Dangberg Home Ranch

Dangberg Home Ranch Engagement | Toni + Justin

Toni and Justin’s really wanted a rustic ranch feel for their engagement session, in which they were hoping to utilize her grandfather’s vintage 1940s Chevy truck.  He lives in Gardnerville and when they asked for location recommendations, I was quick to recommend the Dangberg Home Ranch, a venue that I absolutely love.   I photographed Emma and Austin’s wedding there this past fall and fell head over heals for it!  The park is beautiful and located just at the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas of Tahoe, with breathtaking views and great afternoon light.

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Tahoe Engagement Session

Tahoe Engagement Session | Lake Tahoe, CA | Lisa + Jeff

Lisa and Jeff wanted a double whammy of locations for their Tahoe engagement session: forest and mountains were important to them so we hit up Kahle Community Center for the aspens and the forest and then the Trout Creek meadow behind Al Tahoe for some epic mountain views of Tallac and a killer sunset.  These two were married earlier in March and I’m looking forward to sharing their gorgeous Tahoe winter wedding photos with everyone!

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Tahoe Fall Family Portraits

Tahoe Fall Family Portraits | Scholl Family

“We just had our 5th photo session with Lauren and she is worth her weight in gold. We’ve hired her to take our maternity photos, newborn, 6mo/holiday, 1st birthday, and now our holiday photos again. They’ve all turned out amazing! At our latest session, our (now) 18 month old was tired, hungry, and extremely cranky. All he wanted to do was eat his cheerios and yell/scream/cry. Lauren was amazing, just rolled with it and kept us all laughing and lighthearted while my son had a total meltdown. I thought it was a complete disaster. However, we just got our photos back, and you’d have no idea that my son was so miserable! She managed to capture the few moments when he was actually happy and smiling and made the session totally worth it! I am in love with the photos and can’t wait to order our holiday cards. Cannot recommend Lauren enough!”

I think Jess’s online review of these Tahoe fall portraits says it all.

And look at these photos.  She’s right.  You’ll have no idea that her son was miserable.  But we know the truth.

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Downtown Reno Engagement

Downtown Reno Engagement | Gabby + Drew

These two love beer so we, of course, kicked off their downtown Reno engagement session with a few pints at one of their favorite haunts, The Lincoln Lounge.  Drew and Gabby met while they were both working in the political realm, so I find it somewhat ironic that we ended up at a pub named after an iconic president.  I totally blogged them out of order and you can see their wedding photos via this link!

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Presidio Engagement Session

Presidio Engagement Session | San Francisco, CA | Kelli + Lucas

Kelli and Lucas came to me by way of another one of my favorite couples, Sara and Will.  In fact, Lucas is standing in half the photos on their blog post.  I am equally excited about Lucas and Kelli’s wedding.  If there’s anything I know about this crew of friends, it’s that they surround themselves with awesome.  I expect nothing less than another amazingly beautiful, love filled, raging dance party and sing-along celebration for Kelli and Lucas!

Kelli and Lucas really wanted to get married at Cavallo Point Lodge, across the bay from the Presidio, but it was (not so surprisingly) out of the budget.  It’s a little spendy over there y’all.  Next best thing: engagement photos in the Presidio, clearly!  With a travel loving, adventure seeking, wine drinking photographer who is always willing to climb into the bushes for her clients.

I had such a blast with these two, sharing stories about half marathons and trips, both taken and future, and their November Sacramento wedding is one of the ones I’m most looking forward to this year!

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Winter Portraits in the Snow

Winter Portraits in the Snow | Frank Family

You can’t fake candid: it’s always a little contrived.  Capturing real innocence, warmth, silliness and frustration is a little different and the magic happens only if I get to stop directing and families just start being themselves.  Most kids don’t love taking direction and would rather either completely ignore you, or be completely involved in the process, so frankly, why not let them?  I promise that often the best images happen when you think everything is a failure.

I couldn’t have asked for better moments during this winter family photo shoot in the snow.  Daily family life isn’t perfect and neither should the memories of your kids be.  I’m always thankful when winter portraits in the snow erupt into impromptu laughter and tear inducing snowball fights!  This is absolutely one of my favorite winter sessions of family photos at Lake Tahoe that I’ve photographed this year.

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Tahoe Winter Proposal

Tahoe Winter Proposal | Emerald Bay, CA | Kyle + Madeline

Kyle had to wait a LONG time on bended knee.

It was an incredibly blustery day.  A snowstorm bringing 12-16 inches of snow was blowing into Tahoe just as Kyle bent down to patiently await his bride-to-be’s reaction.  The wind was howling relentlessly.  Madeline was pre-occupied taking photos of Emerald Bay and she couldn’t get her phone to work.   After what felt like minutes while I giggled under my breath, she finally turned around and of course, said yes.

To escape the wind, we left Emerald Bay State Park and headed down to explore the Taylor Creek Visitor Center for a quick engagement session which was thankfully significantly more comfortable than it was up in on the ridgeline!  I’m excited for this awesome couple of five years and their future together!

Are you planning a Tahoe winter proposal?  Hiring a professional photographer is a great way to have your special moment captured and secure awesome save-the-date photos all at the same time!  I’m happy to help you come up with a plan and a location.  It’s always good to remember that Tahoe roads can close in the Winter so back up locations and realistic expectations are always recommended.  After all – there could be a snowstorm blowing in that day!

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Trinity Overlook Park Portrait

Bishop Arts District Engagement | Dallas, TX | Ashley + Tim

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!

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Botanical Garden Engagement

Botanical Garden Engagement | Berkeley, CA | Jane + Robbie

Jane and Robbie showed up to their botanical garden engagement session in a clown car.  Not literally, but certainly figuratively.  Jane had found these giant air beach balls that say “LOVE” on them and wanted to use them for the session.  They had blown them up ahead of time and they filled the entire back of the car.  But then, they couldn’t get them out of the car.  And then, we decided maybe it would take too long to re-inflate them.  So, in the end, the smallest of them was used and we saved the bigger ones for their wedding.  Although you can find them on the internet as the Big Love Ball, I would not recommend simply googling “love balls.”

Jane and Robbie found me on Thumbtack and I am incredibly happy we were connected.  They are totally my people: smart, engaging, social craft beer lovers.  We had a great afternoon tromping around in the Berkeley Botanical Gardens for their engagement session and then beers at one of their favorite area bars.  Their wedding was just a few weeks ago in Maryland and I’ll eventually be sharing that as well.  It was 110% representative of their personalities: laid back and relaxed with a dash of goofy fun (big love balls, anyone?).

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Tahoe Maternity Portrait

Tahoe Maternity Portrait | Blasser Family

Raina and Scott are two of my nearest and dearest friends.  They have been a huge part of so many things in my life: through heartbreak and the deaths of beloved four-legged friends, through career changes, on road and mountain bikes, and thru adventures and travels.  We’ve danced all night in San Francisco together, explored the redwoods of the Northern CA coast, and explored Austin together.  One time, Raina bought me a pinata for my birthday and then massacred it herself.  Whatever you do, don’t blindfold that woman and hand her a big stick!

I am so incredibly honored that they chose me to do their maternity photos.  I love being able to celebrate this new chapter in their life with them.  My friend might be the most adorable pregnant person I’ve ever seen, but then again, I just love her so much that I’m probably biased.

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