One last Florida shoot

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Of course my final Florida shoot would be on a beach.

But while the beach shoot was planned, the fact that it was my final Florida shoot was not.

Kayla and I decided to spend a morning at Clearwater Beach, which is one of the country’s best beaches. And as such, we were up nice and early.

Despite not being able to use my lights (a Clearwater PD officer nicely said I needed a permit to do flash photography), we still had an awesome time.

And I’m so glad that we did.

I’m writing this post from Durham, N.C., where I’ve since returned to where it all began. It was in Durham back when I was a reporter for the News & Observer (2005 - 2010) that I really started taking photography seriously.

So while I’ll miss some things about Florida - including Kayla, who became a great friend and one of my go-to models - I’m one who definitely prefers seasons.

Do you need a maternity shoot? If you're pregnant, the answer is yes

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Of course it's in my best interest to tell you, the expectant mother, that you need a maternity shoot.

But the reason is much bigger than capturing great pictures.

Expectant mothers, especially those expecting their first child, endure an unique journey. Not only do they have a glow, but there's great excitement in having new life growing inside of them.

There's so much hope. So many dreams.

None of that can be captured once the baby arrives.

This is why professional photography is so important, for you want to capture moments like that before they go away - moments that Keren nearly missed.

Keren, who is a few away from giving birth, didn't want maternity pictures at first. But her friends told her she would regret not doing them.

Our mini session in St. Petersburg validated that.

African royalty

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This shoot came together with one look of the dress.

We had a completely different concept planned, but after seeing the dress, which she never wore before, I immediately thought of African royalty.

Then I thought of Black Panther. And yes, I also thought of Black History Month.

Talk about perfect timing for this shoot.

Finding one's self through pictures

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One of the great things about being a photographer is helping people rediscover themselves, which was the purpose of this beach end-of-year shoot.

We often go into a new year with goals and high expectations. Pictures help us to remember them if things start to stray during the year.

I've worked with countless clients who were either reinventing or rediscovering themselves. It's an honor for me to have such an important role in their personal journies.