Tahoe Event Photographer | Boys and Girls Club Golf Classic at Edgewood

When my friend and client Michelle asked me to donate my time as a Tahoe Event Photographer to the Boys and Girls Club of Lake Tahoe, I didn’t have to think twice.  Their annual Golf Classic is a major source of fundraising for the organization and is held the week after Edgewood Golf Course closes for the season each year.  Individuals and Corporations participate for an amazing day of golf and fun in the Tahoe Sun at one of the most gorgeous golf courses in the nation.  I know it’s winter now and you aren’t even thinking about golf, but I’m thrilled to finally finish share these photos from last September!

The Boys & Girls Club of Lake Tahoe has been providing quality programs for the youth of the Tahoe community since 1991. They have more than 900 members ages 5-18.  In addition to providing programs and services to the youth year-round, the also offer them a physical and emotional safe haven to learn and grow within our town.

You may donate to the Boys and Girls Club of Lake Tahoe via this link or find more information about participating in the 2014 Golf Classic via this link.


Best Adventure Photogrpahy of 2013 | A Year in Review

Although winter seems to have forsaken us all, I am hopeful it will return with feet and feet of snow.  While I spend most of my days right now pining and moaning over the lack of fresh pow, or really, any pow at all, this was at least a nice little reminder that the snow was here before and that, most importantly, it will come back.

I’m pretty jazzed to announce that I’m a contributing photographer to Ski Lake Tahoe for the 2012-13 season.   This means that starting in the 2013-14 season you might see some of the photos I took for them on their website, facebook page, or blog.   Don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll be like LOOK THERE’S MY PHOTO if one ever shows up somewhere and I know, a whole year is an awfully long time to wait but wait we shall.  In the meantime, peek at these images, which I consider to be some of my best adventure photography of 2013.  Accompanying my favorite ski and snowboard photos is a handful of images from the Tahoe Kids Tri and Fun Runs Series, all of which make me smile.




Lake Tahoe Kids Triathlon

I am so happy every summer to donate my services as a photographer to the Lake Tahoe Kids Tri Series.

I love swimming, biking and running (though I’m not so fond of paying the exorbitant race fees to do three all in one day) so lending photography to kids doing the same is a no brainer.  There were three events in Tahoe last summer put on the by the Tahoe Kids Tri Series and they were an absolute riot.

“Running is hard!” one of the youngest competitors yelled to her mom during an event last summer.  Truer words never said.

This was a small warm-up event for the rest of them: a mini tri, if you will, held at the South Lake Tahoe Parks and Recreation Department.  The youngest of the bunch swam 25 yards, biked 1 mile and ran a quarter mile.  The middle group swam 50 yards, biked 2 miles and ran a half mile and the eldest swam 100 yards, biked 3 miles and run a mile.  The youngest competitor was a mere 2 years old and rode a strider on the bike leg!

tri montageOverall, it was an absolute delight to attend and volunteer my time.  I can’t wait for the next one!

If your kids participated in the event, a link to the gallery will remain under the EVENTS selection in the PORTFOLIO tab or you can also view the entire gallery via this link.

Coming to visit Tahoe?  The Tahoe Tri Club will be holding kids’ triathlons at Lake Baron on July 21, Aug 18, and Sept 8.  You can find more information at their website.  The events are fantastic and there are awards for every age in the competition.  Each kid receives a post event BBQ meal and a raffle ticket for awesome swag from local sponsors.

Winter Outdoor Retailer Wrap-Up

On a whim, I decided to head to Winter Outdoor Retailer with Megs and Juliana earlier this month.  For those of you not in the know, Outdoor Retailer is the worlds largest Outdoor Retail Trade Show.  There is one in the summer and one in the winter each year in Salt Lake City, UT (at least, thru 2016 it is).  Basically, it’s where every vendor in the US decides what to purchase from which retailers.  In short, it’s where REI makes or breaks you.

I applied for a press pass for the event and mistakenly thought it was granted based on some confusing communications from the registration people that said things like “Tell your friends that you’re going to Winter Outdoor Retailer!” and “Now that you’re registered, please take a few minutes to secure your hotel arrangements!” and “We look forward to seeing you in Salt Lake City!”  It turns out that my pass was not actually granted.  When I arrived, there was an awesome person working registration who acknowledged that this, was in fact, highly confusing and she gave me a pass anyways.  Most of the time, my life just works out perfectly.

I wrote quite a bit on my adventures within the expo itself for Tahoe South.  Head over there via these links to read my posts on apparel, hard goods, and the experience (posting Friday 2/8).  Instead of rehashing what I wrote over there, I wanted to highlight a few of the other products that I totally fell in love with.

Winter Outdoor Retailer

1.  Shred Ready helmets feature one of the most genius innovations I wish I’d thought of: no pinch magnetic buckles.  Do you have any idea how many times I’ve stood on the top of the mountain screaming in frustration after I’ve taken photos of someone because I can’t seem to get my stupid helmet buckled with frozen fingers?!  GENIUS.

2.  I am such a sucker for things with bikes on it and I think I have found my new favorite t-shirt company: Endurance Conspiracy.  Even more auspicious, it turns out the owner is Tony Deboom whose brother, Tim Deboom, is a Pearl Izumi sponsored athlete AND Tony designed some of our products for the 2012 catalog.  I brought home tees for myself, Briana and Boyfriend but I think I need more.

3.  Pistil Designs.  While I was running around OR with Bill Smaine, we ran into an old friend of his who happens to have started Pistil Designs.  His hats are GORGEOUS.  He was kind enough to give me one of their hats and I haven’t stopped wearing it since.  IN LOVE.

4.  The boys I shred with have always been big fans of Trew gear but they’ve never had a women’s line until now.  Coming winter 2013-14, Trew will feature women’s specific cuts and colors.  I’m enamored with them.  The Stella Jacket offers Trew’s durability but designed, styled and and fit for women.  WANT.

5.  D-Fa Dogs.  You know, as in, “D, for dogs” but said with a Kiwi accent.  This small awesome company out of New Zealand makes wonderful dog apparel.  If my dog wasn’t so adamantly against walking these days, I would have bought a jacket for her.  With names like the “Sub-Woofer” and the “Puff-Doggy,” how can you not fall in love and want to support them?

6.  I loved the sharp design and clean lines of the Hector Press (the featured image).  I mean, I always think coffee is attractive, but this makes it downright sexy.

SheJumps Get the Girls Out Day

Meghan Kelly is the Northern CA director for SheJumps, which I’ve spoken a bit about on here.  On the 2nd Sunday of every month, SheJumps hosts Get the Girls Out Day all around the country, a campaign aimed to bringing communities of outdoor loving females together on one day to celebrate sports and having fun.

SheJumps, Kirkwood Mountain Resort, Get the Girls Out

We had about 20 girls come out to play that afternoon and I brought my camera out to document the action.  We had a blast!  It’s so contagious to see a roving pack of girls shredding up the mountain – people can’t help but woop and holler for us!

  Meghan Kelly, SheJumps, Get the Girls Out, Kirkwood Mountain Resort

You can see all the photos from our afternoon of shredding here.  If you (are a girl) and would like to join in on the fun, the next dates for Get the Girls Out Day are February 10, March 10 and April 14, 2013.  We meet at 1:00 PM at the bottom of Chair 6 at Kirkwood Mountain Resort.

SheJumps, Get the Girls Out, Kirkwood Mountain Resort

Tahoe Kids Tri

One of my customers, a Tahoe local, has started something wonderful: a series of kids’ triathlons. The Tahoe Kids Tri Club had one event last summer and 100 kids showed up! This year they have three events and I was thrilled to have my store sponsor them. In a show of support, I went out to watch the first one and took my camera along for fun. It was a BLAST!

The 5 and under swim start.

In addition to running three kids triathlons this summer, Jason and his crew of helpers are bringing two new adult events to the community as well: The Sierra Recon obstacle race and the Haulin’ Up Hawley Grade Run.

The older kids get briefed on their course.

Butterflies in the stomach?

Jason’s mission is to help foster a sense of community in Tahoe and I both respect and want to encourage his efforts. We need more people in our community to step up and help do things like this. We simply can’t leave the iniative to the same few folks over and over again. Look at how many awesome things happen when we come together to put on events and make changes: TAMBA, Lakeview Commons, and the really awesome Race the Lake of the Sky Stand Up Paddle Fest held last weekend (post to come on that one).

I love this one for some reason. It makes me giggle.

It was SO fun to watch 100 kids race around a beautiful park under the watchful eyes of the Sierra Nevadas on a bright sunny day. What’s better than listening to parents scream at their kids to pick up their feet and go faster while the kids are drowning their way across a lake? Awesome! That’s my idea of a good time!

An under 5 starts the run portion of the race.

A group of older boys awaits the start of their event.

I can’t wait to go watch the next two events. I had such a blast. The under 5′s swam about 25 yards, rode their bike one mile and ran about 1/2 a mile. The under 12′s swam about 75 yards, biked 2 miles and ran 1 mile. The over 12s swam 100 yards, biked 3 miles and ran one mile.

A tiny tot waits for his older brother.

Race for the transition!

I can’t say again how stoked I am to have some new events in town. I love bikes, I love running, I love swimming and I love kids being active. In a small town, small things make a big difference. I can’t wait to go photograph the next one.

Fact: kids in full face helmets are awesome.

This post features just a few of my favorite photos from the morning. You can find the rest here. If you are a parent and I photographed your child you will find them available to download through the link.

Cali Rush

My friend Mikey Wier is pretty awesome. While Mikey calls Tahoe South home, he travels the world filming movies about snowboarding, splitboarding, and fly fishing. If I had remained in the film industry after college, Mikey is the person whose job I would want. Most recently, Mikey and his Tahoe based production company, Burl Productions, produced the well received fly-fishing adventure film SoulFish which featured some of the most talented anglers in the world. Patagonia, who sponsors Mikey, claims that the movie is fly fishing’s answer to The Endless Summer.

Mikey Wier White Water Rafting the Middle Fork of the American River

Mikey is currently raising capital to complete post production on his new film Cali Rush. Mikey envisions Cali Rush as a celebration of California’s “most adventurous and talented athletes that are in search of a more harmonious relationship with nature through sports, lifestyle, recreation and environmental technology.” It features the place that I call home as well as a number of my good friends: Tahoe South locals Joe Markus, Tarren Closson, Mark Hamm, Mike Olson, Dan Durkin, and Josh Daiek who won the 2012 Suburu Freeskiing World Tour this past weekend (a post on that to come!). In addition to all these folks that I am lucky to call friends, the film features a number of other Tahoe South locals like Pat Quinn and Pat Bonzer, front runners of the snow skate scene.

[vimeo w=500&h=281]

I’m pretty excited for Mikey and his new movie. He has only 19 more days to raise the money on Kickstarter and could use every Tahoe local’s support! I encourage you to to support him and his awesome efforts.

“Join our community and let’s help shape the future and increase environmental awareness through sports, music, art, lifestyle and conscious energy.”

Animals Meet Aces

To celebrate the end of our softball season, the Animals headed to Reno on Tuesday night to catch a Reno Aces game.

Animals invade Reno

When asked when the last time I attended a baseball game was, I had to answer that I didn’t know. I honestly don’t remember the last time I saw one.

These 9 tables are reserved

We had reserved a group section in the “party zone” and our seats included an all-you-can-eat-buffet of hot dogs and fried chicken. When in Rome…


The game was super fun though very fast. The Aces won in the last inning by two runs. For a brief moment, we were all excited thinking a tie game was going to lead us into extra innings but it was not to be.

Oddly enough, we’d seen my friend Piper Sean on the drive down. He was headed to Reno for band practice and we were able to convince him to show up to the game. He and his bandmate, Reay, made it for the last few innings, complete with bagpipes. The crowd LOVED it.

Piper Sean Serenades after Seventh Inning

I missed a lot of this season due to work and travel so it’s sad to see it come and go so quickly. I feel like my summer has really blown by this year, faster than normal. But, as everyone in Tahoe is already talking about, that just means that pow days are just around the corner…

Ani! Mals!

1st Annual Angora Lakes Tri

I have a Groundhog Day conversation at work at least once a week. Customers generally ask me if I road bike, which I do, and then I’ll say that I mountain bike, and then they’ll ask if I run, which I do, but then I’ll say, “But I’m really a swimmer.” So they’ll say, “Oh, so you’re a triathlete.” And I’ll have to respond, “No, not really. I do all three sports. I just refuse to pay exorbitant amounts of money to do them all at once.”

Which, by the way, is absolutely and completely accurate. It is highway robbery what triathlons charge. No offense to those of you who might consider a sprint (generally in the neighborhood of a 400-750 yd swim, 12-15 mi bike, 3.1 mi run) or even Olympic distance (1640 yard swim, 25 mi ride, 6.2 mi run) tri a challenge, but I consider them to be a joke. If I can complete an event essentially off the couch, then it shouldn’t cost me more than $35. In general, just based on my normal activity level, I am consistently over trained for both of those events. Just to give you an idea of what I’m talking about, the upcoming Iron Girl Women’s Sprint Tri in Tahoe: $95. The MARATHON I’m going to run in December: $85. I’m not sure if you realize, but that’s RIDICULOUS. A marathon is considerably more difficult and has considerably more participants than a sprint tri. It’s just not equal. I’m not okay with it.

As a result, I’m a runner, a swimmer and a cyclist but not a triathlete.

So when my friend Meghan told me that she wanted to hold an informal free triathlon in town for our friends, I said I was in. The course was as follows and a little unorthodox but we don’t care because its our triathlon: ride from Kiva Beach to Angora Lake, which was about a 5.6 mile climb, run from the parking lot to the beach, about 1 mile, swim across the lake, jump off the 20 foot cliff, swim back, run back and then ride back to the beach. Our wonderful amazing slightly injured friend Sarah was kind enough to be our volunteer and parked a car at Angora with our running shoes in it and watched over our bikes while we ran and swam.

First Annual Angora Lakes Triathlon Course Map

There were four participants on race day and we were very serious.

Race participants get ready for the start

There were so few of us that instead of bib numbers on our legs we had serious race drawings.

Alternative bib numbers

Trish, psyching herself up for competition

I knew that because of the nature of the course, the first person to the parking lot at Angora Lakes would essentially have it in the bag. There is a significant climb up to the ridgeline of the lake. I also knew that no matter how tired my legs were after the climb, I just had to run a mile and as I like to tell myself when things really suck, “I can do anything for a mile. It’s ONLY a mile.” So, I pedaled hard, despite having done a pretty significant run the day prior. I will admit though, that first run, which is almost entirely uphill to Angora Lake, was absolutely brutal. I actually walked most of the uphill. Even walking, Trish, who had sights on me the entire time, couldn’t catch up. Brutal.

We were all a bit concerned about how cold the water in Angora Lake would be but with the outside temp already at 75 by 10:30 AM, a long road bike climb and a 1 mile run uphill, it felt downright refreshing. There was a two minute time bonus for doing a trick off the cliff, but not so shockingly, after sprinting uphill on my bike and legs, I felt not so stable when I started climbing the cliff and simply jumped off. The run back to the car felt immensely better after being in cold water. The ride back to the beach was a breeze since it was downhill the entire way.

At the end of the event, we all collectively decided that it was the MOST FUN EVER. Trish even suggested that we do one every single weekend. Big thanks to our volunteer Sarah who was so kind to meticulously write down transition times as well as our bike and swim/run leg times.

I'm the winner!

Afterwards we spent the rest of the day lazing on the beach, eating lots of food (special thanks to amazing boyfriend who brought me a breakfast burrito from my favorite place afterwards), jumping off the pile-on, listening to music, talking with friends and drinking lots of beer. We also BBQ’d that night at Sarah’s house for her birthday but I’ll write another post on that later.

Serious competitors and our amazing volunteer, post event

My forearm looks scary

If you’d like to see the rest of the event photos (again, thank you Sarah!!) you may do so here.

It was, essentially, the greatest most fun Tahoe summer day ever. I loved it. If only triathlons cost a reasonable amount of money instead of a whopping ridiculous amount of money, I might consider doing them. Until then, I will instead continue to challenge myself by signing up for reasonable priced events, like runs. Oh, and by the way, as I said above I registered for another marathon so, we’ll see how that goes.


My trip to Austin was wonderful, as always, though I managed to spend about $1,000 more than I made last month in between trips for weddings and trips for concerts and bike parts (necessity!), so now I’m supposed to be on uber-money-lockdown and not buy dinner out or take any more trips anytime soon. Instead, Erik and Ellen convinced me that I need this book so that I can be like them, sans chickens.

After Erik taunted me with his homemade focaccia, which was wonderfully accompanied by good company (Ellen, Blaine, Michelle and Erik), as well as perfectly seared lamb chops with a pistachio mint pesto, I decided to buy the book at Bookpeople while I was in Austin. This, in turn and spurred by a desire and fury to make bread NOW NOW NOW, led to further purchases on like pizza stones ($36), 6-quart containers ($17), a bread dough whisk ($10) and a 2 lb bag of yeast ($11). I’m now $100 deep in a quest to make bread in a month where I intended to spend less money, not more. But maybe I’ll spend less money on bread, which will even out? Even more ridiculous is that we’re going into summer and I usually don’t like to turn my oven on. I think I’ll turn it on for bread in five minutes a day though. Or perhaps there’s a chapter on grilling it…

We had an amazing crawfish boil on Sunday while I was there and all my favorite people came. With three professional photographers there I didn’t feel the need to take photos of my own. The photos on this post are all property of Merrick Ales, who takes amazing photos. You can check out his gallery and work at his website. You can see all the event photos through these links: Merrick’s, Greg’s, and Erik’s.

The wedding I was home for was beautiful and at some point I’m sure I’ll have a link for those photos. I wish boyfriend could have joined me as it was VERY Texas: girls in cowboy boots, country music, and BBQ for dinner. Loved it!

I’m amazed at how quickly I turn back into a runner when I’m in Austin. There is nothing like the warm weather, sunshine and throngs of fit people on the Austin Hike and Bike Trail to motivate you. I spent almost every day running in Austin, including participating in the Schlotsky’s Bun Run 5K. The Bun Run was always one of my favorite Austin events because they encourage you to bring your four legged pal with you and even have a timed canine division. Sierra came in 2nd among the dogs once!

Now, while I was standing in the start corral, despite the fact that the last time I ran was a 5k for Keenan Harrison a few weeks ago, I came up with a ridiculous arbitrary goal to run the race in less than 24 minutes. Why? Because I’m competitive with myself for absolutely no reason. I haven’t been running. At all. Seriously. What was I thinking? (I’ll tell you what I was thinking – I was boastfully thinking that I live at altitude and have been swimming so much that I could knock out 3.1 miles in 24 minutes at sea level).

Turns out I can. I came across the finish line at 24:03 and spent 24 agonizing hours refreshing the results page to determine if I should be angry at myself for not making my goal or not. Final chip time was 23:54 which was fast enough to place me at 8th in my age group. I’m happy with that.

In other sports-related-non-Austin-trip news, last year my friend Al convinced our friend Ellen and myself that we needed to create an ultra-awesome totally unstoppable Ironman triathlon relay with Al as the cyclist, Ellen as the runner, and myself as the swimmer. If you don’t know what an Ironman is it consists of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride and a marathon (26.2 miles). She convinced us to sign up despite the fact that she has had 3 knee surgeries in a year and a half and my insistence that I didn’t think it was wise to train for an event of this nature so close to her last surgery. I was SO insistent that this was the case that I told her from the beginning that I had an understudy in waiting for her. I, in effect, had zero confidence that this would happen.

Turns out, I was right. Unfortunately, the fact that I have an understudy ready in the wings is moot as Ellen is apparently not ready either. Despite my lack of confidence that we would be able to participate in the event, I for some reason took training very seriously. So seriously that when I injured my rotator cuff, I spent three months swimming nothing but backstroke which was absolutely AWFUL. Thus, may this be a testament to how seriously I take training when I have a goal: I just spent 5 months swimming more yardage per week (20,000 yards a week!) than I have since I was a lifeguard and swim coach back in Austin. I’m pretty deflated that I spent all this time in the pool when I could have been doing other things, but that’s okay, because now my shoulders are once again so big that none of my shirts fit. This, in turn, causes a phenomenon I like to call “small head complex” in which I look at myself in a mirror and think that my head is too small for my body. I’m serious. Stop laughing, it’s not funny.

I’m probably going to keep swimming, but not quite as much. Maybe two 5,000 yard workouts a week and one 4,000 yard workout. I kind of liked doing the 5,000 yard workouts – they leave you ravenously hungry and with a wonderful sense of accomplishment. Regardless, the change of plans will free me up to train for a new goal because I like to have goals. I had, in my mind, shelved training for a marathon again until next year but now I’m free to do so this summer. I need to run a marathon because the last time I attempted one it was an epic FAIL and I’m not so happy about that.

This is now an ridiculously long post so I’m going to end it now. Hopefully I’ll have lots of bread, CSA box and bike related posts coming soon, just in time for summer which is apparently not coming to Tahoe today – we woke up to snow.