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Hey there!

      My name is Emma Layne Deese, I’m 24 years old (as of April 20th!!), and I am a beginner photographer in the Wilmington, NC area. (moved from Western NC/Northern GA). 


      I started photography as a small hobby in middle school. I found an old camera in our hallway closet and just started taking pictures of everything. It was a very simple Canon camera with little settings, but to kid me it was amazing. But I started to fall off of the hobby when I entered High School. Everything was changing: going to a huge new school with hundreds of more kids, trying to make new friends while being a painful introvert, juggling all kinds of new material and lessons, and to top it all off we decided to move right after Freshman Year! I would occasionally play around with a camera for a couple of years, but it wasn’t until recently that I picked it back up for good.


       I was nannying for an amazing and extremely talented photographer who became my mentor (shoutout to Sierra Hayes Photography!!). I started by going to her sessions with her as her assistant, and it didn’t take long for me to start taking an interest! She started to show me the ropes and educate me on what I was missing, She also started letting me find ways to practice more. She helped me find the love I once had for photography, and further helped me create it. She is not only a fantastic mentor, but also an incredible person who I consider my friend. She is the one who pushed me to find my creativity and talents behind the camera, and I am forever thankful she did! I finally decided to save up for a camera and go through with buying it, and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made! I was taking pictures of EVERYTHING that first few months. I was immersing myself into learning everything I could through practice and what my mentor and others were teaching me. I have a bad habit of obtaining new hobbies or obsessions, and then dropping them soon after out of boredom or repetitiveness. But I can honestly say that my love and passion for photography has been staying constant! I don’t see it leaving my future any time soon. 


        Photography has become much more than a hobby to me now. It has been such a blessing to me and in my life, even with how short my journey has been so far. It has given me the freedom to experiment with my imagination, and push my creativity, mind, soul, and heart. It has made waves in my personal life, my growth as a person, and my appreciation for things in life. I’ve never felt secure in my future when it comes to deciding a career. But now, I finally have found a sense of comfort and a place to venture into. Whether or not I pursue this long term doesn’t matter for now, because I am going to make the most of it and have as much fun along the way.


        Here are some questions and answers for if you're curious or just want to know me better.


  1. What camera do you use? - Canon 6D mark ii!! I have loved it, but I might need to upgrade soon. It seems like I've used it so much it's starting to slow down. However, my beginning camera was a Nikon D5600. It is an amazing starter/beginner camera. It’s very affordable compared to the prices of other cameras but doesn’t disappoint in quality. The controls are easy to learn and not too complex. I’m hoping to expand and upgrade soon, but I will always recommend this to any fellow beginners who ask!

  2. What’s your editing style? - I personally like to edit based on what mood the picture is giving me. One of my biggest goals is to have the ability to efficiently accomplish any editing style. Not only that, but I want the finished photo to represent the client and their vibes. But, no matter what style I choose, I usually always follow it up with a Black and White version of the picture!

  3. What do you use to edit? - Lightroom!! I love it, and it hasn’t given a reason not to. 

  4. What is your main focus in photography? - The extrovert in me thrives off of people interaction. I love meeting people and creating bonds with them. However the introvert in me loves my independence and time to be with myself. My favorite place to be is with animals and nature. So, Wildlife/Animal Photography is my ultimate focus area. I would also like to test the waters in sports and concert photography as well. But most of all, I love to capture candid moments; something that is unprompted and free spirited. Seeing authentic glimpses into people's lives is immeasurable. 

  5. Who has influenced you the most? - Aside from the mentoring mentioned earlier, Sierra Hayes has an incredible work ethic and talent. There are a lot of local photographers in this town with incredible work that I really look up to. I also really love Robert Irwin’s photography, Isaac Spots, Camerone Hill, and Joe Romerio’s. 

  6. What is your philosophy? - Practice, experiment, keep an open mind, and keep going. Every day I feel like doing something different, or learning something new, or changing my mind on a method, and that's great! Photography is another form of art, and it's okay to keep changing your canvas until its perfect to you. Also, and this is a big one to me, never let the dream keep you from having a good head and a kind soul.

  7. Goals? - To travel the world with my camera, make a good influence in the animal world and to humanity, and to love living life every day.


Even more rapid fire..


  1. Favorite color? - Honestly I like them all, but black is my go to 99.9% of the time

  2. Favorite snack? - Ritz cheese crackers for the win

  3. Favorite animal? - How can I choose?? They all play a role and are all valuable... but sharks, dogs, and geese hehehe

  4. Favorite movie - Cinema is another passion of mine; I absolutely love movies. If I had to narrow down my favorite movies, it would be 1. The Goonies (1985), 2. The Lost Boys (1987) and the third usually depends on my mood. It is typically between Jaws (1975), The Mummy (1999), Tremors (1990), The Blues Brothers (1980), Kill Bill (2003), or Ghostbusters (1984)

  5. Favorite tv show - TV shows I don’t watch often., but if I do, it will usually rotate between The Golden Girls (1985), Psych (2006), and sometimes oldies like Andy Griffith (1960) or the Rifleman (1958). Currently running shows I like to watch are Stranger Things (2016) and Euphoria (2019)

  6. Personality Type - For Meyers Briggs I am a solid and true ENFP, and on the Enneagram test I am a a tie between 9, 7, and 2 

  7. Favorite Drink - Iced coffee all the way baby

  8. Favorite Book - My most re-readable picks are The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King, Matilda by Roald Dahl, but a book that stuck with me for a while was Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman

  9. Favorite Sport - to watch, Baseball (Go Braves!!) but to play, volleyball

  10. Hobbies - Besides photography I like to do art (check it out on my Portfolio page!), going to the movies, having fun with my boyfriend, friends and family, traveling, and being in nature! 

  11. Favorite Song - I end up being obsessed with a new song every month (check out some hidden pages on the bottom of this page!), but the ones I never get tired of are “Ghostbusters” by Ray Parker Jr and “Soul Man” by The Blues Brothers (live)


Extremely rapid fire!


Random things I love:

  • Spider-Man

  • Paranormal stuff

  • Titanic history

  • The mountains

  • Horror movies

  • Vans and Converse shoes

  • The beach / ocean

  • Disposables and Polaroids

  • Dan Aykrod 

  • My pets

  • Steve Irwin

  • Space

  • Chris Farley

  • 80’s movies & music

  • Crewneck hoodies

  • Tattoos

  • The Halloween season

  • Fun socks

  • Fall weather 

  • Family suppers

  • My job teaching kids

  • The numbers 5 and 7

  • movie posters 


    So that's a glimpse into me! Thanks for giving this page a look, even though it went on pretty long. I wonder how different this page will look in the future to come. Until then, I hope you have a great day and maybe we will see each other down the road!

With Love, 


April 9th, 2024

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