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Life During Covid-19: Riverview Florida Photographer

Life during Covid-19. I know I don’t have to tell anyone it has been almost a year of living through the hell of Covid-19. March 13th, I remember the date everything started shutting down locally because we were about to jump on an airplane to Scotland. That means I also knew my last Target run date. I was there getting hand sanitizer for the plane the day before we were supposed to leave I have now been back only twice and only because we refreshed our master bedroom. Funny how this year has taught me what is really important. Target and Starbucks were part of my old routine for sure. It seemingly happened over night.

One day on a Target run for more hand sanitizer for the airplane, the next, bam, no travel. Oh, and if you need a virtual getaway, how about purchasing a travel print from my shop – shameless plug to shop small 🙂 https://clients.hamiltoncreekphotography.com/gallery/artwork-for-sale/.

No restaurants. No going to school. It has been almost a year of no hugging friends and family. A year of not traveling anywhere beyond a one day road trip and taking all the crazy precautions you can think of along the way. Well over a year of seeing our Australian family as we were there the summer before we locked in. A year of school at home, no swimming or sports. Athough we tried swim team for a brief few weeks during the summer. the stress of sending two high risk kids to swim team without knowing where all the people they came into contact with had been. It just became too much. So, we are living the new normal. Taking care and holding our breaths until this is a thing of the past.

Now, here is a look back at a year of Covid-19. Here is a picture a month for the past long and strange year. Honestly, we are so lucky. We haven’t lost family. No, we haven’t lost friends. Now, we just have been out of contact and physical touch with them. They are still here. I am so sorry for all the families who have lost loved ones.

Oh, and if you want more inspiration of twin photos after this post, head over to my friend, Bex, at Bex Photo, to see more of our monthly twin loop she blogged over at https://www.bexphoto.com/post/twin-looping-for-a-year.

pre-teen pictures, black and white portraits
pre-covid- just before they turned 12 last year
twins in a blow up hot tub, covid-19 fun
My fave portrait of the boys just as Covid started.
mom and twin sons, self portrait
self portrait of the most real kind for Mother’s Day 2020
dad and twin sons, front porch session covid-10
one of my faves of my three boys
twins on film, ektar 100 film stock
the boys on FILM in Tennessee. A hobby I picked up during our time at home this past year <3
winthrop town center pictures, fun teenage pictures
Back to school 2020 style. Six feet from friends and wearing whatever we want!
boys on the beach, portra 400 film portraits
beach time and beach days are my absolute fave. Another favorite film shot <3
halloween pictures, carving pumpkins with dad
Carving pumpkins together. Thankful they were outgrowing trick-or-treating at this time.
voter pictures, american family
Election day 2020, what.a.year! Right?
waterfall, boys at dry creek waterfall north carolina
Trip to Dry Creel Falls, North Carolina. Icy and cold and soooooo beautiful!
twin portrait, tweenage portraits
The same spot the first photo was taken, and boy on the cusp of 13, looking so much more mature.
identical twin valentine picutres
My funny valentines.

Okay, enough of the grumblings that Covid-19 easily results in. Now, onto the good. Life during Covid-19 honestly, this year “at home” with our almost thirteen year old twins, has also been a blessing. If you know me, I don’t throw that word around. It just is something I can’t describe in any other way. A blessing. Our kids have shown us how resilient they really are. They have forged friendships with each other that they were forced into, but I think has helped them grow stronger. They have had to work on communicating in new ways, using technology, writing letters and emails that they never had time to do before.

Life during Covid-19 has meant walks upon walks upon walks where they talk and talk and talk. They love this time and often say how much they treasure the walks. We allow them to talk about whatever they want. That means I hear a lot about tanks, guns, WWII, and the occasionnal Fortnight strategy as well. We play games, Rummikub has been basically outlawed by our kids after we played so many games.

They occassionally get to see a friend from afar, staying that six feet distance of one alligator, or one cow’s length, or a pool noodle. Bike rides are a great way to social distance together. We are so thankful we can practice responsible recreation and get outside here in Florida. I think we have hit every trail possible around us and in our little Airbnb get aways to remote outdoor places like Signal Mountain in Tennessee, and Clayton, Georgia. These two little get aways have helped with our sanity for sure.

What have you done to keep sane and appreciate the good during this long year of life during Covid-19? Commend below with your favorite activities and idea.

Life During Covid-19

Let’s Talk Activities

For us here are a few of our favorites:

  • Bike rides
  • Cooking & baking, we are almost a year into “Meatless Mondays” and love trying new recipes
  • Board games, Rummikub, Scrabble, Clue, Chess
  • Online games the kids can play with friends & family – Fornight is still huge for them, and Among Us.
  • Reading – oh my gosh, so many books. The boys loved every single book by Alan Gratz. I have loved too many to name but recent faves are Oona Out of Order, and any historical fiction book I can get my hands on – faves include The Nightingale (which should be out in movie form later this year) and The Huntress and The Alice Network, both by Kate Quinn.
  • Hike – just get outside! Our local faves are Alderman Ford Park, Medard Park, Hillsborough River State Park and my personal fave is Fort DeSoto Park and Beach.
  • Clean and organize. Not so much fun doing it, but we feel so much less cluttered after this year. Plus, we were able to donate a bunch of stuff to those in need.
  • Chat via Zoom, Instagram Messenger, Clubhouse, Messenger Kids, Facetime,Houseparty, whatever works for you! Saving grace for staying in touch with friends near and far. Also, great for making new communities of friends. My photography friends around the world have been a life line for sanity this way!
  • Make lists of what to do “after” Covid. High on our kids’ list is go-karting and paint ball. Oh, and of course getting to see family in Australia. I have a feeling we will be staying a summer there when we next can!
  • Need more ideas – this web site has lots of little ideas for keeping busy – https://rochester.kidsoutandabout.com/content/250-creative-ways-keep-your-family-sane-during-covid-19-crisis.

Speaking of connections with friends any way you can, check out why you may want to join in on Instagram loops with This Detailed Life – https://www.thisdetailedlife.com/post/loopy-loops-what-are-instagram-loops-and-why-should-you-join-one. This has kept me on track for posting on Instagram when many days I don’t feel inspired or up to posting. Having an accountability and creative outlet has definitely helped me keep my sanity this year, too! Life during Covid-19 doesn’t have to be all bad, get out there and be the good!

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Tampa Mommy & Me Photo Session

tampa motherhood portrait

I loved seeing this sweet baby girl and her mama again. I did her family and Tampa outdoor newborn session a few months ago and she never opened her eyes the entire time. Click HERE for that flashback and to see how much she has grown. This time, she was an alert three month old amongst the flowerfield. I mean, how perfect was this Riverview mommy & me photo session? This location has my heart every year. The wildflowers, or weeds really, just make for a magical backdrop. It doesn’t take much to create magic, some simple neutral outfits and lots of loving on your kiddos or partner.

I just released my newsletter with details for petite sessions this spring at this location. If you want to receive a copy of the newsletter, sign up by emailing me or use the contact form on the landing page for my website. If you do that, and want details on this spring, make sure you email me to let me know! The spring session doesn’t only apply to mommy & me photo sessions, but family sessions work well here, too.

three month baby pictures
mother and child in flower field, motherhood pictures tampa
happy three month old baby and mama, motherhood portraits tampa
mother and baby, outdoor baby pictures
mother daughter pictures, riverview outdoor photo locations
mom and daughter pictures, three month milestone photos
mom holding baby in flower field, tampa motherhood pictures

Are you ready for a spring session for your family or with your kids? Contact me to set up your session before the humidity and rain showers of summer returns! I provide help for spring outfit ideas or you can contact a local stylist that I work with as well. The biggest thing you need to bring to a session with me though is your loved ones. We have a very relaxed time together. You will never regret getting these photos done, you will only regret not doing them when another year goes by and your kiddos have changed so much.

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Tampa Pregnancy Announcement Pictures

I mean, does it get any sweeter than these two? I can answer for you, nope! Here is a throwback to where I met this couple a few year’s back – http://hamiltoncreekphotography.com/traditional-brandon-florida-wedding/. A mini-session to help these two announce they were expecting a little one was a fun way to end December.

Ironically, their session got swapped when my newborn client decided to stay put a few extra days in their mama’s tummy. The weather looked better this particular night and the stars aligned that hair and make up could be done the day before, too. I say, we lucked out. The weather was absolutely perfect. Not too hot, not too cold, and the light, magic! Tampa pregnancy announcement pictures and a sweet couple session to ring in Christmas was a sweet end to 2020!

I loved the colors this couple picked out for the winter photo session here in Florida. This is about as “winter” as we get. Maybe a the grasses and brush will be a little less green as the weeks go on, but the maroon always pops against greenery a little more subtle than true reds do. Plus, navy and maroon is a classic combination. The color combo for family pictures go together without matching too much. I will be sharing more and more of my family sessions I did this fall. I saw a ton of maroon and navy combos that work so perfectly together!

Plus, as you may know, this location is one of my favorites to do Tampa photo sessions at. This year in particular, with Covid and taking on less sessions to hopefully have less exposure in our community, this location was a perfect spot for mini-sessions in particular. The variety of Winthrop Town Centre for family photos around the holidays means some Christmas decor. However, what I love is that a couple blocks away we get a totally different look. The green space options for pictures will last the whole year without Christmas in the background.

Are you expecting for 2021? I offer both mini-sessions for pregnancy announcements and maternity sessions. Let’s talk about your Tampa pregnancy announcement pictures soon.

couple photos in town center, winthrop town centre pictures

If you go to their wedding blog linked above, we recreated a few of our favorite moments from their “reception” shots in the dress change.

couple photos in town center, winthrop town centre pictures
pregnancy announcement ideas, couple embrace in black and white photo
pregancy announcement pictures, winthrop town centre pictures

Probably my favorite series of shots are these three below. I love incorporating movement into my sessions. A little walk can do just the trick for getting movement. Plus, the light flare was perfect for added drama. Then, as the couple walked toward me, I framed them shooting through a tree brach that was where I was standing. That little extra sun flareon the bottm of the right two shots is from the sun hitting the leaves. Not to be braggy, but using light like that is what sets me apart from other photographers. I have had clients specifically reach out to me year after year to get that light. If you want that yummy light, too, come on over!

Let’s set up your session this spring when the weather is cooler and the sun sets early enough to get home in time for dinner. Even better, stop at Winthrop Town Centre for some yummy take out! I mean, Cappy’s or Datz? You can’t go wrong!

couple walking hand in hand
tampa couple pictures
announcing pregnancy pictures in beautiful light
woman in pretty light announcing pregnancy
announcement of pregnancy, layflat of baby announcement
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Family Beach Pictures Tampa Bay | Families on Film

This year was my first attempt at doing film-hybrid sessions for one of my “mini-session” dates for fall family photos. You guys. I am hooked. It offered the best of both worlds for the families. Not only do film sessions not have ot be at sunset, as film loves light, but it is a slower paced session. Less stress, more time to breath and just let kids be kids. Living for the moments in between instead of just happy, forced smiles that you can snap 100 photos if in a usual digital mini-session. It makes me so happy anytime I can capture family beach pictures around Tampa Bay. This added a new level of fun.

The films sessions are just a bit more slow. More time to set up the shot and wait for the moments to happen. The beautiful. The mundane. The real. The beautiful. The timeless. Give me all of that. Plus, you get a few extra shots as I shoot digital on my mirrorless camera along the way. But the film, guys, there is just something magical about film at our Tampa Bay beaches. So, if you are looking for family beach pictures in Tampa Bay, contact me on how to add a film roll to your full session. Or, be on the lookout next fall for family beach film sessions. They are likely going to be the only mini-sessions I will offer at the beach next year again!

In this session, we met about an hour and a half before sunset. Therefore, they had more light to work with. The\ session looks super different than the session that wrapped up just before sunset. I will link that session when I have a chance to blog it as well. Both lovely, just in different ways. If you have kids who fall asleep early, a film beach session may be the perfect answer for you. Then, we don’t have ot wait for the last few minutes of sunset for hte perfect time to take your family beach pictures. Family beach pictures are truly where clients can really be themselves. But, I always warn families. Beach session are not for everyone. Take this short quiz if you want to see if a family beach session is right for you!

This shot below has to be one of my favorites from the film roll. Happy parents truly make the best family photos. Even if the kids are not looking at the camera in this shot. You know when the kids grow up seeing their family with happy parents, they will absolutely feel loved.

family on beach using film photography, families on film tampa
family walking on the beach holding hands, tampa family beach pictures, family beach pictures tampa bay
family beach pictures tampa bay
children walking around seagulls
mother holding kids at the beach
families on film, film family pictures tampa bay

The best time of year to be at the beach is in the upcoming months. Now, it is a bit cooler and less crowded. Take advantage of a few less snow birds this year. Even if that means putting some layers on. Let’s play with family beach pictures, Tampa! Here is a link to a blog post about what to wear for family beach pictures as well. I will be doing a blog post about options for clothing if you are looking to do a film session, or add a film portion to your session in 2021!

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Outdoor Newborn Photos – Tampa Newborn Photographer

Meet baby I. Isn’t she the sweetest? Her family was just about the easiest to photograph ever, as well. After what felt like weeks of careful planning, I finally got to safely meet them this month. We met at their home for a short five minute indoor session, with my mask on, no touching, and plenty of space between us, and then left for an outdoor adventure. Outdoor newborn photos are about my favorite thing to capture ever!

Additionally, the weather was absolutely perfect after weeks of heat and lots of rain. Thank goodness, the stars aligned for the fastest newborn session ever. Sweet baby I slept the entire time. She was happy in mom and dad’s arms, but they did have a basket with their own blankets to safely put her in for a few shots on her own, too.

I am kind of obsessed with her floral cribsheets as well. Just darling!

baby nursery photos

Moreover, I am thrilled my Helios lens arrived a week before this session as well. The lens flare and rainbows this vintage Russian lens creates are just perfect for newborns. I really can’t wait to break this out for my next maternity photo session, too! Hopefully, I will be able to offer motherhood mini’s again this spring, too. I can just imagine the lens flare with spring flowers, can’t you! Don’t miss out and make sure you are on my newsletter list for 2021!

motherhood newborn pictures
outdoor newborn pictures tampa
parents holding newborn baby

Have you seen happier parents? I don’t think I have! I can’t wait for their artwork to arrive to them next week! Their love of black and white images will fill their home with timeless artwork that will take them back to when Miss I was so tiny!

outdoor newborn photos, family holding baby
family newborn pictures, outdoor newborn photos
newborn baby in basket, outdoor newborn photos

Lastly, I am taking outdoor newborn photos through the springtime. Are expecting? Let’s talk how we can safely document your newborn during these crazy times! I offer petite newborn sessions like this, set in one of our beautiful outdoor Tampa locations.

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