Costa Mesa portrait photographer who specializes in natural light portrait photography. Born and raised in Orange County!

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Always a Pleasure

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costa mesa photographer

Tall Palm Trees, Blue Water, Lush Green Cliff Sides

Why Shoot Portrait Photography In Costa Mesa, California

Costa Mesa, California calls itself the “City of the Arts” due to its penchant to bring in entertainment thanks to its expansive theatre district. Part suburbia, part Californian coastal town, and part retail extravaganza, Costa Mesa is like a virtual Disneyland for adults.

I like to shoot portrait photography in Costa Mesa if I am looking for a concise and clean look. The entire town feels new and innovative. Night portraits are great here—there’s plenty of dazzling LEDs in every direction spewing vivid neon that can cast an interesting glow on my clients’ faces. Yet, there are plenty of opportunities to capture quiet, introspective moments away from the hustle and bustle.

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"Come As You Are"

What You Can Wear For Photoshoots In Costa Mesa, California

Costa Mesa is a town whose biggest concern is in entertaining you. It’s full of theatres, unique shopping experiences, and innovative eateries. It’s a pioneer of what is hip and trendy, often being the first to even start a trend.

With that said, I find my Costa Mesa clients most frequently wear something clean and fashionable yet unique. Streetwear is a good choice. Athleisure or anything similar doesn’t often fit with the high-end backdrops you find in the area. However, wear what makes you comfortable and let’s discuss your options if you have any questions!

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Experience And Intuition

Why Choose Me For Portrait Photography In Costa Mesa, California

Much like the shopping at Costa Mesa, I create a boutique experience with my photography. When you book a session with me, you’re consulting with only me every step of the way. My photography is a one-man show. However, I bring with me plenty of experience and enough intuition to capture those fleeting, one-of-a-kind moments that can make a portrait go from great to outstanding.

While it may be just me, you get a great experience every step of the way. I take great care in making you feel comfortable and honing in on what makes you stand out in the best way. Most of all, I understand that Costa Mesa isn’t just a backdrop or a prop—it’s a living, breathing city. We’ll work together to capture that energy in your photos.

Your Next Portrait

Costa Mesa Portrait Photography Services

Environmental Portraits

The goal with all my environmental portrait is to illuminate you, your life, and your surroundings.

Instagram Portraits

By standing out among the crowd, your photos can get more likes, better engagement, and ultimately more followers.

headshot portrait photographer

Headshot Portraits

A headshot portrait is a photograph of your face that usually includes shoulders. You can use the photo as a profile picture, a professional LinkedIn photo, a headshot to submit to agencies, etc.

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Graduation Portraits

Graduation is not one or two stand alone photos, but rather a whole story about your memories in school.

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Creative Portraits

Photography is also about art. When so many portraits are being taken, sometimes you may want a more creative artistic portrait.

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Nature Portraits

Shooting in nature has become my favorite type of portrait photography and is a favorite among clients as well.

photo retouching

Costa Mesa Portrait Photo Retouching

Each portrait photography session includes post-production editing using state of the art photo editing software such as Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop.

I offer high-end portrait retouching using professional techniques (dodge and burning, frequency separation, etc.) and other editing services to ensure your photos are of the highest quality. The post-production retouching allows me to removes unwanted marks and blemishes on your face to ensure you receive the best portrait photos possible.


Guidance On Posing

I understand that posing for a portrait photo can be awkward. I often come across the question “What do I do with my hands?” or “How should I stand?” Well these worries are no more, I will help guide you on how to pose.

After years of experience and reading up on best portrait posing practices, I will guide you on “what to do with your hands and feet,” so you can have a comfortable and memorable portrait experience!

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Coffee Dose

This café located in the heart of Costa Mesa uses a bright and inspiring pallet of pink and white. Stark shadows and high contrast lend an electric, almost sterile quality to the portraits shot here.

It’s a great place for authors or business professionals to get candid shots taken, as it lends itself to those qualities while placing my subject around sophisticated surroundings.

Camp Costa Mesa Staircase

Hidden within The Camp at Costa Mesa is a staircase whose every step is tagged with a mantra of sorts. It’s as inspirational as it is artistic.

I’ve found that it serves as a unique backdrop for portraits, both due to the message on the steps and from the steep staircase that affords a unique perspective.

The Lab Anti-Mall

If you’re from the OC then you’ve probably heard of the Anti-Mall. It’s close to Costa Mesa and I always provide it as an option when shooting in that location.

The Anti-Mall is a hidden gem—a kind of counter-cultural retail experience full of odd stores and colorful murals. While a mall may not be your first consideration when choosing a shooting location, just remember that this is an anti-mall!

Taco Mesa

Let’s grab some tacos and finish an interesting portrait session all before noon! Taco Mesa may have some great food but it’s also home to a bunch of great murals. From the lens, they appear sun-bleached around noon when the sun is at its most intense.

Agave and century plants line the graveled ground giving it a distinct desert feel. It’s a great place for bright, even overexposed portraits for clients that want a fun and colorful look.

Spots In Costa Mesa

Locations Around Costa Mesa, California For Portrait Photography

Costa Mesa is full of distinct, clean colors and angles that can easily add a level of sophistication and/or elegance to a portrait.

I try to make the clean lines work for me and my models and find places of color and geometry that add something interesting to the backdrop even if they’re artificial.

Costa Mesa Trivia

Facts About Costa Mesa, California

The Surfing Is Famous

Huntington Beach virtually surrounds Costa Mesa and is a famous surfing spot for amateurs and professionals alike.

It Really Is The City Of The Arts

Some of the theatre work coming out of Costa Mesa has won Tony awards—when they say they’re the city of the arts they really mean it.

Gobbled Up

Costa Mesa was incorporated back in 1953—it became its own city to avoid getting gobbled up by Santa Ana, who was looking to annex the area for itself.

Collection of Work

Portrait Portfolio & Gallery

My portrait portfolio showcases some of my favorite portraits throughout my career. The photos include headshots, lifestyle portraits, individual family portraits, fashion portraits, etc. The editing style in each photo differs and is based on what the client wants from the particular shoot.

Some edits range from a more social media (Instagram) perspective to headshots for personal and professional use or for other platforms such as Facebook or LinkedIn.

I have a wide range of editing styles based on working with numerous clients who had different needs. You can find my personal editing style within my Orange County portrait portfolio. If there is a particular editing style you are looking for let me know!

About Me

Nate Joaquin Torres

Photographer | Blogger | Consultant

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How will I receive the files?

You will receive the edited files within 2 weeks of your session. You will receive all of the files via WeTransfer, which is an easy + free email service. You can then send them to print, forward to your friends + family, and post online!

Download links expire after a few day so be sure to download your images as soon as possible!

What Am I Paying for Exactly?

Location scouting, posing tips, professional photo editing/retouching (color correction, tone adjustments, exposure adjustments, blemish/scar removal, teeth whitening, eye redness reduction, wrinkle/fine line removal), camera handling, my witty banter.

*small travel fee if outside Orange County

Do I get to select the images?

Part of my job is making the image selects and choosing the most flattering photos. I do not want to deliver images that are repeats, blurry, out of focus, shots of you blinking, or mid-sentence speaking.

I do not withhold any images, I only remove the “bad” ones based on the criteria listed above.

Can I edit the Images?

I ask that my clients do not add filters or crop any of the final edited images. I spend time ensuring the color balance and tones are correct in each image! If you want a particular edit style please let me know before the shoot and I can accommodate since I have experience editing many different styles.

What about time and location?

 I suggest blocking out 2 hours for your shoot the time. My timeframes are pretty generous. I usually wrap up earlier if I am able to shoot quickly.

I plan shoots based on one location and its surrounding area. There is a small additional fee for each additional “location.”

What if I need to cancel?

I ask for a $100 electronic non-refundable deposit to secure your session date + time. If you need to cancel you can put your deposit toward a re-schedule or you can have it refunded.

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