She's evolved into a dance mom and dance photographer, but those roles have given her new perspective to approach dance photography differently by capturing dancers just as they are -- as they dance.
"I would've loved real images like this of myself when I was a dancer, and now it feels so important for me to provide these keepsakes and images for my daughters," she said. I always felt that the studio photographs that you get every year never represented my daughters in the way I saw them, and never showed any expression other than the forced ones. It didn't feel right to me."
Tonya is learning that she was not alone in wanting photography that truly captures a dancer's true love of dance.
"I'm just thrilled that dancers are seeing what I want to provide for them, and are just as excited as I am about the dance sessions I do," she said.
Tonya's dance background allows her to connect with the dancers and make them feel comfortable during a photo session.
"This allows them to just let go during their sessions and trust that I am going to capture them beautifully and in the way I hope they see themselves and know how beautiful they are," she said."
Above all, Tonya wants their 'true selves' to shine through in their photos.
"I just want to be able to gift these dancers with images that show them how beautiful they are and how incredibly talented they are," Tonya said. "I just want these sessions to build them up and bring them even more self confidence!"