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Saving Money on Professional Photographs

Category Saving Money
Professional Portrait Photographer
This is a guide about saving money on professional photographs. Hiring a photographer can be expensive. There are a few ways to save on these services.


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By 5 found this helpful
May 17, 2010

Need a gift idea for the man in your life? Check your local paper or craigslist for ads looking for models. Often it's a photographer looking to expand his portfolio. For a couple hours of your time, he photographs you as he needs for his portfolio and then gives you some copies for free. I found one that wanted to do pin-up girl style which my guy loves! Autograph it like the star you are (maybe add a lipstick kiss to it!) and give it to him in a great looking frame.


Of course use caution. Take a friend with you for security and if it feels hinky leave. I've never had a problem though and have been treated with a great deal of respect by the photographers.

By Acceptance from FL

Comment Was this helpful? 5
May 17, 20100 found this helpful

Another serious word of caution is to never sign a release form to a photographer giving him/her right to those photos! If they are on the up and up they will not even ask you to sign anything and just give you a few photos for your own personal use and say thank you for helping me!

Not only can these photographers profit on those photos by selling them to anyone who wants to use them however they wish if you do sign a release, horror upon horror, one day you might find your face chopped on to someone else's naked body with no legal recourse :-(

There are scum out there who will do anything to make a buck and that 'dirty little secret of the trade' has been happening for decades under the ruse of, "It helps my portfolio!" :-(

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
May 17, 20100 found this helpful

Think they would need an almost 70 year old for their protfolio? LOL.........joking!

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May 18, 20100 found this helpful

Yes, can't be careful enough. You could contact a tech college who has photography and ask for the same things. Since it is a school, it has more rules to follow. Prices would be reduced as well. My son had their engagement photos done by a student in progress. Got the samples as part of the class, able to choose what they wanted, spent about $10 in all for their experience. Prints were additional fees.

I would be so careful about the craigslist photographer, with all the issues of ADULT behaviors being sold on it, you could end up someplace you don't want to be.

Those that keep saying FOR FREE! Don't abuse the budding student by screwing them out of a fee. They all know how to take photos, just appreciate what you get by paying a decent fee.

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May 18, 20100 found this helpful

No way.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

May 14, 20100 found this helpful

I wanted to get some photos done but could not afford to pay anyone and did not want the typical "Sears Portrait" type photos either. I placed an ad on (you can also use or your local paper) and requested a student or photographer who was looking to expand their portfolio. I got half a dozen replies within a day, and will be working with a few people who will give me free photos in exchange for me modeling for them!

To be safe, ask if they have a website, meet up with them to check out their portfolio or get references. I chose a woman photographer who already did a lot of work so I know she was reputable. Be careful of the hobby photographer who just wants to take pictures of women! Yikes! If you're a woman and wary of going anywhere alone, bring along a male friend or partner.

You can also do the same looking for a hair/makeup student to work on you before the photographer shows up. This way you can get perfect glamor shots for free! Some of these photographs will be given as gifts for the holidays! And it was all free!


By Lisa from Halifax, NS


Get Professional Photos for Free

Sounds great (05/13/2009)

By flor2007

Get Professional Photos for Free

As an amateur photographer I can attest that we do need models. And not fashion models, just average looking people.

Some up and coming photographers will take pictures of you and offer photos and discs as payment. Be prepared to sign a model release saying that the pictures can be used for advertising purposes. It is up to the photographer how to use the pictures of you, It would be without giving any information as far as name of location of the model. but you might up on a billboard or in an ad, with no monetary compensation.

So if you are not willing for your picture to be made public, you might want to reconsider. (05/13/2009)

By randysgrandma

Get Professional Photos for Free

Good idea, overall, especially if one doesn't mind the chance of their photos being used without their being compensated.

I speak from personal experience about the cost of those "glamour shots." I bought only the proofs, about 12 years ago. The pics looked great, but cost around $250! Ouch! If I ever have my photos done again, I'll strongly consider this suggestion. (05/13/2009)

By JustPlainJo

Get Professional Photos for Free


Yes be very careful. I have worked in photolabs for 20 years and have twice caught people taking photos of young women for their own perverseness. I am also a photographer myself and do know a lot of other photographers who are quite creditable, but there are some out there who are not. (05/13/2009)

By vickie 996

Get Professional Photos for Free

This may also be good for pictures of your pets. But as always, be careful. And I would stay away from Craig's List considering what has happened lately. (05/13/2009)

By teacher310

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
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