Take It In

Last week I had a session in Tampa and found myself taking the Courtney Campbell home. As I don't often have a quiet car, I relished the silence and enjoyed the view of the Bay around me as I drove, smiling and just soaking up the sunshine. 

It was a gorgeous day. The water was almost perfectly still and so very blue, like a mirror of the sky. There is a narrow road that runs alongside the causeway, right at the water's edge.  I'd never paid much attention to it before, but today I desperately looked for an opening in the guard rails so I could get closer to the water and stop to take it in.

What a blessing it is to be this close to such a beautiful, natural source of water. I feel so peaceful near it. The ocean, whether at the beach or in the bay, calms my busy mind and anxious heart the way nothing else can.

Tampa Bay Florida by Stacey Woods

Fall Family Sessions: The Floyds

I love this family. Leanna always has the most wonderful adventures planned for our sessions. Last year, we held their session at a beautiful stable in Odessa. The year before that, I met them in Disney World. This year, they wanted their session to be on their private land, before their home is built there. 

I can imagine them looking out their kitchen window over the lake in years to come, watching the birds dive and fish jump. Sitting on this sofa and enjoying the views, having coffee with friends and chatting about their boys and how big they've grown.

Stacey Woods Tampa family lifestyle photography

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.


Endless Summer

This summer has flown by. I say that now, but then in the next moment it feels like we've done so many things and have spent so many mornings and afternoons and nights together.

I still don't want summer to end.

June held the end of school for the two older kids, a bit of finishing up for me, Lila's first ballet recital, her seventh birthday, the arrival of her long-awaited mermaid tail and then exciting pool days, lazy mornings together, all the peonies, playtime with neighbors, nighttime hide-and-seek (the boys call it Manhunt), and video games and Minecraft until I'd get frustrated and confiscate all the screens. (I know I'm not the only mama to do that!)

Lila's School Concert
Charlotte at Lila's school concert
Lila's first ballet recital
Birthday Brownies, Stacey Woods
FinFun Mermaid Tail, photo by Stacey Woods
Stacey Woods, Photographer
Stacey Woods Photographer
Mermaid Hair, Stacey Woods
Diving Board, by Stacey Woods
Lazy Mornings, by Stacey Woods


July brought a trip for Parker and Lila to North Carolina and Kentucky, and lots of one-on-one snuggle time for Charlotte. We hosted visits from both sets of the kids' grandparents, visits from neighbors and friends, and visits of fleas for Ace. July marked the start of gymnastics classes for the girls, and rain every day of the month except six. Honestly, we trekked through rain everywhere we went, and lightning scattered us from our neighborhood pool on several occasions.  We ate ice cream, played board games, watched movies, read books, went to the zoo and splashed in puddles. 

Parker & Lila, by Stacey Woods
Just Dance fun, Stacey Woods
Music Lessons: Upright Bass, by Stacey Woods
Reading to His Sisters, by Stacey Woods
Neighborhood Pool, by Stacey Woods
Rained Out
Lowry Park Zoo flamingos, by Stacey Woods

So far, August has rained every single day, and has flooded our little neighborhood as well. Our retention ponds overflowed, and our neighbors with full-to-the-brim pools had to drain them into the street to keep their homes from flooding. Parker saw a duck swimming across our street. Frogs and tadpoles were displaced onto the grass, the sidewalks, and everywhere you looked. Tadpoles swam down the sides of the road where the puddles were deepest. There were even catfish walking in the cul-de-sac. Crazy. Town.

Tampa Bay Flooding 2015, Stacey Woods