our Journal

Tampa Family Photographer Year in Review

2017 has come and gone…how did that happen? Happy New Year to you all!!!  This year has been so good. I feel so lucky to do what I do and am thankful for all of you who let me document your families this year. Whether it was the first time we met, or the sixth time, I thank you! This time of year is always a great time to reflect on the year, the highs and the lows. The next few weeks will certainly be setting new goals for 2018. I am not really one for “resolutions. Are you? I like to set goals instead. But before I do that, it is always fun to look back at my Tampa family photographer Year in Review.

Funny thing is my first session of 2017 was also my subject for my last session of 2017. See how much this little one grew in one year if you can make it through the five and a half minute slideshow…

2017 in Review from Hamilton Creek Photography on Vimeo.

 

Last year around this time, I was focusing on putting together my set of images for peer review by Clickin Moms and applying for “Click Pro.” Which happily I made early on in 2017. I spend much of 2017 in “education mode.” This year I learned  from a few other photographers in an online format. In February, I am super excited to be going to Click Away. That will in person learning and meeting many people in my online photography “tribe.”

 

In 2018, I definitely want to get back to me. What moves me? What matters to my clients? I hope to make portaits that tell a story along the way.  A lot of photographers get in this place where there is so much constant pressure to be “liked” or followed, and get social media acceptance by others. I find myself in that same hard place of being part of a photography community, but also still just being me and doing what I love. Not what other people are doing and what other people love. For these reasons, I really think you may see less of me on social media in 2018.

 

I love being connected to others in the social community, but it often times feels like this ferris wheel you can’t get off. Then you do stop and think, why I am I spending so much time wanting to be liked by virtual strangers? It just isn’t me. I am not one of the cool kids, I am not really into keeping up with the Joneses in real life, so I am not sure why I do that in photography. I still love to share the work I am creating, and love when my clients share their images, too. However, I just feel empty when I am focusing on what other people will like instead of what moves me.

 

This year, for 2018, my goal is to stay authentic in my photography. I hope that makes sense and isn’t too personal to share in this upbeat year in review slideshow.

 

Hopefully this step back from social media will help me get back to blogging…which I have failed at miserably this year. My goal for sure is to put together more meaningful content on the blog this year. Not just share sessions, but give some photography experiences that clients can use in their lives beyond pretty photo sessions. What do you want to see on the blog this year? I am thinking of sharing what to wear ideas again, more ideas for displaying your photos, and just some location ideas for around Tampa Bay.  I would love to hear what you would like to see more of, too!

 

With that, I leave you with a few favorites to end out the year in NYC for Christmas. This is the boys in Times Square. Ah, doesn’t get more magical, right? In reality, and keeping to authenticity, the crowds overwhelm me, I stress and panic, I curse, I get angry, but giving them the world through travel is our goal as parents, so I let go of my anxiety in crowded spots for them. I definitely was already focusing on my future plans for less big camera time when with our family. I left my camera in the hotel for over half of the trip. I almost didn’t bring it at all, but being the first trip to NYC for the boys, I am glad I listened to a few fellow photog friends and didn’t do that.

 

Being present and letting the moment go undocumented for most of the trip worked wonderfully for our short family trip. I look forward to documenting our travels for 2018, and hopefully I will get better at editing our own family photos in a timely manner…I am still editing travels from the past four years when I find time.

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Hugs & love to you all for a more peaceful and happy 2018.

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St. Pete Wedding Photographer: Vinoy

Vinoy St. Pete Wedding Sneak Peak for the Robbins

Oh my lanta, what a fun wedding this was. Not short of the unexpected…nothing like your rabbi getting stuck in traffic on route to your ceremoy…but even that panic could not stop this beautiful couple’s love from shining through the entire day! We had the perfect sunset ceremony in the Tea Garden at the Vinoy Renaissance in St. Petersburg, Florida.Then it was off the the Sunset Ballroom to dance the night away.  The band, The Brett Foreman Band was one of the best wedding performers I have had the pleasure of being around at a wedding for sure!  This laid back, sweet couple truly pulled off one of the most beautiful weddings ever. Much more to see when the final gallery is ready for this St. Pete Wedding, but for now, enjoy a look at J&J’s wedding day! If you are here for them, make sure you leave them some love in a comment below, too!

Updated blog post to show their wedding video fusion. My first time really incorporating some video clips throughout the day, and still photos, and although it isn’t perfect it sure shows more dynamics of J&J’s big day, so enjoy it here –

Robbins 2017 from Hamilton Creek Photography on Vimeo.

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I just love a good first look, and this one was super quick and super fun! Someone definitely liked the back of the Mrs’ dress!st pete wedding, st pete florida wedding photographer, vinoy wedding pictures, st pete wedding photographerst pete wedding, st pete florida wedding photographer, vinoy wedding pictures, st pete wedding photographerst pete wedding, st pete florida wedding photographer, vinoy wedding pictures, st pete wedding photographerst pete wedding, st pete florida wedding photographer, vinoy wedding pictures, st pete wedding photographerst pete wedding, st pete florida wedding photographer, vinoy wedding pictures, st pete wedding photographerst pete wedding, st pete florida wedding photographer, vinoy wedding pictures, st pete wedding photographer

I wonder if this group is for hire. They slayed all day! st pete wedding, st pete florida wedding photographer, vinoy wedding pictures, st pete wedding photographerst pete wedding photographer, st pete wedding, st pete florida wedding photographer, vinoy wedding picturesvinoy st pete wedding, st pete wedding photographer, st pete wedding photographerst pete wedding, st pete florida wedding photographer, vinoy wedding pictures, st pete wedding photographerst pete wedding, st pete florida wedding photographer, vinoy wedding pictures, st pete wedding photographerst pete wedding, st pete florida wedding photographer, vinoy wedding pictures, st pete wedding photographerst pete wedding, st pete florida wedding photographer, vinoy wedding pictures, st pete wedding photographerst pete wedding, st pete florida wedding photographer, vinoy wedding pictures, st pete wedding photographerst pete wedding photographer, st pete wedding, st pete florida wedding photographer, vinoy wedding picturesst pete wedding photographer, st pete wedding, st pete florida wedding photographer, vinoy wedding picturesst pete wedding photographer, st pete florida wedding photographer, vinoy wedding pictures

 

 

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Tampa Back To School Pictures: Winthrop Town Center

Winthrop Town Center Riverview

Tampa back to school pictures are some of my favorites I shoot every year.  How is it possible we have fourth graders? I honestly don’t know how that happened. It seems like yesterday we were finally bringing both these precious boys home from the NICU…but I digress. Here they are, at nine years old and entering fourth grade this year.

Look back at our little kindergarteners on the blog HERE. Not only have they changed, but my editing sure has, too. Five years means lots of growth for everybody! I promised them this year we would be quick, and we were able to stop and get mini-donuts afterwards! Bonus for doing the Tampa back to school pictures at Winthrop Town Center. They have Remi’s Minis (yes, fantastic mini-donuts out of a cute airstream)!

I had to capture them in “the yellow” desk again this year. Thankfully my friend Reilly, of Reilly Maguire Photography, still has all the set up…I bring the pencils and the apples.  We were both able to get our kiddos pictures this year together and we invited a few friends too.

I will remember this year as the year the boys finally got into reading. They both are devouring the Harry Potter series.  It was hard to get them to stop reading to get some photos other than the tops of their heads. I could not be happier as a sucker for all things Harry Potter and as a lover of books! If you look back to last year’s session HERE, Raleigh has the first book of the series in his hands…but he just could not get into it.

back to school pictures, riverview florida photographer, what to wear back to school pictures, tampa back to school picturesback to school pictures, riverview florida photographer, what to wear back to school pictures, tampa back to school picturesOnce again, the apples were a BIG hit with the kids!

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Hey, remember this “puppy” well (see their photos from last year HERE), now he is a grown up one year old, but they just welcomed baby puppy sister a few weeks before this session, so how could we not do some photos with baby girl this year?

back to school pictures, riverview florida photographer, what to wear back to school pictures, tampa back to school picturesThese images below are my forever favorites, because I love these kids more than chips! They are all such good friends, and although they don’t see each other every day, or as much as when they were littler, they can pick up and be crazy together and it is like no time has passed. back to school pictures, riverview florida photographer, what to wear back to school pictures, tampa back to school pictures

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Rainbow River Pictures: Underwater Photography

Underwater Photography Tampa

Ah, summer. Where did you go?  Why is it summer always flys by? We will never know, but for now, we can reminisce about you, dear summer. Here is a snapshot of our adventures at Rainbow River State Park. These Rainbow River pictures are priceless to me. They wouldn’t be the same without being underwater, capturing the true beauty of the tubing experience.

I am so glad I tried the Dicapac underwater bag this summer. I love my old smaller underwater camera and housing, and can’t replace the adventures I took it on. However, the Dicapac bag; which is basically is a heavy duty ziplock bag over my bigger DSLR, has captured some true magic from some of our adventures this summer. When I finally make it through all of our trip pictures, I will share more for sure! Even simple things like water balloon fights in our back yard are more fun with the Dicapac bag!

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Rainbow spring are so clear, so cold and so refreshing.  We had this adventure with our swim friends, and had the most fun. Their kiddos were braver than mine when we started. But by the end, we were all enjoying the fun of the springs.

Here is my advice if you are looking for your own adventure at Rainbow River.  We launched from the Rainbow Springs tubing launch at this address: 10830 S.W. 180th Ave Rd, DunnellonFL 34432. There are many sites that will tell you conflicting information, so best to call the State Park if you need information before you go! The entrance fee for our car was $5, but we kept our receipt because we later drove to the headsprings entrance later and didn’t have to pay again. You should plan on an early arrival because once the lot is full, the park is full.

Find more details here – https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/Rainbow-Springs.  We brought our own tubes, which we later realized was silly…and you are better off just getting them from the launch site because the price is the same and our tubes didn’t stay inflated as well as the park’s tubes! Our other advice is to bring a cord to tie your tubes together so you stay together. I didn’t freak about the boys going to far off, or running into the grassy parts on the edge of the river because we had three adults keeping us all together.

However, we also spent most of our time jumping off the tubes or like me, floating sans tube down the river. I just loved being in the water, and I put on quite a show for a few rafters trying to get back on my tube…but I digress! Next time we will alo take goggles as well!

Our last bit of advice, is to pack a cooler. You can leave it in your car, and enjoy it after the tube trip at the headsprings park. The park has covered picnic tables a plenty. You can then enjoy the “swimming area” at the spring.  You cannot take tubes there, but a noodle or life jackets for weaker swimmers is a great idea. It is VERY DEEP! Even just off the dock and the stairs in, you can’t touch. At all. It is exhausting! So worth the exhaustion though! Enjoy the pictures and if you want to take me on your own underwater adventure, you know I would love it. Email me for details!

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rainbow river springs, rainbow river pictures, underwater photography, underwater photographer tampaI love these out of focus rafters down the river.  It was so peaceful and beautiful!rainbow river springs, rainbow river pictures, underwater photography, underwater photographer tampa

Tiny bubbles! Love the pockets of light along the tubing route and all those light bokeh spots from the sunshine and bubbles!

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rainbow river springs, rainbow river pictures, underwater photography, underwater photographer tampaMy personal favorite below <3 especially when they were so timid as we started!
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We even saw a “real life mermaid!”

rainbow river springs, rainbow river pictures, underwater photography, underwater photographer tampaThe headsprings area was so full of people, but so much fun and so many fish!!!

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Tampa Family Pictures: Farm Travel Session

Tampa Traveling Photographer: Illinois Farm Travel Session

This summer has been so full of travels for our family. I haven’t shared much on the blog. Only a few snaps on Instagram and Facebook. Now that school is back, it is back to work, and I can work on editing some of the photos I took while vacationing. This summer, one of our stops was with my best friend in Illinois.  Yes, this is about Tampa family pictures, but not actually shot in Tampa this time. This sessions was on an actual working farm in Bloomington, Illinois. I would go back in a heart beat, the lower humidity and temps, and gorgeous sunlight, yup, any time!

When I say my best friend, I mean, like lifelong best friend. We have known each other since we were two. We grew up on the same awesome street in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Although her family moved in middle school, we have kept in touch. We both did our things in college, saw each other a few times, but then once we had kids, we were right back to talking all the time. Thankfully, we see each other quite a bit due to their love of Disney and our family living so close to Orlando.

Our kids treat each other like long lost cousins, fight like siblings, and basically we hope will be forever friends, too. Our kids call each of us”Auntie” since we are sisters by choice. I am so grateful I was able to spend a few days with her family this summer. She hasn’t had family photos in a while so of course we had to plan family photos. I did fly up for their youngest’s birth, and did some newborn photos for them, but since then, I am not sure they all have done family photos.

So, without further ado, here is their farm travel sessions and a “few” of my favorites.  Oh, and don’t forget, if you are local to Tampa, now is the time to book your Tampa family pictures for the fall! Limited spots still open for the mini-session dates found HERE, or full sessions available on Sundays through November. Email Brooke@HamiltonCreekPhotography.com today for more details!

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