Category Archives: Pet Photography

A man and his dog ~ San Francisco Portrait Photography ~

I had such a wonderful time doing this portraits.  Firstly, Capp was just too cute for words and luckily for Christian I didn’t try to take him home in camera bag.  Secondly, Christian really came prepared for his portraits with outfits planned out and a great smile.

Environmental Portraits in San Francisco


Environmental Portraits in San Francisco


Environmental Portraits in San Francisco


Environmental Portraits in San Francisco


Environmental Portraits in San Francisco


Environmental Portraits in San Francisco


Environmental Portraits in San Francisco


Environmental Portraits in San Francisco


Environmental Portraits in San Francisco


Environmental Portraits in San Francisco


Environmental Portraits in San Francisco


Blog by Misti Layne

At Home Family Portraits ~San Francisco Portrait Photography~

I first met the Daughtery’s years ago with their adorable Pug Vito.  He was a total charmer with a toothy grin.  When they called to do some family portraits with their new daughter I remembered them ONLY when he said Vito was our dog!  We did these family portraits at their home in San Francisco.  The front bedroom had amazing natural light and we piled everyone–the dogs included of course–on the bed and created some truly simply, beautiful and intimate family portraits.

Families come in different types and sizes and capturing the nuances of a family is the goal for me.  They are never the same!  I never know what is going to happen and just go with the flow.  Especially with babies and pets.  In this case, it was both!  The dogs were just too cute and the baby, well she was totally at our mercy but the irony is we had to work according to her desires!

The images show a beautiful family in all it’s glory.  Congrats to the Daughtery’s!

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!

Photography isn’t just about a camera!

Why do you really need more than just your images on a CD?  Let me explain!  You won’t save money and you wont’ get the best that you deserve.

Since the dawn of digital I get asked a lot “I just want the raw files on CD”.   Well, if only it was so simple.  I once thought of this situation when I saw an advertisement for doing self-surgery and I think it was removal of a kidney!  My thinking is to leave it to the professionals and this is why…too much can go wrong.  I’m a photographer specializing in people so things like wedding photography, event photography and corporate and head shot portraits.  I wouldn’t imagine going in to an industrial commercial situation and say I know what I’m doing.  I definitely do not!

I recently got an email from someone who wanted engagement photos taken and wanted the raw files.  He mentioned he was a photographer but I saw he actually had another full time career.  So the dilemma for me is, as an artist, the image I take doesn’t end at just the push of a button and do I want someone else to not let me finish my process.  It’s a whole lot more.  I often run into amateur photographers who ask why I don’t do this or have that or tell me their Nikon is better than my Canon etc.  The best thing about photography is that there are a million ways to do it and all of them your way if you choose it to be that way.  But there are things that can wrong.

The process of being a photographer isn’t just about owning a camera. It is a whole lot more and I won’t even begin to discuss the business aspect of it in this post.   Experience, vision, education, tools, passion and creativity are all a part of it.  It starts with “seeing” the image. You have to see something, maybe manipulate it to make it better, make some technical choices and then perhaps change your mind again because it wasn’t right.  Oddly enough the biggest part of taking an image for me is getting my subject to connect to me and forgetting the camera.  Yes, you read that right.  I want us BOTH to forget the camera.  When the subject is in front of me whether for a wedding portrait during their wedding or acting head shots or a family portrait the camera is just a tool and believe it or not I mostly shoot in P.  Yes, you read that right too.  Once I have my basic settings and choices in equipment I use P or A and nothing else (this is in Canon I’m not sure about Nikon settings).  If I fiddle with the camera and try to think about technical things then my client can get restless, lose mood or feel uncomfortable.  If this happens the shot is lost and I have nothing anyway.  This is why you see emotion, expression and feeling in my images and not a perfectly posed, placed portrait.  Cameras today are built with a zillion different algorithms so why not trust them?

Once that part is done there is the post production which with digital is more complicated than film.  Developing choices in film can be made and then labs will still look at all your negatives and work with the color or adjust chemicals for a different grain or you can push or pull your negatives.  All of these processes lead to the final “image” that was in my mind’s eye when I pushed that button.  If you get the chance Google Ansel Adams and look at the extensive notes he did when printing his images.  They were never straight out of the camera and there was never just one print.  When I develop prints there are other choices that need to be made and all of this my artistic expression.  In regards to post production on digital images the process is all on your computer but those choices of intensity, brightness, color, filters are all the same thing leading again to my choice as my final image.  Here is a sample of images that about post production choices that made the images stand out and feel “finished”  Intimate Weddings, Documentary Weddings, Head Shots

So when you are choosing a photographer for your wedding or family portraits or even just head shots remember it isn’t just about owning a camera and while your friend is “into” photography it’s always best to hire a professional and trust them and let them do what they do best.  It is NOT about the camera and definitely not a good idea when it is your wedding and no chance for a do-over.  What about head shots?  You only get the one chance for that first impression.  Do you want to risk that to an image that isn’t finished?  Let’s be honest, will you ever make that album or retouch those photos yourself within the next couple of years even?  Most likely not!

While digital photography has brought cameras to the masses and some amazing pictures taken there is a big difference with a professional photographer.  Find the right one for you and you won’t be sorry.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me!

Ellie and Legs

Pregnancy Portraits ~San Francisco Portrait Photographer~

Angela and John are expecting little Jackson in the next couple of months and I’m so excited for them.  We did these in their home and included a few of course of their cats (see the post Cat Portraits).  They are such a cute and fun couple.  I don’t think I stopped laughing and with all the natural light, bounds of happiness and love I couldn’t go wrong.  I can’t wait to do the baby portraits!

Cat Portraits ~San Francisco Pet Photographer~

Let’s face it.  Dogs seem to get a lot of attention but cats are actually more abundant in homes than dogs now!  We can’t forget our purring pets when it comes to portraits.  Just because you can take a dog outside doesn’t mean you can’t get amazing shots of your cats at home  Pet portraiture is huge now and it is really one of my favorites.  Dog portraits in San Francisco  is a grand time to be sure but crawling on the floor and schmoozing a cat for amazing cat portraits is just as fun.  Cat portraiture takes on a different feel from dogs to be sure.  It’s really about what they want and not what you want.  But isn’t that normal!  So here a few fun shots taken recently as well as a few thrown in of mine too.  Now don’t think I’m a cat person.  I”d have a dog too but live in San Francisco sans backyard and I like big dogs.  The bigger the better!  Enjoy!

San Francisco Engagement Portraits ~San Francisco Wedding Photographer~

Sara and Todd are getting married in May and after dealing with weather delays, typical to San Francisco, we finally did the engagement session at the Ferry Building in San Francisco.  It was great!  First, it was a place where no one has or will be able to take portraits again.  Very cool for me!  Secondly they were game for anything!  We had lovely Ellie with us but Sara and Todd were willing to stand on a glass box 3 stories up.  I’m not sure I would have actually done it but they both just jumped right up and went along with my whim.  They are a fun and beautiful couple and I can’t wait for the big day!

Children’s Portraiture ~San Francisco Family Photographer~

I love photographing kids and pets.  It is a dirty job as I don’t do this in studio.  I actually get on the ground and crawl on my knees to get to their level and make them feel comfortable and me less large.  Photographing children has to go kind of quickly too.  You never know when sleepiness or hunger may set in!  I photographed Amanda’s wedding a few years ago and this year had the pleasure of meeting and photographing her son!  What a charmer he was!  So easy going even considering what mom’s last costume change was! But he was a New Year’s Baby!  Oh my will that be embarrassing when he’s 13!   The card I got this year was one that I surely will be holding on to!  But it was so much fun and I love to share in the lives of my clients and see them happy.  All the best to them!

Four Minute Pet Portraits

These adorable images of Bailey were taken in about 4 minutes while another client was changing outfits.  Bailey’s mom is a suite mate in my building and since I had a few minutes to spare we shot away and got these adorable pics.  Bailey is the bestest dog but his crooked grin makes himen more adorable!

Environmental Pet Photography ~San Francisco Portrait Photographer~

Chester stole the show this morning to be sure.  I love photographing pets of any kind.   This lively pup was hard to follow so what to do?  Three things:

  • Let him do his thing of course!  It was us following Chester’s lead to be sure.  But this keeps him happy and gives great opportunity
  • Treats!  Crucial for the obvious reasons!
  • Work fast!  The attention span of most pets is pretty limited.  You can tire them out for a more portrait shot after getting the action shots when they are excited and playing.

Beautiful Pet Portraiture ~San Francisco Portrait Photographer~

I’m a total animal person.  Love them all.  So when I get a new toy yes, my ahem kids become my subject.  You have a great opportunity at home to photograph your pets.  They know you and trust you and that makes for the best access.  So some tips to get great portraits:

  1. Instead of shooting from afar and on your feet get on your knees or sit down with them.   Get up close and personal.
  2. Look at how they see the world when you look at them.  A lot of times I’m actually lying on the ground to get portraits.  It makes for much more interesting shots!
  3. Take close-ups.   A nose, ear, whiskers are all bits and pieces that make for cute little details in an album or a series of portraits.
  4. Make it easy and fun for them and for you.