growing up | st petersburg baby photographer

I really wonder sometimes why I am so lucky.  I have the honor of documenting so many babies' first weeks of life. . .  and again when they're a little older as they crawl throughout their home and discover so many new things.  Then again when they're walking, talking, growing up.  It's been such a pleasure working with my clients over and over again, and by the time their baby is a year or so, it's just like visiting with family. This family is no exception.  It has been such a pleasure working with them over the past year.  Just over a year ago, when their babies were a week old, I was able to witness their bond because any time we'd lie them down together, they'd immediately find each other and snuggle right up, arm in arm.  It was precious to watch.







I've had the privilege of watching them marvel at their first Christmas lights together, listening to their babbles and coos. Crawling, laughing, smiling, enjoying the beauty around them (and watching their parents acting silly behind me and my camera).  ;)





And recently I was invited to join in their first birthday celebration,to see them walking around as the full-fledged toddlers that they have become.  It was a perfect, lovely afternoon in their backyard, and I'm so happy that I was able to be in attendance.







ac00531I loved the vintage theme of the party.  Some of the toys reminded me of my own childhood (Fisher-Price movie viewer, anyone?).




ac0100Happy 1st Birthday, sweet babies.  You will change the world someday.  You are already so amazing, and I feel blessed to know you.  Much love.

Thank you, Chris and Monique, for letting me come along on this sweet ride with your family.  I've enjoyed every moment, and I look forward to watching your "babies" grow.


sweet baby | tampa newborn photography

I dearly love photographing newborns.  It's a thrill to meet such a fresh, tiny little person in their first few days of life.  And watching the overjoyed parents with their newly created bundle of sweetness is just as much of a heart-melter for me.  Today I'm introducing you to baby Jake, who charmed me on the spot and was one of the sleepiest babies I've met, to date. jake009





Isn't he just precious?  I can't wait to watch him as he grows.  Congrats, Laura and Zack!


While you're here, go ahead on over to The Creative Mama today.  My article on stylishly displaying family photographs in your home is featured today, and you won't want to miss it!  Lots of inspiration and resources, DIY instructions and how-to's, even a few links for downloadable gallery templates to get your wheels turning!  Don't forget to leave some blog love (a comment) and link up ~ show me your walls!

ella's baby sister

Remember sweet Ella from my post below? _dsc3807bw

Well, she's learning how to be a big sister!  I got to spend the morning with Ella, baby Anna, and their sweet parents recently to photograph them again... only this time, as a brand new family of four.

_dsc4071Aren't they cute snuggled up in the bassinet together??  Ella has the honor of helping to take care of and love on her new little sister for the rest of her life.  Anna is so blessed to have entered this family.

the girls



She is just beyond precious.


We were even able to capture a few of Miss Emilia, Anna's new friend and "part-time sister" who was very curious about these little feet all bundled up.


I'll have lots more for you soon!  Thanks for waiting so patiently for the sneak peek, Damian, Jill, and all the anxious Somers Salon and Spa family!!  Oh, and psst, Lauren, you can stop hitting "refresh" now.  ;)  *mwahh!*

my blackberry has been stolen and my imac has been taken over... a 17-month-old babygirl with blonde pigtails.  She was last seen wearing, um, no shirt... and a Huggies size 3.  My apologies to the random person she accidentally dialed today.  I have since put the keypad on LOCK.  ;) blog1web

She certainly was a feisty one today.  My little blond sweetheart ate 2 crayons, threw a brand new roll of toilet paper into the toilet (yes, while still on the little cardboard roll), dumped an entire container of Yoplait Light on the hardwoods in the living room and then proceeded to spread it around like it was finger paint.  (This is the last time I leave food on her highchair tray after she's down on the floor... she can reach the tray by herself now and is quite the sneaky little bandit!)  Little Miss here stood up twice in the Target shopping cart seat (while STILL BELTED IN, mind you).  She pulled the cat's tail and rubbed the leftovers of a biscuit into his fur.  She tried to flush four wooden counting beads (obsessed with the toilet, you see), scratched poor Parker's arm, and dumped numerous containers of EVERYTHING onto any surface she could find.  She did finally doze off for a whole five minutes, only to wake up as soon as I tried to put her down in her bed.  God forbid she actually miss creating another mini-disaster by napping the day away.


_dsc3735webIt's a good thing she's so darn cute.  And squeezable.  And funny.  And soft.  And smiley.  And chattery.  And incredibly affectionate.  And says "Mah-muh?" in the most darling little voice you've ever heard in your life.  Although Chris and I had quite the time out of her today, and neither one of us accomplished a whole heck of a lot workwise, aaaand besides the fact that we had many a mess to clean up this evening, you can certainly bet that I spent an extra few minutes snuggling her in the rocking chair before bedtime.  (Which she didn't fuss a peep over.  Imagine being so worn out from trouble-making discovering and exploring that you actually want to sleep?!)  I stopped and smiled and breathed in the smell of her wispy hair, and was so very grateful for my healthy, happy, rambunctious, sweet baby girl.  This tiny thing that I could never imagine life without.  Mess and all.


a little change of plans

...sometimes turns out to be a blessing.  I photographed the adorable T. family on a rainy Saturday evening at their beautiful home.  I just loved this session, and this family, weather and all!  And since I'm so behind on the sneak peeks over here, I'm going to do a big share on the blog, just for Alison.  Thanks for your patience!!  :) blog31





t011 Loved this moment with Daddy and his little girl.  I am realizing more and more each day how very much Daddies adore their baby girls.  Although I know it well with my own father (who is still so loving and affectionate, and would do anything for his three "little girls" to this very day), it's something else entirely when you actually have your own husband and your own daughter who share the same bond.  Makes me smile ~ and tear up a bit too ~ when I see it in my clients' eyes.  :)


t003Little man.  :)  He was so good to me and my camera, despite it being almost dinner and night-night time.  What a darling trooper he was!  Just look at that sweet smile.  (And that new tooth about to make its debut!!)

t014And his gorgeous Mama.  I was so drawn to the next image... little thing had gotten hurt and Mama was holding her, consoling her, and making it all better.  Hey, that's what we're known for, right?  "Disappearing" all the hurts away.  Her tears didn't last long, I assure you.  :)

t006_1Thank you for a wonderful evening with your family, Alison.  Thank you for opening up your home to me and allowing me to record these moments for you.  I hope to do it again soon!

oh the cuteness. i can't stand it.

This is undeniably my very favorite image at the moment.  This tiny, darling girl was so dainty and feminine, and such a pleasure to photograph.  I'll share more from her session in a bit... I just had to quickly share her gorgeous little face with you! v006Can you get over that little turned-in toe??  Oh my word.  Her adorable-ness is just too much.

frequent fliers

This family is always such a dream to photograph, and this time I got to photograph them practically in their backyard.  Well, close enough, anyway.  :)  They always travel to me from Tallahassee (this is my fourth session with them in a little over a year!), but this time I made the trip north to photograph this sweet family, plus six other amazing families, in one awesome, crazy-busy, fun-filled weekend.  Here's a sneak peek.... rest assured there are lots more where this came from.  But I have to save some surprises for their gallery of course!  ;) blog11

We photographed their session at a beautiful old plantation in Thomasville, GA.  There were so many amazing nooks and crannies that were just begging to be used, a photographer's dream, and I could have stayed there all day.  (Oh wait, I did, lol!  I photographed three families at the plantation that morning!)  ;)

blowing kissesNow tell me those kisses didn't make you smile.  :)


And that her pouty face didn't make you say "Awwww..."  I loved it!!!!


Even though this session was "technically" for Adeline's one-year celebration, you KNOW I couldn't resist a few of her ever-so-charming big brother Christian.


I felt right at home hanging out with him ~ every few steps he'd pick up a stick or a leaf and hand it to me to hold on to for him.  By the end we all had leaves in our hands, and I had a few in my camera bag.  And the sweetest part was later that afternoon, I met up with them again and he gave me a leaf-rubbing he'd colored after our session together.  It's hanging up in my office.  :)  I'm so blessed to be able to connect with such sweet souls on a regular basis.  I love my job!!!

I'll be back soon with more sessions to share here.  I've got a busy weekend with sessions and all, but by Monday there will be several galleries to upload for my oh-so-patient clients.  I'm excited!!  Love the Christmas rush.  :)

precious little man

I got the chance to meet Aiden, the sweetest little newborn this past week... he was 8 days old and absolutely perfect.  Such a good sleeper for me too.  See for yourself... smile


detailsYou know me... I have to capture those details, no matter how tiny they are!


And I have to give credit to Daddy here, who came up with the idea of the next pair of images.  I can't wait to see these hanging side by side in their new home!  What a blessed little boy Aiden is to have such amazing parents who very obviously adore him.  I can't stress it enough ~ I love this wonderful job of mine!


Just before the end of the session, Grandma took her turn holding her first grandchild...  in the rocking chair that her grandfather built to rock her father to sleep as a baby...  who rocked her to sleep in it, and she eventually rocked her daughter (Aiden's Mama) in this chair as well.  So, this little fella is the fourth generation of babies to be lulled to sleep in this very special rocker.  Now... how amazing and sentimental is that?!  And of course, it worked like a charm.  After some warm milk and a sway or two, he was out...  sound asleep in his Grandma's arms.


Nicole and Jeff, congratulations on your beautiful baby boy, and thank you for sharing your morning with me.  I can't wait to show you the rest of your gallery ~ you're going to just love the rest!

off and running

Ya know, when I signed up for this photographer gig, no one told me I had to also assume the role of IT Tech as well.  ;)  I've just spent the last week-and-a-half performing diagnostics, trouble-shooting and repairing my poor overworked Mac, so that I can get the images off my hard drive and onto my blog!  Oh my Photoshop ~ it pains me!  I guess it's a small price to pay for being able to do what I love every day ~ photographing the most amazing families in Tampa Bay.  I get to meet and cuddle with the sweetest babies, laugh with the funniest kids, and hang out with the most adoring parents in the entire world.  And then when our playtime is over, I get to give them a piece of art that encapsulates how much FUN their family has just being together... how beautiful and fresh their babies are at one week old... how perfect their first-grader's smile is even with that missing front tooth... how utterly precious their children's lives are at that very moment.  I get to give them a piece of their history to pass down through the generations.  Honestly, how lucky am I?! Thankfully, I'm full-force again as of this evening.  Whew!  Just in time to post a sneak-peek for a very patient Mama and Daddy....

Nicholas was just shy of his first birthday at our photo session.  And let me tell you ~ that boy was MOBILE!  Not only was he walking (and very well, I might add) on his own... but he was also RUNNING.  Barefoot.  Down the streets (well, okay, the sidewalks) of downtown Clearwater Beach.  He was so much fun to play peekaboo with, and I had a wonderful time with his parents, who came ready to play!

peekabooI love that he "missed" his eyes during peekaboo.  :)  Hey, cheeks are close enough!


sweetSweet mercy... could you not just eat him up??  Those squishy rosy cheeks, those gorgeous warm brown eyes, the soft wispy hair?

airplane watching


And, in what is quickly becoming a Stacey Woods Photography "beach session tradition" ~ we stopped for ice cream cones!  (Oh how I wish I could juggle a cone and two cameras at the same time.)   ;)

ice cream

lifeguard tower

with daddy


I told ya... that boy's a runner!  :)

Thank you so much, P. family, for a gorgeous evening by the Gulf of Mexico.  Your session was a dream, and I can't wait to see you again soon!  And Happy Birthday, Nicholas!!  :)

the blog post i've been putting off...

For over a month.  (sigh)  I guess in my heart I didn't want to admit that it has really happened.  That my baby is no longer a baby. mytwo

She's a big girl now.  Yes, it's true.... Lila Kate has turned ONE!  My heart is broken yet joyful.  Proud yet disappointed, because you see, she's our last baby.  I will never again throw another 1st Birthday Party (hmm, which in itself is a blessing and a curse, lol!).

So I can't put this post off any longer.  Why?  Because Lila WALKED TODAY.  :)   Her first steps!  She took four big steps toward me before stopping and squatting back down again.  Lila, Parker and I had been dancing in the living room (they each love to be swung around on my hip, even Parker ~ as big as he is!), and we were swirling and spinning to Frank Sinatra's "Summer Wind".  Both kids were laughing hysterically as we twirled, and Daddy was even smiling at us from the couch.  (Probably laughing AT us under his breath, as Sinatra really isn't Chris's thing!)  I sat Lila down in the floor and plopped down myself, as Parker chattered excitedly to Chris, "She's standing, she's standing all by herself!!"  (She's been doing this for quite some time but Parker always acts as if it's her first time ever standing on her own.  What a proud big brother he is!)  Then without any warning at all, she spread her arms out and stepped once.... "She's WAAAALKING, honey, she's walking!!!"  She stepped again, and again, and after the fourth step toward me, she surely must have grown tired so she squatted back down again.  ;)  She just sat there and smiled the biggest, proudest smile I've ever seen!  We all clapped and "yay'ed" and hugged and kissed her all over.


Aaaaaand she didn't take another step the rest of the night.  LOL!

These images are all from her birthday party.  YOU'VE BEEN WARNED:  SNAPSHOT OVERLOAD!!  Sorry about that.  But I make it a priority to ENJOY my kids' parties instead of obsessing over the photography end of it (hard lesson learned, though).  So ignore the horrible lighting and the icky shadows and the boring crops ~ sometimes ya gotta throw the rules out the window and just DOCUMENT.  I get plenty of those "good shots" all the other times I photograph them.  ;)  Anyway, above, Lila is "walking" with Grandma Nancy (Chris's mom).  And yelling at her brother, if memory serves!


As I suspected, Lila handled the cake-smashing with dignity and grace.  (Translation:  She wanted NOTHING to do with this sticky, messy cake.  She picked at the icing ever-so-delicately with her thumb and forefinger, but had a hard time understanding WHY IN THE WORLD anyone would want to grab a handful of that chocolate crumbly stuff down underneath.)  And I can't say that I blame her, actually.  That cake was frosted with pink buttercream icing ~ who needs anything more?!  Yum!  ;)


Finally, she eased up and started to enjoy the mess-making ceremony, after much encouragement and clapping from Mama, Daddy, and a handful of family and close friends.  Hey, the girl knows when and how to play to her audience, that's for sure!  (PS, we had a "Circle Party", which was inspired by this article in Cookie Magazine.  Polka-dot plates, decorations, even the food was round!  Fruit skewers of grapes, banana slices, melon balls, etc.  Round crackers and cheese, burgers, etc.  A circle-shaped cake for Lila, and carrot-cupcakes for the rest of the kids.   Subtle, not too "theme-y", and super easy to put together!)


And then it was bathtime....  which called for kisses on the nose from Nammie (my mom) while waiting for the tub to fill.

birthday bathtime


Then lots of pink, girly presents to open.  (Now, that part she loved.  She's a master at tearing things apart and pulling items out of bags and boxes, I can attest to this for certain!)  She loved playing with her new pink kitchen, and secretly, so did her Bubby.  ;)  Shhhh......


cooking lesson

Sweet Lila.  Her little personality amazes me at times.  She's so independent already!  She's fed herself for quite some time now, and is doing pretty well now with a fork and spoon. Don't even try to feed her anything mushy or pureed anymore.  Bring on the good stuff!

She wants desperately to play with the big kids ~ so much that she's claimed her very own Wii remote, and will sit with the remote in one hand and the nunchuck in the other, as her big brother plays Lego Star Wars.  ;)  She growls at his dinosaur collection, and "reads" his books to herself.

She's fiercely attached to her Daddy, and will stand at the sidelight by the front door calling, "Dah?  Dah?" as he leaves the house.  She is the snuggliest little thing ever.

She hates to be clothed, yet one of her favorite pastimes is to open all of our dresser drawers and pull out every single article of clothing we have.  One at a time.  And then crawl away as if she had never seen such a mess in all her life.  She also refuses to wear shoes for more than 10 minutes, a trait that Chris is certain I passed along to her by way of my Kentucky upbringing.  Ahem.  ;)

She loves to eat, despite her petiteness ~ she's still under 20 lbs!  Avocados are her absolute favorite food ever.  She also loves cheese, bananas, blackberries, hummus, peas, and tomatoes.  (And yes, she's already enjoyed a yummy tomato sandwich or three, just like every good Southern girl should.)

Lila loves her big brother, even if he tries to smother her with kisses and smash her with his hugs.  His antics never fail to crack her up, and when she's fussy he simply sings to her... his little lispy voice immediately calms her down.  She would follow him anywhere.  It's a good thing too, because Parker loves her immensely.  Last week, I overheard him telling her gently, "Lila, when you fall down, I will alwayth catch you."  SWOON.

Happy Birthday, my sweet LilaCakes.  You are loved more than any of us can ever tell you.  We can't imagine life without you anymore ~ you've completely changed us ALL this past year.  And we are so very proud of you, our Big Big Girl.

Love, Mama