So many gifts

I love this sweet girl and her precious mama and daddy. I met them when this very big preschooler was just a babe in her mama's tummy, and I've been so blessed to be able to watch her grow these past three years.

Earlier this summer, to mark Isa's 3rd birthday, we went back to the Sand Pearl, which holds very special meaning to Isa's parents. We read her favorite books, we twirled in tutus, we giggled, we dressed up, we played Mommy, we played on the white dunes, splashed in the Gulf, jumped a few waves and got a little bit wet :) and snuggled in blankets with her Mama at the end. 

I left the session so full and happy, nostalgic and thankful. Like I'd just opened a gift that meant the world to me. 

Stacey Woods lifestyle photography for children
Stacey Woods, lifestyle photographer
Horton Hears a Who, by Stacey Woods
Horton Hears a Who 2, by Stacey Woods
Toddler Feet, by Stacey Woods
Sand Pearl Ballerina, by Stacey Woods
Just Like Mommy, by Stacey Woods
Style, Baby  |  by Stacey Woods
All the Giggles, by Stacey Woods
Kisses from Daddy, by Stacey Woods
Family on the Beach, by Stacey Woods
Family on the Dunes, by Stacey Woods
Kicking up Sand with Daddy, by Stacey Woods
Little Girl Curls, photography by Stacey Woods
Catching a Wave, family beach photography by Stacey Woods
Lifestyle Family Photography, Stacey Woods
Kids beach photography by Stacey Woods
Lifestyle Family Photography on Clearwater Beach, by Stacey Woods

Isa's grandparents were in town to visit her (they're from Kentucky too... my favorite kind of people!), and they told me how many of her photos they have up in their home... how they sometimes tear up when they look at them, and how much they appreciate having these photographs to keep Isa close, even though they can't see her every day. 

It was precious of them to share this, and it was encouraging for me to see them so delighted about something that I can give them. A connection to their sweet girl miles away. 

And I will use this gift of mine somehow, someway, until I don't have anything left to give anymore.

Sister and Fur Brother, by Stacey Woods

Just for old time's sake... the last photo (with her cute fur brother, Spencer) is from 2014. It's unbelievable how much Isa has grown and changed in a year! Time passes quickly, friends. Don't waste a minute of it.


If you have to take cover from the rain under a tiki hut....

...then make sure you do so with a super cute and fun family with a great sense of humor! clearwater beach family photographer

clearwater beach photos

Stacey Woods Photography: family photos

Clearwater Beach family photography


Stacey Woods Photography

What an amazing family!  They were such good sports about our infamous Gulf of Mexico / Tampa Bay evening thunderstorms, even despite dodging buckets of rain and having to take cover inside a tiki hut on the beach.  Not quite what we had in mind for our session, of course, but I think we got some pretty awesome images from our time together.

Best of luck to Drew and Morgan on your senior year!!  I hope it's your best one yet.

Elevate: A Fine Art Photography Exploration | December 2011

This image spoke to me as soon as I pressed the shutter.  My little girl is in between waves.  One has just swept over her, and another is breaking and tumbling toward her.  But she's peaceful, focused, and she takes each wave as it comes.

Some days I wish I could just slow down and take it one wave at a time, don't you?  In the family portrait photography business, these late months are always the busiest of the entire year.  We squeeze in extra sessions, we stay up late at night editing, we rush print deliveries and we package them up just as soon as they come in.  We appreciate this time while it lasts, because we know that January and February will be much different.  The phones won't ring as much and we will get a bit of a break until the next wave comes onshore.

My goal this season is to be peaceful in the midst of these waves, to focus on my tasks as well as my own family's contentment, and to make sure I get up from my place at the edge of the water and take my kids for a stroll on the beach.

I read this quote on Pinterest some time ago, and I whipped up a very simple art print to remind me to slow down and take the waves in my life as they come... one at a time.  You're welcome to click the image to download it.  Print it for yourself to always remember that the tide does ebb and flow.  I hope you don't simply dip your toes in the water, but that you jump in with both feet and enjoy the surf.

The Elevate Project is a circle of photographers who long to indulge our artistic sides at least once a month, by exploring photography as a fine art form.  You can see my October and November posts here if you'd like to.  As we think, and shoot, and think some more... we grow, and we develop, and we become better at our craft.  I encourage you to follow our circle by visiting my very talented friend Gina Oh  |  Arroyo Grande, CA Photographer next.