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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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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Engagement Photos at Lake Tahoe

Tahoe Winter Engagement Session | Kristin + Alan

I’m both impressed and obsessed with Kristin’s sense of style.  The pops of color she chose to wear to their Tahoe winter engagement session are enthralling and added just the right amount of energy and interest on a cold winter day.  We chose Sand Harbor State Park, which is largely empty in the winter, and save a lone horse waiting to take someone on a carriage ride, we didn’t see a soul the entire session.

Kristin and Alan are to be wed at Sugar Bowl in August and I simply cannot wait for their wild bash of a wedding.  With plenty of promised-to-be-loud friends and family invited, a bag-piper, and these two, I’m going to feel right at home.

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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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