To Top

Conversations with Natalie Layne

Today we’d like to introduce you to Natalie Layne.

Hi Natalie, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
Statistically speaking, I should not be here today. I should not have my own business let alone be interviewed for it, because statistically I was bound to be a runaway, single, teenage mother with no higher education or stable career, forever jumping from one cockroach and rat-infested apartment to the next. But, by the grace of God, I AM here today. And to say that I got here by my own merit would be disingenuous. I am where I am today because of people that have loved me, prayed for me and have encouraged me along the way-they deserve just as much recognition, especially my husband; he is my steadfast cheerleader.

Since high school I have loved photography but being a teen mom and working to make ends meet meant my photography was always on the back burner. It wasn’t until years later after I met my husband that he began to encourage me to pick it back up again. And that’s exactly what I did.

In 2013, after years of letting my camera and 35mm negatives collect dust, I began shadowing other photographers for a short while and then I took off on my own. For six years I spent the majority of my nights and weekends photographing everything from weddings to senior photos to newborn sessions all while still maintaining a full-time job. By 2018 I was completely burnt out and decided to I close my business, vowing I’d never look back. I spent two years after that haunted by all the ‘what ifs’ and regrets and ideas for how I would have done it all differently. I never once picked up a camera.

Now, looking back, I am grateful for those years (2018 to 2020), because they served to be one of the best things that I ever did for my business. I spent that time looking at different editing styles, different poses and how other photographers were promoting themselves on social media. I made mental notes of what made these seemingly successful photographers stand out. Then, in February of 2020, right before the pandemic hit, I took the leap back into it once more- this time with a renewed vision and path for how I wanted the business to be. Still working a full-time job with photography being the side hustle, I once again found myself overwhelmed by the mounting tasks that my day job required of me, the never-ending business responsibilities, and now being a mom of 4, it was all just too much. Finally, I decided to give my notice at work, making April 15th of 2022 my last day! Having gone through so many ups and downs over the years has truly helped me finetune my goals, balance work and home life, and my work practices. While being self-employed can be scary at times, the excitement that I feel for what doors will open over this upcoming year and next is beyond anything that I’ve ever experienced before.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
One of the biggest struggles that any self-employed individual will face is financial stability. Some individuals are handed everything they need on a silver platter while others have to work tirelessly to get the essentials that they need. Having grown up in a poor family, I didn’t have financial resources to dip into to start my photography career. So, at the age of 13, not wanting to cause any financial burden on my mother, I started gardening for my neighbor – I saved every penny she gave me over the span of 3 years, that by the time I was 16 I was able to buy my own camera and my own car. Unfortunately, becoming a young, single mom would only distance me further from being able to financially support my love for taking pictures. But with diligence, perseverance and sticking to a goal, in 2013 I was able to turn my hobby into a part-time career. Alongside my husband we’ve been able to overcome major obstacles: expanding equipment, upgrading dinosaur-sized laptops, and even creating a home office.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
Since 2013 I have done a wide range of photographic work: corporate events, headshots, quinceanera’s, branding shoots, weddings, family portraiture, high school portraits, cake smashes, newborn photography and even boudoir. However, having had the opportunity to dabble in many different types of shoots my area of expertise is weddings and branding shoots. My style is often described as minimalistic, bright, natural, candid and timeless. Of the different corporations that I’ve had the privilege of working with, some of my favorite shoots were with BNSF Railroad, the Microsoft store at MOA alongside a few Vikings players, and getting the opportunity to do a test shoot with Lindsey Bomgren of Nourish Move Love. While I believe that there are thousands of talented photographers out there that I have similar style to, there is only one me. My personality, my quirks, my character and my passions are what set me apart from every other human being on this planet.

Is there a quality that you most attribute to your success?
Not giving up. Having an openness to learn. My faith.


  • My weddings range in cost from $1,700 to $3,550
  • Branding shoots are based on an hourly rate and deliverables.

Contact Info:

Image Credits

Natalie Layne

Suggest a Story: VoyageMinnesota is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Victoria

    May 16, 2022 at 12:11 pm

    Natalie has taken pictures for us. She is amazing! Her creativity and energy makes the photo shoot so much fun. Then the pictures arrive and she manages to not only capture the moments so well but does it in such a beautiful, elegant and simple way. She is a pleasure to work with and the love for people just shines right through!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in Local Stories