I'm Tori, a portrait and wedding photographer based in central New Jersey. Thank you for visiting my little corner of the internet; I'm so happy you're here. Come check out the full galleries from recent weddings and portrait sessions, behind the scenes, personal posts, helpful tips and more. Please feel free to take a look, and let me know if there is anything special you'd love to see in a future post. I hope to hear from you soon!
I'm Tori, a portrait and wedding photographer based in central New Jersey. Thank you for visiting my little corner of the internet; I'm so happy you're here. Come check out full galleries from recent weddings and portrait sessions, behind the scenes, personal posts and more. Please feel free to take a look, and let me know if there is anything special you'd love to see in a future post!
If you know me, you know artichokes are my spirit flower (yes, FLOWER)! But I realized I’ve never really shared why they hold so much importance to me. Beyond just being absurdly delicious (dip those leaves in vegan mayo and I’m a happy lil veg), I actually find so much joy in eating them. Ugh, I know it sounds insane, but bear with me here. They slow me down. When I’m eating an artichoke, in the only way I know how, I’m two hands deep and completely covered in artichoke juices. I’ve tried eating them one-handed while I work, I’ve tried wiping my fingers after every leaf, I’ve tried multitasking while devouring the ‘choke (and as we all know… you half-ass what you multitask. I think I just made that phrase up and it’s on point, you’re welcome).
Because of this, they literally force me to stop everything I’m doing just to sit, and eat. No distractions, no other tasks, just me and my artichoke. Sounds ridiculous, but they take me a while to get through (maybe 15 minutes??), so that’s 15 minutes I am forced to stop the 5 million things going on, and just relax and enjoy. That’s rare, truly.
Now, I’m going to get real metaphoric on you right now, but again, bear with me. An artichoke is a flower with a center called the heart, and you literally have to peel off and work through every leaf/layer to reach the heart. This idea of having to work hard at something, to fight through the layers, put in the work and get a little dirty to get to the heart of it all is an idea I absolutely LOVE for myself and for my business for so many reasons.
For one, as a business owner, I am pulled to remove my layers (anyone else thinking of Shrek right now?!), reveal myself, and open my heart to my clients and my followers. If I’m standing here yelling from the rooftops that I take pretty pictures of pretty couples doing pretty things, who am I reaching? I’m reaching people who care only about those layers. The outside stuff. The bits and pieces of me that may appear nice from afar but lack depth and meaning. If I’m starting to tear the leaves off (it’s a metaphor, I had to) and let you into who I am, what I stand for, what my heart truly lives for, then you’re caring for my business because if its beating soul. You’re able to connect with a human beyond just a body of one, and a business beyond just the service I sell. That’s what I CRAVE. I want clients who love the idea of beautiful wedding and engagement photos, but value the tiny moments, the adventures with their bae (and me as a third wheel), the heart and purpose of being in love in the first place, and being reminded that we are all humans with quirks and flaws and so much to offer this world. A freaking artichoke reminds me to show you the real beating heart behind the screen. That’s powerful.
And for me, my fave flower food has taught me to put in the damn work. No artichoke is going to peel itself and drop a heart into my mouth (well, you can buy artichoke hearts in a can but it’s not the same), just like nothing is going to fall into my lap if I don’t work for it. Whether I’m working on being a better person for myself, for the people I love, or for the world I live in, I am constantly having to dig deeper in all that I do. Reaching that heart after biting every leaf, scooping the choke, being covered in a lemon juice and vegan mayo combo, and having pruney fingers like I just got out of a bath, is SO rewarding. It’s a small feat but it’s exciting nonetheless. I want to take that drive and redirect it into everything I set my mind to. I have a million dreams and so many goals, and none of them are going to be possible without pulling that first leaf.