Nov 10, 2015

The Shelley Family || A Tender Family Session at Lost Dutchman State Park

Have you ever had an instant connection to someone; something that just draws you to that particular person? This is how it was for me with Trisha. Only mine sounds stalkerish. I am friends with her sweet Mother-in-law, and we were visiting one day and she was telling me all about her son’s fiance and how amazing she is. “You’d love her! I wish you could meet!” And I wanted to. Really badly. More than I normally wanted to meet people I’d just barely heard about. But she and Jake were in Utah at school and I figured our paths would never cross.

A little over a year after they got married, all the Shelley children were home for Christmas and they asked if I would do their family photos. I was excited to see the Shelley kids I knew, but I was also extremely excited to get to meet Trisha (even though they still had to go back up to Utah after the holidays and that’d probably be our only meeting I figured). We didn’t get to talk really, but I was glad to meet her. She seemed just as sweet as Sandy said she was.

And then 2014 hit. After welcoming their cute little girl to the family, severe back issues for Jake, and graduation, they decided to move in with Jake’s parents for a few months until his dental school started. Sandy was so excited to tell me they were coming. I was so excited to hear they were coming. I still felt inexplicably drawn to Trisha!

They arrived just in time for a couples gelato night with some of our friends from church and I really wanted to talk with her. But I can be awkward getting to know people at first and just didn’t know what to say. I was working on losing weight, and she was a health coach at the time, so we visited about that, I jumped on her challenge team, she scheduled family portraits, and we set a date to hang out and visit.

And I’ve loved every minute since then! She started asking questions about cameras and photography for her blog and that has exploded into a full blown passion for photography. She is now pursuing photography full blown and is phenomenal. The progress she’s made in less than a year is astounding. You need to go check out her work!

It’s been so much fun to have a photographer bestie! We can bounce ideas off each other, shoot together, scheme, drool over our favorite photographers, and we have a ball. So when she asked if I would do their family portraits I jumped on that like white on rice!!

Trisha picked the perfect clothes, the perfect spot, and the perfect light for their shoot. It was a little chilly that morning, but we made it work! We drove out to Lost Dutchman State Park just before sunrise and got shooting. She and I had gone over plans, the look of the shoot, and what we both wanted out of it the night before so we both went into the shoot with ideas of how to get this done. And I LOVE the results.

I was able to set up the main shot, get them in place, get them posed, and Trisha was able to direct some of the interactions and reactions between them. It was so fun and magical capturing moments, not poses. This is the kind of shoot I want to do all the time! I want moments, emotions, and love to pour out of my shoots, and this session was full of all of those!

Poor Colbie just wasn’t sure about me or being out in the chilly morning. But even with her uncertainty of the situation, I love the family cuddles and the moments between them we caught!

 And apparently having Dad throw fruit snacks to her is the key!

Once Colbie had just had enough, we got to take a few moments to get some shots of Trisha and Jake together. They are such a gorgeous couple and have such fun chemistry. It was magic!

At the very end we got some shots of just Trisha, because she’s fun and beautiful! Her look is so perfect!

On the way home we stopped off at one last location to try and get some shots of just Colbie and a last family shot. Dad pulled out the bubbles and we got a few small smiles!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Dad Mom

    November 10th, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    Such great pictures .

  2. Marquette

    November 10th, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    Thank you! It was such a fun shoot and everything came together so perfectly!