The 10 Best Portrait Photographers in Riverside

Charming Riverside, CA, sits within the Inland Empire metro area. Visitors and locals both have plenty to see and do beneath the Californian sun. Riverside offers delightful urban parks and even its own California Museum of Photography. But if you prefer to stand in front of the camera rather than behind, we’ve got you covered. Take a look at the most inspired and talented Riverside portrait photographers we could find!

1. Sonali Satsangi

Sonali earned a MFA at the Savannah College of Arts & Design. From there, she came to discover a passion for photography and, in her words, “the fine details” that make her work so strong. She shoots fine art, solo portraits, brides and grooms, families, and much more. Looking over her portrait work, what’s most striking is how much attention she pays to her backgrounds. Many photographers simply blur it out and call it a day. But Sonali chooses colorful, textured, dynamic backgrounds that add to every image. 

2. Craig Carter of Countryside Portraiture

Focusing on high school seniors, families, and headshots, Craig Carter is a well-rounded photographer, shooting in studio, on location, and in the outdoors. One thing we love about his work is the strong use of cool colors and earth tones, often with a golden-hour cast to the lighting, which gives his images a somber, pleasant feel without the overwhelming punch other photographers may prefer.

3. Ryan Shiver

Having worked with such organizations as Google, T-Mobile, and Facebook, Ryan is one of our top choices among the best portrait photographers in Riverside. Mixing in color and monochrome, Ryan has robust expertise with both — and, not to mention, environmental portraiture is another one of his strong suits. His images include more than a mere smiling face, he uses background and supporting elements to help narrate his subjects’ story.

4. Christine Racz

With over 300 weddings and countless babies photographed, Christine brings both experience and sheer enthusiasm for people to every shoot. And yet it never gets old! In her own words: “I still cry during the father/daughter dance every time!” She works weddings, maternities, newborns, children, families, graduates, business, headshots, commercial, and more. Her photography style is equally diverse, with bold, modern colors and subdued vintage looks side by side. Poses range from conventional to hilarious but all capture the joy of her client’s special day. 

5. Jillian Johnson of Pure Photography

Jillian is a portrait photographer who adores weddings, pets, families, children, high school seniors, and more. Starting with an initial consultation, she wants to fulfill the vision you have in your head. In her own words: “Whether that is a Vogue-styled portrait or a casual family photo, we want to capture you as your best self.” Her style features well-lit outdoor locations, showing her strong familiarity with the area. Many images have a beautiful golden-hour glow and more muted coloring for a timeless flavor. Her wide-angle images also show plenty of the background!

6. Corey Kennedy

Corey works mostly with studio shoots, weddings, and portraits but also dabbles in landscapes, wildlife, aerial images, and more. To Corey, this is his signature strength as a photographer. As he explains it, “Working with various subjects has allowed me to show them as the main subject, but also included with a larger or smaller main subject.” His portfolio is clear evidence of this, with influences and styles that range from portraits with an editorial flavor to studio and environmental portraiture. 

7. Danielle Penn

If you’re looking for someone to expertly shoot your portraits or wedding, Danielle is one of the top portrait photographers in Riverside for the job. Looking through her work, the compositions really draw in the eye, especially her combinations of architectural lines and subject portraits. Bold, dramatic lighting with strong highlight recovery is the norm. Compositions range from up close and personal to far-flung and dramatic. Danielle’s low-light photography stands out in particular, employing off-camera lighting and dramatic backgrounds to create memorable images. 

8. Jen & Jenny of Sunshine Portrait Studios

These two photographers of note have been shooting as a team for 11 years and counting! They cover weddings, couples, families, newborns, high school seniors, maternities, and more. We love that their shooting style is very personal and intimate, with subjects filling the frame with bright smiles and warm skin tones. The duo’s high school senior images are especially noteworthy, making good use of background elements and aesthetically pleasing outfits.

9. Elise Souza

Elise works with families, newborns, events, weddings, businesses, and more across Riverside. She works on location at client’s homes, as well as in parks to create intimate images full of atmosphere and charm. Few of her images feel “traditional;” rather, her portraits have a strong documentary flavor. She favors bold, punchy colors and bright lights for eye-catching photography that keeps us coming back to see more!

10. Loi Serrano

One of Loi’s favorite quotes by Destin Sparks sums up photography nicely: “Photography is the story I fail to put into words.” Wordlessly, Loi weaves stories with images, telling tales of family outings at the beach and happy couples bonded in marriage. Her portraits are shot all over town and show a familiarity with the area that’s of benefit to clients unsure about their venue. She works with natural light to capture the in-between moments that make special every event.

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