Tahoe family photos in the snow

Sand Harbor Family Portraits | Ferrell Family

When this awesome mom called me, literally on her way to Tahoe for her family vacation during one of the busiest weekends of the year, to see if I could fit her in for a family portrait, I was like, “who doesn’t plan ahead?”  Mothers with a two sons, a new baby and a brand new puppy: that’s who!  I am SO glad I was able to take their Sand Harbor Family Portraits because this family was nothing short of hilarious.  First off all, their brand new puppy who may have been the cutest puppy I’ve ever seen, was named Jerry Rice and they referred to him by his full name at all times.  I loved it.  They have two boisterous older boys who were game to jump on rocks and explore all the awesomeness that Sand Harbor has to offer with me.  I feel lucky to have met this rad family!

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Family Photos in Lake Tahoe

Van Sickle State Park Portraits | Baird Family

The Baird family hails from just over yonder from my parents: Fort Worth, TX.  They were in Tahoe celebrating the holidays and wanted to take advantage of all the gorgeous pine trees and snow to get family portraits done.  We headed to a recently formed bi-state park near their hotel in the Heavenly Village for their session and thanks to some gorgeous golden late afternoon light and snow filled mountains, their Van Sickle State Park portraits turned out just perfectly.

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Tahoe family portraits

Tahoe Family Photos in the Snow | Reger Family

The week between Christmas and New Years was a doozy!  There were a ton of families in town visiting the lake for their holidays and they all wanted Tahoe family photos in the snow!  Thankfully, we had a fresh blanket of snow on the ground and some fairly cold temps that week.  I’m especially thankful for the Reger family, who had adventurous spirits and an equal amount of enthusiasm.  I think their session at Sand Harbor State Park turned out absolutely amazing thanks to some fantastic light and an all family snowball fight.  Here’s a few of my favorites from their day.

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Tahoe Family Photos

Tahoe Family Photos in the Snow | The Callahans

Why is it that nothing says holidays more than a snow covered forest?  I suppose we can all blame Irving Berlin for that.  Thankfully, Tahoe is a veritable winter wonderland compared to the past few years and when this adorable family contacted me hoping for some Tahoe family photos in the snow, I was able to promise that it would be absolutely no problem!  We sat out to one of my favorite Tahoe portrait locations, Valhalla Historic Estate, for an early morning portrait session.

Brenna has a friend who runs a rental business for weddings and has a warehouse chock full of rustic, vintage and otherwise perfect props for a winter portrait session and they were able to snag an adorable sled for their 16 month old son to play on while we photographed them.  He was often more interested in eating the snow than playing in it, as toddlers are apt to do.

 Despite missing a nap, some cold early morning temps, and wet snow-filled fingers, we were able to get some smiling faces and some awesome photos for this family’s holiday card.  Mom and Dad told me that they were pretty serious and that their son was pretty wacky so they had an idea for a photo and they were wondering if I could make it happen.  I find the end result to be absolutely endearing and hysterical.  I’m sure you know which one I’m talking about!

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Northstar Winter Wedding

Northstar Winter Wedding | Natalie + Steven | Sneak Peek

I have an insane amount of coincidental stories to share about this amazing couple but those will have to wait until their actual blog post.  In the meantime, I’d like to give a HUGE shout out and big time thanks to the poor valet guy at the Ritz Carlton, Lake Tahoe, who literally gave Natalie the shoes off his own feet so that she could take a portrait in the snow.  The poor guy had to explain to his manager why he was walking around outside without shoes and his feet were probably wet and cold for the rest of the night.  That’s serious service and I’m still totally overwhelmed with gratitude at this fantastic young man who made it possible for us to play in the snow and Christmas lights outside the resort and get a photo like this one!

More to come from Natalie, Steven and their Northstar winter wedding!

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Tahoe Proposal Photographer | Published at Wed Loft

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I knew that Kenny and Rebeccah’s amazingly snowy winter wonderland proposal session would get picked up and published right away.  I’m delighted to announce it was published on Wed Loft by the Wedding Window, an exclusive wedding publication that focuses on  original and unique events with beautiful inspiration, personalized and creative details, distinctive style and “most importantly, lots of love.”  Kenny and Rebeccah certainly had that!

You can visit the full post via this link.   Feel free to share some love and thank them for supporting me by leaving comments on their post, sharing it or retweeting us!

You can also follow Wed Loft on facebook and twitter.

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Tahoe Engagement Photographer | Kenny + Rebeccah

I’m not going to lie: I was both overjoyed and nervous at the prospect of photographing Kenny’s planned proposal to his longtime girlfriend Rebeccah.  The stakes are high for a proposal: there’s only the briefest of seconds to capture that initial reaction and you can’t recreate it.  Combine that with the fact that you are either hiding in bushes or pretending to be doing something else and the entire situation was enough to make my adrenaline rush.

When Kenny first approached me, I knew exactly what he wanted: the gorgeous Lake Tahoe in the background, the sun out, the snow of Heavenly Mountain Resort and him down on one knee.  Instead, the weekend of the proposal brought us 8 feet of snow, swirling winds and a veritable white out.  We shifted gears, slightly changed plans, conspired together and with the help of Meghan Kelly, surprised Rebeccah in the best way possible.

After a full day of lessons, Kenny managed to convince Rebeccah to brave the resort, snow and cold temps one last time at 3:45 PM.  Meghan and I were waiting about half way down Patsy’s Run at the top of the face.  Kenny told Rebeccah that he was going to ski half way down and stop and take photos of her showing off what she learned in her snowboard lesson.  Meanwhile, Megs and I were prepared, waiting on the side of the run, pretending to take photos.  When Rebeccah snowboarded up to Kenny, he told her to take her goggles and mask off so they could take a photo together with his iPhone.  She said in hindsight, she noticed us with my camera and thought, “That’s a really nice camera, maybe they’ll take a photo for us.”   When they finished taking their selfie, Kenny got down on one knee and I swung my camera onto them.

Shooting a proposal was so thrilling.  I’m super happy for these two fellow Texans.  Thanks so much Kenny for choosing me as his Tahoe Engagement Photographer.  I feel super lucky that I was the one who captured this awesome and inspiring moment.  Also, thanks for sharing a beer with us at Himmel Haus afterwards!

Winter Pow

On Sunday I met up with Megan and Tim early at Kirkwood for a morning photo shoot. I haven’t had time to edit them all yet, but here’s one from the selection that I’m pretty pumped on.

Special Christmas Delivery

Santa brought us a shit-ton of white stuff and I don’t mean the kind that the kids at Snowglobe are going to be snorting up their nose this weekend.

There is already so much snow in my yard that the pile is taller than me.  Pretty soon, you aren’t going to be able to see our front door.  I’m not even remotely exaggerating.

We received over five feet of snow in the span of four days and then another two feet or so on Wednesday.  It’s borderline out of control and I love it.  We spent most of the last week enjoying routine powder days like it was no big deal and then spent Christmas Day shredding at Kirkwood with all of our friends.  I couldn’t have asked for a more wonderful holiday.  That night we celebrated with a pot luck dinner over at Rose’s house with puppies underfoot and a gift exchange that ended with quite a bit of excitement.

We already have more snow this winter season than we received all year long last season.  WINTER IS BACK.  I am so in love with it all over again that I can hardly ascertain how I managed to make it through last year without this glorious freezing cold white stuff.  It’s SO FLUFFY!

In between all the shredding, Christmas parties, and the retailing of spandex I’ve been doing, we’ve been hanging out almost every night for a week with some amazing Airbnb house guests that I’ve now told are required to be my friends forever.  I haven’t taken many photos over the last week, but here are a few of my favorites.

21 Days of Snowglobe: Drive Safe

Tahoe, Tahoe South, Snowglob

Snowglobe Music Festival is returning to Tahoe South for it’s second year and it’s not too late to join in on the fun. Three day passes and single day tickets are still on sale.

THE 21 DAYS of SNOWGLOBE: counting down to all things involving the fest, including insider tips, band interviews, event coverage and more! Day 12 of the 21 Days of Snowglobe brings you:

SNOW DRIVING SURVIVAL SKILLS

  • Be prepared.  If you are driving to Tahoe from the Bay and you do not have a four wheel drive vehicle you MUST have chains.  If you get caught driving without chains, you will get fined.  I would also recommend carrying the following in your car to Tahoe in the winter: a shovel, extra gloves and hats, flashlights and flares, an old sleeping bag or blanket.
  • Slow down and don’t tailgate.   Double the distance between you and the other cars.  In icy and snowy conditions,  if you’re doing 25 mph, you should have 8-10 car lengths between you and the car in front of you.   Don’t make any sudden erratic movements or changes to your pace or manner of driving. DON’T SLAM ON YOUR BRAKES. Remember when you are in a line of cars that while the choices of those in front of you affect you, your choices affect the cars behind you.   If something happens and you slam on your brakes, you are going to slide.  Your anti lock brakes will not help you in icy slippery conditions.
  • Look ahead.  Get ready for corners and other obstacles long before you arrive at them.  Have an exit plan.
  • Brake long before you enter a corner and accelerate out of the corner.
  • Control your speed and let your engine slow you down.  Shift into a lower gear any time you are going down a hill or steep grade or if you need to slow down.  Do this even if you drive an automatic.  By letting your engine control your speed, you won’t have to brake, which will keep your car from skidding and will keep the locals from screaming at frustration behind you over your brake lights.
  • Learn to control a skid.  If you start to skid, let off the brakes and avoid looking at the obstacle your skidding towards.   Looking at your exit, lightly turn into the skid and accelerate slightly.  In the event of an uncontrolled skid, if you don’t have room to steer out, head for a snowbank.
  • Get updates on road conditions and closures at Caltrans Website or by calling 1-800.427.7623

COMING UP:

  • 21 Days of Snowglobe: Who to See at the Fest, Day 1
  • 21 Days of Snowglobe: Interview with Quixotic Fusion

WHAT YOU MISSED: