San Francisco Bay Area Portrait Photographer

San Francisco Bay Area Portrait Photographer

My goal is to not just take a picture of what you look like. I want to capture who you are as a person. If you’re looking for a professional portrait photographer my name is Jason Guy, and I’d love to photograph you!

Although flattering light and pose are crucial to a great photos, as a portrait photographer, I believe that capturing what others notice in you is what ultimately makes noteworthy images. With every client I photograph, I strive to create timeless pictures that are both cleanly lit, and genuine.

All of my photos are devised on location in the bay area and beyond as either studio or environmental style portraits.

Bay Area Studio Portraits

San Francisco Bay Area Studio Portraits

If you love elegantly simple images with precise light, studio photos are pretty awesome with the right portrait photographer! Studio portraits have a couple of unique qualities when compared to environmental portraiture on location.

First, with studio style portraits I’ll have complete control over the environment which gives me a blank slate to illuminate your features with precision. This will quite literally allow me capture you in the best possible light.

Second, since all of my sessions are photographed on location, this means I can capture your studio portraits in the comfort of your own home! Studio portraits can be produced in a wide variety of styles including: wedding formals, maternity, senior portraits, corporate headshots for business, artistic images, family photos, beauty portraits and even creative portraits.

To learn more about a studio session with me, you can check out this post where I cover specifics about what I need to create beautiful studio portraits at your location!

I Want To Take The Best Picture You've Ever Seen Of Yourself!

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Recent Studio Sessions

3 black and white children's portraits of a toddler boy sitting on an apple box

Children’s Portraits San Francisco Bay Area

When I create portraits, one of the most important things to me is that I don’t look back on them years later and hate them. I’m never more aware of this then when I’m capturing portraits of my son.

As a parent I am reminded fairly regularly how fast kids change and how little time I have to capture every stage. If I miss one of those stages, it’s gone forever. Should I decide I did a poor job somewhere down the line, I can’t go back and re-do it. It’s something I’m hyper aware of, and I hope future me approves of the job I do when I look back.

Headshot Photographer Bay Area

Today’s post features my headshot session with San Francisco mural artist Maxfield Bala. Max is an amazing mural artist who has created murals for some well known companies including: Dropbox, Mountain Dew, The Hard Rock Hotel, Coca Cola, Samsung, DHL, Lagunitas Brewing Company and much more.

Portraiture on Location in the Bay Area

I Want To Take The Best Picture You've Ever Seen Of Yourself!

Let's schedule a call and talk about how you want to be photographed

Recent Environmental Portrait Sessions

Little Crash Test Dummy in the Wild Flowers

I kept hearing from other parents about how there is this time while raising your kid where your whole job becomes keeping them from killing themselves. I thought this was hyperbole until my toddler decided it was his time to prefect the art of the face plant.

Maternity portraits of woman in blue dress walking in a sonoma California field

Maternity Photo Shoot

Today I’m excited to share Hazel’s second photo shoot with me as her and her husband Zee get ready to welcome their new baby into the world! I’d love to link to her previous session in this post, but much to my disappointment, her boudoir photo shoot is GZ4 classified. You’ll just have to trust me when I say that she has more than a few images I’d love to show off in my portfolio if I could!

The good news is that she said she’d be okay sharing her maternity photos from her session here which I’m super stoked about! A few of them look pretty different compared to what I typically see posted and I really like that!

Portraits Among California's Natural Landscapes

little kid high fives his aunt while learning to ride his bike in the alabama hills while dogs run around them

Even though studio portraits have a lot of benefits, nothing beats the San Francisco Bay Area when it comes to outdoor scenery. Portraits captured in natural light give the photos a casual yet beautiful aesthetic.

If you love outdoor portraiture and would like to include some of our state’s beautiful landscapes in your portraits, then I highly recommend thinking about having your session photographed out in the country!

The environment in our area is diverse with our ancient redwoods, stunning beaches, and oak forests. They’re all amazing and very different from each other! Environmental portraits can be done in any of these areas if you’re the outdoorsy type.

Outdoor Portraits In Your City or Mine!

If you’re not into country settings, you can also have your portraits taken in an urban area of your choosing. People come from all over the world to visit my town of Sonoma if you’d like to come out my way and do your portraits at the plaza.

If you’d prefer your photographs to be taken elsewhere, I can certainly accommodate that also! There is no fee for anywhere you’d like to be photographed within one hour of Sonoma, California.

If studio looks are too formal for you, but you love the idea of beautifully lit portraits at your local landmark, then a city portrait session might be the perfect choice for you!

San Francisco Portrait

Portrait Photography Services

I offer a variety of portrait services and would love the opportunity to photograph you or your loved one! The following services can all be accommodated as either studio or environmental sessions.

  • Couples photos
  • Engagement photos
  • Formal wedding photos (captured on a separate day from your wedding)
  • Weddings
  • Boudoir
  • Maternity

Headshots Bay Area: Add that Professional Touch to your Social Media Profiles

The San Francisco Bay Area is a business epicenter. With so much business handled online these days, your professional portrait is more essential now than it’s ever been.

Since your headshot will likely be the first impression that your customers will have with you online, it’s important to make sure you invest in your brand with a profile photo that is both clean and eye catching. Professional portraits are essential for social profiles such as Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. It’s arguably more even more important for your website’s about page.

If you need headshots for your social profiles or website, I can create them for you in a way that is both professional and noteworthy. For details, you can learn more about a Headshot session with me here.

Personal branding headshot of a man in a suit and tie
Enviornmental cinematic headshot captured outdoors near the clients buisness.

Bay Area Maternity Photographer: Get The Best Baby Bump Picture Ever!

When your baby is inside you, your body goes through a spectacular metamorphosis. The entire process happens more quickly than you may imagine, and photographing the pinnacle of this change is something I enjoy doing as a maternity photographer!

I photograph all maternity shoots on location in any place that you’d like to be photographed. Your home or a public urban / rural area, or a favorite venue, are examples of common locations.

The ideal time to do a maternity photo shoot is somewhere around the 7–8 1/2 month mark of your pregnancy. There are pros and cons to doing it on the early and late sides of this range. For example, the early side of this range is great because you’ll have more energy. This comes at the cost of a smaller baby bump.

Later in this range is awesome in that you can capture your portraits while your belly is at it’s fullest. Just know that some women feel very tired the closer they get to their due date. The balance within this range is usually your belly size vs your energy level.

Full Sun Portraits: High Fashion with a Dark Twist

Generally reserved for models, I also offer full sun, high fashion portraits. These sessions are photographed on white or black backgrounds and use full sun as the light source.

Full sun is a light source that chisels features unlike any other, however offers zero forgiveness for me as the photographer or you as the subject. These sessions aren’t for the faint of heart as they require very precise posing and looking in the direction of the sun. Moving your head an inch in any direction can literally break a shot due to how hard and deep the shadows are from unfiltered sun.

The final results are worth the added challenge though! The high contrast nature of unfiltered sun makes these photos look particularly striking when processed as black & white portraits.

Full sun portraits obviously need to be planned on a day where there is no clouds. It’s also a good idea to try and capture them on a milder day so you don’t sweat your makeup off too quickly.

Want To Look Your Best In Photos But Don't Know How?

Want To Look Your Best In Photos But Don't Know How?

Don’t worry! I’ll guide you towards the best picture you’ve ever seen of yourself! My name is Jason Guy and I’ve been taking photos of people as my full time job for the last 8 years. In that time, I’ve learned everything about creating beautiful images and I’ve laid it all out in these articles to help you get the best photos possible form your session!

Portrait photoshoot Freaquently asked questions

Portrait Photoshoot F.A.Q.

Answers to the most frequently asked questions about a photo shoot with me. Don’t see the answer to your question here? Let me know what I missed in the comments!

studio portraits bay area sonoma, California

Studio Portraits On Location | Bay Area | Sonoma, CA

I create studio-quality portraits at your location. Studio portraits can be photographed on white, black or muslin backgrounds. Additionally, I’ll also arrange for a hair and makeup artist to join us at your location to enhance your features before your photo shoot!

Portrait Photo Shoot Overview

Portrait Photo Shoot Overview

If you love my portfolio and want pictures like I show, this post will provide an overview of my process. My goal is to give you total clarity so you know exactly what to expect, when you book your photo shoot with me!

Every photo shoot with me consists of four main segments: Planning your photo shoot, booking your date, the photo shoot, and your photo reveal.

What Makes a Good Portrait

What Makes A Good Portrait: The 5 Elements All Great Portraits Have

There are 5 core elements that make up a good portrait: Location, lighting, composition, emotion and technical settings. When all 5 of these elements are well executed, a great portrait is created. If any of these elements comes up short, the quality of the portrait suffers. A fanatic obsession with good implementation of these elements will lead to better photos, and more consistent portraits.

Location ideas for your Sonoma county portraits

Environmental portraits are captured at any outdoor or indoor area in Sonoma county where the photo shoot location is intended as the setting for your photos. This can include:

It should go without saying that you’ll want make sure you like the setting of your photo shoot as it will be the background for all of your photos. Your location could include anything from an urban setting like The Sonoma Plaza to something more rural like the rolling hills of Sonoma Regional Park. If you’re unsure where in the bay area you want to be photographed, I can help you brainstorm where to do your photo shoot at your initial consultation, so don’t worry!

Natural light portraits

Perhaps the biggest difference between environmental portraits and studio portraits is that I’ll be posing you into the natural light that I find around us. If the natural light around us isn’t adequate or I think I can make it better, I’ll improve the setting using strobes.

From an ambient lighting standpoint, all portrait photographers agree that the best time to do your outdoor portraits is during “golden hour.” Golden hour is the term used for the hour after the sun rises and the hour before it sets.

For portrait sessions at sunrise or sunset, the sun will be low in the sky which is a more flattering angle for portraits. When the sun travels towards the horizon, it will also transition in color temperature from white (daylight) to gold hues, hence the term “golden hour.”

It’s important to note that natural light portrait sessions require me to pose you into the lighting I find around me. You’ll need to be comfortable with this idea to get images like I show on this site. This can feel very awkward and weird, but the results should speak for themselves. The point is, that this kind of look does not happen candidly if you’re resistant to the idea of being precisely directed.

What to wear to your photo shoot?

It’s no secret that cute outfits help make beautiful images. That said, choosing what to wear for your photo shoot depends on the intended purpose your photographs.

For example, you’ll likely choose different clothes if you want images for business as opposed to legacy images you might gift to family.

It’s important to think about what outfits you’ll bring to your photo shoot and dress accordingly so your outfit compliments your figure, the surroundings and the type of the photos you want captured.

No matter what picture day outfits you choose, remember that solid colors are more likely to keep the focus on you, while anything with patterns run a chance of being a distraction. Patterns can be beautiful and even add to the photo, they just need to be considered thoughtfully.

The bottom line is that you can wear whatever you like to your session, but it’s important to think about color palettes, patterns and fit in addition to your style. It’s wise to bring more outfits than you think you’ll need with a mix of bold and safe choices just in case something doesn’t work out.

For my favorite tips on what to wear for picture day and where to rent clothing for your photo shoot, you can check out this post for suggestions to enhance your photographs.

SF Bay Area Professional Photographer Jason Guy

My name is Jason Guy, and I’m a portrait photographer based in Sonoma, California. My goal is to produce timeless portraits for you and your loved ones that you’ll cherish forever.

While other portrait photographers emphasize capturing candid moments, I believe great pictures are better captured when focusing on the 5 elements all great portraits have.

The 5 core elements that make up a great portrait are: Location, lighting, composition, technical settings and emotion. When all of these elements are well executed, the image looks authentic even though it might actually be staged.

My promise to you is that I will never leave you wondering where to put your hands or how to position your body. In short, if you’re nervous that you will look awkward and uncomfortable in your final photos, don’t stress! I know what beautiful looks like, and I can help guide you towards it and capture it on camera.

So, whether you’re looking for family photos, engagement photos or even something more creative like boudoir photography I can help you get images like I show on this site. If you have any questions about anything or would like to get started with a session for yourself, please feel free to get in touch here.

I Want To Take The Best Picture You've Ever Seen Of Yourself!

Let's schedule a call and talk about how you want to be photographed