Category Archives: General


As many of you know, Barb and I are members of our local professional photography guild here in Southwest Florida.  Last night was our first Print Competition of the Year and we each entered six images.

We were so excited to have Merited on 7 out of the 12 entered, and three of those received placement awards!

It is our goal to continue to perfect our craft by entering images into local, state, and international competitions.  We are eager to hear the judges’ critiques and are able to learn and grow from them.

Check out last night’s Award Winning SandBar Photography Images:

Bandana Buddies Second Place

Wrapped in Love third place

Little Boy Blue Merit Print 81

Sweet Dreams Merit 80

Award Winning Photographers- Ft Myers

Ft Myers Newborn, Children, and Pet Photography Images

As many of you know, Barb and I are members of our local professional photography guild here in Southwest Florida.

Last night was our first Print Competition of the Year check out some of the adorable images that merited.

We were so excited to have Merited and received placement awards!  Click Here to see the Twelve elements we are judged on.

Why do we enter? It is our goal to continue to perfect our craft by entering images into local, state, and international competitions.  We are eager to hear the judges’ critiques and are able to learn and grow from them.

It pushes us to strive for excellence and it certainly helps us in our daily sessions at the end of day to deliver a top notch product for our clients.

Check out some of last night’s Award Winning SandBar Photography Images that were taken from some of our clients sessions:

Sandbar pet photography Bandana-Buddies-Second-Place-300x240

“Bandana Buddies” Pooh Bear and Scruffy

This Pet Photography image was taken during our annual Animal Refuge Center Calendar Contest.  ARC is No-kill animal shelter in Fort Myers, FL dedicated to adopting homeless dogs and cats and educating the population on the humane treatment of animals. A cause we are passionate about here at SandBar.

Sandbar newborn photography Wrapped-in-Love-third-place-300x240

“Wrapped in Love”

Our beautiful mother and her precious 6 day old baby girl. Newborn photography can be tricky and should be trusted to professionals, not only for safety (our number 1 concern) but also for those amazing portrait images to ensure the proper lighting. We encourage parents to bring in newborn before 10 days old for the sleeping baby all folded up look, after 10 days old they tend be be a little less likely to be fussed with for certain poses. Like this sweet baby girl that just slept thru being held folded in her mothers palms.


“Sweet Dreams”


Sandbar Photography Little-Boy-Blue-Merit-Print-81-300x240

”  Little Boy Blue”

Another award winning portrait from a newborn session. This little man is 2 months old and wide awake with his gorgeous blue eyes. Ty was ready to smile at the camera and check it all out.

He came to studio with his older brothers and  from that same session another image worthy of a merit was taken.


300x240 brotherly love-Bspratlin

“Brotherly Love”

Next is on list is our Regional Competition made up of 13 South Eastern States.

FIRST PLACE for Children’s portrait last year was none other than ” Heir to the Throne” read all about it by clicking on link =  “Heir to Throne”

That was a HUGE HUGE honor and totally unexpected.

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Give us a call:      Sandy 239-.707.7971 / Barb 239.707.9570

Moerschel Family Testimony


We LOVE the Christmas cards!  They turned out so beautiful!    As much as Paul was dreading getting pictures done, he said we should have our pix taken by you for Christmas cards every year.  That coming from a man whose stomach was in knots having to get his photo taken.  What a great experience this entire photo session was!    Thank you for making it so wonderful!

Ft Myers Photographer Pumpkin Pie made with Honey

                                                                                                                                                                                                  For the Love of Pumpkin!

Here at the SandBar Photography, it’s not just family and children portraits this time of year that we love, but we have a passion for all things pumpkin, and especially this time of year.

SandBar photography loves all things pumpkin

SandBar photography loves all things pumpkin

Now although I am a children and family photographer I do have two other photographic passions one is with horses and the other is food. Well to be more accurate I love cooking and making food maybe a bit more than actually photographing it.

Sandy is a better newborn photographer and high school senior photographer than she is a cook!  She’s one of my dearest friends but she needs a bit of help in cooking department, She asked for this recipe so I thought I would share and find something to blog about as well. I use this recipe  for my pumpkin pie as we avoid the white sugar and replace it with a unprocessed ingredient honey.

first of all I start with FRESH PIE PUMPKINS

they are small.

sandbar photography pie pumpkins

I then cut them in half , take seeds out ( these can be baked as well for a nutritious snack )

Baking pumpkin seeds

Baking pumpkin seeds


and bake  your pumpkin halves  on 350 degrees for about an hour or until fork tender.

baking pie pumpkins

baking pie pumpkins

ninja puree of  pie pumpkin

Let pumpkins cool down , then puree the pumpkin in my handy dandy ninja blender.

sandbar photography pumpkin puree

                                                                                           I then freeze enough for 2 pies ( 1 1/2 cup for each pie)  in a quart freezer bag, date and label and freeze to last me thru the holidays.


sandbar photo of pumpkin pie

Fresh Honey Pumpkin Pie 

1 1/2 cup of Pumpkin Puree

1/2 cup of honey

1/2 tsp cinnamon

fresh grated nutmeg ( just a pinch)

I like taking the nut and using the grater makes me feel so gourmet ! LOL

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp salt

2 eggs slightly beaten

1 cup evaporated milk

1 pie shell

Mix all together and bake for one hour at 350 degrees

Enjoy ! and let me know if you try this?

Heir to the Throne

I had better get to blogging about this since it in today’s paper.




I am still amazed looking at this portrait and all the awards it has won. Here’s the story how it all came to be.

After leaving our annual photographers convention, It was last year about this time that I was inspired to photograph my 4 year old granddaughter McKenzie Virginia in a Renaissance Era costume I picked up at Cracker Barrel on my way home.

I have always loved the era, from romance and fiction to walking thru every castle I could convince my family to go thru while traveling in England years ago. I wanted this image to be a portrait of a little girl that could be the daughter of a Queen.

Bringing McKenzie into studio , dressing her into the costume and her mommy curling her hair just so.

She stood perfectly still and smiles, I asked her to stand very “regal” knowing she didn’t understand that word. I told her to stand tall, she was very important, and not to smile but not look bored or mad. Apparently she knew exactly what I needed because she nailed it!

I titled her appropriately  “Heir to the Throne”

It was entered at local competition among professional photographers and it received  1 st place for children and Best of Show for the evening. A honor but not something that I hadn’t won before. Went home very pleased.

Next was several months later I entered in the South Eastern States Regional Competition that covered 13 states and 3 countries. I had never entered before but wanted to get critic so I could enter into International later in the year. I received an email asking where did I want my award mailed to? and then a phone call from Florida Photographer President stating since I wasn’t at convention they picked up my award.

1st Place Children’s Portrait Southern Region United States – WOW!!!

shocked I sent her to International Print Competition where she Merited and is being published in a Show Case gallery book.! Big Honor

Then coming back for our annual State Convention, she won 1st place children’s portrait, The peoples choice award ( which is all the photographers vote on their favorite portrait entered no matter what catagory) WOW!!!

and then only one award for Kodak Gallery award and again they announced ” Heir to the Throne” Barbara Spratlin for the 4th time that evening.

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Needless to say I was emotional and speechless, so proud and received so much recognition and praise from such talented photographers in this industry who understand how difficult it is to get these awards.I am still humbled and very grateful.

I would love to produce such a portrait for others, something of their loved ones, truly  to be cherished for a lifetime. A piece of Art. ~ Barb

Equine Photography Ft Myers

When the call came in from Carla at Sunny Coast Vet  ( a mobile Veterinary service)

my heart broke as she explained that she wanted to have professional photos taken of her Grand Prix Champion horse ” Georgie” before she had to euthanize him due to leg injuries. It has long been a passion and connection that I have had with horses and to get the opportunity to merge my two passions together was bitter sweet.

I will let Carla tell you in her own words about this special horse.

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“I appreciate you guys coming out to photograph Georgie before I had to say goodbye to him. And absolutely, you can write about us in your blog. Here’s a little write-up about him:
Georgie was born in 1996 in Denmark and was brought to the US when he was 9 years old. My trainer Linda Oliver bought him and trained him from 2nd level to Grand Prix. I bought him a year ago. He was the kindest, sweetest, most gentle horse I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Our road began somewhat rocky, with me as his veterinarian and him as my unwitting patient, but it ended with the most enjoyable year I have ever experienced with a horse. Georgie was an amazing teacher who was always there to do things incorrectly when I asked for them incorrectly, but to do them with a grace and finesse that belied his large frame when I rode well. He took care of me and was always willing to go the extra mile when called upon. He is the only horse I have ever known who could both piaffe and pee-pee in a bucket on command. He would have worked enthusiastically into his 30s if he could have. However, in May, he became lame due to a problem in his hoof. A couple of weeks later, due to the fact that he wasn’t putting normal weight on his foot, he catastrophically injured his stifle. Georgie was more stoic than any horse I have ever worked on, and he tried to rally during the last few weeks of his life. However, he couldn’t bear much weight on his leg, even while he was on heavy pain killers. Because it was not possible for his injury to ever heal to a point that Georgie would be reasonably comfortable, it was decided to do the only fair thing for Georgie and let him go. He will be missed by all who knew him. Farewell, Georgie-P/Georgia Peach/Pumpkin/Button-headed man.”

Carla Francheville, DVM

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for more information about  Sunny Coast Veterinary   visit
 has been serving Florida’s Southwest region, from Bradenton to Naples,(including Parrish, Sarasota, Venice, Nokomis, Myakka City, Englewood, Placida, North Port, Arcadia, Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda, Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Naples, and Bonita Springs)since 2005. We are strictly an ambulatory (mobile) veterinary service provider, offering our clients the convenience of coming to them for their veterinary care needs.