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Martha Asencio-Rhine - Photo Director, Projects & Features

Photo Director, Projects & Features

Ever heard of a momtographer? That was me. I took loads of photos of my two boys, building a love for photography that took me back to the classroom at 32 to get a college degree. Photojournalism wasn’t a word I was familiar with until seeing the work of the masters which led me down rabbit holes and ultimately to Google where I typed, “How to become a photojournalist?” Limited to my location due to the husband and kids thing, I chased a journalism degree at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, a great choice as it set me on a path to intern at the Tampa Bay Times’ photo department. Since formally joining the team I’ve learned a lot from smart, talented people and found a well of support. I’m originally from the Dominican Republic but I’ve grown up in St. Pete; the Times is my hometown newspaper. I love spending time with my family, including the rowdy Dominicans in the diaspora. Any outing with friends is always fun; bikes, beach, brunch, plus reading a lot of novels, shopping for antiques, getting lost in the trees or laying in the sun.

  1. Aubrie, 16, sits for a makeover during Beauty Day at the Pace Center for Girls. Students were treated to makeup application by a professional makeup artist, glamour shots and free beauty products, Wednesday, May 25, 2022 in Pinellas Park.
  2. Natalie El Amrani leads students in a routine during after-school rehearsal for upcoming performances of the Cultural Expressions dance team she started. The team practices in her classroom at Melrose Elementary in St. Petersburg after school in January.
  3. Maria Drew of St. Petersburg hits a forehand on the court during her mixed doubles pickleball match at Crescent Lake Park in St. Petersburg on Thursday, Feb. 17. Drew, 55, is also a tennis player who played in college at Florida A&M University.
  4. Sofia Bardelli, 10, left,  and her sister Fiona Bardelli, 7, right, hang on during a ride on opening day of the Florida State Fair at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa on Feb. 10.
  5. A brown pelican flies just above the water after being released.
  6. Music producer Tre Gilliam hangs out during his event, the Tre Made This Beat Bike Giveaway, in its second year. Gilliam purchased the bikes and registered families with the help of family and friends, Thursday, Dec. 23 in St. Petersburg.
  7. Fifi Raymond, 36, is pictured with part of her large gun collection.
  8. Portrait of Anil Eglais, 62, outside his apartment. Eglais worked for Gopher Resource from 1988-2016 in a variety of different positions. He suffered a heart attack in 2016 and is now retired. Eglais described the work environment, especially in the bag house, as that of a cement factory or bakery with a lot of dust in the air. This portrait was part of our investigative project into safety practices at Gopher Resource, "Poisoned." Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021 in Tampa.
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