On Father’s Day 2016, my wonderful and talented daughter (straight A, actress, Junior Air Force ROTC, artist, writer, speaks sign language) designed this icon for me. It is beautiful. I must admit, I took the paper and art pencil original and tweaked the colors, added the dramatic border and put in the contact info email. Kalena signed off on it and was only to proud that I loved it.

A photographer loves their photos. And likes nothing more than letting the world, near and far, know “Yeah, I shot that.” So, you start watermarking your work. You begin with the usual suspects; a simple line of text, the fancy Photoshop creation, or a dedicated watermark program. I have used all, as I am sure you have and are.

Here’s the point: whatever you do to brand (advertise and protect) your work, do it. I even put a simple line of text on family photos least they find themselves in a soft drink ad courtesy of a certain social media giant.

I was teaching a class at the library when the subject turned to watermarks and copyrights. One of my students defiantly proclaimed that there was no need to watermark her pictures because the law states that at the moment of creation your photograph is in your legal ownership. Well, here is a short and simple answer to her claim. Yes, she is 100% correct. It goes further to state that you do not have to register an image or even place a watermark on said image. However, I belong to the camp that believes placing some sort of watermark on your images does two things: 1) It warns a would be borrower that they should not be taking the image and 2) if they do decide to use it anyway they are faced with some work in Photoshop to remove the watermark from the image, making it not really worth it.

I like watermarks and never needed much convincing. Even if I wasn’t a watermark type of person, I would want to show off my daughter’s beautiful work. I guess my work is the virtual refrigerator door.


Ybor City Historic District

Ybor City. Classic. Historic. Beautiful. I never thought there would be a city that I would love as much, or more, than New York City, but then comes historic Ybor City. With its old world flavor and charm, it is the perfect visual candy after an over dose of gleaming glass and chrome towers. Cobble stone streets and crosswalks, sidewalk cafes and a fully functional trolley car transit system! Yes, Ybor is the place to be. And I am blessed and honored to have my photography studio right in the heart of it!


The Gateway to another time and place… Historic Ybor City! It may not be very large as in square mileage, but it is huge in character and personality. In fact, it is officially listed as a neighborhood (located just northeast of downtown Tampa), and designated as a National Historic Landmark District. And in 2008, the American Planning Association was so taken by Ybor’s busy 7th Avenue, which is the main commercial thoroughfare, that it recognized it as “One of the 10 Great Streets in America!”


I love the trolley cars, though I have to admit, I have yet to ride one. With their distinctive sound and “old movie” appeal, some people actually ride the trolley as a ride, with no real place to go.


The stylish but modern Muvico Theater. As much as Ybor City holds fast to its Old World ways and looks, there must be places and activities that speak to a broader audience. Also in the area is a game room, for young and old, alike.


The Italian Club. Tampa’s first Italian-American Society was organized April 4, 1894, with 116 Italian and eight Spanish immigrants. It started its monthly meetings on the first Sunday of every month, at 10:30am, even though organized religion may have preferred otherwise, and that schedule continues today.


No Ybor City photo set would be complete without the world famous Columbia Restaurant! Founded in 1905 by Cuban immigrant Casimiro Hernandez, Sr., the Columbia Restaurant is Florida’s oldest restaurant℠, and the largest Spanish restaurant in the world.


Rich in history, culture and food. When visiting Tampa, one must visit Ybor City, to dine at the Columbia if for no other reason. Who else shares my opinion? In 2010, Nation’s Restaurant News crowned the Columbia as a “Top 50 All-American Icon!”


Cigars are even more of a staple in Ybor City than the wonderful food, and King Corona is a long standing cigar bar and restaurant that serves as a daily meeting place for many residents and workers.


Right above the King Corona is the Ybor Art Colony. It is cooperative of artist, painters, sculptors and photographers, me being one. I am proud to call Florida my home and Ybor City my business location. And with the support and connections of other creative individuals in the Colony, I feel more energized than ever in my craft!

To view the entire Ybor City gallery, please visit this link: Ybor City Historic District