Click here to see the photos.

I love craigslist. In addition to lots of good job postings and a great way to recycle old stuff I want to get rid of (like my old BBQ grill), it can be a great place to find services. Amy and I are big photography buffs. We have taken Mason to several photo shoots at places like K-Mart, and generally they are OK, but not very interesting. So how can you get a good photographer to take quality family photos without spending a lot of money? Enter Craigslist.

I put up a craigslist posting in the Creative section of the Gigs area asking for photographers who want to build their portfolios and earn a little money. I was overwhelmed by the responses, I think I had almost 50 responses within seven days. April O’Hare offered a good deal. She would shoot a roll of film (24 exposure) and give us 4×6 prints of all of them as well as a CD with high resolution scans of the negatives for $50. Not a good deal, a GREAT deal. She has since raised her rates, $80 for the session and an additional $10 for the CD, but still a good deal.

Not only that, but she did not have a website. I ended up trading services with her. I am building her a website (its almost done, www.apriloharephotography.com) and instead of cash compensation I get a credit towards services from her. It’s working out great!

There are two things that make Craigslist more a societal culture shift than a website. The first is the trend towards recycling items that would normally be heading towards a landfill (SOMEbody wants my old patio chairs, I’m sure). The second is the reappearance of the bartering system. Not only can you haggle, but you can offer non-traditional forms of compensation. I actually saw a posting of a girl offering her… oral services in exchange for someone doing about 20 loads of laundry for her. I’m not saying thats good or bad, just interesting. If you have a skill, you can now get more for your money by trading that skill in exchange for goods or services from others. A plumber can fix someone’s clogged drain while the guy fixes his laptop.

Anyway, on to my adorable family!