Photos for free… or close to it!

Professional photos can be such a great tool when planning an event – for invitations, for that signable photoframe, for take-away photo frames, the list goes on. When planning on a budget, one of the best ways to get semi-professional photos (no one will know the difference most of the time!) is to contact amateurs, students or someone you know who is trying to break into the photography industry.

When we wanted engagement photos taken, I turned to the first place that I look for ANYTHING (including my husband… long story) – CRAIGSLIST! I put a posting under Gigs:Creative saying that we would be happy to be the subject for any photographer who wanted to have some engagement-type photos for his/her portfolio. I got a TON of responses and chose the one who was the most professional and energetic in her emails. She did a GREAT job and we used those photos through out our wedding planning process. We also just did family photos with a friend who is trying to break into the photography industry and wanted baby & family photos for his portfolio. He was cheap (35 bucks) and we both gained a TON from the experience!Some great places to ask for free photos – or offer to be guinea pigs for free, however you want to look at it:

  • Your local photography school or department
  • An email to friends/family.
  • Some suggestions for making the experience good for both you and the photographer:

  • Be clear about what you’re willing to pay or not pay
  • Be clear about what the end-product should be
    Example: 4-5 .jpgs on CD, both high- and low-resolution
  • Wear colors that work & NO loud patterns
    Example: I always use blue, white and khaki for photos with more than one person in the shot – it brings variety, softness, and makes for a clean photo
  • Come with ideas – look online at other photographer websites – send those to your chosen photographer
  • Bring your energy – be enthusiastic about the photoshoot – it will show in the end!
  • Below are some examples from the shoots that I mention above.
    Good luck with your “new” modeling career – Say Cheese!

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