When we were planning for Edith a birth photographer and a newborn photographer were never in the budget. Honestly, I didn’t even know why we would want some random person taking photos of E’s birth. As for newborn photos all I could picture were babies in baskets wearing weird hats and well that’s just not us. The one thing I did know I wanted to have done were family photos in time for the holidays. The thing is a new baby, one main income, the holidays coming and potential move in the works hiring a photographer was just not in our budget. However, we made it work and were able to get family photos done for FREE last year and this year we got them done for a small fee. How did we do it?
How we did it (and other tips):
- The First Time Around: Neil had a friend who really into photography and was interested in expanding his portfolio so he offered to take our family photos. He took our picture, edited them and sent us digital copies all for FREE (although I think we may have paid in dinner or whiskey). Tip One: find an amateur photographer looking to expand their portfolio.
- The Second Time Around: This time around I ended up coming across a really great photographer via my Facebook feed. A number of friends of mine had brought their babies to a Messy Madness event (babies in diapers + paint + huge piece of paper on the floor) and a photographer was hired to take photos during the event. Anyways I saw the photos and immediately contacted the photographer, Wendy of Paperfish Studios, regarding her rates for a family photo session. Come to find out she was just getting into professional photography and was looking to expand her portfolio so we ended up getting a free family session. The digital files were not free but for a free one hour session we were fine with that. We ended up buying all of the photos because it was the best deal and received over 50 digital files for $175 (note her rates have probably increased now due to her increase in popularity). Tip Two: If you can’t find an amateur photographer find a newly professional photographer who is looking to increase their portfolio and will do a session for free and give you the digital files at a reduced rate.
- Tip Three: Keep an eye out for photographers who are doing mini-sessions (especially around the holidays). Usually these sessions cost around $75-150, are 15-30 minutes long and often your session will include 1-5 digital files and possibly an 8 x 10 print. The cost, length and what you receive is dependent upon the photographer but it is a really great way to get a family photo done without costing you an arm and a leg.
- Tip Four: If none of the tips above are in your budget then ask friends or family! Find your most capable friend or family member to take photos for you. Although the photos are not professional they will be free and you will have family photos for you to cherish.
- Tip Five: Use the self timer on your camera (if you don’t have a camera borrow one) or purchase a remote for your camera and take your own photos. Free. Free. Free.
Where to look photographers:
- Word of mouth
- Bulletin Boards at your local market, library, community center, ect.
- Colleges & Universities, especially ones with art programs.
Once you have the photos taken:
So you have the digital files now what do you do? You could print them from your own printer but you most likely don’t have a laser printer so the quality won’t be great. Instead why don’t you…
- Keep your eye out for online deals. I always keep my eyes peeled for coupon codes for sites such as Shutterfly (favorite), Walgreens, Costco, ect. Many times you can get free (you pay for shipping) or discounted prints and other things.
Have you had family photos done? Any other tips you’d like to share?