How to Save Money on Family Portraits


I always mean to get family pictures taken every year. It is sometimes a money issue, but more often than not, it is a time issue. I just forget and by the time the “good season” to do it is over, I say,”Oh well, maybe next year.”.

It has actually been a couple years since I have gotten them done. I think it’s about time I schedule that and make it a priority. Family portraits can cost a pretty penny, though, especially if you don’t want to just head to your local sears studio. Here are some tips for saving money on your next family portrait session.


How to Save Money on Family Portraits


Ask your friends and family who they recommend. They may know of a hidden gem of a photographer that does it at a low rate. These photographers often just rely on word-of-mouth advertising as to avoid too many people booking them at this low price.

Contact your local photography school. There are often students hoping to fill their portfolios and needing the practice. If you are OK with the work not being overly perfect, this is a perfect option for you. Don’t worry, most students will ask for help with editing, formatting and even technique from their teacher. You may even get lucky and get their instructor to come along for the session.

Look on Craigslist. I have often seen local newbie photographers advertising their services looking for “models”. This can sometimes mean something else entirely, but it never hurts to ask what kinds of models they are looking for as they could simply be looking for folks to photograph to work on their technique.

Barter. Do you run a business that could benefit the photographer personally or professionally? If you do, you may be bale to barter services. This is often something photographers who are building their business may be interested in, especially. It won’t always work, but it doesn’t hurt to try. Many people are still open to the idea of bartering.

Sign up for photographer’s newsletters well before you want to book a session. This way, you will be able to see short term specials photographers are offering and jump on them when they are available.

Read the “small print”. Many times, people end up spending more than they had intended because they don’t read exactly what a session includes.Sometimes, there are extra fees, a specific time limit without an extra charge or a certain number of prints in one session. You will save more money if you understand up front what a session entitles you to.

Carefully examine packages of prints. Often these are like vacation packages that are not as good as they sound with extras you don’t want and items not included that you do. Sometimes, depending on your needs, you can get a better deal if you order prints a la cart.

If you are in the Missoula, Montana area, I suggest contacting Jen at Mountain Pearl Photography. She does birth pictures, too!



5 Replies to “How to Save Money on Family Portraits”

  1. {Kathy} Every family photo I have had taken was on a shoe-string budget. The most casual ones are the ones that have turned out the best. Thanks for the post.
    Mothering From Scratch recently anxiety? 3 ways to find some reliefMy Profile

    1. Yes, some of the best pictures I have are just taken on my phone. 🙂

  2. What great tips, Christine! I, myself, fell victim to spending way too much on a package we didn’t need and I vowed “never again.” Thank you for reminding me that a little planning can save so much.

    Thank you for linking up at Thank Goodness It’s Thursday! And PS – I can’t wait to try your cauliflower pizza — you should link that up next week!
    Sarah Nenni Daher recently posted..Thank Goodness It’s Thursday No. 31My Profile

    1. I got a bad package once, too and I also vowed “never again” so I definitely know the feeling!

  3. […] Terrific tips on How to Save Money on Family Portraits from Saved By Grace […]

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