I was thrilled when Ashley and Tim told me they were interested in having their engagement session done in my hometown of Dallas, TX and even more ecstatic when they picked the shooting itinerary that I secretly was the most excited about: a romp around the Bishop Arts District in Oak Cliff. I’d been wanting to photograph a Bishop Arts District engagement session for years because of it’s quaint shops and bright colors and textures. I had a feeling that it was going to be fun, urban and colorful and it totally paid off. I always like to start sessions off with an adult beverage and this one was no different. Unfortunately, our original plan was to meet at the uber colorful and outdoor space of the Foundry but I arrived to discover it was closed for a special event. Womp, womp.
Instead, we ended up at the beginning of the district at Parker Barrows, which had fantastic open windows, local beers on draft, and cool subway tile. We wandered our way through the district, stopping when inspiration struck and sampling chocolate (a must do!) at Dude, Sweet Chocolate, where the employee went above and beyond to let us sample almost everything in the shop.
We finished up at the Old Kemp House where local artist Eric Mancini has given it his colorful make-over and created a work of art. There was a swing! Finally, we drove over to the nearby Trinity Overlook Park to capture some golden hour goodness and the Dallas skyline.
No trip of mine to Dallas ever goes without a stop at Fireside Pies for dinner, usually in the company of my mom and her sisters. My aunts weren’t available but Ashley and Tim accepted my invitation and we had an awesome evening over amazing pizza and great wine!
You couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful Texas summer day than the one Lisa and Michael were graced with for their Mercury Hall wedding in Austin, TX. Perfect bluebird skies brightened up their day and although it was warm, by Texas standards it was downright pleasant, especially in the shade. Their wedding featured an outdoor afternoon lunch catered by Hoover’s with some of the best brisket I’ve had in quite some time, beers from Real Ale brewing company (Fireman’s 4 is my Texas summer jam), and a traditional Reiki ceremony from her maid of honor Katie.
Lisa was incredibly stunning. Two wedding dresses were double the fun and I was head over heels for her Watters ceremony dress. It was flowy and delicate – a great compliment to the Austin afternoon.
I hadn’t been back to Mercury Hall in quite some time. It’s such an incredible venue right in the heart of Austin, TX! Despite the fact that a very important basketball game was on simultaneously, the dance floor eventually got going and even grandma couldn’t keep her feet still. I’m so happy I was connected with this rad couple via Thumbtack – I had such a blast dancing with their friends and family. We all know that I love Austin and I can’t wait to return for more weddings at Mercury Hall!
Also, super huge thanks to my good friend and fellow wedding photographer Lisa for stepping in and being my second for the day. This was an adventurous weekend and I actually photographed a wedding the day before in the Bay Area, took a red eye to Texas and slept on the plane and then went straight to Lisa and Michael’s wedding for more wedding fun. It was an absolute blast of a whirlwind weekend! I knew when I made arrangements that it was either going to be amazing or terrible and it was amazing. Working is always more fun with a good friend alongside you!
Venue: Mercury Hall | Officiant: Reverend Jacqueline (Jackie) Hammett | Florist: Petals, Inc | Bakery: Coco Paloma Desserts | Catering: Hoover’s Cooking | Guitarist: Josè Manuel Tejeda | DJ: Toast Entertainment | Bride’s Attire: Watters and Pronovias from Serendipity Bridal | Bridal Party Attire: BHLDN | Groom and Groomsmen Attire: JC Penney and Bows-N-Ties | Makeup: Rachel George at W3ll People | Hair: Bethany Lessick | Hairpieces: Aya Jewellery | Second Photographer: Lisa Hause
The island of Isla Mujeres is a magical place where you ride golf carts from place to place, eat fish tacos from a man in a plywood stand who presses his own homemade tortillas to order, swing through the rafters of the bar on the main street after one too many tequila shots, and, apparently, have one of the most amazing weddings I’ve ever had the opportunity to photograph. Big thanks to Brittany and Crystal, who not only entrusted me to capture their Isla Mujeres destination wedding at the Zama Beach Club, but also gave me an entire afternoon to tromp around the island taking portraits before the ceremony. It was basically my dream come true: beach, fish tacos, plenty of hilarious women, and a wedding. Here’s a few images from their incredible day. I can’t wait to share more, including the ones from a day after trash the dress session in the ocean!
I met Nicholl and Jason at the AHA Wedding Faire, where, in a show of blind faith, they bid on my donated portrait session gift certificate without stopping by my booth, looking at my work, or meeting me first! When they finally did come by and announce they won the session and I started feeling their personalities out, I was quick to suggest one of my favorite ways to do an engagement session: pub crawl through their favorite haunts. They were overjoyed with that idea and our plan for a downtown Reno engagement session was hatched!
Here’s a sneak peek from our awesome day, which included a super cool pub with a HUGE craft beer selection, afternoon sushi, and a lot of laughter.
Thanks Nicholl and Jason for such a great day! More from this awesome couple coming soon!
Whether you’re putting the icing on the cake of an otherwise amazing day of skiing, or just doing some day drinking in honor of your vacation, here’s a local’s guide to the best happy hours in Tahoe South.
Jimmy’s at The Landing Resort and Spa
Jimmy’s remains one of my favorite places to imbibe in Tahoe and not just because of their new happy hour specials! Happy hour occurs daily from 3-6 pm and features a small plates sample menu from classically trained chef Maria Elia, $8 glasses of the red and white wine of the day, $5 draft beers and $8 margaritas. I love their California twist on Greek cuisine and everything on the menu is stellar. The fig, feta and pear flatbread pizza is not to be missed and the pork belly souvlaki is always a wise choice.
The Chart House
In addition to it’s impeccable views, The Chart House features one of the best happy hours on the lake! Sundays to Fridays from 4:30-6:30 PM, The Chart House offers a variety of $7 martinis, $6 cocktails, $5 wines by the glass, $4 well spirits and $3.25 premium drafts. If that isn’t enough to convince you to stop in, perhaps the $6 Ahi Nachos or $5 calamari small plates will.
After a long day at Heavenly, there is no need to trek far for an exceptional happy hour. Basecamp Pizza is located in the center of the Heavenly Village and features live music almost every day of the week. Happy hour occurs daily from 2:00-6:00 PM and features $5 house wine and $3 drafts. If you’re hungry after shredding all day, look no farther because their happy hour also offers a $12 personal sized pizza and draft beer special!
Azul Latin Kitchen
If pizza isn’t what you are craving, just head around the corner to the Heavenly Village’s newest addition Azul Latin Kitchen. Happy hour happens here daily from 2:00-6:00 PM and features a $5 taco and Tecate special, $5 house margs, $3 draft beers and wells, $1.50 chips and salsa and more. Just a tip though: you must sit in the bar to take advantage of happy hour prices.
Every year, my bff Meghan Kelly throws an awesome unofficial tri called the Angora Lakes Tri.
And by “throws” I mean she: tells people to show up, sorta of wrangles volunteers, and forces her husband Pat and usually Boyfriend to write down our finish times and suggests that people write things on their legs in permanent sharpie.
It’s the best day ever.
The starting line of the third annual unofficial Angora Lakes Tri (photo by Gretchen Eicher).
The tri is a bit unorthodox and once again the order of events suited me: we ride our bikes from Kiva Beach to the Angora Lakes parking lot, where a volunteer with a car has our running shoes and swim stuff. Put your running shoes on and
run power walk UP the steep hill to Angora, swim across the lake, get a 2 minute time bonus for jumping off the cliff, swim back, run back, ride back, celebrate, drink beer.
Here I am, swimming with style (photo by Court Brock).
I have a tendency to pass people on the swim and make up a lot of time and this year was no different. That being said, I had zero chance of catching up to the overall and men’s winner Lee who had 10 minutes on me.
Competitors cliff jumping for the 2 minute time bonus (photo by Court Brock).
You can read Meghan’s write up and see the official results via this link.
Read about year 1 here.
Read about year 2 here.
The finish line (photo by Sheriff Underhill).
I’m not sure if you were on Twitter during the Superbowl blackout, but it was hysterical.
Way more hysterical and entertaining than the game itself.
Superbowl Sunday Taco Feast.
I’m not really a fan of pro football, but I am a fan of good food, friends and get-togethers.
We ate amazing fish tacos and things wrapped in bacon and decorated our faces and yelled a lot.
It was good times.
M took my camera hostage (she loves it) so we have a ton of photos from the festivities. If so inclined, you can check them out here.
Last week was Chris’s birthday so we had a small celebratory dinner at our new German themed restaurant in town: the Himmel Haus. I totally meant to wear my fake plastic bib dirndl from the Septoberfest Photobooth but sadly I ran out the door without it!
They have an impressive number of German and Austrian beers on taps and your options for size include normal, large, excessively large, larger than excessively large and a boot.
Drinking birthday beer, Himmel Haus Style
I’m moving today so between packing my house, trying to finish wedding photos for Matt and Sara, planning our Masquerade Ball, family portraits and a climbing photoshoot for my friend Ann Raber, I’m swamped!
Last weekend, on the spur of the moment, I decided to take my Labor Day holiday and Buddy and I went to Downieville for my second time this season and his first time EVER with a big group of friends. We camped, rode, laughed and drank for three days and it was absolute heaven. We rode a new trail there: the Mills Peak Trail. It is hands down my new favorite Downieville Trail! 9 miles of ripping awesome pumpy flowy downhill singletrack – what’s not to love? You can see all the photos from the weekend here, but these are a few of my faves.
Every year, our local chapter of the Kiwanis Club holds a Septoberfest Party as a big fundraiser. There is German food, beer and wine tasting, and a huge raffle and silent auction. Last year, my friend Curtis Fong who runs Bike the West, the organization that puts Tahoe’s biggest organized cycling events, America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride and Tour de Tahoe, invited me to come join him at his table. I happened to win the beer stein holding competition that evening, which of course landed me in the Tahoe Mountain News.
This year, I thought it would be nice to contribute to the event and offered to host a Oktoberfest themed photobooth for them. We ordered a few Oktoberfest themed props and the outcome was, of course, hysterical fun. Here are a few of my favorite photos from the evening. If you were at the event, follow this link to download your photos for free.