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. The class moves into the Reverse Warrior pose while balancing on paddleboards near the end of an evening on the water in Gulfport.
  2. Friends dance to music while waiting out a rain delay after thunderstorms delayed the game between Zephyrhills and IMG Academy for over an hour on Friday, Sept. 16, 2022 in Zephyrhills.
  3. Stage manager Kari Kennedy prepares to pull the curtain to open the show for "The Addams Family" musical during a live-audience dress rehearsal Thursday at the St. Pete City Theatre in St. Petersburg. Lurking in the background is Jeff Morris, who plays Lurch.
  4. Bailee Thornton, 7, works to paint on the Nomad Art Bus at the Carmada Street Carnival during the Shine Mural Festival’s official kickoff celebration in Childs Park at 4300 11th Avenue S on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022 in St. Petersburg. In background is Trace Bruner, 12.
  5. About 350 kids from various St. Petersburg Recreation Center summer camps choose a new baseball glove from a pile of gloves as they take to the field during the Perfect Game Cares Foundation youth camp to help introduce the games of baseball and softball to children living in underserved communities across the country at the Oliver Field at Campbell Park , 601 14th St S, on Tuesday, July 19, 2022 in St. Petersburg.
  6. Artist Tom Stovall works on a mural of Henry on the Dunedin Curlew water tower on Thursday, May 26, 2022, in Dunedin. The water tower, which was built in the 1960s, is 150 feet tall and holds 1 million gallons of water. Stovall is a large-scale muralist who also painted the Crescent Lake water tower. He started working on Henry in April.

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