Snowshoe Engagement Session

Snowshoe Engagement Session | Eric + Melissa

“I’m not sure if you quite understand what’s happening up here,” one of my emails to Melissa said, when I told her that we weren’t going to be able to just walk into the forest for their winter engagement session.  Melissa and Eric became engaged at Lake Tahoe and she had a specific adventurous outdoor mission in mind for her engagement photos: she wanted a snowy thick forested wonderland.  I could certainly deliver it, but in light of the five feet of snow we’d received in the two days before we were set to photograph, it wasn’t going to be easy.  It was the first of a series of snowstorms we’ve deemed “snowmageddon” which has since turned into “rainmageddon.”

“You’re going to need snowshoes,” I said.  They found snowshoes.

“You’re going to need a sense of adventure,” I might have said, “and some good natured enthusiasm.”

As it turns out, a sense of adventure and good natured enthusiasm is inherent in this dynamic duo and there was absolutely no reason that I would have needed to say that!  We spent an hour frollicing, falling, post holing, and burying ourselves in snow for their winter snowshoe engagement session and I loved every minute of it.  I can’t wait to photograph this rad couple’s 2018 wedding and spend more time laughing and adventuring for their photos.  After this, I am quite positive that they would be up for absolutely anything that included scrambling, climbing and adventure!

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Yosemite Park Wedding

Tenaya Lake Wedding | Yosemite, CA | Catherine + Josh

One would think that I would have photographed a ton of weddings in Yosemite National Park already thanks to it’s proximity to Tahoe and my adventurous outdoor spirit.  Unfortunately, I hadn’t yet had the opportunity, which is why I was especially excited to be connected to Catherine and Josh via Thumbtack.  They were planning on holding a Tenaya Lake Wedding in Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite National Park.  Since they were both traveling from afar for their elopement, it was important to Catherine to have someone who not only knew how to photograph outdoors, in harsh sunlight, but also would make the entire day easy and uncomplicated.

I was especially excited about the day because they wanted to have me photograph their small intimate ceremony on the edge of the lake, and then go romp around various places in Tuolumne for portraits.  It was SO MUCH FUN.  I even convinced them to wade through the lake for an epic lake portrait!  Thanks Catherine and Josh for being adventurous!  I think our work paid off!

Venue: Tenaya Lake in Yosemite National Park | Officiant: Rev. John Paris | Florist: Yosemite Weddings | Bakery: Mimi’s Cookie Bar | Reception and Catering: The Westin Monache Resort | Bride’s Attire: Watters | Bridesmaid Attire: Francesca’s | Groom and Groomsmen Attire: J Crew | Make-up: Jenny Sickler

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“Lauren was such a pleasure to work with for our wedding. Our wedding was in Yosemite National Park and because of Lauren’s creativity we have wedding photos that are absolutely incredible. Lauren has ideas for photos that I don’t think many photographers would come up with which produces some unique and beautiful photos – especially if your wedding is in a destination location.”  

-Catherine and Josh

Zephyr Cove Wedding

Zephyr Cove Wedding | Lake Tahoe, NV | Susan + Rick

This post could also be titled: OR, that time I piggybacked a groom through the lake.

True story.

Exhibit A:

Photographer Piggybacks Groom

It’s a really good thing that Susan and Rick are adventurous.  They are craft beer lovers (the boys at boutonnieres made out of hops) and climbers, so we got along splendidly.  So splendidly, in fact, that when I told Rick to get on my back and that I was going to carry him across the lake for a portrait on a free-standing rocky outcropping, he only slightly protested, “I weigh 180 lbs!”

“Good for you,” I replied, “I weigh 145.  Now get on!”

I feel super lucky to have been part of this amazing crew of people and their fantastic friends for their afternoon Zephyr Cove wedding.  I was only with Susan and Rick for a short two hours, but we packed in the awesome: from piggybacks to a bare bum, this short wedding was full of surprises and I loved every minute of it!

Venue: Zephyr Cove Resort | Coordinator: Stephanie Stugart | Violinist: Olena Klingman | Bride’s Attire: The Dress Theory | Groom’s Attire: Men’s Warehouse

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Drown the Gown

Drown the Gown | Isla Mujeres

So, there’s a second part to that awesome Isla Mujeres Destination Wedding I posted about.

Brittany and Crystal wanted to do a day after “Trash the Dress” session and get in the ocean wearing their bridal gowns.

“Heck yes!” says the photographer who is writing this with two black eyes from an incident involving a bride and groom on snowboards, a six year old out of control skier, the camera and the photographer.  Of course I want to get in the ocean with my camera.  That sounds awesome.

So we did.  Here’s a few of my favorite images from our Drown the Gown session on Isla Mujeres, along with images of me capturing them thanks to Julie Pizzo.

More on how we did it after the photos.

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When Britt and Crys first approached me about their wedding, the first wish they expressed was that they wanted to go in the ocean and do a drown the dress session.  I knew I would absolutely want to photograph it at least partially underwater, if not all the way underwater so I immediately started researching underwater photography housing for my cameras.  The options are varied and so are their prices. Full functional underwater housing, such as the kind my friend Ralph Pace uses for his amazing photography of underwater sea life, for my cameras is, in general, more expensive than my camera bodies themselves.  We’re talking in the $3500-$4500 range.  To rent it for two weeks while I was in Mexico was almost $1000.  I still considered it.  My original vision was to find a super calm cove and go out early in the morning when the water was like glass and get the girls full submerged.  I am now super thankful I didn’t go that route because it would have been impossible due to the weather we had the week we were in Mexico: it was blustery almost every day, all day long and it was especially windy the morning we had to photograph the session.

The next option was to go with a bag.  After talking to a number of folks, I made the decision that this was the way to go and pulled the trigger on a DiCAPac WP-S10.  I was told by most that it is hard to change the settings when it’s in the bag, that I would be sacrificing sharpness (which I’m fairly obsessed over), and some people said they ran it on autofocus and some said they pre-set settings and ran with it.  I found it easy to change aperture and shutter speed, but impossible to change autofocus and while I had set it up to autofocus, I wish that I had just chosen one of the focus selections in the top, middle of the frame and run with that.  Overall, I’m super stoked on what we captured.  I think it’s dreamy, passionate and makes you feel like you too could get swept away by the heat of the moment.  You can almost hear those waves crashing.

Everything that isn’t partially underwater is shot with the Nikon D750 and either the Sigma Art 50 or the Nikkor 70-200.  Everything that was taken partially underwater is the Nikon D800 and the Nikkor 24-70.

Location: Isla Mujeres | Second Shooter: Julie Pizzo | Camera: Nikon D800 and D750 | Waterproofing: DiCAPac

Cordova Alaska Wedding

Alaska Destination Wedding | Jessie + Nate

When Jessie told me she was getting married she immediately followed it up with the words, “…and you’re our wedding photographer.”  “Great!” I replied, “When is it?”  “Well, I’m not sure that we want to have one….”

When Jessie told me they were thinking of being married in an intimate mountaintop ceremony in the town that Nate works in every winter in Alaska, I about melted to the floor.

Emphatically YES TO ALL OF IT.

Big thanks to the crew and staff that Nate works with who housed us, fed us, and entertained us that week while we wandered the streets of Cordova, the rain forest nearby and the glaciered peaks of the area.  I had such an amazing time staring at otters, photographing eagles, and generally just stuffing my face with halibut.

I have a ton of photos from our week in Cordova, but I’ll leave you today with Jessie and Nate’s Alaska destination wedding photos only.

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Tahoe Commercial Photographer | Published in Powder Magazine

I’m not sure how much I need to emphasize that this is a really big deal for me.

THIS IS A REALLY BIG DEAL.

Thanks to the awesomeness and all around badassness of my fiend Meghan Kelly, I’ve been published in the December Issue of Powder Magazine.

I can’t think of a publication that I’d be more honored to be published in, except maybe National Geographic.  Powder Magazine routinely sets an extremely high bar for the caliber of photography they publish, including the images in their sister spread that focuses on mountain biking, Bike Magazine.

Meghan’s had an amazing couple of years and I’m extremely proud of her.  From summiting a glacier in Africa to raising the funding and executing an all-female human-powdered trip from Iceland to Greenland, to overseeing the Northern CA chapter of the non-profit SheJumps, to participating in the all female ski film Pretty Faces, her roster of awesomesauce is massively incredible and humbling.  She’s a leader and a comedian and I’m pretty lucky to call her my friend.

Thanks to Powder Magazine for publishing my photo and heralding females participating in winter sports.

Now, if only it would snow here in Tahoe so we could all go shred.

Mountain Bike Fruita | Sneak Peek

I’m currently on a kick ass mountain biking vacation with friends in Fruita, CO and Moab, UT.  You’ll have to wait til later for the full write-up but here’s a sneak peek to hold you over.  Just know this: mountain bike Fruita is awesome.

Tahoe Event Photographer | International Women’s Ski Day

On Saturday, December 14th (I know, I know, it’s FEBRUARY oh jeez, MARCH) we celebrated International Women’s Ski Day out at Kirkwood Mountain Resort in conjunction with SheJumps.  The day was intended to bring women together into a unified group to celebrate girls in the mountains.

“We believe that by encouraging girls and women of all ages and abilities to storm mountains on 12/14/13 we are supporting a strong, healthy, and vibrant community of women in the mountains,” says Tamra Geryk of SheJumps.

It’s pretty difficult to have a bad day on the mountain when you’re shredding with a posse of strong amazing women.  To all the ladies who were with me that day, sorry it took me so long to get to the photos.

Missed the event and want to join in on the fun?  

Keep an eye on the Pacific Coast Events Page for SheJumps.  There are Get the Girls’ Out Days every month in the Tahoe Basin at various local resorts and they are a great way to find new friends to ski with.