From the Heart

This summer I started a ‘shooting from the heart’ series.  The thought was to photograph anything and everything that popped into my head and to treat each ideas as something that wanted or needed to be shared with the world.  I shot pretty sessions, silly sessions, out of my comfort zone sessions and then I shot THIS session.  I found Date Creek Ranch on Facebook as I was mindlessly scrolling one day.  Something that day made me pause, click and read and I am so grateful I did.  What I found was the beautiful, heart wide open writings of Savannah.


Many of you may not know this, but I am a vegan.  Have been for 1.5 years, and I have spent my entire adult life as a vegetarian.  So what happened next is a little unexpected.  I even fought it a little at first.  Late one night I read an article Savannah had written about her LOVE for her animals and land. (Such a beautiful read   I was so moved by this article I knew I wanted to meet her, see the ranch and photograph part of her world.  I started composing a message to her and then something in my head said ‘Wait a minute, you are a VEGAN.  Why on earth would you want to go photograph a cattle ranch?’


I deleted the message and went to bed.  2 night laters, another article was posted and AGAIN I was so moved by the care and concern that goes into how they use their land and how they treat their animals I knew I HAD to talk to her.


I felt like a crazy lady, explaining myself to her and what I wanted to do.  After I hit send I was so nervous!  Would I be well received?  Would a rancher want/allow a vegan to come to her space and photograph it AND write about it?  Savannah graciously accepted my proposition and a date and time was set.


As I came up and over the last little hill I saw the ‘heart’ of the ranch nestled into a little valley.  There were dogs running happily and so much life.  It instantly felt like a happy, sacred place.  Savannah and a few others talked about the plan for the day and decided  which animals were going where and how that was going to happen.  I LOVE the pace of the ranch.  Nothing was hurried, there is no timeframe other than to simply ‘get the job done’.  I believe this mindset is part of what makes this ranch different than factory farmed animals.  They do things slowly, methodically and with a natural rhythm.


As the work began Savannah and I had some time to chat and that is when I knew I had made the right decision.  This place is special.  Savannah is special.  The animals are LOVED here.  The land is RESPECTED here.  They do things the way Mother Nature intended.  I do not believe the world will all become vegans, or even vegetarians for that matter.  What I know is that we MUST become more conscience of what we are supporting when they buy factory farmed animals and products.  There is another way.  There is a happier, healthier way.  For the animals, for the earth and for the consumers.


These animals are allowed to be a part of the natural world around them.  Eating apples from the orchard and meandering through the field.  They have a life and they are happy.


In the end I understand they end up as food, and that is not something I participate in.  That is my choice and not one I expect everyone to make.  I am here today not to try and guilt you or to change WHAT you eat, but rather to start a conversation about HOW the food you eat is raised.  Where does your meat come from?  What kind of life did it have?  Did it get to see sunshine and eat food that it naturally would?  Was it cared for?  These things matter.  They matter so much.  What they do at this ranch is beautiful and I support them 100%.


I hope you enjoyed this little look into Savannah’s world.  I am so grateful she shared it with me and she is doing the work she does.  Please take a minute to check out their Facebook page and see more of their story.  You will be glad that you did!



Beauty in unexpected places.

I have been photographing families for over 16 years now.  Let’s just let that sink in a minute.  I can’t even begin to calculate how many families, babies, seniors I have had in front of my lens.  I am so thankful and grateful for each and every one.  Even the difficult ones, and yes I have had a few.  The difficult ones have taught me so much about myself. What is important to me, what kind of person I want to be, how I react to certain triggers and IS THAT how I want to react?  To be fair, I have been doing this for closing in on 2 decades and I can probably count on one hand how many times I have had issues.  So I have been REALLY blessed in this department.

For this session the ‘difficult’ was not the adorable kids or the parents who laughed and loved each other through their session- it was the HEAT!!!  As many of you might remember I offered a smokin’ (pun intended) deal in the month of August.  It was greatly received and off we set to photograph in the biggest and baddest month the Sonoran Desert has to offer.

A lot of my sessions were centered around water (Lake Pleasant and a little hidden gem I found while location scouting for water in the desert).  This family opted for one of my favorite spots, a super modern, sleek, sexy building.  Gorgeous lines and a neutral pallet. The only problem?  The kids got HOT!

My absolute favorite client is one who inspires me by just rolling with it.  We got our gorgeous photos with the stunning building and decided to head for the park to let the kiddos burn off some energy and get some candid shots.  Then we discovered the water fountain and the session really began.  As we cooled off the babies it became apparent that I shouldn’t be waiting for them to finish their drinks, I should be capturing them getting their drinks.  We splashed and laughed and got really wet and I love the way it turned out.

For this family the beauty was not in the scenery, the clothes or the poses.  It was in the bond, the love and the playfulness (and willingness to take family photos with a park restroom as their background).

Thank you for your flexibility and trust in me to capture your beautiful little family, just as you are.

xo- Tami




Phoenix Family Portrait Photographer * Candid Family Photographer * Real Life Photography

Cacti and Cake

When my past brides + grooms let me know a baby is on the way, I smile, because I know what is coming.  I see the usual things like first teeth and learning to crawl, I can hear the first mutterings of ‘ma-ma’ and ‘da-da’.  I see singing to your baby and holding them all through their first fever.  I am a mother, so I have experienced these things.  I am filled with happiness for the unconditional love my clients are about to discover, but I smile for a different reason.  I smile because I am being invited IN.  I get to have a front row seat to all of this.  I am being asked to take part and to capture the essence of this little being.  The milestones, the unconditional love, the celebrating of this little life.  August you have brought so much joy to MY LIFE.  Sharing your firsts with my camera, smiling and laughing and crawling your way into my heart.  You are so special and SO LOVED.



A peek into his ‘Big Day’ through my eyes.  Happy 1st birthday buddy!

You are one in a million!


Phoenix Portrait Photographer * Scottsdale Portrait Photographer * Family Photography * Event Photographer


One of my favorite parts of my job is seeing families grow.  Sometimes that means the addition of a pet, sometimes that means seeing an only child go from a wobbly kneed toddler to a senior graduation school (yes I have been at it long enough for this to have happened!).  But sometimes that means photographing a family with 1 sweet little 1 year old girl to seeing them next time with 4 amazing children!  So happy to live in the same city again and be able to catch up and meet all the new littles!