"I just want one good picture of us smiling..."

I can't tell you the number of times I've heard this request over the years! I get it. Personally, I love the more candid photos of my family, but I also like to have that one really good straight-at-the-camera-smiling photo to frame. Here's the thing: getting that one great shot is not as simple as pose-cheese-click! It can often take 15-20 minutes for young children, shy personalities, or families new to professional photos time to relax enough in front of the camera to get real smiles. Guess what? The average mini session is 15-20 minutes.

I'm not knocking mini sessions or photographers who offer them. In fact, some of the most talented photographers I know only offer mini sessions, some of them incredibly special and elaborately planned (Jessica over at Modern Studios Photography does animal experience sessions that are simply amazing and Cynthia at Your Candid Memories has gorgeous themed mini session sets for every event imaginable). I have offered mini sessions every year I've been in business, and after almost a decade I'm finally taking them off the menu.

Minis are mostly popular for 2 reasons: they are short and they are affordable. Families on a budget (and let's be honest, who isn't on a budget these days??) can get nice family photos for not a lot of investment. For photographers, mini sessions can be very profitable: you get to photograph multiple families in one location over a period of a few hours instead of one or two families with travel in between. It seems like a win-win.

Getting to know you

The one really important thing that minis are missing is the "getting to know you" factor. I have built my brand and client base on becoming acquainted with my families and finding out what makes them unique. I like to take my time, especially with young or shy children. I often work with families that include neurodivergent or handicapped family members. You simply cannot rush authenticity, comfortability, or trust. I like to chat with my clients, not just before the session in preparation but also during our session. I want you to share your family stories with me. I need time to interact with you to know that you feel more confident when your left side is facing the camera instead of the right or to find out that poop jokes don't work for your son but bad puns do.

This year I'm letting go of the expectation that a photo session has to have a time stamp on it. Instead, I'm putting the time limit in your hands (within reason, of course)! My new collections have been built to include a set number of edited digital images. You get to decide if we spend 15 minutes or an hour photographing your family. You get to choose which images I edit from a soft-proof gallery. You get to choose if you want additional images. And the choice is yours from the word go!

How it works

You can choose from one of 3 collections: Classic Lite, Classic, and Classic Deluxe. You can upgrade to another collection anytime prior to your actual photo session if you realize during our pre-planning communications that another collection would be better for your family.

After your photo session, you will be provided with a soft-proof gallery. Basically, these are lightly edited images (color correction and crop only, usually). A soft-proof gallery will generally be around 35-50 images, depending on how much time we spent together and how cooperative your family is. You will have 3 days to look over the proofs and decide which images you want (for example, a Classic session comes with 15 images, so you will choose the 15 images from the proof gallery that you want fully edited). If you can't narrow it down, you can always purchase additional images! I am happy to consult with you via phone or in person as you make your final image selections.

The Collections

Let's quickly review what the new NMP Collections include:

Classic Lite:

5 digital images

for immediate family only


15 digital images

for immediate family OR

small extended family (up to 10 people, such as one or both sets of grandparents and one family with parents and kids)

Classic Deluxe:

all edited images (no soft-proof gallery)

4x6 proof prints of all images in a commemorative box

outdoor permit fees or one hour of studio time (up to $100)

for immediate or extended family

For the most updated pricing, please head over to the Investment Page of my website. I hope you find that these collections inspire you to consider Nikki Miller Photography for your family photos this year. The choice is in your hands!