Photographers in California for Family, Vacation, Birth
Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego
Find your California documentary family photographer for your family’s daily events, outings, reunions or parties. Welcome to the Family Photojournalist Association:
Map of FPJA Family Photographers Serving California
16 Available Documentary Family Photographers...
I studied Journalism in college and I once was an international journalist based in Seoul. Both my academic and professional backgrounds have influenced my documentary and photojournalistic family and wedding photos. And those timeless and priceless photos define who we are and nothing makes me more thrilled than documenting our lives as they are. Life is a series of moments, and those moments are fleeing away from us instantly; that is why photography is incredibly powerful and important to our lives, and I feel extremely honored to be part of every moment. I do what I do, coming from my heart, passion and love.
I believe that the best stories are the ones that are true, told with energy, genuineness, humor and a little bit of poetry. I am a documentary family photographer and mother to a toddler. Also having been an elementary school speech therapist means I am extremely observant and patient, acutely aware of mischief, and constantly dealing with situations bursting with hilarity, chaos and sticky hands & hugs. This photography business came from an intersection of so many different aspects of my life – my love for traveling and subsequently, being invited into peoples’ homes; my fascination with National Geographic stories; my research into my grandparents’ immigration history; my interest in all things behind-the-scenes. When I discovered family documentary photography, it’s like all these pieces clicked from these seemingly disconnected sources and allowed me to do everything simultaneously – live alongside people in a day in their life; create heirlooms for families so that grandchildren wouldn’t have to work so hard to know where they came from; to make personal documentaries for people who might never appear in National Geographic but have still lived a life worth living.To me, documenting the everyday in this way is like receiving permission to draw stories out of strangers, and to create family photographs reflecting life itself: a series of interactions that make up the totality of a human life, much more than the words that make up a story, the cascade of moments making up your day that deserve to be documented, and the sense of "home" and the love that surrounds you daily. I think our world has been very loud about how we/our children should be (act/look/behave), and through my experience shooting 200+ families, I have found that the perfection that the family portrait strives for is typically attained after a sweaty stressfest. If you are looking for an alternative, I believe that family photojournalism is all about authenticity and unreluctant vulnerability, and being able to remember how you felt (exasperated, relieved, joyful, expectant, or like you love your kids so fiercely you feel like your heart is going to burst) instead of how you wanted to look (sorry Pinterest!). When not photographing families and small businesses, you can find me trying to Konmari my tiny house, chasing my toddler, being a first class navigator to my husband on a family road trip, or looking for local gems in pockets of Los Angeles.
I am a Southern California natural light, documentary-style photographer, which just means I’m a storyteller, capturing your everyday life and times in images. For me, it is all about authentic imagery that represents who you are. I’ve always been one to document, but my love of photography really blossomed with the birth of our first child. I inherited my first DSLR camera, which I enjoyed, but it wasn’t until a friend taught me how to use the manual mode that I realized pointing and shooting play a very small role in creating a compelling image. So my quest began: to make images — creatively and expertly — that move the viewer. Soon after, I had life changing moments to document: our 2nd daughter’s cleft palate surgery and bringing our son home from the hospital for the first time. But I have realized what I enjoy most is capturing the little things: how she cocks her head when she pushes her palms into the play dough, or how he clambers up onto a bike that is way too big for him. For me, the joy of capturing a moment beautifully and memorably is the most exciting part of photography. I would love to share this gift with you, to come together for a time and create a collection of images that bring you just such joy.
Ever since I was a teenager, I have always enjoyed taking pictures with the camera my dad passed onto me, capturing the things, people and places around me. In 2007, I decided to turn this passion of mine into my career. Since then I have been shooting weddings, engagements, special events, family, kids and babies. I love telling stories with my camera, and my pictures demonstrated my characteristic style and unique perspective, simple yet elegant. I take great pride to apply my skills and talent to document the important and precious moments of life of my clients into lasting fine art pictures. It gives me great satisfaction to be able to capture these memories for my clients so they can cherish a lifetime.
After growing up with drum sticks in my hands, I went to music school and earned a B.A. in jazz drumming. But in 2008 while studying abroad in Amsterdam, I discovered a love for photography. And in 2010 my focus completely shifted from music to image-making. To learn this new craft, I studied (and continue to!) the masters and assisted as many photographers as possible. While freelancing for publications in Colorado I eventually became a staff photographer for the Vail Daily, where my images were also published in other outlets including The New York Times and Food & Wine Magazine. Today, I'm a beardless freelancer living in San Francisco and specialize in making people look and feel like themselves.
Hi All! I am photojournalist dedicated to telling the story of your family through genuine, moment driven photographs that will stand the test of time and be enjoyed by your family for generations to come. I'm a San Francisco based photographer who, for over a decade, has spent most of my time covering news worthy events both big and small. Before San Francisco I was based in China. I've always been drawn to defining moments and the light that surrounds them. I've worked for newspapers and magazines spanning 6 continents as well as leading global companies and NGO's. Some notables being The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle,The Associated Press, The NBA, U.N.H.C.R. and The W.H.O. There is something inherently different about the way photojournalists see the world. I think bringing this unique view and moment driven photography to families truly creates images that people can enjoy for generations to come.
While I was in college, I was selected to work in the White House Photo Office during the Clinton administration. This experience taught me the delicate balance between capturing images and responding to ever-changing situations. After graduating college, I worked as a staff photographer at The Contra Costa Times (California), Fort Worth Star Telegram (Texas) and The Palm Beach Post (Florida). Being a newspaper photographer in different parts of the country taught me the importance of preparation, flexibility and having a sense of humor. No matter where I lived, I learned to be open-minded. My family photography work naturally followed my wedding photography business as clients started having babies. Through my wedding photography, I have grown close with many clients and they feel like family. I have continued capturing these growing families over the years, and for some, have become their “family documentarian.”
Sarah Kang is a professional family photographer whose love of photography began decades ago with her first course in darkroom development. She has a unique eye and sense of anticipation that translate into her beautifully honest and emotional photographs. Sarah graduated from Brown University and studied photography at the New York Institute of Photography. Aside from photographing families, she loves to travel and salsa dance. Sarah currently lives in San Francisco with her husband and son.
Hi, I'm Lisa, a family documentary photographer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. I have two children and a husband, who I like most of the time. In this crowded market, what makes me unique? Well, there are a few different reasons why I should be your next Photographer (I mean, there is more than a few, but who has time to read all that). 1. I’m not interested in creating photos that look like everyone else’s This is an important statement for a couple of reasons: with the proliferation of photographer’s on social media, it is very easy for both me, the photographer, and you, the client, to get caught up with the latest trends and say: I want that too. Just like everything else, trends come and go, and in a couple years’ time, you’ll be frustrated by that picture on your wall because it will be ‘outdated’, and the whole process starts all over again. The absolute #1 priority for me when at a photoshoot is the moment. Special moments between you and your spouse, you and your child, you and your dog – moments that define your relationship and capture your life in its current state. I aim to make timeless photographs that you will enjoy for years to come. And while yes, I want you to come back to me next year for updated photos, I want it to be because you’re ready for more moment capturing – not because the photo filter that was the hot trend 2 years ago now seems dark and ‘blah’. 2. I go beyond the ‘JCPenney portrait studio’ business model. I actually get to know my clients. While I am a business, I am also a human being. I do not subscribe to the “churn and burn” model. There’s no way I would be successful at point #1 if we didn’t get to know each other. Do we need to be best friends? No. Though that would be nice. I like best friends. But will we talk and chat, and possibly have a laugh or three throughout the day? Absolutely. I might even tell you what I was known for in high school (probably not, but if you reach bestie status, then maybe). 3. I’m sincere and honest (to a fault). And I’m funny (not to a fault). I “grew up” career-wise in a corporate environment. I did retail and account management for 15+ years. I learned a lot about who I was as a person and how I wanted to be viewed within an organization. And that came down to two points: Good at my job, and funny. I never wanted to take myself too seriously. Sooooo many people think that being professional = being boring, and it doesn’t have to be that way. At least, I never felt it had to be that way. Customer Service is about meeting the client where they are at, and providing something that A) the client needs and B) delivering it in a way that makes them want to come back to you, again and again. Do I take my art form seriously? You bet I do. Because when you recommend me to your friends and family, I want that recommendation to be because you’re crazy about your photographs, and you loved our time together (and now we’re besties – see #2).
I love photographing family energy... been doing it in the documentary feel for 17 years. Family sessions are one of the most cherished things for my camera. As proof, despite nearly two decades as a pro, and being published from music albums to museums, my most cherished honor in the medium is an image of my late Uncle Ron, on the front cover of his funeral program. It captures a wily smirk and was made at a large family gathering one sunny Summer day in New Hampshire. It meant the world to be surprised with that. The natural moments of connection of your family, through big open hearts, is what I'm after. It's a mix of documentary, lifestyle and fine art. It's real. It's slow and soft or loud and crazy... it's everything. The goal is to become one of your family photographers through life, one session at a time. Often we'll put something physical that you already share together as a family. Could be cooking. Could be basketball or surfing or soccer or skiing. You enjoy, and I'll document the magic. For more of my history and accolades, please head on over to my website.
Ron is a family photographer based out of the Northwest. He has been married to his wonderful friend, Neesie, for nearly the past 29 years and they have two amazing boys; Grant and Torey. 15 years ago, Ron Storer worked on a freelance basis with non-profit Organizations doing relief work around the globe. Now on occasion Ron still assists NPO's when possible and as his schedule allows. Prior to his photography career, Ron Storer raced on the US Cycling Team earning a Gold Medal in the Pan-Am Games and a Silver Medal in the Olympic Trials.
Professional photographer for over 15 years, I believe in the importance of documenting family life candidly, authentically, skillfully, and with a story. Photographing families is in my heart. I do it for the kids, to leave them the legacy of their memories in print. I do it for the picture takers in each family, so they can also exist in their family history. And I do it for me, because I interact with the world through the lens of my camera, and I want to meet family after family after family. I would love to meet you!
Photography for me is about more than just snapshots or pretty pictures. As my work has evolved and as I have evolved, I've realized my photography is about celebrating authenticity. For my client work, I celebrate the authenticity of real life, real parenting, and family. There is nothing more beautiful than what is real. As a mother, I learned to embrace the real - and the more I embraced it the more I loved it. I want my clients to feel that deep sense of joy and connection to themselves and to their families in the way I have experienced it within my own life. And I have been able to give that through photography. By photographing their real moments, I've been able to tell them they are enough. They don't need poses, props, or prompts - all they need is themselves to be present. When they put this artwork up on the walls, they reaffirm that message to themselves and to their children - they are enough. And I can't think of anything better to give a child. My hope is to capture moments that tell the story of someone's life, their family, or their business. I want my work to reflect not just who was there, but the feeling of that time. If you'd like to work with me, I'd love to chat. For a bit more about me - I'm a mother to two tiny humans, I have a wonderful husband, and I seem to be collecting cats as we have just gotten a third. I am a Game of Thrones addict, a movie buff, and I have major wanderlust. So let's go wherever your story takes us. ------- You may contact me for personal work or commercial work.
As a father of 3 I know how crazy parenthood is. I also know how fast time goes by and how important it is to record those fleeting moments that make up this wild thing we call 'life'. That is why I feel, more strongly then ever, that it is very crucial to be as unobtrusive as I can be when making photographs of families so that I do not interrupt those moments that make this whole thing worthwhile and precious. Documenting those moments is not just for you, the parent, but more so for your children - for them to have an honest record of how your life and family really were... in all it's chaotic glory!
My role is to be the observer, the curator of visual moments. I’m not there to make moments, I’m there to capture them. My name is Cliff Etzel and I’m a Pacific Northwest regional award-winning photojournalist specializing in family, wedding, and end of life documentary photography. My passion to document the lives of everyday people is inspired by the works of William Albert Allard, David Burnett, David Alan Harvey plus many others and my passion hasn’t diminished even after all these years. A photograph to me needs to show an element of humanity and I believe I photograph “people being people”. I’m passionate about what I do for my clients and I’m constantly searching for those unfolding moments that shows deep empathy for my subjects, documenting the topics of birth, death, day to day family life, celebrations, homelessness, and the other aspects that are a part of the human experience. I prefer to shoot stills (my true passion – especially in black and white), but I can also shoot video, record audio and utilize text and other interactive content for imparting information. Most of all, what I bring to your project is compassion, sensitivity, and experience as a documentary photographer and storyteller with over 30 years of professional working experience. When I’m done with your project, what you’ll have is a story. Your story.