Growing up, we stayed at the Sandpiper Beacon for years – way before MTV Spring Breakers discovered it. Back then it was simply a family place – and there was no Tiki Bar out back, just a little Tiki Hut. There was also a spattering of palm trees near the pool that mom had us (three kids) stand among to take pictures. Later, as a grown woman and mother looking at those pictures, I realized the abstract measurements being made: the composition of the trees, surrounding surf and buildings (or lack of compared to today), along with our height, ranging from my smaller (younger) brother and sister to my much taller tween physique.
And I was struck by how much those pictures meant to me (and I’m sure my parents)!
That was a moment in time (and such a sweet time), that was wholly ours, captured forever. Not only that, but those images are still part of my instinctual thoughts when I think of the Florida of my youth – pure happiness!
Vacations are often THE ZENITH of our year, bringing the whole family together – with no school, work, deadlines, or extracurricular activities to distract us from just spending time together. Since most people only have one family vacation a year, images from those trips really become so much more than just a capturing of the event.
They measure us.
They measure us from year to year, as we age, grow, and as our favorite places age and grow as well.
They become visual time capsules, recording not only ourselves, but ourselves contrasted with our children, our moms, dads, lovers, besties, and our ever changing and beloved landscapes.
So it’s no wonder that so many people choose vacation time to have a professional photographer help them capture that yearly moment of bliss. While some hobbyists are really, really talented (I happen to love a few, and am very grateful for their photographic contributions, some of which are unbelievably breathtaking), more often than not, most of us (me!) just aren’t that great behind a camera.
And so it was that a lady who was renting from me last week asked if I knew of any professional photographers in the area – and I thought I’d share one in particular: Jenny Gilliam. Jenny actually used to live across the street from me, but she and her husband fulfilled their dream of living in paradise a few years ago and she now happens to reside in Panama City Beach. She uses 100 % natural light and will come to your rental or to the place of your choosing (within 25 miles of PCB, including 30-A and Destin – special rates will apply for sessions further away). She is very relaxed and easy going – as will be the session, which usually takes one to two hours of shooting time (which is plenty of time for snacks and change of clothes for younger subjects as required) and will probably involve a bit of playing, dancing, singing and any manner of silly things, allowing her camera to connect to you and tell your unique story.
You can reach Jenny through her site, at http://www.jennygilliamphotography.com/ or via phone at (901)486-4272. Below are some fabulous shots she’s taken!