What’s a Headshot Mini-Session? FAQ!!

What is a “Headshot Mini-Session”??

In its essence, a mini-session is a portrait photography/headshot shoot which is shorter in duration and provides fewer delivered images/options than a standard session.

How specifically is a “mini-session” different from a “regular” session?

Think of a mini-session as a traditional session “light”. Really, a mini-session is an introduction to what you’d get on a larger scale in a full session.

For example, where a traditional branding portrait session is 100% customizable and typically lasts anywhere from 90-minutes to 5 or 6 hours, a mini-session will last either 30 or 60 minutes.

Full sessions also often include professional hair, makeup and styling services, as well as allowing you to select anywhere from 3-15 photos for editing, dozens of web resolution images and more. In mini-sessions, your session fee allows you the choice of 1 or 2 edited images, depending on the session level you choose.

Further, standard sessions can be done in one or multiple locations during a single shoot, and can be done in studio or on location. Mini-sessions are by appointment during designated days/times each month, at one studio setting.

Pricing for full, customized branding portrait sessions start at $595. Mini-sessions really pack in the bang for the buck, starting at $125.

What does “customizable” mean?

Both mini and traditional sessions are unique to the person being photographed. Our process for portrait photography, whether for entrepreneurs, professionals, or creatives, allows for the look of the image to match your personality, temperament and (personal) brand vision.

How do we customize the sessions?

All sessions include a level of consulting and relationship building before the day of the shoot. We use the information gathered in the process of getting to know you, your goals, your target audience, and your intentions for the use of the photos in order to guide the creative direction of the shoot, in terms of lighting, backdrops, camera angle, posing, colors, and so forth.

No two sessions are exactly the same because no two clients have exactly the same needs.

Consulting? That sounds like a big commitment and expensive, just for a headshot?

Well, we look at your photo shoot as an opportunity to tell your story and communicate your uniqueness through photos. Consulting is our way to get to know that information, which then guides the creative process.

In mini-sessions, the consulting happens through a questionnaire in the registration process, and perhaps a phone conversation to answer questions on both ends. It’s nothing to worry about, but it does set us apart from the in-and-out, click shutter and leave type studios. We know that, even though the mini-sessions aren’t as much a financial commitment as traditional sessions, you’re still shelling out. So, we want you to get your money’s worth, and this is one way we can take the risk out.
With traditional sessions, the consulting piece is more in depth. We go through an in person session or two – depending on the level of the shoot – and we plan all the details, from location(s), to props and so forth. We build a mood board and make a potential shot list. That way, on the day of the shoot, we can create the work we set out to do.

Props? What kind of props? Can I bring props to a mini-session?

Well, really, any kind of prop that would be relevant to your personality or “story.”

For example, if you’re a musician, you could bring your instrument, a microphone, an amp, or so on. If you’re a chef, bring your favorite cooking utensils or the cookbook you wrote! And, meanwhile, wear your uniform!

And yes, you can bring props to mini-sessions. The general guideline is that during a half hour session, we’ll really only be working on one to two poses, so one prop or maybe two would work great. For longer sessions, feel free to bring more.

I only get 1 or 2 images? What about the other 30 or 40 images you shot?

That’s right… During your session, the photographer will always click the shutter more times than the number of images you will receive. We go through all the images and eliminate the bad ones – ones where the flash didn’t go off, you blinked, the focus was slightly off, you had an in-between expression… etc. – and show you the rest in an online proof gallery.

Once you see the proof images, you will select the number of images you like, as per what is included in your session fee, and then, our editor will go through those selections and make more detailed edits, such as skin smoothing, making complexion more consistent, removing blemishes and stray hairs, removing dry/dead skin (digital exfoliation), and so on.

This process takes time, so naturally the fee you pay can only cover so much. Plus, each image has a unique value and you always have the option to upgrade and purchase additional images.

What is a proof image?

A proof is an image that you can view in order to select your final images. The proof images are only edited for exposure, contrast and overall white balance. This means, if the background was off, or you had a pimple that day, it will still be in the proof. If you select that image, we will take care of the background and the pimple for the final image. Some images require more work than others, so sometimes images look fairly similar to the proof and other times they look noticeably different.

Will you make me 10 lbs lighter/10 years younger?

We do edit images, and while the ability exists to do some things like that in Photoshop and through various posing, lighting and photographic techniques, there is only so much that can be done. If you are unsatisfied with how you look, you probably won’t like any photos we make of you. We do not edit the shape of your body or completely remove all of your wrinkles. We will, however, use all the techniques we know to make flattering images of the “real” you.

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