What Do I Wear??- Hanford, CA- infant, children, family & senior photographer

After a client books a portrait session the next question out of their mouth is always:  What should I/we wear?  The question always gives me pause because while I don’t want everyone to show up in identical jeans and tiny checkerboard plaid button down shirts, I DO want the images to be accurate representations of  YOU and your own personal style.  So, my typical response is to tell clients to dress in a way that GOES together but doesn’t necessarily MATCH, avoid small print and then I also have clients bring anything that represents them as individuals: musical instruments, tutus, tiaras, cars, horses, bikes, motorcycles, etc.  These items add dimension to a photograph and give a peek at who the individual really is on a day to day basis.  As an artist, I’m much more interested in capturing the REAL YOU!!  And in the years down the road your family will be much more captivated by a portrait that shows personality rather than the staged stiff family photo someone made them take.  Having said all this, I understand that the ‘GO TOGETHER’ concept is easier to say than to do.  So, here are a few visual guides to help you figure it out!  You don’t have to run out and buy these exact outfits they are a GUIDES to help you decide what would work for you and your family and I hope they help you answer that nagging question of what to wear for your next portrait session!

I should point out that you don’t have to buy new clothes to have a portrait session.  More than likely you have the perfect outfit sitting in your closet waiting for you!  If you can’t find it, throw your wardrobe in the car bring it with you to the photo shoot and we’ll find it together!  Hope to see your rocking that perfect ensemble in front of my camera lens very soon!



A ‘sweet summer’ surprise- Pretty presets- photo processing tips

After our camping trip, I honestly couldn’t fathom the thought that my lucky streak could continue.  I mean who wouldn’t be pleased with a great photo shoot, fantastic weekend with family & friends and ROCKSTAR parking in a packed lot??  Who could ask for more???  There’s no need to be greedy… right???  Well boy oh boy, did the good luck gods save the best for last!

After arriving home from our trip I check my email to find a lovely message from Laura Thomas at Pretty Presets.  I first met Laura on Clickin Moms a few months ago when she had an open call for testers of her Bold and Beautiful Collection.  (In fact if you look at the 3rd set of demonstration photos on her site they are the ones I provided for her as samples!)  So, the purpose of Laura’s email was she wanted little ‘ole ME to test her new set of presets!  I am just beyond flattered to be asked to test for Laura again and I’m so excited to have her permission to show off the beautiful new collection before you can even purchase it in her store!!  The Sweet Summer Collection is due to be released a little later this week and is just fabulous!  If you like to edit your photos in Lightroom and love to make them SING with just a quick click Pretty Presets is the way to go!  They are above and away the easiest to use Lightroom presets I’ve ever had the pleasure of owning!  I could rave about the new Sweet Summer Collection all day long but why not let the presets speak for themselves!

Beautiful aren’t they??  Laura, thank you so much for allowing me the honor and privilege of testing your amazing work and sharing the results here with my readers.  For those of you with Lightroom follow Pretty Presets on Facebook here and be one of the first to know when those presets are available for purchase!!  You’ll LOVE them!

I’m hoping this little lucky streak of mine continues but if it is over today I can honestly say….I’ve had a good run!  😉



4th of July camping fun- Lake Arrowhead, CA- Landscape Photographer

As I mentioned in my previous post, I seem to have struck upon a really fun streak of luck.  It all began with my lovely photo session with the ‘B’ Family, then continued a few days later when a friend invited us to join them on a camping trip to Lake Arrowhead, CA.  Now, to say we immediately saw the opportunity as good luck would be a flat out lie.  The invitation came with about 14 hours of notice, and when I asked my husband if he thought we would have a good time his answer was a resounding NO!

For those of you who don’t know, I have a 2 year old daughter and to say she is a princess, drama queen & totally unpredictable could be the world’s LARGEST understatement!!  The child is a total WILD CARD and you just never know how she’s going to react and while we had been talking about taking her camping we were far from prepared.  So after more than a little debating we decided to give it a try.  We threw together everything we could think of, made a run to Target for a few missing essentials and off we went.  We arrived at the Dogwood Campground around 3pm, had a roaring fire going by about 6:30pm and smores in hand by 7:00pm.    The kids were filthy, marshmallow covered messes but boy were they having fun!!

The fun continued the following morning with picnicking and swimming at Lake Gregory and a visit to BEAUTIFUL Lake Arrowhead.  By this point in the trip Cody (my husband) and I were recognizing that we were being blessed with some totally awesome good fortune.  And as if to make it abundantly clear that the stars were aligned in our favor when we arrived at the Lake Arrowhead Village (which was PACKED for the 4th of July fireworks show) a car pulled out of a parking place right in front of us as if it had been waiting for us all day long!!!  THAT NEVER HAPPENS TO US!!  NEVER!!!  After letting the kids play in the play ground and ride a few rides in their little carnival area we headed back to the campground for a wonderful dinner and our last night of camping.  The following morning we packed up camp and headed for home.  It was an amazing trip and we had such a great time we’ve decided to do MUCH more camping!  We are considering a trip this weekend in fact to Sequoia!

Ok…so for those of you who are thinking wait…the good luck is a photo session, a camping trip and a good parking place…WAIT THERE IS MORE!!  But you have to wait for the next blog entry to see the rest!  😉  Until then a few pictures from the camping trip!  Thank you Saza, Kevin, Kaden and Kaia for the last minute arm twisting invitation!  It was an amazing time!



The B Family- Hanford, CA- Family Photographer

Some people don’t believe in luck.  Some people think you make your own luck.  There are even other people that think luck is controlled by a higher power.  I’m honestly not sure which view point is correct.  However, I’ve been a very blessed individual lately both personally and professionally.  My nice little streak of  ‘luck’ began when I meet the B Family about a week ago.  They are a lovely family and we had a fantastic time walking through beautiful downtown Hanford.  The motivation for their photo shoot was to provide Dad with some images of his family while he is on deployment.  It is my sincere hope that these images will put a smile on his face.  Thank you for your service to our country, God bless you while you are away and may he speed you quickly home to the family that misses you so much!

More to come on my lucky streak in my next blog post BUT until then a look at the beautiful people that started it all!

I imagine when Dad gets home those will be REAL jumps for joy!  Thank you again for the beautiful day and I look forward to taking photos of the reunited family VERY soon!



Baby Lela- Hanford, CA- Infant and newborn Photographer

I had the pleasure of photographing a beautiful new family yesterday.  Baby Lela was born on June 13th and she is the most beautiful little girl I’ve seen in a very long time.  Possibly the only thing cuter than little Lela herself, is how bursting with pride and wonder her new parents are.  It was so sweet to watch them lovingly care for her and I couldn’t help but think back with nostalgia at nearly 3 years ago when my husband and I brought home our beautiful baby girl.  They make the most precious little family of three…errr uh…I mean FOUR…can’t forget Astro!!  😉  It is my pleasure to present for the first time the entire family:

They are a beautiful family but check out how GORGEOUS little Lela is in the staring role:

Thank you so much Julie and David for allowing me to photograph your precious baby girl!



Entering the blogging world… Hanford, CA- Photographer

Hello world wide web, I’m so very excited to enter this phase of my business launch.  I began this journey of becoming a business owner in April when we moved to Hanford, CA.  Having a husband in the Navy moving is normal and just part of the job.  However this was the first move since our daughter’s birth and for the first time we had decided to buy a house.  These two things made the move feel different, it wasn’t just a couple moving into base housing or another rental property, it was a FAMILY moving into a new HOME!!  Since April, we’ve fallen in love with our new home town.  Hanford is a charming and friendly little town in central California and couldn’t be a better fit for this Kentucky-Texas hybrid family!  We are HOME for at least 4 years and couldn’t be happier about that fact!  Also since April, I’ve worked like crazy to get ‘Shelle Reck Photography’ up and running.  I’ve done several shoots with beautiful families and I’m LOVING it!  If there is such a thing as a dream job, I’m certain that I’ve found mine!

Since this is a blog about photography it wouldn’t be right not to include pictures.  So, here are a few of my favorites from recent shoots and a few from our beautiful home town.

September 2022

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