Tampa Family Photographer Hamilton Creek Photography » Hamilton Creek Photography - Tampa, FL Photographer for Families, Connections & Life

Riverview Florida Back to School Minis

Riverview Florida Back to School Minis

What to Wear Back to School Pictures

Riverview Florida back to school minis with Hamilton Creek Photography & Reilly Maguire Photography for 2016 are a wrap! I still have one more set of siblings to blog, but here is another darling set of sisters. Did you see the other set on the blog, if not, click HERE.

These girls probably look quite familiar if you have seen the blog before or Facebook. They happen to be some of our boys’ best friends and some of my favorite clients. I still am having a hard time believing little R is starting kindergarten this year, and then other times I think, wait, isn’t she in high school? She is so an old soul with lots of attitude and fun to keep me on my toes, and so much fun watch grow. Both our boys have “their” match with these girls, so that is so fun to be around, too.

Enough about my family though, what about their style. I swear, this mama should be a stylist for other families…maybe I can talk her into that job to help me with that part of the photography business! She knocks it out of the park every time. This stylish mama understands that her youngest daughter’s fair complexion and hair means she needs to be in a darker color to make sure she “pops” in photos. She also has a knack for coordinating her daughter and family’s looks without being too matchy, and you know that is everything to photos. You want to look “together” but not clones, am I right?  The mushroom print was phenomenal and looked even more delish in black and white…or is that just me?

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Meet their newest family member, Gatsby.  I loved that he joined us for a few photos, too. These girls are the best “big sisters” to their newest addition. I mean, come on, isn’t he the cutest.
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Back-to-School Mini Sessions Tampa: Sister Pictures

Tampa Back to School Mini Sessions

I seriously cannot get over how cute this family is. I am so lucky to get to photograph them regularly (remember this sweet baby’s newborn session a couple of months ago)! For the last three years Reilly Maguire Photography and I have done our Tampa back to school mini sessions together. This is my most stylized session of the year generally, and although photography props is not usually my thing, how can I resist these? A favorite every time we do these are the apples. We can hardly get two minutes into the session without someone dying to eat one! I love it.

Two year’s ago, it was big sisters turn to enter kindergarten (if you scroll down on this blog post you can see a few of them and how much they have grown), and this year, it was little sister’s turn to enter kindergarten.  I loved seeing how much they have grown and their personalities came through in the pictures. They are as much fun to photograph as they are beautiful to photograph.

 

Taking your own back-to-school pictures?

If you are looking to take your own back to school pictures this week, here are a few hints. I love to incorporate things that are telling of their age and stage. So, below, you can see C’s favorite little tiger was part of the session. You could incorporate a favorite book, or toy, or outfit. Anything that helps you remember your child(ren) at this age. I also recommend picking a location that you can use again and again every year, of course, if you don’t move. A front door, or neighborhood park, or your school are some great ideas. Take sibling shots, but don’t forget each individual child as well. I love a little bit of silly pictures and a more classic portrait, too. Bring props if you want, like a small chalkboard, or printed sign with their grade level preprinted on, or a desk if you have one, number two pencils, apples, fake glasses (remove lenses for glare or pick up some from Target or other shops that may seel the “prop” frames).  I also use “fall” toned colors for my own kids each year so when I put them all together in frames or books, they have a look of continuity. That may be my own OCD, so whatever is YOUR child’s style is great, too! The biggest thing to remember is have fun and let their personalities shine!

Tampa Back to School Mini Sessions

These black and white moments are truly so gorgeous and I hope they find their way to their walls. They definitely have a sisterhood bond that is just perfect!tampa back to school mini sessions, back to school pictures, hamilton creek photography, sister pictures, black and white fine art photographertampa back to school mini sessions, back to school pictures, hamilton creek photographytampa back to school mini sessions, back to school pictures, hamilton creek photography

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Kristin - These came out so great as usual! We love having you capture these special moments. Your work is amazing and we love displaying it in our home. Thanks again!

Riverview Florida Back to School Minis » Tampa Family Photographer Hamilton Creek Photography - […] Riverview Florida back to school minis with Hamilton Creek Photography & Reilly Maguire Photography for 2016 are a wrap! I still have one more set of siblings to blog, but here is another darling set of sisters. Did you see the other set on the blog, if not, click HERE. […]

Longboat Key Beach Pictures: Lifestyle Storytelling film

Longboat Key Beach Pictures

Lifestyle Storytelling Film

 

Ah, Longboat Key. One of my favorite places in the world. Check out these Longboat Key beach pictures below. First up is the lifestyle storytelling film. Video and film is so magical. It not only stops time like photographs do but also captures movement and the raw beauty of families. We are not always perfect. We worry about our children’s behaviors too much. Worry we don’t look as thin as we may like, or our hair may not be all in the right place. But let me tell you, these films, they will be treasured today. They will be treasured when you pull them out to watch again in two years, when your littlest one is no longer in diapers. And again when you are about to see your oldest graduate from high school. Especially when you are left with just you and your mate in your much quieter home, and your own kids have kids the age they once were in these films. Am I right?

Beach Week Clip from Hamilton Creek Photography on Vimeo.

 

I have been slowly incorporating films into sessions for the last year or so.  You may have seen some of my personal project films this year.  However, this session though is incredibly special to me, not only because are they dear family to me, but they also trusted me to try my first fully filmed session. Not a session focused on photos, or snapshots. Rather just letting them be them. A video capturing their cuddles, their playfulness, their special time on their annual beach trip. The mama is the talented Reilly of Reilly Maguire Photography so there is always added pressure to live up to another photographer’s expectation. However, this family is so full of love and sweetness, any nervousness quickly went out the window. I smiled the whole time I was there, and the whole time I edited this. I am so glad we did this and I think I will be forever hooked on films for a long time. DSLR video capabilities make it so much easier to do both now. I am not perfect, but I am going to work my bum off to get better and can’t wait to see videos more often. I did capture a few photos here and there, and learned so much from making this film, so enjoy the clip and shots below.

 

If you are traveling to Tampa, Sarasota, or St. Pete for family vacation, definitely keep me in mind for a film of your vacation. Or, have you don’t the “yearly” pictures every year and want to try something new. I am looking for a few families to capture this fall before the crazy holiday season, so contact me about adding a video portion to your session or a fully filmed session!

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What to Wear Back to School Pictures

What to wear back to school

Back to School Pictures

Hamilton Creek Photography Back-to-school mini-session, what to wear back to school

It has been a while, but I am making Wednesdays my blog posts all about you! Ideas for planning photo outfits, putting together wall galleries, and much more! For What to wear Wednesday, this blog post focuses on what to wear back to school. Or more specifically, what to wear back to school pictures.

I love to help styling and it is one of my favorite parts of being a photographer. I also super love to look at other photographers work who are completely story telling and lifestyle photographers. Where the kids may be in nothing but a favorite character t-shirt and rain boots. I mean, love that more than chocolate. However, for me and my business most families come to Hamilton Creek for portraits that are a bit traditional, and then a lot about connections. They choose me and my style for unique locations that are lovely and full of light and the pièce de résistance is the outfits they choose, which pulls everything together for the art we end up putting on their walls. Don’t get me wrong, I have plenty of dirty t-shirt, messy rain and mud pictures in my home, too, but this what to wear Wednesday is for the more styled, or wardrobe conscious client.

This blog post is about back to school pictures in particular. I can’t be the only mom who wants great back to school pictures to torture, I mean, look back fondly with my kids??  I am not talking about the school pictures most of us get at our schools though. The cheesy fake green screen backdrops and out of focus pictures we get every year. No way! Instead, I buy one “school picture” outfit that is fun. An outfit that is totally the kids style for that moment. Of course, being a photographer, I know it will also looks great in the portraits I set up. Our kids wear uniforms on the daily. This outfit is the one chance to think school and some fun fashion.

Lucky you if your kiddos get to wear fun clothing all school year! I also have fond memories of doing the annual “front porch” first day of school pictures with my best friend and we always wore our “first day of school” outfits in those, too. So this blog post is for you moms and dads out there who may want to capture your own first day of school pictures and need some help with getting stylish outfits that look great on film, too.

We also have two spots for our back-to-school limited edition sessions on Sunday, July 31st, with both myself and Reilly of Reilly Maguire Photography there to take the back-to-school picture stress away from you! Email me today to snag one of those spots!

More details on the Tampa back-to-school mini sessions HERE.

 

Style tips for putting together a

fun, child friendly, “photo-fantastic” outfit this fall!

  • Layer, layer, layer. I know, it is HOT in summer and with kids going back to school earlier in Tampa Bay this year, we are going to be sweating! But layering doesn’t always mean sweaters and jackets. It can be a light t-shirt under or over a button down short sleeve, or rolled up long sleeve oxford. It can be a simple additional of layered necklaces over a dress for girls. The big thing is to wear layers to bring interest to the photo and outfit and not just be a dress and shoes kind of a look.
  • Color  and pattern! Don’t be afraid to put some color in your outfit. Is your kid’s favorite color pink, well let her wear pink. Just layer some other color or pattern so she doesn’t look like cotton candy. I love one strong pattern mixed with maybe even a coordinating, not matching pattern for extra style. It isn’t for everyone. If you are a traditional kind of a parent, and love tradition, go for it! Just add some color and traditional patterns like gingham, or plaid. I mean, doesn’t plaid just scream back-to-school to you?
  • Watch out for logos and characters. This is a toughy for me. I know for me, I want my kids’ character to come out, and sometimes that means letting them wear their favorite Star Wars t-shirts in pictures over and over again. The photographer in mean knows a large logo or character shirt can take away from the picture though if the character t-shirt you choose is too much. I mean, a bright primary colored Pokemon t-shirt next to a sibling’s unicorn shirt of contrasting colors is probably not going to look cohesive.  Instead, go for a more subtle approach. Look online for a vintage wash t-shirt or something that stands the test of time instead of screams POKEMON. Which, with all the Pokemon Go out there, maybe that is fitting. The boys really love Harry Potter right now, and to me, that is them, that is school appropriate, so we plan on using one of the books in their session…probably will get talked into the wand, too. And, my goal is to get some softer t-shirts I can layer over their outfits for a few shots, too.
  • Be comfortable!  Clearly, this should be easy to understand, but make sure your outfits are child friendly and don’t wrinkle or are too fussy. Again, let the kid be a kid, and make sure it is moveable, breathable, and not itchy scratchy or wrinkles easily.

The good news is that back to school style is out already, in most every store, and online. Before you head out the door, check online for a favorite idea so you don’t have to spend hours away from the pool or summer fun, I mean, it is STILL summer. Here are a few links to back-to-school areas of some of my favorite stores to find children’s clothing. Of course, the best part of putting together outfits is taking a bit of some stores and mixing them together so you don’t look the same as everyone else, and you are not too “matchy.”

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(picture above from H&M, click image to be taken to their site to order or for more information)

  • Old Navy – http://oldnavy.gap.com/ – Their site is focused on the uniforms hard right now, but if you peruse their online outfits you may see something that works. I love this fall colored print dress below. But, I am pretty sure if I had a little girl, the burnt orange cord dress would HAVE to be mine! Coupled with some funky knee high socks, a sweet and simple t-shirt or blouse and fun boots or Converse sneakers! what to wear back to school, what to wear fall, back to school pictures, hamilton creek photographywhat to wear back to school, what to wear fall, back to school pictures, hamilton creek photography

(pictures above from Old Navy, click image to go to the web site)

  • Abercrombie Kids, https://www.abercrombiekids.com/shop/us this is the biggest place I hit deals and stylish outfits for our own boys. They actually have a ton of fun plaid for girls right now, and some amazing relaxed chinos for boys, more of the tappered jogger type pants for boys. Pluscamo inspired dress outfits that I know our boys love. This unicorn t-shirt would look amazing with a sparkly sweater or shirt over it (just make sure the tank fits and it not too big or it may look sloppy) and pair it with fun shorts and rain boots, or other colorful pants that bring out your child’s personality! what to wear back to school, what to wear fall, back to school pictures, hamilton creek photography

(picture above from Abercrombie Kids, click image to be taken to their web site)

Need more??? Check out last year’s blog post about boys’ fashion for back-to-school. Or find more style help by following me on Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/HamiltonCreek/ or my back to school idea board!

 

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Boca Grande Family Beach Pictures: Vacation Pictures

Boca Grande Family Beach Pictures

 Vacation Pictures Around Tampa Bay

When families contact me to photograph their families on vacation around Tampa, I am always so excited. It means I get to meet new people, explore new beaches, and know that the images we capture will be forever memories of special family vacations.  This was my first time to Boca Grande. Let me tell you, Boca Grand family beach pictures could definitely be my jam. It was a bit of a drive, but oh so worth the drive. The beach was so wide open and beach goers were few and far between. The skies were definitely working in our favor after Tropical Storm Collin went through and left us with lovely waves for added beach texture and the most glorious skies. I loved that most of the session was simple enhancements in editing and everything looked this amazing pretty much straight out of camera. That meant this family had a ton of images to go through in their gallery. While we are still working on their order…and I can’t wait to see what they pick for their walls…they did decide to go with my digital package so they can reprint their images on their own, too.  The best part of beach sessions is the variety we can usually get because usually I start at least an hour before sunset, and shoot for an hour. This particular night, with all the rain, we started a bit earlier, and I love how sunlit the early shots by the palm trees were. With that extra time, of course kids can get tired, but some of my favorite beach pictures are when families just play and the kids snuggle their parents when they are tired. I always recommend brining water and some clean snacks if your kids are like mine, and get a bit goofy when they are tired and or hungry…a snack or water break can sometimes give us that ten minutes we need to get to the magic light! In this case, the kids were so well behaved we didn’t need anything but a few moments of snuggles and running up and down the beach to get the sillies out. I hope you love these images as much as we did and if you are here for this gorgeous family please leave them a comment below to help them get a gift print from me!

Oh, and see them in action with a little video fusion slideshow below!

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Michelle - These pictures are just dreamy! I love me some beach sessions. So, so fun!!

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