Which Type of Photo Session is Best for Your Family?

One of the most frequently asked questions I receive as a Colorado Springs family photographer is, “Should I book a mini session or a full session?” The answer to this question depends on what your needs are, so let’s take a look and I’ll help you decide which type of photo session is best for your family.

Family seated on bench in Christmas tree farm near Colorado Springs

Siblings seated on blanket and hugging during portrait session in Colorado Springs

How Many Images Would You Like?

Mini sessions come with 5 images, and full portrait sessions come with 10-20. (Keep in mind that these are just the images that are included, and you always have the option to purchase more. But having a rough idea of how many images you want can help you make your decision as to which type of photo session is best for your family.)

If all you need is a few great images for a specific need, like Christmas cards or an exciting family announcement, a mini session can be perfect. On the other hand, if you are looking to create a photo album or a gallery wall of personalized art for your home, a full session will give you a greater variety of images to choose from.

Family seated on rock formation in Garden of the Gods

Which type of photo session is best for your family, full and mini session options near Colorado Springs

How Long Do You Want Your Session to Last?

Mini sessions are 15 minutes long. While this may sound short, with an experienced family photographer, this is plenty of time to capture several great photos with a few different poses. Full sessions are either 30 or 60 minutes long, depending on your package. This allows for a little more time for the kids to warm up to me and also run around and play while I take photos in several different poses and candid, natural situations that come up during the course of the session.

Family walking in the snow near Colorado Springs during a family portrait session

Do You Have a Date or Location Preference?

Mini sessions ONLY take place on designated weekends throughout the year, and are held at a pre-determined, seasonal location. I try to offer Colorado Springs mini sessions once or twice per season at a location that is easily accessible for families. I like to switch this up so that you can have a variety of backgrounds even if you come back for mini sessions with me again and again. And I always like to make sure that the location fits the season!

If your availability doesn’t fit with my mini session schedule, or if you have a specific vision in mind (maybe you want a mountain-scape or a favorite spot at sunset), then a regular portrait session is the way to go!

Again, there is no right or wrong answer for which type of photo session is best for your family. Both full and mini sessions provide wonderful options. It just depends on your preference and needs at the time.

large family with teen children huddles together for winter family portraits in front of colorado mountain views

I hope these tips have helped you determine which session option is the best fit for your family! If you have any questions, please be in touch. I can’t wait to capture memories for your family in a way that feels perfect for you!


Hello, I’m so happy you’re here! Thank you for considering me to capture your portraits. I’m an award-winning newborn and family photographer based in Colorado Springs. If you are welcoming a new baby, or simply want to document your growing family year after year, I would be honored to work with you!