Katie Beth + baby Owen | Lubbock Maternity and Newborn Photographer

Di y’all know I travel for sessions? I do. Lubbock is about an hour and a half from Canyon, but I don’t know if there’s somewhere too far for me to go and get to photograph a beautiful pregnancy and a sweet squishy newborn. Swoon. Fun story, I got to to a two for one and see Hillsong United in concert in Lubbock while I was there. It was a super fun trip. Thanks for letting me be a part of your lives Katie Beth and Adam!

Michael Ann | Amarillo Senior Photographer

This beautiful young lady just set off on her greatest adventure (so far in her young life). She joined the AIM (Adventures in Missions) team in Lubbock and will be training for 9 months before setting off somewhere on the planet to work in ministry. Oh to be young and able to travel and adventure like that again! We love you, Michael Ann, and can’t wait to see all the things God has in store for you!


Motherhood Mini Sessions | Canyon, Texas Family Photographer

Introducing…

Motherhood mini Sessions. I cannot wait for March 22nd. Allll the love, allll the gorgeous light. Mamas just holding their kiddos, loving on them. Me behind my lens. What else do I need?!

Grab one of the time slots before they’re gone. You can purchase a slot and see all the details HERE. Or click on “Mini Sessions” in the menu bar at the top.

I look forward to seeing you all there!

xoxo Tori

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A Foggy Morning | Amarillo family photographer

Going through old posts and I found this little unpublished gem of a post from 2017! My sweet Bonnie still had her Paci (sobbing over here) and Ruby wasn’t a kindergartner. Oh time, please be still!

From the minute I looked outside and saw the heavy fog, I knew I was going to bundle my littles up and grab my camera and GO. Fog makes for dreamy, soft photos. As soon as I got the girls out of the car and Bonnie slipped and fell and started crying I was questioning my sanity, lol. I was prepared though. Mamas, if you EVER want to know the secret to happy kids while taking pictures, I have it. Ya ready? It's candy (shocker). One offering of starburst and she was up and ready to go again. Turns out, it was a super fun morning in a beautiful location. We even spotted some deer bedded down. The girls were thrilled! I knew this was going to get its own blog post from the minute I started shooting. So happy to have these little moments with my girls documented!

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The Owen Family | Dallas Fort Worth Family Photographer + Videographer

Since I started this journey through finding my voice in photography, I have found myself wanting more and more out of my work. More connection, more relationship building, more telling of stories. Photography on a deeper more personal level. I started where most photographers start. Loving to take portraits. people's faces. Tack sharp eyes, smiling faces looking at the camera. And for me, it has morphed into something totally different. In journeying and grinding through this form of art, I have found that it's connection and storytelling that fuels my fire in this art form. I no longer desire faces, but motion and stepped-back shots of an entire scene. I really don't love portraits anymore...ok, ok, the occasional perfect soulful stare directly into my lens does make me a bit giddy...but the anticipated and the planned is not my heartbeat. It's life, frozen in a photograph, that taps into that place in my soul that sings.

When anyone contacts me and asks me to come into their HOME and do, not only photography, but take video and create a heirloom film, I literally cannot sleep. I think about it until the day of the shoot and show up bursting with anticipation. I don't expect anything from these clients. No plans, no wardrobe, no house cleaning. NADA. Just open the door and let me in. I will hang in the shadows and just watch for a few hours. It's the biggest rush to just SEE their life and snag the beauty from it and freeze it for them to see. I know they think I am crazy. Why...no HOW...do you expect to give us anything worth looking at from just taking photos of us in our pajamas pilled on the couch with two-days-out-from-being-washed-bed-head. And I am thinking.....please wake up with rats-nest hair. lol I love to dissect the little moments in peoples lives and pull out a slice of beauty in the chaos and present it as a gift. It's my heart and soul in this art form.

The Owen family did exactly that. They opened the door and let me in. We didn't so much as say hello, and I was up the stairs to catch some of the kiddos still snoozing and others just barely awake, bed head and all. It was magical for me. There are 6 kiddos living in this house and two young adults  that they are allowing to stay with them. That, plus an amazing mama and daddy, and you have 10 people sharing a modest home but sharing so much more than that. They know about love and giving of ones-self.  Two of the 6 kids are adopted. This family understands SACRIFICE and GIVING like I have never ever seen. I am emotional now, typing this as I think of what a blessing it is to know them.

I asked J'Lynne to share some of their story with me to include here in this space. I encourage you to read and more importantly, I encourage you to pray for this beautiful family...

Our family has had some major changes over the past few years. Even though our third and fourth children were born when our oldest was not even four yet, we knew we weren’t done growing our family. When the twins were just a few months old, we began the process of adopting a little boy from China. The process was long and challenging, but when we saw our little boy’s face and were officially matched, all the frustrations instantly became worth it. A year after bringing him home, I happened to come across the file of a little girl who needed a family and just felt like she was the missing piece to our family. So for the second time in two years, we traveled to China to bring home a child to join our family. Adding any child to your family takes some time to adjust to but when you throw in special needs and a background that includes trauma, there are many challenges to overcome. Only a few months after returning from China, David was accepted into the FBI National Academy. This was such a great honor for him but it meant he had to leave home and live in Virginia for three months! It was a difficult time with him being away but we eventually found our groove and made it work. By the time David returned home in December, the kids were all thriving and the newest one had really settled in. David and I had a conversation that this rollercoaster of life has been great but we really just wanted to get through the next few years with no more big changes. Unfortunately, life doesn’t usually go as planned. David had been suffering for a few months from what doctors had thought was just allergies, but it turned out to be a much bigger problem. In late April, doctors found a large mass in one of his lungs. Weeks of indescribable worry and stress while waiting for results ended in the worst possible news. David had cancer. It had already spread to his bones and lymph nodes. Stage four. Terminal. His timeline was measured in months. All our plans for a quiet, simple year came to a screeching halt. Fortunately, we were lucky enough to find a silver lining in this devastation. Knowing that David is going to miss so many special events in our kids’ lives has really forced us step back and appreciate all the small things that bring us joy on a daily basis. I reached out to Tori when I realized how few family pictures we had with David in them and asked her if she could just document one day in our life before David became too sick. Tori captured that perfectly with our video and pictures… messy morning hair, “daddy pancakes”, simple backyard fun, ponytails and shoelaces and just the chaos of everyday life with six kids. There is no escaping the difficult times ahead for our family, but thanks to Tori we will always have this one perfect morning to look back on and remember the good times

{Friends, don't forget to scroll down and view their photos after watching their family film!}

 

 

100 Days of Summer 2018 | Canyon family photographer

Summer came early. It was like we were still lazing around with our comfy cardigans and then BAM! it was 100 degrees. That being said, I have grown to love the heat more than I used to. I think it's becasue summer means having my kiddos around more. While that can truly make me want to pull my hair out, it also gives me warm fuzzies. PJs all day, the smell of sunscreened skin during afternoon snuggles, swimsuit wedgies, vacation planning, and just freedom. I feel like a kid again watching my babies run wild outside with barefeet and dirty hands and clothes. That was who I was. A tomboy who cared less about bathing but cared EVERYTHING for the outdoors. It's precious. A precious time. I wish the hard stuff away every day. And summertime gives me a minute to revel in where we are. Right smack dab in the middle of all the hard.

I am going to try and snap a photo every day this summer as a personal photo proect. I can't seem to get through a 35 day project, so here's to trying for 100 consecutive days to document all the crazy!

Days 1, 2, 3 and 4...

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Engagement at Las Colinas Canals | Dallas Engagement Photographer

This shoot was more than special to me. This beautiful girl is my baby sister. She's engaged. How?! I have spent most of my life carrying her under my wing and she has spent most of hers rolling her eyes as I carried her. She will always be my bratty little sister, but shooting that day in Las Colinas, I saw a woman emerging.

How?!

My mothering feelings toward her were running strong as I fought back tears between each click of my shutter. I cared for her every summer. Pretending she was my own baby. I was present at her birth. We share the same blood running through our veins. It was such a bittersweet day for me.

I will say one thing, though. That cute red-head that she is oogling at in these photos is a saint. He is precious. I could not have hand-picked a better husband for my baby sister. He loves God and will no doubt lead her and care for her in a Christ-like way. What else could we all ask for?

Amanda, I love you. You are gorgeous. You don't wear make-up...because you don't need it (for real, no make-up, no lip gloss, nada...she's just that gorgeous.). You are hilarious and fun and young and just so many things that I envy. I am grateful God sent you into our lives. And I am even more grateful at the friendship I will always have with you. I can't wait to see you walk down the aisle and become Mrs. Pace...hurry up October.

 

Fun, Flare, and Wind in her Hair: an engagement session in the Canyon | Palo Duro Engagement Photography

Meet Nelson and Tiffany. Guys. These two were so. much. fun. These two found me through Nelson's mama who is a dear friend of mine. We were a bit worried about the wind (because it's spring time in the Panhandle which means....WIND). But I assured them we would work with it. I actually LOVE a little wind in a session, especially in a session where there is loooong gorgeous hair....cue Tiffany. The wind. It was blowing. But I think it made this session unique and fun and I am thrilled with how it all turned out. Folks, if you are an aspiring photographer and are afraid of the wind....don't be. It adds fun and movement into your images which will help you tell a story! When in doubt....just GO with it!

 

The O'Hara Family at Home | Frisco Family Photographer and Videographer

This precious family was gifted this session by another sweet family that I recently worked with. You see, the O'Haras are in the process of packing up life and heading on a new adventure far away in South Dakota. They are pursuing new adventures and setting out on a big journey. Their sweet friends wanted them to have a piece of their Frisco home forever documented in a family film and photos. I tell you guys what...being able to put a concrete story with this film was so so special for me. I keep kicking a dead horse by saying this, but preserving time in this way is amazing for me.

I arrived and immediately felt a connection with Christina and her sweet little family. It was a relaxed afternoon following them around as they visited their favorite park and just laughed and loved as a family. I am so excited to share this here on my blog! I pray this blesses you O'Hara family!

Sky + Anna Wedding Day | Denton, Texas Wedding Photographer

This day could not have been any more gorgeous. Barnett Estates is a gorgeous little wedding venue tucked away between Denton and Krum, Texas. This day in December was FRIGID, and an outdoor wedding turned quickly to an indoor ceremony and reception, but the event staff were AMAZING and everything went off without a hitch. We braved the cold and 30 mph winds (well, those girls with exposed arms and shoulders did...I just shivered in my heavy sweater and coat! lol) and got some of my favorite wedding party photos EVER! I was honored to witness and document such a fun and beautiful day. The smiles you see in these photos are genuine. The love that you feel from these photos is genuine. These families were genuine...and loving...and....I cannot say ENOUGH about them! Sky and Anna, I am so incredibly happy for the two of you!

If you want to see more of this beautiful couple click here to see their engagement session at Barnett Estates.

If you want to see more of this beautiful couple click here to see their engagement session at Barnett Estates.

The Ridingers at home | Amarillo family photographer

These in-home sessions get better and better. I am finding my artistic voice more and more through documenting families being families in their own space. We love at home, we let down our hair at home, our kids play freely at home. Don't get me wrong, beautiful sunsets in a field of tall grass sings to me too, but in-home sessions pull and tug at every heart string I have. I hope they pull on yours too. <3

This family was precious. These boys are so loved and I strove to document just that. This day was sunless and dreary, but sometimes dreary sets a tone of comfort and softness that adds to the story. Their home was cozy and soft and comfortable. It all came together so well, the weather, the light, the tone of the day...the stars aligned. I hope this makes you cry happy tears Ridinger family!

The FIlm Workshop | Amarillo family videographer

I have had the upmost privilege of taking a film making workshop this month from the uber talented Emily Mitchell of Everyday Films. I have learned so so much from her and really feel like I am ready to stretch myself into this world of family film making to sit alongside my photography work. There is just nothing like video. Photography is still my heart and soul and will always be the meat of what I do, but being able to add in sounds and music and motion to my artwork simply adds to the story. When it is all said and done, all I want to do is tell stories about families. I love to write, I love to photograph and now I am falling in love with film making. Each piece important in the story telling full package. Words lay the foundation, photographs bring out the color and emotion and films give it fluid motion.  I will be adding these films onto my photography packages as as add-on to your photography package, or as an option to do on its own. I hope you will consider one for your own family. This film is a treasure to me. And as time passes, it's value only increases.