St.Louis photography

My First Time

My First Time

 When I first started out I was working for Home Decorators Collection in St.Louis.  I was assisting another photographer with weddings and had a decent very little group of family clients.  My step-father Don had given my boring basic white business card to his brother (my uncle) for his daughters friend who was getting married.  if you followed that you get a gold star! 


I was on lunch break from work when my cell rang and I answered it as I always did...."hello!"  The lady on the other line was like "hi is this Layne the photographer? my friends dad, David, gave me your name."  I remember it like it was yesterday, I was stopped at the light at Pershall and Lindberg in St.Louis and my heart sank, with excitement and with terror.  I knew who this was, this was what could potentially be my first solo bride.  Still typing this I get goosebumps just like that day.  I had gotten calls before for family sessions but I mainly got emails.  But it was my first time hearing the words Layne the photographer and it was a moment a will never forget. That brides name was Jessica.

Jessica & Steve
July 2006


   Her wedding was a ways away, and I did end up doing one small wedding before hers. But Jessica will always be what I call my first bride because she was the first one I communicated with.  Staci was technically my first bride.  Jessica lives in Kansas City now but when she comes back to Breese, IL she calls me and we update her photos.  Hey Jess, we need to get new ones speaking of it!!  And Staci & her husband Alex are two of my fiercely local clients turned friends. 

 Both these couples have kids, and I love that I have gotten to watch them grow in front of my lens.  And Thank heavens they stuck with me, cause I was just going through old images to put on this post...and man I have grown a lot as a photographer in the last 10+ years.

My first technical couple, Staci & Alex and their kids Nicole & Zachary this past Christmas at my annual Santa event


   Thanks Jess and Staci for being my firsts!  haha.  And to all the other fiercely loyal brides AND grooms that have stuck with me for so many years.  I have loved every minute of it. 

My Journey in short

The Early Years

I will continue to look for some of my FIRST photos I ever took.  I know I have them somewhere.  It's a picture of my care bears lined up on a couch I believe their heads might have been cut off...the tops at least. I was probably 7.

My mom got me my first FILM SLR camera when I was 16-17. And I took it everywhere I went.  I played soccer but was often sidelined due to knee issues and surgeries.  I still wanted to be part of the team so I took pictures...LOTS of pictures. 

I graduated Merrimack High School, in Merrimack NH and moved to Belleville IL where my mom decided to move. I went to college at SIUE (Southern Illinois University Edwardsville) for not Photography....but Pscyhology.  I didn't think my mom would approve of a photography degree.  Though she would have supported it, because she has always been my biggest supporter.  But psychology has actually helped in my photography career.  It's taught me understanding and how to listen during my shoots, how to read a group of people and best photograph their needs.


Love & Marriage

I met my husband in 2002 and we married in 2004.  I never worked in the psychology field but I think every job I have held has some use for my degree.  I held mainly office type jobs from working at the St.Clair County Court house and Home Decorators Collection to French Gerleman and Data Unlimted.  Through most of those jobs I did photography on the side, after work and on the weekends. 

In 2008 I had gotten so busy with my side business I quit and opened up my first location in New Town in St.Charles, MO.  I had a small 200ish sq/ft free standing structure in the theater district there.  It was a great place to meet with clients and get work done.  New Town provided lots of great places to take pictures, and there was always something going on.


New town office

I left this cute little office in July of 2010 and moved my little business to St.Peters, MO.  I moved to a bigger space that I was able to use to do some studio shooting in.  A week after I signed my lease in St.Peters we found out we were pregnant with our first born, Jack.  I stayed in that location just a year and I was spending more time working from home and taking care of Jack than I was taking care of Jack from the office.  So I closed that shop and since I have been working from home.

Working from home is great, but not so great.  More on that another day.

We had our daughter on New Years eve 2013.  And we moved to Smithton, IL in July of 2016.  My photography continues to grow and I love what I do.  I have a fiercely loyal clients that have turned into friends. I love my job, the highs and the lows...those lows often come in winter when the world hibernates.

That me in a quick of a nutshell as I can manage.  I am going to try and blog once a week.  They will be about photography, my life, crazy kids stories, recent and past sessions.  Might even throw a giveaway or two in the mix just see who is reading!

Isaac turns 9 months

I really can't believe I did Isaac's 9 month photos on Sunday.  It really just seems like I did his newborn photos!  And we are already talking about his 1 year sessions, and all the fun we can have with that session. Cake smash, outdoor session maybe some grandparents in the pics.  Well those will have to wait another couple of months. 

   For this session, it was starting to get warm....but not really warm enough for an entire outdoor session.  So the Jewel Box in Forest Park came to the rescue.  Enjoy some of the samples from Isaac's 9 month session.

The Jewel Box in Forest Park is an awesome alternative to a home session.  It is a glass structure which lends itself to some amazing natural light.  Natural light is my friend!  And since it was warm enough we jumped over to the Muny and did some quick outdoor shots.  Always awesome opportunities for photos in Forest Park.  So many places, and little nooks and cranny's to take some unique photos.