How To Find An Affordable Baby Photographer

how to find an affordable baby photographer

The first year of your baby’s life can be an expensive time. From investing in a new buggy, new cot, new car seat, to the seemingly endless supply of nappies, wipes and new clothes that your baby needs.

At the same time you may be managing on a reduced income while one or both of you take parental leave. So it’s understandable that you’ll want to make sure that every penny is well spent.

If you’re thinking about having some professional photographs taken of your baby, you may be questioning whether you can afford the investment. Perhaps you’ve looked at a few photographers’ websites, and you feel that the cost of the shoot is out of reach.

However, the good news is that there are ways to find cheaper photographers, and ways to make a shoot with other baby photographers more affordable.

Here are three ways to find a cheaper photographer:

  1. Find a photographer who is portfolio building
  2. Book a mini session
  3. Find a studio offering a special deal

If you know you’d like a shoot with a specific photographer, but the price is out of reach here are three ideas for making it more affordable:

  1. Ask for gift vouchers instead of birthday or Christmas presents
  2. Sell the baby items you no longer need
  3. Follow online tutorials and take the photographs yourself

Let’s look at each of these in more depth.


Find a Baby Photographer Who Is Portfolio Building

All baby photographers start somewhere and, for most it’s by offering shoots for free or at a heavily discounted price. This allows the photographer to develop their skills, and to build up a portfolio of work that they can show to prospective clients.

You may also find that experienced photographers sometimes run ‘model calls’ or ‘casting calls’ when they want to test new creative ideas, work on a personal creative project, or if they are teaching other photographers and need a baby to model for them.

The benefit of this approach is that you can have some baby photographs taken at a heavily reduced price, or sometimes even for free. However, bear in mind that if you’re working with a particularly new photographer the photographs may not be to the same standard as if you booked a shoot with an experienced photographer.


Book A Mini Session

Many photographers offer mini sessions, which may be shorter versions of their regular photo shoots, or short photo shoots with a particular theme – for example for Christmas, or in a special location such as a lavender field.

Usually mini sessions will take place on a specified date, and the photographer will offer a number of time slots on that day.

A mini session can be a very cost effective way of having your baby photographed; you’re essentially sharing the cost of the shoot with all of the other families having a mini session on that day, and they can offer significant savings over the photographer’s usual prices.


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Find a Photography Studio Offering a Special Deal

As you research different baby photographers you may come across some studios that offer special deals. For example – “a free shoot and a free print”, or “a baby photo shoot and a framed print for £X.” You’ll also find these deals on websites like Groupon.

This is quite a common marketing method in the photography industry, particularly amongst larger studios that employ multiple photographers. If you’re confident that you will only want to have the shoot and the free / discounted print then this can be a very cost effective (or even free) way of having your baby photographed.

However, these deals probably don’t cover the studio’s costs (running a photography business is expensive.) Instead the deals rely on the fact that most parents will not be able to walk away with just the free / discounted print once they see the photographs, and will spend more on extra prints and digital images.

So, if you choose one of these deals I recommend finding out how much the extra images will cost before you book so that you don’t end up with a much bigger bill than you expected at the end.

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Ask for Gift Vouchers Instead Of Christmas and Birthday Presents

You’ll probably find that your baby receives a lot of presents during their first year; when they’re born, on their first Christmas, on their first birthday, and probably many more occasions! This can also mean that you end up with a lot of stuff you don’t want or need.

Asking family members to buy gift vouchers for a shoot with your favourite photographer could be a good alternative to all of these gifts; and make your baby photoshoot more affordable.


Sell Baby Items You No Longer Need

If you’re anything like me, you’ll have found that within a few months you have a stack of clothes that no longer fit your baby, toys they’ve grown out of, and perhaps some baby things that you bought but have never used.

When my daughter was only 6 weeks old, I ended up selling the gorgeous Moses basket and stand that I’d bought because she just wouldn’t settle inside it.

If you’re in the same position, selling the items you no longer need could give you the cash you need to pay for your gorgeous new baby photos. Sites such as Ebay and Facebook Marketplace are very popular for selling baby items. If you prefer to do it in person, you could look for baby sales, or find a Mum2Mum Market.


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Follow online tutorials and take the photographs yourself

Finally, if the cost of a baby photo shoot still feels out of reach, you could take the photographs of your baby yourself.  

There’s no shortage of DIY tutorials on the internet that will teach you how to take some nice photographs of your baby, even if you’re just using your phone’s camera.

If you do decide to take this route, it’s very important to make sure that the photographs are taken safely. Some photographs that you see online – for example where a baby is propping their head up on their hands or in a swing – are not what they seem. These photographs are actually created by ‘stitching’ multiple photos together in Photoshop, and should never be attempted by anyone except for experienced newborn photographers.


Over To You

Your baby changes and develops so much during their first year, and capturing this special time with professional photographs is a wonderful way to remember just how little they were.

If you loved the idea of having a shoot, but couldn’t stretch to the cost I hope that these ideas have helped to make it more affordable for you.

I’d love to hear if you put any of these ideas into practice. Or perhaps you have some other ideas to make baby photography more affordable. Either way I’d love to hear from you. You can send me a message here, or let me know in the comments below.


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Picture of Clare Murthy

Clare Murthy

I’m a newborn, baby and family photographer working with families from South West London and Surrey. I specialise in timeless, natural photography with no props or unnatural posing. I photograph babies at my studio, and families in beautiful outdoor locations. I'm based on the Surrey / London border, close to Hampton Court.
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