You don't need a high-priced photographer to capture important family memories. Everybody and their grandmother has a digital camera, plus one on their phone.
Sure for a wedding you are gonna want a pro. But for birthday's, Christmas Cards, graduations...you can do-it-yourself with a your own camera. Or ask your weird uncle who has a dozen different cameras to take pictures. It will keep him out of trouble and hopefully sober.
Heck we use even used our camera phone for our daughters First Communion. Personally I think the pics came out just fine. (she's 2nd from the left)