Mini vs Custom Photography Sessions: What You Need to Know | North Oaks, Minnesota Child & Family Photographer

If you’re in the midst of planning a photography session, whether it’s for your newborn baby or just a general family session, you’ve probably heard the term ‘mini session’ mentioned quite a bit.

There are a few differences when it comes to a mini photography session vs a custom session. Here’s what you need to know before you decide which shoot is best for you.

Time Limits

This is of course one of the main differences between the two sessions. A custom photography session will last an hour or two while a photographer will usually book several mini sessions in one day since they only last about 20 – 25 minutes at most.

Number of Poses

Secondly, a custom photography session will allow for as many poses as possible within the time booked while a mini session offers less time so your photographer will use their skills to capture as many candid moments at possible in a shorter period of time.

Number of Photos

While your photographer will still try and shoot as many photos as possible during your mini session, you will naturally end up with fewer photos than you would if you had booked a custom session. A custom session generates between 30 – 40 images while a mini session will give you about 10. There will also usually be minimal retouching of the photos taken at a mini session.

So which photography session is best for you?

You may be surprised to find that many of our clients actually choose both!  Often our clients will opt for the custom session for the entire family at a location of their choice. This gives them more time to play around with poses, backdrops, props and wardrobe changes. While they opt for mini sessions to get a few great photos of the kiddos as a compliment in between the custom sessions.

The next set of mini sessions are our Valentine Mini’s on January 21st scheduling from 11am to 1pm.  For more information or to get on the calendar send me a message (or click on the image)  Hope to see your littles there!

Regardless of which you choose, we look forward to working with you!

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Michele is a lifestyle portrait photographer in North Oaks, Minnesota.  She photographs children and their families both on location and in her studio in Northeast Minneapolis.  To schedule your next session with Michele please visit mQn Photography | Twin Cities Photographer or e-mail michele@mqnphotography.com

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Lifestyle Photography Sessions Explained | North Oaks, Minnesota Lifestyle Photographer

“I don’t want my photos to look posed”, is a phrase I hear all the time. Enter lifestyle photography.

A lifestyle photography session documents real life milestones, moments and events and gives you images that are anything but posed. Lifestyle photography photos tell your story just as it is at that precise moment and are perfect for any genre of photography. Action driven details bring your images to life over and over again. 

So what are some of the situations where lifestyle photography can be used?

Kids Photography

Lifestyle photography is the ideal way to capture the beauty and authenticity of childhood. Make sure your children are well rested and that they’re comfortable in both their clothing and their surroundings. Patience is key during this type of session but this is when the magic happens. Bringing along a favorite snack, toy or book won’t hurt either.

Believe it or not, the most successful photos often happen when we let the kids lead the session. It’s all about making it a magical and spirited time where there is lots to take in. Sitting back and capturing those honest moments will ensure beautiful images that you’ll love for decades.

Newborn Photography

Lifestyle photography naturally lends itself to newborn photo sessions. True to life, crib and bassinet shots taken through the slats make for stunning photos. Then there are of course the shots with mom, dad, brothers, sisters and even the family pet. Moments that may seem mundane now such as bathing, feeding or even changing a diaper, from a distance of course, make for creative shots that you’ll love for years to come. Playing with and rocking your baby are also moments that you definitely won’t regret taking the time to capture as it gives you fond memories to look back on in the months to come as your baby grows and their routine changes.

Family Photography

There is nothing quite like having the family together. The laughing, games, meals and memories are truly something to treasure. A lifestyle photography session is the perfect excuse to get your family together and capture different generations spending quality time with each other. Why not shoot a family lunch or time spent playing outside in the garden? Capturing moments between siblings or grandparents and grandchildren are photos you can treasure for years to come.


Michele is a lifestyle portrait photographer.  She specializes in capturing natural moments in families but always makes sure she gets the shots grandma wants too.  To schedule you next photo session with Michele please visit mQn Photography | Twin Cities Photographer or e-mail michele@mqnphotography.com

Winter 2017 Client Magazine | North Oaks, Minnesota Child & Family Photographer

Interested in a portrait session during the winter months?  Then this magazine has all the information you need and maybe even a bit more.  Check it out and then e-mail Michele to get on the calendar!

winter 2017


Michele is a lifestyle portrait photographer in North Oaks, Minnesota.  She photographs children and their families both on location and in her studio in Northeast Minneapolis.  To schedule your next session with Michele please visit mQn Photography | Twin Cities Photographer or e-mail michele@mqnphotography.com

Michele is also a participating photographer with The Tiny Footprints Project which provides free photography for families living in the NICU.  To see how you can help or to request a session please visit www.thetinyfootprintsproject.org

Holiday Mini Sessions in the Studio | Twin Cities, Minnesota Child & Family Photographer

We had such a successful few days of mini sessions at the studio this holiday season. I cannot wait to them again next year.  And while holiday was an important theme I also noticed that many families wanted a no frills set.  My plan is to offer more heirloom sessions in the beginning of the year and then focus more on holiday at the end.  So be on the lookout!  But I really wanted to share a holiday wrap-up.  So enjoy . . .


Michele is a lifestyle portrait photographer in North Oaks, Minnesota.  She photographs children and their families both on location and in her studio in Northeast Minneapolis.  To schedule your next session with Michele please visit mQn Photography | Twin Cities Photographer or e-mail michele@mqnphotography.com

Playful Prop Ideas for Your Next Family Photo Session | North Oaks, Minnesota Child & Family Photographer

If you’re not too keen on the idea of a traditional, posed family photoshoot, adding props into the mix adds an element of fun to the shoot. Props allow you to be playful during the photoshoot as the photographer captures genuine moments between you and your loved ones.

Below are some prop ideas for your next family photo session.

  • Get your noses in some books. Love reading? Have each of your family members bring along their favorite book that can be incorporated into some of the shots. Lay on a blanket reading or have each one of your family members peep over the edge of their book. 
  • Use the holidays. Christmas is a great time for your next photoshoot and there are so many options when it comes to choosing props. Have each family member wear a Christmas hat or wrap yourselves in Christmas lights for a warm and bright effect. 
  • Bring out the chalkboards. Write a date or message on chalkboards of various sizes to incorporate something personalized into the shoot.
  • Get cozy. If your children are still quite young, bring a few blankets along so that you can cuddle together as a family, share a few laughs and get some great pictures. 
  • Print out props. If you want to add some fun to the shoot and get your kids laughing, why not print out a few props such as mustaches, glasses, speech bubbles and hats that you can glue onto wooden sticks and use in the shoot. There are tons of free printables online so it’s a very affordable option too. 
  • Frame your faces. Get a few frames of different sizes and colors together that can be used to pose for your next family shoot. 
  • Keep it natural. If your family photos will be shot outdoors, remember that nature gives you so much to work with. Flowers, trees, grass and water all make for beautiful backdrops and add something extra special to your photos. 

Remember to always have fun at your photo session so your photographer can really capture the spirit of your family.


Michele is a lifestyle portrait photographer in North Oaks, Minnesota.  She photographs children and their families both on location and in her studio in Northeast Minneapolis.  To schedule your next session with Michele please visit mQn Photography | Twin Cities Photographer or e-mail michele@mqnphotography.com