So you want to get professional family photos in Calgary, but don't have a large budget? Here are 5 easy ways to save money on family photos.

Everyone deserves quality photos of their loved ones to cherish, to display, to hold onto forever. The problem is the cost of living is going up and it can be hard to spend (and sometimes justify spending) larger amounts of money on photos. I can assure you, the value of your investment will skyrocket come twenty or thirty years when life has changed and you're feeling all the nostalgia. But if money is an issue you have with getting family photos done, don't let it stop you! Below I've listed 5 ways to help you save money on family photos and all of them are much easier than you think!

*To be honest, these tips also easily apply to maternity, newborn and couples sessions.

Money-saving tip for family photos: Client closet & borrow from friends. Love & Sunshine Photography Fish Creek Park

How to save money on family photos: Tip #1


An easy way to save money on family photos is to simply use what you have. Many people like to buy new clothing. Others feel like they have to. Truthfully, you don't need to buy all new outfits. The goal of each session is to feel beautiful and comfortable and to feel like YOU, so why not use that tried and true outfit which is already your go-to when you've got to look nice? If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

If you're really struggling with nothing to wear, you can also borrow from your friends' closets, shop consignment (there's so many nowadays - social media has local accounts too!), or use items from your photographer's client closet. Yep, that's right. A lot of photographers have their own client closet full of dresses handpicked and tested to make you feel beautiful. Some even have accessories like hats, bows and dresses for little girls, and blankets or swaddles for newborn sessions.

Money-saving tip for family photos: Mini Sessions. Captured by Love & Sunshine Photography in Studio Boheme.

How to save money on family photos: Tip #2


Another very easy way to save money on family photos is to take advantage of photographer's mini sessions or smaller collections. They are typically more budget-friendly than regular sessions and though time is shorter, you still get a good amount of photos. Some people just want a few to update their walls or send Christmas cards anyways. And in that case, who needs one hour sessions and 50+ photos? While some clients LOVE having all the time and variety (that's me!), mini sessions are the best for saving money. READ THIS BLOG for other reasons why mini sessions might be better suited to you.

Watch for mini sessions happening each season, like spring, summer and fall, as well as special holidays like Mother's Day & Christmas. A lot of photographers also offer smaller collections any time of year if you only want a small amount of photos. I do both!

If you follow your favourite photographers on social media and get on their email lists, you will know firsthand what's happening and when to book.

Money-saving tip for family photos: choose a location close to home like Fish Creek Park, Calgary

How to save money on family photos: Tip #3


A great way to save money in family photos is to use a location close to your home. With soaring gas prices, right away this choice will save you a ton. FYI: You don't need to head to the Rocky mountains or any other "exotic" destination for beautiful photos. There are so many stunning spots within Calgary that can feel like you're not even in the city. Save those far-away, pricier destinations for when you have the money to spend (or for really, really special your wedding).

Money-saving tip for family photos: Do own hair & makeup. Summer session Fish Creek Park Love & Sunshine Photography

How to save money on family photos: Tip #4


Another way to save money on family photos is for mama to do your own hair and makeup, or find a friend who's good at it. You don't need to splurge on these things before photos. I know we all want "the perfect photos," but perfection exists only in the imperfect. I say, embrace those couple of greys to have memories with your children forever because honestly they don't even see "imperfections" like that. They see their mama, their constant, their whole world. And in twenty years, they'll see that you were there, not care what your hair looked like.

Here's an extra tip to save money on hair: purple shampoo for blondes can take your sad, yellow strands and make them look like you just got your hair done (my own client did this...amazing results)! As for nails, no one notices if you've just gotten a manicure or not. I say, take off the tips or the bold colour and leave them natural. They're less distracting that way anyways.

Family photo money-saving tip: Sign up for a model call with your favourite photographer

How to save money on family photos: Tip #5


In order to save money on family photos, I highly recommend following your fave photographers on social media, as well as signing up for insider email lists. You'll be the first to know if they're having a sale or holding special mini sessions, which as mentioned above are usually great for those with lower budgets. Sometimes photographers even do model calls where you get x number of photos for free just for your time. The only downside there is your wardrobe and location are picked by them. For some, that can be an upside! Less work!

Additionally, if you're a business owner or social media influencer, one way to save money on family photos is to partake in a collaboration with a photographer where both parties benefit. For instance, the business owner/influencer would get x amount of free/discounted images and the photographer gets their name out to a bigger audience and can promote your brand as well. Win-win!

Money-saving tip for Family Photos: Invest in a photographer who lines up with your needs ie client closet, print credit

How to save money on family photos: BONUS TIP

Check out what is included in the photographer's pricing

Depending on your needs, some photographer's packages and pricing will make more sense to invest in than others, so make sure they've got what you need. For instance, some photographer's prices include free access to client closet and if you don't want to do any more shopping this is a major money-saver! Some photographer's include free prints, which is a bonus if you're planning on printing some of your favourite images because you will get some of them for free. Alternatively, there may be options to purchase print packages, saving you lots of time if you were to go out and do that yourself.

Which money-saving tip for family photos is your favourite?

As you can see, there are some smart, easy ways to save money on family photos. Even families with the smallest budgets can find ways to save AND get beautiful, professional photos.

Hey it's me

welcome to my blog

My name is Marcella and I'm a Calgary family, maternity & newborn lifestyle photographer. I love golden light, true colours, and real moments of love and laughter. Inspired by the beautiful Calgary scenery, my style is emotive, sun-soaked and colourful.
If you want to freeze moments in time and have fun making memories to cherish forever - I'm here to guide you through the whole process....Starting with my blog!

Marcella xo

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