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Santa Barbara Outdoor Family Photographers

Browse these outdoor family photographers with great ratings from Thumbtack customers in Santa Barbara.

Les Schwartz Photography
5.0
from 61 reviews
  • 12 years in business
  • 97 hires on Thumbtack
Darren W.
Verified review

Working with Les was such a a great experience! I'm pretty picky when it comes to pictures of myself - especially a picture for my website. Les did an outstanding job of listening to what I wanted and most importantly, produced a terrific headshot (easily the best shot I've ever had of myself). He is very professional, easy to work with, and he doesn't over charge like a lot of other photographers in the area. I highly recommend Les Schwartz Photography!

  • 15 years in business
  • 99 hires on Thumbtack
Lisa D.
Verified review

Shuri is a fabulous photographer! She has been our family photographer for the past 10 years...taking family portraits that really captured the best in every one in the family. Most recently, Shuri came to my daughter's bridal shower and was able to combine engagement pictures and photos of the happy event. One year she even created my Christmas card and had them delivered to me promptly...faster than I expected, which is always a plus during the hectic holiday time. You will never be disappointed with her...she is very professional and has also become a treasured friend. I have always been able to count on her to come through with exactly what I need.

Top Pro
Doug Ellis Photography
5.0
from 39 reviews
  • 13 years in business
  • 61 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Brittney S.
Verified review

It has only been such a short time from our wedding and we are still so in awe of the work Doug did. He recommended two photographers for our wedding and even though I didn't think it was very big and necessary, I'm so glad I did! He and Bryan were able to be at different locations and have different views and it was perfect! They were easy to get along with, funny, personable and everyone loved them. The pictures came out absolutely incredible and the turnaround time to completion was impressive. They captured all of our requests plus things we wouldn't have thought of. You can never have a "do-over" for wedding pictures and I am so grateful to Doug and Bryan for the impeccable job they did. I would highly, HIGHLY recommend them to anyone for any photography needs!

Bright Bird Photography
5.0
from 36 reviews
  • 16 years in business
  • 48 hires on Thumbtack
Katie E.
Verified review

Our family photos turned out beautifully! She was able to capture the kids giggles and more tender moments just as I had hoped; all while dodging waves, waning light and variable cooperation of our 1 and 4 year old boys! She was flexible with time and also with style of photos from spontaneous moments to more formal groupings. I found her pricing very competitive with South Bay professional photographers who generally charge a sizable fee for prints and images on top of sitting fees. Would recommend Bright Bird without reservation!

  • 8 years in business
  • 35 hires on Thumbtack
Rashmi E.
Verified review

We are so grateful to Cierra for photographing our wedding this past weekend in Santa Barbara. We have already seen three sneak preview photos, which she was so kind to send so quickly since we didn't take any photos on our phone. We already love love love these photos - the lighting is just beautiful and she really does make lovely photographs. It was an absolute pleasure to work with Cierra from the very beginning. She is very thorough in her approach, and collected all the pertinent information from me in a very organized manner. On the day of the wedding, she reached right on time and swung into action right away as I put on my finishing touches. We were even able to get "first look" photos as I rushed down the stairs and my groom met me at the door of our house, waiting to drive me to the wedding! We got married in front of the Mission in the Rose garden. Cierra helped us pick the right spot so that the lighting would be perfect (it was about 6:30 pm) and the church would be in the back drop. Throughout the ceremony she took photos in the most non-intrusive manner. I really liked her candid, photo-journalistic style. After the wedding, we did some photos with the family and then went to a nearby beach that she had picked out for us that was just perfect (we were not familiar with SB and were happy with her suggestions). The beach was empty and we took full advantage of the golden hour. She made me and even my husband comfortable in front of the camera (which I did not know was even possible!). We loved how she was super enthusiastic and came up with so many suggestions for the photos - a good mix of candids and a few posed shots. Doing a post wedding shoot was awesome because it was nice to get away from it all, and enjoy the beach and the sunset and take a moment to soak it all in. It lifted our spirits even higher and was actually quite romantic.... a great way to start our married life :) The time went over half an hour longer, than we had discussed. But Cierra never made us feel like we are on the clock and when I expressed concern and checked with her, she was totally cool and said it didn't matter. She was focused on making us beautiful photos and preserving memories for a life time. So awesome! Thank you so much Cierra! We loved you and strongly recommend you.

Pinnel Photography
5.0
from 23 reviews
  • 28 hires on Thumbtack
Sara E.
Verified review

Juan was a wonderful photographer, and we were so lucky to find him! We had a handful of photographers fall through, and we were stuck with no photographer, two weeks out from the wedding! Juan was extremely easy to work with, from beginning to finish. He not only gave us an amazing price, but delivered beautiful photographs despite very challenging conditions. Not only do my husband and I have extremely disparate skin tones, but we got married outside, at night, with only ambient lighting. We said our vows in the dark! But Juan even managed to get wonderful photos of those moments. Before the day I had asked him to really focus on the emotions and atmosphere, with a preference for candid, natural photos. He did an amazing job capturing the energy, feelings, and atmosphere for the whole event. He has a great eye for color and composition, and for the few posed photos we took, he tactfully and effortlessly guided us into better lighting and positions. There is always a lot going on at a wedding, but Juan was tuned in and put the utmost energy into tracking down and capturing as many meaningful moments as possible. We all felt very comfortable with him, and he easily meshed with the whole vibe. Everyone is impressed with the results, and it was a great experience.

Top Pro
Aum Photography
5.0
from 18 reviews
  • 6 years in business
  • 11 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Joy D.
Verified review

My son wanted an outdoor, casual photo for his graduation announcement that reflected his personality more than the traditional headshot. Keelin was able to reflect my son's personality in the photos and meet our budget. She was very clear in her pricing and package offerings as well as easy to work with onsite.

Rob Fenton Productions
4.8
from 18 reviews
  • 25 years in business
  • 28 hires on Thumbtack
Renee R.
Verified review

My experience with Fenton Productions far exceeded my expectations! Robert Fenton is the ultimate professional. Mr. Fenton listened to my needs and he gave exactly what I wanted, only better! I received gorgeous photographs and video footage in a timely and reasonably priced manner. I would highly recommend Fenton Productions and I look foward to Robert Fenton creating more beautiful photographs for myself and my family!

Top Pro
  • 38 years in business
  • 16 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Lu F.
Verified review

So im a professional in this industry its just im a Cinematographer, basically a photographer and I wanted to enjoy this party myself. So, Bob was exceptional. Over delivered more than I expected. Came with outstanding equipment. Did more work for me and spent more time than expected which was very nice. And he delivered. Im very thankful.

Impromptu Pictures
5.0
from 13 reviews
  • 8 years in business
  • 23 hires on Thumbtack
Veronika P.
Verified review

Highly recommend Monica as your family photographer! We used her a couple times in the past and she was lovely to work with and the photos turned out amazing! She did a pregnancy shoot for me and later on we hired her for family photos. Looking forward to working with her again :)

Liz Fourie Photography
5.0
from 10 reviews
  • 5 years in business
  • 26 hires on Thumbtack
Jessie L.
Verified review

Liz did an amazing job on my wedding photography. We could not have been happier. Liz was professional from start to finish and our pictures came out absolutely beautiful! My husband and I highly recommend Liz Fourie!

Flash Photography ATX-LA
5.0
from 8 reviews
  • 3 years in business
Sharon W.
Verified review

There are literally no words to describe Ashley Wolford. After meeting with several other photographers, she was the only one my family and I liked. Her professionalism is unlike any other - prompt with responses, super creative. Her work is impeccable! Ashley captures your event in a way you never thought possible.

Fine Heart Photography
5.0
from 6 reviews
  • 4 years in business
  • 3 hires on Thumbtack
Rachrl M.
Verified review

I've worked with Barbara twice, for both professional photos and family holiday photos. She's creative and extremely professional, funny and kind, and I couldn't be happier with the entire process. I wouldn't hesitate to hire her again. She's the first person I'd recommend if asked about photographers and my go-to gal for any photography project. We love Barbara, and so will you!

Lucia Gill Photography
5.0
from 6 reviews
  • 11 years in business
  • 4 hires on Thumbtack
Catherine F.
Verified review

My daughters head shots came out beautiful. I have checked out other photographers in SB and Lucia is the best by far. We are so thankful to find her. Sommer was very comfortable with her and the turn around time of images was super quick. Love her!!

BassImages
4.8
from 6 reviews
  • 6 hires on Thumbtack
Elena T.
Verified review

Jim is one of the best photographers I have ever worked with. He can go out on a shoot alone and come back with great stuff. He always manages to get the best out of people. I have recommended him to many clients through the years and he has retained all of them. Elena Trevino Elena Trevino Design

Lalita Segal Photography
5.0
from 5 reviews
  • 5 years in business
  • 1 hire on Thumbtack
Lucy C.
Verified review

We first started working with Lalita when my son Oliver was 1 month old.  I wanted to capture him in this newborn phase because before I know it, he’ll be in college!  I didn’t know what to expect because Oliver can be a handful at home with all his cuddly toys; a studio with new people could be very tricky.  Lalita immediately made us all so comfortable.  She had a heated blanket for Oliver and knew just how to put him at ease.  I was so impressed with her professionalism and her kind nature.  The photos were spectacular!  We’ve done 3 sessions with Lalita now and each group of photos is better than the next!  She even has a squeaky toy app on her phone that Oliver loves!  That was just one of her many tricks that brought out the most adorable expressions from Oliver.  Our most recent shoot was for Oliver’s 1st birthday, taken at the beach.  Despite the overcast skies, we got beautiful shots full of smiles and giggles, complete with crashing waves in the background.  Lalita works so well with kids, we got all the shots we needed and didn’t even miss naptime!  She is now our official family photographer and we wouldn’t have it any other way!  We LOVE Lalita!  I would highly recommend Lalita and Playful Photography for any family occasion!

Forever After Photography
5.0
from 5 reviews
  • 8 years in business
  • 3 hires on Thumbtack
Chris A.
Verified review

I booked this photographer for a daddy and son package the experience was great she met me at the location and took a ton of photos. This is by far the best bang for your buck per say the price was reasonable for the amount of work she did. The best part is that you get the pics digitally meaning u can keep the pics for ever and share with family and loved ones instantly. By far the best photographer in town. I highly recommend her for your photo needs.

Unedited Photography
5.0
from 4 reviews
  • 6 years in business
Dave D.
Verified review

family photos, really enjoyable, Loni was professional and helped us feel comfortable so we could get some natural shots. Highly recommend Loni

Rob Varela
4.0
from 4 reviews
  • 4 hires on Thumbtack
Sharon S.
Verified review

Mr. Varela was a pleasure to work with. He made sure all photographs desired by the family were taken. He was extremely pleasant and very professional. I would recommend him highly.

Todd Danen Photography
5.0
from 2 reviews
  • 16 years in business
Andrea Y.
Verified review

Todd created fabulous lasting memories of our wedding day. He was easy to work with, professional and prompt. There were so many photographers to choose from but I know we had the absolute best!

  • 1 hire on Thumbtack
Stephanie N.
Verified review

Michael has photographed my family several times over the last 9 years These beautiful framed photos receive so much attention and praise from my many visitors and clients It seems each picture tells a story of a magnificent human life, from the tender delight on the face of my youngest child to the world worn love lined face of great grandma ! Michael will be sensitive to his client and will win their trust

Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

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.

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.

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.
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