Starting Over... in Tampa, FL

When your dreams and your reality collide, it’s amazing.

I never thought I would have a chance at military retirement and serving in an organization I’ve waited 16 years to get to. The bonus part of it, I get to work towards that 20 year mark in a beautiful environment called Tampa, FL. When you’re given a chance to chase your dream, you don’t hesitate to make the move - nearly 3700 miles across the country… the loooong way. I avoided snow like the plague while traveling the country to see all of my friends I’ve amassed over a 16 year career in the service. I saw so many people and shared coffee or a meal in the company of good friends and family.

I’m happy. And apprehensive.

I’m starting over in unknown territory.

It’s not so much transferring with the military. I’ve been doing that so long, it’s almost normal to me. But restarting a photography business in a place where you don’t know anyone and have no connections - that’s what makes me nervous to pick up my camera again. We all want to be successful artists, creating the work we love and sharing our art with the world.

So it’s back to the basics of photography - re-learning how to “see” in this beautiful, sunny paradise of white sand and warm waters. Getting to know your area and how the light changes across the sky. Finding new ways to re-invent my business without a permanent studio location. Getting inventive and creative!

That’s why I was so honored to be asked to photograph a long-time friend who has watched my work from afar. He’s always messaged me before and said “when you come to Tampa, please photograph my family.” It’s given me a chance to be relaxed but still professional and wanting to give the best service I can.

Who knew that I would actually be in Tampa and have the opportunity to provide memories for him and his children?

We’ve known each other for 12 years, from many years ago serving in war-torn Iraq, in a totally different dynamic. I was an officer in charge of logistics and he was a non-commissioned officer who worked for me to supply his units on the battlefield. The roles are reversed and I serve him and his family with the best customer service I can provide, but also with a lot of love for our friendship and continued connections over time and space. I love his family - his children and mother are amazing people and feel like family in a place where I have none.

So I’m sharing these images with you and taking that first step into the Florida sunshine.

If you’d like to discuss the possibility of your own family memories in this glorious sunshine, please feel free to reach out via my contact form or direct email at jennmcintyreportraits@gmail.com

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