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Dog Mini Sessions – 3 Reasons They’re the Best & 2 Reasons to Growl

Ah – mini sessions. They are exactly what they sound like – normal pet photography sessions, but shorter and usually cheaper. That makes mini sessions either one of two things – a pet photographer’s worst nightmare or greatest opportunity.

What are Dog Mini Sessions?

As stated before, mini sessions are exactly what they sound like – shorter and cheaper normal sessions. Usually pet photographers will host these as themed events for holidays or important dates. They may also use them along with a goal of donating to charity. So these sessions have a couple of benefits associated with them. Mini sessions are –

Benefit 1 – Cheaper and Shorter than Normal Sessions

The biggest benefit to mini sessions is that they are usually cheaper and shorter than normal sessions. This makes them much more accessible to the general public and to those who want to have dog photos taken, but cannot afford the usually large price tag associated with custom photography. Because they are also shorter in length, they can also be fit into a much more busy schedule more easily than a 1-2 hour photoshoot.

Benefit 2 – Themed

Dog mini sessions are also usually themed. This can be for major holidays, such as Christmas or the Fourth of July, or for special occasions, such as a grand opening or special event taking place (such as for a charity). Because of this, you can get funky, quirky photos of your dog in a Santa hat that you normally wouldn’t get with a normal pet photography session. These can be great for holiday cards or for funny images you want to hang on your wall.

Pet photographers also sometimes offer special or unique products specifically for their mini-sessions in order to differentiate them from their normal experience. This means you can get your hands on some unique stuff!

Benefit 3 – Great for Testing a Photographer Out

Finally, these are a great way to test out a photographer before you try them! Because the sessions are shorter and cheaper, you’ll get to get a taste of what it is like to experience a full photography session with that photographer before you invest more time and money into doing so. You get a taste of what their style is and can see if you would like to work with them more.

And for us pet photographers, this is a great way to expose people to our field!

Problem 1 – Highly Structured and Short on Time

The first problem you might encounter with dog mini sessions is that they are usually highly structured and short on time. In other words, pet photographers tend the line these sessions back-to-back-to-back. This means that if you are late or are unable to show up for your appointment, it may cause more issues for the later photoshoots.

Mini sessions tend to be 15-30 minutes in length in comparison to the usual 1-2 hours for a normal session. They are also cheaper so pet photographers tend to do a lot of them in a short amount of time at a single location all on one day. This helps them to recoup the cost of the cheaper sessions, but can also lead to fatigue for the photographer.

Problem 2 – Not Recommended for Certain Dogs

Because of the short time and constant flow of dogs, mini sessions are not recommended for certain dogs. If your dog is:

  • Nervous around other dogs

  • Aggressive around other dogs

  • Scared of lots of people/sound

  • Very high energy

I’d recommend you just sign up for a full session with the photographer instead. This is because mini sessions are going to have a lot of traffic of other dogs and their owners coming in and out of the photoshoot location very often.

So How Do We Solve These Problems?

My way to solve these problems is simple – a streamlined process with lots and lots of planning.

For these session, I will have the location, background, pricing, and everything else planned out beforehand. I also usually enrolled the help of a paid assistant to help streamline the process of signing contracts and showing pictures to people. I am also very clear of what products you will be getting and what the cost is – so there are no surprises!

By doing this, I am able to have a much smoother mini session experience without a lot of added stress and tension – for myself, the dogs, and their owners!

Want to find out when our next mini-sessions are? Check out the investment tab!

CJ Ashmore

Pawfect Photo Moments LLC, Owner and Photographer


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