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2024

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Best Portrait Photographers in Santa Monica, CA

Our Recommended Top 11

We did the research for you!

  • Licensing
  • User Reviews
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Our goal is to connect people with the best local professionals. We scored Santa Monica Portrait Photographers on more than 25 variables across five categories, and analyzed the results to give you a hand-picked list of the best.

39Reviewed

27Curated

11Top Picks

Learn about our selection process.

Providers

featured provider = Featured Provider

1034 12th St apt4, Santa Monica, CA 90403

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Facebook
5.0 (20)
Google
5.0 (1)

Why choose this provider?

Masha Allen Photography offers portraiture services for Santa Monica clients. Its photographer creates images using artistic lighting and creative composition techniques. She utilizes her experience as a fashion model for over 10 years to make her subjects feel comfortable in front of the camera. She guides them on facial expressions, poses, and postures to help capture their desired look. Masha also works as an artist. Her practice spans drawing and painting using both acrylic and oil mediums.

  • Family
  • Glamour

1639 11th Street, Suite A-114, Santa Monica, CA 90404

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Google
4.9 (67)
Yelp
4.8 (17)
Facebook
5.0 (4)

Why choose this provider?

Claudia Hoag is a photographer that has been serving Santa Monica and nearby locations since 2015. She specializes in taking headshots of clients who need professional portraits of themselves, whether for work or personal reasons. She adds shadows to display character and makes clients look confident. The photographer has worked with clients that include medical professionals, lawyers, accountants, architects, and CEOs. Claudia, who is a Certified Professional Photographer, also offers branding and commercial photography services.

  • Traditional

817 Pine St,, Santa Monica, CA 90405

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Google
5.0 (76)
Yelp
5.0 (22)

Why choose this provider?

Matt Misisco Headshots is a photography studio serving Santa Monica. Matt Misisco offers portrait photography services at a studio equipped with controlled lighting systems, a makeup table and chair, a clothing rack, and a changing room. He also provides headshots that concentrate on conveying clients' moods and unique personalities. A make-up artist is available to perform hairstyling and retouching, which involves skin color correction. Based on feedback from casting directors and agents, Matt has developed a photographic style that aims to elicit positive first impressions. 

  • Lifestyle

243 3rd Avenue, Venice, CA 90291

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Yelp
4.4 (111)
Google
4.6 (68)

Why choose this provider?

Joshua Monesson Photography captures professional headshots for clients in Santa Monica and the surrounding areas. The studio takes portrait shots for kids, actors, and corporate personnel. Its photographer, Joshua Monesson, has worked with over 1,000 individuals. He uses natural light in his photographs and has a mobile headshot truck to capture photos at the client's office. He also provides photography services for families, events, parties, products, and traveling individuals. Monesson has other studios located in Los Angeles and San Diego.

  • Family

Los Angeles, CA 90025

Expertise.com Rating

Why choose this provider?

Serving Los Angeles and the surrounding areas, Martin Chavez Photography is an established, skilled company, placing a special emphasis on capturing headshots for actors. Martin Chavez began his photography business in 2010 by working with actors in New York and has since then moved his company to the West Coast. He stays impressively current and knowledgeable by attending casting director workshops, helping him to be aware of what casting directors are looking for in actor's headshots. Martin goes above and beyond for his clients by keeping his prices conveniently affordable, and offering assistance from professional hair and makeup artists, who specialize in the acting and modeling industry, in order to make the result as desirable as possible.

Los Angeles, CA 90001

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Google
5.0 (64)
Yelp
5.0 (41)
Facebook
5.0 (39)

Why choose this provider?

Jenna Bechtholt Photography caters to clients in the Santa Monica metro and the surrounding communities. It offers portrait photography services, helping couples capture moments on their wedding day. Jenna, the photographer, takes pictures of the unique details of weddings, including the bridal party attire, DIY crafts, the reception venue, and special decorations. She also photographs the wedding cake and rings and documents the reception events, such as bouquet toss, first dance, and send-off. Additionally, Jenna handles lifestyle photo sessions.

  • Lifestyle

Santa Monica, CA 90405

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Yelp
5.0 (6)

Why choose this provider?

Russell Baer Photography is a portrait photographer in the Los Angeles area. The photographer is known for his celebrity shoots and also handles headshots for men and women, advertising shoots, and editorial spreads. Portfolios of past work can be perused on the studio's site as well as on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and contact information for booking and other info is available online as well. Russell Baer has captured the likes of Ben Affleck and Eva Longoria, has appeared on shows such as Access Hollywood and America's Next Top Model, and has received recognitions including a Certificate of Commendation from both the United States Congress and the City of Los Angeles.

725 Arizona Ave Suite 103, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Yelp
3.5 (122)
Google
4.4 (121)

Why choose this provider?

J. Elizabeth Portraiture serves families in and around the Santa Monica area. The studio takes family portraits that are rendered as paintings, catering to clients looking to have multi-generational heirlooms. Portraits come in two finishes: classic and museum. The former is a digital photograph rendered with painting effects while the latter is entirely rendered as a painting. J. Elizabeth Portraiture gives back to the community by supporting different organizations, including the American Cancer Society and the Alzheimer's Family Center.

  • Couples
  • Family
  • Fine art

Los Angeles, CA 90001

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Yelp
5.0 (41)
Google
5.0 (23)

Why choose this provider?

GoodHuman is a business photography firm that serves clients in Santa Monica and the neighboring cities. It offers seamless, team, and environmental portraits, which are shot with a more descriptive background to show off the clients' personalities and add depth to their business. It also takes photos and videos of architectural spaces, corporate events, and behind-the-scenes of the day-to-day operations of the company. GoodHuman has more than 30 years of advertising and annual report experience.

  • Lifestyle
  • Fine art
  • Glamour

Culver City, CA 90230

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Google
5.0 (16)
Yelp
5.0 (14)

Why choose this provider?

Denise Demarest Photography is an artistic portrait photography company serving the Los Angeles area. They focus on portrait photography and headshots. Denise also offers maternity. The photographic style is clean and vivid. Customers compliment the photographer’s ability to capture honest emotions and real-life moments. They also speak highly of the affordable pricing, smooth process, and satisfactory results.

1549 11th St, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Yelp
5.0 (50)
Google
4.9 (27)

Why choose this provider?

Bader Howar Photography caters to corporate executives, actors, fitness and fashion models, and casting agents in Santa Monica. The studio offers headshot, lifestyle, and product photography sessions. The sessions accommodate multiple location, wardrobe, makeup, and hairstyle changes. Bader Howar, the photographer, specializes in taking headshots that show off the client's persona, including distinctive facial quirks. She also makes headshots come alive for digital portfolios through custom animation. Bader has more than 15 years of professional photography experience. She has been featured on BACKSTAGE and Shoutout LA magazines.

  • Traditional

Compare our Top Portrait Photographers

NameExpertise RatingAddressPromotionsLearn more
Masha Allen Photography
1034 12th St apt4, Santa Monica, CA 90403
Claudia Hoag
1639 11th Street, Suite A-114, Santa Monica, CA 90404
Matt Misisco Headshots
817 Pine St,, Santa Monica, CA 90405
Joshua Monesson Photography
243 3rd Avenue, Venice, CA 90291
Martin Chavez Photography
Jenna Bechtholt Photography
Russell Baer Photography
J. Elizabeth Portraiture
725 Arizona Ave Suite 103, Santa Monica, CA 90401
GoodHuman
Denise Demarest Photography
Bader Howar Photography
1549 11th St, Santa Monica, CA 90401

FAQs

  • Introduction

    Portrait photography can be the perfect way to capture special moments for adults, children, couples, and families. It's a popular option for occasions, such as graduations, weddings, birthdays, and various milestones reached throughout childhood. However, you don't need a special reason to get a portrait professionally done, as there are many photographers eager to work with new clients at a reasonable rate.

    Professional portrait photography takes years of practice, and the right photographer can achieve results that go far beyond the typical selfie. A magnificent portrait can bring out the subject's inner qualities, allowing their unique personality to shine through for generations to cherish.
  • What is portrait photography?

    Portrait photography is the art of capturing a sitter's likeness with a camera. While this may sound as simple as snapping a quick shot with your mobile phone, the truth is that a truly good portrait photo is difficult to achieve. The goal of a high-quality photo is to capture the personality and emotions behind the subject.

  • What is the history of portrait photography?

    Since the invention of the first camera in 1839, portraits have been one of the most popular kinds of photos. However, way back when, photos needed an exposure time of 20 minutes or more, meaning you would need to sit completely still for that time or else end up with a blurry image.

  • Where can you learn portrait photography?

    Many art schools across the country offer degrees in photography, and some even have specialized classes in portraiture. This can be a good option for young photographers who want a well-rounded skill set. However, many dedicated portrait photographers are self-taught and rely on their portfolios to serve as their credentials.

  • How do you start a portrait photography business?

    Before starting a portrait studio, it's best to gain experience shooting your friends and family so you have a strong portfolio to show clients. Once you're confident in your work, try making a website where you can direct new businesses interested in having their pictures taken.

  • How to eliminate shadows in portrait photography?

    The secret behind many photographers' success is that photography is 50% editing. If you're working digitally, you can open up your pictures in editing software, such as Adobe Photoshop, and use its digital tools to manipulate shadows and highlights. If you prefer to work analog, the best way to mitigate shadows is proper lighting.

  • What are the four categories of portrait photography?

    The four categories of portrait photography are constructionist, candid, environmental, and creative.

    1. Constructionist photographs involve working with a photographer who will sit you in different poses and lighting to create the perfect shot from the ground up.
    2. Candid photos are taken with minimal setup, trying to capture their subject in the moment.
    3. Environmental photos try to capture subjects in their natural environment.
    4. Creative photography uses a variety of experimental techniques and elements to create an original image.

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