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If the cost of school pictures has gotten too expensive, try this tip. Instead of having the picture taken at school, create your own school pictures. Hang a sheet or blanket on the wall as a backdrop. Have the child stand in front of the backdrop in his/her school clothes. (We had my grandson wear his band pullover.) Using a digital camera and take a few photos.
When you have the one you like, take the camera to one of the many places where you can print out the photos. Create your own package of school photos. Before framing the 8 by 10, we used letters from the scrapbooking section of the craft store to put his name, school, and school year on the bottom of the photo. Behind glass, it looks like the photographer's printing.
By Sandra from PA
Use your imagination, the results will be great!
By vguy from Earle, AR
The secret to taking great family portraits is to have a colorful background, have everyone dress in colors that match or contrast with the background, have plenty of natural light, and take the shots as close as possible.
I just took a Christmas portait of my one-year-old niece. Her dress was red and white, mostly white, so I bought 2 yards of red fabric with roses and two yards of white net-type fabric. I attached the red to the wall with straight pins, draped the net over top, also attached with straight pins. I added a couple of white plastic snowflakes too the wall, attached the same way. Then I handed the baby a snowflake.
While she was looking at it delightedly, I snapped away. Always be sure to have light behind your subject as well as in front of it. The people at Wal-Mart thought we had it down at a studio and wanted the copyright permission, which made Auntie Cindy very proud!
More Tips On Taking Holiday Portraits
A reader asked for some more tips regarding taking your own family portraits.
May I suggest the following:
My tip involves photography. Today with the help of digital cameras and computers/printers, everyone can be a photographer. One way that I have saved money in this area is I quit visiting photo places like Sears, Walmart, etc. and I started taking my own photos.
When I want to take photos of my children, I do it myself. We can go out in a field, by our barn, to the park, by the lake, beach, on the front porch etc. I can use props like pumpkins in the fall or a blooming bush in the spring. There are many possibilities when you think about it.
Then, I can edit my photos using my computer software making black and white photos, sepia or I can use cropping, and other editing features. I think these type of pictures look more natural than the somewhat "cheesy" and fake backgrounds at photo centers. Additionally, I can save money because there is no sitting fee and I don't have to buy the bigger packages to get the pictures I want. I can print what photos I want when I want them.
If I want a family portrait, I can ask a friend/neighbor for help.
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Does anyone know how much a family portrait runs? I have 12 people and we want to do a "cousins" photo, but we want to have it done by my friend and pay him a fair fee. Not sure what the sitting fees and portrait prices are for something like that. If anyone knows, please fill me in. Thanks!
Jacqueline from Feasterville, PA
From my experience, the lowest sitting fee I've seen for professional portrait photographers (so not walmart or sears) was about $50 and that gives you an hour of time with them. Sometimes photographers don't charge a fee but require you to purchase prints, this is how they make their money. I'd say if your friend is just going to take the pictures than have you guys digitally fix them and print them yourselves, then $50 is a fair price for their time. (but that's just from my experience!)
Perhaps you can barter with your friend instead?
Call Walmart, Sears or any local department store that takes pictures and ask.
I know Wal-mart has a $5 sitting fee, that is a flat fee, not per person. We just had our pics done there so I know this for a fact, in my area (CA) anyhow...... good luck..