Roeckell Photography bio picture
  • Welcome!

    Thank you for visiting my new blog site. Web site...Blog site, what's the difference? Well, think of the website as a portfolio and the blog as a living, breathing, visual conversation about the latest works from Roeckell Photography.

    I am a photographer, located in Barrington, Illinois, specializing in contemporary lifestyle and portrait photography of children, babies, newborns, maternity and families. I am also available for commercial work and travel. Much of my work is done on location utilizing the beautiful hues of natural light, however I do have a large studio in my home.

    I believe the secret to amazing photos that speak to your heart is allowing the children to be at ease. I let them be themselves in a fun environment were they are free to run, play, snuggle and once in a while stop to pose. My goal is that the images you receive will reveal the true spirit that makes your loved ones unique.

    Sit back, relax and enjoy scrolling through the images. Leave a comment! I enjoy seeing what you have to say. Feel free to send me an email or visit me on facebook if you have any questions.

    It's great to see you here. Thanks for supporting Roeckell Photography.

Color and Late Summer Food

As a photographer and artist I am constantly drawn to color. You’ll usually find me in black or white shirts which doesn’t seem to fit my  statement.  In clothing I am shy about wearing colors.  Maybe I simply want to let everything around me stand out so I blend in. There’s no hiding the colors of  late summer vegetables from the farmers market last week. One of my favorite things to do is photograph markets and street vendors.  One day I will make it to the country markets of Paris.  Until then I’m going to enjoy the Barrington market.  The deep rich colors pop right off the plate. This post should be on the new blog but until I get caught up in the studio and finish my sight design and light a fire under my graphic designer for my “Table and Dish” logo I’m going to keep adding my tasty food shots here. Food and kids, food and families, it all goes.



The eggplant was so beautiful that I had to try a new recipe with it. Roasted eggplant with fresh lemon thyme and  a Greek yogurt, buttermilk dressing topped with pomegranate seeds.


Mark Roeckell - These photos are fantastic! I have to say, it all tasted great!!!!

Thank You to my oh so prepared clients… Barrington Lifestyle photographer

You know who you are.  THANK YOU to those of you who are already planning, purchasing and booking appointments for Christmas Cards.  Yes, I said it…CHRISTMAS. I’m sorry. UGH, Sally, it’s Just September 1st.  I know and next week we will be putting out our pumpkins and soon after carving the turkey and before you know it you will PANIC and consider just skipping a year or sending one late because you have found yourself bogged down with sports and conferences, field trips, road trips, college schedules and SNOW. Any one else dizzy?

FEAR NOT, Call the studio or email me, set up a time to capture a family portrait or perhaps one of just the kids.  Take the pressure off, make it casual, lets meet in the park, bring the dog.  Then, let The staff at Roeckell Photography (that would be me…but a girl can dream) design a custom card and have it ready for you by Thanksgiving so you can check this task right off your list. I’m just sayin!

Thanks again to all of you who are on task! Thanks especially for entrusting me with such a personal greeting to all your friends, your Christmas wishes.

Here are just a few images I’ve been meaning to post.  Verity and her cousins are next FOR SURE. They have been waiting patiently and I’m on it.


This little angel would make a perfect Christmas card.  Too bad she has a brother who needs equal time and was busy checking out the bugs in the wood pile when we took this shot.  I think a collage might work.




CONGRATULATIONS to baby O who will be baptized on Sunday. Our best to the entire family.  Looking forward to capturing this beautiful event!





Yes, this one has been featured before.  It’s on the header at the top…because it makes me smile. I would love this as a Christmas card.  Sadly, I have three boys and only one girl and this shot isn’t going to happen for me. (ok, not sadly, but you know what I mean)  Why wasn’t I warned about boys. I grew up with only sisters. Girls are silly and moody but generally not hard on the furniture.  Having boys is like having cattle IN the house. Cattle that smell like Axe. God love ’em.  I know I do!


Back to School Cobbler Barrington Lifestyle Photographer

First day back to school, the house is quiet.  Ahhhhhh.

The first half of the day I was on fire.  Cleaning up what I knew wouldn’t be messed up until at lease 3pm. I answered calls, returned emails, edited photos.  About noon I realized there was no yelling, slamming, tattling, asking, jumping, whining, mud, open doors…wait, where are they? I miss them… a little bit anyway.  So what’s a mom to do to welcome home her four kids on the first day of school.

Peach Cobbler of course.  The smell of perfectly timed, hot, right out of the oven, fresh peach cobbler.  YUM!

So I found a recipe and got busy.
Who doesn’t love a recipe that starts with melting a whole stick of butter?
Put the butter in the dish you are going to bake the cobbler in and put it in the preheated 350 degree oven.  It will melt while you do the rest of the steps.
In a sauce pan slice 4 fresh peaches, add 1c. sugar and 1c. water let simmer for ten minutes while stirring a few times.
In a bowl mix 1.5C SELF RISING flour.  Okay, I know I’m shouting but it must be self rising flour or it wont work 1.5c sugar and mix together.  Then add 1.5c milk.  Stir so it isn’t lumpy but don’t over stir it.
Take your butter out of the oven. Pour the batter into the butter but do not stir.  Then ladle the peaches into the middle of the batter, again do not stir. Carefully pour the juice from the peaches mixture into the dish.
Sprinkle cinnamon sugar over the top of all of it about a table spoon or two.
Bake at 350 for 30 to 45 minutes.  Mine took 40 minutes.
I no sooner had it out of the oven and was taking this photo that the kids came running in the door.  I told Mary that she simply could not go to school tomorrow because I missed her too much.
The cobbler was spectacular.  The fruit sinks to the bottom and the batter rises up around it forming this amazing crust that is sweet and crispy and warm.  With a scoop of vanilla ice cream it is perfect.
Mom rocks once again.  Although I think that will fade quickly when I send them upstairs to clean up the mess they left in their attempt to get out the door this morning. Tomorrow beds must be made!


Express Yourself Inspiration from Children With Special Needs

Thursday I had the privilege of attending the gallery show and culmination of a very special project called Express Yourself. It started as a “What if we…” discussion about a year ago with the council of Barrington Area Special Voices and Thomas Balsamo of Portraits by Thomas. Thomas has been a huge inspiration to me personally and his work can be seen world wide. It was Thomas’ wish to create a program to inspire children with special needs to see the power of images and use photography as a creative form of expression.  He accomplished that and more.  28 young people with varying needs, ages 7 to 30 were given a basic photography lesson by Thomas.  (I had to giggle a bit thinking of all the professional photographers who would pay big bucks to be in the seats of these kids.)

It was a large undertaking with many people who helped along the way.  That’s where I come in.  I was honored to be asked to be one of the local photographers asked to be a “Photo Buddy”.  Essentially a mentor for a small group of participants to help, guide and instruct. It was inspiring to spend time with my “buddies”.  My gang was made up of two boys, 7 and 8 and one girl who is 11.  They brought a completely unique perspective to what they saw through the lens. The images they produced where motivated by themes from Thomas. Something that…is beautiful, makes me cry, I can’t live without, makes me laugh, and something that I love. They chose 6 favorites and then those were judged and together with Thomas they picked one final image that was framed and became part of a collective artful voice, the Express Yourself Gallery. The images where first judged by the board members of the Express Yourself committee and then again by peoples choice the evening of the show. The images and out takes of their shoots were printed in a book titled “Express Yourself the world through their eyes”.  My favorite part was that the kids were seated at a long table for a book signing and delighted in putting their signature on their image in the book.  You can get a copy of the book by visiting

I am proud to say of the 6 prizes awarded, two of my Buddies took home prizes.  It was bitter sweet though because they all did an amazing job. The pride on their faces and their exuberance was humbling.  I wish we could bottle it for the days later in life when it becomes easy to see extraordinary things as common place and worry so much about what others think that we forget to find beauty in what we see .

Here are just a few out takes from my buddies photo shoots. Many of my own images were printed in the book as out takes. Okay, I can’t lie, I’m super excited to be published in a book driven by Thomas Balsamo, I’m just sayin!  One of my out takes was full page photo of one of my buddies photographing reeds at a beach.  He thought he was pretty special, and he is in every good way.

Enjoy these images and for more information on Barrington Area Special Voices to learn about their advocacy, education, social growth opportunities and more go to





Below are the final entries of my photo buddies.  You must check out the whole collection.

Watch for information on upcoming shows as the gallery moves around the area.  It is worth taking the time to see through their truly special eyes.


One Month of Summer Left Barrington Family Photographer

Can it be true?? Where has it gone? Does time really travel faster with each new year? I’m going to do my best to sloooww down and enjoy the last weeks before school supplies, new clothes, books and lunch boxes rule my world.  There is still plenty of time for Beach portraits at Illinois State Beach, Wilmette Beach or a location of your choice. There are so many moments to capture that will tell the story of your summer in 2011. Maybe your little one learned to tie his shoes or your daughter took her first steps.  Those are the images I would want on my walls. My new favorite is “underdog” My little one and her dad spending an afternoon that might go by forgotten if not for capturing the moment.  Let me recreate these moments or watch new ones unfold during your next photo session with Roeckell Photography. Take care!

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I’ve added a few of my old favorite summer shots.  Little miss C’s eyes caught the setting sun in such a way that she has no pupil, only my reflection.  Okay I wouldn’t mess with her, would you?



Sorry for this indulgent repeat, one of my favorite beach captures. We spent the whole day at the beach and I had brought this dress and crisp white shirts for my three boys to take photos as the sun set. All the little ones carefully changed in the beach house where the floor was covered in muddy sand and water.  They all managed to stay clean for maybe three portraits then the fun began.  My husband however, never made it into the portraits.  His crisp white shirt landed on the shower floor!??  I know, right?? Oh well I remember that day in a beautiful way.




Little S below marched into this puddle like she owned it while her big brother clung to Mom on dry land. Her reach for the sun makes me smile every time I see it.



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