From children’s birthday parties to debutante balls and milestone celebrations, event photography is all about documenting those fleeting moments that only happen once. It’s an opportunity to capture the memory-making that takes place when people come together and preserve those moments so they live on long after the event has finished.

On the doorstep of Los Angeles, Long Beach is home to a creative community of photographers who specialize in all kinds of events. In this guide, we’ll introduce 10 of the best who have deservedly become client favorites.

Gilmore Studios

A debutante ball captured by Jennifer Gilmore [Gilmore Studios]

Gilmore Studios is a husband and wife team that specializes in wedding photography, family portraits, and events, ranging from newborn celebrations to debutante balls. They’ve been serving the Orange County, Los Angeles, and San Diego areas since 2002. Despite working in such a saturated market, they’ve been hired to shoot hundreds of events and thousands of clients over the years, with many of their wedding clients coming back to have portrait sessions as their families grow.

Jackrabbit Photo

Capturing the dance floor action during a wedding [Jackrabbit Photo]

Mark Chaudhary is the owner and operator of Jackrabbit Photo, based in the Long Beach area. He specializes in capturing family portraits and events, whether they are engagement sessions, weddings, or maternity shoots. Drawing on years of experience, Mark is skilled at shooting in a variety of conditions, including in the outdoors where he’s a master at the use of natural light. When it comes to newborn sessions and headshots, these are offered in the comfortable and controlled conditions of his studio.

Vin Le Photography

A stylized bridal party portrait session [Vin Le Photography]

Having photographed more than 300 weddings, Vin Le is one of the most experienced event photographers in Long Beach. He’s passionate about capturing authentic photos that matter, with a photojournalistic approach coupled with a fine art perspective. Describing himself as a “yes man”, Vin Le isn’t as strict with what his clients can do with the images as some other photographers are. He’s happy for his clients to have all of their unedited photos and to add filters before they post to social media if they so desire.

Q Photography

A picnic engagement session by Q Photography [Q Photography]

Vietnamese-American Quyen is the lead photographer at Q Photography, which specializes in cultural weddings that range from Chinese to Ghanian. He’s been shooting events for six years, combining his photojournalistic style with touches of fine art. When he’s photographing events, he does whatever is needed to capture the perfect shot, whether that means hiding in the bushes or wading into shallow water, with a mission to ensure his clients can just focus on what they need to do.

Mike Overlin

A live music concert documented by Mike Overlin [Mike Overlin]

Mike Overlin has been shooting since the age of 15 and has now transformed his passion for photography into a career. He’s the author of the book “Photography in Worship…the art and science of iconic imagery” and regularly presents photography workshops throughout the United States. Back home in Los Angeles, he’s regularly documenting live music and fashion events, with his prints exhibited exclusively at the Blu Prints Gallery in Downtown Long Beach.

James Korin Photography

A Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle-themed kids birthday party [James Korin Photography]

Based in the beach community of Belmont Shores, James Korin is a skilled event and wedding photographer who has been passionate about photography since an early age. His style is both classic and creative, with a touch of photojournalism thrown in. While James prefers to shoot in natural light, he will take advantage of strobes and light modifiers to make his images stand out and utilizes the latest post-production software for a high-quality finish.

Diana de la Pena

A Valentine’s “mini” session by Diana de la Pena [Diana de la Pena]

Aside from being a talented event photographer, Diana de la Pena also specializes in newborn and children’s portrait sessions. She draws on more than 12 years of experience working with children and a background in Child Development, with some clients describing her as a “baby whisperer”. She’s a standout photographer in the Long Beach area for children’s events, whether it’s a birthday party, a milestone graduation, or one of her Valentine's “mini” sessions.

Janice Owen Photography

A details wedding shot by Janice Owen [Janice Owen Photography]

Janice Owen specializes in photographing weddings, engagements, maternity, and boudoir sessions, with a belief that everyone deserves a beautiful photography experience. She travels across Southern California to capture portrait sessions and events for clients while being based out of her home studio in the Belmont Heights area of Long Beach. She loves artistically capturing natural and candid moments and has a passion for meeting new people, learning new things, and exploring new places.

So Smitten Events

An event set up and ready to go [So Smitten Events]

Owned by Marni Farmer, So Smitten Events is an award-winning event planning and design company that also offers an in-house photography service. They’re a one-stop shop if you’re organizing a special event, whether in Long Beach or throughout the greater Southern California region. Not only do they design weddings and birthdays, but also corporate events with a personal touch. Clients love their attention to detail and collaborative spirit, with more than 10 years of event planning under their belts.  

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