Last Christmas, a gift certificate was purchased for a family session to give to their Mom/Grandmother. Initially, it was to be just one or two large poses of the family of 12, however I had a feeling that may change, so I made sure to set some extra time aside that morning ;) Once we met up in beautiful town of Chagrin Falls, Ohio we did a few of the large poses and then Mom/Grandma requested more images, breaking down the session into smaller groups with her and her family members. Good thing I set aside extra time!
To be a successful photographer, not only do you have to have the knowledge, skills and gear, but you also have to be able to prepare for "what ifs" and go with the flow. I already prepared that morning to stay longer knowing that this was a gift involving 12 people including smaller children. This session could go a few ways such as: A. Really smooth and quickly with just a couple large group poses they initially requested. Done in 15 minutes.
B. Super quick because the children saw the Popcorn Shop across the street, had a meltdown, and that was about that. 40 minutes due to standing on my head, d0ing flips in the air and singing every kid song I know looking like a total @ss since the Popcorn shop wouldn't be open until noon. C. Fantastic because the Lord above is just awesome, the kids are rockin' it, the weather is perfect and because all of this the family requested more photos. 60 minutes.
When asked how long my sessions are, I simply reply with, I work quickly, except with newborns, I work on their time. It simply depends on what you want to get out of the session as well. Always keep in mind "what ifs" always happen. Traffic, weather, outfit changes, etc... so allow enough time for your clients and yourself to be able to get the perfect shot and have a great, relaxed session.
I will end with this... how beautiful is this Mother/Grandmother?? Merry Christmas and I hope you enjoyed your gift from JWP!