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The 8 Best Portrait Photographers in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh sits at a crossroads of the Great Lakes, Appalachia, and Midwest regions, sharing characteristics with each. It’s a city with a storied past and bright future, as young artists flock to the Steel City in droves. The current generation of photographers means you’re spoiled for choice if you’re in need of a photoshoot in western Pennsylvania. Without further ado, here are the top portrait photographers in Pittsburgh!

1. Julie Kulbago

Julie is the best portrait photographer in Pittsburgh for newborns, bar none. The amount of care Julie puts into every shoot absolutely shows. Each shoot includes outfits, snacks, drinks, blankets, headwraps, and more for your infant, as well as boutique dresses for new mothers and siblings. The poses are all thoughtfully arranged, which results in each photo being full of rich color and textures, such as soft skin and warm wool.

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2. Joe Appel

Joe’s wedding photography has a strong documentary flavor and, in his own words, “I like stuff that’s real.” He’s out to photograph your mother and bridesmaids crying and hugging you out of sheer love, capturing the emotions as much as the moment itself. This comes from his background as an editorial photographer. Environmental portraiture plays a strong role in his work, as well as shots that tell the story through visuals, context, expressions, and backgrounds.

3. Aly Brooke

Aly is a wedding and portrait photographer in Pittsburgh with a very eye-catching personal style. Favoring greens, pinks, whites, and pastel tones, her images have a soft, ethereal quality to them. She’s also not shy about filling the frame with her subjects, getting in close to make intimate, unforgettable portraits.

4. Jenna Kay of JKH Photography

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We braved the snow storm for some portraits yesterday!

A post shared by JKH Photography (@jkh.photography.pgh) on

Having graduated from Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Art with a focus in photography, Jenna Kay is a talented wedding, portrait, and editorial shooter. They have partnered with such distinguished clients as the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Museum of Art, and Cornell University to create lasting works of art. Their style uses a mixture of bold color, monochrome, and a more timeless desaturated coloring that definitely draws in the eye. 

5. Nate Weatherly

Pittsburgh film photographer Nate focuses on portraits and wedding photography. We love the artful, bold flavor of his images, and the film grain also adds to the vintage feel of his work. He boasts a versatility in cropping styles, adding his refreshing perspective to every picture.

6. Noah Purdy

Focusing on commercial and editorial images, Noah’s portraits have us all wanting to know more about the subject: Who are they? What’s their story? Much of his work has an informal character to it, especially the street images. His editorial work also conveys a visual story, using bright color schemes and sharp subjects, with background elements that contribute to the narrative.

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7. Mark Brosius

Mark is a Pittsburgh-based model photographer with a focus on fashion, glamour, editorial photography, as well as headshots. He also shoots high school senior portraits, musicians, clothing designers, and even other photographers! His photography is absolutely eye-catching. He uses monochrome to bring out fine details and the curves of his subjects. The eyes in his headshots have mesmerizing catch lights. And his models are incredibly diverse. His strong portfolio makes him one of the best portrait photographers in Pittsburgh.

8. Dennis Mong

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our Herb Ritts inspired shoot with our friend and neighbor, Marc.

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Dennis prefers to go on location for most of his shoots. As he says on his site: “I really like to hear how my clients got to where they are and having the privilege to tell that story visually is a real honor.” As a commercial and portrait photographer, he’s an expert at placing his subjects in the best light possible — be it natural light, subdued shadows, or off-camera. Spot-on compositions and a diversity of portrait history makes him a very well-rounded portrait photographer. He also shoots for film and TV shows, including an episode of American Ninja Warrior.

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