A note to our community regarding COVID-19. Learn more
Find a creative photographer near San Diego, CA

Find a creative photographer near San Diego, CA

100+ near you

Find a creative photographer near San Diego, CA

100+ near you

Give us a few details and we’ll match you with the right pro.

Zip code

Top 10 Creative Photographers near San Diego, CA

Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

What’s the best way to set up a consultation or an appointment with a photographer during the COVID-19 pandemic?

The best way to set up an appointment or a consultation with a photographer near you during the COVID-19 pandemic is by conducting an online search. Start by scheduling a call with the photographer. If possible, it may be better to use a video call service so that the photographer can get an idea of the site location. Take this opportunity to discuss safety measures you can take during this time, as well as whether it’s safe to complete the project now or simply postpone it.

How can I find out if a photographer is considered an essential COVID-19 service provider?

Consult your city or state’s government websites, which typically have information on which services are deemed essential during the pandemic. 

For national information, visit CISA’s page on Identifying Critical Infrastructure During COVID-19. Here, you can find 16 different types of essential infrastructure sectors that can continue operating unimpeded during the pandemic. But some, not all, jurisdictions follow CISA’s definitions of critical infrastructure.

Do photographers offer remote or virtual services?

Photography happens in person, but photographers may be able to offer other remote services safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, they may be able to offer editing and other post-processing services. 

If you see that a photographer is offering remote services in their profile, contact them and ask what those services include.

Can I use digital payments to pay for wedding and event photography services?

As digital forms of payment and money transfer are becoming more popular, wedding and event photographers are likely to use digital services. These include PayPal, Zelle, Google Pay, Venmo, Square Cash and more. As you search online for local wedding and event photographers, ask them if they accept digital payments and, if so, which ones you can use. And make sure to have a strategy in place for safe social distancing.

Does a photographer need to enter my home?

There are many situations in which a photographer does not need to enter your home. It’s not uncommon for people to prefer to have their pictures taken outdoors. If you're hiring a photographer, maintain safe distances, avoid being in the same room, sanitize all involved surfaces and conduct payment using digital platforms. You can discuss strategies as you complete your search for local photographers.

Do you tip a photographer for family photos?

Tipping a photographer for family portraits is not standard etiquette. A great way to recognize a family photographer who goes above and beyond is to write them a glowing review. You probably found your photographer by reading online reviews, so paying it forward by letting everyone know how much you appreciate their work is a great gift. Write your review after they have delivered the final edited photos on time and you’ve confirmed that you’re happy with the terrific portraits they took.

How much do photographers charge for family portraits?

Family portraits are a great way to mark the passage of time, create lifelong keepsakes and have gorgeous-looking photos for your annual holiday card. The national average cost for hiring family photographers ranges from $150 to $200. Pricing can range higher depending on where you live, length of the photo shoot, the number of edited photos you request, and the background and reputation of your family photographer. Before hiring, make sure you understand their fees up front. Ask how many finished images are included in the quoted price and whether you will receive all the photos taken (not just edited photos). Ask whether you’ll be able to download digital photos or if you’ll have to print them or purchase digital copies through the photographer. Here are some average examples of family photographer pricing:

  • $175 for a one-hour studio session in Kansas.
  • $200 for a one-hour studio or outdoor session in Georgia. Includes two outfit changes, access to an online gallery, and about 200 high-resolution, edited digital photo files on a DVD, with permission to print.
  • $400 for a one-hour outdoor session in Southern California. Includes 25-30 fully edited photos accessible online or via CD/DVD.
  • $425 or more for a one-hour outdoor or in-home session in Illinois. Includes more than 50 professionally edited images, online access and print release.

When should you take newborn photos?

Few styles of portrait photography are as tricky as newborn photos — the unpredictable infant is always in charge! The best way to ensure a successful photo shoot is to work with a local newborn photographer within the first two weeks of the baby’s life. Some photographers even work with hospitals to offer newborn sessions within a day of the baby’s birth. But newborn photographers usually recommend scheduling a shoot during the baby’s first two weeks of life, while the baby is still sleepy and relatively cooperative, especially for posed or studio shots. During this time, babies are easier to swaddle in blankets and dress in hats or headbands, and, because they often nap or nurse, can be staged with various props or be cuddled by their parents. For casual photos, most newborn photographers recommend shooting within the first six weeks of a baby’s life. Lifestyle portrait photography is more flexible and doesn’t require the baby to cooperate with multiple poses or props.

What should you wear for a family photo?

A family photographer captures your family in a series of professionally edited portraits. You can be goofy, you can be formal, you can be exactly how you want to be. To that end, you can wear what makes you feel comfortable and confident — feeling good translates to looking good in photos. However, top family photographers do have some style suggestions that will make your family photos more visually cohesive:

  • Ask the photographer for color suggestions if you’re doing an outdoor photo shoot. Location and time of day can affect which shades will fade in the sunlight and what will stand out in a good way.
  • Stay away from a mix of stripes or plaids on multiple people — the effect is too busy.
  • Steer clear of tiny patterns, which blend together too much.
  • Avoid wearing matching outfits.
  • Do wear outfits that are complementary in color.
  • Choose color over black-and-white outfits.
  • Do choose a theme, such as pastels, fall colors or summer colors.
  • Opt for tonally similar colors.  
  • Go easy on makeup for outdoor photo shoots.
Reviews for San Diego creative photographers
Jim F.
Much thanks to Jamie for his creative location photography!
Voltage Digital / Jamie MosbergVoltage Digital / Jamie Mosberg
Thumbtack Customer
Couldn't have asked for a better photographer. Ron is creative and artistic. Just what I was looking for.
ROC StudiosROC Studios
Yvonne B.
Priscilla is amazing to work with and is so creative. Her styled photos have elevated my brand and website and I continue to receive compliments from her photos!
Che StudiosChe Studios
Mary M.
Clay was very professional, creative, made great suggestions, and provided photographs that really stood out for us.
Clay Chapman PhotographyClay Chapman Photography
Rachel S.
Ryan has really gone above and beyond for our graduation photos and is very patient and flexible to work with. He made sure we got the perfect photos we were looking for. He has a natural talent for photography and a very creative eye. Versatile style, positive attitude, and impressive results. Thanks Ryan!
Hymalayan Productions - Ryan Thomas FraceHymalayan Productions - Ryan Thomas Frace
Thumbtack Customer
He is a complete professional. He is very energetic, creative and personable. The location he suggested to photograph my family and dogs was perfect! We had the proofs in our email within hours of our photo shoot. I would highly recommend Laurens Antoine and will definitely be using him in the future!
Laurens Antoine PhotographyLaurens Antoine Photography
Frank G.
Jessica was enthusiastic, creative and fun to work with. Our 9yr old son tested the patience of us all and both Jessica and Bobby stepped right in to help our family create memorable shots. Jessica is committed to creating high quality photographs. We highly recommend her photography service.
1Man1Woman Designs1Man1Woman Designs
Thumbtack Customer
Laurens Antoine staff is amazing, professional, talented and creative. From the moment we came in the door they made us feel right at home and relaxed. We will continue to use them for all out Photography needs.
Laurens Antoine PhotographyLaurens Antoine Photography
Zephanie D.
I traveled to San Diego from Texas to attend my graduation and wanted to incorporate the city in my graduation photos. Laura was so creative and friendly. She made my moment graduation trip so special by creating these amazing memories through her photography skills! Thank you so much Laura you are the best!
Laura Carrasco PhotographyLaura Carrasco Photography
Ace M.
Throughout the whole process, Storm was terrific. He captured the aesthetic of our brand and truly brought out what we covet in our event photos to visually depict what our networking series is all about. He responds quickly, provides great value, is easy to work with, and even more importantly - takes terrific photos! I highly recommend! He brings the *ahem* perfect storm of qualities you'd want in a photographer - quality, professionalism, creativity, value, and responsiveness just to name a few. Holla at Storm for all your photography needs!
Caught By Storm PhotographyCaught By Storm Photography
David B.
Patrick was amazing. He was very professional, easy to communicate with, and went above and beyond. Not only were the photos amazing, but his creativity was a huge help in suggesting some good spots to take photos. I hired him to take photos of the actual proposal and he nailed it. He scoped out the location ahead of time and sent me sample shots which was super comforting, and his turnaround time was INCREDIBLE (especially cause my fiancee wanted to post on social media hahaha). Frankly, Patrick should be charging far more for his amazing services!
Patrick Sanford PhotographyPatrick Sanford Photography
Thumbtack Customer
I am so happy with the results of our Engagement photos! Mickey is one of the most down-to-earth and highly creative photographers we have ever seen and experienced. He reached out, recreated the vision I had for the photos (the end product was better than I hoped for) and ensured we were happy with the end results. He made the whole experience personable, intimate and promised a quick turnaround that we hadn't expected. Not only do you get to know him well but Patti was a sweetheart too! They make a great team and are such a pleasure to be around. We will be recommending him to everyone we know and hope to use him for future projects.
Mickey Strider PhotographyMickey Strider Photography
JO R.
From my first inquiry about the project to delivering our finished photos, I found Jessica to be a true first-class professional. Even my skeptical husband (who didn't think we needed professional photographers for a family shoot) was blown away with the photos and my entire family of 5 truly feel that we hit the "photographer jackpot" when we found Jessica and Bobby. Thank you for listening to our needs and for making us feel very comfortable during the shoots at Sunset Cliffs. My children loved the time you both spent with them and how you added some special creative magic to make some playful pictures for us. We really appreciate how you were also so responsive after the shoot, and for delivering our photos within a 3 day turnaround. We are definitely enjoying digitally viewing our family and individual photos now, but the hard part is selecting which photos of the many we all love to be "printed or framed." Bottom line, we are confident Jessica and Bobby will also exceed your expectations like they did ours. Your overall experience will be nothing short of remarkable.
1Man1Woman Designs1Man1Woman Designs
Christine L.
We loved Celina! She is both personable and professional. Our 5th year anniversary photos wouldn't have been the same without her craft and eye for the perfect shot. I love how she captures light and laughter into her frame, which made our photo shoot so much fun! We also appreciated her showing us the shots she was capturing as we moved from scene to scene. We shot at places that were familiar to us, but her creativity discovered ways of seeing the familiar with fresh eyes. We highly recommend her for any and all events!
Celina Kenyon PhotoCelina Kenyon Photo
Thumbtack Customer
Brad was AMAZING! on time, brought some awesome assistants and from the moment he got to our hotel he got to work being creative. He needed very little direction and clearly had a vision for the images he wanted to capture. He was friendly to talk to and very very willing to take shots of any ideas that I came up with. based on some of the images he showed me on his camera (which he does often along the way) I CANT wait to see the final photos. I would certainly recommend him to other brides and even use him again myself for future events.
Brad Zangwill PhotographyBrad Zangwill Photography
Ready to find a pro?

See more reviews, compare prices, and hire your favorite pros all with Thumbtack.

Why hire professionals on Thumbtack?
Free to use

You never pay to use Thumbtack: Get cost estimates, contact pros, and even book the job—all for no cost.

Compare prices side-by-side

You’ll know how much your project costs even before booking a pro.

Hire with confidence

With access to 1M+ customer reviews and the pros’ work history, you’ll have all the info you need to make a hire.