First Annual 4th of July Event – Soma Creek Side | Bradenton FL Photographer

I was thrilled to capture Soma Creek Side’s first annual 4th of July event in downtown Bradenton!  Crazy, fun night… many people, good food, and awesome drinks.

So this is the calm before the crowd……the set-up on the patio, the dining room, and the lobby.



And….the flowers.  Beautifully styled by Simply Sophisticated, a local wedding and event planner.


And the people…….



And the cool craft cocktails with a big thank you to the Winter Park Distilling Company……….


And the food – oh wow.  Appetizers were comprised of Watermelon, Pomegranate Iced, Grilled Andouille Sausage Tater Tot Kebab, Grilled Apalachicola Oyster with Poke Sauce, and Deviled Eggs with Black Truffle Oil and Parmesan.



Then..oh more people!  And food!!




And Jennifer was hard at work at the bar the entire evening……


And then the music…….not just one venue, but three.  In the lobby, jazz guitarist Kevin Green entertained the crowd.  Earlier in the evening,  we were treated to an amazing duo – John Moody on guitar and Chuck Early on drums.  And then – The Elephant in the Room got the crowd going outside with some of their original songs – along with several Led Zeppelin covers and other favorites which made me a very happy girl.  They are really good – locals take notice!


Chef Dave making the rounds saying hello and chatting with his guests…..


The main entree….S.F. Cezar Salad with chopped romaine, buttermilk, and cracked pepper and lemon dressing, followed by Southern Paella with rock shrimp, chicken thigh, saffron, hominy, okra, and jasmine rice.


Just before 9 pm, the patrons headed to the parking garage next door to the top floor to watch the fireworks.  Me?  I stayed in the sudden, calming quiet of the Soma Creek Side bar.  Jennifer poured me some wine and Chef Dave made sure I had some of his delicious dinner to dine on.  A perfect ending to the wildly successful evening….I even popped outside to catch a glimpse of the fireworks.  This will definitely be a major Bradenton event each 4th of July!





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Happy Holidays | Longboat Key Photographer


























Happy Holidays!  Well this year was a quiet but very nice Christmas.  My son took his first solo trip up to NYC on Jet Blue to spend a few days with his dad and step-brother and arrived back here in Florida on the 23rd.  He shopped for my Christmas presents at kitchen specialty stores (smart kid – he knows his mom pretty well!!) and this was one of my gifts.  I love it!!  It’s the perfect vessel to hold freshly grated Parmagiano Reggiano cheese.  The  brand is Guzzini and they have an interesting line of products.

My son happens to LOVE Parmesan cheese….so maybe that had a little something to do with his gift choice lol.

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and thank you to all of my wonderful clients for choosing me to capture their family memories this year.  :)

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The Demise of Portrait Photography? | Longboat Key & Bradenton FL Photographer

It has actually been a godsend that I haven’t taken on any photography sessions for the last two or three months – it clearly has brought to my attention just how much time I spent editing and neglecting so much around me (and myself).  After the stress of getting divorced and moving and then having so many sessions through the spring and the summer makes me wonder how I manged to (barely) keep my head above water.  Although I need the income, I clearly don’t need to stretch myself to unattainable limits especially when the value and cost associated with portrait photography seems to be in such a state of sad demise.  Read on  😉

I just read the most frightening and sad threads at MCP Photoshop Actions & Lightroom Presets that asked professional photographers what they charge for various size prints.  People – learn business. Learn what your COGS is and price your products properly.  You are a disservice to the industry by not knowing what to charge and then grossly undercharging so that clients eventually assume that $99 for a disc of images or a $6.00 8×10 is normal.  It’s not. Value yourselves more by wanting to actually make *above* minimum wage through education. I will get out of this business before I compete with you for clients who only care who is the best bargain out there. Fortunately, I have been blessed to have so many client inquiries start off with, “I love your work!!” instead of, “I’m shopping around for a photographer, can you send me your prices?” but I’m not sure how much longer that will go on for with crop after crop of uneducated photographers out there with a “nice” camera who will ultimately teach potential clients to expect cheap. And no, I’m not some groovy and awesome photographer….but I have spent thousands of hours and thousands of dollars educating myself through workshops and forums. On the art AND business. You can’t run a successful business based merely on “art” or “passion.”  Nope.  Sorry.

Not really sure if I’m at a crossroads yet – maybe; maybe not. I love the time I have without sessions to work on recipes and food photography for my food blog Kitchen Serendipity.   That makes me happy.  REALLY happy.

Many thoughts to ponder……maybe my new direction is not far around the corner.

Thanks for listening.  :)

Roasted Tomatoes |

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Carrie Green - December 12, 2013 - 10:48 pm

My thoughts exactly! I am the highest priced photographer around. I have lost tons of clients who were looking for a better deal. I kept the ones who really value my work. I used to do tons of weddings, but now only a few a year because I refuse to negotiate my price. I do this on purpose….I’ve decided that creating memories with my family is much more important than creating memories for strangers. Iast year I missed almost every weekend with my family because I was shooting weddings. This year, I’m only shooting weddings in the winter and Spring. The summer will be my time.

admin - December 13, 2013 - 10:54 am

That’s what I try to do, too, Carrie… can pretty much tell by the client inquiry if they will value your work. My clients have been terrific but I sense a big change in the air. :/

Food Photography & Styling | September 2013 Challenge | Fall Drinks | Bradenton-Sarasota Food Photographer

Welcome back to a new monthly challenge with the ladies from The Inspired Plate!  This month we are showcasing fall drinks of all kinds, some with alcohol and others without (guess which kind I did?!?).  Although it is the autumn season in many locales, it is most definitely NOT here in Florida where the temperature is still hovering around 90°F.  While I did photograph two drinks at home – I then jumped on Jet Blue and went to Boston last week for some real fall inspiration!

I embarked on a bourbon theme which I don’t even drink or (think I) care for.  It just sounds like fall!  Two (well, maybe three) of the drinks are fully styled and some of the others are simple bar shots with great drinks from some of the finest Boston-area bartenders.  Thank you to ALL for the great recipes.  Yeah, I took some baby sips and I do have to say that the drinks were REALLY good and made so incredibly well with just the right nuance of flavors.

This first one was photographed in Florida and is adapted from the October 2013 issue of Martha Stewart Living.  All recipes and a pull-back of this shot can be found at the end of this post.

Maker’s Mark Pear & Ginger Cocktail


























One more drink before I hightailed it up to Boston – this is my creation and is made with a prepared tea blend of yerba mate, cocoa, and spices.  (I used Guayakí Yerba Mate Organic Mate Chocolatté.)

Maker’s Mark Mate Chocolatté

Then to Boston……

This is a recipe adapted from Peck the Beak that I tweaked a little bit.  Delicious.  Real fall leaves were a great touch that I couldn’t have included had I been shooting in Florida!  Don’t even ask how the candy corn was attached to the drink skewers.  Trust me – you don’t want to know.

Maker’s Mark Mulled Apple Cider

And now for our awesome Boston-area bahtendahs!!

After a glass of wine and appetizers at Figs on Charles Street, one of Todd English’s restaurants, it was time to venture and find some great bars.  The first stop was The Met Back Bay….the bartenders were crazy AWESOME and were more than happy to showcase their amazing bourbon drink…..

Boston Bourbon Smash!!!  (The Met Back Bay – courtesy of Brian)

Next up is the INSANELY INCREDIBLE bartender Tenzin from a new favorite Boston restaurant – Trade.  We stopped in for lunch on Monday and HAD to come back Tuesday evening.  Thank you Tenzin for taking the time to make this amazing drink!  You can follow Tenzin on Instagram at @bostonmixdrink and @tradeboston.

BF State of Flux (Trade – courtesy of Tenzin)

Very cool….this drink is made with a saffron simple syrup.

Last, but not least, is the beloved 3 Restaurant in Franklin.  The lighting in there is, well, serious bar lighting (dark with a warm, inviting glow) which means I only carry my iPhone there and hope for the best.  Thank you, Richie, for making us a FABULOUS  fall bourbon drink!

Cidermaker (3 Restaurant – courtesy of Richie)

Now please continue along our circle to see what the ladies from The Inspired Plate came up with for fall drinks!  Next up is Sabrina Wong, Perth Food Photographer who hails from Australia where it is actually spring!

I have participated with these challenges on my photography blog, but several of these drinks will appear over on my food blog Kitchen Serendipity.  To see future recipes, I would be thrilled if you would “like” my page on Facebook.  Thank you!! And Lafe – THANK YOU for helping me with this.  Yeah, it was a tough assignment LOL LOL……you are awesome:)








Oh – and the pull-back shot from the Maker’s Mark Pear & Ginger Cocktail…..this is how it really looks!!




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Tammy Bilodeau - September 30, 2013 - 12:17 pm

WOW! this is so great Stacey… looks like you had a blast with this one. So many interesting ways to drink Bourbon, and they all look delicious. Your lights beautiful in all of them and the simple styling with a touch of the fall colours looks fabulous, such a great entry :)

[…] see the amazing Stacey Siegal | Bradenton-Sarasota Food Photographer to follow along with our talented group of TIP […]

Sabrina - October 1, 2013 - 5:30 am

I love these photos Stacey!! Especially that first one, lovely styling and I definitely get a Fall feel from these colours. Love how you photographed the bar drinks too, it’s lovely having light come through the drink from the back and light up the glass :) Now I’m curious about how you got the candy corn on those skewers… Thank you for posting the pullback! I don’t have any boards I can use as a background (vertically) at the moment, I really love yours here, I just bought some wood in a similar size to paint 😉

Jennifer Olson | Pretty-Eats - October 2, 2013 - 5:05 pm

Stacey, you seriously hit it out of the park with this challenge!!! I don’t know where to start. I am really impressed by your images in Boston’s bars, that can be such a difficult setting to take photos and yours are so fun and gorgeous. 😀

admin - October 3, 2013 - 12:24 pm

Wow – thanks so much Jen!! xo

» Kitchen Serendipity - October 10, 2013 - 4:38 pm

[…] styling challenge with The Inspired Plate for our September theme of “fall drinks” on my photography blog at Stacey Siegal Photography…..but it’s worth a share here as we progress further into […]

Eduard Kooij - January 9, 2014 - 2:20 am

WOW! these are really fantastic photographs . I like your work , great shots ..