St. Louis, also known as the Gateway to the West, has a storied past and rich modern culture. St. Louis isn’t known for tons of internationally acclaimed galleries, but its arts scene thrives nonetheless. Local hotspots like Venice Cafe and Citygarden showcase work by up-and-coming creatives and professionals alike. And the Gateway Arch is, of course, a must-visit to have your photo taken while in the area. But instead of settling for a selfie, why not work with a local portrait photographer? Check out our list of the best St. Louis portrait photographers.
North Arrow Creative comprises a collective of super-talented photographers and videographers, serving St. Louis and the Midwest. Each team member brings their respective professional skills to each shoot. We love the golden vintage elements in their photography, as well as the strong use of shadows that mix with warm golden-hour tones. They use vignetting extremely well and favor a documentary-style of shooting. These creatives are easily some of the best portrait photographers in St. Louis!
2. Ann Michelle
Ann Michelle’s emphasis is on babies, children, families, and high school senior portraits. Her work in studio with children features delightful classic and spontaneous poses, bold colors, and adorable outfits. She encourages children to play, and it clearly shows in how relaxed and carefree the expressions in the portraits are. Elements like glitter, confetti, and even footballs make an entrance — she successfully produces images that stand out from the rest.
3. Julia Noack
Julia is a member of WPPI (Wedding and Portrait Photographers International) and PPA (Professional Photographers of America). In 2013, the St. Louis Wedding Awards named her the photographer of the year. Plus, she’s a Best of Weddings winner by The Knot. Julia lives and breathes wedding and portrait photography. Her images are dream-like in how well composed they are. She’s a big fan of wide-angle views to emphasize elements like the St. Louis Gateway Arch as well as tighter, traditional portrait views. Her colors range from film-like monochrome to day-lit beach strolls. Julia has a formula to match nearly any portraiture request a client could have.
4. Jennifer & Aaron of Aurora Photography and Design
This photographer couple shoots portraits, newborns, families, engagements, and weddings across St. Louis. One element we really enjoyed was that they take a very nontraditional approach to portraits by photographing from above. This is a great storytelling angle that’s rarely explored, as well as a hallmark of creativity. They also make great use of props to take fun photos during their shoots, like a hockey stick for the newborn and shirts for couples to fight over! Aurora Photography brings both skill and lightheartedness to the fore!
5. Dave Moore
Dave really does a great job of bringing out the best side of his clients in his portraiture. He favors shallow depth of field and a mixture of wide, normal, and telephoto views to give each shoot a diverse style. He prefers color over monochrome and rarely vignette, giving his work a strong sense of grounded realism. Dave covers portraits, events, newborns, weddings, and engagements across St. Louis. His style is a variant on the photography composition concept of the “rule of thirds.” In his words: “The idea is to keep your subject away from the center of the frame to create more visual interest, and in a way, that’s how I approach all my photo sessions: keeping things ever so left of center.”
Danielle is part of the Professional Photographers of America (PPA), and she radiates a love for portraits and weddings. She makes great use of highlight recovery to create high-dynamic range images, as the colors are vivid and really draw the eye across the frame. Yet, she also loves more muted tones and natural golden-hour casts in the outdoors. Monochrome with a vintage film-grain appearance is another of her favorite styles. Her eye for color is a major reason why we chose her as one of the top St. Louis portrait photographers.
7. Brittany & Michael Smith of Kairos Photography + Films
Britt and Michael, who’s also known as Smit, are the photographer-couple in charge of Kairos Photography + Films. Their photography style is best described as classic and clean, with vibrant, yet true-to-life coloring. Britt and Smit seek to capture the best moments without making the images appear processed. They’ve also chosen a fantastic names for their work — a name that embodies a photographic ideal as much as it is creative. Kairos, pronounced “ky-ross,” is a Greek word for a moment in time. Specifically, “a God-ordained moment.”
Heidi is a commercial and lifestyle photographer with a colorful, engaging style. Her portraits incorporate elements like yoga mats, gardens, or urban scenery to do more than merely present a pretty face. Having been a photographer for over a dozen years, as well as a former communications professional, Heidi brings a strong understanding of both branding and the marketing needs of businesses. Her editorial style helps give her portraits a documentary flavor that makes her work stand out.