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I love to have quality photographs of our family to display in our home. It’s fun to watch the kids grow and change through the years. But photographers, cameras, and portrait prints can be very expensive. Here are some tips I’ve found to help save money on photographs.
1. Save Big on Digital Prints
It’s fun to have those cute pictures saved to my computer, but there’s nothing like a printed photograph to bring memories to life. They’re great for gifting to family, too.
If you’re a member of a warehouse club then you can watch for deals there. The prices are already great on the products including regular 4X6 prints, canvas prints, and other photo gifts.
I just checked prices. Sam’s Club and Costco both have 4X6 prints available for in-store pickup at $0.17 each.
Sign up for accounts at all these printers. They’ll email you promotional updates and some companies offer up to 50 free prints just for starting your account!
2. Buy Digital Cameras at the Right Time
If you’re in love with the idea of the newest model of digital camera then the best deals are in November and December. You can usually find great deals in stores and online around the holidays.
If you’re able to wait a few months and you’re willing to buy last year’s model, then Consumer Reports suggests that March is the best time to buy a digital camera. This is because the newest models are released in February and the stores are usually trying to clear out last year’s cameras to make room for the shiny new upgrades.
Our family did the research and we knew what camera we wanted. We watched the company release a new model and then the model we wanted was suddenly marked down over $100. It was worth the wait and we were so glad to have saved that much without having to compromise on quality.
3. Master Smart Phone Photography
Many people don’t even invest in a digital camera when they have a smart phone. App developers have changed photography for today’s users by making capturing and editing amazing pics as easy as a click.
With free and cheap photo apps in both major platforms, there’s really no reason not to try and have a little fun with photography.
Those apps all have incredible tools and filters for editing photos on your Android device. You might also want to check out QuickPic Gallery (free) as an alternative to the native gallery/album application. My favorite app for fun and easy photo collages is Pixlr (also free – here's Android version). It’s great for mashing together a few photos when just one image doesn’t tell the story. All these apps mentioned for Android are free (with in-app offers for purchase).
If you really want the most highly regarded photo editing app for Apple devices then you have to pay a whopping $0.99! That’s it! Afterlight is adored by digital image lovers. It’s highly rated in the app store. And it’s a little addictive…truly.
And, of course, because I love collages, I suggest iOS users try Photo Collage Maker (free). It’s not just boxy groupings. The collage templates take on shapes and let you tell your story with personality. How fun is that!
4. Know When to Get Help
As much fun as it is to try 497 different filters on my phone camera, there are times when I want a good old fashioned family photo.
We’ve tried tripods. We’ve tried timers. We’ve tried leaving out one person to take the shot…just kidding. Sometimes we need help and it’s okay. There are a few reasonable options when you’re looking for photographers to capture those magic moments.
Ask your local friends on social media who they use. We’ve found excellent referrals just by surveying our friends. They’ll also be the best place to find out about rates and when to wait for a “sale.” This will give you a great start toward hiring a reasonably priced photographer.
You can also find photographers through social media. I follow several pages. I get to know the skills of the photographer and watch how they draw out the personalities of the families they photograph.
By following them on Facebook or Twitter, I’m also able to watch for last-minute openings. Many photographers will offer considerable rate drops to fill a slot quickly if they have a cancellation. I’ve seen great deals open up if the family is flexible to fill that opening on short notice.
If those options still don’t fit your budget you could always contact the photography department at a local college. They will surely have students who are trying to fund their education while taking weekend gigs to do family portraits.
Sometimes it takes creative thinking and patience, but there are many ways to save money on photographs. What’s your favorite way to save while preserving your family’s memories?