our Journal

Riverview Florida Photographer: Winthrop Town Center Photos

When I need to test something out creative or just finish a roll of black and white film, I know who to call. These adorable clients are the most fun. I have loved watching them grow into the strongest, silliest, and sweetest little people ever since capturing little sis’ newborn photos. Plus, their mama and dad who didn’t make it here are both awesome-sauce, too! For a flashback to the newborn session, click HERE.

They met me for a fun mini-session at Winthrop Town Center in Riverview, Florida a couple of weeks ago. A session at Winthrop Town Center is so great for photos family photos. You get the best of both worlds, cute little urban backdrops and a green space to run free if you like, too. I recently did a morning session there, too. While that family prefers to stay off social media, so I can’t share them, the mornings are just as lovely as sunset sessions! Also, here is a link to the fall mini-session schedule and one of the spots still open is Winthrop – http://hamiltoncreekphotography.com/tampa-mini-sessions-2020/.

  • Tuesday evening September 29th @ Winthrop Town Center | Riverview | 5:30 pm or 6:15 pm


The film, back to the film. If you have been following along with me this summer on Instagram, you may have seen I am shooting film more. I love it. The colors are so beautiful to me. Yes, I am talking about black and white film, here but trust me, the colors are so lovely! Oh, and the simplicity, the slow down, and just more intent in shooting a really amazing excersize for me. Below are a few of my favorite black and white film shots from this Riverview, Florida, photo session.

winthrop town center pictures, motherhood portraits tampa
motherhood pictures, black and white film photos riverview
winthrop town center photos, motherhood pictures tampa
motherhood pictures on black and white film, girls with mom

Now onto the color, because, let’s face it. Their summery matching red dresses are meant to be in color! I love the timelessness of black and white, but sometimes, color is just more fun!

motherhood portraits, winthrop town center photos
sister portraits, winthrop town center riverview florida
motherhood pictures tampa, colorful family photos tampa
sisters running in backlight, fun child portraits tampa
sisters running in backlight, fun child portraits tampa

Two more digital black and whites, just because how can I not with the light and textures. Which do you prefer?

sisters running in backlight, fun child portraits tampa
sister in black and white, winthrop town center photos
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Odessa Newborn Pictures: Lifestyle Family Photos

This adorable family is just about the sweetest I have ever met. I am so glad I got to photograph their engagement earlier this year, and now their newborn photos. Do you want to see one of the last sessions I did at Redington Pier before it was torn down? Click HERE for their engagement photos. But I digress, baby to baby! I mean, he even has a matching dimple to his mama. I don’t think it gets cuter! We scheduled their Odessa newborn pictures with all the Covid precautions in mind. Sure, it was different than a normal newborn session. However, the family was still able to get newborn photos taken. For that, I am grateful and so are they. Sure, my newborn wrapping skills and baby handling were non-existent, but the baby was in the safest hands possible! His mom and dads!

The petite newborn session I offer is relaxed, simple and baby led. I am with you for an hour, in your home or outdoors if possible. We let baby lead, and keep things easy breezy for everyone. Lifestyle family photos are some of my favorite because they focus on your family first. The first few days when baby is so fresh and tiny, being safe in your arms is best. I do bring a sanitized basket, use your blankets and bedding for keeping baby safe in the basket if you like. Or, we can use your crib, or bed for a backdrop to let baby just be. There really is nothing better than those first moments as a family and holding your own baby. Being able to capture that joy and awe of holding your baby after waiting so many months is just the best feeling.

If you know someone expecting or you are pregnant, and maybe a bit concerned about how to safely document the first moments as a new family, feel free to have them reach out. I will go over my safety process and talk about how to best photograph your newborn baby. I will only offer the petite sessions for now to limit our time exposed to each other. My biggest concern right now is to keep everyone healthy! Staying distant while shooting and wearing a mask are two ways to best capture your newest addition on camera.

newborn baby in basket, odessa newborn pictures

Laying this sweet guy on his grandma’s hand made blanket, it doesn’t get any better, right? We also used the couple’s muslin swaddle blankets from Target, too. Keeping things as easy as possible for your in home newborn session is our goal and we can help plan on the details so on the day of the session you are as prepared as possible. That makes the newborn photo session so much less stressful.

newborn sleeping on grandmas blanket, baby picture

A few of my favorite images from the session were taken on film. It was my first time trying out Ilford HP5Plus. It was a dream for an in home newborn photo session. I am offering this service as an add on to any newborn session moving forward as there is something that just can’t be imitated.

black and white newborn baby pictures, family photos tampa
black and white film, tampa film photographer
family holding newborn, tampa newborn photographer

Baby toes don’t get any sweeter! Trust me mamas, as these boys get older, they sure do get stinky. So soak up the time that they are cuter than anything else!

newborn toes, baby details

LOVE that this family incorporated another special touch; Dad’s love of the Bufffalo Bills. Even the mask is important to document as nothing says baby born in 2020 like that!

baby in buffalo bills hat, newborn baby picture
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Fall and Holiday Mini Sessions Tampa Bay 2020

Thanks for stopping by! Currently, ALL MINI-SESSIONS SPOTS FOR 2020 are BOOKED!

Mini sessions Tampa Bay 2020 were just released to past clients and are now open to everyone. These are strange times we are in now, but that shouldn’t mean we skip out on family memories in this most certainly memorable year! Hoping that we are all well and no more non-essential businesses close so these mini sessions for Tampa can go on as planned. But, we all may need to be a bit more flexible this year.

2020 has been a wild yea, but that shouldn't stop documenting your family. Book now.

Mini session Options:

WEEKEND Mini-Sessions

$200 retainer includes thirty minutes of session time on location at the specified locations below, within two weeks, you will get to proof an online gallery of the 15 best images.

You then chose your favorite five images you want to download and keep the medium resolution digital negatives of. These five images you will be able to download and print for personal use (cards, prints, etc) up to an 11×14 size.If you decide you want all of your gallery images, you may purchase additional items a la carte after your session for print, or choose to download the full resolution images after your session is complete, you may do so for $150 more.

  • Saturday evening, September 26th, Medard Park | $2 cash entry fee | Plant City 6:15 pm$25 discount on session fee for this date only | EARLY BIRD PRICING
  • Saturday, October 10, Hillsborough River State Park | Thonotosassa| $6 park entry fee required | evening | 4:30, 5:15, or 6 pm BOOKED
  • Saturday, October 24th, evening Apollo Beach Nature Preserve | Apollo Beach | *5:00, 5:45, or 6:30pm BOOKED *early session in green space & small inlet of water, later session on Bay or purple grasses
  • Saturday, November 7, morning University of Tampa | Tampa | 8:00, 8:45, 9:30 am BOOKED (if restrictions occur, Winthrop Town Center is backup location)
  • Saturday, November 7th evening Swann Circle Park | Tampa | 4 or 4:45pm BOOKED

WEEKDAY Evening Mini Sessions BOOKED

These are great for the early birds of the season, before daylight savings ends. These early weekday dates are incredibly popular and have historically booked up first! Don’t miss out on your mini sessions, Tampa Bay.

$250 retainer includes 30 minutes of mini-session time at the following times/locations only. You get an edited gallery of approximately 15 images, which will be yours to download and enjoy and print on your own up to an 11×14 size. Or, I am happy to help you print some special artwork a la carte at the end! The back up date for each week will be the following Monday if we need to reschedule for weather. The location is subject to change for various reasons, especially if we need to reschedule!

  • Monday evening September 21th @ Swann Circle Park | Tampa | 5:30 or 6:15 pm BOOKED
  • Tuesday evening September 29th @ Winthrop Town Center | Riverview | 5:30 pm or 6:15 pm BOOKED
  • Tuesday evening, October 6th @ Davis Island Beach | Tampa | 6pm or 6:45pm BOOKED
  • Tuesday evening, October 13th Winthrop Town Center | Riverview | 5:30 pm or 6:15 pm BOOKED
  • Tuesday October 27th @ Winthrop Town Center & Green Space | Riverview | 5:15 or 6 pm BOOKED

More details

Half of the non-refundable session retainer is due at the time of booking; whether doing a weekday mini, or weekend mini-session date. However, if for any reason, COVID-19 requires non-essential businesses to close, your retainer is fully refundable! If you are sick, or your family falls ill, you will be able to reschedule your session. Please note, you may not get the location originally booked and I cannot guarantee before the holiday delivery but I will do my best. I want to be as flexible as possible, but the discounts of these mini-sessions are possible due to how they are scheduled. Changes to your schedule due to Covid may mean your location will change and dates may be limited. But, health is our priority, so we are willing and able to work with you where possible. The only way to secure your preferred time and location is to book in advance. Your final payment is due two weeks before your scheduled session date and a reminder will be automatically emailed to you. Also, mini-sessions are not recommended for newborns and larger families. One family unit is allowed per time slot as well (no extended families and no families larger than 10 people at this time due to guidance for Covid-19).

Back up dates for weather reschedules for the weekend sessions will be the following day (Sunday) if possible. The weekday reschedules for weather will be Wednesday for Tuesday sessions. Locations cannot be guaranteed if you reschedule for any reason! Also, due to environmental and permit approval, some locations may change after booking. Weekend dates will be rescheduled at our earliest convenience and may fall on a Sunday.


boy on film at beach

Interested in a special and unique family session this year? I am offering two hybrid film and digital family mini session at Ft Desoto Beach on Sunday, October 4th. These two sessions don’t even have to be at sunset, we can enjoy the warm rich colors of film at the beach, in the fresh air and sunshine before it gets too cold. Plus, the film will take an additional two weeks of processing time, so these sessions are done earlier to allow time to use for holiday cards. You will get a gallery of approximately 15 edited film scanned shots (meaning they are available as digital copies) and ten digital negatives to choose from in your final edited online proofing gallery. Then, pick your favorite fifteen digital negative to download and print up to 11×14 inches on your own. You can make these lifestyle and documentary in nature, with playful beach time, or more relaxed family photos with a few more posed shots, too. $350 total, and the opportunitey to upgrade your full gallery download for $150 more.

  • 5:30 pm or 6:15 pm BOOKED

tampa mini sessions, beach pictures tampa bay

Contact me today with questions about the Tampa mini sessions 2020. I would love to meet new families and see my returning clients this year!

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Top Five Family Photo Tips for a Smooth Family Photo Session

tips for a smoother family photo session graphic, tampa family pictures

So the dreaded annual family photo session is coming. If you are dreading it, maybe you are doing it wrong! Let’s talk about ways we can work together to make a smooth family photo session experience for everyone. Here are my five family photo tips for a smoother family photo session.

Lakeland family photos, lake parker pictures, family pictures lakeland

*Perfection. Moms, I get it, you want the perfect outfit, hair, kids, etc. But, life, well, it isn’t perfect. I don’t expect perfection, so my first tip is to let go of perfection. Yes, that may be easier said than done, but focus on that first. Your children and your partner will feed off of you and your energy. So, don’t run around like a chicken with your head cut off. Don’t get upset, don’t stress, don’t pick on every single uncontrollable details.

tampa family photographer, beach pictures tampa

*Plan. In order to relax and let go of that perfection, a bit of planning may be in order. But take head, don’t over plan. Things will come up and you have to go with the flow the day of the session. In advance, plan by taking care of the items in advance that will create a day of stress-free fun the day of the photo session. This includes getting hair cuts scheduled 10-14 days in advance of the session. Heads up, if Covid-19 rears it’s ugly head much more, salons may shut down again soon….so maybe get a touch up sooner than later just in case. If you are a mani/pedi person, set that up, too. Oh and the day of the session, definitely don’t over plan your lives. Keep kids on schedule, let them have some down time, don’t book a session the same day as two birthday parties or a day after Disney. Once you book your session with me, a few weeks beforehand, I send a shooting for success guide with lots more tips of how to plan for your session.

girls playing in the ocean, beach photographer tampa

*Location. Pick the right location for your family! If your kids hate sand, well, sorry to say, the beach may be out for a year or two. They probably won’t hate it forever. Oh, and if you want your hair not to have that beachy vibe, again, the beach may not be for you. That is okay. It is better to be realistic of your likes and dislikes when choosing your photo session location. If your kids love flowers, let’s do a spring session in the flower fields. However, if you kids feet are sensitive to long grasses, well, that may be out. Perhaps the beach or an urban location will work during this phase.

family photo tips, mother with children, medard park family photos

*Love. Love each other. That means being close, touching. Just being yourselves is enough if you are together. I don’t want to tell you how to love each other. I want you just to be together. Of course, there are times I can remind you of subtle actions to start those natural interactions, because, let’s face it, you aren’t usually being photographed being in these intimate family moments. Just know that at your session, you will be close for much of the session. If your kids need a moment break, that is okay, too. We will have time to let thembe kids and come back to something that will calm or entertain them. That could be singing your favorite song. Or, snuggles, or spinning, or rocking back and forth. Heck, it could be racing each other or dad, if that is their jam, too. These moments don’t have to be all looking at the camera and smiling. No, we will soak up these moments as your kids grow, you will look back on all stages and phases fondly.

little boy daily documentary photos, south tampa family photos

*Eat. Yup, it is that simple. Don’t come to your photo session hangry. Period. It is always a good idea to bring a clean snack and some water, too. Honestly, this may be the most important tip. Hangry families don’t usually mean loving, connected family photos! Don’t schedule your session during a normal meal time if it can be avoided and if you holding off dinner until after the session please let the kids have a big snack before you get them dressed! Oh, and if you are bringing a pick them up snack, make it a clean snacks. Ideas include pretzels, applesauce pouches, puffs, grapes, basically anything that won’t spill all over or leave cheese filled handprints, it depends on the kids age for what is right for them. Oh, and adults, don’t forget about you, eat a little something, have a glass of wine beforehand, maybe just not five glasses, although that can be entertaining, too. You may just not want to look at those glassy eyed photos much.

Looking for more family photo tips? Here is a blog post about what to wear as we approach the busy fall family photo session time: http://hamiltoncreekphotography.com/what-to-wear-wednesday-tampa-family-photo-sessions/. If you want details on my limited session dates this fall, make sure you sign up for the Newsletter!

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Coquina Beach Family Photos: Summer Beach Session

Usually I would say “heck no” to a summer beach session, but this year with Covid-19 interrupting everything, we had to push this session until non-essential businesses could return. So to the beach we went! Honestly, it was one of my favorite beach sessions ever. Sure, I was wearing a mask for over an hour on a beach in Florida in summer, but it felt so good to be back to capturing family photos. Coquina Beach for family photos, yup, is one of my favorite spots to photograph families at the beach.

Why is it a favorite? Well, first to make it easy on clients, there are plenty of parking spaces. Plus, the Australian Pines that line the beach access are also fun for some pre-beach portraits. That is if we can get the kids to want to take photos. The temptation of playing in the sand is strong for little ones. I can’t blame them. I just want to play and hang at the beach, too. But, between the play, there are magical moments. Just relax, and let the kids run the show! The few minutes before we hit the beach usually means just a tad less distraction of water and sand play though!

Their fun pops of red also worked well with the greenery of the pines, palms and sea grapes, too. If you are looking for ideas for your next beach session, these colors definitely work for a summer feel. I have a link to my Pinterest board specific for beach wardrobe ideas for your family beach photos session HERE.

beach family photos

As much as I love a colorful beach shoot, there is just something about moments in black and white that gets my heart. The light and high contrast just works so well in black and white storytelling images.

famliy beach

Give me all the quiet moments in between. They show the love you feel and have for each other more than just about anything else I could do.

mother and son at beach
family photos at the beach, tampa family photographer
family snuggles on beach
boy playing on beach
boy playing on beach

So T family, I wish you well as you get ready to leave Florida and hope you always remember these beach, sun soaked moments. Remember how much fun these boys had on this particular night. In the midst of a pandemic, there was still joy and love. How wonderful to have a large family canvas to commemerate your Coquina Beach family photo session as well! Best of luck on the move!

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