September 20, 2019

The photographer lurking behind the camera…

It was pointed out to me that I don’t have much personal information on my site. It genuinely hadn’t occurred to me. But you asked, I answered – prepare for ten totally random factoids!

Fact 1: I’m a total bookworm

I love to read. There’s very little I won’t read if it’s presented in a book. My new year’s resolution was to read minimum 24 books this year. I’m at 16 at the moment (with another three on the go!) I think my favourite this year so far has been Michelle Obama’s Becoming.

family photography, read to kids, meet the photographer

I always love it when families get books out at photoshoots because I think it’s instilling such incredible habits in kids. Plus, I love reading to my son. Today would mark about the millionth time I’ve read the same book to him, but it’s guaranteed cuddle time!

story time with kids, get children reading, meet the photographer

I gratefully receive book recommendations from anyone so do drop me an email if you think there is a book out there I simply must read!

Fact 2: Becoming a parent wasn’t super easy for me

We didn’t have an easy time becoming parents. Anyone that has had a rocky time getting or staying pregnant will understand it is a bit of a rollercoaster, to say the very least. A lot of days being a parent is far harder than I anticipated it would be, but that’s no reflection on my awesome kid. My son is super easy-going (just like his Dad and not at all like me!). He never stops tearing around or talking which makes him so much fun to hang out with.

exist in the photo, mum and son, proud mum

The struggle for me is the complete inability to work around his needs. I naively thought that when I had to get something done or really needed ten minutes to finish a job he’d just understand that and be happy to entertain himself. Ha! Some days I achieve a lot and other days not so much. Yesterday I had to answer an email so went to my desk… my bossy toddler dragged me to the naughty spot and made me apologise for working during play time.  At least he keeps me on the strait and narrow!

Fact 3: My childhood was spent in Japan

My Dad was transferred to Japan when I was 8 years old. I was beyond excited about this because of my Kylie in Japan VHS tape that I watched till it snapped. If Kylie Minogue loved Japan, I figured I would too.  As with all things, Kylie didn’t disappoint! Japan turned out to be one of the biggest love affairs of my life. I went on to read Japanese at university, did a year at university in Japan and then worked at an investment bank in Tokyo.

photos of my childhood, growing up in Japan, meet the photographer

There aren’t many days that go by that I don’t miss Japan; the food, the people, my lifestyle there. It taught me such a deep love of travel and interest in others which I think serves me so well in photography and life more generally.

Fact 4: I can nap anywhere

I don’t know why but I can literally (yes, I used that correctly!) nap anywhere. My family find it ridiculous that I nod off in noisy places, on all public transport, and in weird positions. I rarely see the end of movies because sofa naps beckon. Not some of my most flattering photos but I’m genuinely asleep in all of them! (And these were the “not embarrassing” ones, oh dear.

nap time, meet the photographer

Fact 5: I have always loved taking photos & having printed photos around me

I remember being given a camera when I was really young (maybe 7?) and burning through a 36-exposure film in 10 minutes. While the photos aren’t great (see below for some of my early efforts!) and my parents weren’t super chuffed given the cost of developing a film back then, a love affair was born. I’ve always loved photographing people, initially my school friends. Then I fell in love with weddings and family photography. I would really like to be able to take an amazing photo of scenery but that skillset has evaded me…

And anyway, it’s capturing relationships and what makes people tick that keeps me so intrigued.

young photographer, a love in born, my first photos

Fact 6: Weird phobia alert!

I hate butterflies (and moths and bananas!). I’ve actually had EFT to try and cope better with butterflies after having a completely embarrassing panic in a butterfly house in front of a client’s three-year-old son on a family photoshoot! I’d highly recommend EFT if you’re having problems around something you encounter everyday. This is the son’s face just after he asked his Mum what was wrong with me! So much is wrong with me kiddo, so much 😉

Hertfordshire family photographer, st albans family photographer, family photo shoot

Fact 7: I’ve visited North Korea

I basically would live out of a backpack if I could. I’ve been so lucky to live in Japan, which meant I could visit a lot of Asia. One of those places was North Korea, which was still one of the most amazing and baffling experiences of my life. One of my life goals is to visit all seven continents (two to go!) and I have a VERY long bucket list of places I’d love to visit. My love of travel and love of photos are very much intertwined. The same fascination with how the families I photograph live drives what photos I take when I’m on holiday.

Where is your favourite holiday location and what should I definitely not be missing out on? Send me an email, let me know!

travel, north korea, meet the photographer

Fact 8: I have a Carebear who still goes everywhere with me!

It’s true. And a little embarrassing…

I’m in my 30s but my Carebear who I got for Christmas in 1985 still goes most places with me. By this I don’t mean I sneak him in my handbag for a trip to the supermarket, but I do still sneak him in my suitcase! And he sleeps with me and the hubby, haha.

My friendship with my uni bestie was cemented when we both realised we were Freshers with matching Carebears (isn’t she cute?)! He’s starting to fall apart which is a sad situation that we’re both doing our best to cope with – old age is such a pig 🙁

children with teddies

Fact 9: I have bizarre taste in music

I love to dance (very badly) and live music makes me so happy. I am really into 80s rock music (Whitesnake, Def Leppard anyone?!) and actually rock from most other decades, but the big hair of the 80s just does it for me! One of the most embarrassing moments ever (that everyone still reminds me about, well over a decade later) is stealing my friend’s crutch at our wedding because I needed a good air guitar for Bon Jovi. Face palm! (Cannot explain how embarrassed I am to put these in public!!)

The same love I have for documenting moments in people’s lives has come round to bite me in the ass!

air guitar bride, meet the photographer

Fact 10: I don’t drink caffeine

Yep, I’m one of those irritatingly perky people who doesn’t need caffeine to get going. 6am rolls round and I’m bouncing about. I thought Dave was going to divorce me when I woke him up at 3am (a little jetlagged) desperate to go and find waffles. Somehow, I ended up sharing my life with a man who hates mornings and is seriously grouchy before a cup of coffee.  Funny how life works isn’t it?

The one upside of this is that fellow parents with toddlers often have me photograph their early risers first thing too – the world is beautifully still and empty at stupid o’clock!

annoying morning person

So, that’s me, the girl behind the camera. I hope you feel you know this photographer a little better now. If you relate to any of these, maybe we were meant to be buddies and just haven’t met yet or maybe I’m destined to photograph your family – drop me a line 🙂


About Tori

Hi I’m Tori, welcome to the home of all things happy! Here I reckon you’ll find some of the happiest photos in Hertfordshire…I love being around love so I was made for photography. Your wedding, your family days, your passion projects; they all give me the grins. Anything you want to chat about, I’ve probably seen it so get in touch because I love a good natter. Plus, maybe we’re friends that just haven’t met yet, who knows?!