I’d like to organise a family photo shoot to celebrate a special event. What do I need to know?

An extended family photo shoot with grandparents in Surrey | Clare Murthy PhotographyI’m contacted fairly frequently by families wanting to book a photo shoot to celebrate a special event – for example mum’s 70th birthday, a special wedding anniversary or family event.

I always love to be asked to photograph these times – they’re usually extra-special for the family because having whole extended family is together is rare, and make for wonderful photographs.

So what are the differences between planning a shoot like this, and other sessions?


Confirming the date and time of the shoot

Typically, when you’re organising a shoot like this you’ll have little flexibility over the date and time – chances are that the entire family will only be together for a day or two, and you’ll probably have other events planned in such as lunch or dinner together.

With this in mind I recommend getting in touch early. At the busiest times of the year my weekends can be fully booked 4-6 weeks ahead so getting in touch at least one or two months ahead gives you a better chance of finding that your date is available.


Preparing for the shoot

All signature sessions include a planning consultation, which usually happens on the phone. During this conversation we’ll discuss ideas for the shoot, possible locations, and I’ll also ask you all about the family, and children’s personalities so that I can capture all of these details on the day.

When you’re having an extended family shoot like this I recommend one person co-ordinates the planning – they can be the key point of contact for me, and can also help everyone else in the family to prepare for the shoot.


At the shoot

I approach an extended family shoot in exactly the same way I do a regular family shoot – my goal is always to give you a variety of different photographs to choose from that capture the love, connection and fun that you all feel.

With extended families I’ll take photographs of you all together, and of all the small groups that are there – each household, couples, cousins, grandchildren, grandparents with grandchildren…the list will depend on your family. We’ll probably need a little longer than most shoots – around 2 hours – but not everyone will be in front of the camera for all of that time!


After the shoot

If family members are travelling in for the celebration, the chances are that they won’t all be able to come back for the viewing, and to choose which photographs to purchase. Depending on your family’s situation we can work out a way for everyone to view the photographs and choose what to order that works for your family.

For example, I could provide an online gallery ahead of the viewing so that those family members living further away have time to see the photographs and talk to you about which you’ll order. Alternatively, if you all live in another part of the country we can do the viewing virtually instead. We’ll discuss your family’s situation together when you make your booking, and find a solution that works for you.


Over to you

I’d love to hear more about your plans for an extended family shoot, and see whether I can help. You can get in touch on +44 (0)7522 760530 or send me a message via the contact form.


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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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