|fall|MINI sessions



Happy September everyone! We have officially reached my favorite time of year and it really could not have arrived soon enough! Crunchy leaves, cool, crisp air, sweaters, boots, pumpkin spice lattes, family holidays, visits with friends, and everything awesome is right around the corner! I. Cannot. Wait. And apparently either can you because I have recieved SO many emails about fall mini sessions! I wanted to wait until AT LEAST September to start scheduling these. So here we go! Last year, it was a crazyyyyyy amount of emailing to get everyone into a time slot. So this year I am trying something a little different. You get to make a reservation for your time slot on Eventbrite. This works much better because you can see what slots are open and choose one. Try it out! Still confused? That’s okay too. You can email me at info@sweetpoppystudios.com and I will help you out. The quickest way to get a time slot is going to be on Eventbrite. Once the time slots are full – that’s it. Each system has a waiting list – so if all slots are full, sign up for the waiting list and it will notify you if one opens. Mmmkay? Great!

ALSO – just like last year, we will be GIVING AWAY A MINI SESSION spot on our facebook page. Just head on over to the SPS fan page HERE and 1) LIKE our page. 2) SHARE our image pinned to the top with information about the MINI sessions. 3) COMMENT on our image that your shared it! Got it? 1) LIKE 2) SHARE 3) COMMENT – easy as pie. If you for sure want a space, it’s best to still go reserve your time slot. If you win, your shoot will be free. Got it? Yay! So go share!

Use these links to sign up for your spot (MAKE SURE YOU SIGN UP FOR THE RIGHT LOCATION!):


NOV 2 LOS ALTOS (Nature)

NOV 8 San Luis Obispo (CARLEIGH Nature)

NOV 8 San Luis Obispo – (MARISSA Nature)


New to Sweet Poppy Studios Mini Sessions? Take a look at the re-cap blog from last year to get a feel for what will be going on! 2013 RECAP BLOG POST

Also, here are some commonly asked questions for you to review!

1) What is the difference between a regular shoot and a MINI session?
A regular session lasts in between 1 and 1.5 hours, allows for you to choose your own location, and allows enough time for an outfit change, as well as multiple combinations of your family members (parent with each child, children without parents, etc…), and focuses heavily on showing the personalities each member of your family. Mini sessions last 25 minutes, have a set location, are designed to produce a reduced set of images with a goal of capturing an image for a holiday card, or simply to document your family at this time of year. The most popular use of the mini shoot is as a supplement to your regular shoot, taken earlier this year. If you are unsure if a MINI session is for you don’t worry! Just email me and we will talk through it to figure out what is best for you.

2) Are we allowed to choose which location and photographer we get?
Yes! I (Carleigh) am hosting four days. Choose the location you want! Marissa is hosting one day as well and Marissa has her own link above for you to use for her date.

3) Carleigh, what happens if it rains?
Great Question. We will still shoot that day – just at a rain friendly location. Let’s not fret about this until we are sure it is going to happen. If the weather predicts rain I will be in touch with back up location information etc…

4) What should we wear?
Ah the age old outfit question. My best advice is that you wear something that you feel good in. We move around a lot at my shoots, so you should feel comfortable moving around quickly with your kids and getting up and down. We are going to be outside, in nature, for three of the locations so a full on tuxedo might be a little bit awkward looking, but if that is 100% you and you know how to rock that tuxedo then go ahead and wear it. Okay? If you want something a little bit different this year, the San Francisco location might be a good choice for you.

I think overall it is best if you avoid the following things:
Dressing Matchy-Matchy
Sports Attire
Outfits with words on the front (“Airplane”)
Clothing your child hates. If they do not feel their best, they will not act their best. I don’t care if its the sweater Auntie Janice gave him. If he hates it, leave it home.

Please do:
Bring layers for your kids! Last year, it wasn’t cold, but it wasn’t really warm either and I spent the whole day taking on and off a sweater. The year before that it was almost 90 degrees and I got sunburned. Best to be prepared for everything!
Bring two outfits if you are unsure what will be best or you simply cannot decide.
Try the outfits you select for your children on them prior to arriving at the shoot.
Email me if you need help. Send me a picture of what you are considering and I will help you out!

5) My children do not like to have their picture taken. What can I do to ensure that they look happy and remain cooperative?
We have our tricks, so I would encourage you not to worry about this too much. However, if you know your kids get a little nervous with activities like this, then lets not bother telling them that a photo shoot is what is going to happen, okay? Just bring them along, tell them they are going to hang out with me, and I will distract them from the photography part of things. Which brings me to my next frequently asked question…

6) How can I best prep my family for the shoot?
With all seriousness – food. I know its hard to have breakfast/lunch when you are trying to prep everyone for a shoot. Gathering up outfits, shoes, kids, spouses – its not always easy. I know this. But please, if you do anything, remember to eat something before your shoot. Hungry kids and spouses are distracted kids and spouses who cannot wait to leave so they can eat. Avoid this by eating. If you child is growing and is often hungry, pack a snack. If your baby is not on solids yet, bring a bottle/plan on a little feeding right before the shoot. It helps. I promise. I know it messes with the feeding schedule. It’s okay. Its for a special occasion.

7) We have a package with you. Do we use one of the shoots from the package for the mini session?
You can, but I would not recommend it. Since the mini session is “mini”, it doesn’t really make sense to use a shoot from your package on the mini. If you are confused about this email me and we can talk.

8) When can I expect to see the images?
At the latest, Wednesday November 26th. Everyone’s images will roll out at different times as we process them. We will email you with your gallery password and information about the files etc… If you have not heard from us by November 27th, call or email me! Chances are the email to you went to spam or got lost in internet land. It happens!

9) We want to order wall art and/or images and/or albums for gifts this year! When is the last date I can order from you and still get them back in time for Christmas?
December 10th. That gives you two weeks. If you know what you want ahead of time, please do not wait until the last day just because you can =)

10) I want to bring extended family to the shoot (Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles Etc…) Is that okay?
These time slots are designed for just enough time to capture immediately family only. It is fine with me if you bring extended family AS LONG AS YOU DO NOT WANT SMALLER FAMILY SHOTS WITHOUT THEM. If you want multiple combinations of family shots you need to reserve two spaces back to back with each other so we have enough time to shoot everything. If you have questions email me about this.

11) We have a dog and want to include them in the photos. Is this allowed?
Yes and no. Portola Valley, San Francisco, and San Luis Obispo locations allow for dogs. Los Altos does not. If you want to include a pet, great! I love them and so does Marissa. Please sign up for a location that allows for them and we are happy to include them! I do require that you keep them on a leash though, so be prepared with a leash you want to have in family photos.

12) Can I bring props to the shoot?
I would greatly prefer if you didn’t because it tends to distract your children. However, I will make exceptions for very special items. Reach out to me first and we can talk about it =)

13) Last year Allegra was our photographer and we loved her! How do we sign up with her again?
Allegra is not hosting a mini session date this year. She is expecting her own second little one this February and she is focusing on that right now! I could not be more excited for her! Sign up with me and I will take good care of you as well =)

14) I read this entire thing and you didn’t answer any of my questions! Plus you made like 20 grammatical errors. What should I do?
Well fudge. Email me your questions and I will get back to you today. If its a good one I will add it to this post! Chances are if you want to know the answer someone else does as well. For good measure, email me about the grammatical errors as well. I cannot see why not.

Okay folks I need more coffee after all of this. I am looking forward to seeing you, hearing from you, and of course, adding your cards to the magnetic board in my office. I LOVE them! Don’t forget, in January I draw a card and give away a session to the winner – so you want to send me a card! xoxoxo


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