Capturing your next photograph in beautiful Costa Mesa, California.

spencer nate joaquin photography

I called up Nate for a photoshoot and he was a complete professional and very courteous. We went over what I was looking for and what type of outfits ill be wearing. His photography skills are top notch and he is real easy to work with. I would defiantly do another photoshoot some time in the future. Highly recommended!”

– Spencer C.

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.

“Working with Nate has been and is always an absolute pleasure! Professional, very talented and has an amazing vision. Always makes sure a client is happy and has very quick turnaround with editing. Highly recommend!”

– Cosette R.

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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!

Nate is a class act. I did a lifestyle photoshoot with Nate and was extremely pleased with how the photos came out. He was very flexible and knowledgeable during the shoot. I personally rely on a few specific poses for my shoots, so I was particularly impressed at the numerous additional poses he knew would read well on camera. Highly recommend!

– Alan C.

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.

Environmental Portraits

The goal with my environmental portraits is to illuminate you, your life, and your surroundings to capture a special moment.

Instagram Portraits

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

Headshot Portraits

You can use the photo as a profile picture, a professional LinkedIn photo, a headshot to submit to agencies, etc.

Graduation Portraits

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

Creative Portraits

Photography is also about art. Sometimes you may want a more creative artistic portrait to express your individuality.

Nature Portraits

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

photo editing


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.

Super happy with Nate’s high quality photos! He has very creative concepts, is a pleasure to shoot with, and I highly recommend to anyone.”

– Markian B.


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!

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.

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.

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.

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.


How Much is a Photoshoot?

Check my pricing page to find my photoshoot packages along with pricing!

How Will I Receive the Files?

I send you all of the photos from our session. You pick the photos that you like (the amount depends on the package you picked), then I edit the ones you picked then send it over to you via WeTransfer., which is an easy + free email service.

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.

Can I Edit the 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. However, at the end of the day, they are your images!

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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