To 83 Degrees with love: So long and much success

Editor's note: Amber Sigman is joining 83 Degrees Media as Lead Photographer following the departure of Julie Branaman, our original and long-time Managing Photographer, who is pursuing new adventures. Read Julie's departing love note to 83 Degrees, our readers, people we've featured and stories yet to come.

Through my viewfinder over the last 8 years, I've watched Tampa Bay grow into the thriving, thoughtful place it is today. I've been surrounded by fearless people implementing fabulous ideas and I've enjoyed helping to tell those inspiring stories through 83 Degrees Media.

During that time, neighborhoods like Tampa HeightsSeminole Heights and the Warehouse Arts District have grown into stronger communities. People like Quantum Leap FarmBlanket Tampa Bay and Kind Mouse Productions have all shared their time, love and support to those in the Bay Area who need it. Food trucks hit the streets and craft beer, oh craft beer, heard of it? When my dearest and I moved here from Seattle 11 years ago, we counted ourselves lucky to find Sam Adams on tap in downtown St. Pete. Craft beer & breweries in the Tampa Bay Area have grown in a Gremlins kind of way. Just add water and they take over! I call it the craft beer gauge while traveling. You know the quality of life is good in a place if you can get a tasty beer on tap. All over Tampa Bay, life is good. 

Capturing what’s happening right in the Bay Area has been good for my soul. Documenting the people and ideas that help to propel it forward reminds me that I live, work and play in a really special place. 

My role as Managing Photographer at 83 Degrees Media also helped to propel myself forward by pulling me out of a traditional workforce and nudging me to work independently and for myself. I took a leap, albeit scary at the time, leaving my fulltime (with benefits) job at The Tampa Tribune for a not-even-born-yet new media magazine that some of my colleagues in journalism thought wouldn't last. 

Eight years later and The Tampa Tribune, as we knew it, no longer exists while 83 Degrees is chuggin' right along.

That initial leap has led to more leaps. My husband, James, also left his fulltime job and we now work together as The Branamans creating more video than still pictures for a wide range of clients. My college self never would have believed it, but she also would be skeptical if I told her our cameras can fly! Sure it's by drone instead of jet pack (which we thought they'd surely have invented by now), but either way we are pioneering new ways of storytelling with 360° videos and even 360° drone visuals for a truly immersive aerial view not possible a few years ago. 

We're pushing boundaries just like all the crazy, creative, techno-savvy, entrepreneurial, pioneer types I have been inspired by each week working with 83 Degrees.

So now it's time to take another leap. Our business is booming, and although I will still live in the Tampa Bay Area and continue creating storytelling video and pictures, it's time to turn over the camera strap to another who can fully focus on Tampa Bay and it's next phase of growth. 

I will miss working with the incomparable, fearless and tireless Diane Egner. She's one of the best leaders I've ever worked with and an outstanding advocate for all things good in Tampa Bay. 

I will miss my front row seat to all that's going right in Tampa Bay through the 83 Degrees Media community. I will miss meeting the artists, chefs, scientists, leaders, entrepreneurs and creative thinkers that push Tampa Bay forward. 

Luckily, I'll still be close to those stories by receiving this sweet little magazine in my inbox every week and keeping up with all of you who make Tampa Bay a great place to be. Thanks for that.

-- Julie 

To reach Julie, email Julie Branaman at The Branamans - Visual Storytellers, Journalists, Explorers.

To reach Amber Sigman or to suggest additional story ideas, email 83 Degrees.

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Read more articles by Julie Branaman.

Julie Branaman is managing photographer at 83 Degrees Media in the Tampa Bay region of Florida.
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