Marvelous Things Photography | Blog » Warm, vibrant wedding and portrait photography with a flair for the whimsical | Based in Virginia, but available for adventure worldwide.

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Kaytee & Joel | Richmond Anniversary Session

I absolutely love getting to do anniversary sessions, especially for good friends. So when I needed a couple to “model” for me during my video promo shoot, I was so excited when Kaytee & Joel volunteered, especially since they haven’t had a shoot together since their wedding in 2011! It certainly doesn’t hurt that they’re adorable and have great style, too. I love these two and loved getting to photograph them!

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Aren’t they the sweetest? On Thanksgiving week, blogging sessions like this just reminds me how very grateful I am to get to do what I love, and to have so many amazing friends in my life, that I also get to photograph! Win/win/win, if you ask me. :)

Some Exciting News

Let’s be honest, anytime someone sees this kind of blog title THIS is the kind of post they’re hoping for and expecting. So, I’ll spend no time pretending it’s anything else! We are thrilled to announce….

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This has been a long-time hoped for, and Aaron and I couldn’t be more excited or grateful! It still totally feels surreal that we’re going to be PARENTS, but as we saw our Baby bouncing around in the ultrasound today it started to feel a little more real. This beautiful little human growing inside of me is going to change our lives forever (already has!) and I’m so excited for the adventures ahead!

For those who know us well, you know a little bit of our story, but I wanted to share with the rest of you all in hopes of just being a small encouragement to someone who might be walking a similar path. We’d been trying for this precious little Watson for 19 months, and while I know for so many who have had to wait so much longer, that seems like nothing. But nonetheless, after a year and a half you start to wonder if it will happen for you. WHY it hasn’t already. You see pregnant friends, and you feel a heartache you didn’t even know you could have. You feel yourself resent the fact that anyone can get pregnant “accidentally” or “unplanned”. It can be a very lonely and frustrating path to deal with infertility of any kind, for any amount of time, especially when you feel like you’re one of the “few” who are going through this. So few people talk about it, and that’s what makes it seem so isolating – but it shouldn’t, and doesn’t have to be that way! I’m so grateful that the few friends and family we reached out to, even if they couldn’t all relate from personal experience, offered support, care and encouragement.  Sometimes you just need to know that someone is aware of what you’re going through, and that they are there to care about you in the process. So, if anyone is reading this and find yourself in a painful place of waiting….wondering….not knowing. Of sadness and discouragement, please please know you don’t have to go through it alone. I’m so grateful for the way God encouraged me through that season, and gave us reminders of His goodness and love through the tangible care and conversation of those around us. So, if you need someone to correspond with or talk to, I’d love to hear from you. So would those close to you in your life. Help them understand what you’re going through so that they can in turn help support you. I promise it’s worth being vulnerable about, and that even in the sadness it can be a season of great growth and blessing – hard growth, no doubt about it, but it’s not wasted time.

So, after the year and a half, we finally decided to meet with a fertility specialist (this August), and after getting some pretty poor test results in September, we were told the next step was insemination. It just seemed unlikely that we were going to be able to get pregnant on our own, and while that was something I had to work through (Aaron was such a rock through all of this), I was grateful to have at least some answers. So, we were set to go with that plan in October….but much to our great surprise, when late September rolled around we were shocked to find out we were pregnant! So, clearly God had other timing in mind, which blew me away. Just when we thought it wasn’t possible, He proved that it was. I don’t know what future pregnancies will hold, but I’m so grateful for the unique timeline He worked out with this pregnancy and for the reminder that none of this is in my control. As hard as that was to grapple with so often, it’s also SO freeing to know!

A little bit of general information, in case you’re curious:

How far along am I?

12 weeks and 3 days! :)

How’ve I been feeling?

Up until this past Wednesday, I was very nauseous pretty much 24/7….which was not fun, let me tell you. Also pretty tired most of the time. But right as I was reaching the 12-week mark, the nausea really died down! I was hoping that would be true for me, and I’m super grateful it has been. Still dealing with some random nausea/gagging here and there, but am back to being able to eat MUCH more normally, and have a good amount of energy back!

Am I craving anything crazy, yet?

No, I don’t think any real “cravings” have kicked in yet. During the first trimester I just wanted a lot of cold fruit, and sour things because I think they helped the nausea. I also didn’t want anything to do with meat. But, now I can pretty much eat like usual again….and I’m bracing myself for the intense cravings that I hear can happen. So, we’ll see!

Will we be finding out the gender of Baby?

YES! Neither one of us has any interest in being patient or surprised. Haha. We can’t wait to find out if we’ll be welcoming a boy or girl! Sadly we have to be patient until the end of January….but we’re excited to know!

How often do I plan to post about Baby-related stuff?

I don’t want anyone to be worried that it will totally take over the blog! I plan to keep updates to once a month, or once every 2 weeks. I want you all to be involved along the way, but I will definitely still be posting regular photography content. Wardrobe Wednesdays will become somewhat maternity-inspired out of necessity….but obviously that won’t be a forever change. :) Can’t wait to share in our joy and the journey with you all, though!

Will I still be booking weddings for next year?

Absolutely! Just not in May or June. :) But I’m definitely planning to book as much as I can in early Spring, late summer & Fall! This beautiful business is still a passion of mine, and one of the reasons way-back-when I chose to be my own boss was so that I could have the flexibility to work and do what I love, while also being able to set my own schedule and have availability to start a family. I know it will be a transition, but I’m so excited to learn the ropes!

And just because every post is better with some photos….here are the beginnings of my weekly Baby Bump!

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If you made it through the whole post, you’re a champ! We are so grateful for this amazing gift in our life, and are so blessed to have so many caring people interested and along for the ride! We would covet prayers for the continued healthy growth of Baby and for me as my body goes through all the crazy stages of pregnancy. Can’t wait to see what this amazing new season will hold! :)

Lauren Swann - YAY!! I’m so glad that the cat is finally out of the bag!!! I am so incredibly happy for you two!!! Love ya!!November 24, 2014 – 1:27 pm

Rachel May - Tori, I’m SO excited for you and Aaron!! You guys are going to be amazing parents! :)November 24, 2014 – 1:27 pm

Jackie Phillips - Congratulations!! That is so exciting! All good things are worth waiting for and God’s good timing!November 24, 2014 – 1:30 pm

Alissa - This was so precious to read! thank you for sharing your heart, Tori! So excited for you and Aaron!November 24, 2014 – 1:33 pm

Amanda Wilcox - Over the moon excited for this amazing couple. What an amazing post as well. I can not wait to begin this journey with you through your blog. Reading your post was and is exactly what I am going through. We have been trying, I am too struggling with the whole thing. Its nice to see that many have problems. I come from a family that has not had any trouble getting pregnant. But me, I am. Its very hard, no one in my family can relate to me. But reading this blog has given me hope.

Thank you Tori your are always inspiring me!November 24, 2014 – 1:46 pm

Sarah Bradshaw - SOOOOO happy for you, and praising God for this precious gift!!November 24, 2014 – 2:03 pm

Jen - Tori!!! This is SO very exciting! Congrats to you both!!November 24, 2014 – 2:04 pm

Lauren Reavely - BEST NEWS EVER. Baby Watson is going to be SO loved!November 24, 2014 – 2:11 pm

Herlinda Teach - Hello Sweetie, CONGRATULATIONS to you and Aaron love you both. May the end of 2014, and the New Year bring you peace joy through out. We are both excited for you, your pictures are so cute. Be safe and enjoy this blessed event in your life. May the LOVE of CHRIST JESUS surround his loving arm around you. Love you bunches Your Friends in HIS NAME Steve and Herlinda, Again CONGRATES ;)November 24, 2014 – 2:11 pm

Angela Newton Roy - I am so excited for your Tori! It was so great to read a bit about your journey and even more amazing to see that God had a plan for you all along, and that right when you thought you were going in one direction, he took you in another. Amazing!! You will make a wonderful mommy and I can’t wait for you to experience the most life changing, wonderful love. It’s the best thing you will ever do! Congrats!!November 24, 2014 – 2:12 pm

Katie - OHHH TORI!!! You are already the cutest little mama-to-be in the world! I am so over the moon excited that your prayers have been answered!! <3 <3 Love you SO MUCH and I can't wait to see the arrival of the newest Watson!!!November 24, 2014 – 2:18 pm

Giann - How exciting! Congrats, y’all! :)November 24, 2014 – 2:22 pm

Nikki Santerre - God’s timing is so perfect! I am so excited for you and your husband, friend. You are just the cutest little pregnant lady! Thank you for sharing your story so honestly. You’re so right, it’s something people don’t often discuss so it can feel so lonely. So thankful your prayers were answered this fall! xoxo!November 24, 2014 – 2:30 pm

Ervina - Oh stop, you already have the best maternity photos ever! Baby Watson is one lucky child to be documented so beautifully. :)November 24, 2014 – 3:17 pm

Amelia - SOOO thrilled for you two! What a blessing God has given you:) Can’t wait for more updates!November 24, 2014 – 4:08 pm

Lelia Marie - OMG OMG OMG!!! I am so thrilled for you both!! Congratulations Tori! I cannot wait to follow along and hear about everything :-)November 24, 2014 – 4:23 pm

Mary McNamara - Beautiful blog post God is so faithful! Thank you for sharing. My parents prayed for 7 years before a miracle happened! Doctors told them there was no hope. My mom cried out Hannah’s prayer and God gave them me and then my brother right after! And I am so glad God blessed my parents or I would not be here today! He will bless the barren woman.November 24, 2014 – 4:40 pm

Jen Jar - YAYYYYYYYYYYY!!! So happy for you and Aaron, and you are seriously the cutest pregnant woman EVER! AH! <3November 24, 2014 – 4:47 pm

Alison - Tori! I am so excited for you guys!!! God is SO good! My eyes filled with tears of joy for you while reading this post! You are going to make an amazing mom to this little kiddo! Thanks for being vulnerable and sharing! Can’t wait to see more of those adorable bump photos!November 24, 2014 – 5:17 pm

christy - Enjoy the journey! Thanks for sharing your story. So much hope and beauty in you and the new life you carry.November 24, 2014 – 7:22 pm

Anna & Joe | Coral Khimaira Farm Wedding

So excited to be sharing Anna & Joe’s absolutely beautiful farm wedding, today! Though they’re from Richmond, their special day was out in gorgeous Luray, VA right in the middle of the Shenandoah Valley on the most adorable goat farm you could imagine. It was such a day of sweet celebration and good ol’ fashioned partying, and I loved getting to be part of it! Anna & Joe are so down to earth, and I loved the way they enjoyed each other and really just savored every moment together. Not to mention, they’re parents of the world’s cutest dog Oxford, and I’d say he seemed to approve of the whole thing, as well. So, enjoy this peek into their stunning wedding!

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What a fun and gorgeous day, right?! So, so happy that I got to be part of it! Huge thanks to Kaytee Lauren for shooting with me, and to the fabulous vendors who made such an amazing day possible!

Venue: Khimaira Farm | Coordinator & Florals: Sharon Fairburn | Dress: Romona Keveza via Hannelore’s Bridal Boutique | Bridesmaid Dresses: Bridal Elegance | Men’s Suits: Men’s Wearhouse | Cupcakes: Pearl’s Cupcake Shoppe | DJ: Josh Nicol

Lauren Swann - This is gorgeous, Tori!!!November 20, 2014 – 12:07 pm

Wardrobe Wednesday | Casual Sweatshirt Dress

I’ve loved this Anthro dress ever since I saw it pop up in my Pinterest feed, but generally speaking Anthro prices are a little out of my range for everyday-wear kind of items (unless they’re on clearance, of course). But when I came across a similar dress at Old Navy, I was thrilled! It’s a soft, sweatshirt-like fabric that makes it SO comfortable to wear, while still having the really cute look of a dress. And it’s such a great blank slate – you can add all different sorts of belts, jewelry and shoes to change up the look each time you wear it. I loved the simple layered necklace look in this Anthro photo, though, so I decided to emulate that for this week’s post.

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(Inspiration photo source. All others taken by Kaytee Lauren, edited by me.)

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Dress: Old Navy, $20 | Shoes: Etsy, $35 | Necklaces: Thrifted | Belt: Thrifted, $3

Do you have any super comfortable staple items like this dress in your wardrobe? What are your favorite ways to change up the style?

The Business of Rebranding: Part 1


As I’ve talked with many friends, family members, and colleagues over the last several months as I’ve been alluding to the great Tori Watson Rebrand almost all of them have said, “That’s so cool! But what inspired the desire to rebrand?” So, I thought I would take this opportunity to kick off a little series to let you in on the process….starting with the “why” of it all!

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Image by Alisandra Photography, edited by me

Name Changes Call for Brand Changes

The biggest answer to “why the rebrand?” is because I’m changing my business name. It’s hard to keep the current branding and all the same elements when you’re making such a major shift. So, the bigger question might be, “Why are you changing your name?” and that’s a great question!

Changing my business name from Marvelous Things Photography to Tori Watson Photography is something I casually started thinking about at the beginning of the year. I wasn’t entirely sold on it, or sure it was necessary, but it was in the back of my mind. However, after three photographers I respect very much – at three totally separate times – approached me randomly and said, “Hey, have you ever considered switching to your name for your business? I think that would be such a great move for you!” I took note and got more serious about the idea. The general reason is that in my case particularly, my brand is a pretty direct reflection of ME. It’s a little eclectic, vintage-inspired but still current, genuine, approachable and believable. Not every photographer has a shooting style and a brand that actually IS their personality, but since in my case I do, it makes the most sense to tie that brand directly to the person behind it. And the best way to do that, is to make sure my name is always attached to it. After a while it just became evident that seeing “Marvelous Things Photography” written somewhere didn’t actually do anything to communicate to viewers who the photographer is. So, while I don’t regret that it’s how I started off my business, and I think it’s been so great these past 6.5 years….I’m excited and ready for my brand to take on a more accurate reflection of me. I think that will better serve my future clients, and in a way makes me even more passionate about my work because it ties it more personally to who I am.

Likewise, as my business has grown, my shooting style has continued to evolve, and I’ve matured as a person, my personal taste in what I want for my brand and website has changed a little, too. So, it’s the perfect time to update the style of my online presence a bit to better show who me and my business are today. It’s not a total start-from-scratch rebrand, because a lot of the “feel” of my brand is staying the same. I’m really viewing it all as more of Brand Maturing than a total rebrand, by nature.

Hopefully that explains the reasoning behind it all, and if you have any questions about the process or how to decide if a name change is right for you, I’d love to give feedback and try to help! It’s an exciting process, and I can’t wait to see it all come together! Still to come in this series, I’ll share some of my Pinterest board inspiration for the direction we’re going and the difference between brand new elements, and updated concepts for keeping some of the same elements during a rebrand.

Here’s to fabulous new things on the horizon! :)

Emily Truax - After thinking hard on it and talking to some photographers I respect, I decided over the summer that as of Jan 1 I would also be rebranding to my name… for many of the same reasons!!! Go you!!! So hard, but so right.

Love following your blog :)November 18, 2014 – 10:46 am

Sarah Bradshaw - Can’t wait to see it all completed!November 18, 2014 – 1:51 pm

Nikki Santerre - I can’t wait to see this all come together for you, friend!November 18, 2014 – 9:40 pm