St. Pete Beach Family Photography

Once our kids start going off to college, the days that the entire family can be together become fewer and, when they happen, take on a sweeter quality.  When the Blankenship family’s daughter, Ashley, was in town for spring break, I got to capture some quality family time on St. Pete Beach! The love between them is obvious! Here are a few of my favorites …



10-year-old Tristan told me that he misses his big sister since she went to college.  Can you tell?
















Contact me to book your coastal session:


A Day in the Life Family Documentary Session – St. Petersburg, Florida

Home …. where our story begins.  There’s nothing more important in a child’s life than the home you’ve created for them, and when they’re grown and out of the house, with families of their own, they will think back to those days…

In a Day in the Life Family Documentary session, I spend the day with a family, documenting what happens in their natural environment. I love being a silent observer and photographing authentic interactions that happen when they forget about the camera – not staged or contrived, but natural. Which is why I use only the natural light that gently filters through the windows of their home – so that they can see their lives authentically.

I felt so privileged to spend the day with single mom, Anik, and her 5-year-old daughter, Kyra. They truly have their own little world together, and I loved documenting it.




This type of lifestyle session has become so special to me and to those I work with. Children grow up fast. Documenting milestones is important, but taking photographs of daily life allows us to freeze time in a different, meaningful way.  By spending the day with a family, I can deliver memories of their lives now:  their children’s favorite toys, childhood rooms, their life, and commemorate the fun and relaxed moments with their parents at home.

The playful times…





I can’t help but wonder if Kyra would remember playing ball in the house … in their Christmas dresses … without this photograph?



Anik and Kyra spent part of their day making mint brownies, as Kyra loves to bake. After Mom helped her put on her floral apron, Kyra climbed up on a chair to help. I could tell this is an activity that they do often, as Kyra knew exactly what to do. Anik told me, “We make brownies quite a bit. She wants to have her own YouTube Channel where she can explain how she bakes things.”






I was charmed by Kyra and Anik. They have a gentle relationship, and I think these photographs show the emotional connection between them.

Anik is a Certified Law of Attraction Life Coach and owner of Anik Perspectives. I had the pleasure of taking some photographs for her website, so I am familiar with the work she does — but I loved seeing how she brings some of this home with her.  As part of her job, Anik holds retreats, which is not surprising, as their home life in St. Pete feels like a family retreat.

Lego time!




Anik is also a representative for doTerra oils.  She and Krya use doTerra essential oils on their feet to help them relax. It was sweet to watch this 5-year-old gently massage the oil into Mom’s feet.


Mom has taught her daughter about what oils to use for different purposes, and they each have their favorite scents.






Krya and Anik love crafting together, and making dream catchers has become a hobby recently. When they go on bike rides in the Tampa Bay area, they collect items like feathers, twigs, seed pods, and acorns that they use to make dream catchers.

Kyra has a dream box that her mother bought for her in Utah. In Native American tradition, if you write your dream down, put it in the box, and say your dream out loud each night, it will come true.  Kyra placed a note that said “I am Elsa” (from Disney’s Frozen) into the box.  Then, she hung her dream catcher over her bed for good measure.  The next morning, Kyra ran to her mom and announced, “I had a dream that I was Elsa!”  She likes to say that her dream came true … in her dreams!




As a photographer, these sessions are important to me because I am able to photograph the connections and feelings that families have now, but aren’t able to see. Think about it. When your children are looking through photographs 20 or 30 years from now, they’ll see where their memories came from – how you played with them, held them; how you looked at them … how you felt about them.



Doing an at-home documentary session like this one makes me smile, and I feel so thankful that I get to be the photographer who enters their world.


You can watch a highlight video from my day spent with Kyra and Anik here.

If you are interested in booking a Family Documentary session, contact me here.  I would love to get to know you!

Oh, and Mom acted as Kyra’s film production crew for her very first YouTube video on how to make Brownies!  She’s just too cute!  Check it out here:

What do you want to remember? Capturing your child’s personality at home. Tampa Bay / Orlando Children’s Photographer

One of my favorite quotes about photography was stated by famed French photographer, Henri Cartier-Bresson:  “Photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth which can make them come back again.”

Life is fantastic, busy, at times overwhelming, and joyous.  It can get away from us.  There are many activities to consume our days, one after the other, until we look back and realize an entire year has gone by … then two … then 10.  “…and there is no contrivance on earth which can make them come back again.”

It’s so important to hire a photographer who can capture the emotion of your life.  A photographer who can create beautiful pieces of art that show your children’s true personalities, where they shine the most, in the comfort of the place that they will always remember as “home”.

There are so many details in our daily lives that we will want to remember many years from now … like our child’s favorite toys…




As the days slip into weeks, and the weeks into years, what will you want to remember?

How about the image of your lovely little girl in her beautiful room that you’ve worked so hard to make into her own little respite from the world…


And backyard fun!







Reading time…

“When you read a book as a child, it becomes a part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your whole life does.”  ~Meg Ryan as Kathleen Kelly, You’ve Got Mail (1998)


Nap time in Dad’s favorite chair…


And all those loving touches and snuggles!






This big sister’s exact words:  “I wuv my wittle bwudda.”


When your children grow up, will they be able to look at photographs of their childhood room?  I wish I had taken more photographs of my kids’ rooms as they were growing up.  I know that little details have slipped from my mind, and theirs. Capture it now!  The tiny shoes, the books, and stuffed animals…





So, what do you want to remember?  A photograph, when created well, can take you back in time and make you feel the emotion of a moment, like nothing else.



Make sure you hire a photographer who can capture the emotion of your family’s memories.

Contact This Life Photography – Images by Melinda at to talk about your in-home, custom photography session.  (Based in Tampa Bay/Orlando, Florida; available to travel anywhere.)

A recent client said:  “I will never grow old… I will never forget the most cherished moments of my life… There was a day not so long ago that I may have actually believed these things. Today, I know better. The details of the vast collection of blessings our friends and family have bestowed upon us over the years are sometimes difficult to recall exactly. We are so fortunate that one of those many blessings was meeting you, Melinda. Your eye for the world around you allows you to capture much more than just an image.  The depth of feeling and emotion you’re able to enchant each frozen moment in time with, is priceless.  Today, when we look at all the special moments you have recorded forever in time with our family and friends, we are able to not only recall the image, but the full breath of emotion that each brought us long ago.  Thank you so much!”  ~The Sovocools, Orlando, Florida.

Visit my website at

Click here to contact me, or call 727-768-4378.


The Magic of Beginnings – St. Petersburg / Tampa Bay Lifestyle Photographer

I had the privilege of shooting a lifestyle session with this fun couple, Stacie and Steve, who recently picked up and moved from New York City to St. Petersburg, Florida.  Talk about a major lifestyle change!

“And suddenly you know: it’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.”  ~Meister Eckhart

This photography session was a perfect way to commemorate – and celebrate – their new life together in the Sunshine City!


I have to say, my heart skipped a beat when I saw this adorable courtyard in the historic building where they live.  Does it say “Florida lifestyle” or what?  It’s a perfect place to unwind after a long day, with a nice glass of wine.




“Any arbitrary turning along the way and I would be elsewhere; I would be different.” Frances Mayes, Under the Tuscan Sun.


Stacie is owner of Stacie’s Cottage Cafe, located at 501 1st Ave North.  The atmosphere is cozy, and the food is fantastic.  Let me tell you, she makes a mean chicken salad!


The cafe is as cute as she is!

We walked around and explored a little in the western part of downtown St. Pete.


There’s a lot of beauty in St. Pete… also some funkiness.  Like this art installation, “Face the Jury” located at the St. Petersburg Judicial Center,  545 First Avenue North.  The art display was created by Boston artist Douglas Kornfeld in 2006, for Pinellas County’s public art program. There are 13 bright red metal chair sculptures that are arranged so that a normal-size defendant’s chair faces and looks up to twelve jury chairs that are at least six-feet high and of varying shapes.  Fun!


And those trees!!!


We’re already planning the next lifestyle session, at Stacie and Steve’s new beach house in St. Pete Beach, which is being renovated.  Stay tuned!

9/3/2016 Update:  Stacie & Steve are staring in an episode of HGTV’s “Beach Front Bargain Hunt:  Renovation”!  The episode airs on Saturday, September, 10, 2016, at 9:00 p.m.  Congratulations, Stacie and Steve!  I wish you many happy years and incredible memories in your new home!

Photographing three generations – St. Petersburg/Tampa Family Photographer

Well, I’ve fallen behind in my blogging … BUT, I’m so excited to show you photos from this session with three generations of the Bass family, in beautiful downtown St. Pete! Love this Grandma, Momma and babies!

Little Olivia was a little under the weather that day, but I think that her undeniable beauty and spirit still shine through in these images.





Direct quote from Olivia:  “I wuv my wittle bwudda.”



The deep connection and love between family members is so special, and I feel privileged and honored to be able to capture that.




And this is Olivia… lunching at Bella Brava, after an exhausting photoshoot around the city with her personal photographer …

What do you want to remember?

I believe that memories are the most important things we own. Slow down for a moment, take a deep breath… and think back to those carefree days when you were a small child or teenager, spending time with your parents, siblings, cousins and friends. The memories of those times probably live in your mind like soft, water-colored movies. If you’re like me, you wish that you had more photographs from those precious, fleeting moments.

Now we’re all grown up, with children of our own. Before you know it, they’ll be grown up and out of the house. What do you want to remember?  A photograph, if created well, can take us back in time, like nothing else.

I have a deep satisfaction when I capture moments that my clients can treasure forever. I used to be obsessed with having a technically perfect image; now I’m more concerned with how the image makes me feel. How it makes my clients feel.


I specialize in natural light portrait, lifestyle and wedding photography. I offer unique “Day in the Life” documentary-style photography that allows me to sort of melt into the background of your everyday life and document the details, the moments, the beauty of your life.




Time flies, and moments, once they pass, are gone forever… What do you want to remember?



Click here to enter main website

Tampa Bay, St. Petersburg Family Photographer

I loved this session with a beautiful mother and daughter (and puppies!) — taken on a sea breeze filled, sunny Florida afternoon.  Dawna wanted me to create photographs that she and her daughter can cherish forever.  Here are a few of my favorites…

Happiness is….loveliness from Florida’s Gulf Coast…

Thank you for visiting my new little blog!  I’m starting with a simple collection of some of my favorite coastal images that I’ve taken over the last few years.  ~Melinda

“The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.”  Jacques Cousteau



Click here to enter This Life Photography’s main website.