Well, I have been shooting portraits with 8x10, 11x14 and 14x17. My favorite has to be my Century 8A Studio camera. A dream to use. I do have a nice setup for the 14x17 and as far as cost goes try shooting x-ray film for portraits and retouching the negatives. I love it! This is an 8x10 I did of my son. Can't post the bigger stuff yet but you get the idea. The image is a carbon transfer print from x-ray film.