Portrait Photography

We have several new sets to shoot on in our Oakland photo studio!

Come play dress up with us! Confidence is sexy, you deserve to feel beautiful!

1 Hour mini session includes:

1 Beautiful decorated set

2 Wardrobe changes

Access to thousands of props

Help with posing & styling

Tasty refreshments

Model release

Full retouching of all purchased images

Purchase session for your favorite images

$99  $25

Choose from several NEW decorated sets!
Purchase your favorite images! All purchased images are retouched, & ready print up to 11 x 14 at any printers.

$125 Each

$115 Each

$99 Each

Free gifts with purchases!

6 Image files = Tilly’s flower accessory or jewelry

10 Image files = 5×7 leather album

20 Image files = 8×10 leather album

Ask us a question or send us a message to book!

Oakland Portrait Photography

In addition to our in-house photography services, we also offer editing, proofing, and retouching of prints and files. We also provide a variety of photo presentation services, including custom framing, photo collections, web gallery setup and hosting, and portrait printing – anything from 8×10 leather photo albums to basic 5×7 prints to digital images. We do in-house, same-day proofing, and can create secure online web galleries for you to view, share with family, and purchase from. Many of our other services, including portraits, prints, and photo gifts, can also be done same-day as needed. We generally work in digital, but can work in various film format mediums on request. We’re happy to accommodate your needs and work to find just the look you want in your final photographic products.

Our Jingletown Oakland portrait photography studio also offers plenty of free and easy street parking nearby, as well as private gated parking available. Studio hours are by appointment only,  9 A.M. to 9 P.M. 

Mariah Carle is an award winning internationally published photographer living, working, and playing in Oakland, California. Her east bay studio is located in the heart of Jingletown in east Oakland, just minutes across the Bay Bridge from San Francisco.  She is constantly working to provide both her clients and her community with great images and art. Support your local artists and your local independently owned businesses today by choosing to buy from those who are living and working in your community!

Do you have an idea for a portrait shoot, but need help in creating it? Pinterest is the best place to view and share photos from around the world, pin your ideas to a custom board and show your photographer.  We’ve done thousands of shoots in more than a decade of experience – from very simple solo shots to lavish group affairs. We work with some of the best hair and makeup professionals in the Bay Area to help bring your ideas to life. We also provide props, backgrounds, and other artistic accoutrements to help you capture the image in your mind’s eye, whether you’re looking for classic victorian elegance or modern, cutting edge styling. You are the subject and focus of the piece of photographic art we’re creating together.

If you are looking for even more ideas for creative and emotive portraits here are a few great places to help inspire you. Here are 24 very creative family portrait ideas.

Since the invention of the camera and the beginnings of photography, portraiture has existed. Photographic portraits were popular in the late 19th century as an alternative to painted portraits, both because of the shorter sitting times and the lower cost. Before photography, portraits were only available to wealthy patrons who could afford to hire an artist. Most of our ideas of classical photographic portraits come from the technological constraints of the time – cameras required long exposure times and therefore seated poses against plain backgrounds dominated. As photographic equipment and techniques developed and advanced throughout the 20th century, photographers had much more freedom in the types of portraits they could produce. They were now free to experiment with settings, shooting locations, lighting, and exposure to produce more artistic and creative works of photographic art.

There are many approaches in modern photographic portraiture, and we strive to use our experience in multiple techniques and styles to tell your story using our knowledge of cameras, lenses, lighting, setting and post-shoot retouching. We also strive to get to know our subjects before and during the shoot – we’re creating artistic expression as a genesis of what’s going on both in front of and behind the camera, so going beyond the hardware and lighting is what makes our portraits stand out and capture you in a way no other photograph will. Whether you’re looking for something modern and elegant, harsh and candid, or anywhere in-between, we can produce exactly the look and feel you’re going for.

Oakland Portrait Photography

Our clients love us, YOU will too!

Working with Mariah was fantastic. She made me feel super comfortable and relaxed, and really created the images I was looking for. The photographs are stunning, and I couldn’t have asked for better ones! 10.10.2015

Shooting with Mariah is always a fantastic experience, and she is my go to for both photography and studio services in the Bay Area. Her studio is beautiful – conveniently located in downtown Oakland it sports free street parking, a large airy space with plenty of natural light, and a phenomenal rotation of creative seasonal sets.  Mariah herself is a joy. She effortlessly combines professionalism with a fun demeanor that puts even the most camera shy subject at ease, and the energy and passion she brings to her calling is contagious. Whether you are someone searching for the right photographer to take intimate portraits of a special time in your life, an aspiring model or actor looking to build a strong portfolio, or a photographer seeking a studio space that offers more than the standard white walls and paper backgrounds, I can confidently assure you that Carle Photography is the right choice. 7.04.15

I received a boudoir photoshoot with Mariah as a birthday present.  I had no idea what to expect.  My photoshoot experience ended up being extremely fun, and Mariah made me feel very comfortable at her studio.  My pictures turned out amazing. 5.19.2015

Common questions about portraits:

Being open to new ways of posing and new ideas of what to use really expand your options to create interesting and fun portraits for everyone. Portrait photography in Oakland is growing and you can get some great ideas of what you want your pictures to look like as well as find some interesting locations in the Oakland area to bring new depth to your portraits that you might not have considered. Another thing we strive for with our clients at our Oakland studio is to get the best images we can that still maintain what’s most important – your individual style and presence. A few questions you should ask yourself include:

What are my favorite hobbies and personal interests?
Before your shoot, gather things that reflect your personal passions. If you’re into Burning Man, recreate a bit of the playa and your art in front of the camera. If you’re a gamer, bring your books and dice. If you are a designer, bring items of your work to pose with or wear in your photos. Even if we don’t end up using everything you bring in, these items help set the mood and bring out your individual style. A few of our past clients have posed with so many different props. One woman posed with her winter sports equipment snow boards & skis. An acupuncturist brought in her needles & herbs. We have photographed several people with their pets, dogs, snakes, birds, & even a turtle.

How far ahead do I need to plan?
Most of our bookings are a few weeks out, we book some of our repeat clients a year in advance for special events. Most of our clients need a week or two to gather all their props, have clothes cleaned, & plan out the person portrait session. We can sometimes do a fast next day shoot if our bookings are not filled up. We have done many quick 24 hour turnaround projects when your publisher calls wednesday you & tells you you need a new head shot by Friday.

What should I wear to have my portrait done?
Your outfit should reflect the style of portrait you want to have done. A very traditional portrait calls for simple colors, formal suit, dresses, light jewelry and a crisp clean background, If you need headshots for Linkedin, then a good single color shirt with collar will be nice, if you happen to be a professional circus performer, then bring your red nose & your best brightest costume. Traditional advice has been to stay away from bright patterns and bold prints, we are not always traditional, if you rock plaid & purple shoes, then bring them.

Can I do a location portrait session?
Shooting on location can be an amazing way to express yourself in your portraits and bring life via interactions with your favorite locales. Think about the places you like to hang out – what makes them unique? What draws you to them? How do they speak to you? The Bay Area has no shortage of shoreline areas, public parks and dramatic urban scenery to provide a great backdrop for your portrait. If we have bad weather and get a last minute rain shower, we can always go back to our studio & finish up your portrait session there.

Does everyone have to “get” my portrait?
Funny “in jokes”, personal experiences and private moments can also make for great personal portraits. Props, locations and stories that are special to you will come out in the finished product, and every question about your photos is a chance to share your story. One client brought in a stuffed animal that had been passed around between some friends for the past 20 years. A local musician used the symbolism of her band name Wax Idols and posed with dozens of candles.

Do I need a reason to commision a portrait?
Taking a great portrait is really all about what you want to share. Celebrations of birthdays, anniversaries or other commemorative times are great time to take portraits, but so are “just because I feel like it” or “it’s been too long since my last one”.
With social media still rising images are more important than ever, when was the last time you updated your Linkedin photo? Is your Facebook out of date? Are your band promos a few years old?

I don’t want a formal portrait, can I do a more creative one?
Yes, you can do the most creative portrait you can think of. We specialize in creative portraits. With our ever changing selection of backgrounds & sets, our hundreds of props, and your unique ideas, we will work with you to help you create a portrait that no one else has, or will ever have.
A few of our past portrait projects have been a sad birthday party, surrounded by cash, using multiple exposures for special effects, using your personal props, whatever your portrait ideas are, we will help you bring them to life.

What is the difference between a portrait and a headshot?
A headshot typically is a photograph of just a person’s isolated head & neck, they are used for actors, professionals, linked in, a tightly cropped very standard formal image that focuses on just one segment of you.  A portrait is a slice of your soul, yes they can look similar to head shots, a portrait can go beyond a head shot into a full body and the subjects chosen environment. Portraits allow for more creativity and spontaneity. A headshot shows the viewer what you look like, a portrait shows the viewer who you ARE.

Do I need to show my face in my portrait?
Of course you don’t! You can share your style and get a great shot while remaining anonymous. In fact, our work with nude, boudoir and other erotic models has made us pros at capturing expression with much more than just your face. There are so many options for hiding your face, you can use our fans, hats with wide brims, a gloved hand, rhinestone masques are always lovely. We can also use light and shadow to hide your face or any other tattoos or body parts you want to hide.
Being open to new ways of posing and new ideas of what to use really expand your options to create interesting and fun portraits for everyone. Oakland portrait photography is growing and you can get some great ideas of what you want your pictures to look like as well as find some interesting locations in the Oakland Area to bring new depth to your portraits that you might not have considered.

Photography is more than just pushing a button and taking a picture. Your portrait is a slice of your soul; a snapshot of your true self. Before the first shots are taken, our artists spend the time to learn about you – your history, your desires, and what you hope to accomplish with your session –  creating a very unique, personalized photographic experience. Just like no two people are totally alike, no two photo sessions are either – by learning about you, we can give you just the experience you need.

As we seek to learn about you, we also want you to feel comfortable with us. We can answer questions and help you through any concerns you have about your portrait session or photographs, from start to finish. If you want an elaborate portrait session filled with hundreds of daffodils, or a simple portrait of you with your favorite pet, we will work to create a custom photography session just for you.

If you’re not ready for the full professional portrait experience, self portraits are a fun way to show off your personality.