How much do family portrait photos cost?

Average cost in 20149: $160 See National


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The average cost for a portrait photographer is $160. You are likely to spend between $100 and $250 total. Exact price may vary depending on your area and project details.

Updated May 1st, 2017

Next Step: Find out exactly how much your project will cost.

Professional photographers take family portraits year-round. Family portrait sessions may take place at the customer’s home, in a photo studio or outdoors. People often request a specific style of family portrait such as traditional or classic, candid, artistic (focused on lighting and composition) or in natural settings. Several factors can affect the cost of family portraits.


Many photographers offer set packages for family portrait sessions. The rate generally varies based on what is included, such as the number of edited photos, outfit changes and so on. Here are a few examples of family portrait packages and what is included:

  • Bliss Photography, Overland Park, Kansas: $175 for a one-hour studio

  • CameraKoala Photography, Midway, Georgia: $200 for a one-hour studio or outdoor session, including two outfit changes, access to an online gallery, and about 200 high-resolution, edited digital photo files on a DVD, with permission to print

  • J.J. Bentley, Torrance, California: $400 for a one-hour outdoor session and 25–30 fully edited photos accessible online or via CD/DVD

  • Ashley Hamm Photography, Arlington Heights, Illinois: $425+ for a one-hour outdoor or in-home session and 50+ professionally edited images, online access and print release


Some photographers offer family portrait sessions at an hourly rate. Rachel Grahmann Photography & Design charges $125 per hour, including the in-office time of retouching prints and digital files. An hourly fee can help photographers accommodate for energy and focus concerns when working with pets or small children.

Photo delivery

Some photographers quote only the cost of the photo session in their prices, while other photographers include the cost of access to the photos in their price. Common methods of photo delivery can include access to an online gallery, CD/DVD or flash drive.

Makeup services

Photographers may offer makeup services for family portraits. Makeup application almost always costs extra, unless this service is specifically included in a package price. Makeup application can cost anywhere from $50–$150 per person, depending on the specific services requested.


Depending on the location of the photo shoot, photographers may charge a travel fee. For example, Rachel Grahmann Photography & Design, based in San Antonio, Texas, charges a fee for travel if a photo shoot is outside of the city. Her base rate of $125 per hour can fluctuate up to $200 per hour to reflect her travel time and transportation expenses.

Reputation and location

Famous and high-profile photographers often have higher rates than those without an established following. A photographer’s geographic location can also play a role in family portrait photography rates. Photo sessions in more rural areas and smaller towns generally cost less than in metropolitan areas.

Pets and props

Many family portraits include pets or props. Often the photographer will not charge an additional fee to include furry friends in the photos. Also, many photographers have simple props that may be included in a package or hourly fee. Be sure to inquire about specifics before signing a contract.

Studio fees

Prices may be higher if a photo shoot takes place at a studio rather than at an outdoor or home location. Higher overhead expenses to the business owner and typically more lighting and staging equipment can lead to increased costs to the customer.

Cost-saving strategies

Before paying a deposit, ask whether access to the final photos is included in the cost of the photo shoot, and if so, how they will be delivered. Receiving all the photos from a photo shoot is not always included and can dramatically increase overall costs if the customer has to buy the rights to them from the photographer separately.

Pro tip:

  • Plan to pay a deposit up front to secure family portrait sessions. Some photographers require a nonrefundable 50 percent deposit for photo shoots, so be sure to plan for a day you can commit to.

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Recent reviews

Viola Jean Photography

Perfect. Viola is very talented. She made it so easy for our family. She was great at directing us, she tried everything to get our baby to smile without the slightest sign of being frustrated. She knows gorgeous locations and is extremely generous with sending back photos. I can't say enough good things. We will hopefully be booking her again in the winter. I'm thrilled about our photos! They are magazine worthy.

Belle & Sam Photography

We hired Mic to take pictures recently of our 7-month daughter, both solo shots and with our entire family (6 adults) and loved the results! The following was our assessment of her services: (1) Planning the photo-shoot: After I reached out to Mic and discussed our interest to photograph my little one, she got back to me within a few days with ideas of posing, recommendations for outfits (which we totally agreed!), her availability of backdrops and lights if needed, an openness for both outdoor and indoor shoots within a 3-4 hr window and kind of pictures that we could do. We liked that she was detail-oriented, structured and quick to respond. She was accommodative of our interests to take solo shots, photo ideas and candid style shots. (2) Interaction: Really easy to talk to, sweet and professional, both Mic and her husband Brian (who helps out in the session) were great to work with. They were really patient and understanding with the loud cheer and animal sounds we had to perform to get our little one's attention, expressions and smiles! Yes, it was one loud party! They recommended the backgrounds to use for posing indoors. (3) The actual session: Mic and Brian arrived on time, adapted to the natural lighting of our home and commenced their work quickly. We were quite oblivious of time and posing because of our little one, but the team caught the stills whenever possible and were clicking away for candid shots. We did a couple of location changes (which Mic suggested) and glad that we went with their suggestions. The whole session lasted almost 2 hours. The team was enthusiastic and was still poised to continue the sessions outdoors but we wound it up when our daughter got overwhelmed and tired. Overall, it was fun, relaxed and our ideas were incorporated on the go. Their new faces, voices and cameras interested our little one to glance in their directions quite often! (4) Photographs: The pictures turned out really beautiful. Mic had captured the right expressions, emotions, with pictures taken from different angles making them interesting and a great eye for creative shots. The candid shots were the best! We had a variety including headshots, our daughter's expressions, movements, group pictures, and mom-daughter, dad-daughter pictures. Kids are never static and does take several tries to take great pictures of them. Mic accomplished that! We could hardly pose for pictures because of the level of squirm and activity that a 7-month old was capable of, but were quite impressed with the pictures taken by the two of them. (5) Price: Mic's services were really affordable and helped meet our price and budget. She is definitely on the reasonable end for baby photography. Unlike many photographers who have a separate price for all the pictures they take, we had an option to keep all the pictures in memorabilia for the same price and use them for framing in future. (6) Post-session: The pictures were available for viewing within a week and the full spectrum in less than a couple of weeks. Mic kept us updated about the time frames and delivered on time which was awesome because we were eager to see them all! It was easy to use her gallery for viewing, sharing and downloading pictures. Yes, we really enjoyed the session as a family and were more than satisfied with the captures. Mic was a great find and obviously, we will continue to choose her the next time for our photo sessions! Highly recommend to anyone seeking a great photographer for their family portraits.

Samantha Pennavaria Artistry

Samantha did an EXCELLENT job with my fiancé and I. She made our picture taking experience extremely comfortable, made us feel at home the whole time! Our pictures turned out amazing, you can even check some out on her Facebook page! I really appreciated how she included hair or makeup for free(July special) then we chose to do both for a very reasonable price! Her price overall was much cheaper than other offers I was given and her service really was worth a lot more. She postponed a day due to rain without any issues at all. Samantha is a true professional with a great personality and awesome photography skills. I would recommend her to anyone that wants amazing pictures at a great price!