Location, Location, Location!

As a photographer, I know full well the surrounding environment is one factor that plays a huge role in the outcome of any shoot. Sometimes, I luck out with a beautiful family’s home or wedding in Gulfport’s historic casino. But most of the time, scouting the perfect spot is a key (and fun!) part of my pre-shoot planning.

For the past 7 years, I have shot the same family — which means at this point we have pretty much run the gamut of locations around Tampa Bay! From family portraits at Fort DeSoto and downtown St. Pete’s Murals to the University of Tampa, Sawgrass Lake Park, hidden gems in small local neighborhoods… you get the idea. While each and every one of these were beautiful and provided stunning backdrops to capture this family on film over the years, this year we wanted something a little different. 

So, we stumbled on an amazing, 100%-all-around location in South Tampa for this year’s family session. I was so excited for something new, somewhere I haven’t yet shot. As it turns out, apparently I was late to the game because when we arrived about 50 other photographers thought this location was amazing, too! Around sunset, there was even a park ranger driving telling all the families how wonderful they looked and reminding us all we needed to wrap up soon. I mean, I have never ever experienced something like that before on a photoshoot. It was like trying to find a parking spot at Trader Joe's on a Sunday.

The name of the game that evening was “make it work”. We planned for a session at that spot, and had to stick to the plan because I’d timed the shoot to sync with the setting sun. Making our way through the horde of photographers and families, I finally found the tiniest nook hidden among some sea oats. And I got it to work. So we hunkered down in that exact spot for the entire shoot, and not only did I get it to work, we came out with so, so many amazing photos. 

Sometimes, as a photographer, things don’t go as planned. Weather shifts, lighting stinks, or you end up at your location with 50 other photographers. So getting creative and thinking on the spot is incredibly important, but no matter what pops up - it is possible to do a session while sharing with a slew of photographer and families and walk away with some wonderful variety and stunning images. Take a look below to see how this creative location family photoshoot turned out!