Sand Key Beach, just a short drive over the bridge from Clearwater Beach, and honestly, it feels like a world away. A slower, much less crowded, world away. When a fellow photographer, and ClickPro, contacted me that she and her family were coming to Clearwater and would I like to meet, my answer was an OF COURSE! But, not in Clearwater 🙂 I recommended we head to Sand Key. We eventually found she was actually staying on Sand Key, so it worked out perfectly. We had the most amazing hour of coffee before our session. Talking life, photography, the pandemic and mom-life and all the juggling we manage to do!
This mama is the talented Priyanka of Priyanka Berry Photography, based in Cincinnati https://www.priyankaberryphotography.com/. Being able to photograph another photographer’s family is the highest honor. If you are heading to Clearwater Beach, let’s talk about your family pictures at Sand Key Beach.
Sand Key Beach for family pictures is really ideal. You have so much space to work with and lots of niches of greenery to make some portraits before heading down to the beach. Once you take little ones to the beach, you can pretty much guarantee that their attention will be on playing. Which, for me, is the magic of a family beach photo session in Tampa Bay. Playing, having fun, loving on your kiddos and partners, I mean, that is the real magic, right?
These two shots of the family walking down to the beach are honestly two of my favorites. The light was magical and dreamy over the palm trees. You could see the bright sunshine on the distant Gulf. I always just tell families, let me carry what you are taking with you as we walk down if possible. This is why. The quiet family moments before diving into the fun of chasing the waves and digging in the sand. Plus, as a girl who grew up in Wisconsin, I know how much I adored palm trees whenever we came to visit family in Florida!
Welcoming a little one soon, this absolutely gorgeous couple booked a maternity mini-session to document their last moments as a family of two. Here is a snap shot of their Riverview maternity photos. While I had never met this couple before this night, I always get to know my clients a bit before we meet though a questionnaire. We can either do it over the telephone or via an online questionnaire whenvever clients have time.
Mini-sessions include less time together. So, this step is definitely important to save time during our session itself. The questionnaire is a little step; however, it can really help us get to know each other before meeting. The questionnaire allows us to go over expectations. As well as plan wardrobe. If they don’t have a location in mind, the anwers sometimes spark an idea.
Additionally, I like to know what pictures are important to my clients firstly. Then add some artistic flair with a few images so they have variety. But first and foremost, my client’s vision always comes first. Honestly, these maternity photos are some of my favorites I have ever captured.
In their questionnaire we went over the fact that they are a loving, passionate and peaceful couple. It was important to reflect this. I definitely think we accomplished this. Plus, joy! We captured happiness. It was easy with her contageous smile. It was joyful not only taking the Riverview maternity photos of them but I was smiling editing them!
If you are expecting, I am also taking maternity clients through May at this time. I love adding maternity mini-sessions to the newborn session. Often, thirty minutes and a smaller gallery is all that is needed to document the maternity milestone. The sessions take place within 10 miles of Riverview. As you can see from this session, there are beautiful locations in Riverview and the surrounding 10 mile area. I am also taking newborn sessions for outdoor sessions at this time. Nonetheless, I hope to offer in-home sessions again in the fall.
I love the timeless feel of maternity photos in particular. The light and the stunning white outfits really helped the couple pop in these fine art black and white portraits.
Spring family photos in Tampa this year have been the thing to do! I know a lot of people put fall family photos on hold, like our own family did. So I was so glad to see this family in 2021. Each year I look forward to what they are going to wear. Family photos are important. They are the heirlooms we will have to look back on for a small moment of time. However, fancy clothing isn’t needed to get your family pictures done. Trust me. But, clothing can definitely add something special to a portrait session if you are investing in a session.
Sure, I take pictures of my own kids here at this flower field every year, and I don’t dress them up any more. They wouldn’t even let me if I tried! Instead, I just let them be themselves. However, I am also not putting those up on my walls beyond a small print to hang up on our memory pin board. This location is stunning. It deserves stunning clothing to go with it.
I always give my clients tips on photo locations and clothing options. The location you choose should be part of picking your outfits for family pictures for sure. Whether you start with the location, or start with your clothing first, they should work together. An in home session looking this dressed up may not make sense, but in a flower field it is magic! Right? Both kinds of sessions have my heart. So if you are more of a t-shirt and sweats kind of family and you love being at home, call me! Those are my kind of sessions and stories to capture, too.
For this family, they always have the best family photo style for each family member. They don’t really need my tips! For families who get yearly photos, you know it is hard to pick something “new” and still stay true to your style. This year for their spring family photos Tampa, they went with a boho styled look. It worked well as a simple neutral color scheme against the flower field for sure.
I love when the parents are game for a few shots together, too. When you have toddlers, it may not be the easiest to sneak a couple of just the two of you, but if you can, it is always worth it!
I know some photographers get intimiated when older kids are at a session, but for me, I just love it. Getting parents shots with each individual kiddo is important, too. I am a sucker for a mother-son shot, being a boy mama, but I also remember being an emotional, probably annoying pre-teen for my mom, and now that I am a mom, I realize just how much my mom did for me, so those shots are always so great to get, too.
As much as the color works for this location, there is just something so timeless about black and white images in this Tampa flower field location. I can’t wait for my film scans to come back where I played at the very end of this session, too. Freelensing and all that sunshine will hopefully work perfectly!
Moms, you know what I am talking about. The invisible mom syndrome. We are often the caregivers, the nurturers, the ones behind the scenes, you know, driving kids to and from activities, school, play dates, day-time doctor appoints, and the like. We are often our family’s legacy keepers as well. The ones taking the pictures. As today is International Women’s Day, I am standing together with other women around the world to be seen, to lift each other up, encourage and be brave together! Check out the link at the bottom to others who blogged our journeys this year, too!
This past year, on Instagram, I was definitely held accountable with this project with the loop of fellow photographers using the #bothsideofthelens hashtag. This year, we are going on with this project using #bothsidesofthelens21 if you want to follow along, too. Plus, two other photographers blogged their year, so read all the way to the bottom to see their beautiful journey. <3
What does that mean for us though? Yep, we are invisible moms, as our kids look back on their family in photos. To stop that, I have definitely more actively made sure my story is part of our family story as well. That means handing over my camera. Setting up a phone with a self timer, it means teaching our kids about photography, too. They are pretty handy with manual settings now at age 12, on the cusp of 13.
Sure, I make sure to set up a yearly family photo, but what about the moments in between? Those long hours of making meals, helping with homework? The walks and bikerides? Those moments matter, too. So just over a year ago, I joined with fellow photographer friends from all over the globe on a mission to be seen. No more invisible mom. Here is a collection of the past year as seen through my lens and with me in the frame, too.
I can’t stress how important these memories will be to our kids. Selfishly, they matter to me just as much. I know the work I have put in raising these kids and I want them to see the beauty in the mundane. Not just the perfectly crafted moments of our family photo sessions. They are also a mix of digital and film photos. I loved how film allowed me to take a shot or two and put my camera away. it took away the need for “perfection” and creative over-doing it. The kids definitely appreciated less time being documented!
It was hard to pick favorites from each month and share these. Self portraits can seem a bit much, am I right? The creatives out there though, I think a lot of us have felt a lot of cooped up creativity this past year. So, here I am in all my self-loving glory sharing these. They are definitely a big part of my mental health process through Covid-19. No shame.
My photography tips for getting in the frame are to first just do it. Give the camera over and don’t ever be afraid to ask your partner to capture a few with their cell phone at the very least!
Below are a bunch of shots where my husband or the boys were the ones pressing the shutter. I had everything set and they just took the shot. I don’t regret a single shot. The top one of my bestie and me will forever be engrained as it was the last “normal” trip to Disney before Covid-19 took over. Currently, she is fighting breast cancer, this photo and the memory and moment is absolutely priceless.
Secondly, sneak in subtle ways. A shadow, a mirror reflection are always ways I get in the shot. Especially when we are traveling. Lastly, use any surface as a good old fashioned tripod. Most cameras, dslr, mirrorless, even my old film camera, and certainly these smart cell phones all have a timer built in. Use it. Focus on your kids and set up the shot and just do it. You don’t need hair and make up, just you being there. Those moments are probaly my faves from this past year. I used pillows, couches, bookshelves, enterntainment centers, desks and pretty much any surface I could find to safely prop my camera. I often used my iPhone app as my remote.
However, by the end of the year, my intervolometer became my friend to just set the camera down and shoot anywhere from 20-60 frames and be done. This was a good way to get some self-portraits in the mix, too. I also finally invested in a new tripod, so I got a lot more options to set up and shoot, too.
A few recently favorites on film. Using a tripod and Raleigh, who has taken to shooting film and loves it almost as much as me.
Lastly, if all else fails, get a selfie at least 🙂 This is one of those moments I wanted to freeze for always. Sitting under a powerful waterfall in Tennessee this past summer. The boys and I were brave enough to get out there and I was glad I had my tiny little DJI Action to freeze this time. They have already matured so much since this shot in July. I can’t wait to do this again soon! So moms, take my advice, take the photo. Get in the frame. Don’t be the invisible mom this year!
I love photographing mothers and sons so much. I mean, of course I do with my own two boys, how can I not? Being a Tampa Bay family photographer, I love seeing the same families year after year. Sometimes, it is many years in between, too. It is unbelievable to see how much they have grown up! These guys came to me a long time ago and I am so glad they came back for a spring session.
If you are like me and try to get family photos every fall, you get the same look all the time. Breaking the sessions up to a spring or fall or winter session here in Florida can look different for sure. I don’t know how many times I have had Tampa family’s looking for flower field sessions in November. It just isn’t likely as flowers are a sure sign spring is here. We are lucky our spring starts early. Usually February kicks off flowers around town. They can vary in color and type, but no matter that, spring session are always lovely.
This particular Tampa Bay family photo session was on a perfect night. Lots of sunshine, not too much humidity and a lovely family to photograph. One of these boys is in our boys class at school. Even though they are all at school virtually still, it was good to actually see another kid their age. Being in seventh grade, it is such a time of changes for these boys. I loved seeing older kids love on their mom as much as our boys do.
If you are like me, sometimes you worry about what you kids are going to do at a photo session. But, you don’t have to worry much how your kids act. I am a mom, too. Trust me, I have literally seen it all. Plus, I also have tips to help keep kids happy that I share before we meet. Then, I let the kids dictate most of the session, or at least let them feel like the do. I like to think that as a Tampa Bay family photographer, I am fun. Sometimes, I may laugh the loudest at my jokes, but I always keep things light. Seeing kids be kids and have fun and getting mamas to smile with their kids, real, authentic smiles. It doesn’t get better!
These kiddos were angels and so fun, so no worries at all. We got to talk Fortnight and they were such troopers with any idea I threw their way.