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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Northstar Wedding

Northstar Wedding | Truckee, CA | Kendra + Tom

I have never seen a bride so incredibly full of laughter as Kendra.  From start to finish, not only was she throwing her head back in huge guffaws, but so was every single person around here.  This was my first time photographing a Northstar Wedding in Truckee, CA and I must say – their staff and venue is incredible.  From a gorgeous mountain top ceremony and cocktail hour to a evening reception under a tent in the village, everything was flawless.  The food was incredible, the staff was amazing and Ike and Martin not only are comedians, but had the dancefloor jumping from start to finish.

Venue: Northstar Ski Resort | Officiant: Ceremony of Love | Florist: Martha Bernyk Floral Design | Bakery: Flour Girl Wedding Cakes | Musicians: Ike and Martin | Bride’s Attire: Matthew Christopher from Allegria Bridal | Veil: David’s Bridal | Bridesmaids’ Attire: Bill Levkoff | Groom’s Attire: Bonobos | Hair and Make-Up: Acqua Hair Design | Special thanks to my second photographer Nicky Lockman

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Sugar Pine Point Portraits

Sugar Pine Point Portraits | Lake Tahoe, CA | Thomas Family

Sugar Pine Point State Park is one of my favorite Lake Tahoe locations to take family portraits.  Late in the evening and afternoon, it offers beautiful golden light in the forest.  In addition, it’s beaches are the perfect mix of boulders and cascading lines to provide great depth for those photos on Lake Tahoe that every family wants.  I love the variety offered in the location and it’s a great meeting point for those families that are vacationing in North Lake Tahoe.  The Thomas family was excited to celebrate their daughter’s senior year of highschool and wanted to do a mix of a portrait session focused on her, for senior portraits at Lake Tahoe, and of their family, so that they would have some Sugar Pine Point portraits as a souvenir of their time in Tahoe.

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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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Kirkwood Mountain Resort Wedding

Kirkwood Mountain Wedding | Kirkwood, CA | Lauren + Danny

Have you ever noticed how all my clients are all my favorite people?  How do I get such rad people in my life?  Lauren and Danny are two such kindred spirits that I want to keep forever as friends and ski partners.  Their Kirkwood Mountain Wedding was exactly my style: a relaxed outdoor affair, at my favorite ski resort, with outdoor games, tons of wine, decor that represented their love of travel, and, of course, an epic dance party.  They really won me over when they asked if I would be willing to take the chairlift up into the Devil’s Corral meadow under the Cirque for their portraits.  Clearly the answer is, “heck yes!”  Better yet, instead of a bouquet, Lauren tossed a Feminist coloring book at her friends (clearly amazing).  And as a final testament to their awesomeness, Lauren and Danny recreated the dance scene from Dirty Dancing for their first dance.

Venue: Kirkwood Mountain Resort | Officiant: Rev Josh Serrano | Bakery: DIY & Costco | Bride’s Attire: mother’s wedding dress, re-designed by Bonnie Hoffman | Bridesmaid’s Attire: Renz Rags | Groom’s Attire: Custom Made in Vietnam | Videographer: XOXO Video

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Family Photos at lake Tahoe

Tahoe Family Photographer | Pacnya Family

I had a string of amazing families from Texas hire me this summer and this wild bunch was one of them.  These kids were an absolute blast to work with – they were excited to explore Valhalla Estate with me, eager to show off their jumping skills, and incredibly energetic.  I loved spending time with them and their energy clearly shows in the photos.  I’m not sure if it’s surprising (or not), but this is a fraction of the awesome jumping photos this crew amassed in their hour with me!

Are you coming to Lake Tahoe for the holidays?  Family photos at Lake Tahoe are an awesome way to capture your memories and spend time with your family.  It can clearly be a super fun activity for everyone and you return home with professionally captured moments from your vacation from me, an obstreperous longtime local and Tahoe family photographer!

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Rabe Meadows Portrait

Tahoe Anniversary Portrait | Zephyr Cove, NV | Nikki + Brandon

Nikki and Brandon traveled to Lake Tahoe to celebrate their one year anniversary.  Nikki is a self-professed lover of photography and wanted a Tahoe anniversary portrait session to commemorate the trip.  This rad couple had a bit of a secret and hilarious agenda for the session that I was more than excited to participate in.  See, Brandon had really wanted to smash cake in his wife’s face at their wedding but she was vehemently against it.   A compromise ensued and for the second half of our portrait session, Nikki changed into her personally altered (she cut the bottom half off) wedding dress and Brandon’s dreams came true.  It’s one of my most favorite portrait sessions to date.  I feel really lucky that I get such rad clients with great senses of humor!

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Family Portraits at Lake Tahoe

Fallen Leaf Lake Portraits | Shreves Family

Matt and MC are two of my oldest friends.  They met me before I was even legally allowed to drink or dance until the wee hours of the night in clubs with them (but still managed to do so, of course).  We were young and irresponsible and now we’re old and probably still irresponsible.  Matt and MC spend a number of years away from Austin, right about the time that I moved to Tahoe, and started a family.  They are now back in the central Texas and have three hilarious girls who are as goofy, rambunctious and uninhibited as their parents are.  They brought the girls to Tahoe this summer for a family vacation and I was not only excited to meet the spawn of my friends who I had heard so much about, but to also show off my town.  I took them to see my friend Alex Ramon’s magic show (he’s the best!), we had breakfast together and, of course, took family portraits while they were here.

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Portraits at Lake Tahoe

Sand Harbor Marriage Proposal | Zack + Alexa

Tahoe wedding proposals are one of my favorite things to photograph.  The nervousness is heightened to a scale of 11.   The logistics are a *smidge* harder.  The excitement and promise of a different future is unbounded.  Ladies, there are men out there who love you so much, that they plan ahead, and in some cases, months and months ahead.  It’s endearing and wonderful to be part of.  Zack is one such guy.  He and Alexa were highschool sweethearts and he contacted me in June for a proposal in October.  He asked her parents permission and fretted over the location.  After much deliberation, we collectively decided that a Sand Harbor marriage proposal was in order.  That day brought cold temps, some rain and snow flurries and incredibly beautiful skies.

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Tahoe Family Photos

Tahoe Family Portraits | Galvez Family

I have a ridiculous number of gorgeous golden Tahoe family sessions to share from this summer.  These giggling kids and their incredibly wonderful parents were a blast to tromp around in the woods with!  We held their sessions at one of my favorite family portrait locations, Valhalla Estate.  It’s a favorite of mine simply because it offers a little bit of everything – the lake, which everyone wants, and forest and meadow, which is what I want for that golden backlit dreamy light.

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