Holiday portraits are just another major item to mark off your to-do-list. How can you grab some great holiday portraits for cheap? With presents, holiday recipes and traveling costs, the last thing you want to do is add more expensive tasks to your holiday itinerary.
My husband and I carefully budget our holiday spending expenses and never go into debt. One way I help our family stay in our holiday budget is by carefully planning our holiday pictures. Want to know my secret tips? Here they are!
- Scout for coupons. Before I head over to the portrait studios, I search the internet, newspaper and magazines for portrait coupons. Since holiday portraits are a must, most photography companies advertise holiday portrait specials. I compare the prices and read the fine print. Some of them only cover one pose, one person and add sitting fees. Make sure you add up all those “additional” costs before making an appointment
- Scatter your appointments. I love having individual portraits of my kids. If you have more than one child, your expenses at the portrait studio will increase quickly. To ensure all my munchkins get a personal portrait and I stay in the frugal-friendly zone, I schedule appointments at portrait studios that are in close vicinity to each other. The large shopping mall in my hometown offers at least five portrait studios. I normally take one kid to each studio and get their specially discounted holiday package.
- Wait before you invest. Every single portrait studio I have been to has offered me awesome deals when I returned to pick up my portrait package. They also add special effects and have several prints in large sizes. Now that I know this little secret, I only buy the basic holiday special, and then stash some extra money for those specially discounted prints. I have always been so excited to return to my family and show them the amazing pictures I snagged at a fraction of the cost! Family members love their holiday portrait gifts and my husband loves that I stayed in our holiday budget.
If studio portraits aren’t for you, try some at-home photo shoots. Here are some tips to get our best holiday portraits frame-worthy for Christmas.
- Borrow a quality camera. Do you have a DSLR camera? If not, ask some of your friends or family if you could borrow theirs for a few hours to grab some quality holiday pics. A good camera makes all the difference!
- Watch your lighting. More professional-looking photos always have great lighting. Natural lighting is best. Don’t use the flash with natural lighting and avoid direct sunlight that can cast shadows. The best times are 9 am in the morning or 3 or 4 pm in the afternoon for most places.
- Use natural backdrops. Your Christmas tree is the perfect back-drop for a holiday picture, but outside scenery will give you the best opportunity for natural light. Know of an old, abandoned barn surrounded by trees and leaves? Try that spot out for some holiday family shots. If you are already are enjoying beautiful snow, use any snow-covered landscapes.
- Choose the best time. For smaller kids, mornings are best for pictures. Kids are fresh, happy and fed. Adults can pose for pictures anytime during the day, but add kids to the mix and things get complicated. Wait until your little one is happy, well and awake. Don’t forget to bring along a few munchies if he or she gets hungry during all the merry picture-taking!
- Choose a color scheme. Pick back-drops, clothing and accessories that all blend well together. Avoid colors that clash. Warmer colors go over well during the holidays.
Have any tips for frugal-portraits? Share them in the comments section!