What to Expect
First, it’s important to know that we shoot 4-6 families every single night. Arriving early for your session time is welcomed but it is not guaranteed that we will be able to start early. Most times we can tho, with the exception of the first session. The first session of the evening cannot start early due to proper lighting conditions and well....I might not be there yet haha! Often times if we are running way ahead of schedule I will even send you a message letting you know you’re welcome to come early. This is not a requirement and I’m not pressuring you to rush out the door. It’s simply a heads up that if you’d like to arrive early you can. It’s a courtesy.
Upon arriving for your session, I’m very quick to jump straight into starting your session the second you arrive. You may notice that I will greet your kids before greeting you. This has been a proven tactic of mine. In 8.5 years I’ve learned all sorts of great techniques to ensure I get your kids to participate and this is one of those. I give all my attention to your kids, usually your youngest, because kids LOVE thinking they are the center of attention. I gain their trust and attention by making them feel like they have ALL my attention right off the bat. I find that if we spend time doing formal introductions and chatting among the adults, the kids are already finding other things to be distracted by, seeking attention, and will start to wear down before we even get started. So I don’t waste even a second. I give them instant attention and get started right away. If you wish to have a formal introduction; Hi, my name is Sarah. I’m part owner and the only photographer for ShutterHappy. Part owner because my husband and I own and operate it together . There ya go! We’ve been introduced! but seriously, I’m just that laid back. Not at all big on anything “formal”.
Mini sessions are short and sweet. They have a maximum time slot of 15 minutes and get you 5 images. On average, it takes less than 10 minutes to get you those 5 images. Mini sessions are my favorite between a full and a mini. Kids are always super cooperative in the first few minutes and tend to get bored and over it as time progresses. Making minis perfect for toddlers! We are done before they even realize we just made them do something! Generally a mini session will get a family of four 1 family photo, 1 of two kids together, of one each kid individually, and one of mom and dad (or a second family photo).
Full sessions are quick and painless. They have a maximum time slot of 1 hour and get you an average of 20-25 images. On average, it takes less than 40 minutes to get you those 20-25 images. Full sessions are great for families who need more than 5 images and want more posing options such as posed and candid family images. It’s also great for larger families. Generally a family of 6 will get 4-5 family photos, 2-3 of all four kids together, 3 of each kid individually, 2-3 of mom and dad together, and 1-3 miscellaneous poses that you may special request (mom and kids / dad and kids, etc).
Our main focus is getting you great images, time spent is of least importance. If your session runs long, we will accommodate so long as it appears that we can get you the photos (I’m most certainly not going to make you stick around going through misery if your kiddo is in full breakdown mode and clearly isn’t going to play along, I promise not to stress anyone out like that!) and it doesn’t run over so long that it makes a time constraint for sessions after you. This is also why even tho I can almost always get you your images in a much shorter amount of time than your allotted, we still schedule you in the 15min and 1 hour blocks; it gives us a cushion for the “what if”, because kids can be very unpredictable. Again, our main focus is getting you those images. If your session goes super smoothly and it only takes 5 minutes, then you can be on your way and enjoy the rest of your evening and possibly be giving your extra time to the next family whose child may not be as cooperative and needs the extra time . If the session before you runs long and delays your scheduled start time, I promise you will still be given the same focus as you paid for and expected. I will make sure you still get your 20-25 images! You will not be cut short! Keep in mind, it could be YOUR kid that delays the next session and you’d appreciate the understanding and flexibility of the photographer and the following session .
Image counts are an “average” because sometimes in a full session you can end up with as many as 30. Or a mini could end up with 8. If there’s 30 great images, I’m not going to delete 5 just because I only promised you 25....I’m going to give you all of them . On the flip side, if you have a kiddo that just doesn’t cooperate in spite of our efforts, you may end up with only 15 but never will that happen due to lack of trying. And it’s extremely rare. Even more rare would a mini session end up with less than 5.