Alex Wesson Photography

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Toronto Family Portraits - everything you need to know about Mini Sessions

What’s a mini session like and what can you expect from it? I’m so glad you asked!

Just a few weeks ago I hosted an amazing day at in the Nest room at Mint Room Studios in the Junction. It was so awesome. My mini sessions are just 15 minutes with 5 minutes in between sessions so in 4 hours I get to see a lot of people! I know this might not be everyone’s dream day but to me it’s like a party where I get to have time to chat with everyone and I love it!

When Erin and her family arrived they hung out in the makeup room getting their coats and boots off and settling in before I finished up the session before them and then they came in. There’s a coat hanger in all the rooms here, which I love, so they dropped all their stuff off and settled in. There was a race car, a rocking horse, unicorns to play with and the amazing “fort” in the corner that everyone was in to. Erin and her most important shots while the kids explored the room with Dad.

Erin’s mom is a photographer so they have hundreds of gorgeous photos of Clementine’s babyhood, but she moved away before Albert was born so Erin is worried he’ll be jealous of Clem’s collection. So our first priority was photos of sweet Albert. We also decided a family photo, one of Erin and Phil together and some cute shots of the kids together would be great. I like to chat with you about your priorities before we get started (I also love when you send me ideas and photos you love before our shoot!) to make sure that I’m capturing what is important to you. If your kid makes a face you love that you want to capture, or you are obsessed with the connection between your kids when your son helps your daughter tie her shoelaces I want to know that so I can help you treasure it forever.

We started with family photos, which we don’t always, but the kids were happy to go snuggle their parent. They’re in a new place with a new person, so feeling a little shy is totally normal and I don’t need everyone to interact with me, it’s the connection between your family that I’m looking for during this portrait. Clem left us to go play in the fort and Albert decided he was going to pop all the buttons open on his pants which made for some great snuggle time with mom and dad and a perfect opportunity for some gorgeous portraits of his sweet smiling face.

Everyone went to join Clementine in the tent and I caught some more cute family moments, including the lovely smiling portrait below and Clem and Albert playing. Clementine went and sat in my favourite chair so I photographed her there and when I looked over Erin and Albert were being adorable. Phil hopped in on the fun and then went to play with Clem before we snuck Mom and Dad off for a photo of the love that made this beautiful family.

It’s only 15 minutes, but these guys nailed it. By getting right in to playing and relaxing in the space like it was their own, Erin and Phil were able to get beautiful photos of their family being the way they really are with each other in a beautiful space (that they didn’t have to tidy!)

For your mini session, try to give yourself a little buffer time for arrival in case traffic gives you a hard time. Getting there early will give your family time to relax and settle in to being themselves instead of jumping straight in to photos. Think about bringing snacks and water and make sure everyone uses the washroom before you leave.

We’re going to have so much fun! I’ll arrive and we’ll chat for a little, getting to know each other, talking about what we want to capture and relaxing. Once we start shooting I’ll suggest different groupings and locations and we’ll chat and laugh our way through our session. I will probably also tell fart jokes and tell your kids to be very silly. Don’t worry, your kids will warm up. I’ll chat to you and then I’ll try to include them and they’ll be shy and it’s totally normal. But I won’t give up and I’ll use all my tricks to get them to be comfortable. I’m also not opposed to giving them a cookie so they’ll cheer up ;) Food is love.

I really hope this answers all your questions about what a mini session is like, but if you have any more questions let me know in the comments so I can get them answered! And check out the links below to browse through other mini sessions.

Now that you know everything there is to know, sign up for my newsletter so you can be the first to hear about upcoming mini sessions and get EXCLUSIVE early access to sign up!