Family Session vs Mini Session {Tips}



The decision to specialize in families (and High School Seniors) is always made more apparent when I get into Mini Session season (aka get your lovely holiday photo taken!). I love seeing my returning clients families get bigger and older. It is a joy to hear their big accomplishments of the year.

Often, though, I get asked if a family should choose a mini session or an hour family session and perhaps this post will help guide you.

  • Are you looking for a photo just to put on your holiday card? Mini Session
  • Are you wanting to bring a pet? Family Session (sometimes I can accommodate pets in minis but it can make the session feel a bit more rushed.)
  • Do you have a larger family (6+)? Family Session
  • Do you have younger children that have a shorter attention span? Mini Session – that 25 minute time span is perfect for them!
  • Do you want a specialized and unique experience? Family Session
  • Do you want to pick your own location? Family Session
  • Do you want props that focus on Christmas? Mini Session
  • Do you want to change outfits? Family Session


Mini Sessions are 25 minute sessions that are typically one after another for a few hours. Each family typically gets 20-25 edited photos on an online gallery. The session is in one location that typically doesn’t have much variety.

Family Sessions are an hour long and is focused just on your family. Each family can pick any location in a 15 mile radius of St. Louis. Families can bring props and an outfit changed if they want. Each Family gets 50-60 edited photos on an online gallery.

My goal is to serve every family with a fun photography experience!

2017 Fall Mini Sessions . Forest Park

2017 Fall mini save the date

I love frolicking around in beautiful leaves and crisp weather (all while enjoying hot apple cider or a pumpkin spice latte). What I love even more is photographing my favorite families during this season.

October 22 + November 18
25 minutes || sessions in the morning and afternoon
20 Digital Prints with an online gallery
Print release

The sessions will take place in Forest Park, St. Louis which boasts of a variety of views and beautiful autumn trees. To view some of last year’s minis – 1 , 2 , 3 .

To book your session: Email
The October date is almost completely booked and November is filling up quickly!




SSMP + Pinterest {business}


Life is busy and often clients feel the expectation to have “perfect” photos – this can all be so overwhelming.

My goal is to make the preparation for photos to go incredibly smoothly! In order to do so, I like to share with my clients some of our pinterest boards so that they can breathe easy when planning outfits and deciding how to use their photos in their home.

Here are links to some of our Pinterest boards!

If you have any ideas of topics that I can add pins on, please let me know. My goal is always to make the session and prep as seamless and fun as possible!

2017 Fall Mini Session {Save The Date}

2017 Fall mini save the date

There are few things I enjoy more than back to back to back sessions of some of the cutest families ever- especially when they are returning clients that I have seen grow over the past three years.

I am so excited to announce the dates for my 2017 Fall Mini Sessions. I’m still working on location but inquire to reserve your date and time today!

To inquire : email

Creve Coeur Camera Photopalooza {Workshop Recap}

Over the past few years I have been amazed at the way incredible photographers come around others and share their gift and knowledge. I’ve seen this through the Rising Tide Society (2016 Styled Shoot) and recently through Creve Coeur Camera’s Photopalooza. I was honored to sit in on the sessions with Stephanie Cotta and Trent Broglin.

Bridal Posing with Trent Broglin

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Trent’s Tips for posing:

  • When you ask your bride to laugh- laugh with her!
  • You can do every pose without making the bride move her feet.
  • Always elongate your bride. Be mindful of her body and her angles.

Our model was gorgeous (as they always are) and she was a brave woman as it was hot! Did I mention it was 107 degrees this day? She rocked that dress.

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Outdoor Child Photography with Stephanie Cotta

Now this was a session I was looking for, however I’ve mostly seen her name around Newborn Photography. While she might specialize in newborn, but she wowed us in child photography as well. And if I could be BFF with anyone it might be Stephanie. She is super down to earth and answers questions with honesty, humility, and with a laugh.

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Stephanie’s Tips for Child Photography Posing:

  • Bribery always works – bring smarties!
  • Also bring a few key props- something with movement and a seat (bench/chair/etc.).
  • Get in a pose and then add a simple movement to it.
  • Little kids need to be guided on where to put their hands. Pockets are great for boys and girls can hold on to their dress or parents hand.

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If you attended photopalooza this year, tell me your favorite session in the comments. Some suggestions for people who attend it next year:

  • Make sure you sign up for the sessions early!
  • Go with a friend. You will meet a ton of wonderful photographers but it is nice to go with someone you know. I would encourage you to go to different sessions and compare notes during breaks.
  • Plan food options. There are a ton of local restaurants to check out.
  • Take advantage of the great discounts that day. Go in with a list of items you are looking to buy and price things out while you are there. You might get a really great deal.
  • Talk to the vendors there. Want to know what new products Nikon is putting out? More than likely a representative might be there to chat up.
  • Bring a notebook. These sessions are top notch and you will take in so much, so bring something to write down all of the tips they share.
  • Network with your session leaders and other attendees. St. Louis is smaller than you think so go meet your fellow photographers and remember that #communityovercompetition is key!

The Guffey Families {Mini Session}


Watching families grow each year is one of my greatest joys. Seeing pregnant moms one year bring their 7 month old the next is incredible. Then watching children grow up and become teenagers is the really cool part of my job. I love photographing both of the Guffey families and am honored that they choose me each year to document their families growth.


Last year this little lady wasn’t here yet – however we got some lovely maternity photos. And isn’t she the cutest? The whole session she was incredibly inquisitive and wanted to get her hands on everything. And I didn’t mind one bit!



These new parents have their hands full, but sometimes it nice to remember that they are husband and wife first.



Enter our second Guffey family!


These three have gotten so big since last year. Seriously, they have become little adults and that is exciting and terrifying all wrapped up in a bow.



Each one of these sweet kiddos have wonderful personalities and they really showed through these photos.




As you can see they have some of the prettiest blue eyes I have ever. Thank you Guffey’s I hope to see you this fall!

Maxfield Family {Mini Session}


This trio of dashing men are being raised by two of the most incredible parents I have ever met. Mark and Sarah are the epitome of sacrificial love in almost every way. They serve their church and are often never recognized – and I think they might prefer it that way. They lead by example and are such an encouragement to myself and all who interact with them.




Each one of these sweet boys have a different personality and it has been a true honor to see each one grow up.




Jackson {Family} . Mini Session


As a photographer when you get the perfect combo of gorgeous lighting, a happy baby and wonderfully coordinated outfits you know that the session will be stunning! Enjoy this fun, bold and very happy mini session


Isn’t that little guy simply the cutest. I loved his big bright eyes!







Over the next couple of weeks, I hope to inundate you with tons of beautiful sessions that I have been waiting to blog!

Bushor {Family} Laumeier Sculpture Park


These sweet girls have gotten so big! Last year we took their family photos and 1 year photos and fell in love with the girl’s spunk and energy!



I love it when a family -ahem, I know it is all your doing mommas- coordinates their outfits. I know it can be tough as kids grow so quickly but we love the mix of navy and purple in the Bushor family outfits.



You know my deep need to show a few couple moments followed by some up close personality shots!



Seeing these two little ladies grow up is a joy as a photographer. I am always so thankful for clients who come back to us year after year. I love capturing each family’s story and can’t wait to continue to do so for my incredible clients.



Sweet girls, keep on growing, learning and loving. Until, hopefully, next year Bushors!

Siebert + Collins {Family} . Forest Park


Sometimes friends become closer than family, and it is even better when those friends become like family. When Jonathan was explaining to me the relation that Candace and her family had to his, that is how he explained it – family. See long ago Candace’s family and Jonathan’s family all went to church together. And this church was exactly like it was supposed to be – they were family. When Candace reached out to me to photograph her family she mentioned Jonathan in her email. So I asked him if he knew who she was, and he loudly exclaimed, “CANDY, oh yah we go way back.” And he proceded to tell me that story.

Candace wanted not just family photos but also to grab some 1 year old photos of this sweet girl. Her party theme was milk and cookies and was the cutest!








As much as we adore photographing the entire family, one of our favorite parts is when we ask to just photograph the couple. They get a moment stop and remember what keeps the family together- the two of them. Jonathan is always amazing to entertaining the wee ones while I get a few minutes with the couple. If you didn’t know Jonathan is basically a baby whisperer- they magically love him!



One of my favorite parts of this session was the time we got to photograph this little guy and his favorite book.


This smiley guy is adopted and loves that he has a book that can tell a familiar story.


Thank you Candace for sharing your family with mine – in this generation and in the ones before us.