We decided to start the engagement shoot in Ybor City. I absolutely love the charm and old world vibe from this little part of Tampa. It was my maiden voyage doing a Ybor City engagement shoot. Obviously, stopping at the famous Colombia Restaurant and the Tampa Postcard Mural was a must do for not only myself, but for Delaney & Chris. I've never shot there before, so I was really excited to shoot at a famous downtown Tampa landmark!
Delaney & Christopher are such a fun and quirky pair. Their young love is so inspiring and genuine! I was immediately excited to be chosen to be their wedding photographer. They wanted to do engagement photos in downtown Tampa for a few reasons. They chose The Curtis Hixon Park area because Delaney's dad attended the adjacent University of Tampa. When she was little, UT was the place she affectionately called "Daddy's castle-school" because of it's unique architecture. You can see the University of Tampa's Plant Hall in the distance.
The other reason the pair chose this area is because Delaney is a huge theater buff, and loves the Straz Center for the Performing Arts. She also told me right away that she was hoping to get a few night shots of the Tampa skyline for their engagement session. I scoured the city to see if I could find a good spot. As I unloaded my gear from my car on the top level of the Poe Parking Garage, we were met by a grouchy guard who was sure to warn me I had better not be doing rooftop photos there. (He said it was against their policy.) Disappointed but not defeated, we carried on to finish our photo shoot.
We finished up our engagement session at the Straz Center. As the sun went down, the lights of the buildings illuminated the night sky. We made our way back to the parking garage where our guard was still dutifully standing nearby, protecting his rooftop from over eager photographers like myself. He was guarding the place like it was a bank vault! I figured it couln't hurt to be sweet, polite, and BOLD! I live by the theory that if you don't ask you'll never know, so I just gave my sweetest smile, and asked "Oh, sir may we pretty please just have a couple shots for the newly engaged?!? It would mean so much!!!" His face softened for a split second and he said, "Well, since they're gettin' married and they're all dressed up... I guess. Just a FEW!" I was ecstatic and we quickly orchestrated these last few images. I always find night images to be a fun way to challenge myself creativity- and I loved the fact that we got the shot Delaney & Chris wanted the most! It was a wonderful evening and I can't wait to photograph their wedding in July!