Dirk Shadd - Photographer


My mom says I was 5 years old, and for weeks, I’d been devising my plan. I would sleep behind the couch in the living room, the blue and white one with the plastic furniture protector. The one directly across from the Christmas tree. I remember it like it was yesterday. I clutched my dad's old Polaroid, intent on getting a photo of Santa arriving with presents. That is the earliest memory I have of wanting to be a photographer. Now in my 21st year at the Tampa Bay Times, I cover things that move a lot faster than jolly old St. Nick. Lightning hockey players, Grand Prix race car drivers and NCAA athletes. My favorites, though, are everyday people and daily life. That also moves pretty fast, come to think of it. And yes, there is usually a Santa assignment mixed in there once a year, too.

  1. Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy leads his team onto the ice for warmups before Thursday's game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Amalie Arena.
  2. Robyn Spotts, in background on left, her daughter Rowan, 6, and friends, Molly Glassman and her son, Isaac Glassman, 5, are all pictured after a few laps on the ice rink at the Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2023 in Tampa. The families first visited the Glazer Children’s Museum before hitting the ice rink. “We didn’t last long there and we are not lasting long here,” Robyn Spotts said regarding their limited success on ice skates.
  3. A large circus tent is pictured in the parking lot at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023.
  4. Tornado damage is seen at the Harbor Pointe Condominiums on Thursday in Dunedin.
  5. Sondra Martin sits in her easy chair in what remains of her living room Thursday at the Honeymoon Mobile Home Park in Dunedin after a tornado sliced through portions of the area early Thursday morning.
  6. The downtown Tampa skyline is pictured at sunrise amid hazy conditions due to Canadian wildfires, Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2023.
  7. Sept. 11• Community News
    Tampa Fire Rescue Lt. Charles Shuff rings the bell towards the end of the Tampa Fire Rescue 9/11 Memorial Ceremony at the Tampa Firefighters Museum Monday. Tampa Fire Rescue and Tampa Police Department held a joint ceremony to honor the memory of the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks.
  8. Aug. 10• The Education Gradebook
    With the welcome sign displayed in the lawn, the East Lake High school band heads out to the school entrance to perform as students arrive on the school campus on the first day of school at East Lake Middle and East Lake High on Thursday, Aug. 10, 2023 in Tarpon Springs.
  9. Van Ayres, Hillsborough County Schools Interim Superintendent, smiles while greeting guests at the yearly back-to-school news conference at Hillsborough High School in Tampa.
  10. A cat named Colby rests in the tall grass as the sun sets over the Tampa Bay at the Sunshine Skyway south fishing pier in Manatee County. “I imagine she would get to watch the sunset a lot,” Skyway Cats volunteer Katie Cagno said. “She usually likes that spot - right there where she is.”
  11. Future artists study Peter Gerakaris' "Caravan (Owl)" and other pieces in the new "Un/Natural Selections: Wildlife in Contemporary Art" exhibition as they work on their versions during a children's summer camp at The James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art in St. Petersburg on June 27. From left are Ophelia Pappas, 11, Jackson Cartier, 9, and Kellen MacCullough, 9.
  12. A man who identified himself as homeless and would only give a nickname settled in for the evening recently at the Cara Apartments in St. Petersburg. “I’m trying to stay out of people's way by living here,” he said. “Out of sight out of mind.” He said has been living on the front porch for a month or two. “It’s a beautiful building and it’s historic.”
  13. Zayn Jerrett, left, claps along with Darrion Jenkins and Imani Jacobs during the Plant High School graduation ceremony at the Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall on Thursday in Tampa.
  14. Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov (86) skates past Toronto Maple Leafs players as they celebrate the overtime, game winning goal by Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly (44) in Game 3 Satuday.
  15. Pinellas County Sheriff's Office Cpl. Matt Aitken, center, holds his 9-year-old daughter's hand as he walks out of Bayfront Health St. Petersburg on Friday, five days after he was shot by an auto burglary suspect. Walking with Aitken, at right, is Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri.
  16. March 7• The Buzz on Florida Politics