Family photos

Our Approach, Pricing & Process

Santa Barbara Family Photos

Recent Beach and StudioFamily Photographs

Family Photographers in Santa Barbara

There are lots of choices in and around Santa Barbara for family portrait photographers, including different genres like maternity photographers, newborn photographers and even some that specialize in really elaborate formal in studio fine art seated portraiture. I tend to specialize in families and large family gatherings for casually elegant outdoor families that enjoy having a good time and creating candid, highly kinetic and spontaneous moments of mirth and mayhem. We often have pets and animals and small kids involved too so there are many variables/wildcards and a deep willingness to surrender to the action as it unfolds. As Byron Katie says, “when you argue with what is, you lose, but only 100% of the time” and that is doubly true of family portraiture, especially with young ones in meltdown mode. 

Pricing Family Photos in Santa Barbara

Pricing for family photos and portraits in Santa Barbara ranges depending on the size of the group and experience level of photographer from $300 on the low end to over $1500 on the high end for high end print packages/collections. I offer two different packages depending on the group size and length of time and attention span you may have. The 45 minute mini session is $495 and the 75 minute full or the standard session for groups of six or more is $675, which includes both web and high res digital downloads and all post production.

Feel free to reach out and email me with any questions as you plan your family vacation or stay here in Santa Barbara and are looking forward to creating those epic christmas card photos or wall or desk art of your family, without being stuffy or overly posed. 

Best Locations for Family Photos in Santa Barbara


The beach is generally the first location people think of, especially here in the American Riviera, but there are a few hazards to be aware of, not the least of which are the tides, the winds, the crowds, and sometimes the oily tar that can accumulate on the sand.  I have some quieter more sheltered and secluded beach photo locations I can clue you into that are tide agnostic.

There are several more forested/natural settings here in Santa Barbara that still have beautiful California colors and foliage, including Alice Keck Park, Douglas Preserve, the Foothill Preserve, and of course, our Santa Barbara County Courthouse, which is one of the most frequently photographed spots in all of California.  For more urban vibes we have our funk zone and then if you want to go Nautical, we have a great seawall with a breakwater. 

As seen in

Natgeo+ People + spirituality & Health+success+travel+Leisure+YOGA Journal
"Doug Works From The Heart With Clear Awareness, Sensitivity And Creativity. And He Was Very Respectful Of And Tuned Into Me And My Needs."
Terry Tillman
“Doug Ellis Is Such An Extraordinary Photographer. Not Only Is His Work First-Rate, He Is So Great To Work With. Professional, Encouraging, And A Real Pro. He Gets My Highest Recommendation!"
J.DL, Actors Lab
“I Loved Working With Doug On My Recent Photo Shoot For A Picture On The Author's Page Of My Forthcoming Book. He's Super Professional And Talented, Really Knows What He's Doing. Everything About His Whole Operation Is Top Notch, Which Gave Me A Lot Of Confidence.”
Jill S, Author And Therapist
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