Asserting the claim that San Francisco is a global hotspot of economic activity, technological innovation, and artistic and scientific exploration would draw very little opposition. Home to both tech giants and retail titans with operations spanning the globe, the city’s commercial output needs compelling imagery to match its international appeal. So, we’ve found seven of the best product photographers in San Francisco to assist your next commercial or editorial campaign in the photo department.
At Wonderful Machine, product photography applies to any inanimate object not covered by our other specialties, often products. As a result, each San Francisco product photographer we’ve highlighted has a distinct appeal through their images while covering different product categories, letting you settle on one that suits your palate.
Colin Price’s photography is firmly rooted in the world of food and drink. However, before any edible delight travels through our digestive system, it comes in an equally delightful form of packaging. And for photos that turn the packaging of food and drink into appetizing material, look no further than Colin. His compositions fuse the colors of the ingredients with the product packaging, using elegant presentations that additionally highlight textural and spatial elements. The photos stand out for the combinations of items used and their complementary arrangements within the frame. There’s a lot going on, but unsurprisingly, Colin gets everything to click just right.
Some of Colin’s clients include McDonald’s, Starbucks, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Staub, Kiva, Ten Speed Press, Chronicle Books, Abrams Books, HarperCollins, The Wall Street Journal, and The LA Times.
Ian Hanson will somehow manage to make the most disorderly group of objects seem neat and tidy, even if it’s an assortment of ruffled pillows. His organization of products with accompanying props is exemplary, which is precisely why even “messy” becomes something that’s quite “artsy.” He’s a product photographer in San Francisco with a duality of approaches: one half relies on minimal use of color while the other thrives on it. He uses the former style to suit his photos of home and garden products, while the latter is applied to the remainder, covering items such as shoes, tech, and appliances. It’s a unique advantage in a competitive landscape, letting him offer various shooting styles to suit a client’s goals and objectives.
And on the topic of clients, he has plenty, including Google Wing, Nutribullet, Banana Republic, Rolling Stone, InStyle, Architectural Digest, Kohler, Restoration Hardware, Wayfair, Walmart, Hunter Douglas, Lowe’s, Marvin, Frontgate, Level, Brava, Lodgeworks, and more.
While Ted Thomas is another individual with a soft spot for food photography, he happens to be a San Francisco product photographer covering a broad scope of items. Ted’s comfortable capturing a range of product categories, from furniture and home decor to beverages and cosmetics. Whatever the subject happens to be, his images have a light and airy feel to them, as if they were captured during the height of spring. He finds the right combination of placement and lighting to accentuate the most noteworthy features of a subject, turning the product into a thing of beauty.
Ted’s client list is as diverse as his portfolio, including brands such as Starbucks, eBay, Safeway, EO Products, IDEO, Scandinavian Designs, Smith & Hawken, and Sur La Table.
Based in Oakland, Chava Oropesa is a photographer and creative director whose upbringing strongly influenced his portfolio. Growing up in Mexico City, he soaked up the rich and colorful culture around him, and today, his images exhibit similar characteristics through their vivid and vibrant nature. Chava’s love for photography began the moment his father handed him a Pentax K1000 film SLR camera as a kid, and he has been wed to the craft ever since. He went to college to study the discipline and has now gone on to tackle numerous creative avenues, from web design and social media to content and packaging design. So if you’re looking to have a few creative requirements handled through one destination, Chava might just be the guy.
Chava’s client list includes Peet’s, Blue Star Donuts, Kinship Foods, and Tuel Skincare.
If you’re searching for an individual dedicated to the art of product photography in San Francisco, Lucas Saugen is a prime candidate. He lives and breathes the specialty every single day, photographing products in lifestyle and studio settings. When it comes to the latter, owning a 2,500-square-foot ground floor studio is undoubtedly helpful. Lucas will find the right angle to highlight your product through propped and unpropped layouts in the studio, or through more relatable setups using models in everyday situations.
Lucas’s images have been featured in numerous media for clients such as Apple, Target, Logitech, Ancestry, Salesforce, Walmart, Mozilla, Levis, Dockers, Girlfriend Collective, EKO, Illumina, ThirdLove, and Wine.com, among so many others.
If you asked Siri, Alexa, or any other Voice Assistant to describe “easy on the eyes,” they’d all suggest Sean Dagen’s portfolio. Among our product photographers in San Francisco, he’s very careful and judicious with various photo elements, particularly color. Neither threadbare nor overdone, he paints subjects in a very flattering light by finding balance in the composition, ensuring every inch of his photo has the right amount of visual weight. It’s a pleasing quality of his images when shooting home, decor, and tech products in studio and lifestyle settings.
While he produces photos that are easy on the eyes, Sean’s also easy to work with. He has collaborated with the likes of Pottery Barn, Shutterfly, Walmart, Women’s Health, Logitech, HP, BACA Wines, Qlik, and many others.
For product photography that goes all out with color and conceptual dramatizations, we highly recommend Diane Villadsen. If she had to highlight three critical features of her images, they’d be “tomato red, bold femininity, and geometric elements.” Without question, there’s plenty of each in her portfolio, celebrating products with surreal, uncanny, and impactful compositions. A sense of fun and adventure are staples of Diane’s photos, so brands looking to make a bold statement with their products would do well by hiring her.
Diane’s client list includes Zappos, Allbirds, Mailchimp, Oppo, Twitter, Atelier Cologne, Wisp, Bose, and Xiaomi. Her images have also graced the print and digital pages of Aesthetica Magazine, Content Magazine, Ignant, Frankie Magazine, and Fstoppers.
We hope our list of the best product photographers in San Francisco eliminated hours of research to be done on your end. Instead, all the time saved can be spent ironing out the finer details of your creative vision with the talented individuals above.