Soul Art Photography by Tori James

Lifestyle & Documentary Photographer

Creative Portraits & Social Events

Charlotte Queen City

Contact Me


Capturing the Beauty of Life.
Revealing the Beauty of Soul.

Verbal Reflections of a Visual Artist

I am
a humble photo artist
exploring the jagged fragments
of a fiery universe
through the
creative imagination
of her mind's eye
and her camera's lens.

Check out the full blog at

  • Sun, 18 Sep 2016 22:05:27 +0000

    Ocean Air

    A lovely view of the sky as I lounge in Freedom Park (Charlotte Queen City). This particular capture reminds me of when I’m flying over an ocean…I feel like, depending on one’s perspective, this image could be from above or from below.

    What do you think?

  • Sat, 03 Sep 2016 06:18:22 +0000

    Fiery Sunset

    It was a marvelous view of the sun setting clouds aflame as it set behind the buildings of downtown Portland. That’s a metaphor, of course. But the visual of clouds on fire isn’t too farfetched in this image captured while driving across a bridge back to the hotel for the evening. Considering all the rain during the day, this gorgeous fire storm was well-received.

    The city of Portland, Oregon

    September 2nd, 2016

  • Wed, 25 Feb 2015 16:49:32 +0000

    SF Explorations: A Stroll Along Marina Blvd.

    Call me a nerd or a country bumpkin, but what I absolutely love about San Francisco is MUNI. Every time I get on I feel like I’m getting a front seat tour of the city (but not always in the front seat because those are reserved for the handicapped and elderly…I know the deal). I’ve ridden the F Market street car from beginning to end multiple times, and have been known to hop on a bus literally because it’s right there, just to see where it goes.

    One of my very first bus adventures was taking the 22 Fillmore down to Marina Blvd. This area gives you awe-inspiring views of the San Francisco Bay, and though it’s peaceful and quiet on land, there’s usually plenty going on at sea. The first time I was entertained with some sort of teen boating competition….hundreds of sails were clustered together throughout the bay, I assume for the purpose of a race but it looked to me that the struggle was just to stay afloat. Either way, entertaining.

    This next visit I was determined to walk and explore further, just to see where I’d end up. So after getting off the last Fillmore stop at Bay Street, I walked to the boulevard, turned left to the north, and committed to seeing whatever there was to see.

    And in San Francisco, there’s always something to see.

    That day’s sporting event was something I’d never seen before. People seemed to be surfing with wind sails. Actually, less surfing and more skidding along the ocean’s surface. The wind would pull them along at quickening speeds, and the board they stood on actually rose above the water, with just a little tip extended below the surface. I’d never seen anything like it before, and have no idea what it’s called, but it looked fun as hell. If I didn’t have the uncanny ability to drown in water, I’d totally want to try it. If given the opportunity I still probably might.

    I continued north on what I came to realize was the San Francisco Bay Trail, which took me along Chrissy Field Beach. A beautiful area, it’s essentially a long, thin beach. Now, the beaches in northern California shouldn’t be confused with southern California; here you need nerves of steel wrapped in a wet suit if you want to enjoy the waters without freezing to death. But even with its frigid temperatures, the ocean is always a beautiful sight to behold.

    And so is that famous landmark, the Golden Gate Bridge. Once it’s in your line of sight, you simply cannot escape the bridge’s majesty. SF natives and decades long transplants may be used to it by now, but every time I see the Golden Gate I can’t help but marvel at it.

    What was even more marvelous was that in my wandering I’d inadvertently walked all the way to it! I don’t know how far the bridge entry is from my starting point at Fillmore and Bay Street but I earned my pride that day (and for the first time in my life I wish I’d worn a step counter). Beginning at the Yacht Harbor, I traveled through both the east beach and marsh areas of Chrissy Field, wandered onto Torpedo Wharf, and made it all the way to the start of the Golden Gate Bridge, with nothing more than a willingness to walk and see. And that’s what I love about San Francisco. All you need to do is go out, because there will always be something to see.

    For my next Marina Blvd adventure, I’ll be turning right. Can’t wait to see what’s down that way!





    Started from the bottom, now I'm here!

  • Thu, 19 Feb 2015 18:12:14 +0000

    Families at the Ferry Building

    As I was hanging outside the Ferry Building waiting to meet up with my partner, I got to engage in that treasured human past time of people watching. There are always all kinds of interesting characters to see, especially in a city as eclectic and diverse as San Francisco. But despite being surrounded by artsy and bohemian types, my focus seemed to be on families that were enjoying the day’s weather and being together.

    It’s these kind of simple moments in life that I truly enjoy capturing.


    Out for a stroll


    A family that reads together, stays together

  • Wed, 18 Feb 2015 16:31:18 +0000

    How to Properly Cross A San Francisco City Street

    As a recent part-time transplant to the city of…..okay, I don’t know San Francisco’s nickname because I haven’t been here long enough. But I have learned other helpful tips that help me navigate the city, like:

    – Pedestrians are gods here. They are infinitely more powerful than the multi-ton vehicles the roads were built for because they can make those machines stop on a dime.

    – Cyclists are demons. Using two legs to get around is respected by all, but get on two wheels and you become the most cursed being in all of existence. Maybe it has something to do with having no regard for traffic laws….?

    – MUNI freaking rocks! Coming from a Southern city that requires one to have a car to get anywhere, it’s absolutely fabulous to be able to get anywhere in the city without having to drive yourself. How will I ever survive back in Charlotte without the F Market?

    – Always obey the crosswalk signs. They are the leaders of the pedestrian gods. Anything they say, goes. And I mean absolutely anything. 😉


  • Mon, 19 Jan 2015 06:23:31 +0000

    A New Year, A New Journey

    When I bought my first Nikon camera years ago, I had no goal other than to take some pics for fun. My Nikon D40 was just an entertaining toy, that is, until I noticed that my “pics for fun” were actually pretty good. After I’d had enough of just playing around, I got serious. I bought books. I took classes. I practiced with friends and events for free. Then I decided it was time for a real business.

    That was over 5 years ago. Since then Soul Art Photography has grown from a beginner’s side hustle to a full-time professional endeavor. And the growth hasn’t stopped. I now have the opportunity to share Soul Art not only with my beloved Queen City of Charlotte, but also with the gorgeous San Francisco Bay! The beauty of this city is infinite with countless gems to capture…it won’t be long before my wall is full of my photo art and I’m excited for it.

    Not only am I bringing Soul Art to a new city, I’m also bringing a new approach to Soul Art. Just like I eventually moved on from my little D40 to more advanced camera models, I’m moving from the digital-only “shoot-and-burn” approach to an emphasis on print products and wall art. If Soul Art can’t be confined to just one city, then your Soul Art Images shouldn’t be confined to just being seen on computer screens and mobile devices. And if I’m going to fill up my wall with art, I’m going to fill yours as well.

    January has marked the beginning of a brand new journey, and I can’t wait to see where the path leads. 2015 is going to be an exciting year! 


  • Tue, 16 Dec 2014 12:09:48 +0000

    Captured Audience

    At a friend’s holiday party all of the kids were herded into a bedroom to watch iPad movies. Although I was there to socialize and not to work (I made a conscious decision not to bring my Nikon and had only my camera phone), it’s capturing moments like this that remind me of my joy in documenting the small yet special details of life.


    Unwavering focus

  • Wed, 19 Nov 2014 15:09:30 +0000

    Winter is Coming


    Out of all of the seasons, winter is my favorite. Summer is too hot, spring is too polleny (yep, I made that word up) and autumn, while lovely, doesnt last long enough. What I love about winter is the brisk chill, the gray skies, the lack of bugs, and cuddling for warmth.

    Being in the South we don’t get the kind of heavy snow falls that plague the Northeast and Midwest. But that doesn’t keep us from wishing for a white Christmas (or from cleaning out the grocery stores at the slightest hint of a snowflake!). But for all I know the morning frost on my car windows may be the closest thing we get to snowfall this year, so I thought I’d capture the ice crystals while I could….aren’t they beautiful?

  • Sun, 02 Nov 2014 17:05:52 +0000

    Trick or Treat! Halloween 2014

    Halloween is one of my favorite social holidays. I love the costumes, the creativity, the spirit of fun….and of course the candy!

    Not sure what this costume is, but she's a cutey!

    Not sure what this costume is, but she’s a cutey!

    Someone's been caught in the mouse trap!

    Someone’s been caught in the mouse trap!

    A family that trick-or-treats together, has fun together.

    A family that trick-or-treats together, has fun together.

    Beware this wolf and his walker!

    Beware this wolf and his walker!

    It's never too early for a Christmas tree.

    It’s never too early for a Christmas tree.

    Minion mayhem is coming!

    Minion mayhem is coming!

    A human disco ball!

    A human disco ball!

    Baby chicadee!

    Baby chicadee!

    No Parking, Broom Lane

    No Parking, Broom Lane

    Watch out for Unikitty!

    Watch out for Unikitty!

    I had the pleasure of capturing two adorable sisters as they trick-or-treated in the Grove Street school district of San Francisco. Being a night time capture was difficult, but I was determined not to miss a moment of this cuteness! One of them even “paid” me in Reese’s cups, lol! Check out the mini slideshow…you’ll never see a cuter pumpkin and strawberry!

  • Mon, 13 Oct 2014 17:27:40 +0000

    Soul Art’s First 5-Minute Photo Session

    A new exercise I’ve decided to do with Soul Art is what I’ve dubbed the “5 Minute Photo Session”. The title probably isn’t that creative or original, but it’s pretty easy to understand. Basically, when I’m out and about with my camera and I see a person or family I want to capture, I offer them a “5 Minute Photo Session”, which is exactly what it sounds like: a photo session in five minutes. I capture them on-the-spot and in-the-moment, and they receive 2-3 free watermarked images to use online. No appointment, no fee; no muss, no fuss. I get to practice some skills and new images to work with (and hopefully a new client as well!); they get a fun experience and free pictures….we’re all happy!

    My very first 5-minute client was Brittnay who I ran in to in Uptown Charlotte spending time with her niece and nephew, Sage and Zion. They were a fantastic little trio to work with, and I’m glad I got to hang with them, even if only for 5 minutes. 🙂

    Soul Art Photo (1 of 2) Soul Art Photo (2 of 2)

Powered by SmugMug Owner Log In