Small Business in the Big City

small business owner

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 20 years and it still gives me goose bumps. It was then that I was shown exactly how important photography was to my clients and me. I realized after with my stomach in knots, barely being able to speak and never more nervous in my life, that I had actually had a great time.

After years of who knows how many jobs and types of jobs, I knew what I was meant to do.

small business owner

Photo: Fima Gelman

And a small business begins…

I was four when I took my first photograph as a flower girl in a wedding. I was not at all happy that day. I was miserable and the photographs show that. Until someone gave me a camera. There is one image of me with the camera and smiling. I never imagined being a wedding photographer let alone business owner.

It took a few more years of having a job with photography on the side but I remember the day I gave my two weeks notice and never looked back. It has been the most rewarding endeavor I have ever taken. I not only make clients happy but I use my skills as a photographer to hopefully make a small difference in the world. I know my images will be passed on for generations. Sometimes you have no idea what you are meant to do in life but sometimes, the universe just shows you what to do if you are willing to listen.

Times have changed and social media is a big part of business now. I never imagined I would be Instagramming every day! But opportunities are found everywhere like LinkedIn. Bringing a community together to keep businesses thriving by supporting one another is a commendable thing and I thank LinkedIn for that. I’m planning on being here awhile!

Blog by Misti Layne

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