Save Money with
DIY Family Portraits
Part 1: The Benefits

I think we all know that taking a picture of your own family and developing them at your local super center will always cost less than taking your family to a professional portrait studio, but for me the photos never turned out as great as I had hoped and we always ended up in the studio.

Of course I have lots of photos I love from photo studios, but I always wanted the digital file, which meant a photo package, which meant $200. What a heartbreak, I have 3 little ones, ages 3 and younger and a lot of mile stones to photograph but not a fortune to do it with. .

So last year my husband bought me a digital SLR and I have not considered going back to a portrait studio since. The investment was steep at $600 but since I was spending over $400 a year on photo services it was definitely worth it.


  • Create photos on my own time. I don’t have to come in at a scheduled appointment, no big deal if my kids are sick or cranky we can just reschedule.
  • Potty breaks! – The bathroom is so far from the studio where we used to go, (oh a 2 minute walk, but it’s far for a 3 year old) taking my potty training daughter to a strange bathroom where she may or may not be able to go was insanity, now I can take as long as I want without having to worry about going over our appointment time, while others are waiting.
  • No Waiting Room – If you have little ones you know what an awful place this can be. No having to get my kids to the studio early and then waiting for our turn. No waiting after the appointment for our photos to be edited while trying to convince my 1, 2, and 3 year old to be patient (cause they are so good at it).
  • No Embarrassing Melt Downs – Now to be clear, there are still melt downs, I don’t know what it is about being 18 months that makes the kids in my family refuse to be photographed but at least when I do the photos myself there is not a photographer and a room full of people watching.
  • I OWN all the rights and all the files! No extra fees, no expiration dates, no reorder fees. No fine print they’re just mine, mine, mine, mine, mine!
  • I can do Sundays and Holidays – The family is already dressed up so I am a fan of taking an hour out of the day and taking portraits (although my children don’t always agree) after church or just before dinner.
  • Freedom and Flexibility – I could go on and on but the number one thing I enjoy about doing our pictures so far is how much more enjoyable it is. I have never enjoyed getting our pictures taken but suffered through it to preserve the memory. Now when I look back at our pictures I remember how much I enjoyed it, or what a beautiful day it was, or how we played on the swings, or saw a salamander by the lake (really happened). Plus the idea of being able to vary the backgrounds more than brown, white or black :)