Sierra At Tahoe - April 12, 2014

Tahoe Photo Booth | Sierra At Tahoe Live at Grandview

The weather in Tahoe could not have been any more gorgeous this past weekend and I cannot imagine a better way to spend the days than spring skiing and enjoying live music on the new Sierra At Tahoe plaza from Tracorum and Midi Matilda!  I certainly have the shoulder sunburn to prove it!

I was thrilled to help promote the last of the Live at Grandview Concert Series at Sierra at Tahoe with my Tahoe Photo Booth and the results were fantastic!  Thanks everyone who participated!

If you were at the event and would like to view the entire gallery, download your photos, share to social media or order prints, you may do so by following this link.

Here’s a few of my favorites from the afternoon.  Thanks for getting in my Tahoe Photo Booth folks and thanks to Sierra at Tahoe and On Course Events for putting on such an awesome music filled afternoon under the sun.   As always, a link to the gallery will remain on my website under the 2014 Photo Booth tab.

German Sparkle Party - April 12, 2014

Tahoe Photo Booth | German Sparkle Party

When a Tahoe local I hadn’t yet met threw a German Sparkle Party for her birthday last year, I was so jealous that I of course hunted her down, invited myself and all of my friends, and set up an extremely successful photo booth.  It was such an amazingly awesome time that she decided to reprise the party for the 2nd year in a row.  The sparkliness was amped up by a factor of 10, the costumes above and beyond, and the Tahoe Photo Booth that I set up, well, lets just say that we managed to up the total by more than 100 photos over last year.

I’m fairly certain that there is nothing better than a raging dance party accompanied by massive amount of sequins, chafing aside.

If you attended Kristel’s German Sparkle Party, you may view the entire gallery of photos via this link.   She can share the password with you.  As always, a link to the gallery will also remain up on my 2014 Photo Booth tab here on my website.

If you didn’t get to attend or are very confused about the entire theme, here are a few of my favorites from the night that may or may not convince you that you also need to attend a German Sparkle Party.

Ya, we like to dancey dance.

Sierra Nevada College Ski and Snowboard Awards Banquet - April 10, 2014

Tahoe Photo Booth | Sierra Nevada College Ski and Snowboard Awards Banquet

When Sierra Nevada College requested that I also set up my Tahoe Photo Booth while doing event photography at their Ski and Snowboard Team Awards Banquet, of course I was ecstatic.   As we all know, I’m a firm believer that it isn’t a party without a photo booth.  I arrived to find a chair lift on site for folks to utilize which was so awesome and a super huge thanks to the ski resort that loaned it to us for the evening.

Thanks to everyone who participated and joined in on the photo booth fun last night.  If you attended the event you may view the entire gallery via this link.  You may also email, share to social media, download your images, or order prints straight from the gallery.  I will also leave a link on my website under the 2014 photo booth tab.

Thanks again!

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Tahoe Commercial Photographer | Published for Sierra Athletic Club

Hey all you Tahoeians, while you’re flipping through the tiny newspaper coupon mailer in your box this week to snag the free bowling game coupon from Tahoe Bowl and the free hot chips coupon from Tahoe Pizza Co, make sure you stop and check out my photo in the most recent ad from Sierra Athletic Club!

Big thanks to the gorgeous Candace of Bella Tahoe Catering Co, a gym member who was kind enough to get dolled up to work out to pose for us.  Candace’s company does catering for weddings and events in town and although I haven’t had the good fortune to work with her yet, I’m looking forward to photographing a wedding one day that she caters!

If you aren’t local to Tahoe and ever find yourself in town wanting to sneak a quick workout in while you’re here, Sierra Athletic Club is not only my gym, but the best gym in town!  The staff is amazing, the gym is small, intimate and community oriented and I love the spin classes taught by Jason S (which happen to start at a very reasonable hour of 9 AM).  They have a drop in day rate for out-of-towners or if you come frequently, you can purchase a punch card.

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Tahoe Photo Booth | Rose + Cobb + JR

In true Tahoe fashion, my pregnant friends had a raging party as their baby shower, complete with drunken antics, a DJ, and such a serious dance party that days later I still have knots the size of softballs in my calves.  Of course, a Tahoe Photo Booth was required and well…it got a little crazy.

If you were a guest at the Daiek Baby Shower extravaganza at which I got so drunk I forgot the bar where I throw all my parties is cash only and still owe them $20 AND subsequently was so hungover the next day I had to order both tofu soup AND hangover noodles, or you just want to check out the ridiculousness that is our lives, you may view the full gallery via this link.

I have no idea where the banana came from.

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Tahoe Wedding Photographer | Published at Melissa Hearts Weddings

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There’s quite a few wedding blogs out there that I feel more connected to and a better match with than others and Melissa, of Melissa Hearts Weddings, is one of those blogs.  Her city sensibility mixed with a love of all things vintage, rustic, and outdoors makes me feel right at home.  As such, I’m honored and ecstatic to be published for the second time over on her blog with Eddie and Lori’s shabby chic Tahoe beach wedding.   I owe endless gratitude to Eddie and Lori for choosing me as their Tahoe wedding photographer and working with Amanda Mason of the Tahoe Beach Retreat was so seamless and easy that I can’t wait to return there again.

You can view the entire post via this link.  As always, feel free to pin the photos, share it to facebook or tweet about it to show support and thanks to Melissa!

You can follow Melissa on Twitter @MelissaWedding and Instagram at @MelissaWedding.

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A Call to Action | Tahoe South Fireworks

The rumble of voices around us seems cacophonous in comparison to what happens next.  My brother and I are lying on the green scratchy plaid blanket on the grass, one of the few blankets that my mother has deemed worthy of being allowed outside.  It’s the same blanket that we use to tie to the corners of the swing set in order to make houses of fabric in which we pretend we are the Ingalls Family from Little House on the Prairie with the tow headed children from across the street.  We are up past our bedtime and it’s thrilling: the same feeling you get when your parents go out and hire a babysitter who is too young and cautious to order you against jumping on the furniture.  The boisterousness of the crowd rolls over my recumbent body and I poke my brother and annoy him while we impatiently wait.   As the sound of the first firework booms across the crowd and then the radiant flares detonate in the heavens above us, the crowd becomes instantly silent in shared feelings of awe and wonder.

It is the 4th of July.  It is the feeling of American Dreams.  It is a sense of time and place briefly frozen as a community comes together in one place in bipartisan celebration.   It is a feeling of nostalgia that never changes: decades may pass, technologies advance, and children act older at younger ages.  Regardless of how our society progresses, the feeling you get when you lay on the grass is unfailingly timeless and universal, whether you are in St. Louis, Atlanta, Phoenix or South Lake Tahoe.  It’s as if you are 8 all over again and up way past your bedtime.  This feeling is special.

This feeling doesn’t dissipate with age and it is with great pride and anticipation that I watch Tahoe South’s fireworks shows every summer with friends, family and guests who are here to enjoy their holiday at the lake.   Last year, our community rejoiced together as our fireworks display was named one of the top 10 in the nation.  Can you imagine the 4th of July without BBQs and fireworks?  Neither can I.

In November of 2013, Joseph and Joan Truxler, of Zephyr Cove, NV filed a lawsuit against the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority alleging the twice annual fireworks displays violate the Clean Water Act.   There is much information in the news and online about how this is simply not true and the Lahonton Water Board, after going studies in 2001 on the fireworks displays, determined that there were no long-term effects to the lake.

The Glenbrook couple seeking a lawsuit against the Visitors Authority claims to have spent “days” picking up trash on their beach but never called our local authorities to discuss the matter.  I find it disheartening that when a simple phone call could have perhaps brought about a collaborative community effort to assist with their problem, they brought about a costly lawsuit that could potentially put an end to a tradition that I feel is of the utmost importance and furthermore, could endanger our community’s economic vitality.  Whether our community depended on tourist income or not, fireworks and the 4th of July still go together like peanut butter and jelly.  Regardless of your location, it is an indispensable American tradition.

I am a Tahoe South Local.

I am an American.

I believe in the power of the silence between the first bang and the moment the heavens explode with brilliance.

I believe that when the fireworks start, everyone feels like a kid again.

I believe that feeling is special.

What can you do to help?

The Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority has called an emergency board meeting today, Thursday, March 27th at 4 PM at their offices to address the lawsuit.  They will be commenting on the severely harmful economic and environmental ramifications of the Truxlers’ actions.

I encourage Tahoe locals to go to the meeting.

In order to help, you can prepare a statement outlining how the loss of the fireworks will affect your business – be specific in terms of total dollars and estimated decreased percentages in occupancy, sales and/or employee hours, etc. Bring this statement with you and present your concerns at the LTVA Board meeting during public comment in three minutes or less.

If you don’t want to speak, I still encourage you to attend the meeting in person.  If you have a statement but cannot attend the meeting or do not wish to speak, please prepare and submit it by email with permission for it to be read at the LTVA Board meeting.

 Between the 4th of July and Labor Day, South Lake Tahoe’s fireworks displays generate a combined total of more than $6 million in revenue, the loss of which would be absolutely detrimental to our local economy.

 

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Tahoe Event Photographer | International Women’s Ski Day

On Saturday, December 14th (I know, I know, it’s FEBRUARY oh jeez, MARCH) we celebrated International Women’s Ski Day out at Kirkwood Mountain Resort in conjunction with SheJumps.  The day was intended to bring women together into a unified group to celebrate girls in the mountains.

“We believe that by encouraging girls and women of all ages and abilities to storm mountains on 12/14/13 we are supporting a strong, healthy, and vibrant community of women in the mountains,” says Tamra Geryk of SheJumps.

It’s pretty difficult to have a bad day on the mountain when you’re shredding with a posse of strong amazing women.  To all the ladies who were with me that day, sorry it took me so long to get to the photos.

Missed the event and want to join in on the fun?  

Keep an eye on the Pacific Coast Events Page for SheJumps.  There are Get the Girls’ Out Days every month in the Tahoe Basin at various local resorts and they are a great way to find new friends to ski with.

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Tahoe Wedding Photographer | Is it Wedding Season Yet?

If you told me five years ago that my future was to be a Tahoe Wedding Photographer I would have called you crazy. 

If you told me that I would spend a good portion of my work life perusing wedding blogs, and editing photos of cakes, and craving the next opportunity to create amazing images for my clients, I would have laughed you off and toasted to the future. 

But here I am.  In less than three months I will have left my full time job to pursue my future as a Tahoe Wedding Photographer and, eventually, a Destination Wedding Photographer.  I now dream of things like photographing New Orleans Weddings and Wine Country Weddings, allowing me to blend my wanderlust with my job.  If you are close to me or a family member, you know that I moved to Tahoe to work for a Running and Cycling Apparel Manufacturer.   I will no longer remain in my current position as a retail store manager for them after the end of April.  With 18 weddings already under contract for this year, the demand for my services has outgrown my ability to do both jobs well and a job well done is something that I pride myself on.

Thus, it is time for me to move onto something new: something that gives me infinite creative control and challenges.  I will be a full time photographer starting this summer and while my winters will focus on Tahoe Adventure Photography, my summers will focus on Tahoe Wedding Photography.

It’s not so surprising really.  I love weddings.  I spent 10 years throughout college and after staffing weddings of every kind.  I know them intimately: the tips and tricks of the day, the schedule and flow.  I love dance floors and parties.  I love meeting people.  I love observing and waiting and watching.   I love bands and DJs (but not disco).

So here I am, waiting patiently for all the awesome, hilarious, intimate moments that I will capture this summer.  In the meantime, I appeased myself with a whirlwind of photography in Austin for SXSW, where I’ve been for the last two weeks.

I love every second of photographing weddings.  It’s an honor and a thrill.  This summer I have the good fortune of photographing weddings in San Antonio, TX, on the beach in Lake Tahoe, CA, at Vineyards in the Sierra Nevada Foothills and in the Botanical Gardens in Berkeley, CA, just to name a few.  I love winter and skiing but I’m absolutely ecstatic about what my summer has in store for me and the brides and grooms who have contracted me as their Tahoe Wedding Photographer.

Tahoe Wedding Season: I’m waiting for you and I know my brides are too!

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Tahoe Concert Photographer | Gary Clark JR

I’ve been a huge fan of Gary Clark JR every since we stumbled upon him at Voodoo Music Festival a few years ago in New Orleans.   Clark’s blend of bluesy fuzzy guitar mixed with smooth vocals is simply amazing.  I’m surprised I hadn’t ever come across him while living in Austin, as he was born and raised there, honing his musical chops in iconic locations like Antone’s.  His recent album Black and Blu is an absolute delight and I highly recommend it.

Clark came through Tahoe South a few months (okay 6) ago while on tour opening for Dave Matthews Band.   It was nice to have a bit of my hometown in my [new] hometown.