Category Archives: Relationships

Newborns and their big brothers and sisters

Brand New Big Brothers and Sisters in Studio (Tracy Gabbard Photography)

Photographing a newborn with a sibling (younger ones especially) is one of my favorite things in a newborn session!  I will not lie, much of the time it takes A LOT of patience and MANY clicks of the camera to capture a handful of sweet sibling photos but once they are captured, there is nothing sweeter!!!  What makes it so difficult to capture those precious moments?  Well…. let  me explain!  First of all newborns are typically photographed with in the first 5-12 days of birth.  Younger “big sisters or brothers” have just had their world rocked with a demanding baby!  After those first couple days when the newness of the baby has worn off for them, they often want NOTHING to do with this alien that just invaded their world.  Younger (preschool age) children can be difficult to photograph without the newness of a baby sibling SO throw that in the mix and you have a potentially challenging portion of the session.  I LOVE when the siblings interact with the baby.  These two below were “helping” cover the baby.  Sometimes encouraging them to “help” is a good way to get them in the same spot for a quick photo!

Newborns and their big brothers and sisters

Newborns and their big brothers and sisters

Trying to get a newborn to stay asleep while getting a preschooler to cooperate and “pose” is not easy.  Many times the best way to do this is to put the baby on something instead of having the sibling hold the baby.  Often young children don’t feel comfortable holding their new baby anyway and it can be dangerous as they are unpredictable and may possibly get up without warning and leave the baby.  I always have moms and dads helping hands close by for the baby no matter if he or she is in the siblings arms or in a prop.  Safety first, always!!!!  That is not to say that it is impossible to get a preschooler to hold their new baby!  It can be done but always safely on the floor and with adult arms close by to help.

Newborns and their big brothers and sisters

And then there are always the “smiling” looking at the camera pictures”  Those are classic and always favorites.

Newborns and their big brothers and sisters

Newborns and their big brothers and sisters

I often think it would be funny to record the sibling portion of a newborn session!  With mom, dad and me working together to keep the older child in an area of the baby, and all of us acting silly trying to get them to look at the camera or bribing with little treats!  Maybe one day I will try to capture that on video! 🙂

Happy Mothers Day (tampa baby photographer)

(tampa baby photographer) I have the pleasure of photographing many mommies with their “babies” over the years and I am happy to share just a few of them over the last year or so.  I am so thankful to these mommy’s for choosing Tracy Gabbard Photography to photograph the most special times in their lives.  I wish I could post all the “mommy and me” portraits I have taken but I am going to spend some time with my “babies”!  Thank you again to all of you! (tampa baby photographer)

tampa baby photographer


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Recent Session Edits! (Tampa Family Photographer)

Tampa Family Photographer I have had so many sessions lately at Tracy Gabbard Photography I thought it would be fun to share a quick peak from each in the order they are up for editing! Top to bottom shows the editing order from first to last. 🙂 Do you see your session up on the editing block in this bunch?! As a Tampa Family Photographer, I just love this first one as she is super excited too! 🙂  I can’t wait to get to all your sessions!  Tampa Family Photographer

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New Sibling Love (tampa infant photographer)

(tampa infant photographer)  All my clients with newborns that also have young siblings that we incorporate into the session KNOW how it is a “family affair” to get a young child (3 and under) to cooperate with a newborn!  I have posted pull backs before of everyone gathered around the “babies” with treats to try to get the toddler even close to the baby!  It is actually quite funny.  We always manage to pull out a few priceless photos that mommys and daddys will always treasure but I had to post this picture of a recent sibling session.  LOVE the look on this adorable little guys face as we are persuading him to get close to his new baby brother!  Do you see anything else funny?  Look closely, there is a treat somewhere in the picture waiting for “pick up”… you know I am supposed to snap the shutter at the EXACT time this quick little guy reaches down for his treat!  LOL!  Cracks me up!  (I actually don’t think that he fell for our trick and never picked up that treat!)  Needless to say, there are priceless images of the 2 of them together but this one really “tells all”! (tampa infant photographer)

tampa infant photographer

Sleeepy princess… (tampa newborn photographer)

(tampa newborn photographer) This little princess was super sleepy and made her first photo shoot sooo easy! It was so fun to see grandma, aunty and daddy ooh and ahhh over her cuteness. There is no doubt she will be the apple of everyone’s eye! A little fun information for this first picture. Mom brought the sea shell and the starfish clip on the headband was what mom wore in her hair in her wedding. How special is that? It is so great when families bring special things to use in their sessions. Not only is it fun to incorporate personal things into a session but it means a lot to the family as well. (Tampa newborn photographer)

tampa newborn photographer


Happy Mothers Day (tampa family photographer)

(tampa family photographer) A special Happy Mothers day to all the amazing moms! I am so lucky to be able to capture precious “mommy and me” moments throughout the year at many of my sessions. Here is just a small sampling of the many wonderful moms I meet each week! I hope that all my client mommies have wonderful day (and other moms to)! (tampa family photographer)

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Evenings with toddlers and young children….(tampa family photographer)

(tampa photographer) As I downloaded and scrolled through a recent session it inspired me to write this post on evening sessions with children.  As a mom I am all to familiar with “the witching hour” which I am sure most moms reading this know, that is the hour in the evening (it is a different hour for every child but usually with in a couple hours of bedtime) when your most precious, adorable, perfect child is MISERABLE and you are to!  This hour(s) creates fussy, cranky, needy children and this hour is very often what makes us moms count the seconds until bedtime.  Although my children have now outgrown this hour (yay for me!) I remember it with not so much fondness very clearly.  That is why when a mom emails or calls me to chat about a location session, I have a list of questions and a few things to chat about before we actually schedule.

As many of you may know,  location sessions most often happen in the evenings about an hour before sunset.  Depending on the time of year that could make the session start as late as 7:30 pm.  Can they happen during the day or in the morning?  Sure, however, the lighting is not as beautiful, the grass is usually wet (at least in the mornings) and it is often more difficult to find those shady areas that help keep your eyes from squinting in the bright sunlight.

So, back to that list… the first thing I usually ask is “How old are your children?”.  If they tell me that their child(ren) are under 5, my next question is “How are they in the evenings?”.  And we begin a very enlightening (at least I like to think so :)) conversation about evening sessions with young children.  I always tell my potential client that I will of course take their pictures no matter what if they think their family is ready for it but I always like to remind them that it is not a great time for children to be at their best. And we do always get some great shots but there is a good chance that they many not have as many to choose from.  Believe me, I have done MANY sessions in the evenings with young children…. how about 1 year old twins on the beach…. yea, i know, crazy! BUT, although VERY challenging, mom loved her gallery and it really told the story of how her family was at that point in time. She will always remember that time when her *babies* kept her on her toes (I am sure that is an understatement) and when she looks back at those pictures, I am sure she smiles and remembers that time with fondness.  You can see some peaks of that session here.

So… that brings me back to my recent session.  This particular mom and I had this discussion about evening sessions and one year olds.  In her defense, we were trying to somewhat replicate a session we had done with her older child at ONE at the park.  That session was great and he did just fine but as we know, every child is different.  So off we trotted to UT (The University of Tampa) and began our session among at least 3 other sessions happening there at the same time 🙂  .  Now, I love this location, it is beautiful with many options for backgrounds and beautiful light. But as I have learned over the many years of photographing children in the evening, this is when all photography “rules” go out the door and we just get what we can.  The photographer in me REALLY (I mean REALLY) wants those perfect pictures, in the perfect light, beautifully in focus with an amazing smile or an adorable connection between siblings or family and believe me, I try SUPER HARD to get those (I think that my clients will tell you this… we *play* HARD at our sessions :)).  We trot around the campus and we corral the kid(s) to my choice of backgrounds with beautiful light shining through the trees or landscape (my clients probably don’t even know that I am looking at all this but I am… as we walk around).  We get the child(ren) perfectly placed and I turn on my *amazing* personality (lol!) and back up just a little bit to get what I think I need to in the frame of my camera…. By the time I get to the place I need to be (literally a split second- I move fast :)) there is a good chance the child is either up and moving, crying, or giving my silly sounds and faces a completely “blank” stare (even though I must say, I am rather funny).  Mom and dad do *magic* tricks behind me (I will video this someday) but to no avail, there is no perfect smile or even a hint of happiness. Maybe we could qualify it as a cute *look* in this “perfect” spot….  but  instead he gets up, moves to a NOT perfect spot and gives the most amazing smile ever….

tampa family photographer

Don’t know who’s thumb that is trying to keep him there for a minute (probably big brothers) 🙂

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tampa family photographer

Will mom care?  I have no idea, probably not … I like to think that in most cases I am the only one that cares about those perfect backgrounds (it is the photographer in me, I can’t help it- I am sure most other photographers can relate).  Moms mostly just care about happy children and precious portraits that will put a smile on their faces as they walk by.  It is just a “bonus” to get all of the things together in one shot.  Here are some fun “behind the scenes pictures from this session as well as a few “gems” so this poor mommy who has not gotten her gallery yet doesn’t think that there are not any other shots as well. 🙂

tampa family photographer



tampa family photographer

Untitled-3We ended this session with a cake smash (after all what is a one year old session with out a yummy cake to end the night?) and although this session did have its issues, from all of the balloons popping (notice the amount of balloons in the beginning to the end), to adorable but busy toddlers, windy, and of course mosquitos, over all it was a great experience.  And when I really think about it, almost all sessions bring their own unique set of issues whether they are in the mornings, in the studio, planned around naps or during the “witching hour”.  Is an evening session right for you if you have little ones?  You will have to decide… I think it went fine for this family!  I think they will be very happy with their gallery! 🙂  (tampa photographer)

tampa family photographer