’s nice to cross paths again with other families. The mini sessions are an affordable addition to the full sessions which we already have done for our children. We love the themes.
What keeps you coming back?
Of course, it’s the incredible photographs!! Plus, we have so much fun planning for these sessions.
Which mini session was your favorite and why?
That’s a tough question because they are all my favorites! If I had to pick one I would say it is the Valentine’s shoots.
How do you prepare for a mini session? Do you purchase clothing and accessories?
Ha!! YES! It’s a great excuse for me to spend a little more on something special. I go all out and usually arrive with several outfits. Angela is able to narrow it down to what would look best photographically.
Which shops are your favorites?
Where did your love of photography came from?
Many years ago I collected vintage photography. Also, my parents loved photography and instilled that love in me as well. The skill to forever capture a beautiful moment, especially of my children, is priceless.
Why is it important for you to have this documentation of your children?
They grow and change so fast. As much as you may think you will always remember what they looked like or how they behaved, you just don’t. I look back at photographs Angela took just one year ago and cannot believe how much my daughter has grown and changed. As a child, one of my favorite past times was looking through my parent’s photo albums.
Do you take good photos of your children?
I take horrible photographs of my children despite my best efforts. It would be like coloring my own hair — best left to the professionals!
Angela Lang has photographed more than 700 families in the greater San Francisco Bay Area since opening her portrait studio in 2000, She holds a B.A. in Photojournalism and brings her training and love of candid photography to her portraiture.
Angela was a featured photographer in Professional Photographer Magazine for her child photography in 2010, and her internationally published book, Vintage Knits for Modern Babies (Random House). Her work has appeared in various publications including Pottery Barn Kids catalog.