Everything You Need To Know About Mini Sessions

everything you need to know about mini sessions

If you’re reading this you might be thinking about booking one of my family mini sessions.

I’m sure you want to make an informed decision about who you choose to photograph your family, and might have some questions about how it all works.

In this article I’ll explain exactly how mini sessions work, and what you can expect when you book one.

lavender mini sessions banstead surrey

What Is A Family Mini Session?

A family mini session is a short, outdoor photo shoot for up to 6 people from one family.

The sessions take place on selected dates between April and November each year.

On a mini session day I’ll photograph 4 or 5 families at pre-booked times. Each family’s session lasts between 20 and 25 minutes.


Where Do The Mini Sessions Take Place?

The mini sessions take place in different locations around Surrey and South West London. I choose different locations depending on the season. 

For example, I often have mini session days at Mayfield Lavender in the summer, and in spaces with lots of trees in the autumn.

Worcester Park Family Photography

What’s Included In The Mini Session Package?

Mini sessions are designed to make your photo shoot experience relaxed, easy and enjoyable and have an all-inclusive package.

The package includes your photo shoot, digital images and a set of beautiful fine art prints delivered to your door. 

As I’m photographing a number of families in the same place on the same date, the mini session package offers big savings over my usual prices.

You can find the up to date price and package details on my mini session information page.


Is A Mini Session Right For My Family?

Mini Sessions are ideal for families who are looking for a quick update of their family photographs. In fact lots of my clients book a mini session with me every year or every couple of years to capture an annual record of their children growing up.

However, because mini sessions are limited to 20-25 minutes, there are certain times when they may not be a good fit:

  • Mini sessions aren’t suitable for babies under 6 months old. It’s very difficult to  keep young babies comfortable and position them nicely for photographs outdoors, particularly with the short amount of time we have for the mini session. 
  • If your child(ren) are very shy, need time to warm up to strangers or are unlikely to sit or stand when asked for photographs, a mini session isn’t suitable.



Surrey family photographer Clare Murthy

What Kind Of Photographs Do You Take At A Mini Session?

During the session I’ll aim to capture a variety of different photographs including some of the whole family together, some of the children individually, and group photographs of the children if you have more than one child.

All of the photographs will be in the style of the photographs in my portfolio . I’ll give you lots of direction about where to sit or stand and what to do, but the end result will be natural and relaxed. I don’t use any props in my photographs.

If there’s something in particular that you would like me to capture please get in touch to discuss this before you book so that I can let you know whether it will be possible.

When you view the gallery from your session you can expect to see a gallery of between 15 and 20 unique images, each edited in colour and in black and white (around 30-40 images in total.)

spring family photo shoot surrey

What Should We All Wear?

I know that choosing what to wear can be the most time consuming part of preparing for a photo shoot.

Before your session I’ll send you a ‘what to wear’ guide relevant to the season you’re having your session in. But in general there are six principles that you can follow as you choose your family’s outfits:

  1. Dress for your environment
  2. Make sure you’re all dressed for the same weather and occasion
  3. Choose a colour scheme
  4. Embrace layers and textures
  5. Avoid pictures and slogans
  6. Choose clothes that are a good fit




What Happens On The Day Of The Session?

On the day of your session we’ll meet at the mini session ‘meeting point.’ I’ll usually email you details of where this meeting is around a week beforehand.

I’ll have chosen this meeting point so that it’s close to where we take the photographs, meaning that we can maximise the time we have for capturing your family.

Over the next 20 to 25 minutes I’ll guide you to different spots and through different photographs so that we capture a good variety of different images.

Although my style of photography is natural, the photographs I take are not ‘unposed’, and each photograph is a careful balance of location, relaxed posing and lighting so I’ll give you lots of guidance about where to sit, stand or look and what to do.

Once we’ve finished the photographs you can relax! Lots of families choose to make a day of it and stay in the local area to have coffee, lunch or a walk. 

Mini Family Photography Sessions Surrey

How Do I See The Photographs Afterwards?

Two weeks after your session I’ll send you a link to a private online gallery where you can see the fully edited photographs from your session. The photographs will be edited in colour and black and white.

The gallery will be live for 7 days whilst you choose the photographs you’d like to have as prints, and any other items that you’d like to order.

During this time I’ll be as hands on or hands-off as you would like me to be. If you would like some help deciding which photographs will work well as prints I would be happy to assist you. Alternatively you may prefer to finalise your decision yourself.

Once you’ve chosen your images I’ll send you an invoice for the balance of your package and any other items you’ve ordered. When payment is received, digital images will be delivered within 24 hours and your prints will be delivered to your home 4-6 weeks later.


What Size Are The Prints?

The prints included with the mini session package are printed on fine art paper and are mounted and board-backed. 

Each print measures 12″ x 8″ and is mounted to measure 16″ x 12″. This means that you’ll need a frame with a 16″ x 12″ opening for the print to fit inside.

If you  prefer a smaller size, you can swap some or all of your prints for any of the following sizes at no extra cost:

  • 6″ x 4″ print, mounted to measure 8″ x 6″ 
  • 9″ x 6″ print, mounted to measure 12″ x 9″
  • 6″x4″, 9″x6″ or 12″x8″ unmounted prints


putney family photographer

That All Sounds Great. How Do I Book?

To book your mini session please check the next available dates and times here, and then follow the booking link to make your booking online.

After you’ve completed your booking I’ll send you some information to help you prepare for your session, and will get in touch closer to the session date to confirm all the final details.


Picture of Clare Murthy

Clare Murthy

I’m a newborn, baby and family photographer working with families from South West London and Surrey. I specialise in timeless, natural photography with no props or unnatural posing. I photograph babies at my studio, and families in beautiful outdoor locations. I'm based on the Surrey / London border, close to Hampton Court.
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