The 9 Best Portrait Photographers in Oakland, CA

On the lookout for the most talented Oakland portrait photographers? We get it! There is a plethora of talent in the East Bay, so we at Peerspace knew we’d have a hard time narrowing our list to the nine best Oakland portrait photographers. And we were right.

We looked for those who truly stand out in their field. We also discovered Oakland photographers who strive to document the beauty of humanity in all its shapes and forms. And we were enhanced by all of their work. Let’s check it out.

1. Curtis of MooD-ology Photography

Oakland portrait photographer and Moodologist Curtis Jermany prides himself on capturing the many moods of the individuals in front of his camera. And he does it with sensitivity and a sense of joy. You can tell he both loves his job and excels at it in each and every portrait. In fact, his creative fashion work is a favorite of aspiring models. His ability to translate the essence of the person is a favorite of business moguls. Meanwhile, his polished fashion styling gives his work a thoroughly modern look best for artists and musicians who want their headshots to stand out.

A master of light and shadow, Curtis is able to bring just about any creative vision to life. After years of mastering photography, he expanded into filmmaking and music video production, melding his artistic vision with the personal style of recording artists for their breakout albums. He even creates beautiful wedding highlight reels for couples who won’t settle for anything less than the best.  

2. Brian DeSimone Photography

Oakland portrait photographers like Brian DeSimone use their backgrounds in graphic design to create unique portraits. Operating from curiosity and always seeking human connection and human stories, he encourages his subjects to be themselves. He not only witnesses their being, but he also explores the things that make them special. This results in individual pieces of art equally suited for display.

Indoors or out, his portraits are equally stunning, with his fashion sensibilities really coming into their own outdoors. Using high-powered strobes and wide-angle lenses, he creates drama and a sense of compositional tension ideal for power portraits or gorgeous clothing. In the studio, he uses that same finesse with strobe lighting to create unique headshots full of personality.

3. Chris and Christian of E&B Photography

A Wedding Wire Couples Choice award-winning studio, E&B Photos was founded by two friends, Chris and Christian, in 2006. Since then, they have made a name for themselves as stand-out professionals in nearly every genre of portrait photography, including weddings, families, artists, seniors, and branding for small business owners.

Christian is the main Oakland portrait photographer as he lives in the area full time while Chris shares his time and creative talent between Oakland and Portland. While they have complementary styles when covering large events together, they share a similar style. It includes true-to-life colors, natural portraits without any hint of discomfort, and full of light and love. As experienced professionals, they strike the perfect balance between letting candid moments unfold and knowing when to give subtle guidance for stand-out portraits.

4. Jennifer Graham Photography

Jennifer Graham is an Oakland portrait photographer with a portfolio spanning both polished professional studio portraits and environmental lifestyle portraits for branding. For her, photography is more than a tangible result. It’s a way of reaching out and connecting with people, a way of getting you noticed by your ideal client, a way for the viewer to see just in one image who you are and what you’re about.

Her quest to help people is inspired by the people themselves, and her heart is truly in the art of business photography. If you want one of the best headshot photographers in the area, check out Jennifer’s work.

5. Leon of Studio-FAB

Leon Saperstein has been photographing portraits, fashion, and beauty since 1999. His work can be found on the pages of Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Tatler, Marie Claire, and Elle, and his portraits have been exhibited throughout the world.

While Leon is the founder of this studio, he also has an incredible team at Studio-FAB where they offer full-service production services. Their work is thoroughly polished — as you’d expect a team behind so many beauty magazine spreads would be. With their mission of “building confidence in people and confident brands,” they bring a sense of creativity and professionalism to each project that is unrivaled in the area. If you are looking for FAB portraits, look no further.

6. Jeanie Horton Photography

Jeanie Horton is the latest in four generations who have called Oakland home. She loves the city and everything it has to offer. Spending her time capturing every type of portrait, including weddings, families, and branding, her work is natural and candid with a modern feel.

Using light and shadows to sculpt her subjects, Jeanie creates work that encompasses the fullness of the human experience.

7. Baldwin Diep of Sweet Life Studios

Baldwin Diep began his photographic journey as a travel photographer, capturing the places he visited as well as the people who lived there. Therefore, it wasn’t much of a leap to transition into photographing people around his home in the Bay Area. He loves all kinds of portrait photography because it allows him to meet new people, find their individual beauty, and help translate it into their portraits.

His approach is especially well suited for headshots and lifestyle brand photography since part of his process is connecting with his subjects and telling the story that they want to tell. It also lends itself beautifully to wedding and couples’ portraits. Whatever your story is, let Baldwin help you tell it in his polished yet natural style so you can have your sweet life in print.  

8. Lindsey Shea

Lindsey Shea spent a decade shooting film before she picked up a digital camera. Her attention to detail necessary when using that medium shows up time and time again in her digital portrait work.

Lindsey’s work is at its best when there are people in front of her lens living the lives they love, whether that means a couple getting married, a bar owner connecting with customers, or lifestyle brand shoots. Trusted by brands including Blue Bottle, Baratza, and Trail Mavens she has also been featured in Apartment Therapy, Eater San Francisco, and Barista Magazine.

9. Robert Silver Photography

Robert Silver creates portraits with a distinct fashion styling — wide angle lenses from low angles, fill flash, bright colors, and gorgeous clothes. He’s one of the Oakland portrait photographers whose work has been behind major campaigns for Nike as well as numerous local clothing companies.

His specialty is creating portraits of people from diverse backgrounds and fully showcasing their radiant beauty. With a profound talent and understanding of light, Robert can create the kind of photos that every subject, professional model or not, can be proud to have of themselves.

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