Category Archives: General


SandBar Photography is honored to volunteer our time and talent to photograph the monthly calendar pages for the ARC bidders.

Each year ARC aka Animal Refuge Center of North Fort Myers has a calendar contest and auctions off the monthly pages for the following year’s calendar, then the calendar is sold for more monies to be raised for the shelter.

The winners bid money goes directly to the shelter for much-needed funds in the medical and practical needs of the dogs and cats that are orphaned.

Professional Pet Portraits help raise money for the local animal refuge center, not only through the annual calendar pages but SandBar is offering for anyone that wants to update a personal pet, child or family portrait, a complimentary session fee in exchange for a donation to ARC for the month of September.

As many of you know this is an annual fundraiser that SandBar participates in, we book out the entire week just for the calendar cats and dogs to come in for their photo session. It had been on the books for months for the week of Aug 14th, but sadly only 2 weeks before my dear friend and business partner, Sandy passed unexpectedly. It was such a devastating blow and shock I honestly didn’t know what to do other than just keep our schedule. Little did I know that it was the best thing for me and SandBar to get thru this time. The very first session was 3 cats and 2 dogs for the cover and I hadn’t a clue what they looked like or what I was going to do. It was the cover after all! The minute  I walked into the studio it was game on and instincts of creativity took over, Charlie, Kate, Nancy, Kit and Kaboodle arrived and were so sweet, posed perfectly. It was a breeze and gave me confirmation that this is exactly what I was supposed to be doing and where I was supposed to be. Surprisingly I felt very close to Sandy, I thought I would feel very alone and just be a mess. The rest of the week, Toby, Tully, Courage, Mixie, Pete, Mr. Wilson, Stumpy & Bob, Libby, and our favorite ARC mascot Lily all had so much love to give. I am very pleased with how this calendar has turned out and excited to share with everyone.

Here is a sneak peek of the 2018 ARC Calendar

To purchase your calendar and find out more about ARC

How can you help?

Adopting an animal is a lifetime commitment and is wonderful, but even if you can’t do that at this time, fostering an animal is an amazing opportunity. Mother cats with young kittens would love to be in a home until kittens are weaned. Shy animals would benefit from being in a home environment for socialization until they can find a forever home. When natural disasters with large scale intakes hit  ARC steps in and help with the volunteers of foster families so the facility isn’t over capacity. When foster families share photos on social media and help find permanent

Adopting an animal is a lifetime commitment and is wonderful, but even if you can’t do that at this time there are other ways to help.  Fostering an animal is an amazing opportunity, mother cats with young kittens would love to be in a home until kittens are weaned. Shy animals would benefit from being in a home environment for socialization until they can find a forever home. When natural disasters with large scale intakes hit other shelters across the country, ARC steps in and helps with the volunteers of foster families so the facility isn’t over capacity. When foster families share photos on social media and help find permanent homes that is a very rewarding way to help as well.

Donations are always welcome and needed both financial and in supplies. Below is a list.

Cats Wish List: canned food, dry food, temptation treats

Dogs Wish List: Biscuits & Treats, Nulo Canned and Diamond Dry, 6′ standard leashes

Shelter Wish List: Disposables: Paper towels, tall trash bags, dish soap, laundry detergent, bleach, Clorox bleach wipes and linens.

Equipment: Industrial washable mop heads, brooms, buckets, and dust pans. They can always use new or nearly new washers, dryers, and pressure washers.

They can always use NEW air conditioner/heaters for the residents’ housing.

Remember: SandBar is offering for anyone that wants to update a personal pet, child or family portrait, a complimentary session fee in exchange for a donation to ARC for the month of September. Give me a call! 

~ Blessings

Remembering Sandy

Only I could tell this part of Sandy and I wanted to honor her.

The pews of the church were filled with family, friends, fellow photographers, & clients. The platform and steps were completely covered with 42 gorgeous flower arrangements. Besides the floral arrangement from her parents and her husband, I placed the arrangements with hydrangeas the closest to her portrait as that was her favorite flower.

Her father, her brothers, her husband, her daughters, best friend’s son, and Pastors all spoke about how they had known Sandy at the memorial.

This is what I had to say.


25 years ago, We met in church and both were on the dance worship team. Our friendship was based on a strong foundation.

It was always God first, Family 2nd, and then our business.

15 yrs into our friendship, a few days before my Mother’s funeral, Sandy and I had a long conversation about Life and Death. Creating and “Living a Life we Loved” was the conception of our photography business.

2 months later, Sandy and Barb became “SandBar Photography” we opened for business May 2007.

SandBar is the life and the love that we created together. Love never dies and to honor her memory, Sandbar Photography will go on.

But she’s gonna have to learn how to be the Silent Partner. ☺

Somewhere around 1500 sessions in the past 10 years, not one argument!

We laughed and said that we worked together like hand and glove & Laurel and Hardy.

We’d pray for our sessions and the people. Our clients we loved like our own family. She was so considerate and always giving….. Last text was about buying a baby shower gift for a client.

I don’t remember Sandy ever saying anything unkind about anyone. She wasn’t a complainer, she had a calm presence and loved people for they are and where they were at. I will forever hear her voice saying: “That’s just who they are, Barb”

God gave the two of us one of the greatest gifts in life that you could have with another person other than your spouse. She was not only one of my closest friends & spiritual sister, but because of our business together we were able to travel the United States on many adventures. We laughed and always had so much fun. What a rare treasure to know and to love Sandy Rose!

One of Sandy’s favorite books was “Wishes Fulfilled” by Wayne Dyer. She read that book several times, it was probably the last book that she had in her hand. One her favorite sayings, and to quote Sandy: “Everything happens as it should …because it did”

The last day I saw Sandy was the day before my vacation, Thursday, July 20th we spent a full day at the studio doing what we love.

I believe that Nothing is a surprise to God. He knows the future before you step into it and he prepares you for the next season in your life.

24 hours later…..The next afternoon I was out in the Gulf in a boat and suddenly a storm came up – it got very dark and black. Before we knew it, we were surrounded by a pounding rain, with lightning popping. There were voices on the boat of panic and fear as the grandchildren cried for us to go back to shore. All the while my son in law, Torey, who is a boat Captain, was saying No we must wait it out, and important to be still. We were wet and cold huddled together, the captain of the boat pulled the bimini top down like a convertible to cover our backs and somewhat protect us as he stood with his hands at the wheel watching over us & the storm. As the boat rocked side to side, I remember being very concerned ,but somehow had a deep calm. I wondered if we were going to make it through. We were sitting ducks. I thought: This is it and I have no control over this situation.

*** And there are storms in life that we have NO control over…….

After what felt like an eternity the storm passed, & the skies cleared up enough to see the shoreline. We were about 10 Miles out as we began to make our way back to the boat ramp – The Lord spoke to my spirit and said: “There are many voices – when storms of life come, voices of fear and panic also come but there is only ONE voice. “ “It is the voice of the captain, the voice of the Lord your God to be still to wait till the storm passes , I’ve got your back covered and I am at the wheel gently watching over you,” I remember thinking wow that will preach and I am not even a preacher, who am I gonna tell this to?

****** A week later, suddenly another storm came, in the wee hours of the morning as I sat in the dark, on the couch, in unbelief, over Sandy’s passing. The voice of fear came….with the questions that we ask …. ‘why’ did this happen? I don’t understand What do we do next?

Once again I heard the Lord say to me “There’s only ONE voice to listen to your Captain.” Now you have the opportunity to walk out what you say that you believe.

I pay attention to numbers. We were 10 years in business together. We were 10 miles out from shore…. In scripture the number 10 means testing. Whether it is a test, a trial, or a storm….I know that God has got this.

My Mother was a seamstress and she would hold up her pieces of material she had sewn together and “test” the strength she would say.

Whether it is a test, a trial, or a storm….I know that God has got this.

God knows our beginning and ending. This is not the end. This is a new beginning for Sandy and for all of us.

As Sandy would say: “It is what it is & as it should be – because it was”

THIS IS THE VOICE OF YOUR CAPTAIN speaking…… Psalms 46:10: BE STILL and KNOW that I AM GOD.

Today is Purple Day

Epilepsy Awareness

It’s not about a color, it’s about educating, bringing people together to help raise awareness and support for a disease that has taken many of our children and loved ones.

Cassidy Megan created the idea of Purple Day in 2008, motivated by her own struggles with epilepsy. Cassidy’s goal is to get people talking about epilepsy in an effort to dispel myths and inform those with seizures that they are not alone. The Epilepsy Association of Nova Scotia came on board in 2008 to help develop Cassidy’s idea which is now known as the Purple Day for epilepsy campaign. The internationally recognized color for epilepsy which is Lavender so she named it “purple day”

Did you know…

Here are just a few facts from the Epilepsy Foundation

1 in 10 people will have a seizure in their lifetime.

More than 3 million Americans are affected by Epilespy; that’s more than Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy and Parkinson’s Disease combined.

In America, Epilepsy is as common as Breast Cancer, and takes as many lives.

Epilepsy affects 50,000,000 people worldwide.

The federal government spends much less on Epilepsy research compared to other diseases, many which affect fewer people.

Research funding for Epilepsy is about $35 per patient compared to $200-$400 for the other illnesses.

Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP) accounts for 10% of all Epilepsy related deaths; 85% of these fatalities occur between ages of 20 to 50. SUDEP incidence is approximately 1 in 1000 people with Epilepsy annually more than 10 times the sudden death rate found in the general population.

What can we do?

You can wear purple clothing,

make purple ribbons with your children to wear

and also make bows to tie around trees in your neighborhoods and communities.

Wear purple jewelry,

have a mani/pedi day and get your purple on.

Replace your outdoor light bulbs with purple ones,

release purple balloons in honor of those with Epilepsy and those we have lost to Epilepsy.

It is our responsibility as advocates, parents, caregivers, family members, friends of those with Epilepsy to “Talk About It” to bring Epilepsy into the forefront make it both a household name and word to be used, discussed on an ongoing and continual basis.

Advocacy starts with us, it starts by doing something so simple and watching it spread around the community and globe. Take the time this year to get involved in your own communities and choose to work with an Epilepsy Foundation you feel is truly working for the greater good of the community and its residents. We are all in this together, we are all fighting for the same thing a Cure. Their is no reason that we cannot come together and work together, there is no reason other Epilepsy organizations established or those that are new can not work together and do something to benefit not only both organizations but the communities they live in.



This month Epilepsy Warriors chose one of our portraits of Jackson for their cover photo for their article.  This image was taken during a family portrait session at our studio around “Ole Rusty” .  Jackson was so adorable, fun and hamming it up for the camera. He was totally a typical 3 year old. It wasn’t until afterwards Mom told us that he had  a seizure on back of truck, it was a moment when he was quiet and just kinds stared off and shook a little.

Read More of Jackson’s story by clicking on link below

“Epilepsy is an ugly beast ” quote from a loving Mom who is doing everything in her power and praying for wisdom and guidance on raising a precious gift from God!

SandBar’s Cherubs and Charmers

SanBar Photography Fort Myers Childrens and Family Photographers


2015 Cherubs and Charmers Calendar Contest

We would like to thank all our beautiful babies for participating

in our 6th annual facebook calendar contest.

While only the top 12 votes made it in the calendar we truly believe that all are

winners and couldn’t get any cuter with such adorable antics, and expressions.

We had a blast in the camera room with the cherubs and charmers!

May each and everyone grow up to stay just as adorable and sweet as they are now.


And the winner is Kian

Wood, Kian


Hendrzak Lukas Smith Caliyan_ Adair,Isabella Alvarez, Brynlee BLS_0034 Breen Ella Ciulla,Lilyella Collum,Cameron IMG_3252 Brooklynn Lopez, valentino Mundy, Madison


Thank You parents for your support and being so awesome during a few bumps in the road during the week of voting.

Sincerely, ~ Sandy & Barb

Where Children Thrive

Business Headshots for Thrive Therapy/ Fort Myers FLorida

Thrive Therapy Business Headshots


We had the opportunity to work with Rachel and Elizabeth at

Thrive Therapy in Fort Myers for business head shots, and some

updated photos for their website.

Thrive Therapy works with children and families through creative play.

(see posted link for more information)


Rachel Stewart, Author “Zach & Zoie Safe Zones


Here at SandBar,  Sandy & I see a lot of children. Whether they are 6 days old

or 6 years old, each child is different in personality and looks.

It is an amazing discovery to see newborns barely out of the womb of Mom  already

easy going, feisty, hot natured, calm, or one that would rather snuggle in a toasty wrap.


Each child has a mind of their own and here at SandBar we let the little ones rule.

They dictate how the sessions go, as far as the flow and order of the session.

Somehow it turns out amazingly perfect as it should be.



We wanted to recognize these two special ladies and their field of expertise.

A much needed service in our community.



Who They Treat?   Children  3-12 years,  Adolescents  13-17 years,   Adults 18+ years, Families

What They Treat?  Anxiety, Depression, Trauma/Abuse, Grief/Loss, Impulse Control/ADHD, Parenting Education,Safe Education


What is Play Therapy?

Play Therapy is a theoretically based form of counseling that is used with children to help resolve psychosocial challenges. Children benefit from play therapy, compared to traditional talk therapy, due to their limited verbal ability to express their thoughts and feelings. In play therapy, children have access to carefully selected therapeutic toys that enable the child to say with the toys what they may not be able to say with words through the use of miniature figurines, art supplies, puppets, and dolls. Play therapy allows the child to work through things they have difficulty with by providing a safe psychological distance from their problems that in turn allows them to express their thoughts and feelings appropriate to their development. It is different from just playing with a child, a play therapist has specialized training to help assess a child’s play and facilitate growth and healing through play therapy interventions. Through play therapy, children learn to communicate with others, express feelings, modify behavior, develop problem-solving skills, and learn a variety of ways to relate to others.Play is the natural language of children. Toys are thought to be a child’s words and play is their language.

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Who Benefits from Play Therapy ?


Anyone can benefit, however PlayTherapy is generally used with children ages 3 to 12.

Vintage Ford Truck for Christmas Cards

Fort Myers, Florida Family Photographers and Portrait Artist for Christmas Cards


Meet “Rusty”. a vintage Ford, and  the newest member of our SandBar Family.

We love everything about him.  He brings so much character, texture, history,

and style to every photograph.

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We feel that he is a perfect fit as Fort Myers is not only the winter home of

Thomas Edison but just next door Henry Ford as well as the first Ford dealership in America.

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If you are looking for something a little more classic and different to make your

Christmas stand out this year, include Rusty.   He will be wearing his Holiday Cheer.

Can’t wait to see what Sandy is planning to do with him for the season.


“And the rest is rust and stardust”


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