Vacation Destination Photography: Palm Waters River House on the Rainbow River

A wonderful gift is when you see pictures of a location online and you know it is going to be beautiful — but then you arrive and everything is even better than you imagined. It is so magical that you barely want to sleep and you even set you alarm to watch the sunrise (this was a first for me). It was that good.

Where you ask? Where/what is this vacation destination? It’s a house in Dunnellon, Florida on the Rainbow River. The word “house” doesn’t do it justice - it’s a very comfortable home with enough room for a few families with the most gorgeous porch to enjoy meals. And then, the outdoor space provides relaxation in addition to a number of activities to keep everyone entertained.

Vacation Destination photography is such a thrill. It comes with a lot of pressure (will the weather provide good opportunities, will my kids enjoy the activities, will I be able to create unique images). I did not need to worry at the Palm Waters River House (PWRH for short). I had my camera in hand from the moment we arrived until we were forced to leave - haha! I was inspired by the sun, the trees, the clear water, the animals, and watching my children enjoy nature.

Get ready to want to visit PWRH - I included pictures of the house, the variety of nature we saw, and all the activities we enjoyed (the swing, water toys, fishing, swimming, tree climbing). The superhosts provided everything we could possibly need and their recommendations were spot on - just wish we had more time to do even more! Guess we will have to go back! If you are interested in booking a stay, here is the link! If you are interested in discussing your vacation destination photography needs, contact me!

We will start with the house and property images!


Oh, the swing. The kids were ALWAYS on it. The adults fought to be the “best pusher”. My dad won!

Vacation Photography Florida

There were enough kayaks, canoes and paddle boards to keep our entire big family happy and enjoying the crystal clear water together.


The newly constructed dock was the place to be! The excitement of catching a fish never gets old!!

vacation destination photography florida

We definitely enjoyed spending time on and IN the water! And my dad built a fire in the firepit so we could all enjoy s’mores!

vacation photography

And the last section of images include all the nature images - the animals I saw, the birds I was lucky to catch on camera, and the sunrises and sunsets that were each unique and beautiful in their own way!


A Don Cesar Beach Proposal

A proposal on the beach! With all of their family and friends!!! Yes, please!! I felt honored to be asked to document such a special moment! Ron and I met prior to “the date” at the Don Cesar on St. Pete Beach to map out a plan for me to photograph the moment he proposed and I knew it was going to be special! He chose the Don Cesar as they have a long history of vacationing at the gorgeous hotel on the pristine beach, which is why many of the images include the hotel in the background. His fiance had absolutely zero clue!

I arrived early and got in my spot . I had 2 cameras ready to go and Ron was texting me on the sly. I waited, guests watched me. One guest actually told me they thought I was a private investigator. Ha!! When I knew they were coming my heart was racing, and excitement was overwhelming. They walked toward the beach, the group of family and friends filtered in behind without her knowing. And well, she said YES!!! Everyone was smiling and giddy and hugging and I loved every second. Wait no longer, see her reaction below!!! I stayed awhile to take some family images as well as some engagement photos for them. What a gorgeous evening!


How do you handle Plan B?

There are many quotes about what happens when “Plan A” doesn’t work out. Two of my favorites are “Life is all about how you handle plan B” and “Keep calm and go on to Plan B”. I arrived at my Tampa family photo shoot early in Ybor City to discover our originally planned (and scouted) location to be totally blocked off for an unknown festival. Cue me not freaking out. Maybe a little. After texting the mom that I’d shortly give her a new spot to meet I drove around in silence - mind racing. I selected a quiet area of Ybor city near a parking garage - with a thought that maybe, just maybe, I’d be able to use the roof and cross of one my photography bucket list items of having a family photo shoot at the very top of the garage. As I parked, so did the family and there was no time for anything - except to make Plan B my Plan A.

The family was so relaxed, the kids talkative and energetic. For our Tampa family photo session we walked around a large block using the unique backdrops of the old Ybor City. As I saw the sun lowering I suggested the top of the parking garage - and they were in! Be sure to keep scrolling so you don’t miss the images with the gorgeous sky!!

Looking back I definitely realize I fit into the cliche - that I’m pleased Plan A didn’t work out. Plan B provided us with a quiet area so we weren’t fighting crowds, space to run and play and of course the top of the parking garage.


Some Florida Beach Vibes

I’ve been looking through my images from the Florida beaches — the one one I most often visit is Anna Maria Island. I’d like to say I’m an “Anna Maria Island Photographer”. I’d really like to say I live there….maybe one day!!! Already in 2019 I’ve had two Anna Maria Island Family Photo shoots. One was super warm and I even jumped in the Gulf with the kids! The other engagement beach session was a ad chilly! I’ll be posting those soon but for now here are a few Florida beach images.

Anna Maria Island Photographer
Florida Beach Photographer
Anna Maria Island Family Photographer

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St Pete Beach Photographer