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Mini Shoot vs Photo Shoot – which should I choose?


Indecision can be the reason a lot of families put off booking their photo shoot. Which photographer? What location? What will we wear? Should we invest in a full photo shoot or opt for a mini session?


I can help you work out the answers to all of these questions and more during our pre-shoot phone call or email consultation – but today I’m tackling the Mini vs Full Shoot dilemma! By the end of this post you should have clarity on which one is right for you.





What is a mini shoot?


My mini shoots are pretty much a short version of my full family shoots. I still use minimal posing and gentle prompting, they’re still child led and result in gorgeous, natural family moments. The main differences are that they are 20 minutes long and at a set location on a specified date with limited slots available, whereas full family shoots are an hour long and can be scheduled to suit you at a location of your choice.


View my upcoming mini shoot dates HERE.






Who is a mini shoot suitable for?


Minis are perfect for immediate families of up to around 6 people, including babies who are able to sit up unaided. They are ideal if you want a small number of seasonal images to capture your family as they are in this moment of time!


Mini shoots can be booked as mini maternity sessions, motherhood shoots and family shoots. They are a great way to ‘test the water’ if you haven’t had a photo shoot with me before and are nervous of committing to investing in a full session before you’ve experienced working with me.


I also have some families who choose to book two or three mini shoots per year as an alternative to a single family session to capture how their children change throughout the seasons. It’s amazing the difference a few months can make when your little ones are growing and changing so quickly!








When is a full session a better choice?


  • Extended families - with larger families and extended families it can be tricky to get enough variety to include everyone within the short timeframe available during a mini shoot. If you’re wanting to include grandparents, aunties, uncles and cousins, or if you are blessed with a large immediate family of 7 or more, a full family session is a better choice as we have plenty of time to capture more of those beautiful, natural moments of interaction between all of you. A fun, relaxed photo shoot is also a great way to make the most of having the whole family together at once, so why rush it?



large three generation family black and white image


  • Newborns - Mini shoots are not generally suitable for newborns as I tend to host them outdoors and 20 minutes isn’t enough time for most newborns to settle for photographs. My 2 hour in-home lifestyle newborn sessions are a much more relaxed, enjoyable way to capture those authentic, natural newborn moments as they unfold. I deliberately plan plenty of time for newborn shoots to allow the session to be led by baby - feeding, changing and settling whenever they need and to ensure you’re not feeling rushed.



Newborn baby in-home lifestyle photoshoot


  • Cake smashes - there’s no way we could get clean shots, set up a cake and have time for your little one to get stuck in during a 20 min shoot! Having said that, a mini session is absolutely suitable for some natural 1 year milestone shots if that’s what you’re into - that’s exactly what this family did.






  • Meaningful location choices - Full sessions are also the best choice if you have a specific location in mind or would love to use your beloved family home as the backdrop to your shoot – in-home lifestyle sessions or outdoor shoots at a location that means something to your family are really special and the resulting images will have that extra dimension of nostalgia when you look back on them in years to come.


a new mum and dad sit on the sofa with their newborn baby girl during an in-home family lifestyle photo shoot in Lancashire


  • Specific date requirements – if life is busy and it’s tricky to get the whole family in the same place at the same time it’s likely we’ll need to plan a shoot around your availability. Mini sessions take place on specified dates and at set locations so unless you happen to be free on that date you’ll be best booking a private family shoot.

Check my upcoming mini shoot dates here to see if they work for you!






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