Natural Portraits & Events Photography

San Rafael, CA

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About this pro

How does your service stand out?

I'm creating vivid images that not only shows what your event looked like but also reminds you of what it felt like to be there -- with all the emotion, spirit and love evident on the day. Awarded Thumbtack Best Photographer certificate for the San Francisco Bay Area -- 2015, 2016 based on clients' reviews.

What do you enjoy about the work you do?

I love letting my clients have a collection images of their event that they couldn't see themselves, such as the following: * What the flower girl did on the dance floor * The embrace of the bride and groom on their first dance * The expression of joy on the bride's parents as she walked down the isle * Her best friends' antics after they've had a few * Details, details and more details!

Location

San Rafael, CA 94903

Background check

Complete

Years in business

10

Number of employees

1

Times hired on Thumbtack

37

Reviews

34 Reviews
  • Maggie C. Mar 8, 2017
    Event Photography
    Verified Review
    Norm is your calm in the center of the storm
    ...or momentous occasion and celebration. We hired Norm for an intimate wedding celebration that was indoor/outdoor. From hiring to receiving final product - including the communication throughout - the process was seamless and enjoyable (not something I'd normally associate with wedding planning!) Norm is patient, kind, personable, and has an eye for capturing those candid, special moments. He'll be my first call for future photography needs. Thank you, Norm!
    Norm L. Mar 8, 2017

    And thank you Maggie! You and Scott hosted a marvelous wedding and reception. Shows that size doesn't matter when it comes to creating a spirited event. I'm so glad you love the photos. Looking forward to working with you in the future.

  • Annie R. Nov 17, 2016
    Portrait Photography (for children)
    Verified Review
    Excellent photographer!
    We recently hired Norm to take our annual family photo shoot, and we couldn't be happier! He is a true professional, from being so flexible to our schedule (we have three young kids), to the way in which he handled our kids throughout the shoot, he has a lot of patience! Norm's work is stellar, we highly recommend him. Great quality and value!
  • Jordan G. Sep 30, 2016
    Great pics! Great guy!
    Best photoshoot I've ever had! Norm took great, natural-looking pictures (even despite my natural aversion to being photographed) and made the whole process comfortable and enjoyable. Even gave me a ride home afterwards. Can't recommend highly enough!
  • Cindy I. Jun 20, 2016
    We found Natural Portraits after I reached out on a local community web site for references. Within an hour, I had multiple recommendations for this firm from neighbors I trust. Natural Portraits and Norm Levin provided a high level of customer service, a reasonable price and -- most importantly -- beautiful photos for our event. I highly recommend.
  • Bianca S. May 22, 2016
    Family Portrait Photography
    Verified Review
    We hired Norm for family photos, and while he did a great job with lighting and getting beautiful colors, his shooting style was not kid-friendly.
    Norm L. May 25, 2016

    This was a very sweet,lovely family with an impish, active young son. I've been photographing families and kids for over 10 years, and I think the results, and the rest of my reviews, speak for themselves. See what you think: http://www.naturalportraitsandevents.com/Portraits

  • Jo H. May 10, 2016
    Event Photography
    Verified Review
    Norm is fabulously talented as a photographer and just gets what makes a good photograph. His style is unique and original. He knew how to blend in at my daughter's Bat Mitzvah and get both beautiful posed shots as well as candids. Norm did a great job of checking in throughout the time leading up to our event as well during the event. Thank you Norm!
    Norm L. May 25, 2016

    Jo sent me an email, which I'll quote, "Norm, we LOVE these shots so much. So many gems!!!! Well I just finished watching the slideshow-- I think it might have taken an hour. I laughed. I cried. I remembered things I had already forgotten. I loved how you captured the most precious of moments and looks between people. The lighting was perfect! You delivered exactly what I had been hoping for. Thank you so much."

  • Jeanne M. May 10, 2016
    Event Photography
    Verified Review
    Family vacation to Napa (8 people) --Norm did exactly what I asked for. He just fell into place with our group as we tasted and meandered through winery tours. We have received some preliminary shots back from the experience and we are happy so far. He was very easy to spend the day with and figured out how to work with eight different personalities well.
    Norm L. May 25, 2016

    That was as much fun in one day, as I think I'm allowed to have as a photographer! We visited three top wineries each offering up something different in experiences, settings and interactions. I hope Jeanne and her gang make Napa an annual pilgrimage.

  • Jeremy P. Feb 20, 2016
    Family Portrait Photography
    Verified Review
    Norm was a true professional. He got great shots of our newborn baby. He was easy to work with, and had a great eye for framing and composition of the photos. He made smart recommendations about location, lighting, props, attire, and positions. We are very happy with the work that Norm did with our baby girl.
  • Madeleine C. Feb 18, 2016
    Family Portrait Photography
    Verified Review
    Norm took our photograph to celebrate and remember our 50th anniversary. I wanted a casual, relaxed photo and that is exactly what he delivered. We love it. I would highly recommend him for any occasion. He made us feel relaxed and comfortable.
  • Praveen S. Feb 14, 2016
    Portrait Photography
    Verified Review
    Norm was very responsive and provided our photos to us so quickly!
  • Michelle K. Feb 11, 2016
    Portrait Photography
    Verified Review
    Norm did a fantastic job with a family photo session - our first in 20 years! He managed kids, pets and personalities brilliantly. He scoped out a great place for our session and had everything set up when we arrived. Our photos are beautiful and such a wonderful memory of a special time for our family. I highly recommend Norm - he made the process easy, has a great eye and is a pleasure to work with!
    Norm L. May 25, 2016

    Three generations in one session. Loved it!

  • Mary B. Jan 10, 2016
    Portrait Photography (for children)
    Verified Review
    He did a fantastic job. The photos were high quality and he captured some great memories.
  • Greta M. Jan 4, 2016
    Norm came out to our house to take photos of our family in our backyard. The photos turned out so gorgeous that we had him come back the next year to do more. Sadly, we moved out of state and have since used other photographers but non have come close to the quality of Norm's. These are by far the nicest photos we have of our family and will treasure them forever.
  • Dorjan T. Jan 2, 2016
    Engagement Photography
    Verified Review
    Norm L. May 25, 2016

    This was a surprise proposal set at midnight on New Years Eve on the San Francisco waterfront. It took a lot of planning and scouting in order to get Dorjan and his fiancee once-in-a-lifetime set of images. We had to secretly position them in front of the midnight fireworks to get just the shots he dreamed of. Take a look: http://www.naturalportraitsandevents.com/Engagements

  • Gregory M. Dec 31, 2015
    Portrait Photography
    Verified Review
    Norm is responsive and easy to work with. His cost was very competitive and his work is good.
  • Anne-Michelle B. Dec 22, 2015
    Portrait Photography
    Verified Review
    My husband and I hired Norm for our maternity photo shoot and he was incredible in every way! Norm is fun to work with, talented and truly cares about getting great shots that are exactly what you're picturing. He's a genius with lighting and we can't wait to see him again for our newborn shoot when our little girl is born! Thanks, Norm!
  • Casey C. Dec 8, 2015
    Engagement Photography
    Verified Review
    Norm was fantastic from beginning to end. Professional, direct, and responsive Norm's communications were outstanding. Norm came to the photo shoot with a clearly defined vision and a tactical plan for executing on that vision. The whole process was seamless and the results were outstanding. Highly recommend!
    Norm L. Dec 22, 2015

    This was a fun shoot. Great subject who was easy to direct, plus he had some sound ideas which we were able to include.

  • Amy S. Nov 1, 2015
    Portrait Photography
    Verified Review
    We were so glad to find Norm Levin for our daughter's senior portraits. In a matter of days we communicated to find a date/time and outdoor location that worked out to be amazing. Norm's suggestion of the west end of Golden Gate park and 4-6PM golden daylight made for perfect, natural, back-lit and glowing photos. We managed 3 outfits in 7 locations in 2 hours ending with some beautiful sunset shots at the beach. He was patient, friendly, and low-key with my shy/reserved girl, and we are extremely pleased with the gallery. Our relatives and friends are impressed with the photos and commented on the "great photographer"! Highly recommend and we'll hire again for family photos next!
  • Shelley A. Sep 29, 2015
    We just received the photos from our daughter and her partner's commitment ceremony and we were so impressed with their quality and how the absolute joy of the event was captured. Norm Levin was a pleasure to work with and very professional. He provided us with hundreds of photos and we are thrilled with the results.
    Norm L. Nov 10, 2015

    That was a joyous day, combining both traditional rituals and wild contemporary celebrations. I'm so happy you're thrilled with the results.

  • Hali C. Sep 3, 2015
    Norm photographed our son's bar mitzvah and party. His photographs are of the highest caliber and he conducts his business professionally and with integrity. His photographs create memories of a lifetime. We look forward to working with him in the future.
    Norm L. Nov 10, 2015

    Creating images that reinforce memories is my passion. Yes, let's create some more!

  • Elissa V. Sep 3, 2015
    Norm Levin photographed our son's bar mitzvah celebration two years ago and he did an incredible job. The photos were beautiful, but even more important, Norm was a discrete, yet active presence throughout the event. He caught moments with his camera that we will treasure for a lifetime.
  • Andy F. Aug 31, 2015
    Norm has been doing real estate photography for all my listings. He's got a great eye, I consistently get compliments for his shots and my clients are always pleased with his work. Previous photographers I've used can't come close to Norm.
    Norm L. Nov 17, 2015

    Andy, it's an ongoing pleasure to be of service to you and your clients. Thanks for the compliments - it's just makes me work all that much harder.

  • Carol G. Aug 25, 2015
    Just before our son's high school graduation, we realized it had been 10 years since we'd had professional photographs of our family and we sought out Norm Levin to do this. Norm stood out in recommendations, and his portfolio shows his remarkable eye for children's expressions and ability to capture family groups. He also charges only a session fee which includes 6 files of your favorite images, and leaves it to you to arrange for prints where you choose. This is unique flexibility in our experience. Norm knew of a great outdoor location above Sleepy Hollow/Terra Linda and, despite windy weather conditions, took numerous great photos of the 4 of us in various locations all over the hillside park. We were very pleased to have too many good shots to choose from for our printed portraits! We will definitely turn to Norm for professional portraits in the future.
  • Edy S. Aug 9, 2015
    Portrait Photography
    Verified Review
    Norm took group photos at our family reunion - He was easy to work with and the photos turned out very well. I highly recommend him!
  • Jody B. Jul 29, 2015
    Event Photography
    Verified Review
    Norm Levin did an outstanding job of photographing my son's Bar Mitzvah ceremony and party! He was friendly, thorough, and the pictures were spectacular. I would highly recommend his to anyone. Several of my friends have also commented on the terrific photos and have asked for copies.
  • James F. Jun 2, 2015
    Norm's camera is no better or worse than anyone else's. The scenery that Norm uses for his backdrops are available to anyone else, as well. It's Norm's EYE that sets him apart. His ability to see the unseen and then capture it on film is very unique...I recommend him highly.
    Norm L. Jul 28, 2015

    Actually, I tend upgrade my cameras every few years. Currently using Nikon's latest and greatest full frame sensor model, the D750.

  • Jhameson A. May 28, 2015
    Event Photography
    Verified Review
    One of the best photographers in town and did a really good job taking amazing pictures on the event that I held. Editted the pictures really fast and professionally delivered by Mr. Levin.
  • Les K. Apr 21, 2015
    Event Photography
    Verified Review
  • Dena G. Oct 14, 2014
    Norm photographed our twins' b'nai mitzvah ceremony and evening party. He is knowledgeable, experienced and creative. He was always on time and prepared and knew which photos he should take. He put together a wonderful book chronicling both the ceremony and party and really capturing the feeling of each event. The photo book is very special to us. He event took the initiative to take some very important photos that weren't specified and I'm so glad he did. Like one of my parents (who are both now deceased) with my children. Norm has the photographic skill and creative eye to do a great job capturing the feeling of the event and producing quality photos.
  • Rob C. Sep 29, 2014
    Portrait Photography
    Verified Review
    Norm did some family photography of me, my wife, nad our 2 and 5 year old children. He suggested locations, scheduled us at the best time of day and already had spots chosen to get the best lighting and composition. He was fantastic to work with - incredibly patient and friendly with my two young kids and his photography was just incredible. The lighting and color are superb and the way he captured us without any posing or staging really impressed me and my wife. Gorgeous work and a really delight to work with!
  • Elaine B. Feb 26, 2014
    Headshot Photography
    Verified Review
    Norm took my daughter Rachelle's Senior Photos and there were so many great ones to choose from!
  • Nina S. Feb 21, 2014
    Headshot Photography
    Verified Review
    I needed a new Linked In work photo over the weekend, and Norm was extremely accommodating with his schedule. He made me feel very comfortable during the photo shoot, and I walked out within the hour with three great photos to choose from.
  • Tom K. Jan 3, 2014
    Event Photography
    Verified Review
  • Denise R. Dec 20, 2013
    Portrait Photography
    Verified Review
    Norm was amazing to work with. He arrived on time, set up quite quickly, and set off to take our staff photos. Everyone was a bit nervous, but Norm had a natural way to make everyone feel comfortable and get the best shot. I would definitely recommend his services, as he is very professional and the quality of his photos is stellar. Thanks again Norm!

Q&A

What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
We talk, hopefully in person, to determine their needs, logistics, budget and taste. then I'll do my best to meet them.
Do you have a standard pricing system for your service? If so, please share the details here.
For weddings, fees are generally based on the size of your event, not the duration. Similar to your caterer, the fewer guests the smaller the budget needed. I don't watch the clock, nor should you. Hire me, I'm yours for the duration. Weddings run from $1,500 to $3,500, which includes a disk of edited, full resolution images, and online gallery for ordering prints and archival storage for security.
What types of customers have you worked with?
I specialize in major lifecycle events. Weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, anniversary and birthday parties. Anywhere people come to celebrate a milestone event. I'm on the lookout for photos that show the spirit and emotion of the moment. Also family portraits. Business portraits. We come to you.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
Study a few photographers' portfolios. Do they have a flair for catching the action? Do their images evoke emotions? Do they make you say "Wow!" Check their references and read testimonials. Meet in person to see if it's a fit.