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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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. […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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!
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 […]
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 […]
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: […]
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
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 […]
by Kay Raymond of Blissful2Be Events As a planner I am often asked two very important questions: How important is is to hire a professional photographer? and How do I choose a wedding photographer? I always answer the same way, “You don’t want to take your own wedding photos. You want a professional!” These are the pieces of your special day that will last a lifetime and as a planner, I need to work with someone who understands all the small details that take place during a wedding. A Great Wedding Photographer Should Be At The Top Of Your List Working with a professional photographer is always at the top of my list after booking a venue. The photographer is my right hand. They catch all the small details that I may not: the couple seeing each other for the first time, a dad giving his blessing, and the quiet moments with grandparents. These are the moments that live long past your wedding day and moments you may not remember as the day seems to fly by. Most planners will start the conversation with your photographer long before the day of the event, going over how the ceremony […]
The Digital Age Things sure have changed since my first wedding about 14 years ago. I’ve seen trends come and go and the biggest one in photography is by far the digital age. The first weddings I shot were with film, a tool I still utilize today. Now I laugh thinking about all the times I was asked “Why don’t you go digital? How do you know you got the shot?” I’m a professional. I make a living off of getting the shots. I admit, my first wedding was just a fluke and I never really thought I’d be a wedding photographer. Luckily, fate found me. I’ve worked hard to build my portfolio, reputation and skills over all these years and can finally say, “Yes, I’m a professional photographer and know that I’m worthy of that title.” Avoid the Point-and-Shoot As time goes on, I see more and more wedding guests with expensive digital cameras and point-and-shoots, specifically iPhones and iPads. I can’t count the number of times my shot was ruined because someone stepped in with an iPad or their mobile out in the aisle or the times a red dot appears or the flash from someone else […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 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.
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.
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!
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