The 10 Best Portrait Photographers in Kansas City

Kansas City, MO — or KCMO — is the “Paris of the Plains.” It’s home to a thriving arts and culture scene, as well as world-famous barbecue, jazz, and fountains. Far from being flyover country, KCMO has a lot to offer both locals and visitors. KCMO’s local photographers are some of the best in the nation as well! If you’re in need of portraiture in the area, you should consider the creatives we’ve chosen as the top portrait photographers in Kansas City.

1. Matthew McNeal

Matthew is one of the premiere lifestyle photographers in Kansas City, MO, specializing in weddings and family photography. Having shot photography since 2013, he brings years of expertise and wedding know-how to each collaboration. One aspect of his work that sets him apart is his use of both natural light and off-camera flash. His technique helps him create dramatic images at night with lights that highlight and isolate subjects from the background without taking away from its beauty.

2. Javier of Rivera Eye Photography

A newer photographer, Javier has been shooting weddings, maternities, quinceañeras, portraits, and other lifestyle work since 2015. One thing that catches our eye about his work is how nicely the bokeh, or background out-of-focus elements, render. He chooses busy, colorful backgrounds in combination with shallow depth of field. This creates eye-catching, almost confetti-like bokeh that’s a joy to look at. His work also shows good use of positioning; he often gets down low when shooting, creating sweeping, dramatic angles that make you look twice!

3. Juliana Noelle Jumper

Juliana’s style is particularly eye-catching. She uses strongly muted color casts and a somber tone with a strong documentary flavor. Instead of the subjects smiling rigidly, many of her images tell the story. We see an embrace, a bow-tie being fixed, a party in a mountain lodge — it’s an elegant way of shooting that’s particularly enjoyable. She describes exactly this vision in her own words: “Coming from a background in fine art and experimental documentary, I have a nontraditional approach to my subjects; I aim to capture the papers littering your desk top, your child’s freckled nose, the way you caress your lover’s face.” Looking at her portfolio, it’s clear she has an eye for nuance.

4. Doug of Kdog PHOTO LLC

Doug has been recognized by several publications, including “Best Photographers in Kansas City” by KC Magazine and “Best of Weddings” photographer by The Knot. He specializes in high school senior and family portraits, as well as business, fashion, editorial, and commercial photography. Doug’s wedding work is especially striking, mixing both monochrome and color elements. He also shoots in a more documentary style, telling the story of each moment as naturally as possible.

5. Colleen Christi

Colleen is an award-winning newborn and child photographer who also shoots families, maternities, weddings, headshots, and more. Each of her newborn portfolio shots showcases her stunning eye for color and detail. Props range from cakes and fuzzy blankets to beanies and rocking cradles. Each image is a true work of art and collaboration between her expertise and the vision of the new parents. Colleen also runs workshops on newborn and child photography. She helps train up-and-coming photographers how to pose their subjects and use proper settings.

6. Erin & Marco Hernandez-Reisner of Photos Edge

This dynamic photography duo shoots seniors, families, and weddings around the world. Love is their focus, especially in moments of joy, intimacy, in oneself, and much more. Each of their images features bold, bright natural light. They are adept at capturing the impact and intimacy of eye contact, with subjects often isolated and looking directly at the camera. In Erin’s words: “We believe love is a legacy, to be shared and passed down… We hope to capture those memories so that you can hold on to love that much longer, stealing back little seconds from father time.”

7. Rebecca Lassiter

Rebecca’s work centers on families and weddings, as well as high school seniors, boudoir, labor and delivery, maternity shoots, babies, and more. Her sessions are often a mixture of both in-studio and outdoor shots. And given how diverse her portfolio is, you can expect a mix of lighting and color styles as well. Rebecca is a fan of tastefully muted color palettes with a cool, timeless feel. She also offers mentoring and studio rental space for fellow portrait photographers in Kansas City.

8. Mike Freeland of Freeland Photography

Mike specializes in weddings, events, and commercial photography. He has been involved with photo work since 1991, working at a professional printing lab. His clients include Comcast, International Hotels, and even former President Barack Obama. Mike has an eye for classic poses and colors that leap off the screen. Rich outdoor golden-hour tones are as much a part of his work as incandescent lighting at an event. An especially prolific photographer, Mike is absolutely one of the most talented Kansas City photographers.

9. Sarah Bailey & Rachel Loder of Dandelions and Dumptrucks Photography

Dandelions and Dumptrucks Photography is owned and operated by Sarah Bailey and Rachel Loder, two KCMO-based photographer sisters. They shoot mostly weddings, engagements, families, newborns, seniors, boudoir, and corporate headshots. Their portfolio is a diverse mix of couples in grassy fields with the setting sun to newborns napping peacefully. They have an especially creative eye for poses!

10. Brant Brogan

Brant’s expertise centers on portraits, headshots, and commercial work, with a number of weddings each year as well. He brings a bold, classy Los-Angeles-style to his clients in KCMO — his portrait subjects have a bright, “in your face” confidence that’s captured with expertise. His family images taken outdoors have backgrounds that accentuate rather than distract, despite their beauty. And each subject seems to leap out in perfect sharpness — we also like that he uses wide-angle portraits on occasion, something many photographers avoid.

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