Tampa, FL Photography Spotlight with Joanie Zipperer Photography

Location Guides

Hey milspouse photographer! If you are headed to MacDill Air Force Base, this location guide is for you. Joanie Zipperer is a seasoned military spouse and has so much to wisdom to pass along from her family’s adventures. See what she has to share in this Tampa, FL Photography Spotlight!

What are your top three favorite locations for sessions? Briefly share about each.

Apollo Beach Nature Preserve

Apollo Beach Nature Preserve, on the east side of Tampa Bay, is the ideal location for those dreamy beach photos! There are different elements around every corner, perfect for creating layers and foreground in your portraits. Water, rocks, sand dunes, sea oats, flowers, palm trees; this location has it all without the crowds and sometimes strong winds found along the gulf coast.

Three girls smiling and laughing at Apollo Beach Nature Preserve in Joanie Zipperer Photography's Tampa, FL photography spotlight
Apollo Beach Nature Preserve, Joanie Zipperer Photography

Downtown Tampa

Downtown Tampa is full of creative locations for sessions of all sorts. The view of the skyline along Bayshore Blvd., the eclectic flair of Ybor City, or the riverfront at Armature Works and the Riverwalk are just a few of the amazing places to capture the essence of any session in the city.

Portrait of girl holding onto her jacket in downtown Tampa in Joanie Zipperer Photography's Tampa, FL photography spotlight
Downtown Tampa, Joanie Zipperer Photography

University of Tampa

The University of Tampa campus located on the Hillsborough River is a place with dramatic views of the city and relaxing walkways lined with palm trees. This location is perfect for photographing a stroll along the water, enjoying the breeze on a bench, or posing on a historic university staircase.

Portrait of a girl on the University of Tampa's campus in Joanie Zipperer Photography's Tampa, FL photography spotlight
University of Tampa, Joanie Zipperer Photography

Are there any particularly busy seasons for photographers in this area? Any events an incoming photographer should know about?

The Tampa Bay area is almost always blessed with mild weather so sessions are possible year round. Random afternoon thunderstorms can sometimes pose a problem with scheduling but they usually pass quickly and reveal glorious sunsets!

What should an incoming photographer know about permits in this area?

In most Hillsborough County Parks and Conservation Areas, a session with 5 people or less does not require a permit. The city of Tampa which includes sidewalks and beaches does require a permit for paid sessions so I recommend newcomers look into this for each session and specific location and make a determination.

What is the biggest piece of advice you’d give to an incoming photographer?

The humidity is real in Florida and can take a toll on makeup and hair. Bring blotting cloths and hairspray along for touchups and to control flyaways. Also, bug spray comes in handy for those pesky little creatures! Take advantage of the rare beauty of Florida while you’re stationed here. There are a lot of options for natural light photographers, especially ones who don’t like cold weather!

Any other local expertise you’d like to share?

MacDill AFB is a gem of an assignment location and the base itself is full of waterfront locations that are perfect for all sessions including military events.

Where can other milspouse photographers connect with you?


Are you a milspouse photographer interested in contributing? I’d love to have your insight! Please send me an email at and I’ll be in touch with the details!

If you enjoyed this Tampa, FL photography spotlight, be sure to check out other featured location guides and tips for moving your business!


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more about me

I've been navigating military life with my family since 2008. In that time, I went from a full-time classroom teacher to an online course designer to a photographer. Actually, I still teach a little math on the side because I just love it too much!

Through it all, I've discovered how passionate I am about connecting with military families. Whether it's taking photos at a retirement ceremony, coaching a fellow milspouse photographer, or just grabbing coffee with a new squadron friend, I love this community. And as a teacher at heart, I'm excited to use this space to share what I've learned about business and life with you.


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