The 10 Best Lifestyle Photographers in Los Angeles
Lifestyle photography is something of a catch-all term used to indicate pretty much any kind of photography that is narrative, natural, and yet not so candid or unplanned that it can be called photojournalism (even though, of course, most lifestyle photographers make use of photojournalistic techniques, and many of their best shots are semi-candid, occuring between shots, or between poses). When we set about choosing the 10 best Los Angeles lifestyle photographers, we chose to use a slightly narrower definition of lifestyle photography. Our photographers are all visual storytellers, sure, but we’ve chosen photographers who help tell the stories of brands, or who help individuals tell the stories of their personal brands.
These 10 Los Angeles lifestyle photographers work with influencers, individuals, fashion and makeup lines, airlines, car companies, and really just about any type of organization you can think of to create compelling, beautiful, on-brand visual stories that connect with real people. And it is their impeccable skill in this pursuit that makes them the very best Los Angeles lifestyle photographers.
Grant Puckett is an LA-based lifestyle photographer with a knack for capturing the freedom of youth and the yearning for adventure. His photographs tell stories of thrill seekers, of wild young rebels who are more at home in the vastness of nature or the wilderness than they are trying to conform and walk the same path a hundred million people walked before them. If you’re looking for a photographer to tell your story, to capture your essence in a relatable yet authentic and totally original manner, take a look at Grant Puckett’s portfolio. His photos are dramatic, dynamic, light-filled hymns to exciting lives lived with open hearts and one-of-a-kind trailblazers. And if this describes you—or your brand—Grant Puckett just might be the best Los Angeles lifestyle photographer for you.
Rocco Ceselin’s work has been featured in Emmy Magazine, GQ, and Marie Claire, among others. His style is quite versatile, ranging from glossy and friendly, to dramatic, narrative, and rebellious. The stories he’s able to convey with his photography are at times quite unique, even singular—and yet he is always able to make them relatable and accessible. If you want a Los Angeles lifestyle photographer who can convey the whole gamut of human emotion, from joy to fear, from love to solitude, all while creating pictures that communicate in an accessible, friendly manner––an artist whose work builds meaning through forging connections, and never through exclusion or alienation––then check out Rocco’s brilliant portfolio.
3. Jenna Alcala
Jenna Alcala is another super-talented visual storyteller. Whether you’re an influencer, producing compelling content to convey the story of your growing brand, or you’re representing a makeup company who needs a gifted visual messenger to help you target a new and younger audience—Jenna Alcala is 100% up to the task. Her ultra-modern photographs are both aware of the visual shorthand that Instagram photos use to communicate, and able to subvert these shortcuts in unique ways. The effect of her personal style is photographs that are glamorous and able to create an immediate feeling of recognition in a younger audience—all while conveying an uncanny sense of newness that is difficult to explain. She’s really the ideal lifestyle photographer for any brand that needs to connect with a digitally-savvy yet fashion-forward audience. Check her out.
Mary Costa takes colorful lifestyle photographs that are at times intimate and filled with love, and at times whimsical and so lighthearted that they seem to float. She’s got an incredible eye for styling a photograph, and is regularly able to create rich, multi-layered photographs that seem simple at first, and then begin to unfold, layer by layer, into rich, compelling stories. We love how her photos are both ultra-hip, and yet have just the right touch of humble self-consciousness, which allows her images to come across just as friendly as they are artistic. Mary is a remarkable talent with an uncanny ability to tell deep stories without too many set pieces. If you’re creative, there’s no limit on what the two of you can accomplish together.
5. Todd Tyler
Todd Tyler is a commercial lifestyle photographer with a glamorous, youthful style. His photographs are filled with light and joy, and composed with the eye of an extraordinary artist. We appreciate the fact that he doesn’t steer away from the nostalgic, or from good old-fashioned Americana, and instead joyfully tells the classic American tales of friendships formed over a couple cold Cokes, and barefoot young lovers walking through the surf. All the classic icons of Americana are lovingly represented in his commercial work—youth, wealth, sun and sand, friendship, lovers vs. the world, and the joys of good health—and with Todd’s uniquely modern take on these time-tested concepts, his photos all seem new, never dated.
They’ve got the familiarity of an old friend you haven’t seen since high school: they look the same, and yet totally different. We love the stories he’s able to tell by tapping into these feelings of recognition and then turning them on their head, and we’re betting you will, too.
6. Mark DeLong
We love photographers like Mark DeLong who are able to be both retro and futuristic in a single shot. His photos are always glamorous, and yet they cover an enormous range. Some of his photos demonstrate a sort of James-Bond sensibility—sexy, gritty and glittery––while others are down-home and wholesome. He’s a Los Angeles lifestyle photographer with a gift for telling dramatic, sensual, mysterious stories—all while having fun with pretty much every shot he takes. This ability to tell such a wide variety of stories means he’s able to connect with just about any audience. Looking at his portfolio, you won’t be surprised to see the incredible list of clients he’s worked with, including brands such as Bravo, CMT, Gatorade, Harper’s Bazaar, American Airlines, and many, many more. If working with the very best is what your brand is all about, take a look at Mark DeLong’s portfolio today.
7. Ryan West
Ryan West is a lifestyle photographer with a fashion-forward yet rebellious style. His photographs are sensual but never overly-sexualizing. Instead, he finds the animal magnetism of the body and really explores that, getting down to the very core of his subjects, the wild spark that is just barely kept in line by the necessities of modern life. It’s rare to find a photographer who can tell such a deeply compelling story with nothing but a portrait and an expression, but that’s Ryan’s MO. His photos are at times gritty, dark, and challenging, and at times, stripped down, super-clean, bright, and sweet. He comes to every shoot with few preconceptions, and instead just explores, looking for something both elemental and sincere. His work has been featured in Elle, The Hollywood Reporter, Composure, Essence, and more. An influencer really could not do better than to work with Ryan.
8. Cara Robbins
Cara Robbins has a romantic, youthful style, perfect for connecting with your audience through social media. Her photography consists of bright light-filled backgrounds, dramatic shadows, and rich natural colors. Her photos, which are each celebrations of life, are filled with small pleasures: good food, jumping on the bed, dry red wine, mothers and daughters, the joys of nature friendship, dancing campfires, beach-life, and so much more. If you’ve got a fitness brand, a BoHo fashion line, or any brand that needs to connect with young, active city folk, Cara Robbins is the LA lifestyle photographer who can tell your story.
Kimberly Geneviéve is one of the most playful photographers on this list. Her photos are just as beautiful and glamorous as the rest, yet they indicate a much deeper sense of humor. You really get the idea the Kimberly herself relies on humor to communicate and connect in her everyday life. In her photos, you see friends sharing inside jokes, beautiful faces at every stage of life, natural colors, dramatic slants of light, candid looks at the daily beauty routines of women, stories of lives lived actively.
And all these photographs turn clichés on their head, allowing new heretofore untapped meaning to emerge from themes we’re all well-acquainted with. We find this brand of visual storytelling quite brave, and we appreciate the risks Kimberly takes—especially the risk of her deceptive simplicity being misunderstood. Work with Kimberly, and you’ll get a talented storyteller with a mastery of rich colors and tongue-in-cheek humor.
10. Ricardo Mantilla
Ricardo Mantilla is a lifestyle and editorial fashion photographer who splits his time in Los Angeles, New York, and Miami. His work is predominantly split between his branded lifestyle photography—developing visual stories for brands such as Izzy ❤ Be, Tadashi Shoji, aerie, and more. Ricardo’s style is glamorous, bright, full of bright, liquid highlights, and smooth alluring shadows. And he makes striking use of water and reflection that only a true artist would have the eye to capture and compose so lovingly. Ricardo Mantilla is an ideal Los Angeles lifestyle photographer for any influencer or any brand trying to carve a name for themselves in the fashion, swimwear, fitness, or yoga markets. His photos are steamy and fierce, never passive or submissive. And he clearly has the skill to tell any story his client might want to tell.
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If you came here looking for the right lifestyle photographer for you or your brand, we hope we’ve set you on the right path. We firmly believe that you could simply hire any one of these amazing photographers, sight unseen, and know without a doubt you’ll get incredible photographs in return, no matter what story your brand is trying to tell. And in addition to knowing Los Angeles’s 10 best lifestyle photographers, remember that we’ve got nearly 3,000 of Los Angeles’s best photographic locations. Together, we can tell stories that will make you and your brand unforgettable.