I started taking photos several years ago when I received my digital camera as a Christmas present. Don't ask me how long ago the exact time is because I honestly don't remember. Years later, trial and error, a few photography classes and here I am today.

There are some struggles to being a photographer: long shooting/editing times, battery dying, and worst of all breaking my camera. I cried when I broke my camera. Mainly because it was such a stupid reason that it broke. I accidentally dropped it in a bag while trying to hang it up so I could go to the bathroom. The worst part was that I was in Italy at the time and had no way of getting it fixed until I returned.

My camera has been through the works, but the end results are always worth it. Here are some of my favorite shots. If you would like to see more of my work, follow me on my Instagram page @annikamoryahphotography.

Where it all started. 

Xavier Tomlin playing soccer in California.

Annika Tomlin

One of the main things that I have always taken photos of has been my brother playing soccer. This photo is probably almost as old as my camera. My brother has been one of my favorite subjects, mainly because I don't have to tell him how to pose because they are all solely action shots. Looking at these photos now and seeing how fuzzy they look and just how much I have improved is just so fun. I will add a more recent shot of my brother playing for comparison.

My first REAL photo shoot.

Isabella Melisko in Downtown Phoenix, AZ.

Annika Tomlin

The most experience I had before this shoot was taking selfies of myself and taking shots of my brother playing soccer. Neither of which really compared to taking portraits of another person. I mean the selfies helped a little, but not really. I was nervous, to say the least, but the results were worth trying something outside of my comfort zone.

New Skills = New Shoot

Brad Heininger in Papago Park, Phoenix, AZ.

Annika Tomlin

In addition to my selfies and shots of my brother playing soccer, I also loved taking photos of nature. So when given the opportunity to take my new found skills of shooting portraits, I just added the element of nature and boom, a great shoot. Thank goodness I brought the correct shoes to hike up that mountain. One of the things that you learn really quickly about being a photographer is whether or not you have the right equipment for the shoot or not. For this shoot, I was lucky enough to be fully prepared.

I shot a wedding!

Tom and Michelle Jost

Annika Tomlin

I have previously written about shooting this wedding. If you haven't read the article, you should. Because of that, I will just sum it up by saying it was a learning experience in good and bad ways. Read the article to figure out what I mean.

The first of many senior shoots.

Cassi Smith in Show Low, AZ.

Annika Tomlin

This was another time where I was dappling into something I hadn't done before. I was used to taking portraits by now, so I thought why not expand my work. So when I heard that my best friend's sister needed her senior photos taken, I quickly offered my services. The photos turned out great and taking them was no short victory either. All in all a fun experience.

Senior shoot with my best friend.

Alyssa Rodriguez in Mesa, AZ.

Annika Tomlin

I honestly don't know how we ended up with so many good shots to be used for her senior announcement because every other shot was something like this. We were goofing off the entire time, but that is what made it fun. Nothing is more awkward than photographing someone is stiff and won't have fun with it. To try and loosen the situation, I always play the subjects favorite kind of music. You'd be amazed what playing a song can do for a photo shoot. I let them sign along, even some times dance, and they quickly loosen up and just have fun with the shoot. When a subject is loosened up it gives more genuine smiles and enjoyment in the photos.

Updated shooting skills.

Xavier Tomlin (9) playing soccer for Centre College in Danville, KY.

Annika Tomlin

I told you my skills had improved with taking shots of my brother playing soccer. This was the Senior Night game for his final season at Centre College. For the game the previous night I wasn't sure whether or not I was able to go on the field to shoot because they had a specific photographer for the school. So I sat in the stands and used my zoom lens. Most of them turned out pretty good, but I always prefer the shots from being on the field.

The next day I was determined to shoot on the field and not move unless I was told to do so. I was never told to move. So I was able to get the level shots of my brother playing and it was amazing.

P.S., he didn't make the goal.

Phoenix Pride 2019

Attendee of Phoenix Pride 2019

Annika Tomlin

I was given the opportunity to photograph Phoenix Pride, and it was amazing, to say the least. So much color and happiness all around. It was just fun to observe, but then I also was able to photograph some great moments. This was my favorite shot that I took during the two days of the event. I have no idea who she is, so if you do please let me know, but it was just one of those right time right place kind of shots. She was one of the few people that was looking up at me while I was atop a platform, and I took the shot. I did some editing to enhance the colors and single her out, but the focus of the photo was all natural.