Professional Portraits

[deleted account] ( 28 moms have responded )

Do you get professional portraits done of your children?

I'm going today to get Christmas portraits of Eliza. I have a friend with a photography degree that is trying to get her business off the ground. She did Eliza's pictures last Christmas and I'm in love with them! I'm getting the "friend rate" but it's still expensive! However, I am no good at photography so I feel it's worth it to get good quality pictures once a year. It's just an expense I include when setting the Christmas budget. (My SIL has a nice camera and will do birthday pictures for me every year, but they aren't great quality.)

Is this something you pay for? Are you confident in your photography skills and don't need to pay for this type of service? Do you feel it's a big waste of money?

Just curious!

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[deleted account]

We have them done once a year, usually in the fall and we try to get a regular one and a Christmas one. All in all, we spend about $800 (including framing) which I think is well worth it. Once, when we were tight on cash we went to a mass studio, Picture People, or Portrait People, I don't remember, but we were pretty happy with it considering the cost. The only thing I didn't like was that the only good back drops were solid black or white, the others looked cheesy, and all of the portraits were posed. But we did get lots of pics and we only spend about $200, so that's a good option if you are ever tight on funds. Oh, and that did not include framing.

Here are the reasons I think it is best to hire a pro.
I used to own a business that sold products to pro photographers. You can't just buy an expensive camera and automatically get great pictures with it. You have to learn to use it, but more importantly, you have to buy lights too and have a place to set them up.
Besides all that, I like to have pics of all of us together, and I can't be in the picture if I am behind the camera.

[deleted account]

Funny this happens to come up. We just did our family shots. Done by my Mum on her little camera. They turned out excellent. All our on computer now and i havent had to pay a cent. I can do what i want to them with the program thats on the computer and i have the most beautiful one where my 2 yr old decided he wanted to kiss our 4 month old.

Leah - posted on 11/22/2010




Its amazing what you can do with 'Picasso' and the online Walmart Photoshop (or one of your choosing). I've done my Christmas picture myself every year and can get about 30 pictures printed for under $10. I have no idea how much professional pictures are mainly b/c I'm afraid to know! I figure if I can do them myself for just as good and jazz them up a bit, why pay someone to.

Jennifer - posted on 11/22/2010




i'm not a fan of professional portraits mostly just because i'm not a fan of posed photos. i prefer just to take millions of pictures as my son is going about his day. no pose, no plans, just genuine experiences.

Morgan - posted on 11/22/2010




I am bad I get pictures done for everything!!
Halloween, Easter, Christmas, Birthdays, and the yearly family photo :) I also take millions of pics myself, now that I think about it I might need a photo intervention :)

Kayle - posted on 11/22/2010




The only time we went professional was when Kamden was first born. They had a photographer come into the hospital and take photos of us. Other than that me and my SIL do them. I am getting pretty good but I don't have a great quality camera, hers is better but if we go to her she does them for free and if she comes to us she only charges $100 for about 75+ picture and all rights to them.

Amie - posted on 11/22/2010




Oh we do the cheapo ones for family though too. I'm not paying for multiple prints, so we go to wal mart and pose all of us. Then Christmas cards are sent with photos in them for the extended family we don't get to see often. =)

Amie - posted on 11/22/2010




We do the same thing Sara. We know a photographer who is decently priced. We pick a place and he shows up there. He follows us around, sometimes poses us, a lot of walking around snapping pictures though.

I have a picture of our youngest and I he took when she was just a baby. My head is tilted down looking at her and she's sleeping on my chest. ♥ He's a great photographer. I've always been pleased, he did our wedding photos too actually. haha.

Charlie - posted on 11/22/2010




We did once and they turned out not that great so we didnt end up buying the prints , personally I love candid photos on a good camera , I don't really like set up photos and poses .

Krista - posted on 11/22/2010




I take a lot of pics of Sam with my own camera (a Canon Rebel T1i), and they turn out quite well, but I don't have the great lighting and nice, uncluttered backgrounds that a photo studio does. I am contemplating taking him to WalMart to get some photos done, but haven't decided yet. I'll still take a metric shit-ton of pictures of him over the holidays, and I'm sure that some will turn out frame-worthy, but it might be nice to have some that look really professional.

Rosie - posted on 11/22/2010




yes we do. although i do the cheap places like walmart. i did a place a couple years ago taht was expensive and i adore the pictures, but i can't see spending that much money on portraits again.

[deleted account]

Just got back! We chose an arboretum for the location. The photographer just let Eliza run around and took pictures of her playing. I helped encourage Eliza to play in the more scenic areas with good lighting. She let me see of the pictures on the digital camera and I'm pleased! But I knew I would be...loved the ones she did last year too!

April - posted on 11/22/2010




bad luck with Sears here too!! i only did it once when zach was 6 months old. i feel bad that i haven't done it since. it was just a lot of money (spent 150) for crappy pictures. but yes, if i find someone fabulous, i'd be willing to pay. i don't want a lot of pictures...just 1 or 2 really nice pictures. better than 50 crappy pictures!

[deleted account]

We never get professional portraits done. I don't really like the way set-up photos look, I much prefer casual pics. My partner is a photographer though so I am lucky that he takes lots of great photos of our family. We have a bit of a lack of photos with him in them though. I am not too shabby with a camera and lucky we have lots of photographic equipment ranging from professional to easier to use amateur cameras though, so I try my best to get regular shots of him. He doesn't always end up looking as good as the photos he takes of us do, but as long as the kids, dog and I look great that's what is important, right! LOL. We do pay more for really good quality printing on quality papers with quality inks and extra for good framing as well. Good photos look even better with quality production.

Even though we don't do portrait photos, I don't necessarily think they are a waste of time or money. I do think that having photos of your family (the more the better) is really important and those memories are great to have for when your kids grow up. I just personally don't like the portrait style, but you generally get what you pay for so if you get professional shots done you should end up with some great quality photos of the ones you love. I don't have school aged kids yet, but when I do I will probably get school photos. Not the individual portrait ones, but definitely the class shots. I love looking back through my school photos and am still great friends with some old class mates. It is great to see how much we have changed. I am sure my kids will want those memories as well and hope that they will eventually be able to enjoy looking back at their school days.

Amanda - posted on 11/22/2010




We always get professional portraits! My 2 oldest get their pictures done at school so than we go take the 2 youngest to get head shots as well. Than once a year we do a family portrait. So yes I enjoy professional pictures and have done them ever since my son was born. I don't think they are a waste of money I think it's a memory worth paying for!

Jodi - posted on 11/22/2010




"School portraits are ridiculously expensive."

Really Sharon? Our school photos here are generally around $20-$40 depending on the package you choose. It's actually really good value for what you get, and it isn't killing the hip pocket. I don't think it is right to make the school photos too expensive.

[deleted account]

I have professional pictures of Ethan, I love them. I am one of those awful people who has photos of myself and my family and friends everywhere though because I love photos. I will get some more professional shots done when the new baby comes next year.

I take some really good shots myself, my favourite photos are the ones I have taken where I have caught Ethan in a really brill moment, though so I don't think professional photos are better than personal ones.

Stifler's - posted on 11/22/2010




I don't LIKE the pro portraits. I haven't gotten any done of our family yet but I look at other people's and think... I'd rather get pics of us in our natural habitat doing what we do best. I take some okay pics of my son and they're what's in the frames all around our house lol. Our wedding photographer told us to come back any time and just pay for the pictures he develops and not a fee since we already paid him for our wedding.

[deleted account]

I've had bad luck with JC Penney and Sears. I swore them off after Eliza's first Christmas. I'm willing to pay a few extra bucks to have my friend do it for she gives me all the rights to the pictures!

Becky - posted on 11/22/2010




We have done professional ones a few times. I definitely don't think it's a waste of money, but it is one of the first expenditures to go when things get tight, KWIM? The photographer we were going to was quite expensive - she was our wedding photographer. Very good, but a little out of our price range. So, we got a Canon 7D - a dslr, and now I do my own pictures. It'll save us a lot of money over the long run. I'm still far from professional, although every now and then I get a gem, but I like the candid, real life pics better anyways.
We do Walmart or Sears pics of all the cousins together at Christmas. And we might still do professional pics once a year or so, or after we have our next, if we do, if I can find a cheaper photographer.

[deleted account]

We havn't had any professional ones done of Logan yet but we are planning to get some after his birthday or Christmas =] He turns one on Saturday =]

~♥Little Miss - posted on 11/22/2010




We have taken my sons picture our selfs for the christmas card, and professional. We just did professionals of my son and daughter on sat. Getting her solo pictures tomorrow. Worth every penny!

♏*PHOENIX*♏ - posted on 11/22/2010




I use to pay up to 200+ for my son’s portraits….and I don’t think it’s a waste money if you don’t have the camera to take good quality photos, and/or you have the money to pay for it.

If you have the camera to take the “Pro” photos then you should learn how to use it and if you don’t, then to me that would be a waste of moola…if you have the means and don’t utilize it.

I got a got a Olympus Pen E-PLI (With the diff interchangeable lenses.. and ♥ it….it does what the pro’s camera does..The only thing I had to do was learn to use it and so I take a free on-line class that has helped me A LOT.

And now I do ALL my photos myself..and have saved abound 800$ bucks so far

Iris - posted on 11/22/2010




Yes we do. We just went this September. We had 3 different set-ups: My mom, me and my daughters, me, husband and the girls together and then just the girls together. It is expensive, but well worth it every now and then.
My husband takes great photographs (a serious hobby for him), but sometimes I'd like for him to be with us on the photos.

Sharon - posted on 11/22/2010




We got professional portraits before the kids started school. School portraits are ridiculously expensive. If it weren't for the "why aren't you getting pictures today?" thing I'd opt out of them altogether and get the pictures done at walmart.

It is not a big waste of money. Even with an auto focus digital camera - my pictures are hit or miss for quality and composition. Totally worth it.

[deleted account]

We used to (twice a year before the girls started school, once a year after cuz of school pics too), but not anymore. Can't afford it. I'm not confident in my photography skills. I just take as many pics as it takes to be happy w/ what I've got... and my expectations aren't that high. I also don't get the school pics for the girls anymore cuz I figured out w/ the packages I was buying ($50 total for both girls) I can get the same number of prints of each girl seperately, my son, and the 3 of them together through Snapfish for cheaper ($40). Twice as many pics for $10 less... can't beat that even if the pics AREN'T professional. My kids are cute regardless of who snaps the camera. :)

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