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Monday, December 6, 2010

My Do it Yourself Christmas Photo Adventure

This year we decided we would try and save some money (and perhaps some frustration) by doing our holiday photos at home.

We usually get our photos done at a department store portrait studio. (We are limited to only 2 located in our small town). However, with little ones it is hard to get the photo you want after waiting in a lobby for 45 minutes and then having a limited appointment time. For my little ones it is too long and too much pressure and never seems to go well.

So we went out and bought some props and set it up our selves and it turned out better than I could have hoped so I thought I would share with you how we put it all together.

Some things cannot be avoided like the cost of the kids outfits. But our local portrait studio charges $200 for the smallest package that comes with a CD, before any sitting fees.

Here is how I did by comparison

  1. Christmas Tree: $0 (on clearance for $80 from $239 purchased with promotional gift cards from Home Depot so this cost us $0 out of pocket) If you have a Christmas tree already you are halfway there
  2. Snow blanket & Snow for over ottoman $6.73
  3. Shiny gift boxes (2) ribbon, and bows (from Menards) $8.24 (includes tax)
  4. Glittery Red and Green Light up Gift box from Hallmark $2.95 (after $10 off $10 coupon)
Total Out of Pocket Cost: $17.92

Then we got a few lamps and pointed at them at the tree for better light, got the kids and started snapping pictures. I originally bought the boxes so the kids would have something to hold and distract them but they ended up being great background pieces instead.

What I liked better:
  •    Freedom to let the kids run around (didn't have to worry about who they were bothering in the lobby or what they were getting into, priceless)
  • The ability to take breaks when they got frustrated. 
  • No waiting! I was the only appointment that day :)
  • No sitting around with the kids in the lobby for 45 minutes while we select prints
  • And of course you can't beat that price
We just did the kids yesterday and we are hoping to get a family photo today. Overall I am pleased with my photos and my savings. Plan on getting photo cards from Shutterfly they claim delivery 5 days after order so we still have time to get them ordered.

Hope you are all enjoying some savings this holiday season.

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