5 Easy Ways to Save on Family Pictures

family pictures

Time feels like it passes all too quickly. I’ve heard this happens even more when you have young children at home.

Several of my friends have kids, and they tell me that all it seems to take is the blink of their eyes to find out their kids have gone from being babies to toddlers to starting school. If you don’t take pictures of them along the way, you’ll regret it as you don’t have the opportunity to go back and do it later. So whenever possible, you should grab a camera or your phone and snap away.

Another great way to capture the moment is to have family pictures taken. But that can cost quite a bit if you hire it done and order prints to give to family and friends or hang in your home or at work. It’s sad, but the cost of family pictures can deter some families from having them done a regular basis.

If you don’t want to miss these family photo opportunities, but you don’t want to go broke either, here are some ways you can save on family pictures.


Doing things yourself has become very popular these days, so why not give it a try if you have a good camera with a delay setting and a tripod to allow you to be in the shot instead of behind the camera. While purchasing this equipment can be pricey if you don’t already own it, you could also ask several of your friends or family members if you can borrow what’s needed from them. You can also try renting equipment from Pittsburgh Lens Rentals. This is a simple way to keep from shelling out a lot of money for a professional shoot.

Another DIY-type idea is to seek out a friend or family member who is just getting started as a photographer. They are likely looking for people to pose for them so they can gain experience behind the camera. You may find that using an amateur photographer results in great pictures for free, or at least very cheap. This is how I got cheap engagement pictures when I was in college. I used a family friend to shoot my photos. I paid her in cash and took her out to dinner. It was a win-win as she was able to use those photos to book more engagement sessions that paid.

2 Coupons & Discounts

If doing it yourself is not your thing, watch for discounts or coupons in newspapers, online, or from other sources. Or, call and ask your favorite photographer what they charge and if there are any discounts for repeat customers. You have nothing to lose but you could save a bundle.

3 Book off Season

Try not to book sessions with professionals during peak times, such as at the beginning of the school year, around Christmas, and near graduations. Simply scheduling during a slower time could save you a lot of money. Some photographers in my area run specials during “slow” times of the year in order to drum up more business for themselves. This is a great way to get your family pictures taken and save money.

4 Choose a Portrait Studio

My parents chose this option part of the time when I was a kid. Target, JC Penny, and other discount and department stores often advertise portrait packages designed to save you some money. The pictures aren’t as high quality, but they’ll do if you are in a financial bind and you don’t want to miss out on getting family pictures taken.

5 Limit the Wardrobe Changes

Time is money for a photographer. The more wardrobe changes you have, the longer the session takes and the higher your bill will be. Limit the number of times you change your clothing and your bill will go down. Ask about clothing changes ahead so the proper amount of time can be scheduled for your photo shoot.

Limiting outfit changes could save you money on clothes too. It can be hard to coordinate outfits with things you already own, especially if your family is large. Too many outfit changes can lead to more money spent on clothes.

You shouldn’t let your budget hold you back from getting family pictures taken. Your family will grow and change before your eyes and if you don’t document it with unique and fancy metal prints along the way, you’ll likely be living with some regret.

Can you think of other ways to save on family pictures?

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