Blog by Misti Layne
Blog by Misti Layne
I love the collaboration of artists working together and supporting each other. Why they are not supportive or encouraging surprises me. Here are instances of me working with a variety of artists and the imagery really is a collaboration. The results are fantastic and a benefit. Let’s work together for the better. Be supportive with other creatives!
by Misti Layne
I remember this day so vividly it’s amazing. It was not a good day!!! For some odd reason I was not happy about this wedding and being in this wedding. I remember my mom trying to get us both ready and I just wasn’t happy. She called her DJ friend who was on duty and had him play my favorite song–Seasons in the Sun–which he did. Yes, I know now it is quite a morbid tune BUT as a kid and you can sing “seasons in the sun” it is quite fun! So anyway on to the story. I don’t recall the ceremony but do remember the reception and just being a little pissy UNTIL I was given this camera. I remember the moment vividly and fortunately someone was there to take a photograph of me. Now of course there is the ahem, cute factor going on here. The point however is I guess I was just meant to be a wedding photographer! The road I took was quite winding and the road less traveled to be sure but I did find my destiny. I love just waking up every day knowing I’m going to photograph something…anything!
So I guess it just goes to show that some things are innate to us but not always obvious. Thankfully, I found the right road eventually. No regrets at all!
The laughs and love Jamie and James have for each other is just obvious. We had a lot of fun doing this San Francisco engagement session and I think you can tell! It started at the bar for the nervous bride to be and ended jumping puddles in the street. It was a great day!
I met lovely Rita because she had won the auction for my photography services at the Dress for Success event this year. This is one of those times that when you think you are giving but you are actually receiving. This amazing woman gave me insights to life, uplifted my spirits, made me change my mind on aging and made me laugh, a lot. We did her portraits at the Legion of Honor and it was just a perfect day all around.
Holiday portraits are a time to be silly in my opinion. When you have a restless two year old boy, well, you let him be a boy!
One was happy and one was cheeky. One was willing and one was fighting. One became sad and the other then became happy. The crazy day of child photography! But when you let kids be kids the faces, the expressions, the cheeky NO and the smile say much more than “Look at the camera and smile!”
Music photographers and musicians just go together. Jimi Hendrix, like so many musicians I know, was an artist through and through and his passion coupled with his talent made him who he was. If he was just a guitar player, even a great guitar player, he’d been off on the side of the stage for someone else to lead the show. But instead because of quotes like this we know him to be the passionate, profound and intelligent person that he was too. As a music photographer and capturing musicians live or in stills this persons passion and mine for who they are and for photography can create amazing, iconic music photographs with feeling and emotion hitting you viscerally.
An utterly amazing and talented friend of mine Johnny Ceravolo, the lead singer for When In Rome, recently posted on Facebook “More and more I want to say less and less.” Johnny shares everything on Facebook and this was just one of many things he had to say one day. His quotes can vary from the intelligent and critically thinking on the topic of religion or filled with swear words about the most mundane chores of life.
I have photographed When In Rome live as well as taken portraits of Johnny Ceravolo just one on one. He’s an amazing singer and talented guitar player and like Jimi Hendrix is an amazingly intelligent and passionate person. His desires to share his music with the world, change the world, share his unique perspective and passion with people is great. His love of music and people is tangible in minutes of meeting him or hearing his music. I can’t imagine the sad day it would be if he did start to “say less and less.” Of course there are moments we all feel this way but Johnny puts them out into the world and shares what the rest of us just think.
When I have photographed Johnny just as any other musician or band I can’t help but photograph them with my own feelings and emotions taking over or just becoming entwined with theirs. That is why music photographers and musicians just go together. The bond and love I have for musicians is just innate within me and I love photographing them and just being with them!
Here are just a few of my favorite images I’ve done and then there are these images on my blog Band Photos.
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!
I have always loved live music and the eclectic nature and talent of musicians. The passion they have is awe inspiring for me. My friend Johnny Ceravolo is an amazingly talented musician and I had the pleasure of doing some black and white portraits of him recently. He’s the lead singer for When In Rome and I originally met them when they played in San Francisco at the Red Devil Lounge. Being a product of the 80’s I had to go see them along with Missing Persons and it was a great show.
I wanted to do some artistic musician portrait photography and he thankfully agreed! We went to Franklin Park in Los Angeles and the weather was perfect. I was last there with Tara Novick at 5am a couple years ago and it was moody and misty. This time it was sunny and lent itself to the dark, contrasty idea we had of black and white film and simple. I believe the character of a musician has to show and I believe these do show Johnny and his personality and provide a sense of who he is. He’s an amazing talent and I got wait to work together again!
I love doing engagement sessions and I love doing engagement portraits in the San Francisco Bay Area. The reasons are simple really. First I get to know you as a couple, no wedding stress and just us photographing in the environment. I’ve done engagement portraits at the standard Chrissy Field, Baker Beach and Ferry Building and unique places like a wine bar, cigar bar and Flora Grubb. I get to see how you act and are with each other. This is really important. A lot of people don’t think them necessary and they certainly are not. However, we get to learn about each other during this time. You get to see how I work too and then know what to expect on the day of your wedding. Then when I walk in you don’t see me as a stranger but as the photographer you trust, know will make everything right and have fun with!
I’m not about posing people in my images. It’s actually just not my forte. I also believe that if I just let you “be” as a couple the images will say SO very much more than some standard pose. If you look at the images in this post. Not one is posed. Not one and bring your pets! But anyway, I may have directed things a little bit and yes, I instigate! But I want you to feel comfortable to be who you are. I look for those moments that say something. That make me feel something about you. I think this is the way that when you look back at that day and like your wedding day you will be able to say I remember it all like it was yesterday. Success!
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!
Mulemwa and Senait are so cute. Senait is so beautiful and you wouldn’t know it but totally shy! We did this engagement session in front of San Francisco’s City Hall. It was cold and windy and kind of dreary but I don’t think you’d know it from the images we got! They are so in love and just so adorable together. Their love really shines through. I cannot wait for the wedding! Senait really got dressed up and Mulemwa was very dapper which is something most people don’t do for San Francisco engagement portraits but it so worked out perfectly!
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!
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.