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Family Portraits on a Budget

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The end of October brings the beginning of the busy holiday season, and with that, Christmas cards. Not only can the cards (and postage) themselves be a substantial chunk of the budget, but getting good, high quality pictures taken by someone who can work well with families or kids isn't cheap. Plus, you have to have something the whole family can wear that coordinates well and looks great in a photograph.

As a mom, I know that I stress a lot about what my family is going to wear for the big, annual, end-of-the-year photo shoot. And if I think that I have to go buy everyone a new outfit for it, I stress even more.

So, here are some budget-friendly tips for fall portrait sessions:

Last year, during our fall family portraits, and I had the photographer take a few of the kids in their Halloween costumes. They turned out fantastic, and if we hadn't had one with our whole family in regular clothes, we easily could've used a costume picture for a unique and adorable card. Did you get a good one with your kids in their costumes this year? Use it!

If you don't have it in the budget to hire a photographer, find a friend with a camera or use your timer and take one yourself. Or, use one that you've taken in the fall. Pumpkin patches are great places to take a photo, because of the vibrant colors and happy atmosphere.

Don't worry about matching outfits, and don't worry about being "fancy". Pictures of your family all dressed up can look very nice, but in my experience, it makes everyone uncomfortable. Instead, find a color combination that you like and let everyone pick out an outfit that they like. Prints, solids, or a combination of both can look fantastic. Try pink, gray and navy, brown, orange, and green, or a classic black and white with one other color thrown in as an accent.

You probably have the right clothes in your closets already.  If you feel like you need to shop for some (or all) of the clothes, try a discount store or consignment shop with gently-used items, and make sure you get things that everyone can keep wearing. Like serving as a bridesmaid in a wedding....isn't it so much better when you can wear the dress again?

What are your favorite family portrait tips?

by on Oct. 31, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Replies (11-20):
by on Nov. 5, 2012 at 3:00 PM

We go to JC Penny and have had some great experiences.  We get the kids photos done at the same time as the family photo.  

by Member on Nov. 5, 2012 at 4:25 PM

I take & print them out myself every for Christmas cards. I dont make the kids make but I do like them all to have a similar look. 

by New Member on Nov. 5, 2012 at 5:57 PM

I like when family photos are more casual anyhow.

Sue ~ Head Admin
~ D.V. Survivor/Admin

by Bronze Member on Nov. 5, 2012 at 6:06 PM
1 mom liked this

 Have everyone wear solid colors. It looks better over time. Vacation photos are great to use on Christmas cards. Kids in the pool or at the amusement park are great. It doesn't have to be christmas related.

by Member on Nov. 5, 2012 at 6:07 PM
2 moms liked this

Make sure everyone has had a nap!!

by on Nov. 5, 2012 at 8:26 PM
1 mom liked this

that IS a good tip :)

Quoting Rushn311:

I don't have any tips but to make sure their bellies are full or they will be crabby LOL

by New Member on Nov. 5, 2012 at 9:40 PM

Catch them having fun moments together or with a fav. toy or pet, even if they are not always looking directly at your camera. =)

by Member on Nov. 5, 2012 at 9:54 PM

Casual shots instead of obviously posed are the best.

by Member on Nov. 6, 2012 at 7:41 AM

These are great.We don't do portraits.

by New Member on Nov. 6, 2012 at 8:40 AM
I've only done professional pics twice and that was at portrait innovations. I've done tons of mini sessions myself though
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