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A Day in the Life of Wild-Child Fashion Photographer Alie Layus | The_ONES

Sneaker Diaries: On The Go With L.A.’s It Girl Photographer

From the moment we first came across Alie Layus and her work, we were immediately pulled in. The native Californian, a photographer and veteran DJ and music producer, exudes a sense of cool, candid allure. And so, too, do her photo subjects—who have included more than a few California girls she shot for The_ONES (including a girlfriend getaway she just took with bestie Brook Power). She was an instant #girlcrush we just had to get to know better.

“I love photographing women,” says Layus, who lives in Beachwood Canyon. “I like my photos to look casual and not so polished, and I really don’t worry about being super technical or trying to get my shots perfect. I don’t like to try too hard to define my style because I feel it’s restricting.” This no-holds-barred approach is something that has always come naturally to Layus. “I’ve loved taking photos since I was a little kid,” she says. “My dad had a Polaroid camera and I would always take it and waste all of his expensive film taking photos around the house just so I could watch them develop. As I got a little older it progressed into playing dress up with my friends and taking photos of them, which is basically what I still do today.”

So, to get a better picture of this rad chick behind the lens, we decided to turn the camera on Layus, asking her to document a day in her life. From a photo shoot out in the middle of the desert to unearthing inspo at her favorite record/bookstore, this is an unfiltered look inside Layus’ dreamy SoCal existence.



9:20 a.m. Wake up and get ready quickly. Put on these plaid pants because it looks a little cold and gloomy out this morning, and they’re warm and comfy. Get into my Vans SK8-His because they are good for walking around town, and head out to grab an almond-milk latte from the coffee shop on the corner by my house.



9:45 a.m. I’m doing a shoot for a clothing brand that’s based in Australia later in the day, so I make my way to a thrift store down the street to look for some styling pieces I might be able to use. I’m shooting out on a desert highway with a couple of babes and I want the vibe to be like Thelma & Louise meets The Doom Generation. The store’s in Hollywood and has really good jackets, and I find some perfect pieces. I also like to try to make my rounds to different thrift stores at least once a week in case I get lucky.



11:00 a.m. Get back and get my car packed to head out to my shoot in the desert. I throw some Chuck Taylors and Vans into my trunk. They’re staples I bring to all my shoots just in case.



12:30 p.m. Finally arrive at the location. It’s about an hour outside L.A. off Pearblossom Highway and it’s this quiet little desert town with just a few random markets, gas stations, and old motels. A storm just passed over L.A. so it had been cold and rainy all week before the shoot. Glad that this is the first sunny day, but it’s still cold out.


1:00 p.m. I get set up and right to work, shooting one of my favorite girls, Nicole, a model I’ve been working with for a few years now who I love taking photos of. We end up using some sunglasses I got from the thrift store! We have a quick lunch break; I have a turkey sandwich and an iced tea from the little market. I also shoot Oly, a girl I just met. She’s really sweet and the three of us have a really good time and laugh a lot!



6:00 p.m. We finish the shoot late afternoon and hit a lot of traffic driving back into the Hollywood area. Ugh. I drop off the girls and head home. I stop to take in the sunset as I arrive back. I’ve never been someone who enjoys being downtown in big cities; it’s too loud and crowded for me, but I love looking at city skylines during sunset. L.A. just looks so beautiful from far away.


7:30 p.m. I go for a walk with Kevin, my boyfriend, to pick up some pizza for dinner. While we’re waiting for our pizza, we cruise into our favorite little bookstore on the corner.



8:00 p.m. We like to look at old books and vinyl covers. They have a lot of really interesting used books, and my boyfriend likes going through the art and design books. We always run through their records and snap photos of cover artwork for inspo. I once found an old Dire Straits record, which was something I grew up listening to with my dad. We spend about half an hour here before heading out. Grab our veggie-and-sausage pizza on the way back home.



8:30 p.m. Back home finally for the night with pizza. We chill on the couch and watch Twilight Zone because we both love weird shows and anything about aliens or supernatural stuff!


Alie’s ONES

“I have a lot of Vans and Converse. Too many to remember off the top of my head! My black and blue Vans Sk8-HIs are the shoes I wear the most and have been wearing since I was a kid.”

Written by Dickson Wong. Photos by Alie Layus.



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