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Help a Mom: Searching for affordable photographers

Posted July 24, 2012

I received this email from a mom in Fayetteville last week:

I want to have a family picture done but don't want to spend an arm and a leg to get it either. I also have a daughter who is a rising senior and took her to have her senior photos done and they are not the best ... but they want over $300. for the package!

This mom specifically asked about Portrait Innovations in Fayetteville. If anybody has experience with getting pictures done there or elsewhere in Fayetteville, please share.

But I know that her question is one that many have - where to find inexpensive, but good quality options for pictures of kids and families.

If you have suggestions for finding cheaper options for professional portraits in and beyond Fayetteville, please share your comments below.

Do you have advice for this mom? Please share your tips in the comments box below. (If you don't see the comments box below, you'll need to log in or sign up for a WRAL account. You can do that by going to the top of the page and clicking on either "log in" or "register").

Help a Mom features questions from readers every Wednesday. If you have a question that you'd like to ask Go Ask Mom readers, click here to email it to me.


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  • snowl Jul 25, 2012

    Well, my sister loves JC Penny. She can afford the expensive professionals, but goes to JCP anyway.

  • americaneel Jul 25, 2012

    Use you Blackberry or iPhone, that should fit within your budget

  • southerncharmsfarm Jul 25, 2012

    **** I do not know her prices but I can promise you the most professional quality photos that completely reflect your family. I completely recommended Nicole Marie Photography.

    Check out her website:

    She has won mulitple brides choice awards for her weddings. Her photos are just breath-taking!!

    She has her bride packages listed but give her a shout for some price options, she did our son's 12 month photos and I will never use another photographer besides her! She captured our son and our country lifestyle so uniquely! I will always cherish these photos and already have another session scheduled with her!

    Give her a call!! I promise you will not be disappointed! She definitely makes them more that just 'photos'!

    Remember, these are her senior photos! Even if you do have to spend a little more with a photographer, it's all about the quality of their work.

  • rybecca913 Jul 25, 2012

    I am a photographer in Raleigh( and while my prices are probably more than a Portrait Innovations I am holding a big giveaway of a session and CD and prints this week at
    Other than that I would suggest that she look for photographers who are building their portfolios. It may take some intense searching but you can find really good photographers who are just starting to jump into the business side and are offering less expensive sessions in exchange for allowing them use of the images on their websites.

  • jacmic Jul 25, 2012

    In Raleigh...Jody Mahoney Photography... She has been taking pictures of my girls since they were 6 months and 3 (they are now 3 and 6) as well as lots of family pictures. She is very reasonable and has the ability to capture the moment...highly recommend her!

  • skaufman25 Jul 25, 2012

    Hi there! I am a photographer in raleigh and offer affordable portrait packages. My senior portrait package is $65 and comes with a cd of approx 30 edited images with a copyright release for you to print as you wish. Family sessions are $100 and come with approx 50 edited images on a cd.

    Please check out my website for details :)

    Or google Stacey K Photo

  • appgrad88 Jul 25, 2012

    I have used PI several times over the last year. I have been very happy with them. I can't get out without spending money, but if you are disciplined, you can. Make an early appointment and you will have attention. I recently took my youngest for pictures and had three outfit changes. ( ballet, soccer and preschool graduation) Love her pictures!

  • JAT Jul 25, 2012

    PI is very good - highly recommend.

  • moppie Jul 25, 2012

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Portait Innovations!!! I've been using the one in Cary for about 8 years. It's best to plan ahead to avoid the really busy times (Christmas, Easter, Graduations). Now that my kids are older, we typically only go around Christmas, but instead of going anytime in December, I try and make my appointment the week before Thanksgiving. If you go at a slow time, you get much better service and more face time with your photographer. One time we were the only family in the studio, and they really had fun with us :) I usually end up with the package that gets the CD, mainly because it makes them easier to email than having to scan the pictures to send. I have printed pictures from the CD before, and didn't have the issue with them being grainy like a previous poster.

  • lehrerin Jul 24, 2012

    I have a college student who's interested in photography take our family pictures. She's done so several times, always gives us fantastic pictures, and gives way more than she's promised us. You can see her work on her blog at Her prices are more than reasonable and although it takes a few weeks to get the pictures back, they're better than I've ever seen from a studio.