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Meet Bader Howar of Bader Howar Photography in Santa Monica

Today we’d like to introduce you to Bader Howar.

Bader, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Originally, I was an actress making my way through the Hollywood audition scene and working part time for master printer for one of L.A. top photographic printers. While working there, I was inspired by images taken by some of the city’s leading fashion and music photographers. Having been a theatre/ photography major in college it was time to pick up my camera and start shooting my fellow actor friends. Before the digital revolution when we shot in black and white film there were only a handful of successful photographers shooting the entertainment industry. Word of mouth quickly spread and I began to get requests from agents and managers to work with their clients and I’ve been behind the lens ever since. For the past 20 years, I’ve been living in Santa Monica where I work out of my fabulous natural light studio just 10 blocks from the ocean and the hustle and bustle of our beach city. People have always been my forte shooting both creative and corporate portraiture as well as families, authors, social media, models, actors, website owners and motivational speakers.

Has it been a smooth road?
The transition between film and digital was quite a challenge. When the new digital cameras came out in 2002 there were definite obstacles mastering color balance and contrast with images and Photoshop is a very complex and complicated program that had to be mastered. Like computers, with each new generation of upgraded machinery it became easier to address the quirks of shooting with a new medium.

The other major hurdle to conquer was the fact that the photography market quickly became flooded with hundreds of new shooters. Now that film and processing was no longer a costly factor anyone with a camera and computer could be a photographer. Word of mouth has always been a powerful tool, but with the explosion of digital world and so many new shooters on the scene navigating one’s marketing had become a new challenge. But after a short period of time the immediate benefits of shooting digitally became clear and I have never looked back with regret.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
​I shoot portraits of actors, all types business professionals, models, families, social media, on line dating profiles, authors, creative types, grads, and small products and catalogues.

What sets me apart from the others is my ability to work with people on a very personal level. I’m highly skilled with making my subjects feel comfortable enough to “come out and play” in front of the lens. Many people struggle and feel insecure having their photograph taken so it is vital for a photographer to be able to delve in beyond the superficial level and get people to loosen up, to become accessible in the moment so that their personality really shines. I’m proud to have only 5 star reviews on Yelp and it gives me great pleasure when my clients are happy. I love being a small business owner for over 24 years based in Santa Monica, the greatest beach city in the country!

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Santa Monica has become one of the most expensive cities in the US so that could prove challenging for startup small businesses. Also, traffic and parking are tricky. But there is a definite cache to this town that is undeniable. As a photographer, there are many opportunities here in Santa Monica as it continues to grow with a multitude of corporations and software startups and the likes of Google and SnapChat.


  • Session prices range from $200-$800 depending on needs.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 1549 11 st #200 Santa Monica, CA 90401
  • Website:
  • Phone: 310 617 5007
  • Email:
  • Instagram: baderhowarphotography
  • Facebook: Bader Howar Photography
  • Twitter: BaderPhotos
  • Yelp: Bader Howar Photography

Image Credit:
Bader Howar Photography

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Hellena Taylor

    October 21, 2021 at 08:17

    Vader Howar is the finest headshot photographer on the West Coast of America. I have used her twice and when I am in the country, I make sure I get new headshots done. She is a lovely person, firstly. Secondly she senses who you are and allows your inner self through. She is also a mistress of light. So girls! You’ll look absolutely beautiful, like you are on your wedding day. The conversation is easy. The day flows, she works with who is in front of her. She sees the beauty in people- I think that is the secret to her talent, plus a darned good eye. I can assure young actors waiting tables that it is worth spending the money on good eye- grabbing headshots. Having assisted Casting Directors for Tokyo Disney in London and in LA as an off camera reader, CD’s are inundated by actors. Your headshot has to.stand out. There are simply too many actors to choose from.

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