Fun portrait experiences in the Los Angeles area for individuals, couples, families, children, and pets.
SJP Portrait Photography Rates
1 hour ................................................. $450
2 hours ............................................... $800
3 hours ............................................. $1200
4 hours ............................................. $1600
5 hours ............................................. $2000
a la carte
Top 5 Tips for Planning a Great Portrait Session
1) Choosing a Location
Los Angeles is a goldmine of cool locations! As you can imagine, that is one of the biggest reasons why the film industry calls it "home." Within the Thirty Mile Zone (aka TMZ) you can find everything from sandy beaches to snow-capped mountains, from urban cityscapes to the rural wilderness. One of the reasons I moved to Los Angeles was for the opportunity to photograph outdoors all year round. Here are some of my favorite locations for portraits:
Griffith Observatory- 2800 E Observatory Rd. Los Angeles, CA 90027
Griffith Observatory is an iconic landmark of Los Angeles and one of southern California's most popular attractions. Built in 1935 with classic Art Deco style on the southern slope of Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park, just above the Los Feliz neighborhood. It is 1,134 feet above sea level and is visible from many parts of the Los Angeles basin. The Observatory is the best vantage point for observing the world-famous Hollywood Sign.
My favorite spots include the big arches, detailed doors, winding staircases, grassy fields, evergreen trees, and hiking trails. Professional photography is allowed but with limited use of additional light modifiers. Please note, cellphone service isn't always the best up there so I suggest meeting by the tall monument between the Observatory and the parking lot.
Walt Disney Concert Hall- 111 S Grand Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90012
A modern masterpiece located in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles designed by acclaimed architect Frank Gehry. Walls of brushed metal and mirrored walls, full sized trees with lush greenery, and a beautiful rooftop garden this location provides lots of unique opportunities for portrait sessions.
Parking is available directly beneath Walt Disney Concert Hall; enter on Second Street or Lower Grand Avenue. Regular parking costs $9 ($23 valet parking at the Hope St. entrance).
Santa Monica Pier- 200 Santa Monica Pier. Santa Monica, CA 90401
A great beach location with sandy beaches, a cool wooden pier, and amusement park rides. Take a ride on top of the Ferris Wheel to get beautiful Ocean views. Also site of the Historic Route 66, vintage Carousel, and the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium.
El Matador State Beach - 32350 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265
One of the most beautiful beaches in Malibu, with sea caves and large rocks on the beach. There is a steep dirt trail with stairs leading to breathtaking views of the Ocean from the upper cliffs. Along the beach, you will see deep blue water filled with kelp forests. A very popular spot for photography at sunset and on the weekends. Paid parking lot is available from 8am to sunset and limited free parking on PCH. Portrait photography is not allowed on Sundays. Portable restrooms on site for wardrobe changes. Travel fee +$100.
Union Station- 800 N Alameda St. Los Angeles, CA 90012
The largest passenger train terminal West of the Mississippi. Built in the 1930s this is a historic California monument with garden patios, terra cotta tile floors, and nearly a century old design.
2) What to Wear?
One of my most popular questions is “what should I wear?” There’s really no correct answer, as you should wear something that you're both comfortable in and makes you feel awesome. I will say, fabrics quality and colors will read on camera and dress your best. Here’s a few ideas to help guide you in your outfit selection.
- Bright colors look lovely! For couples and families, try choosing outfits with colors that complement each other rather than exact matches. Avoid wearing solid white on white or solid black on black. Try to expand you color selections to 3 complimentary colors.
- Create textures and layers. Bright woven scarves, faux furs, knits, bold prints, and interesting fabrics always look fabulous on camera.
- Loose and flowy fabrics bring a romantic element to engagement shoots.
- Avoid items that detract from the scene. White socks, large men’s watches, big logo t-shirts, and sunglasses to name a few!
- Have fun with the accessories. Statement jewelry, scarves, ties, bags, fun shoes, wraps, and hats can add a lot of character and pop tones to a photo. Although lots of accessories might seem a bit excessive in person, they really show up well in front of the lens. If you’re wondering whether a certain item is a good idea to wear, just ask!
3) Shooting During Golden Hour
I just love all the colors of a California sunset. The periwinkle blues, candy pink, and soft purples! It definitely sets a mood for romance, with soft lighting and a warm glow. Golden Hour is my preferred time for natural light portrait sessions. To capture this kind of lighting, you will want to start your session an hour before sunset or right before sunrise. To check sunset/sunrise times click HERE.
4) Professional Hair and Makeup
One of the biggest things that will make a huge impact on your portraits is professional hair and makeup. For your session you'll want to look and feel your very best. One way I recommend saving a little money, is to schedule your makeup trial with your beauty artist the same day as your engagement pictures. You can also visit your favorite makeup counter at a department store or Sephora (minimum purchase in-store required).
If you’d like some extra convenience, have the makeup artist come to you!
Here's some of my favorite artists below. Please note they all offer services to come to your location.
5) Personalized Props
Personalized props can be a great way to express your personality. It also helps break the ice of awkward posing and gives you something to do with your hands.
- jumbo balloons (36" with streamers!)
- vintage chairs or sofas
- treats like cupcakes/ candy/ s'mores/ cotton candy/ ice cream/ popcorn
- hobby things like football/ surfboard/ yoga
- board games/ lawn games/ picnic
- smoke bombs
- giant frames
- bikes (tandem!?)
- numbers or signs (maybe wedding date?)
- lanterns / candles / chandelier