As photographers, we tend to plan things out. Sometimes over planning. Don’t get me wrong, there are shoots that need planning, LOTS of planning. Planning has its place, especially in the commercial realm with many factors like deadlines, production schedules and client expectations. But as an artist, sometimes you just have to go with the flow and see what you create. Because much like life, photo shoots, don’t always work out they way we plan them. It’s one of the many reasons why I love shooting lifestyle photography and personal projects. That’s where the freedom to chuck the plan and go with the creative intuition that’s fostered in the moment can really shine.

Take this shoot for instance, I met with Trystan and her grandparents about 8 months ago and we planned a simple personalized shoot for her senior session to take place in October. Working around Trystan’s crazy school and softball schedules wasn’t an issue, it seemed we would have plenty opportunities to do the shoot…if only the weather would cooperate with our availability. Personally, I think Father Time stayed out too late with his boys one night and must have upset Mother Nature because she unleashed a fury this past fall and winter with hell breaking loose. I envisioned the usual calm October weather with rustic leaves and cooler air temps. Instead, we were treated with months atypical Florida weather. Lashing rain and extreme cold temps graced our sunny, palm tree scattered coastlines. We waited and waited until sometime around mid February, when we finally caught a break with both of our freed up schedules and awesome weather. Along with the weather change came a location change…it was all good.


This shoot was a token of appreciation to Trystan from her proud grandparents. These photos weren’t entirely meant for the paid pages in the school year book to display. But more for her Grandparent’s to say, “Hey, we’re so proud of what you and everything have accomplished in your life. You have exemplified the true definition of perseverance, hard work and are now blossoming into a beautiful young woman.” Having my daughter, Liliana, growing up so fast, I totally understood where they were coming from.


Trystan wanted her personality to show through this shoot, tough softball player with a natural girly twist. I think she definitely knocked it out of the park!


Oh, did I mentioned that she not only plays softball but she’s so good that she recently accepted a full scholarship to an in-state university!


We can plan, tweak, and prep all we want but sometimes Mother Nature knows best. Early Spring shined the sunlight on this soon to be high school grad that she definitely deserves. I couldn’t have planned it any better!

The past month I’ve been crazy busy and as a photographer, I have been taken to new parts of town that I’ve never seen or heard of. One thing that has been a constant is this summer in Tampa, Fl is the scorching heat, so much so that I’ve been going to church and repenting all of my sins so I don’t end up in hell when the man up above decides my afterlife assignment. Yet, for some reason, this weekend’s photo shoot was relatively cool. I actually thought that the Cruz’s were officially shutting down the summer just so we could all see little Antonio shine and celebrate his 6 month B-Day.

This photo shoot went down in their neighborhood park that they mentioned to me during our ‘one-on-one’ dinner a few nights before the shoot. Somehow, they overlooked their local park as a “hot spot” but I’m pretty sure they will appreciate the lush and vast green grass their own backyard from now on.

Well, downtown is my playground and on this playground were two newly engaged lovebirds that went by the names of Gigi and Rafael. Okay, so there wasn’t a tree for them to sit on, to catch them in the act and chant “k-i-s-s-i-n-g..” like a little school girl/boy. No, not this time and I was a bit sad that I couldn’t sing “Gig and Rafael sitting in a tree..” Yet something overcame that little bit of disappointment with joy! They will be doing something greater under God’s eyes: They will be getting married in a few short few days and those famous words of “I do” will resonant a lot louder then my inner little school boy “k-i-s-s-i-n-g..” chants.

Curl under a snuggie, grab a slice of real deal pizza, wrap your arm around a loved one and enjoy the following preview. **Raise the Curtains!** I present to you, gigi + ralph, the preview! **ahhhhh…!!**