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!

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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!”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!”

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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.

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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

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Two Classic Beauties

It is wonderful when you just know things are right. Like working with a person, subject or model that just flows with you so easily. Alisha is that. This young lady never ceases to amaze and surprise me, always going a step or two further than I expected and dared ask. On September 5th, 2015, with a bright and ready smile, she was ready to go – even though I called her on very short notice, asking to photograph her.

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There is a retro service station, right around the way from my home. Almost ten years ago, it was a closed and broken down gas and service station, though I had never seen it open and functioning. A few years back, someone purchased it and perform a beautiful job of creating a classic gas station, down to the smallest detail. However, rather than selling gasoline and doing repairs, it is (was, as I believe the new business failed) a direct mailer for the auto industry. As for me, I immediately fell in love with the look and started using it as a backdrop for themed photos.

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Pitching the idea to Alisha over the phone, she tuned right in and gathered the needed clothing and accessories to create the look I wanted. She created two styles, both fitting the theme yet very different in look; one the cute and sexy girlfriend, and the other the wise and confident tough gal. I wish I had a beach cruiser bicycle for The Girlfriend, and a leather jacket and motorcycle for The Tough Gal.

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Of course, I will be using that location again and again, creating wonderful themed images. And it goes without saying that I won’t hesitate to call on my Muse and creative spark plug, Alisha!

My Muse – Alisha

On August 13th, I had the pleasure of working with a wonderful young lady who promised to add spark and excitement to my photos. And she did just that! Alisha is not only pretty, sexy and talented, she is creative and fun!

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Of course, I was surprised and delighted with the results of our very first shoot together, and was eager to continue our working relationship and create more wonderful images! It was if we had been working together for quite some time.

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We had planned three outfits and three locations, but the rains came and clipped off the last location, though we still pulled in the last article of clothing; a bright, busy and colorful dress that mirrored her electric personality!

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I have found my new “go to” girl for stretching my creative mind to new and exciting heights! More great images to come!

Model – Tamara

Tamara has such a beautiful and sexy look!
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Model – Juniour

Simply put: Juniour was intense. It was my pleasure to work with him, especially knowing that he has since headed to New York to further his name and career.
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Model – Keke

Keke is not only a beautiful and sexy young lady, she is incredibly versatile! Any look, any situation, she melts right into.
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