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Best Portrait Photographers in San Mateo, CA

Our Recommended Top 8

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



8Top Picks

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featured provider = Featured Provider
Crystal Wiggins Photography logo

Crystal Wiggins Photography

San Francisco, CA 94016 Rating

Why choose this provider?

Crystal Wiggins Photography is based in Providence, Rhode Island, and San Francisco, California, and additionally travels to the Boston, New York, and Los Angeles areas. Years ago Crystal became a professional photographer because she understands what it's like to feel awkward in photos and wants to make her clients feel at ease and frame them in a way that makes them look better than they ever thought they could. Her mission is to take photos that become cherished artworks and family heirlooms. She shoots weddings and portraiture. Clients praise Crystal's comforting demeanor and her ability to put her subjects at ease to allow their true personalities to shine through in their photographs.

San Francisco, CA Rating

Review Sources

5.0 (10)
4.0 (5)
5.0 (4)

Why choose this provider?

Jennifer Maesen Photography is a portrait photographer in San Mateo. Jennifer aims to inspire confidence and self-love in the different photos that she captures for her clients. This photographer can handle boudoir photography, family portraits, and themed photoshoots for seniors. Jennifer can help clients conceptualize the theme and prepare the necessary wardrobe and accessories to create timeless photos. Previous clients who have worked with this photographer have praised her for her professionalism and ease in directing her subjects.

El Granada, CA 94018 Rating

Why choose this provider?

Superb Imagery is a Half Moon Bay-based photography company run by Josh Murphy since 2012. Services include family portraits, headshots, candids, events, maternity photo sessions, and weddings. Sessions come with basic Lightroom edited, high-resolution photographs and ten enhanced edited images of your choice per hour of shooting. Maternity services feature one-day shoots or monthly sessions showcasing the progression of a pregnancy with ten free photos from each session. Private online photo galleries are available one week after a session; enhanced photos are available four to six weeks after clients select their photos. Josh is available to do events lasting up to ten hours. He accepts cash, check, and credit cards. A deposit is required for sessions over four hours.

San Mateo, CA 94403 Rating

Review Sources

5.0 (49)

Why choose this provider?

Photography by Jovanni is a photography service run by Jovanni Casaus. Located in San Mateo, Casaus serves numerous locations throughout the Bay Area, including Palo Alto, Mountain View, San Francisco, and San Jose. He provides packages for headshots, events, and portraits. There are special rates for actors, entertainers, and businesses. Packages include password-protected proofing pages, photo editing, and coaching of posing techniques. Event options require a two-hour minimum and do not have a limit on the number of photos taken. Sessions can be scheduled online, and a deposit is required upon scheduling. Clients remark on Casaus’ patience, relaxed coaching style, professionalism, and inspirational environment.

Alameda, CA 94501 Rating

Review Sources

5.0 (3)
5.0 (1)

Why choose this provider?

Anne Kohler Photography is a professional photography business located in Basel, Switzerland that serves clients in the surrounding metropolitan area and beyond. Originally from Alameda, California, the company has a social media presence on Instagram and Facebook and can be contacted for booking purposes by phone, via email, or through the messaging system on the company's official website. Anne Kohler Photography specializes in portraiture work, including photo shoots of people, landscapes, cityscapes, and products. The company is also available for family and children photo sessions and features its artistic and surreal photography projects on the gallery section of its website.

Portola Valley, CA 94028 Rating

Review Sources

4.5 (9)

Why choose this provider?

People interested in the services of Anna Dobrenski Photography can peruse the company’s diverse collection of portfolios to find a quality and style which suits their needs and desires. Ms. Dobrenski is the chief photographer and specializes in helping capture what it feels like to know the people in the pictures, not just their physical appearance. She has lived in many places throughout the United States and currently resides in Portola Valley, where she serves residents of the nearby communities. The company uses a modern, light-filled aesthetic in their portraiture. Individuals who request services from Anna Dobrenski Photography can choose from a few pre-made packages to determine which would work for them. The company allows clients to select images from packages for a discounted rate, or they can make their own on an a la carte system.

San Mateo, CA 94402 Rating

Review Sources

5.0 (10)
5.0 (10)

Why choose this provider?

Vandenbroeck Photography is a San Mateo, California based portraiture and documentary company. Owner Audrey has a long history of photographing clients of all types in all manner of situations, including engagement, lifestyle, and maternity sessions. All of Audrey's shoots are held on location and use natural lighting. Sessions come with editing services, and proofs are generally ready to be delivered to clients within three days of completion. Prospective customers interested in contracting Vandenbroeck Photography's services can contact the company by phone, through the company's online form, or via its social media platforms.

Redwood City, CA 94002 Rating

Review Sources

5.0 (5)

Why choose this provider?

Brad + Rachel Photography is a wedding and portrait photography business in San Francisco, CA. Brad and Rachel use a documentary style to their maternity, newborn, family, senior, and portrait photography, shooting for an hour and providing at least 45 edited photos for clients. The couple also photographs engagement sessions, with 90 minutes of shooting and 75+ edited photos. Brad + Rachel Photography also photographs weddings with two photographers and beginning-to-end coverage. Clients who refer others can get a $50 photo credit. Reviewers praise the couple for their photography skills and their ability to make subjects feel comfortable in front of their cameras.

Compare our Top Portrait Photographers

NameExpertise RatingAddressPromotionsLearn more
Crystal Wiggins Photography
San Francisco, CA 94016
Jennifer Maesen Photography
San Francisco, CA
Superb Imagery
El Granada, CA 94018
Photography By Jovanni
San Mateo, CA 94403
Anne Kohler Photography
Alameda, CA 94501
Anna Dobrenski Photography
Portola Valley, CA 94028
Vandenbroeck Photography
San Mateo, CA 94402
Brad and Rachel Photography
Redwood City, CA 94002


  • 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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