MacDill Help Portrait

Is this my portfolio for the last month or two? Nope, these are 9 family portraits shot in 3 hours recently. Read on to learn more!

I recently participated in the Help Portrait event. Check out their web site to learn more, but basically, it's about photographers donating their time and abilities to provide portraits to individuals or families in need. There were lots of great events planned around Tampa Bay, but I decided to arrange my own for the benefit of military families stationed at MacDill AFB. While these families may not necessarily fit the idea of "those in need" outlined by Help Portrait, I decided that they all deserved free portraits for their sacrifice and service.

The event itself was rather crazy, trying to get several poses in addition to various groupings (kids only, father and son, etc.) in the allotted time. Sort of like a speed dating version of a photo session! We held the event at the MacDill Family Resource Center in Brandon since most MacDill families live in that area. The FRC has a computer lab on site, and their folks were able to pull an image from the shoot and place it into an electronic greeting card right there on the spot. Very cool.

Thank you to all the MacDill families who participated in the event! You all did a great job! My favorites are compiled in the photo at the beginning of this post, but here are few more...

A big thank you to all the participating families, and all active duty military families around the world. Most of us will never fully appreciate the extent of your sacrifice. Giving you these family portraits seems like a pretty small gesture in comparison.

Thank you.

Kathryn's Christmas Card Photos, Sawgrass Lake Park

Well, it's that time of year...annual family portrait season just in time so send those holiday cards to everyone. Karen, Vanessa and I already paid Kevin and MJ a visit for our annual photos (to be posted soon). But today we're looking at photos taken for Kathryn. We had a lovely day (perfectly overcast = good for photos) at Sawgrass Lake Park. We probably saw half a dozen other groups doing photos that same day. Tis the season!

Kathryn and her son Leo hang out near some trees. Kathryn mentioned she was interested in using pine trees as elements in the photos. There were plenty at the park to work with and incorporate into the scenes.

As usual, most of my favorites are when they are relaxed and just being themselves.

Kathryn even brought someone special along for the shoot...her dog Bella. Luckily, we found some random guy to hold Bella's leash and keep her in the photo. Just kidding, Jordan.

Another one of the whole group.

We strolled around the park until we found another spot with beautiful light. We took a few moments to just concentrate on Kathryn and Leo.

Right when I heard Kathryn mention pine trees, I knew I wanted to take them to this spot in the back of the park. The sun peeked out for a few minutes which added a nice touch.

We took a break from the posed stuff and just had them stroll around together. Very cool.

If the bright sun is going to come out, we might as well use it!

Remember, Leo, never climb on top of boardwalk pavilions. Leave that to photographers who think getting the photo is more important than personal safety. Besides, it was chilly that day; the alligators were pretty lethargic.

A few on a bench in one of the pavilions.

Dogs aren't allowed out on the boardwalks, so Kathryn, Leo and I ventured out into the swamp for some more photos. The previous photos look like they could've been taken anywhere, but these let you know we are definitely in Florida.

A wider angle incorporates some of the forest into the shot.

After we were "done" I couldn't help hiding around the next corner to sneak a few more photos of these two acting natural.

Thanks so much for thinking of me to shoot your holiday photos! Everything came together; a beautiful family, a beautiful park, and perfect weather. Not to mention a very cooperative dog! How often does that happen?