Professional photographer Portia Shao's artistic intuition imbues everything she captures on film, from her evocative portraiture to her impressionistic Polaroid SX-70 snap shots. Dividing her time between watercolor painting and photography, Portia seamlessly melds the two disciplines and exercises her skills across a wide range of subjects. Her landscapes portray the vastness of natural sites around the world, stitching multiple photos together to create panoramic scenes of the Himalayas at sunrise, and her portraiture draws out the essence of each subject she shoots, which makes for pictures more personal than a monogrammed set of headgear.
Beyond her own artistic vision, Portia strives to craft images that please her clients. Before each shoot, she leads visitors around her studio, leafing through samples, discussing clothing ideas, and devising lighting schemes. After each pop of the flash bulb, images show up directly on a high-definition TV, allowing for instantaneous feedback. Even with these fail-safe client-satisfaction measures in place, Portia stands by her work with a Be Thrilled or Bust guarantee, which promises a complimentary re-shoot or reprint if clients are unsatisfied with their shots.
"Candid romanticism" is the pet term Jessica Riggle, owner of Sweet Pea Photography, uses for her photojournalistic approach to weddings. Though she saves plenty of time for traditional family photos, Jessica prefers snapping candid images that capture newlyweds at their most genuine. Jessica strikes the same balance between posed and candid pictures during on-location shoots of families and engaged couples or in the studio when taking portraits of newborns.
Amid the white sands of sunset-lit beaches and wildflowers of grassy fields, or even the bright lights of his professional photography studio, Jesse Gabriel transforms his subjects into printed portraits with clicks of his camera. After spending years traveling across the country, photographing the natural landscape and the people in it, Jesse Gabriel, along with his wife and business partner, Susan, opened Jesse Gabriel Photography to fulfill Jesse’s dream of running his own studio. Jesse specializes in shooting family, children, high-schoolers posing for senior photos, and seniors posing as high-school students.
After mastering her photographic skills by capturing images of her own family for five years, Colette Grina decided to focus her lens on the general public. At Beautiful Contrasts Photography, she snaps portraits of families, weddings, kids, newborns, and expectant moms. Wielding a store of props such as hats and swaddle wraps, subjects strike poses during on-location sessions, which Colette holds at Monterey’s scenic parks and beaches. She relies entirely on natural light to illumine her subjects in every photo, preserving high-resolution images on CDs and in print form.
Ocean Blessing Photography's skilled snap-shooters, boasting degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, University of the Pacific, and Gent University, favor a photojournalistic approach to capture genuine, spontaneous moments. Though they specialize in nuptial-related photography, the group also excels at family- and senior- portrait services as well as seasonal images proving the existence of Santa Claus's unicorn. The photographers sport professional Canon digital SLR cameras, lenses, and flashes in addition to professional software and hardware for editing and retouching, which results in artistic, completely polished photographs. Clients can peruse the FAQ for clothing recommendations and methods for befriending timid tripods.
Photographer Eric Auffhammer got his first taste of making art when his mom introduced him to oil painting when he was nine years old. Fast-forward to the present, and he’s working toward an MFA in photography, winning awards and accolades along the way. Through Eternity Fine Portraits, Auffhammer specializes in wedding photography as well as portraits of children, newborns, and families. His portrait work is done on location, allowing clients to select sites of special importance, such as a favorite picnic spot or haunted backyard swing set.
When she graduated with a degree in photojournalism nearly two decades ago, Kendra Stone-Hinds wanted her pictures to tell a story—not in newspapers, but in family photo albums and frames. For her, it’s a gift to snap wedding photos, chronicle pregnancy’s curves, capture a family’s growth, and beyond—she gets to be a part of the journey and help her subjects to remember each step.
Kendra’s images capture energetic moments, unique viewpoints, and striking contrasts. A versatile shutter snapper, she fills her portfolio with vibrant shots of weddings, expectant moms, and babies.