Sanibel Island shoreline

Sanibel in December is always a treat. The island is quieter and cooler, and I am grateful for the opportunity to relax, clear my mind, and reset in preparation for the New Year. At the close of many wedding seasons I find myself decompressing in Florida. This year I was fortunate enough to travel there again to unwind after the chaos of a photographer’s fall schedule.

2020 has no doubt, been an off-year.

Many things have changed, and I am unsure if humanity will ever go back to where we once were.

Despite all the challenges, inconveniences, anxiety, fear, and financial and deeply personal losses by many – I do have so many things to be thankful for. My family has been healthy. I am very thankful to have continued working throughout the pandemic in both my photography and marketing careers. Spending more time in self-reflection and focusing on my mental and physical wellbeing are good changes that I have made and will continue to prioritize. Sheltering in place taught me how to be more efficient in my errands. Seeing the world around me struggle in different ways has opened me to deeper levels of empathy.

I read somewhere that while we are all facing the same storm, we are not all in the same boat. We are all in this same storm together, but everyone is facing very different challenges. It is important to recognize this, to have empathy for those around us, and to realize that our lives can change in an instant.

We spent our time in Florida visiting both the East and Gulf coasts. After landing in Fort Myers, we traveled across Alligator Alley to visit my father in law and brother in law’s family in Boca Raton. After a brief visit we returned across the state to spend the remainder of our trip in Sanibel. Using my Fujifilm x100v mirrorless camera, I photographed most of the images below (I used my Canon 5D mk4 + 100mm 2.8L macro lens to photograph the Pelican and Grey Heron at Ding Darling). I decided to spend time focusing on creating center-composed images, to place emphasis on my subject.

Sunrise over Fort Myers.

A flock of Terns seek out breakfast along the shoreline.

Sunlight radiates through this empty Pen Shell.

Affectionately called Sea Pork, tunicates are commonly found ocean invertebrates.

A discarded Horseshoe Crab shell.

A Ruddy Turnstone carefully watches me as I pass by.

A Mangrove Tree branch, washed ashore.

A Snowy Egret patrols the shoreline for food.

Another large flock of Terns perches along a narrow sandbar.

The receding tide leaves behind temporary tide pools, filled with organic life.

A Pelican flies high above us as we tour Ding Darling Wildlife Preserve.

A Grey Heron scours the water’s surface for lunch.

I was mesmerized by the highly reflective light across the ocean surface as we flew over Florida.