INFP. 4. Hufflepuff. 

Free-Spirit. Bookworm. Artist.

Heyyyyy!!! I'm just going to be real with you before you hear me ramble--I have a literature degree and was a professional writer for awhile, but I love exclamation points and using too many adjectives just to get my point across because college wasn't enough to temper my enthusiasm I guess! So there it is.

My name's Hope Renae (duh!) Tolbert (but you didn't know that part), and I'm a full-time photographer living in southwest Missouri in a little 1950's house with my wonderful whiskey-engineer husband, Davis (I literally mean engineer who helps make whiskey--it's a thing!) and my sheltie pup, Nessie (Like the Loch Ness Monster? Yep! You get it!).  I'm obsessed with both of them, so you'll hear me talk about them a lot. I don't even try to contain it. 


I'm a very happy-go-lucky kind of person. Usually people describe me as kind, quirky, funny, and relaxed, and I often hear that I'm "exactly like Jessica Day from New Girl" or that I'm "basically just a human puppy." Both of those descriptions are A-okay in my book! In fact, my highschool calculus teacher literally made me sit in the back of the classroom because I was "too happy" and it was too distracting (honestly still confused by that, but it's fine. I'm fine.). I've chilled out a little bit, but I'm still really excited about life and people and pictures and dogs and pretty much everything. I won't be that photographer doing tequila shots at the reception, but I will be the one who helps you get your veil on right.

When I'm not photographing or editing weddings, I'm probably researching something that will be in no way applicable to my life (I'm a bit of a history junkie), painting, baking something new (carbs play a very important role in my happiness), or playing piano (I'm not very good, but I enjoy it all the same!).  I also really love movies and have no problem re-watching my favorites over and over again. I'm pretty sure I've seen Pride & Prejudice (2005 version or bust!) about twenty times.

I'm as happily married as they come, which fuels my love for photographing weddings. Nothing makes me feel more like myself than spending time with Davis--even the run-of-the-mill days of working, eating dinner together, then watching Friends before heading to bed are some of my very favorites.

T A L E N T S   I N C L U D E :

  • Making anyone feel comfortable

  • Eating a full meal in less than 5 minutes

  • Helping my brides feel like absolute queens

  • Being friendly to pretty much everyone

  • Licking my elbow

  • Turning embarrassing moments into really good stories

T A L E N T S   E X C L U D E :

  • Keeping my makeup from completely melting off at every wedding

  • Pretending to be cool

  • Staying away from chocolate chip cookies

  • Remembering to get a haircut



Way back in the early 70's when my parents were newlyweds, they hired a local photographer to take pictures of them at Elmwood Park in Omaha, Nebraska. Years later when my parents had eight kids, the pictures resurfaced and were a bit of a family inside joke. To be fair, my dad was wearing bell-bottoms and a butterfly t-shirt. Secretly, I thought they were THE COOLEST pictures ever, and I stole a bunch of them from our family photo bin and kept them under my bed so I could look at them every morning before school. The fact that my parents had these warm and glowy film pictures of them running barefoot and just hanging out with each other felt so much more real than any other type of photography I had ever seen.


Looking at my work now, it's funny to see how my fascination with a set of 70's film photos as a kid has permanently impacted my shooting style. More than that, it's fun to think that even though all pictures go out of style at some point, my client's kids might secretly love them someday. In all of my pictures, I draw out the authentic emotion and unique personalities of those being photographed. My hope is that someday when you show your kids or your grandkids your wedding photos, you won't only get to show them what it looked like, you'll get to show them what it felt like.


When it comes to my photographic influences, I'm actually more influenced by 18th Century paintings and my favorite movies than the work of other photographers. For most of my life, I thought I would either be a painter or an art curator--that attention to classical compositions comes out in my images as well as the way I edit color to complement my images.


Feel like you've seen me somewhere? You probably have!

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