families

Making the Most of Your Mini Session, part 3

I am so excited to finally show off these images.

Kim is the mom in this post.  She is a talented photographer herself and a friend of mine.  I’ve been holding onto her photos for a year now, saving them for this fall, and now it is time.  I wanted to share them as an example of when a mini session comes together JUST right, making those twenty minutes something magical.

Kim booked the last session of the day, at 5:30 pm. She brought her family out in the afternoon and spent the day enjoying friends, pumpkin picking, music, and snacks. When it was time for their portrait session, they were completely relaxed and happy after their day in the sun. Kim dressed her girls in matching styles, but not matching outfits, and chose vivid colors that really popped against the blue sky and the browns and yellows of autumn. And — probably most importantly — she was totally relaxed about these shots and gave me a lot of artistic liberty over their portraits, making the mini session more of a documentary or lifestyle session that just happened to be in a pumpkin patch. Some of my favorite shots are of the family traipsing through the farm together with nary a look towards the camera. And did I mention she booked the 5:30 session? Hence, the golden sunshine and saturated colors.

Sinkland Farms Pumpkin Patch portraits
Sinkland Farms Pumpkin Patch portraits
Sinkland Farms Pumpkin Patch portraits
Sinkland Farms Pumpkin Patch portraits
Sinkland Farms Pumpkin Patch portraits
Sinkland Farms Pumpkin Patch portraits
Sinkland Farms Pumpkin Patch portraits
Sinkland Farms Pumpkin Patch portraits

So, final tips for minis, from Kim’s sushiney example session? Here you go:

8. Fall doesn’t mean drab.

Don’t be afraid to go with bold colors. They always photograph well.  And did you see Kim’s girls?  They even mixed different patterns and the result is beautiful: relaxed and whimsical and childlike.  Kim is the only one in red, which allowed her to stand out, but the solid color also kind of simultaneously became a neutral behind her children’s patterned clothing.  And for men, her husband looked dashing in just a simple dress shirt and khakis.  Tucking it in was key.  A fitted V-neck tee would have been another great option.

Every family is different, and what looks great on them may not work for you, but what I love most about their clothes in these pictures is that they look like what they’d normally wear.  They aren’t painstakingly color coordinated or matched.  And I think the photos have a more realistic and emotional feeling to them as a result.

9. Make a day out of it.

Enjoy the farm festivities while you’re out there.  Sinkland has so much going on!  You can find out more on their website: http://sinklandfarms.com

10. Don’t be afraid to get dirty.

Did you see the photo of Kim’s girls kicking the dirt? Perching on (unwashed, unpicked) pumpkins? Plopping down in the grass? You’re probably going to get a little dirty at your session, but sometimes those shots are the best ones.  Prepare as best you can with extra clothes in the car, wipes, and plenty of bug spray (the ticks around here are bad).  And then just become one with nature, as best you can.

11.  Get ice cream afterwards.

I think I mentioned this earlier, but are you bringing kids to your session?  Because kids deserve a treat after they’re done!  (Grown-ups might, too.)

Did you miss the other tips?  Read the rest of them here and here.

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