What is a Personality Mini Session: The Art of Timeless Childhood Portraits

As a Pittsburgh family photographer who specializes in families of little ones – it’s no secret that I love kids. If I’ve had the honor of working with you, or you happened to stroll past me shooting a session by random chance, you would know that sessions are silly, carefree, and primarily focused on capturing the genuine love and joy in your family, with an extra focus on the kiddos.

As a mom of two, I know how fleeting this time is. Even though days feel long, these years are spiraling. The pocket of time that we have with our kids being “little” is just a tiny sliver in the grand scheme of life. I’m dedicated as a mom and a Pittsburgh family photographer to helping capture all the beautiful intricacies that we will one day miss and that’s where Personality Minis come in.

Personality Minis are relatively newer in concept but wonderfully perfect for delivering the most amazing simple, timeless, and personality-infused portraits of your little ones.

Side Note: I loved these so much that I rented the studio to get personality portraits of my own two kiddos. (aka the cute little models shown here) 🙂

At this point, you are probably wondering — what is a Personality Mini? In this guide, I’m diving into these adorable new sessions, exploring what they are, who they are best suited for, what to expect, and how to prepare for and make the most of your experience.

What is a Personality Mini Session?

Personality Mini Sessions are an extraordinary way to preserve and celebrate the unique charm and character of your little ones. Unlike traditional portrait sessions that include the whole family, these sessions focus solely on capturing your child’s true self. Is your little one bashful or outgoing? Silly and carefree or more reserved? These portraits are designed to record them at their best and capture what you want to remember most about their personality — all in stunning black and white.

The Essence of Black and White Portraits

Black and white portraits have an enduring quality that transcends time and trends. By stripping away the color (aka the distractions), the focus of the photo falls on conveying character and emotion. The result is a timeless photo that can be cherished for years.

Top 5 Reasons Why I Love Personality Minis (and you will too!)

Personality Mini Sessions are not just about taking pictures; they are about preserving memories and emotions that you’ll treasure for a lifetime. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider booking a Personality Mini Session:

Capture Personality Perfectly

Each child is a bundle of unique traits, quirks, and expressions that define their individuality. A Personality Mini Session excels at capturing what makes them special. Whether it’s that mischievous grin, the twinkle in their eye when they discover something new, or their big belly laughs at a silly sound, these sessions freeze those fleeting glimpses of your child’s genuine personality.

Freezes Time

As moms, we often wish we could slow down time. Children grow up so quickly, and their personalities evolve just as fast. A Personality Mini Session acts as a beautiful time capsule, preserving a specific season in your child’s life. When you look back on these moments years from now, you’ll be amazed at how much changed in front of your eyes.

Perfect for Gallery Walls

I don’t know if I’ve ever met a mom who doesn’t love a beautiful gallery wall. These beautiful black and white portraits are a timeless way to build a gallery wall that can be enjoyed for years. One Personality Mini can yield a beautiful assortment of expressions to include. A gallery wall can act as a conversation starter for visitors, a source of pride for you as a parent, and a constant reminder of the beautiful journey of motherhood.

Records Sibling Connections

In addition to individual portraits, Personality Mini Sessions provide an excellent opportunity to capture the genuine connections and interactions between your little ones. There is no bond like a sibling bond. Even if your days are filled with bickering, you know they love each other. Capture all the beauty of your kiddos together.

Embraces Uniqueness

Personality Mini Sessions offer a pause button for cherished moments in a world that moves so fast. They allow you to savor the present, celebrate your child’s unique personality, and create tangible memories that will fill your heart with warmth and nostalgia for years to come.

What to Expect at a Personality Mini

Let’s get down to the logistics of a Personality Mini with Danielle Blewitt Photography. While these can look different for every photographer, I’m sharing how I do these in my business.

How Long Are Personality Minis?

Personality Minis with Danielle Blewitt are only 15 minutes in length. These are shorter than a standard mini-session because of the very focused nature of the session. This allows enough time for the kids to warm up for the camera, and shake off any sillies but not too long where they lose interest.

Where Do Personality Minis Take Place?

Currently, Personality Mini Sessions are taking place at the beautiful East End Loft Studios (located in the East End of Pittsburgh at 201 North Braddock Ave, Pittsburgh PA 15208) We have the comforts of a stunning studio space which is free of all the weather elements. We don’t have to worry about all the wild weather that Pittsburgh delivers with heat, humidity, rain, and snow.

The studio space offers a beautiful temperature-controlled, natural light space with a flexible floor and backdrop to use for consistent and distraction-free photos.

How Often Are Personality Minis Offered?

At this time Personality Minis are a brand new addition to my offering. Ideally, I’d love to offer these annually or possibly twice a year if there is enough interest but to be determined!

What is Included in the Price of a Personality Mini?

The cost of a Personality Mini Session includes the 15-minute session time, the cost of renting the space, and 5 professionally edited, high-resolution digital images in black and white.

Do I Get to Pick My Favorite Photos?

Just like my normal mini sessions that include a certain number of digital images, I will deliver your full gallery through my gallery service provider via email. You can view your images online and select your favorite (5) FIVE images to download.

What If I Want More Than 5 Photos?

If you love more than 5 images from your session, I totally get it. I’m a sucker for loving all the photos too! There is an option to purchase additional digital images or upgrade to the full gallery if desired.

Who Can Participate in a Personality Mini Session?

These mini-sessions are designed to focus on individual children only. We can however do sibling shots at the same time. Due to the time constraints, there is a limit of 2 children per time slot. Additional time slots can be accommodated for larger families.

What If I Want Color Options – Not Just Black and White?

The backdrops used in these portrait sessions are colorful (think teal and pink) which can certainly look great if planned accordingly. However, I can’t guarantee that it will coordinate well with everyone. If you think that you may want to upgrade to some color options, reach out to me in advance and we can work to coordinate the colors.

How Do You Prepare for a Personality Mini Session?

What to Wear?

While color is less critical in black-and-white portraits, your choice of clothing can still significantly impact the final look. I recommend avoiding solid dark-colored clothes, as they may appear overly dark in black and white. Instead, consider outfits that bring out your child’s personality through textures, patterns, or layered ensembles. Lighter colors tend to work well, as they create a beautiful contrast in black and white.

Preparing Kids for the Session

The shorter timeframe of Personality Mini Sessions doesn’t allow for extensive warm-up periods. Therefore, it’s essential to prepare your child for the session. Let them know what to expect and get them excited about the experience. Instead of pressuring them to perform, keep everything positive and encouraging. A small bribe, like a favorite treat or toy, can work wonders to keep them engaged and cooperative for this small pocket of time.

If your child is extra shy typically, it’s best to show them a picture of me so that I don’t feel like such a stranger the day of the session. With a limited time frame, we don’t have the luxury of time to warm up as much as we would at a full session.

Homework for Parents

As parents, you know your children best. Think of things that could make your kiddos laugh or smile genuinely. All kids are unique and will respond differently to what could feel very awkward for them. Sometimes a child will react better to the comfort of a parent’s joke but other times not. As the session develops, I will communicate with you the approach.

WARNING: At times kids can become overstimulated when all the focus is on them. This can happen easily for younger children especially. If this happens and there are too many faces looking in their direction, they will become overwhelmed and shut down. If this happens, don’t panic, we will quickly change plans! Many times it’s easiest for me (the photographer) to connect with them 1:1 to get their attention while family members watch.

In my world as a Pittsburgh family photographer, Personality Minis are an exciting new addition to my offering for Pittsburgh families. I’m beyond excited to work with all the new and familiar faces to create some timeless, personality-infused, beautiful black-and-white portraits.

Booking Your Personality Mini Session

If you are interested in booking a Personality Mini, I’d love to work with you! Contact me today to learn about any upcoming mini-session events. CONTACT ME HERE



about Danielle Blewitt

Life Moves Too Fast!

Hi, I’m Danielle. I’m a Pittsburgh Family + Newborn photographer. As a mom of two, I know how fleeting the early years are. Since we can’t slow down time, we can record the moments that mean so much. I help Pittsburgh families hit pause by recording these memories in photographs and films and I would love to work with you. Let’s see what we can create!

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