I get asked this question a lot. And the best way I can describe it is "It's like a coffee date vs. a dinner date." Both are great, both are fun, but they are two totally different dates.
A full session is a longer session. Now when I say longer, I don't mean hours long. I usually spend about 45 minutes-sometimes more- with a family during a full session. The client can pick a location that they want to shoot at and isn't limited to my mini session dates or locations. During a full session we usually have multiple shooting locations in the area and do a lot more poses and combinations. If it is a maternity or an engagement session there is also time to change outfits. We really get to know one another and there is no feeling of "we have to hurry". We can relax and take our time to make everyone feel comfortable in front of the camera.
A mini session on the other hand is a very short session, 15-20 minutes tops. Now in 15 minutes I still get a variety of poses and images. Typically these sessions still have 40+ images for the client. Locations and dates are pre determined by the photographer and we usually stay in the same area of the location. There just isn't that much time to walk to different parts of the location. Mini sessions are great for a quick update to the family photo, documenting a milestone, or getting a photo for the yearly holiday greeting card. Families with young children like them because they can take photos frequently to document all the changes throughout the years.
No matter which one you choose I will always deliver images that you will cherish. My photos focus on family interaction and real moments. As a lifestyle based photographer I don't take 40 photos of everyone looking at the camera and smiling.
That's not a memory to cherish, that's just documenting a family in coordinated outfits. My photos will make you smile when you look back at them. You will remember that fun time you had snuggling with your family with me there to capture it.
I am currently hosting my fall minis and have almost sold out. So if you need a "coffee date" photo session, book fast before they are all gone!