Sarah and Tanner really wanted their engagement session to feel like a normal day and didn’t want anything too posed or formal. They had fallen in love with my work through their friend Kelley, whose engagement session to her now husband Neal, was a romp around San Francisco. Since Sarah and Tanner had already planned a trip with her family out to California, we decided to all meet for a Sunday funday together for their Napa engagement session. It was a blast! We played bocce and picnicked at their bungalow on a vineyard to start, took in an incredible vista, went wine tasting at the winery that Tanner’s brother works at, Ashes and Diamonds, and all finished up at an incredible dinner in town at one of their favorite spots. It was such a great way to get to know the two of them and I had such a blast exploring one of my favorite places. I’ve since been back to Ashes and Diamonds multiple times because I absolutely fell in love with their wine and I am super excited to photograph their wedding in Aspen, CO over Labor Day weekend this year!
I found out after the fact that Kayla had given Bill pretty clear instructions: she needed to have her nails done and she wanted there to be a photographer. He managed to nail both of those and to be a bit sneaky, instead of having me hide in the bushes or troll around the beach pretending to be a tourist for his Tahoe marriage proposal, we decided to have his mother gift her a portrait certificate for Christmas.
The plan went off mostly without a hitch, save the fact that I expected him to get down on one knee more than 25 minutes earlier than he did in the session. I was agonizing inside and wondering if he had changed his mind!
In the end, she said yes, obviously and we ended up with some of the most gorgeous Tahoe light I’ve had in recent months for our sunset session at Sand Harbor State Park.
Bill and Kayla: congratulations! I’m so thrilled to have been a part of your proposal and that I was able to capture the start of a long and happy life together!
Once upon a time in my past life, I was a camp counselor at Camp Mystic for Girls. I was a counselor there for six years. Camp Mystic is a magical place where every summer, girls return again and again to spend either two weeks or a month of their summer with their cabin-mates, which stay the same all of their years spent there. I was always the counselor who was left alone on my co-counselors’ nights off with dozens of children under the age of 10 to corral. My cabin almost always had the privilege of getting out of rest hour early for commissary due to the fact that I consistently threatened to throw anything they left on the cabin floor out the front door. I taught swimming and diving as my activities, training girls to do inwards and gainers and one-and-a-halfs despite their fears and worries. I met and watched amazing young women grow up before my eyes and to this day, thanks to social media, I still keep in touch with many of them. One of them lives in Mexico City, one studied abroad in London, some are married, a few are engaged, a few already have children. I am so proud of all of them and who they have become.
And then the day came that one of them got engaged and then asked me to photograph their wedding and that made me feel incredibly, unbelievably esteemed.
You wouldn’t have to press me hard to say that Halie was always one of my favorites. She has turned into the beautiful, smart, engaging woman I expected her to become. There has always been a spark of laughter in her eye and to no surprise, she’s found the most amazing partner for her life. Price is charming, respectful and clearly loves her. I am so honored to photograph their wedding, which will be held just down the street from Mystic at Camp La Junta, and even more excited to share their Austin engagement session, during which I basically just made them go everywhere. At least we did have cocktails first though. Thanks for accomodating me, y’all and thanks for the highest honor you can bestow on your camp counselor.
If you’re wondering, the umbrellas are an art installation on Aldrich Street in the Mueller neighborhood.
“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!