Is A Mini Session Right For My Family?

is a mini session right for my family?

So you’re thinking about booking a mini session for your family?

If you’re anything like me I’m sure you’ll want to know that it’s the right kind of photo shoot for your family before your make your investment.

You might have had a newborn or baby session with me in the studio before, and wonder how having an outdoor mini session will compare. Or perhaps this will be our first session together.

In this article I’ll explain what’s involved in a mini session, who the sessions work well for, and why sometimes they aren’t the right fit for every family.

Surrey Family Photography by Clare Murthy

What Is A Mini Session?

Mini sessions are family photo shoots that I offer on a small number of days between April and November, and are designed to give families a quick update of their family photographs.

The sessions take place outdoors and on the day of a mini session I’ll photograph 4-5 families, and each family has a 20-25 minute session with me.

Each mini session package includes some digital images and prints.


A baby on a family photo shoot in Richmond Upon Thames

Who Are Mini Sessions A Good Fit For?

Mini Sessions are a good fit for families who are looking for a quick update of their family photographs.

Lots of families book a mini session with me every year or every couple of years to capture an annual record of their children growing up in the years after their newborn and baby sessions.


When Are Mini Sessions Not A Good Fit?

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

Firstly, 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 baby is under 6 months old you might like to consider a Milestone Session instead.

Secondly, 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.

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 having everyone in the right place for each photograph is necessary.

Most families will find that even if a mini session isn’t suitable for them right now, it may well be a good fit 6 to 12 months later.

For example, between 1.5 years and 2.5 years old many toddlers have moments when they are headstrong, will only do what they want to do or have a completely unexpected meltdown (I speak from experience, my youngest being 26 months as I write this!) 

Generally, I’d recommend not booking a mini session during this toddler period as it just doesn’t allow enough time for us to wait whilst the meltdown passes. But fast-forward 12 months and a shoot with your almost 3-year old is likely to be a very different experience.


Richmond Family Photographer

Ready To Book Your Mini Session?

I hope this guide has helped you to decide whether a mini session is right for your family at this moment in time.

My mini sessions open for booking in December of each year and it’s best to book well in advance to guarantee your family’s place. 

You can find out more and book your mini session here.


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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