Trinity Overlook Park Portrait

Bishop Arts District Engagement | Dallas, TX | Ashley + Tim

I was thrilled when Ashley and Tim told me they were interested in having their engagement session done in my hometown of Dallas, TX and even more ecstatic when they picked the shooting itinerary that I secretly was the most excited about: a romp around the Bishop Arts District in Oak Cliff.  I’d been wanting to photograph a Bishop Arts District engagement session for years because of it’s quaint shops and bright colors and textures.  I had a feeling that it was going to be fun, urban and colorful and it totally paid off.  I always like to start sessions off with an adult beverage and this one was no different.  Unfortunately, our original plan was to meet at the uber colorful and outdoor space of the Foundry but I arrived to discover it was closed for a special event.  Womp, womp.

Instead, we ended up at the beginning of the district at Parker Barrows, which had fantastic open windows, local beers on draft, and cool subway tile.  We wandered our way through the district, stopping when inspiration struck and sampling chocolate (a must do!) at Dude, Sweet Chocolate, where the employee went above and beyond to let us sample almost everything in the shop.

We finished up at the Old Kemp House where local artist Eric Mancini has given it his colorful make-over and created a work of art.  There was a swing!   Finally, we drove over to the nearby Trinity Overlook Park to capture some golden hour goodness and the Dallas skyline.

No trip of mine to Dallas ever goes without a stop at Fireside Pies for dinner, usually in the company of my mom and her sisters.  My aunts weren’t available but Ashley and Tim accepted my invitation and we had an awesome evening over amazing pizza and great wine!

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Yosemite Park Wedding

Tenaya Lake Wedding | Yosemite, CA | Catherine + Josh

One would think that I would have photographed a ton of weddings in Yosemite National Park already thanks to it’s proximity to Tahoe and my adventurous outdoor spirit.  Unfortunately, I hadn’t yet had the opportunity, which is why I was especially excited to be connected to Catherine and Josh via Thumbtack.  They were planning on holding a Tenaya Lake Wedding in Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite National Park.  Since they were both traveling from afar for their elopement, it was important to Catherine to have someone who not only knew how to photograph outdoors, in harsh sunlight, but also would make the entire day easy and uncomplicated.

I was especially excited about the day because they wanted to have me photograph their small intimate ceremony on the edge of the lake, and then go romp around various places in Tuolumne for portraits.  It was SO MUCH FUN.  I even convinced them to wade through the lake for an epic lake portrait!  Thanks Catherine and Josh for being adventurous!  I think our work paid off!

Venue: Tenaya Lake in Yosemite National Park | Officiant: Rev. John Paris | Florist: Yosemite Weddings | Bakery: Mimi’s Cookie Bar | Reception and Catering: The Westin Monache Resort | Bride’s Attire: Watters | Bridesmaid Attire: Francesca’s | Groom and Groomsmen Attire: J Crew | Make-up: Jenny Sickler

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“Lauren was such a pleasure to work with for our wedding. Our wedding was in Yosemite National Park and because of Lauren’s creativity we have wedding photos that are absolutely incredible. Lauren has ideas for photos that I don’t think many photographers would come up with which produces some unique and beautiful photos – especially if your wedding is in a destination location.”  

-Catherine and Josh

Botanical Garden Engagement

Botanical Garden Engagement | Berkeley, CA | Jane + Robbie

Jane and Robbie showed up to their botanical garden engagement session in a clown car.  Not literally, but certainly figuratively.  Jane had found these giant air beach balls that say “LOVE” on them and wanted to use them for the session.  They had blown them up ahead of time and they filled the entire back of the car.  But then, they couldn’t get them out of the car.  And then, we decided maybe it would take too long to re-inflate them.  So, in the end, the smallest of them was used and we saved the bigger ones for their wedding.  Although you can find them on the internet as the Big Love Ball, I would not recommend simply googling “love balls.”

Jane and Robbie found me on Thumbtack and I am incredibly happy we were connected.  They are totally my people: smart, engaging, social craft beer lovers.  We had a great afternoon tromping around in the Berkeley Botanical Gardens for their engagement session and then beers at one of their favorite area bars.  Their wedding was just a few weeks ago in Maryland and I’ll eventually be sharing that as well.  It was 110% representative of their personalities: laid back and relaxed with a dash of goofy fun (big love balls, anyone?).

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Sutro Baths Engagement

Sutro Baths Engagement Session | San Francisco, CA | Carolyn and Robert

This could also be titled: the Sutro Baths Engagement Session that almost wasn’t.

Carolyn, Robert and I met for some delicious cocktails and apps at Outerlands which serves delicious food sustainably sourced from local resources.  It was a beautiful afternoon, sunny and warm, and we got to know each other, and their adorable pup, Khaleesi.  Things did not go quite as planned, however, when we left, because all the sudden we realized that no one had a car key.  Cue some scrambling on the street corner, some back and forth back to the restaurant, and some uncertainty as to the fate of the afternoon.  Turns out, the key was in the car door and thankfully both it, and the car, were still there!

The Sutro Baths are a really incredible space that I had been wanting to photograph at for quite some time.  Adolph Sutro developed the baths in Baths in 1894 but they were unfortunately never commercially viable.  At one point, his family turned them into an ice skating rink.  Eventually, there were plans to tear them down and build condos, but thankfully those plans never came to fruition.  They were destroyed by a fire in 1966 and in the next decade they were adopted into the recreational area they are now apart of.  In the evening at sunset, the baths are filled with folks watching the sunset, hiking, and tons of photographers and their clients taking advantage of the awesome and unique area.

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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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Lucie Sterns Wedding

Lucie Stern Center Wedding | Palo Alto, CA | Caitlin + Marcus

Caitlin met me when she was a bridesmaid in a Lake Tahoe Golf Course wedding that I photographed for two of my most favorite clients to date!  Caitlin, Marcus, Christina and Jose all share a similar friend group and based on Christina and Jose’s wedding, I knew that their Lucie Stern Center wedding was guaranteed to be a raucous wild dance party.    They did not disappoint!

Their wedding was filled with wonderful surprises: a farm-to-table caterer with fun small plate food stations, a crying flower girl (who doesn’t love that?), and instead of the standard religious or literary reading, a friend read the lyrics of a rap song during the ceremony, a nod to Caitlin and Marcus’ shared love of both rap and their sense of humor.  They had lawn games in the community center plaza, a photo booth (of course!) on the prints of which I managed to spell both a name wrong and get the date wrong (if you don’t know, it’s 2016, not 2017) (they forgave me), and overall, a wild booze-filled party of the best kind.  The dance floor was packed from the moment they kicked it off.

Venue: Lucie Stern Community Center | Invitations: Wood & Water Paper | Florist: White Oak Flower Shoppe | Catering: The Green Grocer | DJ: Terry Cole of The Spinheads | Bride’s Attire: Trudy’s Bridal | Hair and Makeup: The Blushing Bombshell | Bridesmaid Attire: Weddington Way | Groom’s Attire: Nordstrom | Rentals: The Green Grocer

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June Lake Wedding

Victory Lodge Wedding | June Lake, CA | Julie + Taylor

Julie had me from the get-go.  She was actually the first wedding I booked for the 2016 season and one of the ones I was most looking forward to all year.  Her inquiry email said things like, “come party with us in June Lake” and that they were hoping to find a photographer that would be willing to photograph a group hike instead of an engagement session.  They booked a beautiful lodge at June Lake and had an intimate affair with 50 of their closest friends and family in attendance, most of whom stayed on site or at the adjacent condos, over 4th of July weekend.  They served tacos at dinner (be still my taco loving heart) and margaritas and hired my best buddy and personal DJ, Dave Berkman, to spin the dancing tunes.  They invited Dave and I to wine, dine and hike with them all weekend and we had absolutely the best time swapping stories and having drinks late until the evening with this adventurous crew.  I can’t wait until my paths cross again with Julie and Taylor, and I’m sure they will.  This couple is full of just the kind of spirit I like to surround myself with.

Venue: Victory Lodge | Florist: Red Lily Design | Bakery: Mountain Cakery | Caterer: Convict Lake Catering | DJ: Ascent DJ Productions | Bride’s Attire: Grace Loves Lace | Groom’s Attire: Men’s Warehouse

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Willow Ridge Manor Wedding

Willow Ridge Manor Wedding | Denver, CO | Maya + Dylan

Maya and I met on the internet.  In the days before Facebook and Reddit, Friendster was the best thing going for the internet, and so most of us spent our time in forums.  It was past the days of aol chat rooms but before the days of Myspace.  Electronic music internet forums, focused around house music, birthed friendships of mine with a variety of amazing people from all over the country.  When we finally met in person, we cliqued instantaneously over way too much sangria before either of us ate dinner in NYC.   Eventually, Maya would move to Denver, CO and I to California.  Depsite living all over the world, those of us from our secret forum seem to find ourselves regularly hanging out and meeting up in various cities around the world to this day.

 Maya is an incredibly generous person that is quick to giggle and unbelievably full of life and love.  All the speeches at her wedding echoed these things I’ve felt about her for the 12 years I’ve known her.  She is an incredibly easy person to be friends with.  She is the kind of person that I can not see for years and then show up in her city and brunch is on.  Dylan is such an incredible compliment to her personality: they are unbelievably loving and goofy with each other.  He is the perfect match for my friend and I’m positive that everyone around them agrees with me.

Their Willow Ridge Manor wedding was absolutely perfect.  There were cloudy skies that graced us with beautiful light.  Willow Ridge Manor’s proximity to Red Rocks and overlooking Denver allowed for some expansive views.  There were double rainbows, records for table assignments, and bridesmaid attire handmaid by Maya’s bestie and also a friend of mine, Sophie at Sew Smooth.  PS: if you are looking for an incredible costume or cat tie, Sophie is your gal!  Their wedding was a colorful, vibrant celebration filled with some exceptional dance moves and a lot of laughter.

On a related side note, I’d like to say that Maya’s mother is one of my spirit animals.  For as long as I’ve known her, I’ve been absolutely sure that one day I want purple hair just like hers.

Venue: Willow Ridge Manor | Officiant: Dixie Clark | Invitations: Alex Fisher | Florist: Mark Remmers | Caterer: Fresh Tracks Catering | DJ: Nick Wilson and James Montiel | Bride’s Attire: Modcloth | Bridesmaids’ Attire: Sew Smooth | Groom’s Attire: Ralph Lauren | Groomsmen Attire: Generation Tux | Make-Up: Kayla Murray | Hair Stylist: Leslie Wills

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San Francisco Engagement Photos

San Francisco Engagement Session | Julia + Mark

Julia and Mark have followed each other all over the country.  The recently moved back to the Bay Area, Julia’s favorite place to be and home, and they couldn’t be happier to be back.  As such, Julia really wanted to use her engagement session to celebrate the city that she loves the most, especially since her wedding is going to be a little bit more rustic.  Julia and Mark will be wed at Edgewood in Lake Tahoe in 2017 and I know it’s going to be an incredible party!  I was more than happy to romp around to all their favorite iconic landmarks with them.  In addition to grabbing some shots with the Golden Gate in the background, we hit up Fort Mason and the Palace of Fine Arts, after happy hour, of course!

 Julia has an incredibly infectious personality: she’s outgoing, effervescent and incredibly resourceful and determined.  Her betrothed is clearly smitten with her and I loved whiling away the evening in the city with this awesome couple.  Here’s a few of my favorites from their San Francisco engagement session.  Julia and Mark, I can’t wait for your Lake Tahoe wedding!

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Private Estate Wedding

Private Estate Wedding | Byron, CA | Megan + Tuck

Oh man.  These two are like smiles and jumping for joy and adventure-time and sunshine and laughter and good vibes and dance moves and ski fast and live loud and excitement all wrapped up into one package.  They are fun loving, laid back souls with a clear thirst for life.  They laughed non-stop their entire wedding day and in fact, I’m not sure I could find a photo where Megan isn’t laughing if I tried!

Megan and Tuck were wed under a beautiful weeping willow that had THE COOLEST TREEHOUSE IN IT I’VE EVER SEEN on family property.  There were sweeping views of walnut groves, abundant sunshine, and lush greenery everywhere.  The wedding was DIY, with heavy help from all hands on deck.  Megan is an interior designer and her style was ever present.

I feel really lucky that I was connected with these two super rad people through a mutual friend.  Tuck grew up skiing at Squaw Valley and I was lucky enough to get to ski with Megan, Tuck and his family this past spring there.  It was an absolute blast.  They are fast, fun, playful skiers that clearly enjoy spending time together on the slopes and furthermore, time over wine afterwards.  You know these are all clear paths to my heart.  Also, I am jealous because they have corgis and deep down inside, I’ve always wanted one.  There, I admit it.

Megan and Tuck are going to have many grand adventures together in their future.  I only hope that at least one of them involves coming to visit me in Tahoe again in the near future!

Venue: Private Estate Wedding | Coordinating: Patty Bristow | Catering: Brentwood Fine Meats | Ceremony Music: Steve Luntz | DJ: Eastwood Entertainment | Bride’s Attire: Nicole Miller | Groom’s Attire: Men’s Warehouse | Rentals: C&M Party Rentals | Videographer: 7th Stone Media

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