California pets have it all: sun, sea, sand, woodlands, parks, and nature trails. The greater Riverside area is an especially prime location for pets of all shapes and sizes. Not to mention, human residents of Riverside also have it all within an hour’s drive. For those lucky enough to live in the Inland Empire, there are tons of talented Riverside pet photographers who can take snapshots of beloved pets, whether they’re feathered, scaly, and furry. Here are several of our favorites.
1. Jillian Johnson of Pure Photography
For almost a decade, advertising executive Jillian Johnson has been moonlighting as a Riverside pet photographer. As the owner and lead photographer of boutique studio Pure Photography, she’s dedicated to creating artistic and emotional portraits. Jillian believes everyone should have portraits of their furry friends to hang on their walls. She also understands that everybody and everything is beautiful and wants them to feel it when they look at her photos.
Pure Photography provides sessions in collaboration with its clients, encouraging everyone to bring their session ideas to the table. And while every photograph of a pet is a Vogue spread all on its own, she somehow manages to make them appear even more fabulous.
For Xavier Alatorre, photography means to write with light. Obsessed with analog and film photography, he’s usually found with some sort of camera in hand. Occasionally, that’s also while taking his pups Kenobi and Eisley to their favorite dog park. His pet portraits have a distinctly vintage quality about them, whether due to his framing, composition, or a result of post-processing. Although Xavier was based out of Savannah for a while, he and his family recently moved back to California, which he considers home. Check out his blog for all his film photography tips and tales.
3. Katelin Wallace Journigan of The Salty Dog Studio
Established in 2015, The Salty Dog Studio excels in accentuating its clients’ pawticularly vivacious personalities. Katelin Wallace Journigan is a professional and renowned Los Angeles wedding photographer. However, after she started taking pictures of her silver lab muse, Captain, she also gained a reputation for stunning pet portraits. Friends and clients lined up, asking her if she’d photograph their fur babies and, before she knew it, she was opening a second business. The Salty Dog Studio is located in Costa Mesa where Katelin, Captain, and their variety of backdrops produce some of the most compelling pet snapshots we’ve seen.
4. Amelia Durham of Banyan Pet Photography
Remember the kid who couldn’t help but to take stray pets home with them? Amelia Durham was that kid. Now an Orange County and Riverside pet photographer at Banyan Pet Photography, she’s pretty much always loved and worked with dogs. Her first job working with pooches was when she was a pet groomer in the Bay Area. Doing this taught her plenty about soothing and calming animals, as well as learning how to deal with different temperaments.
Since taking up pet photography, she’s earned numerous awards and has become a certified professional photographer. There’s a classical touch to her work, from the artful backdrops and traditional composition techniques to her knack for capturing pet expressions that have just a bit of drama to them.
Joyce Kim is the mastermind behind Joyce Evelyn Photography, which is based in Orange County, CA, only about a half-hour’s drive from Riverside. Not only is she a photographer, she’s also a talented pediatric speech language pathologist. Working with kids has helped her hone her interpersonal — and inter-pet-sonal — skills. When it comes to taking pictures of pets, though, Joyce’s goal is to tell the story behind the ineffable pet/human connection. She knows from experience that there’s no other relationship like it, and it was in fact her rescue pup, Russell, that inspired her to pick up photography at all.
6. Kristen Hehnke of Veils & Tails Photography
Kristen Hehnke can spot a dog from a mile away. She’s vocal about it whenever she does, which has always been the case, therefore it’s no surprise that she’s now a professional photographer. Kristen began her photography business, Veils & Tails Photography, while working at a doggy daycare for over six years. After graduating from San Diego State University, she went back to Santa Barbara where she started assisting wedding photo sessions on the side.
Along the way, her love of photographing pooches mixed with her love of shooting weddings and, before she knew it, it’s seven years on and she’s still doing both. Furthermore, Kristen wants any prospective wedding clients to know they should bring their dogs along, too. For science.
7. Melissa Carroll of Be Here Now Pet Photography
Melissa Carroll wants her clients to enjoy the present moment. Putting aside any fears of the future or heartbreak that might come, she wants to capture the now with her pet portraits. With her business — the aptly named Be Here Now Pet Photography — she wants to henceforth make that captured moment last forever. On her 9th birthday, she got a golden retriever puppy and a Polaroid camera. It’s strange the way life goes in circles, but Melissa and her talent shows that in pain and happiness, life can be beautiful.
If you’re looking for a Riverside pet photographer to capture your best friend in a portrait that’ll last forever, look no further than the talents above. Even if you weren’t on the lookout, we feel like everyone needs a portrait — or two or six — of their pets. After all, they’re as big a part of the family as anyone else.