portrait studios Los Angeles

Portrait Studios

Our artistic photography can be seen at LinneaLenkus.com. We have two portrait studios in Los Angeles.

Pardon our dust!

We have had a wild year here at our portrait studios. We have grown so much, so rapidly as so many of you have called us for a family portrait or a maternity portrait or a baby portrait or a. . . the list goes on.

I’m big on preparation and customer service. After many years of being a photographer with two portrait studios, I know that planning is crucial to make sure that you have perfect portraits in a timely manner. So to prepare for the coming year and the impending Christmas rush I have hired more studio personnel to assist the growing amount of wonderful clients who want professional photography. This creates a new challenge.

Black and White Photographers

Our office was meant to be a two person office. With eight people now in our small office, it’s a tight squeeze with elbows and desks and many wall portraits in production and framing and orders going in and orders going out and computers and office chairs – – yikes! So to prevent employee mutiny I have leased a large office space close to our Long Beach studio. It’s a beautiful office that makes me feel so good to have and so large that we don’t feel cramped so we can expand to the next level. But in the meantime, our Long Beach Studio will be closed for a week or two as we knock down some walls and expand our portrait gallery.

Please bear with us as we reorganize our office and our phone lines in the next week. Our Long Beach portrait studio should be ready soon.

In the meantime, I want to suggest to all families in Los Angeles County and Orange County, that if you are interested in Christmas portraits for Christmas gifts, now is the time to book your portrait sessions. Our Pasadena portrait studio and our Orange County portrait studio remain open. Do not procrastinate this year!

Our appointment times are very limited during November and the first part of December as many families are last minute in planning their Christmas photos and it seems that everyone calls at the same time. But my art consultants and I can only be in one place at a time. We try to get everybody in, but then we are unable to be as flexible as we are in our planning of portrait and order times. If you can come in now, you can assure a time to be photographed. We are interested in photographing art for your life and this takes time, which is rare in the Christmas season.

Christmas Photos | Los Angeles Photographers, Orange County Photographers

We are Orange County photographers. We are Los Angeles photographers.

baby photographers Los Angeles

California Photographer

I am a California photographer and my art can be seen here

I returned from San Francisco a couple of weeks ago where I spoke to a large group of photographers. It was very energizing and I am grateful to be given the opportunity to share my vision with other portrait artists. Thank you California photographers in the Bay Area for listening to my ranting. I hope I sparked some vision and hope into your photography studios and made you push towards excellence. Thank you for the many complimentary emails. I appreciate that you were inspired and moved enough to re-evaluate your own paths and make changes to how you see your photography and your vision.

Being a photographer is tough. Weathering personal opposition and trying to keep my vision fresh and present in my work has been a challenge. But I love challenges. My whole life I have seen things differently than those around me. Meeting other artists like myself I’m reminded that it’s very easy to feel like the outsider, and not believe in yourself for your vision. But I was fortunate in that I have a very determined and upbeat, albeit critical personality, like my mother. I am a fighter. I don’t give up.

The critical part of me sees things and says, “Hey that’s not right,” or “That’s how it should be.” As a photographer it helps because I can move my camera, move my photographic lighting, move my subject to make it right. I can make my vision come to fruition.

But living day to day and creating a photography business you usually have to come up against some type of wall, some type of stick-in-the-mud thinking, someone elses critical thinking. It’s very easy to give up your dreams when you hear the “have to’s”.

What I’d like to say to photographers is this: follow your path, follow your vision. You will not be happy until you do. But don’t copy other photographers. That’s not cool. That’s not your vision, but someone else’s. I never have copied other photographers and you can see where it has taken my vision by looking at my work. It is original. It is me.

Childrens Photographers | Family Photographers

I tend to think outside the box. That’s the artist speaking. If you stick to your inner vision that will also be the successful part of you speaking.

Over time I have pushed the naysayers and the “neggy-negs” away. It’s a freeing experience and one I don’t regret. It’s what you have to do to follow your calling, to challenge the laziness of rote, to push toward what you really are underneath it all. It’s what a creative photographer has to do.

It helps too to have a patient, loving husband who believes in you. And one who shares your vision (and is an amazing dad). I recommend that. But if you don’t have a wonderful husband I recommend positive family or community and unwavering friends.

I recommend vision.


I am a photographer. It’s what I do.

Professional Photography

Professional Photographers

Our professional photography studio can be found at LinneaLenkus.com

Professional Photographers

Professional Photographers

I am honored to be asked to speak in San Francisco this coming week at the Professional Photographers of the Greater Bay Area on Thursday, August 16th at 7pm. Having been in professional photography for over 17 years I have a lot to say.

I hope all of you California photographers make it to this event because I don’t think I’ll be speaking much on the photography speakers’ circuit. I really don’t like any extra time away from my kids. I make sure to be there every evening and morning because I unfortunately cannot be there during the weekdays.

Professional Photography

So, drink it up you photographers. I have so much to teach you. And so little time.

My photography can be seen at LinneaLenkus.com.

Child Photographers

Photographers – Motherhood – Newborn Babies

There must be a reason why photographers are not very good at verbal communication. I think we get lazy.
Annie Leibovitz

I feel guilty that I haven’t blogged in a little while. It’s been a busy two months and I’ve been distracted by our family vacation, our very busy photo studio and of course, my children.

My youngest children, twins Ava and Maxwell, have left the baby stage and we have been working on constant potty-training. They both turned three and then proceeded the next week into preschool.

School. My babies are in school. That’s such a shock to me. I was just holding their tiny bodies in my arms yesterday it seems.

It’s difficult to understand, but these changes throw our lives into turmoil and force each of us in the family to adjust, to reflect on our lives, to be cranky, and to work towards acceptance of the change. . . until the next change which will make us recycle through this turmoil again. So, I have been too distracted to think about writing in my blog. I’ve been experiencing and mourning the loss of my babies, and yet I have been celebrating independence, mine and my children’s.

I love photographing pregnant women and their spouses together and talking with them about their expectations of what it will be like to have a child. I love sharing my experiences. I had no clue that motherhood would change me as it has. I talk about this in my photo sessions because motherhood is bittersweet and most of us don’t expect that this little person will pull us in their direction so forcefully.

I especially love when the pregnant couple return with their newborn babies for newborn pictures. I get to see them “in action” and see the beginnings of personal transformation. It’s especially rewarding to me to see families grow and babies and children come back to the studio so the discovery is more apparent. That’s when I usually exchange knowing glances with moms and dads. We have been through the same, together and apart.

Naturally, when you are in baby mode, you are too busy to notice yourself changing. You just feel the exhaustion every moment of the day. It’s that adjustment to the 24/7 part of parenting, which is a real shock to the system. But when you take time to reflect and to see yourself before and after this new person has arrived you get a chance to realize the path you’ve been on and the path ahead. I love that my photography can help a person see themselves at moments in a beautiful way.

Thank you to all my photography clients for letting me be a part of your journey.

The world is full of women blindsided by the unceasing demands of motherhood, still flabbergasted by how a job can be terrific and torturous.
Anna Quindlen, O Magazine

Linnea Lenkus Fine Art Portrait studios are located in Orange County and Los Angeles county. Find the photographer here.

Photographer, Emotional Photography

Emotional Photography

I am a photographer in Los Angeles.
Photographer: Emotional Photography

A client of mine asked me the other week a question that has stuck with me: “What do you call what you do?” “What do you mean,” I asked.

She said that she had looked everywhere for someone like myself to photograph her family and had seen lots of imitations of my photography, but she chose our portrait studio because of the unique look of my photos and the realness of the subjects. She couldn’t put her finger on what it was that I do, but she knew that there was something really different.

I knew what she was getting at as I have discussed this at length with other admirers and have had many of my clients point it out to me. Based on my conversations with them about my portrait photography I replied.


“I guess,” I said, “you can call it Emotional Photography. I am looking for real emotions while I photograph. I am looking for the real person, not the facade.”

As my photographic technique has become second nature and my artistic vision has become stronger I can let go of all of that and focus on the people in front of me as unique individuals. I look for the emotion, I look for the place where they are in their lives and I try to take a very simple, genuine moment and turn it into art. I don’t copy other photographers, instead I try to find how the person in front of me speaks emotionally and interpret it through the place that I am in my life.

Infant Photographer
For a fine art portrait please click on photographer in Los Angeles

children photographers, photographer los angeles

Children Photographers: Embracing Kids for Who They Are

If you need a children photographers, go to LinneaLenkus.com

Most people have a left brain and a right brain. I have a children’s brain and an adult’s brain. Being one of the children photographers in Los Angeles and working with kids, I have learned to play in my brain.

When I am in adult mode my brain is in command, frustrated at anything not moving fast enough, and insisting that things have to be a certain way in order to be right.

When I am in child mode I laugh. I make fun of everything and I dance or jump. I enjoy my kids in child mode- – I soak them up, embrace them and let them take me down the path of their love of life. They teach me so much.

children photographers, photographer los angeles

And so when I see a child in my photography studio get that look in their eye and that jiggle in their legs, I know that I have to change modes. And that’s when they show me. That’s when they reveal where they are. And I join them.

Boys will be boys and girls will be girls. With boys it’s usually a wild thing like jumping off a chair. And often with girls it’s the mastery of dancing and twirling. Most times they will do what they will do.

You have to be ready to perceive it, embrace it, and not prevent that moment. Most parents will say, “No, no, don’t do that,” to their children in my children’s portrait studio. But that’s when I say to the adults, “No, no, don’t hold your child back.”

Child Portrait | Children Photographers
For more children’s portraits click on children’s portraits

mother and child portrait

Parenting: Praising Children, Raising an Intelligent Child

Our children’s portraits can be seen at LinneaLenkus.com

My good friend, Pam, emailed me a link to a New York Magazine article about praising children called, How Not to Talk to Your Kids; The Inverse Power of Praise, and I really think it should be part of every parent’s reading list. I’m sure glad that she emailed it to me.

Child Portraits

The article, written by Po Bronson, brilliantly describes a study by psychologist Carol Dweckwho explored how praise affects children. Dweck studied the difference between praising a child for their intelligence or praising a child for their efforts. Now, that may seem like a little discrepancy, but Dweck found that there was a huge difference in performance, frustration and hope for each child.

After reading this article I realized that I was guilty of praising my children’s natural smarts a bit too much. I then altered my verbiage slightly with my children to reflect their trying hard and working hard to produce intelligence. I have noticed a definite difference. Not only are we more active at the family table drawing and talking about educational things, but there is more harmony.

Interestingly, I made the realization that my mother has always praised me for working hard. It’s funny when you realize that your mother knew it all along, and that she guided you and nurtured you to the person you are today.

Mother and Child Portrait, Children’s Portraits

My mother produced a daughter who has always made a big effort. I never realized until now that she did this because I have been too busy working hard. Not only do I work hard daily at being a good parent, but I work daily at being a good photographer. Does it work? I hope it does. All I know is that I have always been driven and happy.

Thank you mother. Happy Mothers Day.

Our child portraits, which include mother and child portraits, can be seen at LinneaLenkus.com

portraits of hands, relationships

Hand Portrait Studio

More of our Fine Art Portraits can be seen at www.LinneaLenkus.com

I love hands. So I guess you could say I have a hand portrait studio.

Portrait Photography, Relationship of Hands

Hands are subtlely defining. They represent so many parts of our psyches, so many emotions, so many moments and movements, and ultimately the weathering of time. Although I do not like to look at my own ravaged, clumsy hands, I love and visually caress the hands of extremes when I photograph – -age and youth.

Portraits, Photos with Hands

Years ago I photographed a beautiful resident of a nursing home. Her life story, her defiance, and her will were intriguing. We talked about her life while I created a portrait of her. Although she had a devilish nature and a wicked sense of humor I noticed that she was refined and kept her hands folded properly in her lap. Her delicate fingers were petals, liquid and telling. When I was in my darkroom printing her portrait, I felt that her hands were the more compelling portrait. My editor at Getty Images agreed.

Portrait Photographer, Linnea Lenkus, Hand Portrait Studio
To me, there is nothing more beautiful and revealing as hands that have worked hard, experienced life, and have aged and rippled. And yet, I am awed by the newness of touch, the exploration of new life and the contrast of that with protective parenting hands.

I guess what I am trying to say is that your hands are an honest expression of you and where you are in your life. Hands are, in themselves, a complete portrait of your life.

Portrait Photographers

More of Life Portraits can be seen here.



The Beginning of an Artist

Check out my photography from my two portrait studios.

It was my birthday this weekend. Time to reflect. Time to go back and see how I ended up here.

I am the youngest child in my family, the quiet one. Though most people would never consider me shy today, I have the soul of a shy person. I began there, an introspective person shoved into extroversion by the force of my vision of the world. It’s a big force, ask anyone. With two very pushy sisters I have had to hold my ground.


My father created this photo of me when I was a shy four year old.

How One Aspiring Photographer Inspired Another

My father loved to photograph. He owned a Busch press camera, which I inherited from him. He was a frustrated, almost aspiring photographer. He supported our family instead. His love of photography was passed down to me along with many 4×5 negatives of my family. He gave me my first Kodak Instamatic camera which I keep at my Pasadena photo studio to remind me of where I started.

And so I began, an artist, a shy person, a photographer. I really haven’t changed.

I am a professional photographer.

twins photography

Twins- I am a M.O.M.

Twins Photographers

I photographed twins portraits the other day. It was exquisite. I love twins photography. I delighted in these two week old babies, holding them, being with these two new lives, and watching closely each of their new movements, their first expressions, their relationship.

I’m a M.O.M. For those of you who aren’t “in the know”, that means Mothers of Multiples. It’s a special club and I am grateful for its inclusion.

My husband and I conceived Maxwell (Twin A) and Ava (Twin B) when their older brother was exactly one years old. Two years previous to that, almost to the day, I was told by the last of three top fertility doctors in Los Angeles that I would not be able to conceive a baby of my own. They were absolutely wrong. We conceived all three children naturally. What a turnaround.


Do you see why I am walking on air? I am living a beautiful dream. My beautiful babies are here, present in this world and blossoming before me. I am, also, privy to special lives of twins at my portrait studios, re-experiencing my own twins’ newborn stage through the twins photography I create at my studio.

One thing any mom of multiples will tell you is that there is an inherent sadness because you know that you are operating through complete exhaustion and enormous sleep deprivation and you can’t fully enjoy and bask in their newness- -there’s just too much to do. I remember looking down at my 2 week old twins at 3:00 a.m. and crying because I knew that my stress and exhaustion would make me remember so little about them at this very, very precious stage.

Twins Photography

So parents of multiples have a special place in my heart. I know what they’re going through. I can empathize how the babies crying can drive their stress level up, but I recommend that we treasure those cries. I can let them know, standing where I am, that it speeds by. And more importantly, I can bring back the memories to them through my art. . . and truly from my heart.


Advice for Photographers


My advice to photographers is very simple:

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
– Oscar Wilde

Advice for Photographers

How I Differ from Most Photographers

At my portrait studios you will always receive something that comes from my vision. In a day and age where all photographers web-surf looking for ideas, you will not be with a photographer who does that. I simply look at you for inspiration.

Baby Photographer, Linnea Lenkus

Why I’m a Baby Photographer

Our baby photography gallery is here.

Baby Photographer, Linnea Lenkus

I’m a bum squisher. I love to squish bums. My children know it. My clients know it. I guess it’s a compulsion. Can you blame me? It comes with the territory with this baby photographer.

There’s nothing quite so wonderful as a ticklish, squishy bum and this baby has it. I photographed her the other day. I indulged myself. She was a wonderful subject for a baby portrait. She has eyes that languish and a great disposition.

It was a pleasure to photograph her, not so much because of that squishable part, but mostly because her daddy is going away to Iraq. This is the farewell portrait of this father and baby. He will not see her until this winter.

Thank you, sir, for the opportunity to serve you. Sometimes a baby photographer gets to do just that.
Father Baby Portraits, Father and Infant

Our infant portraits can be seen in our main baby gallery.

Los Angeles photographers

Los Angeles Photographers

I gave a lecture yesterday in my Pasadena photo studio for other professional Los Angeles photographers. Thank you to everyone who came and contributed. It was my first time speaking to a group and I couldn’t have picked a better bunch of cerebral Los Angeles photographers to start my speaking career.

I never thought I would enjoy my talk with everyone, but it was very fulfilling sharing and giving insight to other photographers and getting so much in return. I feel energized. Photographers are such lonely beasts and so it was wonderful having an “I know” moment with everyone. Connection.

Los Angeles Photographers - Baby Photographers

One of the things I mentioned at my talk was that having an artistic brain is something that usually happens at birth and that most of us grow up as the oddballs in social situations. It creates loneliness, but then, solitude is what you need to think and create.

Baby Portraits and Toddler Portraits
A portrait photographer is even odder in that he or she needs to pull into their brain, their gut and their experience and yet. . .connect. With every portrait I create, I pull in and. . .emerge with a feeling, an emotion or a moment of this family’s life. I connect, I breathe and I express. If I can let my guard done, I can see more than what is in front of me. I see the future, the past and what is, what really is, at this moment.
Pregnancy and Family Photography
Thank you to all of you who did attend.

If you are a professional photographer and are interested in hearing Linnea speak, contact us and we will let you know the next time she will hold a meeting.

Linnea Lenkus Fine Art Portrait Studios

Children Photographers

Children Photographers – Moms on the Side

Today, my mom skills were in full force. Yes, I vacillate between the artist brain and the mom brain, constantly (often they mingle). You children photographers know what I’m talking about.

I spent a good part of the day with my three children at the doctor’s tending to an ear infection that my 4 year old has. Being there many times, I knew what to do, was a pillar of strength coordinating my little ones through the waiting room, cuddled with my sick one, brought 3 bags of toys to occupy them and sighed when the doctor let me know what was going on.

Child Photographers

My children are gorgeous, I hate to brag. They spoil me. All three are visually interesting for me. For a photographer, a picky photographer at that, it is a sigh of relief and an ahhhhhh that I have a family that is delicious to watch. I know that’s how you feel about your own children.

Tonight I’m thinking of Dexter, who is sick and pulling at my mother strings. These child portraits I did a few months ago. In moments like this, when I am full of worry, I am glad to have these portraits to savor and make me smile.

Children Photographers
Do you see why he is a heartthrob in preschool? Check out the rest of my children photography.

fine art nude

Nude Photography

Fine Art Nude

I photographed a nude woman the other day who was very beautiful and very interesting. I loved her quest to find herself and to explore new areas in her life. She is in her 40’s and still evolving. We all are, don’t you think? It’s just that some of us are willing to admit it.

She told me that the latest Dove soap ads called Pro-Age ads, which depicted the mature nude woman, proud of her body and comfortable of its extra lines and aging, inspired her to have a fine art nude portrait done of herself. I applaud her daring nature. I remember seeing the Dove soap commercials not too long ago and thinking, “Right On!” I think that every woman should have nude art done of herself.

My goal when creating these nude portraits was to capture her love of life and her solitude in being her own person. I feel good that I was able to tap into who she is.

When I create nude photography I look at the session as a great exercise in studying the human body, graphic lines and the way that light folds over the human form so lovingly.

My nude portrait sessions are comfortable because I make sure that they are. I have been photographing fine art nudes for a long time so I certainly don’t feel uncomfortable, and although it is often the subject’s first time, I am discreet, and yet matter-of-fact.

Nude Photography