Top 6 family photographers in San Francisco Bay Area

December 7, 2021

Most people have thought about doing a family photography session but just haven’t got around to it. Don’t wait around and let the time pass you. Family photography sessions should be an important part of your life; to document growth and milestones, create a fond memory that you and your children can look back on, and have it hung proudly in your home.

Read more: Top 5 reasons to hire a family photographer

San Francisco, California is home to an abundance of talented family photographers. We have compiled a list of the top 6 family photographers in the San Francisco Bay area to choose from. 

Anthony Thornton Photography 

Anthony Thornton's interests in the arts sparked with the trumpet in the fifth grade. Thornton switched over to drumming then immersed himself in Jazz music in high school, soon after being accepted to the music conservatory at Purchase College where he earned his BFA in jazz performance: 

“During my time in Holland, I found myself more interested in taking photographs and documenting the world around me than locking myself in a practice room or even playing music with others.”

Moved by this realization and experience, after graduating from college he decided to face life head-on and make a change that allowed him to follow his true calling and become a photographer. Thornton pursued his goal endlessly and viewed it as a long-term journey than something that should be learned quickly. He apprenticed under numerous photographers, worked as a newspaper photographer, and now blending photojournalism together with commercial client work to establish himself. 

Thornton’s family sessions work to capture each unique personality to showcase the connection and love your family shares with one another: 

“My ultimate goal is to make images that reflect reality and the truth behind the people in them. I approach my subjects humbly, allowing them to open up and be the best, true version of themselves.”

Photo: Anthony Thornton Photography

Family Packages:

1 Hour Family Photography Session ($295 USD, $147.50 Deposit Required)

2 Hour Silver Family Photography Session ($575 USD, $287.50 Deposit Required)

3 Hour Gold Family Photography Session ($850 USD, $425.00 Deposit Required)

6 Hour Day In the Life Family Photography Session ($1500 USD, $750.00 Deposit Required)

12 Hour Extended Day In the Life Family Photography Session ($2500 USD, $1250.00 Deposit Required)

Family Session:

1 Hour of Photography Coverage

100+ Enhanced and Edited Digital High-Resolution Images

Delivery of Final Images Within 14 Days

Personal Use License

Silver Family Session:

2 Hours of Photography Coverage

100+ Enhanced and Edited Digital High-Resolution Images

Delivery of Final Images Within 14 Days

Personal Use License

Gold Family Session:

3 Hours of Photography Coverage

150+ Enhanced and Edited Digital High-Resolution Images

Delivery of Final Images Within 14 Days

Personal Use License

Day in the Life Family Session:

6 Hours of Photography Coverage

50-75 Enhanced and Edited Digital High-Resolution Images

Delivery of Final Images Within 30 Days

Personal Use License

Extended Day in the Life Family Session:

120 Hours of Photography Coverage

100-150 Enhanced and Edited Digital High-Resolution Images

Delivery of Final Images Within 30 Days

Personal Use License

Family | Silver | Gold Family Package Description:

“My approach to hourly family sessions is similar to the "day in the life" style but within a shorter time frame,” says Thornton. “It is essentially candid photography of your life paired with the ethics and principles behind photojournalism. There is no posing, just living your life as you normally do while I'm there to photograph it. We'll spend time together at a location where your family can interact with each other and have some fun. The location can be your favourite weekend spot or a new place you're exploring for the first time.”

What to Expect:

“My ultimate goal is to make images that reflect reality and the truth behind the people in them. I approach my subjects humbly, allowing them to open up and be the best, true version of themselves,” says Thornton. 

Photo: Anthony Thornton Photography

Day in the Life + Extended Package Description:

“The Day in the Life sessions also go by the names family photojournalism and documentary family photography,” says Thornton. “It is essentially candid photography of your life paired with the ethics and principles behind photojournalism. There is no posing, just living your life as you normally do while I'm there to photograph it. We'll spend time together at your home where your family can interact with each other and have some fun.”

What to Expect:

“Typically I will arrive the evening before so I can meet you all and we can sort of ‘break the ice’ before the picture-making begins. Having dinner together is a great way to do this. Then I'll sleep on your couch or anywhere you like. In the morning life will go on as normal except for one thing: I'll be there taking pictures! My approach is a discreet one so you'll soon forget I'm there.”

Photo: Anthony Thornton Photography
Customer Reviews:

“Anthony is so talented! I have worked with him on photo/dance project, professional headshot and events. Anthony has creative inputs and is a great communicator, he was capable of bringing visions to life when we worked on a photo/dance project. He captured the dynamic of movements and the atmosphere of the emotions. Anthony is efficient yet makes people feel at ease when taking headshots. The organization I work for enjoyed working with him and had all the employees’ headshots taken by him for publicity use. Anthony also captured the vivid moments of our daughter's 1st birthday party. He is a sweet guy, professional and easy to work with. We were able to be ourselves and not worry about posing for the camera. I would hire Anthony again for all the personal and professional events!” - Chinchin

Albena Ilieva Photography 

Photography has been a lifelong passion for local photographer Albena Ilieva. Ilieva is inspired by all the amazing people she meets and the momentous occasions she’s entrusted to capture, from important moments of your family's lives to careers, her passion shows through each session. When Illieva is behind the camera her knowledge surrounding photography peaks through, she focuses on composition, light and colours to create beautiful images. During the session, inspired by her creativity and love of people she uses music, play and conversation to create a great experience, and help clients relax – which she believes is as equally as important for the grownups, as it is for the kids: 

“When everything is clicking, my camera and I are like a mirror that magically captures the spirit of your moments. My goal is always to connect with the people in front of the camera, and capture their beautiful personalities.”

Family Packages:

30 Minute Family Mini Photography Session ($290 USD, $145.00 Deposit Required)

1 Hour Family Photography Session ($600 USD, $300.00 Deposit Required)

Family Mini Session:

30 Minute of Photography Coverage

5 Enhanced and Edited Digital High-Resolution Images

Delivery of Final Images Within 14 Days

Personal Use License

Family Session:

1 Hour of Photography Coverage

18 Enhanced and Edited Digital High-Resolution Images

Delivery of Final Images Within 14 Days

Personal Use License

**​All packages include phone consultation, during which you will share your vision, ask questions and we'll go over the session process in detail. You’ll receive a personalized gallery from the shoot and edited high-resolution photographs for download, available to create gifts, print or share with your friends and family.​

Family Mini Session Package Description:

“I keep the energy high and the mood relaxed in these quick sessions featuring some of the Bay Area’s most spectacular scenery,” says Ilieva. “These easy thirty-minute sessions are perfect for creating one-of-a-kind gifts or squeezing a photo session into your busy family life. You’ll receive a personalized gallery from the shoot and five edited high-resolution photographs for download. To reserve your spot, just send me an email and I’ll follow up with an available date and time. It’s that easy!”

Photo: Albena Ilieva Photography

Family Session Package Description:

“Sessions take place in your home or anywhere in our beautiful Bay Area. As a parent myself, I know how to put you and your children at ease – when to make a joke, when to be patient, and when to disappear behind my camera. ​These sessions are joyful and fun! It may take a few minutes for your child to warm up to the idea of being photographed but don’t worry–a little patience and a funny face game is usually all that’s needed. Once the session starts moving along, I encourage parents to be relaxed and follow their kids’ lead. ​In fact, there are not many things that kids love more than their parents cuddling and playing with them and this makes for ​fantastic photos!”

What to Expect:

“After setting a date, we will go over all the details of the session and we will cover all questions you may have. Whatever your needs are, we’ll be sure to encompass the perfect plan just for you! Be sure to share your vision with me and to create an inspiration pinboard at Pinterest,” says Ilieva.

“At this session, you will not be asked to pose or look and smile at the camera. Instead, we are going to play a few games and I'm going to be asking all of you some really fun questions. My goal is to try and get you to forget about the camera and just enjoy each other, just being who you are is exactly what is needed. So have fun with it and I promise that we will create unique and authentic photos that you will love. ​You are welcome to bring any items that are meaningful to your child (like a stuffed animal or a blanket) and a snack he/she enjoys.”

Photo: Albena Ilieva Photography
Customer Reviews:

“If you are looking for an amazing family photographer, look no further!! Albena was absolutely wonderful to work with! I don’t know how she did it but somehow she captured the perfect photos of myself, husband, 3 month old son, AND 2 (!!) dogs! She was a pleasure to work with, quick to respond, flexible with scheduling, reasonably priced, helpful with positioning ideas, and made the entire process so much fun. I would highly recommend her and can’t wait to see future family photos she captures for us!” - Kristen Winterbotham

Justo Photo and Video 

San Francisco family photographer Justo strongly believes in the magic of photography. To him it's more than a picture, it's an art! A way to hang onto every single moment, that showcases the tenderness and love your family has for one another:

“I believe in the magic of photography. A good photo or video is not just a beautiful art form, but it holds with it the memory of that time in your life.You deserve holiday family photos that you can look back on and cherish for years. As your family photographer, my goal is to look for that spark of joy and connection, then preserve it for you. Whether it's your little one's first birthday, or your family's first time getting together and celebrating in a year, it's my pleasure to capture those moments for you.”

Photo: Justo Photo and Video

Family Packages:

1 Hour Holiday Family Photography Session ($250 USD, $125.00 Deposit Required)

1 Hour Outdoor Family Session Photography Session ($250 USD, $125.00 Deposit Required)

Holiday Family Session:

1 Hour of Photography Coverage

Unlimited Enhanced and Edited Digital High Resolution Images

Exclusive Access to Personalized Online Gallery

Delivery of Final Images Within 7 Days

Personal Use License

Outdoor Family Session:

1 Hour of Photography Coverage

Unlimited Enhanced and Edited Digital High Resolution Images

Exclusive Access to Personalized Online Gallery

Delivery of Final Images Within 7 Days

Personal Use License

Photo: Justo Photo and Video
Customer Reviews:

“Justin and his team did an outstanding job with our wedding photos and video. I asked Justin and his team to capture as many candid photos they could. We had hoped they would be able to capture our friends and family truly in their element, and they delivered. We look back at the photos and video and are able to see all the love and joy that was surrounding us that day; we feel that we get to truly relive one of our most special days. Justin and his team were prompt, efficient, and everywhere at once. They were discreet during the ceremony and scattered throughout the crowd during important moments, capturing it all. They all took incredible care in ensuring they didn't miss a thing. We will definitely be returning to Justin in the future to capture more special moments in our lives.” - Amber D

Savanna (Snapshots by Sav)

Savanna's love for photography bloomed at a young age when her grandma gave her first photo album to store her photos of her family trip to the beach: 

“That was the first time I appreciated photography for the art that it is. One look at a picture can bring back the nostalgia of your favourite summer vacations, the wanderlust of places to travel, the happiness of being surrounded by family or friends, or your pet. Photographs capture small snapshots in time that you can look back on for generations.”

With a psychology background and a pursuit of a doctorate in the subject, Savanna has gained a professional understanding of behavior, social connections, and finding the beauty in all things. She pairs this with her creative spark and over 10 years of experience in media and portrait photography to create a personalized, portrait experience that you’ll have for a lifetime:

“You deserve family photos that you can look back on and cherish for years. As your family photographer, my goal is to look for that spark of joy and connection, then preserve it for you. Whether it's your little one's first birthday, or your family's first time getting together and celebrating in a year, it's my pleasure to capture those moments for you.”

Photo: Snapshots by Sav

Family Package:

2 Hour Family Portrait Photography Session ($450 USD, $225.00 Deposit Required)

What's Included:

2 Hour of Photography Coverage

60 Enhanced and Edited Digital High Resolution Images

Delivery of Final Images Within 14 Days

Personal Use License

Before the shoot:

“Once we’ve decided to work together, we pick a date. I help with location scouting, outfit planning, things to bring, and anything else that might make the day-of go smoothly.”

During the shoot:

“We have a photoshoot! Based on your shoot type, we work together to get the photos you need. This means taking breaks for young kids, using treats and toys to get your pet’s attention, and being creative to capture your best moments!”

After the shoot:

“After the shoot, images are delivered within a couple of weeks via an online photo gallery. Here there will be information on downloading digital images or creating prints.”

Photo: Snapshots by Sav

JP Sander (JPCS Media) 

JPCS Media is a photography and videography studio based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Through their work they aim to bring story-telling and authenticity to life. 

Photo: JPCS Media

Family Package:

1 Hour Family Photography Session ($150 USD, $75.00 Deposit Required)

What's Included:

1 Hour of Photography Coverage

20 - 25 Enhanced and Edited Digital High Resolution Images

Delivery of Final Images Within 14 Days

Personal Use License

Photo: JPCS Media
Customer Reviews:

“I had the privilege of working with JP prior to him filming our wedding.  I knew his work ethic and outstanding capability. There was no doubt I wouldn't pick him to film our wedding.  He was on time and great, flexible to work with.  I trust him with any future events and would highly recommend choosing him to film your special day!” - Jordan Sciacqua Kisling

Reenie Raschke Photography

Oakland photographer Reenie Raschke is both a historian and artist. Throughout her years she has developed a natural gift for working with light which has been honed from years of studying photography and art with a variety of individuals in the field: 

“You deserve family photos that you can look back on and cherish for years. As your family photographer, my goal is to look for that spark of joy and connection, then preserve it for you.”

Raschke offers both in the studio as well as on location photography. Her studio session is a classic representation of standard family photography. However, Raschke understands the value behind a day in the life style session due to her own experience and offers a chance for your family to share a similar experience: 

“When my brother recently gave me a snapshot of him, my sister and I cooking dinner for my mother in 1967, I was moved by the details of my childhood. The salt and pepper shakers, the wall art, the home that I grew up in. With an Our House Session, I follow your family through the dealings of a day, from PJs to breakfast, getting ready, playing, cooking, reading.” 

Photo: Reenie Raschke Photography

Family Packages: 

1 Hour Family Portrait Session (In Studio) ($350 USD, $175.00 Deposit Required)

3 Hour Day In The Life Family Session (Includes Photo Album) ($1000 USD, $500.00 Deposit Required)

Family Portrait Session:

1 Hour of Photography Coverage

Gallery of 100 Enhanced and Edited Digital High Resolution Images to Choose From

Delivery of Image Proofs Within 3 Days

Personal Use License

Day In The Life Family Session:

3 Hour of Photography Coverage

Gallery of 100 Enhanced and Edited Digital High Resolution Images to Choose From

Delivery of Image Proofs Within 3 Days

Personal Use License

Includes an 11x14 Coffee Table Book

**Framed Wall Prints, Wood Prints, Metal Prints, Gallery Wraps, Loose Prints (Frame Yourself), and Custom Designed Coffee Table Book available (at cost). 

**Can't decide which product to purchase? Get all the high res digital images from the session, a clearance contract, and slideshow for $1250, or $150 per image.

Photo: Reenie Raschke Photography
What to Expect:

“When booking a family session, expect to be with Reenie for a good hour. With little ones and newborns it could take longer, as we may stop and start a lot to help your child feel more comfortable. When booking the Day in the Life Family Session, expect to be with Reenie for approximately three hours. With little ones and newborns it could take longer, as we may stop and start a lot to help your child feel more comfortable.”

“A phone consultation will help you plan on proper clothing. Generally a portrait to Reenie means a portrayal of who you are and she will most likely advise you to come in your regular grubbies to portray this time in your life accurately. Texture colors, vampy and campy work well.”

Customer Reviews:

“I found Reenie through a Living Social offer.  I found her to be very engaging, personable, and very easy to work with. After giving her a general idea of the kind of family photos we wanted, she went right to work, posing us in very unique and fun ways. Reenie was so patient, and took tons of pictures. We never felt rushed, or unimportant. When we went to look at the proofs, they were AMAZING!!!! Captured our essence to the T! We had her make a family life book from the pictures, and we were sooo pleased. All of the friends and family that have seen the work were duly impressed. I would recommend her highly, and anytime we need this type of work, she will be first on our list!” - Andrea S.

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