Saving Money on Family Pictures: Here’s How


by Tip Hero David Glenn
“Alright, everyone scoot together and give a big smile for the camera!” Those are the dreaded words we have all shuddered at during one holiday season or another, especially when we know how dull and boring the finished product is going to look once developed. Of course in today’s world, we just skip right over developing and upload straight from our camera phones to Facebook, Instagram, or some other social media flavor of the week.

But what about those times when we want real, quality family photos? You know, the ones that you can actually frame and proudly hang right above the fireplace for all the world to see? Those photo shoots can certainly be scary and have the potential to eat a gigantic hole in you wallet, but that does not always have to be the case. There are options out there for affordable and inexpensive family pictures without having to sacrifice too much money or quality.

Traditionally, there are two schools of thought when it comes to family pictures. You can either do it yourself and take what you get when the results roll in,  or you can have a professional photo shoot. From those two options, we will explore the most practical ways of moving forward without the hassle and expense you might be imagining.

Option 1
First let us explore the professional shoots of the world. These can come in all shapes, sizes, packages, and headaches. Usually you have a consultation where packages are explained and agreed upon before the shoot. The downfall is that these agreements usually involve selling your first born child and/or your soul to the photographer as collateral to the film rights, which unfortunately they will still own. These packages are usually bank breakers too, but there are some rare occasions where you can come out ahead in these deals.

Like most every business known to modern man, advertising is the lifeblood of any successful venture. The photography business is not immune to this enigma and often times individual photographers will look for people or families to test out their new props, cameras, or even lighting techniques. You will not have complete creative control, but you can usually score some pretty nice pictures at an extremely discounted price this way. You just have to keep in touch with local photographers and establish relationships with them via social media or other networking opportunities.

Option 2
Then, there is the do it yourself method, also known as the hallmark of frugality. As we explored earlier, most of the past time experiences with this can be hit or miss. Either your camera is not the best in the world or your family is not cooperating. Luckily, a new trend in the photography world is known as a camera hire has begun to gain traction recently.

This camera for hire is exactly as it sounds. Instead of renting the photographer and all of their fancy equipment, you just simply hire their fancy equipment. This is most practical for people with at least some level of skill in photography but it is a market that is expanding rapidly. Not only can you rent cameras but you can rent lenses, camcorders, lighting equipment, and all the various parts you need to get the job done. Training on where the family should be looking for the photos is not included, unfortunately.

So before you go out and purchase a top dollar photography package, just know that there are choices. There are inexpensive ways to acquire those family pictures you have always wanted, you just have do do a little research. Will you try being a photographer’s personal guinea pig, or will you try taking the bull by the proverbial horns and become the expert yourself?