Make Up Artists and Wedding Photography ~Wedding Photographer San Francisco~

I love make up artists for weddings!  They really make a difference in many ways beyond the obvious.  First of course they know their craft and how to make clients look their best.  Second they understand photography and what works best for me.  Every day makeup applications and special event makeup is very different and when photography is involved well, even more so.  A bride or her maids or mom may not feel it necessary because we apply makeup every day or it isn’t in the budget or just don’t think it necessary but make up artists really do make a big impact.

This is a day when you should be taking the time for yourself.  Let someone else pamper you, let you look your very best and make sure that you love the way your photographs look.  When you feel beautiful it shows through your soul and then when you see me coming with my camera you will smile with your whole being and voila–amazing images.  On your wedding day there is so much going on so let someone else do what they do best and hire a professional make up artist.  Do you research though!  It is really important that you do the trial, make sure they have good reviews on Yelp or the like and aren’t just someone who buys some make up and calls themselves a make up artist.  This goes for any vendor you hire.  When I walk in I want you to feel like “great Misti is here!”  This should go for ANY vendor you hire.

I do have some recommendations for make up artists for you.  Below are some of my most favorites.  I’ve worked with them numerous times and their reputations are well established.  If you have questions about hiring a make up artist then call them!

Safari West, Santa Rosa, California

I had a day off last week and decided that FINALLY after living in San Francisco this long that I was going to Safari West in Santa Rosa.  It wasn’t nearly the same as my adventure in August to South Africa  where I got very up close and personal with some amazing Cheetahs at the Le Sueur Cheetah Project.  But this place was lovely and had me back for a moment to almost the same place.  I’m a total animal lover and this was meant to take me out of my element and push me just a bit photographically.  This is a private reserve and the owners live on the property.  All of the people who work there seem to really love animals and their jobs.  They have giraffe, cheetah, numerous types of monkeys and birds and kudu, zebra, buffalo and wildebeest and very shy rhino’s.  I really wanted to play with the cheetah again but alas, it was not possible.  But it was an amazing day with the most beautiful sunset to close it out.

Wedding Shoes and Misti Layne

I’m admittedly a shoe hoarder.  My friends tease me constantly but I don’t mind as it is quite true!  When I see the bride before the wedding one of my first stops after a hello hug to the bride and meeting her family is the shoes and then yes, the dress!  This year’s weddings have had some amazing shoes and the trend of colored wedding shoes that I saw starting a few years ago has not stopped!  This year I have to even give huge kudos to a bride’s mom who was wearing some spicy shoes I truly envied.

Wedding shoes no longer are just the plain white they used to be.  Color, sequins, rhinestones, heels, flats, even cowboy boots have made my bride’s lists!  Sometimes they are a hidden surprise that really only the bride knows but other times in a shorter dress or tea length wedding dress they be total show stoppers for guests.  One bride even taught me about Milk and Honey Shoes where you can totally design your own shoes.  Unbelievable!  You design everything from the heel height to color to texture and straps.

I love California weddings and truly San Francisco weddings.  We have some amazing and unique people here and this truly shows through to their weddings.  Don’t be afraid to try something you normally wouldn’t wear and don’t be afraid to have a few pairs!  You think the bride in the bright green McQueen shoes wore them all day? Absolutely not!  She had another pair for walking on the grass and dancing later.  After all a girl can never have too many shoes and wedding shoes too!

Wedding Photography Featured on IDoVenues

I had a wedding I photographed recently featured on  It was a great day with Jessica and Brett at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel in  San Francisco’s Union Square.  It was a beautiful sunny day and this was one fun crowd.  You can see in the post just how fun and beautiful this event was to photograph.

My good friend Laurel Winzler of Laurel Designs did an amazing job with the flowers and it’s really important to work with great people to help you in your own job.  It can be really daunting to plan a wedding and book vendors.  I always recommend a professional wedding planner or professional event planner but sometimes it’s just not in the budget or people really want to do it themselves.   Be prepared to spend a lot of time planning your wedding!  When you hire a professional they can recommend people they know well and trust.  This is the most important step. A lot of times I walk into a wedding event and know the DJ, florist, venue coordinator or caterer and it’s great because we make sure we are all on the same page and make sure it goes off without a hitch.  Other times it’s important to introduce myself and make sure we keep communication open during the event to keep things running smoothly.

However way you decide to go with either a wedding planner or no planner make sure you are in communication with your vendors and you know they are dependable and reputable and experienced.  I know budget is a concern sometimes.  But just be sure you hire the best you can afford. One example of a vendor I worked with that was not good is a videographer I had never met before.   I’m not sure what their experience was but some things that I noted and actually had to point out or fix myself was:

  1. An electrical cord lying completely across the dance floor
  2. Electrical cords untaped in the middle of walkways
  3. The light from the camera always in my shots
  4. No communication on planning and staying out of the way of each other

These are all very serious issues.  Can you imagine if your grandmother were to trip over a cord?  That is really inexcusable.  So hire the best you can!

I hope you enjoy the images on IDoVenues but here are a few too from the hilarious engagment session we had at the Embarcadero waterfront and Flora Grubb in Hunter’s Point, San Francisco.



Kissing at Flora Grubb

Name Change Party On Style Me Pretty

I came across a posting on StyleMePretty that was totally unique.  If you aren’t aware of this site and are getting married you should surely check it out.  It’s a great resource of ideas and vendors that you know are reputable and should check out.  I had a wedding of mine posted on it for the wedding  theme of red, white and blue which was fabulous.

It was about two women who were both recently married and contemplating changing their names to their spouse’s last name.  They totally surprised their husbands and brought back the officiant that married them to have a “ceremony” celebrating the name change.  They included wedding photographs and many of their guests that had been there that day.  By incorporating all of these things they brought together all the best moments of the celebration of their weddings and kept the fun going in their marriages and with friends!

They women (remember the husbands were surprised!) went all out on the theme of “Maiden Voyage”. You do get that right?  Emphasis on MAIDEN!   The colors were yellow, blue and white and the theme nautical of course.  Their professional photographer did a great job of capturing the event, the people and definitely the details.

While they went all out on this idea you could do it with your own special spin in the backyard of your home and just keeping it intimate with your closest friends and family and a Do It Yourself or hire professionals to help you out with resourcing vendors and supplies.  DIY does bring on other issues like finding vendors, supplies and all the time it can consume.  I have come across many unique ideas when I’ve done DIY weddings but the common comment I hear is just how time consuming it is!  Remember this of all things though to be sure to research your vendors thouroghly before hiring them.  This is on you in DIY as a planner will be able to make great recommendations based on experience with them personally.

This is an amazing idea.  So many of my couples get married not deciding on the whole thing about doing the name change.  This is a great idea and one I’m going to be sure to pass on!

Here is my original post on my blog for the red, white, blue theme.

A Wedding at Hacienda De Las Flores ~San Francisco Wedding Photography ~

Heather and Eric got married at Hacienda De Las Flores and I have to say it was a most amazing day!  We had a great time at their engagement session so I knew what I was in store for this day.  But one surprise was just how much crying was going on!  It was tears of joy and unbelievably touching.  When Heather’s father came in to see her before the wedding he took one gasp and the tears poured from everyone!

But there is no doubt about the love and joy from Heather and Eric and their families.  It was just a perfect day.  The flower girls wore tutu’s and t-shirts and sequin shoes. Adorable!  Heather even designed her own shoes at Milk and Honey in bright turquoise.    The flowers were by Laura Miller, the food stations with pizza, pasta, sliders, grilled cheese and tacos were amazing and done by Alex’s Catering who also did a smore’s station and ice cream bar. The DJ from Denon and Doyle got everyone moving and just a great time was had by all with Larisa Marr capturing it all on video too!  All the best to you guys!



Support the Le Sueur Cheetah Project!

I had a truly life changing experience in South Africa and I’d like to do something in return. The Le Sueur Cheetah Project was just truly an amazing experience for me. They need money and more so now because one of the cheetahs is pregnant which is wonderful. Please consider purchasing one of my images. All profits will go to Le Sueur. They really need support and I hope to do just a little bit. Thanks a ton!

Purchase images here… Help Le Sueur Cheetahs.

Molly and Adam’s Wine Country Wedding at Arista Winery ~Napa Wedding Photography~

Molly and Adam are just adorable.  They planned their beautiful wine country wedding at Arista Winery in Healdsburg.  We had so much fun this day and I’m pretty sure their portraits in the vineyard show that.  It was very low key and casual with the bride and groom getting ready together.  The flowers were by Dragonfly Florals and Park Avenue Catering catered with an amazing menu.  Arista really is one of my favorite places for a wine country wedding and you can see my other Arista weddings on my blog too.  All the best to you Molly and Adam!  I”m honored to have been photographer of your beautiful wedding!

Wine Country Wedding at Arista Winery ~Napa Wedding Photography~

Megan and Blair are from Boston and had a destination wedding at Arista Winery in Healdsburg.  The day was perfect!  Arista Winery just has an amazing ambiance and the settings range from Japanese gardens to countryside hills to grape vines.  The flowers were by Heather Hendrickson, the video was by Jonathan Metcalf at MetMedia and the amazing food came from Park Avenue Catering. Their friends and family came from far and wide to help celebrate this wine country wedding in Sonoma with them.    California Wine Tours brought them from St. Rose Church in Santa Rosa so the guests could drink Mark David wine and the Pinot Noir all night.  Wine Country Weddings really are my favorite and Arista Winery has it all.  Thank you Megan and Blair and all the very best to you!!

Family Portraits at the Legion of Honor ~Family Portrait Photographer San Francisco~

The Juhle family are so sweet to watch.  They obviously love their new daughter but even the dog got his fair share of kisses at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco.   We had the Legion of Honor to ourselves really for the portraits.  The lighting was beautiful and their little girl was in perfect model mode!

Engagement Photos in Stern Grove, San Francisco ~San Francisco Wedding Photographer~

Emily and Robert are a wonderful couple together and they came up with the craziest idea for our shoot!  I was a little scared as they had showed me some zombie thing but I cracked up when they told me about the phone idea!  We would shoot various locations within Stern Grove, San Francisco and then I’d yell “phone!” and they would take them out and pose with them. It was just hilarious and they were great actors.  It’s also the first time Emily got to see her ring so he surprised her with that too and the moment was so sweet and touching.  Engagement portraits and sessions should be fun and remember too this is where you really get to know your photographer.  So I hope you enjoy our Stern Grove engagement session!

Engagement Session at the Palace of Fine Art ~San Francisco Wedding Photographer~

I had the most fun ever with Shannon and Chad at our engagement session at the Palace of Fine Art in San Francisco.  Talk about a fun and funny couple!  This really was just documentary portraiture!  We hung out and worked all the angles of the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco.  The sun was setting and the crowds had left but a few locals so we had the place almost to ourselves. The Palace of Fine Arts is amazing for portrait photography and when you put two very fun and loving poeple in the mix you cannot go wrong!  The portraits were fun, documentary and just captured their personalities.

Holiday Abroad in South Africa

So I have been away for quite awhile and I hope you noticed!  I’ve actually been traveling in South Africa and just returned last week.  It was truly amazing and one of my most favorite trips ever.  I’m a total animal lover and spent time on safari but also at a monkey, lion, elephant and cheetah sanctuary.  This was the most amazing thing ever.  The people were so passionate about their jobs and the animals and were quite proud of their country and the conservation efforts that are being made.  We obviously have nothing like it here!  But here are some of my most favorite images and boy was it hard to get it down this far.  So I hope you enjoy a bit of my passion which are travel and animals and this was a lot of both!

San Francisco City Hall Elopement ~San Francisco Wedding Photographer~

Annie and Ernesto got married at San Francisco’s City Hall.

It was just the three of us and everyone found out only after a quick photo was uploaded to Facebook!  It was romantic, beautiful, intimate and fun.  I was the witness, ring bearer, photographer and wedding party all in one.  After the ceremony we went to Chrissy Field and did some portraits in some crazy wind but it was a beautiful sunny day.

Intimate weddings are still the same as big ones.

Wedding ceremonies no matter big or small are about love and commitment and wedding portraits can range from just a few to more options like we did here.  Weddings at City Hall are about 4.5 minutes but we spent over two hours together making the most of City Hall and then heading over to Chrissy Field for those iconic San Francisco shots too.  Wedding portraits really make the small civil ceremonies so have fun with them!

All the best Annie and Ernesto!