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Thinking Outside the Box… Again…


I wanted to have some maternity photos taken before the baby decided to make an appearance. Thinking it wouldn’t cost more than a couple hundred dollars for a decent photographer, I started to research my area for recommendations.

Apparently I’m WAY out of the loop on the actual cost of a photographer.

Starting price? $600. Top of the range? Prices not listed because if you have to ask… you can’t afford it.

Yes, we have money saved in our baby fund but when it comes down to spending an extra week or two with the baby OR having maternity photos, I choose baby time.

Of course, this made me break down into a giant puddle of tears. There’s nothing worse than a woman who can’t have what she wants… unless it’s a PREGNANT woman who can’t have what she wants.

So. I called for reinforcements.

SNIFFFFFFFFLE. *ring* “Liz? Ican’taffordmaternityphotosbecausewe’rebrokeandI’msosad.Pleasehelpme” I sobbed in a single breath into the phone to my sister.

“Huh?” she said.

I probably should have had my level headed husband call so she could understand at least a few words.

She eventually figured out what I was crying about (…this time…) and offered to take photos for us.

I researched poses and locations while she studied how to adjust the F-stop and ISO on a camera. We spent a couple nights at the beach and the park chasing sunlight and snapping photos. Sure, she isn’t a pro and I’m not a good subject, but you learn to accept you can’t have everything you want while paying off mistakes *cough* I mean, while paying off debt.

I’ll admit. I didn’t expect much. BUT…

I’m so happy with the way the photos turned out. Who knew my sister was a closet photographer?

It’s easy to give up, but don’t. Constantly look for ways to think outside the box. You may be pleasantly surprised.


  • Reply Money Beagle |

    My wife used to work and became friends with someone who did photography on the side. She’s started doing some photo shoots on the side, and did ours for $50 and they turned out wonderfully! $600 is ridiculous! Good that you found someone much cheaper (free even?) and that you’re happy with them.

    Congrats again.

  • Reply christa |

    Those turned out great! For baby pictures I always used the coupons that Sears, JCPenny or Wal-Mart sent out for the $10 packages. That’s even how we got our engagement pictures! You could also find a photographer to barter with or keep an eye out for groupon specials. Congrats!

  • Reply Crystal |

    The pictures came out great! Thanks for sharing. Congratulations on the new baby. I’m looking forward to hearing more about this next stage in your personal and financial life!

  • Reply mom |

    Love them! All of them came out so beautiful. Your sister did a great job….. you owe her big time… 😉 Love, mom

  • Reply Holly |

    They are BEAUTIFUL!

    When my kids were babies (which was a decade + ago), Sears had a thing called Smile Savers I think. We had free sittings and great package deals for a year or something like that. I was intent on doing three, six, nine, and twelve month pics, and they always turned out great. And I spent very little.

  • Reply Nicole |

    They are beautiful! Are you sure she’s not a secret professional photographer, and you a model? 😉 Really really nice.

    And the price is so much better than $600!

    Congratulations again on your little guy! Hope the adjustment is getting easier by the day.

  • Reply Alexandria |

    My disdain for the price of photos started when a friend quoted a *Deal* of $1000 for my wedding photos. Was the starting price. (We decided our many amatuer friends could do the job – pro bono).

    Of course, that was a decade ago. In this day and age? I see friends shelling out $600-ish over and over for family photos (several times a year??). I’ve never hired a professional. We can get similar quality with DIY. It helps that my dad is an amateur and has tons of fancy camera equipment. We have some GREAT candid shots of the kids – the type I know costs hundreds professionally.

    I could understand the draw of the pricey professional if it wasn’t the year 2011 and all this technology wasn’t so cheap and accessible!

    Glad you figured it out and got nice photos after all.

  • Reply Margie |

    Those photos are gorgeous! I can’t believe a photographer would charge $600 for a maternity photo shoot. Crazy!! While I opted not to do maternity photos, I did already book my newborn shoot for approx a week after my due date with the same photographer who did my wedding. She’s charging us $150.

    I’m so glad you went with your sister – she did a great job and you look beautiful!

  • Reply HS @ Our Debt Blog |

    You look great! we hope to be pregnant soon too!!

    Good luck with everything,


  • Reply cindy |

    we did the same thing this christmas! my husband took family photos of us (and i was 8 months pregnant) i love the picture of you laying on the bench in red! she did a great job.

    i was wondering based on a couple of your other pictures if you were really ever going to look pregnant 😉

  • Reply Suzanne |

    You look radiant! Way more special that a family member took the pictures.

  • Reply Internationalmom |

    Your photos came out beautifully and the price was perfect : ) Just went through the whole expensive photographer nightmare when my oldest daughter married in March. Were very happy with the woman we did make arrangements with, but oh what a process!!!!

  • Reply ib |

    Another option would be to use photography students/novice. There are many photographer who are just starting out their career/portfolio. They often post on kijiji/craiglist. A lot of time you can get a photoshoot done for free/very little money. Plus you get all the photos. The downside is that you have to do all the printing yourself, plus it might not turn out. Plus, you might have to figure out all your poses yourself.

    We used a family friend who was just starting his portfolio for our wedding, the pictures were awesome. It turned out just as good as my sister’s wedding pictures done by the $3000 photographer.

  • Reply Tara |

    Beautiful pictures!!! I wish I had done something to document my pregnancy.. there are very few pictures of me pregnant.

  • Reply Janette |

    Have your sister start looking at the Anne Geddes books at the library. We did some amazing photos of my grandson using her books as an inspiration. It was easy—and so much better than the professional photos!

    My son and daughter in law are paying $1500 for their wedding pictures—without any prints! What a rip off!

So, what do you think ?