I’m Toni (Samoranski) Hoopingarner (no, I wasn’t crazy enough to hyphenate my last, I will just always be a Samoranski at heart so I felt the need add it on here), a marketing specialist by (week)day, and a photographer by…ha…every other second of my life! I currently reside in Roseville, Michigan, and I am a true Michigan girl at heart. I have these fantasies about moving far far away, but in my heart, I could never leave here. Maybe it’s my love and need for the 4 seasons (especially winter), or maybe it’s the fact that I live within 10 miles of my amazing family and all of my amazing friends. I currently have 3 pretty awesome roommates; my handsome, extraordinary, wacky as hell husband, Joe, our 7 1/2 year old Dachshund, Bratwurst, who thinks he is a cat, and lastly, our 5 month old Pug, Emperor Wonton, who is lucky he is so adorable because he likes to chew on everything but his toys.
I’ve only been getting paid to take photographs since February of 2010, but my love of photography started in the early 2000’s when I was in high school and took a black and white film class. BUT…you can’t be a photographer for a living…right? I needed to get a real job, so I went to Wayne State University as a physical therapy major. I hated it after my first semester, so I changed my major to fine arts, but that meant drawing naked people, painting abstract art, and drawing still life, which I didn’t hate, but it’s not photography…So after two years, I said bye bye to WSU and started at Macomb Community College and dove right into the Media & Communication Arts program. Which I loved because I got to do traditional art, as well as learn studio photography, video production, and web & graphic design. And after two more years there, I ended up with an associates degree. YIPEE.
Shooting weddings wasn’t first on my list, but I am a romantic sap, so naturally I ended up loving it. I still get choked up at every wedding when the bride dances with her dad, and at every groom cries during the ceremony. And after planning my own wedding last year, my whole viewpoint has changed (for the better), and it’s made me a better wedding photographer, because now I truly understand the in’s and out’s of the whole process, how things that seem meaningless to someone who hasn’t gone through it, mean the absolute world to the bride on her big day. I mean, you’ve spent MONTHS AND MONTHS planning it, and you want it documented to perfection right? DUH…I get it now 🙂
WOW I just realized I typed out 3 fricken’ paragraphs about myself…so this is a good time to stop, I’m sure 🙂