Napa Sonoma Wedding Venues
Wedding inquiry season has begun! The proposals have been done-did you see my last one? Well, check out the Surprise proposal here. The venue may not yet be set and the dress is so totally on order but the planning has just begun. So, here are some of my favorite Napa Sonoma wedding venues. Mitzvah or party or corporate event? Good for those too! The venues: Of course, the backyard event would be YOUR backyard or that of someone you know. But you get the idea. It provides a unique and intimate setting that may only be yours and yours alone! That is pretty cool. Artesa is a simply AMAZING space. The view, the wine, the food, the hospitality and just all of it but THE VIEW is to die for. Even if the view is fogged in, the space and ambiance, art just make for a wonderful day. Quintessa Winery! Oh how I love the adorable owners of Quintessa. Now, this was actually their home and I cannot say if this space is available any time or to the public. However, it is worth checking out and if not, the other parts of the winery are just beautiful too. Andretti […]
Surprise proposal when Guadalajara comes to San Francisco!
This surprise proposal had been in the works for months. Juan first reached out to me in the summer for his date in November. Quite the planner right? Meticulous, detailed and so romantically thoughtful, it was indeed splendid. The idea for me was to photograph them around downtown and near the Loews Hotel where the proposal would take place. Just a nice gesture on his part as they never have good photographs of themselves taken. So, sure, I can do that. No acting involved this time just the hopes I keep my mouth shut and don’t say the wrong thing! So he surprised her with me just outside the hotel and we walked a bit and stopped in random places to take photographs. Spending this time with them was just so fun. They are both from Guadalajara but met thousands of miles away in Valencia while going to school. What are the odds? I mean seriously! You are from the same home town but randomly meet there. Of course that is just a sign that they are connected way beyond the usual. They were so easy going and so open to do crazy things like dance in the middle of […]
She said yes but knew it was coming…
What, you are going to propose and want proposal photography? Oh yes, please! I love these scenarios and the planning and the secretiveness and the working to get it all just right. Well, this one was perfect BUT he told her to get a manicure and he was busted at that very moment. She still played it cool though! She was obviously very happy as the images will show and enjoyed the San Francisco portrait experience, ahem, till things were put in place and voila!!! This couple was in town from the mid-West on vacation. He had the plan in place for some portraits at the iconic Palace of Fine Arts. It went perfectly with friends setting things up behind the scenes. The one hitch was battery operated candles versus fire because anyone who has been under the rotunda knows it is a massive wind storm. Alas, she said she did know it was coming but the smile on her face from the moment she walked under the rotunda and saw him through to the end, still said it all. Congrats!!! Hey, have camera will totally fly in for the wedding!  
Oakville Sessions – Gargiulo Vineyards
What makes a perfect day? I would suggest it is Oakville Sessions at Gargiulo Vineyards and the amazing talent they have. Of course we can add the view, the food, the wine and the sunshine in the amazing Napa Valley. Look at this talent! I had a wonderful time and even better, I got to photograph it! List of talent…Alex “Rockwell” Jacobs, Anna Wilson, Banjo Dan, Billy Dean & Friends, Brian Collins, Cecil Ramirez, Dan Berg, Dan Wilkinson, Dan Zepponi, Daniel Dey Los Reyes, David Duncan, David Pack, James Otto, Jeff Gargiulo, Jeff Larson, Joe Shotwell, Kelly James, Michael Lington, Mony Powel, Paul Hoffman, Shane Soldinger, Silverado Pickups, Tres Goetting, Wolfe Wein! Whew! Some were local people who play in bands, some travel the world as musicians in major bands or their own tours. One thing everyone there had in common? The love of music.  
Joe Bonamassa – The Warfield, San Francisco
Joe Bonamassa rocks The Warfield Joe Bonamassa guitar virtuoso at The Warfield, San Francisco  
18 Oct 2017 in Event Photography, Music, by
Best Friends Animal Society -Strut Your Mutt San Francisco
Anyone who knows me knows that I love animals and do I all I can in writing petitions, volunteering or pet sitting. (Still waiting for someone to say “babysit my pig”). Last spring I took a road trip and actually volunteered at Best Friends Animal Society. It was amazing and fun and hard and beautiful and memorable and awesome. Recently, it was Strut Your Mutt, San Francisco and yes, people did strut too! Once again, I volunteered for Best Friends but for their Strut Your Mutt event. How do you not? Photos, San Francisco, dogs, dog lovers, walking, food AND raising money to “Save Them All” and a lot of local rescues as well. It was a hot day oddly enough and trying to track and photograph dogs that have a LOT to take in was not easy but I had a great time. I will say my cats were not happy with me on my return home though. I did not smell good at least on their terms. I was quickly forgiven though! If you can, if you have the time, if you have the desire, please help your local rescues with your time or cash. There are a […]
Family Portraits San Francisco’s Presidio
Proposal in Napa, Wedding in Bali and Family Portraits San Francisco The family that photographs together, stays together! I first met the Chens when they were two singletons and Sam was hoping she would say yes to his surprise proposal at the beautiful Castello di Amorosa. Then, I photographed their beautiful wedding on a black sand beach in Bali. Now, a year and a half after we first met simply by chance, I’ve photographed this GROWING family with family portraits San Francisco. Your photographer for life… I say this all the time and the Chens have totally taken me up on the offer! Quite often, I meet people randomly for things like engagement portraits or proposals or even head shots. From there, the relationship continues as new occasions or family additions or family milestones happen. It means the world to me when people come back. I truly feel like one of the family with these lovely people. They keep me updated on new milestones and when I traveled to Bali, their families made me feel like we were neighbors not people who lived thousands of miles apart. When they came for a family vacation in San Francisco and the Bay […]
The Turing Awards at Westin St. Francis
There are rock stars then there are the rock stars of the technology world. I had the absolute pleasure of photographing the Turing Awards this year at the Westin St. Francis. The speakers and honorees are people who have changed the lives of all of us. This year’s winner, Tim Berners-Lee, created the world wide web. Yes, THAT www. It was a most intense two days. In all my time doing event photography, this event totally kicked my butt. I learned so much though while listening to the talks and chatting with some of the previous winners. The Turing Award is the most prestigious award in the tech industry. Think Nobel Peace Prize for geeks. I had such a lovely time meeting them and watching how some, especially Don Knuth, were like rock stars with groupies! After Don’s lecture, he was just inundated with people wanting to talk to him and get photographs with him. For me, what was most endearing about him, was that I had been sitting by him in the front row for a bit when he was leaning over the chair taking a nap. The first image below, was how the event started. See, it was […]
ILEA NCC Gala San Francisco Event Photography
It was a total honor and thrill to photograph ILEA Northern California Chapter’s Gala, Wanderlust. The Regency was turned into not the music venue that I am very familiar with from photographing events at the Ballroom and Social Hall but continental amazement by amazing vendors. This event gave me the opportunity to showcase San Francisco event photography at its very best. I definitely work with some amazing vendors in the wedding and event industry in San Francisco. This event brought together many of them to showcase their wares, experience and skills and it was just amazing. The event started in The Social Hall space with the continent of Africa. Greeted by some beautifully costumed and very handsome men and a cocktail is a good way to start a party. The Ballroom was dressed for Europe. Fine dining settings, opera entertainment and a three course dinner impressed everyone. Then last but not least The Lodge hosted desert, MORE cocktails and all that is South America. Dancers and acrobats that had everyone mesmerized. These events are a fantastic way to see just what people can do, meet new and talented vendors in the industry and actually even do some good. A silent […]
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark at Regency Ballroom
Finally, I had the opportunity in my life to see Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, more popularly known as OMD. They were simply amazing. The Regency Ballroom was packed and it cannot be denied the band loved them as much as the audience loved the band. It was truly just a fantastic show. It is opportunities like this that just feed my soul,
11 Aug 2017 in Music, by
The Psychedelic Furs at The Fillmore
Always, always, always a great show. Seeing The Psychedelic Furs and photographing them at The Fillmore is just about as cool as it gets.
11 Aug 2017 in Music, by
Best Friends Animal Society – Cat World
I’m just going to say it. I saved the best for last. Best Friends Animal Society CAT WORLD. Yes, I have cats. I’d have more animals like a dog and a goat if my apartment and San Francisco allowed me to but, I have just two delightful, rescued cats. This was the largest group of volunteers I encountered by far. Bunny House was just me, Dogworld and Horse Haven were three. There were about eight this time. We watched a video and were then told about the different cat houses we could see. Sure, it was tempting to see kittens and the yungins but I knew immediately what group was probably best for my goal – documenting and sharing this experience in hopes more people will volunteer. I spoke up immediately in case anyone else wanted it and was assured I had chosen well. I chose the special care cats at Quincy House. Our host was pleased too with my choice. I walked in and it was by far the craziest scene even with rabbits in dining rooms and hallways at Bunny House with cats rambling about, people milling and working and cat “stuff” just everywhere including the middle of […]
Best Friends Animal Society – Horse Haven
Best Friends Animal Society Horse Haven was stop two on my schedule. I completely anticipated scooping manure when I had my time at Horse Haven but what I did not expect is just how beautiful and educational it would turn out to  be. Ron was there waiting for us and just as nice as could be in his cowboy hat. It was a great morning at Dogworld and the afternoon at Horse Haven was a great finish. We hopped into the car (I know it has a name but it escapes me now) and left the main stable area to go to the other areas. First stop was to check out three mares in a massive area. It was just breathtaking to see the natural beauty and how the pasture blended perfectly with the surroundings. Ron told us about the horses characters and we took either a rake or brushes. Curly Sue came right up to me so I started to give her a brushing. Nope, it was ok for a while but what she really wanted was to just have a pet and a scratch. Ron was right, they were just sweet and friendly girls. However, there was a beautiful […]
Best Friends Animal Society – Bunny House
Another stop at Best Friends Animal Society Bunny House. Surprisingly, I would say this is where I worked the hardest. You don’t think a rabbit would need much, want much or use much but they do! Michelle showed me how to clean the pens and then it was my job to go down the row. They do this EVERY SINGLE DAY. The rabbits have indoor and outdoor access. Each pen, I was only in one building and there are more, took about 10 minutes to clean out, sweep, wash and replace linens, toys, bowls and litter boxes. Some rabbits were friendly and almost wanted to join in and others shot outside not wanting any part of it. It was, to me, an astounding amount of things needed for them from fresh water to linens and hay and toys. This is only a small part of what happens here. There are numerous people who help at the Bunny House. There are full time and part time employees, seasonal volunteers and then random volunteers like me. Many of these rabbits came from hoarding situations and some have special needs and each rabbit gets the care they need. Michelle was very adamant too […]
Best Friends Animal Society Dogtown, a Sleepover and Raffle
I love road trips. You pack up your car and keep the agenda to a minimum and just go. I’ve wanted to volunteer at Best Friends Animal Society for a long time. I’ve known of them for years and have been a supporter. But, it finally just worked out that a road trip was doable and time at Best Friends finally in the calendar. Best Friends Animal Society Dogtown provides amazing homes for a wide variety of animals who are available for adoption and if not, will always have a home. They became better known when they took in the “Vic Dogs” and the TV show called Dogtown put them in the spotlight. They are a no-kill shelter providing homes for cats and dogs to pigs, goats and horses and feathered creatures too. Most of my friends would say I am a “cat person”. But this is solely because, well, I have two cats. I just don’t have the means to provide the right home to a dog living in a small apartment in San Francisco AND I like big, sloppy, hairy dogs. I registered for four different areas and Dogtown was stop one. I KNEW I’d have “sleepovers” so made […]
A Gorgeous Mayacama Wedding
A Mayacama Wedding A Mayacama wedding just has everything you could want in one amazingly beautiful place. This venue has beautiful rooms on site that can accommodate the biggest bridal party as they get ready. They have the gorgeous golf course view during the ceremony where I counted five deer grazing in the distance. I fawned over the fawn. (Did you catch that?) Then fawned over the setting that was pure romance for a touching and emotional ceremony.  The first image is from the room where the ladies got ready. Imagine waking up to that every day! The main building balcony, overlooking the golf course as well, served as the location for the cocktail hour. The long walk of about 50 feet was softened with fantastic wines.  The sunny day softened into gold and pink hues and at this time we did a few portraits as the sun set. It was almost as if there were too many locations to choose from for portraits. Then, the reception. My most favorite part of Mayacama is this courtyard. You could forget you drove north on 101 and had instead driven through Tuscany to get here. The large brick archway. The bocce ball […]
17 Mar 2017 in Wedding, by
Terra Gallery Wedding meets Chinese Lions + Customs
The Chill Couple Jessica and Jae are about as chill as they come in a couple. Their comfort with each other, their friends and family is just obvious. The LOVE they have for them cannot be missed. The important things at this wedding were the guests, the respect of family and tradition, having a great time celebrating everyone and the Best Dog/Ring Bearer. We really did no portraits. It was all about documentary photography. I have to say, this is my favorite. It was about the raw basics of a wedding – the feelings, emotions and love. Their Terra Gallery wedding brought them all together splendidly. Terra Gallery Wedding Transformed Terra Art Gallery is a huge space that can accommodate a large crowd or make a smaller space that is intimate. The industrial look and feel totally works as a wedding space because it is contemporary yet totally elegant. It takes a team of people there and they rock it! And this night, was on point. Catering was done by Ladies Who Lunch, planning was by Freida Neiman and the lions were actually provided by the groom. They turned out to be kids, unbeknownst to me and really were amazing and captivating […]
09 Mar 2017 in Wedding, by
How much do I love a Barndiva Wedding?!?
I just loved Laura and Ryan immediately when I met them. Chic, fun, adventurous, caring and loving. How do you not love that in a person! I witnessed the epic images of their honeymoon and let me say, this couple know how to have fun and their love for each other is just boundless and obvious. It is this love, energy and the people that keep me loving being a wedding photographer. A Barndiva Wedding gets Glamorized I’ve done numerous weddings at Barndiva and can only say they just rock in every way imaginable. The location, the food, the staff, the ambiance and yea, everything. They obviously love what they do and what they represent because they have never failed to play an A game. These events are not about the vendors. They are about the guests and making sure ever need is considered. I can’t recommend this place enough. I have to admit, I’m a HUGE fan of the vendor meals. Documentary wedding photography It isn’t often that I get a good chunk of time for portraits but we had the time for this event. So you will see a lot of portraits but beyond this, it was all documentary. […]
16 Feb 2017 in Wedding, by
Live Music Photography: Just a few of my favorites
I’ve not photographed any live music shows lately and am feeling a bit blue about that. So, just a bit of bringing back the past for my own sake to get excited for some shows coming up. Inspiration usually comes from other sources than myself but this time, it’s me! I think I have the hair flip down. So here are some images from Social Hall SF, The Warfield and The Regency that are just a few of my favorite live music photography images.    
14 Feb 2017 in Music, by
Berkeley Faculty Club Wedding
Nuances of a Berkeley Faculty Club Wedding Colby and Grace are a really laid back, gentle, life loving couple. I knew when I met them, this wedding would be about the people. Both the couple and their beloved family and friends. But design was still an important factor and the Berkeley Faculty Club comes with history so it had to be a mesh of modern people within a historical setting. I’d say, they pulled it off seamlessly. From palazzo pants for the bride’s maids, to the slightest pink hue on the wedding dress that fluttered in the wind and tokens of yesterday from beloved family members were part of the intricacies and the details of this day. Missed Loved Ones Most every wedding has people there only in spirit. The loved ones of Colby and Grace had their own table filled with photographs and treasures and Colby’s recently gone father had his own chair, front and center and a memorable moment was when Colby looked at that chair for a good,  long moment to recognize his father. There are so many nuances in planning a wedding that come to light as the details get taken care of and none were left […]
27 Jan 2017 in Wedding, by
Napa Like a Tourist but the Event Photographer
One of my favorite gigs of the year is the Napa Seafood Summit. So while I’m the official event photographer, I also eat and drink-a lot. It is three very full days with fish mongers. Yes, I said fish mongers! They do exist but let’s just say it isn’t like you see in Seattle at the market. This diverse group comes from around the world to talk business, eat, drink and be merry. It isn’t all fun and games though. There is an abundance of EVERYTHING but they know how to give back to. Many of them contribute to foundations that help others in the fishing industry. I learned that poverty in Alaska is a serious thing. I had no idea. One foundation is helping a small town who rely solely on fishing deep in Guatemala. I have a great time at this event and feel as if I’ve been on a 3 day bender after but it is fun and truly rewarding. This is just about the details and what Napa and its people have to offer. If you are interested, I highly recommend any of these vendors and spaces. They were instrumental in making it all happen and […]
I’m now an Alice Cooper Fan!
No blogging. Alice Cooper just needs to be seen and heard!
04 Nov 2016 in Music, by
Small Business in the Big City
It was 16 years ago that I created, formally, my small business, Images by Misti Layne. Never did I imagine this endeavor but I cannot imagine another life today. I had all the small jobs you can imagine from bartending to somehow getting into IT originally with The Gap and a couple of dot.coms that yes, went bust. All the while, I never stopped photographing anything of interest. Along the way, people who knew I was interested in photography asked me to take portraits. One day, someone who didn’t care about wedding photography asked me to photograph their wedding. I hated it. But not really. I kind of sucked. They loved the images and told me a story of the best man.  He had been diagnosed with a form of cancer. After the ceremony, I photographed him looking up to the sky with a smile on his face that was just pure and beautiful. When I gave the images to the couple, they told me how he had heard me push the shutter and at that moment felt free and healthy and just purely happy. He was shortly after diagnosed to be cancer free. I’ve never forgotten that story in almost […]
Freemark Abbey hosts ILEA Napa-Sonoma
ILEA Napa Sonoma does it again! ILEA, officially International Live Events Association, had their latest event at the Freemark Abbey in Napa. I had the total pleasure of photographing it for them. They are a great group if you are in the industry and truly the best people in their chosen fields and just for who they are. The day was perfect and the event was fantastic and I learned something of course as well. The speaker was Erin Rose Opperman and she did a great job. It was about really taking advantage of social media. I’m not a fan but I know I must. Freemark Abbey History I wasn’t aware of the history of Freemark Abbey but they do a great job with showing you exactly what it is. They have been around since 1886 and were involved in “The Judgement of Paris”.  They have these incredible photographs around the site that integrate an old photograph with a new one and it is fantastic! I’m a total history buff so for me, this is just a great idea. The space is really unique with history and the renovations make it fantastic for an event space. They can completely accommodate […]
Tuesday Photo Challenge – Balloons
International Surgical Foundation (ISF) volunteers at Dario Contreras Hospital in Dominican Republic. Photographed 2016.
15 Oct 2016 in Uncategorized, by
The Holidays are coming! Let’s do those Family Portraits!
Family Portraits for gifts I know the summer has just ended, so talking about the holidays that will come sooner than later seems crazy. However, the likes of Walgreen’s or CVS is reminding us as well! This actually is the time to start thinking and acting on taking family portraits. If you are interested in sending them as cards, then the time to do decide the location and set a date is now. But, if your plan is to use them in a card then this allows for setting a date, choosing the location, reviewing and selecting and then doing the selecting and sending for the card to get out in time. Now, if your plan is for gifts, then you have a bit more time. The Choices for Family Portraits Now that you have decided to do them, the next thing is to set a date and location. I know this time of year starts to get crazy for everyone but if you can spare 45 minutes to an hour, you will have a number of images to choose from. The images included in this post are just a small sample of what we got in one hour. These […]
International Surgical Foundation Saves Lives
Doctors, Surgeons, Nurses, Anesthesiologists, Techs and Me A few years ago I traveled to Dominican Republic to photograph International Surgical Foundation‘s endeavor to help a few people with severe medical issues. It was an amazing experience to be in the surgical room, in scrubs, and so close to something so amazing. I just recently did it again and it just still amazes me. What happens and how it helps and changes the lives of people is off the charts. Here is just a sampling of what is going on currently and how and where they are involved–URGENT. The number of people involved to make this happens is astounding. Truly. It is dozens from around the world. People from Jamaica, Bermuda, San Francisco (me), Arizona, Michigan and of course the locals in Santo Domingo. The handful of surgeries done by this group will help change the lives of many and provide a future when there may not have been one. It gives hope to see people volunteer to make a difference. My Role My role is pretty minimal in the scheme of things, but it is an honor to document the stories of this amazing group of people as well as those […]
30 Sep 2016 in Event Photography, by
City Hall Wedding, San Francisco and some big-ass dogs!
City Hall Wedding is just the start… I really love doing a San Francisco City Hall wedding actually. The ceremony may last all of 4.6 minutes but it is still a huge moment in people’s lives. It was just this for Allison and Ruy too. I met them at their hotel where they were getting ready. I started with Allison and her mom in their room. Allison’s makeup was done, the dress was beautiful and she was ready to get married! I then went to Ruy’s room. Allison had joked about their miniature Mastiff and Pit Bull and I thought, man what will breeders come up with next? Well, she got me! They were no miniatures but big-ass, beautiful dogs who had to give me a good sniff down-two cats had left their scent–and were just big babies. I loved it! Ruy was quite comfortable in front of the camera and it was hard not to be distracted by the dogs and wanting to just lie on the floor with them. But I had a job to do! After this, we did the first look and some portraits. The guest list consisted of both moms, two dogs and me and it was […]
26 Aug 2016 in Wedding, by
Misti Layne and Borrowed and Blue
  Misti Layne recently teamed up with Borrowed and Blue, a locally-focused online wedding resource, to give couples everything they need to know about our photography services. Here’s our Q&A with Borrowed & Blue:   How did you first get into photography? I was a flower girl when I was 4 and not happy about any of it. Someone gave me a camera at the reception and I finally smiled for the first time all day. My mom gave me a camera later and was just always so quick to support any of my artistic interests. I never stopped photographing after that! What single photo sums up your aesthetic? Something, clean, simple, high contrast that when you see it-you feel it. As a storyteller, what draws you to a particular subject? Always the feelings around the moment. Whether it may be a wedding or anything else. It is always the feelings or emotions that lead me on to wanting more and wanting to photograph it. What is your favorite moment to photograph at a wedding? The moment at the end of aisle, hand in hand and smiles can’t be any bigger. What makes or breaks a bridal shoot? Me. No […]
01 Aug 2016 in Wedding, by
Family Portraits without the fuss and just the muss!
Not your typical family portraits… So, yes, I always kind of start with a premise and a vision when I photograph extended families for family portraits but I give up quickly on that notion and just go with what happens. Why fight what is awesome caos! It always starts out formally and typical. We are strangers, we’ve just met, so of course we are working to be on the same page and find locations and the right light and all the technical things. But it doesn’t take long for everyone to let loose and be who they are. The intent on this family portrait session was to get the extended family as well as the breakdowns of each child. We started big and ended with the tiniest and newest addition to the family and his older-little brother. The technical aspect is done and now the fun Locations were pretty slim pickings but we found a spot that worked that fit the whole group. Then this amazing tree was able to provide something with the right light and a little bit of texture and framing for the children and grandchildren. Now, what to do when you are the singleton and sans […]
20 Jul 2016 in Portraiture, by
A Beautiful Kenwood Inn Wedding
I LOVE Kenwood Inn. Really. A Kenwood Inn wedding is unique in a hundred ways and you never even have to leave the site. When I was contacted by Adam and Laura and they told me about their intimate (about 40 guests) wedding all at the Kenwood Inn, I just got excited. The night before, the guest dinner was held at the Sonoma Williams-Sonoma. Odd, you are thinking I know. However, Laura works for Williams-Sonoma and designed the remodel. So, voila, dinner! It was so beautiful and I had NO idea this was available. The setting was beautiful, there was full access to the store and the food was fantastic. Looking for a place for dinner? Go! Then the wedding day. Ahh, Kenwood Inn, how I adore you. The weather was perfect, the setting for dinner was just beautiful. Of course, it had a Williams-Sonoma feel to it but it blended so amazingly well into the setting of the venue itself. Soft hues of olive and lots of texture. It was breathtaking. Being able to get over head of everyone was such a rare opportunity and it was fun to just watch the night from above everyone. Because there were […]
28 Jun 2016 in Wedding, by
Bali-Destination Wedding Photography
Make a crazy offer and you may get an offer you didn’t expect. This is just what happened to me. I met Sam and Cary when Sam first proposed to have me photograph his proposal to Cary at Castello di Amoroso in wine country. Well, yes, I will do it! It was rainy and kind of cold and kind of dreary but Cary was completely surprised and just completely went with the flow. I loved doing the job and them! Hmm, adding Bali to my destination wedding photography portfolio was something I was excited to add. I had a trip planned to the Baltics and Russia just one week after their wedding but there was no way I was not going to do this job. I thought it crazy to suggest me as their wedding photographer  with all that travel but when they said of course, I was set to go. It was a long way to travel for really just 3 days in Bali but so very worth it. The people were so amazingly incredible. I went to reception at my hotel (wonderful!) and asked to change some bills for coins but they had none. A woman there said […]
08 Jun 2016 in Wedding, by
Travel Photography of Russia + Baltics
May was a crazy, crazy month! Alas, why I have not posted in eons. With the travel, work, preparations and just general life, I got way behind. It started with a wedding in Bali (the very next blog to be sure) and a week later on a plane to Lithuania. This trip was planned way back last year and the Bali wedding was just a last minute thing. It was crazy awesome! From sweating on a black sand beach at an amazing resort to experiencing White Nights for the first time. I love to travel and well, you can imagine travel photography is part of the routine. My trip started in Vilnius, Lithuania then to Riga, Latvia and Tallinn, Estonia, St Petersburg, Russia and lastly Moscow. It was awesome! As a history buff, it was incredible to be in central locations to the story of WWII, communism, KGB, Jews and Nazi’s and the incredibly long history of this area. Every place was beautiful, safe, riddled in history and a photograph to be made. First, the countries are very easy to travel, the people truly helpful and delightful and as a very minimum I learn thank you in every language for […]
08 Jun 2016 in Personal Travel, by
Visiting Dominican Republic + International Surgical Foundation
A recent trip to Dominican Republic in support of the International Surgical Foundation. This trip was short, purposeful and enlightening. The ISF is a team of people trying to help those in need in Dominican Republic who have mostly scoliosis or other back related problems. The goal was to see the average day in the life of a Dominican and specifically that of the girl who inspired it. This is an abbreviated story of lifestyle documentary photography as I saw it and lived it. It was simply a weekend to try and cram as much in as possible. I met with one of my oldest friends in Miami who is on the board of ISF (Her brother is the founder) and it was great to catch up. We arrived in DR and the goal was to show daily life of Dominicans, the hospital and a bit of what it is like to have severe scoliosis. Our “Day in the Life” didn’t go exactly as planned because well, customs. We were guests and as such we treated with food and drinks and everyone dressed in their Sunday best or Friday night dancing clothes. Even with that, you can’t help but feel […]
Montana fields, snow covered trees and the family photographer
There is family photographer and then there is literally, family photographer. When my cousin Justin first told me he and Tamara were expecting he didn’t hesitate to ask about doing photography. As well, I didn’t hesitate to say of course I will come to Montana to photograph the family! Visions of snow, mountains, lakes, fields and big open skies flashed into my head. So, yes, I’m officially the family family photographer. I totally love photographing in the Bay Area. Who wouldn’t? Five minutes from the Golden Gate Bridge, Golden Gate Park, Marin Headlands and on and on. I love the light, the sky, the view, the beaches. Give me the opportunity for something new and I’m all about it. I have to say first that the simplicity of movement was the best. Seeing an open field, opposite the setting sun and a big blue sky and saying “Pull over, pull over” and you actually can was just awesome. Seeing road, mountain, sky and taking the first exit where there was no traffic to get the vision I had is priceless. Then, most thankfully, you have to appreciate the instant trust and intimacy you can get with family (or building it quickly […]
Surprise proposal now Bali Destination Wedding
Destination wedding? Yes, please! Sam contacted me about a month before his plan to surprise his girlfriend with a proposal. The venue changed, the dates changed, the times changed BUT his intent sure did not. The final venue? Castello di Amorosa in the deep heart of Napa. The weather was iffy but most friends know I love rainy and moody weather so I was in a very happy place. Long story short…She said yes! One of the greatest things about what I do is that you can really hit it off with clients. Truly, I was selected at random and this couple were just awesome. The rain, the dark clouds, my silly requests were all met with “OK, sure!”. When Sam said they were to be married in Bali I didn’t hesitate to say “Need a photographer?”. Yes, crazy and impulsive but if you don’t ask, you don’t get.  So now this local for me proposal, will be a destination wedding and I simply cannot wait. I spent a great morning with this couple and their friends secretively planning the right spot, randomly taking photographs and wine tasting! I look forward to a long weekend in Bali, a place I’ve always wanted to go […]
My cat Tessa, her severe allergies and Atopica
This is a very personal post in hopes that telling my story may save a few lives and no one has to go through what I recently did. It hurts to write this, but I know that another day means another beloved pet may suffer and I don’t want anyone to experience what I have. My heart is broken. This is my story of Tessa and her allergies and what happened with Atopica. A little history first. It was 8 years ago and I had recently lost my cat, Monster. It was dead of winter in Michigan when my father called me to say a very nice cat had wondered onto the farm and I should take her. “She looks like a cheetah”, was my only description. “She talks a lot”, he explained, watching her walk up the long driveway and into his live trap. No food, just curiosity took her there. That action actually saved her life. I said I would get back to him and after 20 minutes, I knew that she needed a home and had literally walked into my life just when I had the home for her. It was one of those things where you say yes and don’t overthink […]
05 Feb 2016 in Uncategorized, by
Jessica & Jonathan’s Barndiva Wedding
This place is simply amazing and an artist’s dream venue. Situated just off the square in Healdsburg, Barndiva provides the most amazing experience for a wedding. I love photographing a Barndiva Wedding. I have no idea how many weddings I’ve photographed here, but always look forward to going back.   Stay Overnight & Enjoy The Day After Your Barndiva Wedding Healdsburg first of all, is just a wonderful little place. About an hour or so north of San Francisco, it makes a great destination venue complete with little shops, wineries, restaurants and local fairs for guests and locals alike. I recommend to stay overnight in a boutique hotel and enjoy everything the day after the wedding. No better way to turn a celebration day into a celebration weekend! The square is just a block away from Barndiva and makes for great portraits.   Natural Light & A Rustic Setting Aesthetically, Barndiva is a dream come true for me. It has beautiful natural light with a rustic setting and is quite peaceful with easy and unobtrusive places where I can photograph the ceremony from every angle. The venue is really all inclusive and for many, that makes it simple, easy, and manageable. The food is […]
29 Jan 2016 in Wedding, by
First Comes Engagement Photos, Then Comes The Wedding
  Engagement photos provide many things, but I wanted to take the time to point out some of the main reasons why they are an incredibly important piece to your wedding process.   Most often when I talk to couples about their wedding they are very excited, but when the conversation turns to engagement photos, not so much. I love engagement photos and to be fair, totally push them. My reasons are honest and with the couple’s best interest in mind. I include them first in pretty much every wedding package option because I really believe in them. I don’t even think it should be an option NOT to have them.   Now for the details on why – keep scrolling!     #1 The Meet & Greet   The engagement session in the images of this post was the first time I met Laura and Ryan. We chatted over the phone and decided we were a match. Great! After our shoot, they invited me to cocktails; my kind of people! Sadly, I had to decline as I was dressed to lie down in dirt and grass, as well as having another appointment, but loved the offer! Asking me out meant that they trusted me, liked me, […]
14 Jan 2016 in Engagement Photos, by
Sherrie & Dan’s Sedona Destination Wedding
  I love the seasons spring and fall. The light takes on another hue and the sunlight seems to make everything sparkle. This was my first time for a Sedona destination wedding in the fall, and it was 10 times more wonderful than I thought. The Arizona light changed a dozen times in the 20 minute ceremony, which was not easy to photograph, but lovely to see. At one point during the event, the sun hit the fiery red rocks and combined with the moisture in the air, resulting in a rainbow. A wonderful start to a new marriage!     Sherrie and Dan’s wedding weekend started with cocktails the night before, where all 40 guests mingled and met each other, many for the first time. The room was stunning thanks to the combination of Classic Party Rentals and La Tavola Fine Linen Rentals. L’auberge de Sedona provided an amazing view for the ceremony – see for yourself! I don’t think it could get anymore amazing than an eagle flying through the valley in the sun just as the happy couple says “I do”. I mean, come on.     The weekend ended with a group tour up the crimson rocks with Red Rock Jeep tours. Bumpy, but quite beautiful. Sherrie and Dan’s wedding was an intimate and very real […]
29 Dec 2015 in Wedding, by
The Icarus Line plays Social Hall SF
The Icarus Line was new to me as was my first gig at The Social Hall. I’ve been to The Regency Ballroom more times than I can count but The Social Hall is new and well, I just hadn’t been! I had visions of Iggy Pop almost immediately but The Icarus Line can hold their own. Opening for Scott Weiland has to be some pressure and this band started the show well. Their energy was not to be missed.
13 Nov 2015 in Music, by
Scott Weiland and The Wildabouts at Social Hall
Update December 3rd: It’s a sad day. May you find peace Scott Weiland and the best to your friends and family. It was great to see you one last time and photograph you seeing you do what you do best. I’ve seen Scott Weiland in some band or another numerous times. Personal story–he bought my friends house in Los Angeles years ago. Music story-the guy just rocks. Scott and The Wildabouts plays San Francisco’s The Social Hall with opening band The Icarus Line. It’s a smaller venue but Scott played it just like it was any other. The last time I saw him was with Velvet Revolver at The Warfield. He had just as much energy for this show but the one big difference was how he could really interact and play to the audience. Someone got some really amazing video on their mobile with Scot about 2.5 away. This would be why I love smaller venues. It’s up close and personal.
12 Nov 2015 in Music, by
Tim Flannery & The Lunatic Fringe at HopMonk Novato
  KC Turner Presents KC Turner has been a music promoter for years in the San Francisco Bay Area and is incredibly passionate and enthusiastic about what he does. I can’t imagine that he sits still for very long at all. He produces a number of shows at venues around San Francisco like the Great American Music Hall, Bottom of the Hill, his House Concert series, and then venues like HopMonk, which is where this introduction is going!   Tim Flannery, Megan Slankard, & The Love Harder Project I had the pleasure of photographing Tim Flannery, who is a real musician in his own right, but perhaps known better to some as the 3rd base coach for the San Francisco Giants (2007-2014) who helped guide them to win 3 World Series in just 5 years! Yes, that Tim Flannery. The show this crew put on was great right from the start with the very talented opener, Megan Slankard, who just recently played at the Great American Music Hall where the #BoobProject was promoted.   I don’t follow sports (I know, I know), so when I caught Tim Flannery & The Lunatic Fringe at HopMonk Novato for KC Turner presents I […]
21 Oct 2015 in Music, by
Erykah Badu Serenades The Warfield in San Francisco
I am definitely more of the rocker, punk rock girl. Always have been. However, I like country and Motown and actually a lot of other genres. Admittedly, while I know her name, I do not know Erykah Badu‘s music. The crowd at The Warfield were obviously just enthralled with being in her presence and hearing her music. I walked away completely smitten after her show. Her presence first of all was just breath taking. From the hat to the jewels on her fingers and I wonder her toes as there was so much. But, she wore it all seamlessly. She was strong, committed and just soulful to the bone.
21 Sep 2015 in Music, by
Echo and the Bunnymen at The Catalyst, Santa Cruz
I’ve been a fan of Echo and the Bunnymen since it started. Why then did I forget to post images from over a month ago? I don’t know! They played The Catalyst Club which is a great venue–albeit hot towards the end of a gig! I stupidly missed the steps when I walked in and fell on my hip and elbow but did save the camera! Of course the crew laughed at me and I totally joined in on that. I’m not afraid of self deprecating humor. There was no pit but the guys gave me good access to places and the stairs were a good vantage point. Fortunately I wasn’t damaged mentally from my fall and climbed back up the proverbial horse. I still love this band as much as I did then. They had a great show. Ian’s voice is still strong.  Will Sargent didn’t miss a beat. The whole band was strong and did all the favorites of course.  
21 Sep 2015 in Music, by
Menlo Circus Club Makes for Great Weddings
The name “Menlo Circus Club” makes you wonder what you are in for in regards to a wedding location but I assure you, it’s simply fantastic! The history begins simply with a few young girls who wanted to ride their ponies at this Atherton estate and became a “club”. They decided to entertain their parents and friends with a circus. The proceeds of $500 went to the Stanford Convalescent Home. How adorable is that? The Menlo Circus Club did an amazing job hosting Chrissy and Nick for their wedding. The main building has a great open view to it so you don’t feel like you are locked in. It’s classic in style but can be designed in many ways if you have the vision for it. Heather Ferrai of Allset did an amazing job with bringing the couple’s vision to fruition. The cocktail hour happened near the stables. Yes, stables! While there is no longer a circus there they do have a polo field and stable horses. It’s a most unique place, truly. It was quite a team to pull this together and I want to give them a bit of acknowledgement too. So, planner was Heather Ferrai as mentioned. Florals […]
21 Sep 2015 in Wedding, by
Social Distortion at Fox Oakland Theater ~ Music Photography Misti Layne ~
Photographing live music is a curse and a blessing. If I’m shooting, I’m not really listening. If I’m listening, I’m wishing I was shooting. Catch 22 of music photography any way I look at it! But the good thing is I usually only get the first 3 songs to photograph and then I can put everything away and really listen. Simple fact is for anyone, if you are photographing something you are not really in the moment. Your brain can’t handle it. Science! When I saw Social Distortion at The Fox Oakland Theater I think it was the 4th time. No, 5th. Well, maybe 6th. I don’t really know. One of the few bands that I’ve seen numerous times to be sure. I din’t have permission to photograph in the pit but it didn’t stop me from taking something a little bit better than my mobile. While the images are limited and from one viewpoint–trying not to be in the mosh pit–my memories and ears are filled with the sound. Awesome job Social Distortion…shall see you again!
14 Sep 2015 in Music, by
5 Reasons to Have a Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay Wedding
It’s no secret; one of my most favorite wedding venues is the Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay. There are many reasons why you should have a Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay wedding, but I’ll go into just a few… 1. It’s Like Finding the Pot of Gold Under a Rainbow The location is secluded, so secluded that while driving to get there you wonder if you’re even on the right track. Don’t worry – once you arrive, it’s like finding the pot of gold under a rainbow! Simply one-of-a-kind. 2. A View For All of Your Guests It doesn’t matter if the sun is out or the fog has rolled in, the view is breathtaking. The venue is right on the cliff of the Pacific Ocean and it’s truly amazing. The style of the building fits perfectly with its surroundings, which makes for some beautiful wedding photos. When you’re there, I recommend to take some time to slow down amongst the wedding stress and admire the panorama. 3. The Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay Can Fit Your Entire Guest List There is a lovely gazebo, space for hundreds of guests, and a view that just astounds (yes, it’s worth mentioning twice!). Need […]
25 Aug 2015 in Wedding, by
Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox – Music Photography by Misti Layne
  Ok, shame on me as I should have posted this over a month ago. Scott Bradlee brought his Postmodern Jukebox tour to The Regency Ballroom in San Francisco and the talent truly blew me away. The house was packed and his team was amazing. It was new to me as well to be inches away from a tap dancer and watching her feet that close gave me a complete new perspective and admiration to the likes of Gene Kelly, Gregory Hines and Ann Miller not to mention dozens of others.  
27 Jul 2015 in Music, by
Lake Tahoe – Destination Wedding Photography by Misti Layne
If you have not been to the Lake Tahoe area then it should become a must see. It’s just simply breathtaking. It is pure, it is quiet, it is majestic. But it’s also just simply beautiful. So when Isabel and Adam told me they were getting married here I was thrilled. They really kept to the natural theme by blending the usual wedding requirements with nature but yet making things come alive and pop with color. The Chalet View Lodge hosted the event and were just on top of everything. This weary traveler showed up exhausted after dealing with the travels and what was I offered? A shot of something, anything, just choose one! Ohh, I did. Fig Tree Catering did a great job of filling my belly and their staff was just delightful. Being based in San Francisco is amazing as I can have a wedding literally 5 minutes from my home or I can get in my car and drive to an amazing place or I can hop a plane to anywhere in the world. I so love my career. Best to you Isabel and Adam!  
27 Jul 2015 in Wedding, by
Peter Murphy at DNA Lounge ~ San Francisco Music Photographer ~ Misti Layne
I could totally age myself with this one but I’ve been listening to Peter Murphy since the Bauhaus days and was really looking forward to seeing him at DNA Lounge. I was there of course camera ready but I went in knowing I was going to do more listening that photographing and I didn’t care. You don’t just watch Peter Murphy, you listen and feel Peter Murphy. So this night I kind of failed as a music photographer but I succeeded as fan! In Letter Form opened and it was my first time seeing them. Perfect fit and well, I failed again because I chose to listen. What can I say?
13 Jul 2015 in Music, by
A Real Wedding at Hacienda de las Flores ~ Destination Wedding Photographer Misti Layne ~
This wedding at Hacienda de las Flores was just beautiful in every way. The grounds of this location are just beautiful and the people are so accommodating and helpful. The flowers by Pat Gibbons were amazingly beautiful and the bouquets just a perfect fit.I’ve always been the type who photographs “Real Weddings”. My style is far more documentary than anything else because I think there is so much to be seen in the simplicity yet complexity of emotions, feelings and abundance of love at weddings. I just don’t see the need to fabricate some crazy poses or lighting techniques to tell the story of the day. Yes, I’m not the one who jumps on the current trend train. The wedding of Virginia and Mike was beautiful, joyous and happy just like any other. But they had been hit with a bit of sadness just prior to the wedding. Sadly, Virginia’s father had just died in the two weeks before the day. So this wedding had another element to it. The parent dances were far more powerful than most and when the couple and the moms came together for one big group dance it was just beautiful and you knew these […]
13 Jul 2015 in Wedding, by
Falling in Reverse & Ghost Town, Regency Ballroom ~ Metal Music Photography Misti Layne
My tastes in music vary a great deal. I can sing along with “buying drinks for everybody but the pilot” (Dierks Bentley if you somehow happen to not know and he’s ridiculously sexy) just as well as I can sing along with Trent Reznor, Peter Murphy, Dusty Springfield or Neil Diamond. Yea, don’t judge me, Neil rocks! Watch this video and tell me differently Solitary Man  So Falling in Reverse and Ghost Town were awesome. I opened my camera bag the next morning to discover it full of confetti. Gotta love that. Falling in Reverse was really amazing. I had a hard time keeping up frankly with them moving so much and so quickly. BUT I do love all of the guys passion for what they love. “Solitary Man” is stuck in your head now isn’t it? Told you so.
08 Jul 2015 in Event Photography, Music, by
Tori Kelly & Gavin James at Regency Ballroom ~ San Francisco Music Photographer
As a house photographer for GoldenVoice I never know who I will see. So I was really pleasantly surprised by Gavin James and Tori Kelly. The Regency Ballroom show was sold out and the poor people in front were totally crushed! But they really, seemingly didn’t care at all.      
08 Jul 2015 in Event Photography, Music, by
The Origins of Wedding Traditions and Mimi & Robert’s June Wedding
  Where Do Wedding Traditions Come From? I have no idea how many weddings I have photographed at this point, not a single clue. I also don’t know why many of the traditions that are in them take place. My curiosity got the best of me this week, so did a little digging to find out the origins of wedding traditions and how they relate to my latest work at Mimi and Robert’s June Wedding!   Tradition 1: The White Wedding Dress First of course, is the white dress. A sign of virginity? Psh please… The white wedding dress came around when Queen Victoria chose a “white wedding” because she could simply afford a purely white gown, which was not easy to attain in 1840. The Victorian elites loved the idea and so the “virginal white wedding gown” was born. Honestly, I’m looking forward to the day when the bride tells me she will be wearing black — oh the drama we will create!   Tradition 2: The Bridal Party Another wedding tradition I find to be curious is the idea of a bridal party. When it comes to your bridal party, usually you’re just hoping the attire you’ve asked them […]
30 Jun 2015 in Wedding, by
The Photographer’s Checklist: What We Need For Your Wedding Day
  The wedding is right around the corner! You’re in the home stretch of this seemingly endless planning for your big day. Now it’s time to fill me in on all the arrangements you’ve made.   It’s Your Wedding Day, Hand Over the Reins and Trust The Vendors You Hired So what do I need? The list isn’t much, but it’s important we go over it so that we’re on the same page and I can do my job to my absolute best. Not to mention, all of us vendors are working hard so that you can let the reigns go and truly, really, fully BE in your wedding. Trust in the vendors you hired (remember all the research and meetings you had for this very reason?) and let us do what we do best. The ONLY thing I want on your wedding day is to bust butt, do a great job, and make sure I make you happy, comfortable, and that you know I have your back. If you see me running flowers to a bridesmaid or fixing the bow tie on the groom, well, that’s part of the job because it is no longer yours.   Wedding Preparation: […]
02 Jun 2015 in Wedding, by
Gay Vanity Wedding Show ~ LGBT wedding photographer Misti Layne ~
I had the pleasure of being the event photography sponsor for the Gay Vanity Wedding Show put on by the lovely guys at Sullivan Botello Events. I do so adore them and love being a part of the event. I am proud to say if I wasn’t the first I know I was among the very first to photograph LGBT weddings over 10 years ago and well before being a wedding photographer was actually cool. It was a fun time and the fashion show was truly delightful! Love is love and the people at this event are proud supporters. I highly recommend each and every one of them. Bently Reserve Classic Party Rentals Verducci Event Productions 49 Square Catering Napa Valley Linens Silvestri Co. Today’s Bride Janene’s Bridal Boutique San Francisco Bay Times Circosphere A52 Signs and Graphics Laurel Designs Florals The Klipptones Puma Donna Makeover Itani Dental le Meridien Magnolia Jazz Band
Nightwish, Sabaton & Delain at The Warfield ~ Live Music Photography Misti Layne ~
It was one of those crazy days where things or I should just simply say “I” was a bit discombobulated. I show up at The Regency Ballroom to photograph Nightwish, Sabaton and Delain only to realize OOPS they are at The Warfield! Fortunately, they are fairly close and fortunately I know how to work parking in San Francisco and so made it with minutes to spare but WAIT! Start time was not 8 but moved to 7.30 and Delain are on the last song. Ohh crap! All was not lost, however, when the lovely people of The Warfield know and understand my plight especially when they know I’m shooting for Goldenvoice and say “shoot, shoot, shoot!” and I got at least a few of Delain. Whew! Next stop “the pit” with some time to spare. I don’t do a lot of research on bands I don’t know before photographing them. I like being surprised and coming in with a clean perspective. I don’t know why in this world of everybody googling everything but I like surprises I guess. So with no expectations I go to the pit for Sabaton and walk out laughing my ass off–in a good way. Thobbe Englund and Chris […]
06 May 2015 in Music, by
Sixx:A.M. crushes The Regency ~ Live Music Photography Misti Layne ~
I’ll photograph any type of music. Don’t care. I just want to be there. So I was in for a great surprise when I saw Vamps, Apocalyptica and Sixx:A.M. at The Regency Ballroom. “Holy shit” was all I could think when I walked away. For whatever reason these bands were just not on my radar so I had no idea what I was going to see beyond Nikki Sixx. Yep, tis sadly true. But that night I saw the sexiest thing ever with a long haired, tatted Viking looking guy playing a cello while shirtless and in a kilt and Doc Martens. Never would have thunk I’d say that let alone see that but Apocalyptica just amazed me. Then there “it” was. The passion that I just so love seeing in live music by people who are just doing what they love to do and with every ounce of their being. Sixx:A.M. was just amazing. Pure and simple. The passion, joy, love and pure exuberance standing on that stage was just beautiful to see. The talent, of course, a given. But I swear James Michael NEVER stopped smiling. I didn’t have a pit pass for this one as I think they had […]
05 May 2015 in Music, by
Feeding my heart and soul ~ Humane Farming, Documentary Photography
There are times, once your passion has become your business, that you have to go back to your roots. Doing a personal assignment can fill up your creative soul again when you lose touch. So, being a farm girl way back in the day, I chose to do some documentary photography at a working, humane farm in Nicasio called Devil’s Gulch. I spent the day just roaming about. Learning about the rabbits, watching the pigs and piglets and stumbling into the Silky chickens in the most random of places. I was utterly exhausted at the end of this day. I was up before the sun, which those that know me know this is way out of character. I chose this as a self assignment to nurture my soul. It is a working farm and vineyard and I happily say a humane and organic farm. Silky chickens roamed free and laid eggs in the most random of places. Sows and their piglets rested in spaces filled with straw and an open door to the outside or heat lamps when they wanted to sleep. Rabbits that one day would be on the tables of diners at French Laundry were named and loved […]
Decibel Magazine hosts Heavy Metal Bands – Live Music Photography
I try to be an honest person. So here goes a bit of honesty. Heavy Metal bands and music are not my thing. But I have a great time photographing them.  Yes, the hair flies, yes, the music is loud and yes, I can’t understand a word. But this was my first time seeing At The Gates, Converge, Pallbearer, Vallenfyre and Special Guests Cormorant and I had a great time. Check out Decibel Magazine for more images.
03 Apr 2015 in Music, by
Gang of Four at The Independent – Live Music Photography
When I saw that Gang of Four was coming to The Independent in San Francisco, I was all over getting tickets to the show. I’m a total product of this music but never got to really see live music in Michigan. Now, when I see someone from my “past” is in town, I’m just thrilled. Gang of Four did not disappoint and so glad I get to add them to my “Seen ’em” list.  
25 Mar 2015 in Music, by
Family Portraits in the Napa Mustard Fields
I’ve known the Tauziet’s for years now and have watched the kids actually come and then grow. When I got the call for the annual portraits and to do them in the mustard I think I actually yelled “YES”! There is no denying Napa is beautiful, but when you add the mustard in vineyard fields you just get a wow factor that makes me look twice. I think photographing families and for sure kids, needs to be as real as possible. This is what makes a family a family and what makes them unique. I’m not going to try and get toddlers to behave. Frankly, the unwilling behavior is far more fun to photograph! It can be tricky when the sun is going down and there is a mad race against time but in the end, I conquer! In this case, I think I also gained a boyfriend–can you say “Cougar”? Love this family!
23 Mar 2015 in Portraiture, by
How Do You Prepare For Your Engagement Session?
  Engagements Sessions Are For Getting to Know One Another I love doing engagement sessions. There really are no two alike. This time is an opportunity for the couple and I to get to know each other prior to the wedding, where I get to see how you interact and you get to know how I work. The engagement session gives us both practice with one another and allows us to be comfortable when the big day comes. A comfortable bride and groom make for beautiful wedding photos.   When it comes to engagement photos and the location, every couple wants to be iconic in some way. It may be the Golden Gate Bridge, the place where they met, had their first kiss, or the proposal. I always get excited when the couple chooses a location like the first kiss because chances are it’s at a space where I’ve never shot before, which makes for a fun challenge. Oddly, quite often, couples choose a bar for their engagement session location (the old fashioned way of meeting) and we have a cocktail to start, during, or after the session. When I’m told one or the other is nervous, we absolutely START with […]
12 Mar 2015 in Portraiture, Wedding, by
The Broods rock The Regency, music photography by Misti Layne
Pretty sure I don’t need to say it again but I love live music and doing music photography! Recently caught the Broods and opening act Mikky Ekko at The Regency and I have to say I didn’t know what a Mikky Ekko was but he has a new fan.
10 Mar 2015 in Music, Uncategorized, by
G-Eazy rocks The Warfield, Music Photography by Misti Layne
  I admit that I had no idea who or what a G-Eazy is. But I left this show pretty impressed with the guy. This show was a first in my music photography career. No particular reason why just one of those things. It was a fun show and the guy knows how to work the crowd.  
23 Feb 2015 in Event Photography, Music, by
Single on Valentine’s Day – Enjoy it!
  I am Single on Valentine’s Day. Yes, I said it. Honestly, I think it is another one of those overrated holidays like New Year’s where the pressure to go out and have a great time feels overbearing and if you don’t have a great time (or get engaged) then your life comes to a crashing halt. I say BS! You don’t have to be like Bridget Jones in her pajamas singing “All by Myself” and getting loaded.   What not to do:     See, I haven’t been hit by a lightening bolt by announcing I am single!   Get out of San Francisco and Explore One of the things I enjoyed most when I first moved to San Francisco was taking road trips on holidays. I had no family nearby, so I used these days as a day off from work and an opportunity to discover something new. I picked a direction, packed the camera, maybe a picnic basket (places use to be closed on holidays back in the day), and just drive. It was exciting not knowing what I would find, whom I would meet, or what I would see. If you’re single on Valentine’s Day, this […]
12 Feb 2015 in Uncategorized, by
Corporate Photography, People That Make Shit Happen
  I used to work in the corporate field and never imagined one day I’d be doing corporate photography and portraits for these types. Yes, yes, yes I hated sitting in a cubicle! Honestly, one of my biggest motivators to be successful as a photographer is not having my butt sit in a cubicle ever again. I’m more of a ‘throw on a jumpsuit and change the oil of my car’ type. It just wasn’t for me. That being said, I DO enjoy going back and photographing these professionals. I have met some amazing people who are doing amazing things. This is what I love about the San Francisco/Bay Area. Things happen here that make a difference around the world and the corporate types I am photographing are doing it. People are progressive, take chances and fight for what they believe in. They don’t just let life happen to them, they make it happen the way they want it to happen. The days are gone of sitting in front of a gray background and doing a little tilt and turn. Well, not quite gone. Occasionally, they do still happen and again, I’ve met some amazing people doing this style head […]
Dan & Deb’s Destination Wedding in Geyserville, CA
Deb and Dan opted for a destination wedding in the beautiful city of Geyserville, CA. They decided on a winery experience at deLormimier, which proved to be the perfect spot for their big day. The sun was high, the weather was warm, and the vineyards were gloriously lush. deLorimier Vineyards is a beautiful and easy spot for an event like Dan and Deb’s. There are open spaces and intimate nooks that is needed for both the guests to feel comfortable and for me, the photographer, to get the shots I’m looking for.   The Vendors This wedding had a few of my favorite vendors, which puts one at ease when coordinating an event like Deb and Dan’s. It’s hugely important to trust your vendors when it comes to a destination wedding. The bride and groom have to rely on us to make it happen, and happen well. Deb and Dan’s wedding planner, Isabelle Adams, has been a friend for years and is truly amazing at what she does. She is totally hands on and really knew how to work the deLorimier Vineyards venue. Another favorite is Reverend Peader Dalton. It may be his accent, but his passion for officiating weddings […]
09 Dec 2014 in Wedding, by
Brian & Marlon’s DIY Wedding at Falkirk Mansion
Marlon and Brian were the best couple in a lot of ways, my favorite being how present and hands on they were on their special day. From the first time we met, I knew I wanted to be a part of their day based on how laid back they were and the ease of our relationship.   An Unplugged Ceremony When I arrived at Marlon and Brian’s wedding and noticed the unplugged ceremony I knew they had listened during our conversation about guests being present and in the moment. It’s my job to take photos. It’s your family’s job to shed a tear or two. That they did.   DIY Wedding This DIY wedding included many unique details that displayed the character of Marlon and Brian and their lives together. The event took place at the Falkirk Mansion in San Rafael. Special items were scattered throughout the venue to make it truly theirs. One detail that stood out were the succulents from a friend who added wood planters with a great logo of their initials for the centerpieces. Brian and Marlon kept their guests entertained with a kind of hide and seek of the gold Buddha game while others enjoyed the […]
03 Dec 2014 in Wedding, by
Music Photography and the Psychedelic Furs
  Music and Photography I regret nothing in life, yet one thing is I wish I’d had the smarts to put together earlier in life was my love of music and photography. If I would have married these two passions years ago, I could have been a rockin’ music photographer. But all is not lost!   The Chick in the Pits I love shooting live music. I’ve said it before, musicians and photographers have a lot in common and the relationship between them is just bliss. One perk of being the chick in the pit is that often times musicians will play up to me, which allows me to get the shots that no one else can. It’s in those moments of mutual trust and respect that I love the challenge and hunt to make an image worthy of what I see. Yes, it’s challenging. Most often I get three songs to work my camera and get as many shots as I can before the big and burly security dude kicks me out. The majority of people take longer than three songs to even shower in the morning. That’s how little time I have. Short, but sweet.   The Psychedelic Furs […]
25 Nov 2014 in Music, by
Real Family Portraits, Let a Kid be a Kid!
  It’s that time of year for the influx of family portraits again. Where, truly, did the year go! Let’s talk real family portraits. Not the starched white top, blue jeans, lined up, back-to-back look that you see in so many. More often times than not, we’ve got Susie who’s very proud of her newfound streaking skills, Johnny “I refuse to sit down”, and Jerry with his “I can’t for the camera” Chandler smile. Sound familiar? Now let’s get into what makes these portraits real.   “Just tell me what to do” Reid Hoffman I deal with all ranges and types of people from the big CEO of Fortune 500 companies to actors needing head shots, but I can say that no one controls a photo session better than a 3 year old! Actors listen and change emotions in a nanosecond and hard-core punk musicians let me do as I please, but a toddler? We are all under their control and total mercy. This is what makes it fun.   Dirt Don’t Hurt Wearing my most durable, “don’t care if they get a hole in them” and darkest pants, I get down as low as I can and get as […]
20 Nov 2014 in Portraiture, by
A Great Northwest Road Trip ~ Travel Photography ~ by Misti Layne
Every year I take at least one if not more trips usually abroad to gain new perspectives, see different things and experience new places. This year, I oddly decided to stay local for the first time in decades. I took a road trip to the northwest. I’d always wanted to do this but the likes of Turkey, Italy, Egypt, France always seemed to call louder. This was a first and won’t surely be the last road trip I take. I didn’t set out to make any images for National Geographic or the like. The travel photography in this blog were just simply to make me happy. Many were taken while I was driving down the road. I can’t even tell you how many it took to get a straight horizontal horizon! But I got to see the colors of fall that we just don’t get in San Francisco and that was goal #1 on the list. The rest were to drive from sun up to sun down, meet some locals and learn a thing or two. The freedom of not having any plans or times set was wonderful. I drove when I felt like it and stopped when I was […]
29 Oct 2014 in Music, Personal Travel, by
Lots of Laughs at Gloria Ferrer Winery Wedding ~ Sonoma Wedding Photography ~
Lily and Nathaniel know how to laugh and have fun to be sure. I cracked up a lot at this wedding from the funny stories during the vows to the silliness of these two when they are together. Their guests, well, the same goes for them as well! Live, love and laugh seemed to be the motto for this bunch and why I selected so many fun and funny images. Every wedding is unique and I don’t go in with a set list of images in mind. I just go with what happens and quite frankly make stuff up as I go depending on the light, the time, the people or whatever may come. Photographer are trouble shooters more often than not! Gloria Ferrer Winery has always done an amazing job. Their people really take care of everything and keep the flow going and make sure problems just don’t even happen. Some of the other people who made this possible were Anne Appleman and the just really beautiful florals she brought to the table, Ramekins Catering who put some really yummy food in my belly and DJ Jerry Schultz who had guests not just dancing but singing and really, literally […]
Beltane Ranch Wedding | Napa Wedding Photography
I really, really love the small and intimate wedding. It can be in a backyard, a winery or in this case Beltane Ranch in Sonoma wine country. Whatever the location, details like the eclectic items hanging on walls, the horses, the friendly roaming cat, and natural fauna at this Beltane Ranch wedding warm me to the core and feel like home.   The Chuppah This Beltane Ranch chuppah was the most beautiful I have ever seen. It was a collaborative effort of Carol Attia from Under The Chuppah and Spiral Hand Design. They chose to use birch, which has always been a favorite of mine. Even with its modern design, it still fit in with the natural scenery of Beltane. Simply amazing.   Beltane Ranch Wedding – Small and Intimate The guest list for list this wedding was small and kept to 13 people, all from the East Coast. Quite the destination wedding! They dined under the big tree in the yard with food by The Girl and The Fig, one of my absolute favorites, with music by the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. When it came time for the hora, the groom surprised everyone by sitting on the shoulders of his best mate instead of the […]
Arista Winery, Goats, Vineyards and Sunsets ~ Sonoma Wedding Photography ~
Arista Winery in Healdsburg is one of my favorite venues. There are so many options and opportunities for a photographer that I come away totally satiated with images. My love is outdoor weddings in a natural, beautiful location. Don’t get me wrong I like doing hotels and the like as well. There is however, something to be said for Mother Nature and all she provides a photographer. Tait and Linsday are just utterly adorable. Funny, charming and just a match in every way. All the bestest to you both! Thank you for having me a part of this special day.  
City Hall Wedding in Grandma’s Dress ~ San Francisco Wedding Photography ~
Chris and Malin decided to marry in 3 days. Yes, 3 days! They were a fun bunch to be sure. I knew instantly her dress was from the past then found out it was her grandma’s actually and she wore it with some awesome boots. This is why I love San Francisco City Hall weddings. No pomp, no circumstance just waiting, queuing and a 4.5 minute ceremony. Then the fun begins.  
Tim Hockenberry Rocks The Throckmorton ~ San Francisco Music Photography ~
Tim Hockenberry is a talented musician I’ve worked with on occasion over probably 10 years now and just a nice guy on top that. He wowed the audience at The Throckmorton with some cover tunes and some great original music and even doing some with his quite talented son! There is something about the simplicity in a performance that I much prefer over an over the top dance and flash show. Seems the more the pomp then less the talent. Not with Tim! Rock on Tim, fellow Michigander! Blog by Misti Layne
27 Aug 2014 in Event Photography, Music, by
Game Programmers Fun ~ San Francisco Event Photography ~
SteelMedia UK hosts some fun events around San Francisco bring all types of people together in the gaming community. This event was 111 Minna Gallery and had a competition this time along with the talk looking for new games. It’s quite fun to see the excitement people have in their creations!
Chrissy Field Engagement ~ San Francisco Wedding Photographer ~
I really adore my couples. I get the best clients and I believe it is because my website is just simply and honestly me and the right people find me. Tait and Lindsay are just so adorable and just completely fun. I suppose I could have put in the funny outtakes but I’ll keep those laughs to myself! I’m so looking forward to their wedding in a couple of weeks at Arista Winery!
25 Jul 2014 in Portraiture, Wedding, by
A Day at Bloomfield Farms ~ San Francisco Photographer ~
I recently took a tour of Bloomfield Farms in Petaluma and this farm girl born now city girl was in a very happy place. It’s an actual working farm with horses, chickens, goats, gardens and a barn. It’s a place full of nature, beauty, animals and a lot of fresh air. It’s easy to imagine a wedding there with a number of different options possible. So many surprises around every corner and just a pleasant place to be. Thanks for the tour and I shall be back–with a bag of carrots this time!
12 Jun 2014 in Personal Travel, by
Harvey Milk Gets a Stamp ~ San Francisco Event Photography ~
A celebration at the beautiful San Francisco City Hall to celebrate the new Harvey Milk stamp was a great success and appreciated by many. The event was hosted by San Francisco and the mayor and all those who helped get the stamp made attended. A celebration was held in the gallery next door and hosted by EQ/CA. Harvey’s nephew was there to celebrate him and the stamp and people of all walks came to celebrate. The San Francisco Gay Men’s Choir was just amazing to hear in the rotunda. A great day!
Chilling in Saint Thomas Virgin Islands
Ok, nothing really special about these images but for the few days of rest and relaxation in Saint Thomas and Saint John recently. I ran into a lot of the lizard species and including one that seemingly wanted to come home with me!
02 Jun 2014 in Personal Travel, by
The Amazing Rodriguez at Warfield ~ San Francisco Music Photographer ~ Misti Layne
I missed Rodriguez when he played The Warfield last year so was really happy to be able to go this time. I have to admit I only heard about him from the film “Searching for Sugarman”. I loved the movie and just the man it showcased. His music is amazing and I think he is someone that easy to respect heart and soul AND talent. Thanks for the show!
02 Jun 2014 in Event Photography, Music, by
Atomic Bomb + David Byrne at Warfield ~ San Francisco Music Photography ~
I have always adored David Byrne. I think his music is just the kind that gets in your head and stays there for a long time AND it’s ok. You don’t mind. Seeing him at The Warfield in Atomic Band to honor William Onyeabor was far different from what I know him doing in the past with Talking Heads. But it was great to see him and hear some great musicians get together and rock a full house.
07 May 2014 in Event Photography, Music, by
Emmylou Harris at The Warfield ~ San Francisco Music Photographer ~
I can’t say that I was a fan of Emmylou Harris but I appreciate any musician who follows their heart and never stops. Emmylou played to a full house and those there were obviously long time fans and very thrilled with her performance. It was heart warming to see her kind of blush and be embarrassed by the applause after her first song. Blog by Misti Layne
05 May 2014 in Event Photography, Music, by
It’s Arrived!
My new web site that is! I am so pleased to finally have this up and running. As most people know, this is not an overnight process. What fewer know is this is a life long process from experience to the past images to those that have yet to be created. So please know I appreciate every moment you spend here! Thank you and thanks to all for letting me to what it is I must–photography. Blog by Misti Layne