Tuesday, November 24, 2009

How to save money on Christmas Photos

When baby T was born, we dutifully signed up for the JC Penney Photo club, since we figured we'd be having his photo taken a lot. I was completely freaked out by the first photo shoot- Christmas shots with my 6-week old and husband. I wasn't sure what to expect, and I was pleasantly surprised with how well they handled everything. I didn't really like having to stand there and pick my photos right then while trying to bounce a fussy baby, but we made it through and got some semi decent shots. His Easter shots were okay too, but nothing to write home about. His one year photos, though, were a mess! I had trouble scheduling the photo session since I wanted to go in the same day. Their on line service doesn't allow you to do that and no one from the THREE studios I called felt the need to call me back. Ug. When we finally did get in, the photographer was less than enthusiastic and the shots that we got were mediocre at best. My husband wanted to be in charge of choosing the images and print package we got, so we spent a lot more than I wanted for mediocre photos. To add further insult to injury, when I went to pick the photos up, the woman at the studio was so incredibly rude. I've never been chastised quite that was as an adult, and certainly never as a paying customer. The entire experience left me looking for a better alternative to high priced mall photos.

I checked out a few professional photographer's packages and found them to be a little too pricy for our budget right now. All I wanted was for someone to take decent photos of us and give me the images- with all the various sites out there for photos, I didn't need someone to print them for me. It was off to Craig's list for me, where I was able to find a student photographer who was willing to meet us at an area park and spend some time taking photos of the three of us. She would provide a CD of edited images and all right to the pictures. For $35. If I wanted her to come to our home, she would bring a second student (for safety reasons- smart girl!) and charge $50. Two photographers for $50, in my own home! Perfect! We had our photo session in the park a few days ago and I already have my images. There are some amazing shots of our son- candid and smiling! It was far less stressful than trying to get him to stay still in the studio and I didn't have to deal with rude people. Homerun!

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