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!


Early Bird Mini Session

Sure, the heat outside is still pretty relentless but the cool weather and the turkey-filled holidays are right around the corner. With that being said, we’re throwing down on an early bird mini-session but there’s only limited openings so reserve your spots pronto!

Same great quality, fun experience yet at an early bird rate.

15 minutes – 3 looks – 1 outfit – private gallery + $175 = Early Bird Mini Session 🙂

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.


Keeping it in Check: Shoeboxed

I’m not going to lie, I hate keeping tabs on receipts for that just in case moment. You know, when Uncle Sam comes knocking on my door and want to take a peek at my receipts for all of my business purchases while he’s spread out all over my living room. And you know these stores are not going to make receipts last more than lifespan of the return policy; the ink always fade faster than your tenure at your first real job at the local fast food joint and the paper gets wrinkled so easily unlike your lovely grandmother. You know the follow is also true, some of these receipts are so small, they’re meant to be shoved into that little corner of your pant pocket to be reborn again as clumps of pocket lint.

Then one Saturday afternoon, I found the holy grail of saving receipts by the ways of an app called Shoeboxed. The app is available for iOS devices (click here) and Android devices (click here).

The app is fairly simple which just requires you to create a ID and then the app will prompt you to take a photograph of the paper receipts. Once you take the photo of the receipt, it goes to a far away land, a physical person reviews the data, and then will input certain fields (ie Cost, Category, Tax) which you can review and edit later on So once you make a purchase for the business, it just take about 10 seconds to do all of this and you don’t have to worry about keeping the physical receipts anymore. If you have a tax or accountant guru, you can also export the data in many different formats that is compatible for Quickbook and Freshbooks, just to name a few. The best part about this app is that it is FREE. Free as in nada, nothing, zero.. FREE!

Give it a try and let me know what you think. As for me, I love it and it’s one less stack of ity-bity pieces of paper that I need to worry about.