The Only Little Girl in the Park | Tampa Kids Photographer

I got a phone call when I was just two or three minutes from the park.  I could hear the disappointment in Brittany's voice.  My clients had already arrived at our location, and they were calling me in dismay.  It seems that there was an outdoor concert getting ready to start at the park that they had chosen to hold their family photo session... and there were crowds of people forming already.  I said a quick prayer and then headed on over, hoping that we could beat the crowds.  My clients had a brick engraved with their family's names on it, placed down by the riverwalk.  They took their little girl to this park often, and it was very special to them.  And if you know me, I love to incorporate familiar and meaningful places into my family photo sessions, and I certainly didn't want to disappoint them by having to move to another park instead.  I was hopeful. So I pulled out my trusty 85mm lens, and we stayed toward the edges of the crowds.  Thankfully, the concert-goers were all gathering in the sunniest spots on the lawn, which I wanted to avoid anyway.  I assured Jack and Brittany that all would be well, that we could stay after all, and we began shooting.

I am excited to share these images with you, not only because I adore this family (this is my fourth session with them), but because I'm excited to show them the results of our session amidst a crowd of a hundred plus people, in the middle of downtown Tampa.

© Stacey Woods Photography 2011

© Stacey Woods 2011Doesn't she look like she's the only little girl in the entire park?  There was a line of concert-goers walking behind her, camera left, just outside the frame.

© Stacey Woods 2011And there were three other people frolicking in the fountain nearby.  ;)

© Stacey Woods Photography 2011

© Stacey Woods 2011Sunlight + water = a happy child!  (And backlight + a gorgeous little girl playing in a fountain = a very happy photographer!)

© Stacey Woods Photo 2011 What hundred extra people, you say?!  Right.  It's all about working with what you have, and I'd say we got dealt a beautiful hand, packed concert and all!  Thanks so much, Jack, Brittany and Lena, for a lovely night at the park!  I truly enjoyed every minute of it (well, except the lovebugs!), and I hope you did too.  xo

This and That... More or Less.

I have started many a blog entry recently, only to save it to drafts and never finish it... then I'd come back and restart a new post... save that one to draft, etc.  And guess how many I've actually published?  ;)  I think I've gotten a little bogged down with various projects and different things, birthday parties and company, Spring Break (oh my word that one crept up on me while I wasn't looking!).  And as is the case with most of us creative-types, it becomes hard to focus sometimes.  Do you ever feel that way?  The last few weeks have seemed to transform from all-the-time-in-the-world to not-a-minute-left-for-this-or-that instead.  And that has left me a little wispy I think. So tonight's blog post is going to be a mish-mash of things until I can properly put my head on straight and write from the heart the way I like to.  Which I hope will be before the end of this week!  Whew.


April is almost over, and I've only got a few more dates in May left open for sessions.  Most of the weekends are booked up already, but I do have some weekday sessions available if you'd like to go that route.  With the days beginning earlier (or rather, with the sun coming up earlier in the mornings), I typically start my sessions around 8am or so if we're going to be outdoors, to take advantage of the soft, pleasing "golden hour" of course.  This longer day also means that I am able to shoot later in the evening and catch this beautiful light softly glowing around you.  I realize that this might not work so well for a few toddlers, but it should be perfect for seniors and most family sessions ~ yes, those of you whose children do not melt down between the "witching hours" of 4pm and 6pm like my own kiddos do.  ;)  Some days, there isn't enough Starbucks in the world to help get me through those two hours with the miniature drama queen in my house.



I will be out of the office beginning Wednesday, May 5, and returning Monday, May 10.  I'll be attending An Extraordinary Workshop, because I firmly believe in constantly furthering one's education, no matter what career path you've chosen.  There is always, always, something to be learned in a creative field (and in any business, I feel).  To be honest, I am going to love spending some time with a few fellow photographers and especially my sweet friend Joyce!

Attending the workshop also means that I'm leaving my children (overnight!) for two nights in a row.  *Gasp.*  I've left Parker with Chris, for a couple of nights, just once.  But I was pregnant with Lila then so it really wasn't all that hard for him to handle.  I do feel a bit sorry for Chris now though, since has to watch Parker AND Lila this time, and for two nights and three days...  School drop off.  School pickup.  Daycare dropoff.  Daycare pickup.  Breakfasts, lunches, dinners.  Bedtimes.  Potty-trips.  Boo-boos.  Tantrums.  Morning rush.  Bless his heart...  I'm sure he'd appreciate it greatly if you sent up a prayer or two for him, and maybe moreso if you actually dropped off a cold beverage (or four) by the house while I'm gone.  ;)


This little fella turned six last week, as you know.  My heart is reeling, but so proud of the big boy he's becoming.  We got some AMAZINGLY EXCITING NEWS this afternoon in the mail that made us want to jump up and down and call every family member we have.  Which we practically did!  He's been evaluated twice now for the Gifted Program, and so far has blown through the tests, and we're beyond impressed and amazed at his IQ and his level altogether.  It was such a blessing for me to sit and talk to the district's psychologist this evening, about Parker's intelligence and his learning methods, and to actually think "Wow, my kid really IS as smart as I think he is."  Of course, we, as parents, tend to think that our children are the smartest, the best, the prettiest, the sweetest, the funniest, the best in sports, etc.  But to actually hear some of the same phrases you've said to yourself over the years, come from the mouth of a "Professional"... well, it's just an honor to be given the privilege of raising an exceptional child like this.  Parker got to choose the restaurant this afternoon (ahem, Skyline Chili of course), because he "passed his test" or so he put it.  I told him that he had gotten some pretty great scores on a test, and that it meant that he could be anything he dreamed of being when he grew up.  An astronaut, a doctor, a scientist, a surgeon....  He asked me what exactly a surgeon was, and I told him that it was a kind of doctor who could open up a heart, for example, and put it back together the right way, so that the person would be healed, and be healthy again.  And do you have any idea what he said?  "So, I can fix Momaw."  (My grandma has congestive heart failure, among numerous other health issues, and Parker always remembers her being on oxygen when we visit her in Kentucky.  My other grandma had breast cancer a few years ago, and although she's thankfully cancer-free now, Parker told me that he wanted to "fix her too".)

I thought I was proud of Parker for his gift of intelligence, but truly, the gift that I'm proudest of is his kind, caring heart.  I could not have been more proud of him at that moment. My heart nearly burst.


And finally, a quick share from a recent session with the always-delightful Lena and her amazing parents.  I promise to devote a full post to this family a bit later, but I know that her parents are just dying to see a preview of our playdate together!





That's it for now!  I'm off to bed, before the sun comes up and catches me.  ;)

the superheroes | part one

I recently got to hang out with two young superheroes-in-training.  Both of these oh-so-cute brothers were celebrating their birthdays, and I got to play with them for a little while before their celebration took place at the Hall of Justice.  ;) First, we practiced our Lurking.  A superhero always has to be stealthy, on the lookout for villians... and, ahem, photographers.  Just ask Spiderman!  I was certainly happy to play the role of Peter Parker this day!


Next, we must practice our Hulk-Smashing and Web-Slinging "THWIP!"  "POW!"  "KA-BOOM!"  "WOP!"


And we must search for the perfect fence to try out our Wall-Crawling. A good superfriend must always be ready to climb, scale, and leap over tall buildings (and wooden fences) in a single bound.




And if that isn't enough superhero training, why, then we just wait until the REAL Batman and Spidey show up to take over.  :) be continued!

holiday schedule, and a few more images too!

Just wanted to give you a little update now that we're fully into December and the holidays are almost HERE!!!  :)  This is my absolute favorite time of year, but WOW at the busy-ness!  My labs are working overtime and crazy hours to get all the prints, canvases, albums and image boxes back in time for Christmas delivery, and I'm pulling lots of late nights getting everyone's orders in and put together, shipped out, blogged HA!, and delivered!  I even have a few new sessions to share before we close up for 2009 and await the New Year! That said, my holiday schedule will continue through December 17.  Stacey Woods Photography will be closed from Friday, December 18 until Monday, January 11.  (Excepting newborn and maternity clients, which must be photographed during all-important, fleeting, very specific timeframes to ensure the best images possible!).  If you're already on my books for the first week of January, have no fear.  You're still in!  :)  I am starting to book up January now so definitely place a call or send over an email if you'd like to get on the schedule for January or February.  And if you have an order outstanding, please wait just a little longer!  It's coming shortly, I promise!

Now, to share a few images from some recent sessions.  I've been almost afraid to post some of these for fear that I'm spoiling someone's Christmas card or present!  ;)  But I think I'm safe to share these, so here we go!


This is a lovely family that I met at the last Baby Loves Disco event in Tampa.  They looked me up again this year for a Christmas session, and I'm so glad they did!  Little A was so funny and so spirited the entire shoot!  He made me work for it!  :)

Preschoolers go their own way, that's for certain... right into Daddy's arms.  Ahhh, sweetness.


And how I love this sweet still moment with Mama.  He had the most gorgeous lashes, really.



And I know you can't see it in this black and white photo above, but Mom had on some KILLER red pumps.  :)  Loved them, and loved the energy of this family.  Can't wait until next time, sweet S family!  Hope you have a wonderful holiday.

busy as a little bee

Lately I've been busy-busy, hunkered down behind my desk getting my canvas displays ready, finalizing client albums and prints, having the most fun sessions ever, ordering new marketing pieces with my BRAND NEW LOGO, yay!  Anyhow, I haven't had much time to be online lately but I wanted to pop in here and let you know that I'll be posting fun sessions again soon!  In the meantime, here is the little one who helps me during the day while Bubby is at preschool.  Isn't she precious?  How could I possibly get anything done without her?  (Wait, let me rephrase that.... How could I possibly get anything done without her sitting on my lap?!  lol.) pick me up!

Or sitting at my feet, standing up beside my legs, reaching up into my lap.  ;)  And no, I didn't do anything special to her eyes, other than focusing on them at a very wide aperture.  They got no special sharpening or dodging or anything like that, I just sharpened the whole image for web.  She's just plain beautiful, isn't she?!  Bedhead, PJs and all.

at mama's desk

I can't imagine my workdays without her!

By the way, can y'all believe that I'm scheduling for the fall already?!  August is almost full, and September and October are filling up as well.  June still has about two or three session dates available, and July is looking busy so far as well.  If you'd like to book a session with me this summer, please go ahead and contact me as soon as you can so I can be sure to get you on my schedule.  Typically, my autumn months book up backwards due to Christmas deadlines and such.  I plan on announcing my Holiday Mini-Sessions just as soon as I get the dates and locations firmed up.  So stay tuned for more news on that!  I'll be back soon.  :)

baby LOVED disco!!

Okay, so I know y'all have had your eye out for these.  :)  Baby Loves Disco's Tampa Launch was a huge success!  Here are a few "detail shots" and then I'll showcase some of the kiddos.... Baby Loves Disco was graciously hosted by the Blue Martini, which is located within the Shops at Bay Street in the International Plaza.  

Baby News Bits was one of the fabulous sponsors!  Check them out here.  Every mom needs to go to their site right NOW because they've got amazing ideas and sooo very many resources for parents.  Seriously.... I was browsing their site and could have stayed there forever!

LOADS more sponsors.... Yogani (providing parent massages), the Parent Guide, Stroller Strides (who provided the fantastic Stroller Parking - thanks Natalie!), Cleanwell, Moms Like Me, Precious Cargo (who hosted a fantastic dress-up corner!) Aveda Level2 Salonspa (and their super-fun GlamLounge!), and so many more....  Check 'em out!

I was even able to sit down with a few of the kids and have some quickie-shoots.  My favorite part of the day!!  Take a peek....

And lastly, my own disco babies!  :)  My husband brought our kids so they could enjoy the festivities too!  Parker had a blast, as you can see below....  and Lila, well, Lila was a little sleepy (aka needing her Mama).  And since Mama had to work, we compromised.  I can't tell you how much I adore this baby carrier!!!  (Link posted for all you moms and dads who have asked me about it!)  And obviously, another little someone likes it too.  ;)

Parents, your slideshow gallery of the day will be posted to my site in just a couple of days.  Those of you who provided your email address will receive an alert from me when the gallery goes live.... the rest of the parents in attendance, just check the blog here in a couple of days for your link.  For now, enjoy the preview!


ETA:  Here is the link to the slideshow!  When prompted, enter the password "babylovesdisco" (all lowercase, without quotes).  You may email me or simply call me to order!  And remember, you'll get 15% off your order for mentioning you were at Baby Loves Disco!

dance, baby, dance!

Listen up, Tampa Bay mamas and daddies!  I've got the perfect place for you to take the kids tomorrow....  Baby Loves Disco!!  What is Baby Loves Disco, you ask??  Well, it's just the hippest place for Tampa Bay's parents AND kiddos to hang out, that's what.  Baby Loves Disco is a supercool event that transforms an already-hip grown-up spot into an even more fun -- and kid-friendly -- hangout!  Meet me at the Blue Martini at International Plaza in Tampa, from 11am until 2pm on Sunday, February 15th.   In true "disco style", the Blue Martini will be breaking out a disco ball over the dance floor, with classic 70s dance music so y'all can get your groove on with the little ones!  Yogani will be there with chair massages for the parents, as well as a "Chill Lounge" with a Dress-Up Corner!  There will be healthy snacks served, and even a Juice Box Bar (how cool is that?!) for the kids, and spirits for the non-driving parent!.  Aveda will be on hand with a Glam Make-up Lounge.  The Parent Guide and Baby News Bits are providing balloons and face-painting..... so many things to let YOU relax and your KIDS have a ball. There will be "stroller parking" provided by Stroller Strides as well, so be sure to bring baby's wheels!

Lastly, Stacey Woods Photography will be a sponsor as well, and I'll be there to capture the fun of the day!  I'll also be shooting a few "mini-session style" portraits (with exclusive discounts!) for the fun families who attend Baby Loves Disco.

Don't miss out!  My family and I will see you there....

a fresh start.

Wow.  What a week!  As I sit here thinking about this week's happenings and activities, I can't help but think that this is a fresh start for so many of us.  Of course, the Presidential Inauguration was the spotlight feature.  So many Americans are filled with new hope and are whispering a prayer for change at this moment!  In our personal lives, my husband Chris started a new job this week (yay!), and we are all four in the middle of the awkward ballet that is our new routine.  Hopefully we'll get it all figured out this coming week.  And I, finally, am back on the Blog Train today!!!  Show of hands, did all (um, three) of you faithful blog-readers miss me?!  LOL!  I promise I'll be a better blogger in 2009.  :) Believe it or not, I still have sessions from 08 to catch up on showing y'all.  So without further ado... 

This little guy stole my heart.  I love this age...  curious, joyful, and so in awe of their little (big) world.

And isn't he lucky to have two parents who are so in awe of HIM?  :)  I love that.

Loved his little curled up toes by the pool!  ;)

Now tell me.... who in the world could resist that face?  Wouldn't it be soooo difficult to say "no" to those big melt-you-in-a-minute eyes?!  I'd have him spoiled for sure!

Thanks, guys, for an amazing session.  I had so much fun with your sweet family!!