Fall Mini Session Prep Guide

(Savannah Patrick Photography)

Your Fall Mini Session with Savannah Patrick Photography is just around the corner, so now is a good time to think about how to prepare. I’ve put together some key pieces of information that will help guide you in the days leading up to our session!

Mini sessions are short and sweet versions of my full sessions. 

I am working in a limited time frame so it’s important to plan ahead.

arrive early

Arrive early! Please arrive a little before your session time so you are ready to shoot AT your scheduled time (meaning having your kids in their clothing, hair fixed, face wiped, etc) Sessions will be booked back to back so if you are late, you will only have the remaining time to complete your session. This is most important! Shooting time will be 15 minutes. If you have any questions, please let me know beforehand. 

Parking may be limited: Some locations may have limited parking. Please leave yourself enough time to park and walk if need be.

what to wear

Please plan your outfits in advance and make sure they fit and are comfortable and attractive. While it’s important that every member of the family coordinates with each other, this doesn’t mean you need to be matchy-matchy (everyone in khakis and a white shirt, for example).

I recommend choosing one clothing item that has a print of some kind (florals, stripes, plaid, etc.), then planning other outfits around it.

Good neutral color choices are- creams, grays, tans, light pinks, dark blues, and other “autumn colors”. Pops of color are good, but I would avoid lots of bright colors like red, green and yellow, as they can cast color onto skin and tend not to be flattering.

Competing patterns and multiple “busy” prints, along with t-shirts with big logos, images, and/or words on it is also discouraged. Keep your wardrobe choices simple, so that they don’t take away from the moment!

If you need some help getting started, here is a Pinterest board I put together with some good examples of coordinated outfits–


Think about these

  • I often pose families sitting on the ground, therefore, if Mom/daughters will be wearing a dress or a skirt, make sure they will be comfortable doing so and that proper undergarments are worn 
  • Worn down, dirty and/or scuffed up shoes can draw your attention in a photo, so don’t leave footwear as an afterthought. I often hear, “I wish I wouldn’t have let my husband/son wear his gym shoes in the photos!
  • One of the first things I'll ask is to pretend you are going through TSA Security at the airport. Remove your wallet, keys, and Apple Watch (while they are in style now it may not be in the future- Think those beepers on your belt :) ).

Hair | Makeup | Nails | Skin

I recommend getting haircuts at least a week in advance of your session, so there aren’t any last-minute surprises! This also isn't the time to tryout a new hair style. Stick to what you know.

Moms and older daughters are encouraged to wear slightly more make-up the day of their photo session than they normally do, but no need to go crazy. Nails can be another distractor in photos, so be sure chipped nail polish is removed and kids have their nails trimmed and free of dirt.

If your child has a bruise, a pimple, skinned knees– do not worry! That is something that comes with the territory and we can make sure they are not visible in your final images. I do ask for you help in removing any stamps and/or temporary tattoos that your child may have on their bodies.

LADIES- Skip the spray tan or self-tanners. Many times they will look uneven when I go to edit them images and it causes for a lot of skin correction. Trust me...I would prefer you to be ghost-like then with a fake tan. It is so much easier to warm up your skin tones then to fix the unevenness of a fake tan.

If you wear glasses on a regular basis, then you should wear them in your session. Here are a few tips I have learned about glasses. Many times light will reflect from the lenses of the glasses. While this is ok, it will add a glare or white spots in your images. I can typically edit some of this out, but some can be challenging to do. Try to wear glasses with an anti-reflective coating. This means almost no light reflects off of the lens surface. Another idea is to wear an old frame with the lenses punched out. I want to capture who you are and avoid any glares.

More helpful tips

  • Be sure to feed yourself and your children before the session, but NOT in the car on the way! Hungry kids make for miserable models, but you do not want to be cleaning up faces and clothes in the parking lot. Eating about an hour before the session ensures full bellies and enough time to brush teeth and wash faces & hands.
  • I will have some Marshmallows and Smarties to help "bribe" the kids (if allowed by parents).
  • This one is especially for the Moms. We are always running around taking care of everyone else but often leave little or no time to take care of ourselves. Give yourself the opportunity to LOVE the way you look in the photos by allowing enough time to get yourself ready.
  • Telling your children how important the photos are, or how they need to smile or act a certain way, causes a lot of unnecessary stress on little ones. Believe it or not, family photo sessions are meant to be fun! Set them up for success by making it as casual as possible, and just encourage them to be their (best) natural selves. I often bring some small, stain-free treats to coax young kids who need a little encouragement, so try to leave the bribery up to me!

Last by not least

Saying the word “cheese” actually creates a very fake smile, so I ask that you do not encourage your child to say it. I will “perform” and sometimes do some crazy things behind the camera to get authentic smiles & genuine laughter out of your kids, so just leave the direction to me! Nothing is worse than getting great smiles out of the kids but have Moms & Dads with open mouths from talking.