What I Do Here


Rochester New York Photographer

Since 2008

Nothing fancy or glamorous. I’m a text tweaker.

As Lead Editor for NYFalls, I provide a second set of eyes for pretty much everything that gets published here.  I read it all – usually multiple times. I’ve helped photograph the Great NY Photography Locations section on the site which currently includes a seasonal look at Rochester’s Mount Hope Cemetery grounds, as well as its long abandoned 1912 Chapel.

I’m happiest when I’m quietly proofreading and making adjustments behind the scenes. Sometimes I’m asked for advice, and I’m happy to give it. Occasionally, I get to tag along with Matt as he visits locations for the site.  I mostly just take pictures of him taking pictures. Ha! I’ve found some wonderful locations to explore just by being so immersed in the good information Matt writes.

Looking at a waterfall through the trees as they frame photographer, Matt Conheady

New York Historic

New York Historic landmark photography

 2010 – 2022 

Some photography, some research and some editing.

I think I said “no” at least twice when Matt extended an invitation to collaborate on this project. History was my least favorite subject in school and I didn’t think documentary work was my thing. Matt encouraged me to come on board with my own style and together we’d strike a balance to showcase each historic location. Around the time we launched the site, I was making regular trips to the history-rich Hudson River Valley and so the markers in that area were some of my first posts.

My entries on the site number just under 200 – and this post on the Saratoga Springs connection to potato chips was the most enjoyable to work on! I photographed it on my birthday in 2012.

a blue and yellow historic marker about potato chips

Scenes from a Public Market

Public Market - Open Air Market Photos

Since 2011

This project has been my favorite, because it’s set up so that I can do two of my favorite things at the same time.  Those 2 things are photography and people watching! Often there is eating involved too.  I’m in! There’s an automatic goal when I travel to a new place, to scope out its markets and hours so that I can stop by with my camera! To top it all off – there is no requirement for a written component.  Yay! Ideally, the photos stand alone and convey the atmosphere at a given marketplace.

My contributions include dozens of markets in the US, Canada and Europe.

After some ebbs and flows in activity here, I’ve recently posted my photos from Riga Central Market in Riga, Latvia. The indoor portion of this market is housed within 5 re-purposed zeppelin hangars!

a shopping basket filled with flowers and produce carried by a man at a farmers market

About Me

In just a few words, I’m a wife, mom, bird nerd, novice worm farmer, photographer, kettlebell lifter, and veggie loving weirdo with 2 titanium hips!

A little more? I pay attention to details and I enjoy being with people who have the “other” 2 senses: common sense and a sense of humor. I wear a lot of red and pink. I really like brown and green earth tones. I don’t like blue.

I was born and raised in Western New York and currently live in Rochester with my husband, John. We’ve been married for 38 years and have 2 grown sons.

Having grown up in a home where there were always cameras around, I don’t remember a time when I didn’t have one of my own.  My dad worked for Kodak in its heyday, and this came with perks like easy and affordable access to cameras, film and developing.

Camera in hand, I’m drawn to a crowded market or a busy city street looking for interesting people, patterns, colors, textures, shoes, shapes, shadows, oddities, or just about any other random or unusual item I can find. I’m just as comfortable wandering quiet and alone through a park or crawling on my hands and knees in the woods admiring and photographing the natural world that surrounds me. Of particular interest are songbirds, mushrooms and snowflakes. I find subjects that interest me just about anywhere.

Favorite Place to Shoot in New York State

Sterling Nature Center’s Heron Rookery

The fairly dense fog on this early spring morning made photographing the nesting heron families challenging, but it also gave these images a bit of an other-worldly, painterly feel.  There are dozens of nesting heron pairs in this beautiful and peaceful spot. If you decide to visit, please, please, PLEASE be respectful of the birds as well as the humans who are observing their behavior.  This means do not make loud noises, do not bring your pets, and do not approach the nesting site closer than the viewing platform allows.

Favorite Subjects to Shoot

This can change at any moment, but currently it’s snowflakes.

About 13 years ago, I needed some kind of project to help me find a bright spot in an otherwise dreadful winter season. My technique is ever-evolving and I’m slowly learning the science behind these gorgeous jewels that drop from the sky. It’s fun to watch people’s faces light up when they see a real snowflake up close for the first time – through my images!

Yes! They are REAL!  No, they are not plastic.

My snowflake prints can be purchased here.

If you’re interested in purchasing snowflake note cards, you can email me at [email protected].

Extreme close-up of a real snowflake on a blue scarf

My Gear

Cameras & Lenses
  • Canon EOS 7D
  • Canon EOS 7D Mark II
  • Canon EOS Rebel T3i
    • Canon EF-S 10-22mm
    • Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS
    • Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS ll
    • Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 ll
    • Canon EF 85mm f/1.8
    • Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L
    • Canon EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS
    • Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro
    • Tamron 18-270mm VC
    • Sigma 150-600 f/5-6.3 IS
  • Canon EOS M50 (APSC Mirrorless)
    • Canon EF-M 28mm f/3.5 Macro IS
    • Canon EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS
    • Zhongyi Mitakon 20mm f/2 Super Macro

Kelly Lucero stands on the shore of the Baltic Sea in Latvia with her camera
Shooting the Baltic Sea - Latvia

Random snapshots of me using some of the gear.  In the last few months I’ve started shooting with the Canon mirrorless EOS M50. The image quality is excellent and I am amazed at how compact and lightweight it is. I love it.

My Photography Tips

‘Sensation’ Lilac
Learn to use your camera and its settings before you learn to use image editing software.
  • I think it’s perfectly fine for a beginner to put her camera on AUTO for the first week. Max. After that, I think you stunt your growth as a photographer. Once off auto, you’re probably going to take some really shitty photos.  So now what? Do your research. What is it about the image that looks bad? Figure out why the camera saw the scene differently than you did.  Why does the image have Grandma Betty’s face completely in shadow when you didn’t see her that way at all? Learn about aperture and shutter speed.  Learn about different types of light and white balance. Figure out how to correct bad images with the settings on your camera before you start moving sliders in Photoshop.
  • If you’ve been shooting for a couple of years and you still need to ask “what settings did you use on that?” when you see an image you like – this is an indication you have either left your camera on AUTO way too long, relied too heavily on correcting bad shots in your image editing software or both.  Be independent.  I never, ever mind helping people figure things out if I can see they’ve taken some initiative and tried on their own first.  Don’t be lazy.



Blue Winged Warbler – May 2019
Learn basic information about your subject. Keep learning more.
  • You don’t have to be a bird expert to photograph them, but it does help to have access to a field guide. Digital or hard copy – it doesn’t matter. This helps to avoid what I see all the time – and that is someone who thinks they’ve found this rare bird.  They post a really blurry photo of it from 200 feet away and tell their audience how it behaved and what noise it made and then ask US to identify it.  You were there – you observed it and heard it.  At least make an educated ID and then ask for verification.  Also if it’s super blurry – just don’t post it.  Period.
  • Once you’ve learned something about your subject – share tidbits of that information with your audience.  Give them something nice to look at AND a new morsel of knowledge. I’ve tried to do this when I post bird or snowflake images on social media. I’m far from an expert in either subject, but I have collected a lot of information over the years. When you share your photo, also give some bonus morsel of interest.

Something’s Not Right Here

As a spin-off to my photography tips section, here I’ll share examples of careless editing and obviously fake images that amuse me!

Poorly photoshopped image of a city and moon next to a body of water
This hack took the time and effort to fake the moon, but ran out of bullshit before faking a corresponding reflection.
A terrible photoshopped image showing reflections of umbrellas in the water when the actual umbrellas have been photoshopped out of the image.
I guess people just don't pay attention to reflections?
Example of a poorly photoshopped image. The couple, standing on the stairway, has no legs.
At least the dog has legs!

Nice Things People Said

“Kelly has a unique talent to interpret everyday scenes, ones that we generally pass by without a second thought, and present them back to us in outstanding clarity and with refreshing perspective. Her ability to make comfortable scenes seem new to us again is a remarkable talent that is evident in her farmers’ market photographs as well as her collection of “odds and ends.” Fantastic colors, details, and composition all come together to create pictures that strike the heart as much as they do our eyes. Although one may see objects in her photos and interpret them as the subject, the true art she presents is the appreciation of the environment the apparent subject lives within.

Focus is a characteristic lacking in a lot of work I see these days. And here I am not talking about the technical ability of focusing a lens. I mean the ability to focus on the objective of creating a photograph, whether to follow an assignment, tell a story, to convey a feeling, or to represent a scene. This is where Kelly shines. Her photos follow a narration of the moment in time of their capture, and allow you to experience the detail present in the microcosm she chose to isolate. These are not pictures of things, they are captures of mini-frames of lives that we otherwise take for granted.

On the personal side, Kelly breathes life into our message boards with insight, wit, and perspective that keeps everyone entertained. Behind the scenes she has been a hard-working, hawk-eyed editor who makes sure that articles are presentable and clear before they get her stamp of approval. She is responsible for bringing NYFalls.com into a class of refinement that was not within reach before she joined the team. Personally, she has grown to be one of my closest friends despite a contrasting generation gap and artistic perspective. Without discounting overlap in our personalities, it may be the appreciation for the differences in perspective that keeps the friendship strong, which is something I can truly identify as a trait as exceptional as her art.” – Matthew Conheady, NYFalls.com Founder & Local know-it-all

Hill of Slane, County Meath, Ireland – May 2019

  • “OMGosh! I can’t stop squealing about the snowflake series. These will be our Christmas cards this year. I can’t even put into words how much we love them. I love your work. We couldn’t stop oohing and ahhing. We sounded like we were 5 years old watching fireworks. They far exceeded our expectations. Thank you for sharing your gift of photography with all of us.” –LBW, Michigan

  • “I have to come back and buy a second one of everything.  I get home with my cards – look at them, and say “I can’t send that—it’s so pretty, I need to keep it!”  So now it’s always one for me and one to send!” – Liz Thompson, Bat expert

  • “Oh my goodness Kelly, you are so generous, and so very talented. I love them all!” – LL, PhD, Rochester

  • “The ladies I gifted your photo cards to loved them.  Most said they couldn’t decide whether to write on them or frame them!!  My own personal solution is to  buy them matted to hang on my walls. – K.M., California

  • “We appreciate your talent so much as it has helped make our house truly a home!” – J & M, Rochester

  • “Just love these cards!  You do such a great job!  I thank you for the extras too.  You’re so thoughtful – I hate most of the cards on the market, however sometimes I see photographic ones and none to equal yours.  Thanks again.” – S.A. Overs

  • “Everyone loves your photographs – I had 2 ladies fighting over a lilac picture!” – A local shopkeeper

  • “What a wonderful photographer you are. I like what you see, and how you frame it, and I like your sense of humor and your sense of…the profoundness (profundity?) of mundane things.” – Tina Curren

  • “Kelly, they’re beautiful!  I always think I’ve picked out the most special ones – then each time they’re more beautiful than before!  I never get tired of looking at them! Thanks!” – Kelly Paganelli

  • “I had a photo shoot with Kelly done yesterday. She was very easy to work with, and was able to catch my “essence” in less-than-ideal lighting conditions. I highly recommend her and her work!” – Allen Walck

Contact info

New York Historic
Scenes From a Public Market

How To See & Buy My Work

In the Rochester, NY area:



Art Prints - Kelly Lucero