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The 9 Best Portrait Photographers in Los Angeles

Hollywood is known for its film industry, but there’s a robust photography scene as well. Los Angeles attracts the bold and creative, and it seems each new generation brings even more talent to the table than the last. From portfolios filled with corporate headshots to work that includes artsy profiles, these photographers are incredibly skilled at capturing an individual’s personality. That said, here are the top portrait photographers in Los Angeles.

1. Molly Pan

Molly Pan’s energetic portraits rely on her ability to capture genuine emotion, even through rigid poses. Through her vigorous use of vibrant colors and soft, filtered light, Pan creates stunning portraits that bring out the supple inner glow of every skin tone. Her expert lighting techniques have made her one of the most sought-after portrait photographers in LA.

With a strong emphasis on catchlight and smooth highlights, Pan draws out the soulfulness of her subject’s eyes –– never settling for flat, emotionless headshots. Her preference for shallow depths of field places the viewer’s attention solely on her subject, while her post-production work adds sharpness. In her own words, Pan “loves to make those peepers pop,” which is evident by her creative collaborations with top makeup artists who are able to transform her clients into their most photo-ready selves.

2. April Staso

With a passion for visual problem solving, April Staso brings her client’s brands to life through clean, straightforward portraiture. From quirky conceptual advertisements to sun-soaked lifestyle editorials –– Staso’s knack for creating compelling and clear-cut images gives her vastly diverse portfolio a sense of cohesiveness and purpose. Whether she’s shooting for Genexa Pharmaceuticals or Orovo Jewelry, her unique style shines through.

3. Stacey Lamb

Stacey Lamb’s portraits are simple and chic. Using a handful of sophisticated color palettes, Lamb is able to capture natural-looking skin textures. Her choice of matte earth tones and creamy pastels draw attention to her subject’s softly lit faces. As an illustrator with a bachelor’s degree in studio art from Florida State University, Lamb went on to study studio lighting at Speos Photographic Institute in Paris, France. Her firm grasp on lighting and artistic background give her an edge among self-taught imagemakers –– allowing her to jump straight into actualizing her creative vision.

4. Anna Kharchenko

Anna Kay finds fulfillment in documenting the world around her. Her love for taking pictures of strangers led her to pursue a career as a portrait photographer –– with a focus on creating stories that showcase the unique personalities of those she shoots. She does this through careful collaboration with her clients, and creating mood boards that represent a thorough discussion of ideas and concepts. Kay’s goal is to make those in front of the camera feel celebrated –– something easily achieved only by those who have an inherent love for people. Her personality helps her to ease fears and self-consciousness, resulting in relaxed body language and facial expressions.

5. Christopher Brown

Christopher Brown brings New York street style to his portrayal of life in the City of Angels. Both gritty and glamorous, Brown’s portraits capture what it’s like to flow through the city as a local. He makes use of natural lighting, often shooting during “golden hour” –– the period of daytime just before sunset and after sunrise. His photos show an appreciation for female strength and beauty without resorting to overly sexualized content.

6. Ken Weingart

Ken Weingart’s cinematic portraits are centered around quiet sensuality and rebellious statements. His politically charged images use satire to encapsulate the Hollywood experience –– highlighting the ups and downs of life in the country’s second largest city. With a mix of dingy monochromes and glowing beauty shots, Weingart’s portfolio shows the diverse set of skills he brings to the table –– each proving to be invaluable to his craft. From carefully constructed headshots to relaxed fashion editorials, Weingart masterfully balances the needs of the shoot with his own eye for compelling imagery.

7. Barry Soorenko

Barry Soorenko is a photographer’s photographer. As an artist agent and owner of Photo Group Inc., Barry uses his formal education from the Maryland Institute College and years of experience to give fellow photographers the opportunity to develop their craft while continuing to develop his own. Soorenko’s work is distinct, with the notable insertion of whimsical, graphic patterns and immaculate lighting. His portraits are both fun and sophisticated –– possibly stemming from his divided time between Los Angeles and Washington, DC.

8. Sheri Angeles

Sheri Angeles may not have been named after her hometown of Los Angeles, but she embodies the creative spirit of LA like no one else. As a former red carpet photographer, Sheri developed a sense of what she wanted from her portraits –– and went after it. With a long list celebrity clients –– including Kim Kardashian, John Mayer, John Travolta, and Miley Cyrus –– Sheri Angeles has come a long way from the her days on the paparazzi battle lines.

Her travels have taken her to the ends of the earth, inspiring her to create images that feel exotic and nostalgic. Dim highlights and faded sepia overtones combine to make her prints feel like rediscovered vacation photos from long ago. Her work is expressive and emotional, often with a sense of pensive solitude.

9. Tony Bowen

One of LA’s best up-and-coming portrait photographers is Tony Bowen –– a talented entrepreneur with a knack for creating crisp and authentic photographs. Bowen’s choice of clean backdrops and diffused light are what gives his portraits their refined, flawless appearance. His use of negative space adds visual interest to his on-location portraits of people in motion, while golden tones and saturated blues highlight his subject’s shape and form.

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