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Affordable Child Photography

This post originally appeared 03.22.2006

A question from Molly:

Does anyone have any suggestions for photographing a two-year-old?  My mother will be in town for my daughter's second birthday, and she wants to get an "official" birthday photograph.  I'm not generally a huge fan of the posed studio shots, but if anyone has a recommendation for a studio, I might give it a try.  I prefer the idea of getting some great "natural" shot, but I'm not much of a photographer myself, and I know that hiring a professional photographer to capture your child frolicking about can cost an arm and a leg.  Any ideas or suggestions?

Did you know that one of our own is a superb photographer, specializing in family and child photos?  Last holiday season, Sarah offered her services for a Holiday Card Photo Shoot.  To see more examples of her work, see how she captures moments at our playdates or w[h]ine nights...  Heck, why not just check out all of cafemama's flickr photos!

We've also just received a email from Chris:

So...while I would love to go to Campbell Salgado for family photos, that's not in the budget right now. I would like to get some beautiful, unique portraits of my baby and preschooler, with a photographer who's not bound by convention or stuck in a corporate studio rut. Wise uMamas, whom do you recommend?


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Sarah's prices are very reasonable. You can find it on her site: http://www.cafemama.com/photos.html. Essentially, it is "$100 for the shoot, 30 4x6" professional prints, one 8x10" print". Also, fellow mama Sherri is also a photographer. You can check out her work at: http://www.sherri-diteman.com/

While Portland is full of fabulous, talented photographers, I have had the pleasure with working with one in particular, who did maternity shots of me and has now done my 3 year old every year since I birthed her. You can find her at www.amymcmullen.com.

As soon as I figure out how to post photos, I'll get her permission and post a couple of the fabulous shots she took of Kyra. Her style is very real, and natural, but she always gets very artistic results. Plus, she's an absolute doll AND fellow mother!

Give her a call!

Sophie Brock - Sugarplum Photography

$30 per roll of film (36mm or medium format)

pictures from $10.00 - $30.00

We did a session with Shayne at Catchlight Photography after reading all the urbanMama raves. We were thrilled with our photos and so pleased that she gave us a disk to keep. Her price was super too.


We haven't received our pictures back yet but we had Lisa from Lisa Warninger photography take pictures of our daughter last weekend. She was really wonderful to work with. She also came to our home to take the pictures which works best for our daughter who clams up in the studio setting with a stranger taking her pictures. She was much more open to having them taking at home in her own environment. We actually came across her site from an earlier post on UM's.


We also had Lisa Warninger and do have our photos back, they are fabulous! Everyone who has seen them loves them. Lisa was amazing with my 6 year old son and 9 week old daughter, I felt like she was an old girlfriend. I highly recommend her!

A friend of ours does beautiful maternity and children's portraits. Her name is Jennifer Brinkman and can be found at http://www.brinkmanphoto.com.

Rebekah Johnson is an amazing photographer who shot our wedding but does portraits as well ($250-300 about 75 proofs that are finished and perfect plus web gallery). Worth checking out her website. http://www.rebekahjohnson.com/ She is easy to work with, has a firecracker personality and is someone who understands how to get people to forget there is even a camera in the room.
I recently asked her who she would recommend because I am sure there are photographers as good as Cambell-Selgado but not nearly as expensive. Here is what she said:

"I like my fine friends at http://www.thesidewalkstudio.com Jill and
Chuck. Good people. Good Photography. Probably in the $200- 300
package range.
If someone is charging very little for session they may just nail
you if you actually want to buy a hard copy print. Be wary of huge
print prices following small session prices. Pro photography is VERY
expensive overhead wise and we can't stay in business doing free
sessions unless we chase the subject down and convince them to by a
40x40 print in the end."
I have seen the Cambell Salgado prints, they are AMAZING, but they are not the only photographers in town that can do such work. I say spread the wealth and see what you can find...

We can't say enough about Shayne Berry. We love the photos she captured of our two boys. The session was really fun and her price was really low considering how how professional the photos look. She was the only pro photographer we could find that would give us a disc without paying hundreds of dollars. Her urbanMamas special was posted here:


I had Amy Mcmullen take my "Big Belly" shots and she was GREAT! I was almost 2 weeks past my due and decided that I didn't what to forget how amazing my pregnancy was. Amy was great, she came right over and took the most natural photos of me around the house - they are beautiful. www.amymcmullen.com

I have recently met Lennea Osterberg through friends and she takes beautiful Black and White protraits of children - mostly children on the move. She will be at the Portland French School Holiday Fair this weekend and at the Holiday Kiddie Disco on Dec. 9th. Check out www.Osterbergphoto.com or www.kiddiedisco.blogspot.com to see the details of her photo sessions at the event.

I have to chime in about the beauty that is Shayne's photography. We did a photo shoot this weekend and every photo of my little girl is stunning. I can't recommend her enough.

---very pleased mama in se

oui oui oui!
shayne (http://www.shayneberry.com) is so wonderful! our children adore her sweet intuitive nature which is a magnet for beautiful child moments caught on lens. we are so pleased with her aesthetic and ability to subtly relate to the vibe of our group.

she is a natural and it really shows in the end. the kids are more relaxed with shayne in contrast to formal studio appointments. we absolutely recommend her work.

Jeanette at shortcake photography shortcakephotography.com takes outdoor pictures and is very reasonable.
She also donated to our school auction and I think it is important to give my business to companies who support our schools.
Campbell Salgado did photos for us too, they are beautiful; also, big supporter of schools, pricey (but worth it.)

I am giddy about the gorgeous photos we just got back from Shayne at Catchlight Photography. She was a blast to work with and gives you a disc of the photos. The cost was $125, total! We saw her work on the walls at Bella Stella and I could only hope that ours would turn out as beautiful, and they are! Just had to share our find!


We just love Erin Berk Photography- Our freinds told us about her and WOW --Such sweet images of our family.!!! She is easy going and playful- We are in love with our photo's!!! She takes her time, and gives you a little book with a bunch of photo's of your session...Check her out!
her blog:

e are so thrilled with our photos from Shayne Berry of Catchlight Photography! She had taken the photos at my son's school so we did a family session. Her style is very arsty and she has a wonderful way with kids. The session was fun and easy, (even my husband said so!) We will treasure the images she caught of our 2 kids. Her price is amazing ($125) and we love having the disk. She recommended a printing lab that was really inexpensive and the prints are spectacular.

wow! thanks for the kind words mamas. It has been so lovely meeting all of the UrbanFamilies! I'm looking forward to catching up with you in the future to see how those babes are growing.

Wishing you a wonderful new year!


We just love the photos from Erin Berk Photograhpy ! www.erinberkphoto.com!!!
Her work speaks for itself, she is very talented, and great with our kids! WE are Very happy with our family portraits!

hope this thread has room for one more comment about Campbell Salgado Studio. My first experience with Campbell Salgado was over eight years ago, while pregnant with my twin daughters. Eager to capture memories of our pregnancy, my husband and I booked a portrait session. The resulting photographs were so breathtaking that we have returned to Campbell Salgado Studio each year since, trusting Francisco and Kim to capture the gentle changes in features, expressions, and relationships in our family. And they do so, beautifully, every single time. I have been so thrilled with Campbell Salgado Studio that I recently began assisting them with marketing, so I could share my experiences with other families in the area.

Because past posters have mentioned budget constraints, I wanted to let everyone know that in addition to their legendary services, Campbell Salgado Studio now has a new lower-priced offering that still provides a truly unique studio experience.

Two Campbell Salgado Studio employees – Leah and Kelly – were recently promoted, and are now “Associate Photographers.” Working with Leah or Kelly means that you will still get all the benefits of working with a talented staff who will provide you with a planning session, an extended portrait session, a multi-media presentation, and a framing consultation, but at a significant savings (up to 25% off portraits.)

Leah and Kelly will be available for a limited number of sessions each week, and of course, Francsico and Kim are still available to capture your family’s precious moments in their own inimitable style.

To learn more about the latest offerings from Campbell Salgado (including some really wonderful holiday specials), please visit our blog at http://campbellsalgado.com/blog/.

We used our friend's wedding photographer, Heather Hawksford, this year for family photos and she was SO GREAT with the kids. Before she even snapped a picture she started earning the kids' trust by playing games with them for a few minutes and really getting into their world. The result was truly authentic and beautiful photos that captured the magical moments between all of us. When she was leaving the kids kept asking her to stay the whole day. Wow! Thank you Heather!! Oh, and her print prices start really low at only $6. We were happy to be able to order a lot more for the rest of the family. We'll definitely call her again for the next batch.
You can see her work at:

I've got to give props to Jen Downer of She Saw Things photography:

Her style is very natural, creative, FUN, and expressive. She has tons of experience with family portraits and babies. Her photos are not a stiff in-studio portrait style at all, but she comes to your home or other favorite location to capture you and your family in a natural setting. I really loved how she captured our family's personality and essence! Very affordable rates too and excellent service. Check her out!

We have had good luck with affordable family photography through O'Callaghan Photography. Here is her link: http://www.ocallaghanphotography

The owner Carrie is very personable and gives us all of the images for a very good price.

Oh. My. Goodness.
Laura Blackheart (www.ladystardust.com) just delivered some amazing photos of my dear little Greta to my mailbox this morning. And that's after spending a wonderful, relaxing afternoon with her during a photo shoot at our home. I can't recommend her enough...

If you are interested in natural light images you should check out
E.C. Photography Portland . The difference we noticed with Elizabeth and Christian is that they work together and because they are both shooting at the same time , we had both posed and candid shots and double the amount of shots to choose from in half the time . Our children loved them and they are both mothers as well . I felt comfortable with them and the images were amazing ! http://ecphotographypdx.wordpress.com is their blog address and it is fun to keep up with their facebook page because they do mini-sessions often that are half the cost !!!

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