We find ourselves in mid-December with Christmas getting closer every day… meaning now is your last chance to get Christmas cards sent out to your loved ones. The holidays are an especially great opportunity to capture the moments shared with those you love using family photos accompany your holiday card.
While hiring a professional photographer will most definitely add something special to your family photos, it is not a requirement, especially if you are on a budget. Even those who do not have a lot of money to spend can still take some great pictures. After all, this is the age of the smartphone. Below, we will discuss how you can use social media, and a few other smart tricks, to save money on your family photos.
Make It an Event
As we discussed in our six steps you haven’t taken yet to prepare for the holidays, if you sort out your schedule and plan ahead, you can avoid spending money on unnecessary things or last-minute orders. The best way to do that is by creating an event or group on social media so that you know the big day is coming up! Wrangling everyone together with their different schedules and social lives is made all the harder if you have college students who are away until mid-December. Having an event made on Facebook and sending out some reminders as you get closer to the day will save yourself a headache later.
Save on Clothes, Focus on Filters
Family photos do not need to be an extravagant affair. You do not have to go shopping and spend money on new clothes for the entire family. This is particularly true if it’s a one-off outfit; some would even consider such a purchase wasteful. You can avoid such waste and still manage to create a lovely memory of your family. Consider adding a good filter to match the Christmas spirit. Rather than making sure each family member complements the others, a good filter can create that sense of cohesion without the added costs. In our previous article on driving traffic on Pinterest, we mentioned how important it is to create an image with broad appeal. The same can be said for family photos. It can be simple, inexpensive, and still come out perfectly!
You Do Not Have to Hire A Professional Photographer
Even an hour of a photographer’s time can accompany quite the price tag. While there is no doubt that a talented photographer can bring something special to a family photo, it simply is not a cost-effective move if you wish to save money on photos. These days, just about anyone can take a decent enough family photo if they are armed with a modest understanding of lighting and an inexpensive camera—or even an iPhone. Any new camera should be able to link to your phone where you can start to optimize it immediately through Instagram or Pinterest. And, if you really want to print and frame it, a decent camera and one of the best photo printers will still cost you less than a few hours of a professional photographer’s time.
Find a Low-Key Location
Our keys to promoting an album on social media mentioned that your photos need to be personal and from the artist, which in this case is you. Choosing your location should be representative of this. You do not need to go on a fancy trip and get photos done on a beach in Hawaii, but you can should somewhere unique that is meaningful to you and your family. Any place where you have shared time, memories, and laughter will be perfect. Even if the location is your back yard, keep in mind that your family are the stars of this shoot, not the backdrop.
Pick Your Camera – Or Smartphone
If someone in your family does not already have a camera, there are several DSLRs that will not break the bank but will still produce some incredible photos. If you look into buying a consumer DSLR rather than a prosumer camera, you can get the same powerful camera just without many of the unnecessary bells and whistles. But even with a discounted camera, you can avoid all that with a good smartphone and some camera accessories to optimize it. This will save you the hassle of having to transfer the images to your phone in the first place. Even better, you can take photos and videos along the way to give your family photoshoot a ‘behind the scenes’ feel that you can share with everyone across social media.
Do Some Research
For those that do purchase a camera, you should do some research beforehand. See if you know someone that has one and will let you borrow it, then study the art of photography. Lighting in particular is extremely important for snapping the perfect shot. If you don’t want to spend money on a basic lighting kit, make sure to take family photos at the right time of the day, preferably at magic hour. If you miss those times, there are plenty of social media add-ons –Including Instagram itself—that will help you edit the image to look like it happened at any time of day.
You do not need to spend a fortune to produce family photos that you will cherish forever. With some time, planning, and practice, you can turn yourself into a more than competent photographer—and we’re willing to bet the pictures will have a bigger impact on those you love most. After all, they came from you!