Produce Portraits Without Puncturing Your Budget

by Guest Contributor · 1 comment

We tend to forget that it wasn’t all that long ago when people had their kids’ portraits taken several times a year. When I was growing up, the school arranged for a picture once a year and that was pretty much it. Today, we expect to have our children photographed every few months, and it can become a very expensive project.

If you insist on having the kids photographed regularly, you have several options when it comes to cutting costs.

Join the Club

The main studio in our area offers a club for babies during their first year. The parent brings in the child on a regular schedule, about once every three months, and gets coupons, deals, and a least one free sheet of pictures each time. If you live far from family and pictures are your most regular form of communication, this can be a very good idea.

Be Prepared to Book

As the holidays grow closer, and it scarcely seems to matter which holiday, getting in to a studio becomes increasingly challenging. If you get your Christmas photos done at the end of October, you will probably pay less and have an easier time getting in. If you wait until December, things are much more difficult. To encourage people to sign up early, discounts are most commonly offered weeks before the real holiday crush.

If you happen to walk into a studio and see an incredible deal, book it. These types of promotions are intended to get people in the doors so the studio looks busy. With fewer people waiting, you are also likely to get better pictures as your children won’t be constantly distracted and the photographer is feeling rushed.

Invest in a Camera

It may seem simplistic, but investing in a decent digital camera is a great idea. An SLR digital camera with at least 5 megapixels is really all you need for excellent photos. Get a couple of sheets in different colors to use as background, or head out to the nearest park. The key to good portraits is to set up the shot well.

Get everyone in similar colors; we like to take “casual” shots in jeans and a white tee shirt. For formal occasions, we all use dress shirts in the same color family and occasionally move the furniture around to achieve a more professional look. Take more pictures than you think you need so you don’t have to get everyone back together for more poses.

Once you have selected the best pictures, load them on a thumb drive and take them to one of the kiosks at pharmacies, grocery stores or other locations and print out your portraits.

Scan for Coupons

Those circulars and envelopes that arrive in your mailbox all the time are loaded with coupons; some are useful, others not. If you are planning to have your kids photographed, start searching for coupons in advance. Some of the promotions are amazing; 4 sheets for $7.99, free sittings, and extra sheets with packages of a certain size. You can also take a look around the Internet; there are plenty of promotional offers for a variety of portrait studios.

Getting the family portrait taken is almost a rite of passage for some. That doesn’t mean you have to drop a small fortune to get good results.

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  • Justin says:

    It helps to have somebody artistic in the family if you want non traditional portraits. My mom has done some pastel portraits of some of my cousins.

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