Yes, Misti Layne is in fact my real name. Mom said “Amy” and grandma said “NO! My dream said she is to be Misti Layne.” I happen to be the first Misti in the US of A too!
Now that that is out of the way, a bit about me as a photographer.
I have been taking photographs since the wee age of four. Yes, you read that correctly, four! I was a flower girl in a wedding and because I was being a little pissy, someone gave me a camera to shut me up. It worked! From that point on I was all smiles.
I recently came across the photographs of me as that four year old flower girl…nothing spectacular (beyond how…ahem, cute I was), but oddly enough the only photos where I am smiling are those where I am holding the camera. The one of me here BC (Before Camera), looking pathetic, is actually far more entertaining though.
Thankfully, my mom recognized and nurtured my new found interest in photography by giving me her little Instamatic, leftover from the 1960’s, pulled from a box in the attic like a rare treasure. I began shooting with that Instamatic elating with every push of the button, knowing I had captured a moment in time forever.
Fast-forward a couple of years. My heart remained behind the lens even as I embarked on a modeling career. At 16, I began assisting and worked with a wide variety of professional photographers in Michigan, Chicago, and eventually New York. This was a formative experience in many areas of my professional development. My background as a model helped me better communicate visual ideas with subjects, understand how the human form, both male or female, could be posed, lit, and draped in order to look its best. At the same time, working with professionals helped further expand and hone my technical skills.
I have always had an innate aptitude for photography and the curiosity to learn and explore the art.
Many, many years after my stint as a flower girl and modeling, I learned I could capture fleeting moments in space and time. Beautiful moments. Surreal moments. Real and emotional moments. Forever. The ambiance of a gathering, the feeling of a moment, the love radiating in a smile. Forever. A wink. A gentle touch. A kiss. Forever.
I can remember a lifetime from those photos with over 20,000 photographs in albums that I utterly cherish more than any other possessions. In the case of a fire, I grab the animals and my photo albums. Really. Truly. Seriously. This is why I include tangible things in my portraits and weddings. It just isn’t the same scrolling through on a computer.
I know feedback is incredibly important and my job is to make you feel comfortable and confident above all else. I want you to walk away thinking “Ohh, that was fun!” I know the photos will be fine if I can get you to relax (we can have a cocktail if that helps by all means!). I can’t even say how many times my clients have hugged me after the job was done and the photos still in the camera.
Photography is more than just a vocation. It is my passion and my craft. My photographs will touch your heart; make you laugh, make you think, make you dream and maybe even cry. The process should be relaxed, comfortable, and fun, filled with laughter and all the joy of the occasion. Ask questions. Tell me what you like and don’t like.
Be confident that I will listen and use my experience and creativity to capture your moment in time. This is not about me actually. It is all about you. Photography is only a small part of the job because intuition is a huge part as well.
This four year old in the photo has grown up to live her dream.
I’m a lucky girl.