How to Prepare for your Mini Session

You snagged the perfect timeslot for your mini session… now what? 

Wondering how to prepare for your family’s mini session? Below are some of the most common questions that I receive in the weeks leading up to mini session dates, the FAQs of mini sessions here in Pittsburgh. Hopefully all of your questions are answered here, but if not- feel free to email me and I will beef up this list!

brothers hugging in front of colorful bush in a city park

1. What should we wear?

I am happy to give advice on what to wear or how to coordinate! Feel free to text me outfit ideas if you like. 🙂 In general when considering what to wear, avoid dressing to match (ie all wear white shirts and jeans). Instead, try to pick 2 or 3 colors that work together and mix and match patterns with solids. Avoid large logos or printed t-shirts. Most importantly, WEAR SOMETHING YOU ARE COMFORTABLE IN. Because if you aren’t completely relaxed, it will show in your photos!

Also… please keep in mind your session is 20 minutes long and outdoors. Be sure to dress appropriately for the weather (especially kids!), and do not expect there will be time to change outfits. Mini sessions move really quickly to maximize variety in your photos.

mom throws her son up into the air laughing

2. Where exactly should we meet? 

Each mini session date is in a unique location, to ensure variety for those who return annually for their family pictures! Because these sessions are run in natural light, the final session location that I select is based on the lighting and foliage for that date. In other words, it depends on the weather.

Often this means I don’t know *precisely* where we will be meeting, until the day before (or morning of!) your session.

So to keep your session date as stress-free as possible, I will email you precise GPS coordinates to the location as soon as it is determined. This makes it easy for you to click on those coordinates and have your phone’s GPS take you right to me!

One more thing…

Because on mini session event dates there will be families photographed before and after you, it is really important that you arrive at least 15 minutes early so that you can check in and we can start promptly on time! Please understand that there is a client waiting just after you, and I will not be able to delay their session in order to accommodate your tardiness.

candid picture of little girl being held by her moms

3. What kinds of pictures will I receive? 

The general purpose of these 20 minute mini sessions is to capture natural feeling portraits. Yes, there will be candids captured during your mini session… but the ultimate goal is pictures that show off your kiddos’ adorable smiling faces. I’ll do my best to do so in a relaxed, candid-feeling way!

I will quickly move through a variety of family poses that allow for relaxed interaction with your kids, followed by photos of just your kids. If time, we will do additional combinations (mom with girls, mom with each kid, etc). If you have specific requests, please let me know ahead of time so that we can ensure we include those.

relaxed family picture of woman with two older daughters

4. How can I prepare my kids? What if they are uncooperative? 

The session will be done before you know it! I find that when families show up anxious about their kids’ behavior, the kids can sense it and often refuse to cooperate. Typically the best results will come when you show up with zero expectations… Instead of bribing your kiddo for good behavior, just tell him that you’re all meeting up with your friend Pamela to play some fun games with her camera, and then afterward you will go play on the swingset (or ice cream, or whatever activity is planned to be next…). Remember that some of the best pictures are those that capture the happy chaos… so keep smiling through it all … and try to enjoy a few silly moments with your kids!

dad holding baby girl on his shoulders and laughing

Whew, that’s a lot of info! I will reach out to you the day before your session to confirm specific location info… But until then, feel free to email with any questions! I am very much excited to photograph your family. ♥


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Pamela Anticole

Serving PA OH & Beyond

Pamela Anticole is a Pittsburgh based newborn and family photographer. Her award winning style is thoughtful and emotional, and your client experience is both relaxed and fun!


Pamela will photograph your baptism, birthday party, anniversary, bar/bat mitzvah, or wedding in a documentary style learned as a newspaper photojournalist. It is her focus on real, natural relationships and ability to anticipate emotional candid moments that bring sensitivity to her work as a documentary photographer. Pamela is located in the Wexford area of Pittsburgh, PA and available for family photography within 45 miles of downtown Pittsburgh. She also offers photography education for parents both online and on location in person in the Pittsburgh area.