Engagement Photos at Lake Tahoe

Tahoe Winter Engagement Session | Kristin + Alan | Sneak Peek

Kristin and Alan are my kind of people: fun and quick to laugh with a splash of goofiness.  Both members of this rad couple work in education and work for a summer camp every year.  Yes!  Camp Life!  Even more awesome: they want their wedding at Sugar Bowl Resort to have elements of summer camp style. Can you imagine anything more perfect for me?  I can’t!  I feel pretty lucky to have been connected with these two.  Kristin and Alan, thanks for braving the cold temps and traffic to come to Tahoe for your engagement session.  I can’t wait for your wedding!!

More to come from this awesome couple and their Tahoe winter engagement session at Sand Harbor State Park.

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Lake Tahoe Engagement Session

Lake Tahoe Engagement Session | Elizabeth + Shamus

Hailing from Boston, Elizabeth and Shamus are recent transplants to Northern CA.  Although they currently call Sacramento home, they are hoping to get relocated to the Bay Area and love the access to Tahoe that their new home provides.  When they first got in touch with me, Elizabeth indicated that she would love to have some fall colors and mountains in her photos.  I’m pretty sure I delivered both for their Lake Tahoe engagement session.  We started at Blue Angel Cafe for happy hour and then kicked off the session at Lake Tahoe Community College of all places, which has a beautiful community garden featuring great afternoon light and beautiful fall colors.  Quick stops at Taylor Creek visitor center and Valhalla Estate rounded out their session.

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Portraits at Lake Tahoe

Sand Harbor Engagement Session | Meagan + Joe | Sneak Peek

THESE TWO.

I adore them.

I love starting my engagement sessions off with happy hour because it allows everyone to get to know each other, relax into some good conversation and then let me set up what I call the “ground rules” for the day.  Joe took these entirely to heart and as a result, I had so much fun romping around North Lake Tahoe with this rad couple for their Sand Harbor engagement session.  They were giggling and laughing so much the entire session that even I couldn’t keep a straight face.  The ease that Joe was able to bring smiles to his future wife’s face was endearing. These two are filled with such gigantic love and enjoyment of each other’s company and it shines through in every single photo. Although they call Northern CA home, Joe’s heart is in the mountains of his home and I’m ecstatic to see this place that he spoke so fondly of when I photograph their Spearfish Canyon Lodge wedding in South Dakota next year.

More to come from these two shining faces.

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Lake Tahoe Engagement Session

Lake Tahoe Engagement Session | Elizabeth + Shamus | Sneak Peek

Hailing from Boston, Elizabeth and Shamus are recent transplants to Northern CA.  Although they currently call Sacramento home, they are hoping to get relocated to the Bay Area and love the access to Tahoe that their new home provides.  When they first got in touch with me, Elizabeth indicated that she would love to have some fall colors and mountains in her photos.  I’m pretty sure I delivered both for their Lake Tahoe engagement session.  We started at Blue Angel Cafe for happy hour and then kicked off the session at Lake Tahoe Community College of all places, which has a beautiful community garden featuring great afternoon light and beautiful fall colors.  Quick stops at Taylor Creek visitor center and Valhalla Estate rounded out their session.  Here’s a few sneak peeks from their afternoon with me and I’ll eventually share more from this rich golden fall portrait session!

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Bay Area Engagement Sessions

Oakland Engagement Session | Lauren + Tim Sneak Peek

Tim emphatically did not want to take engagement photos.

Lauren and I collectively joined forces to sway him otherwise.  I tried all my usual tricks: promises of adult beverages, sarcastic exasperation, rotating locations.

He did not concur with our plan.

I’m pretty sure the Laurens succeeded, however, in capturing some wonderful shots regardless of his disagreement in our views on the awesomeness that is engagement portraits.

I think that makes this Oakland engagement session a win win for everyone.  More to come from this cute couple and our awesome and fun afternoon exploring Oakland, Lake Merritt, and Rock Wall Winery!

Bay Area Engagement SessionsOakland Engagement PortraitsLake Merritt Engagement Session

Doctor Who Engagement

Doctor Who Themed Engagement | Sacramento | Will + Sara

SO MUCH YES.

Will and Sara are so fantastic and I’m absolutely overjoyed that we connected thanks to Thumbtack.  When they originally requested information, their message said, “My fiance and I are SUPER NERDY and our engagement itself was Doctor Who themed, while we both play Magic the Gathering.  We love all things nerdy and would like some of that incorporated into our engagement photos.”  I, of course, responded with, “SO MUCH YES” and our relationship was born.

Sara and Will met when she overheard him while walking down the street in Davis, CA, talking about Magic shortly after she moved there.   As fate would have it, Will walked into the Chipotle line directly behind her and she gathered up the gumption to go talk to him since she too played Magic.  When they told me this story, I suggested we start our session off with them playing Magic at Chipotle and they readily agreed.

After that, we headed down to the state capital in Sacramento because the building and grounds hold significant importance for the two of them.  In fact, their wedding ceremony will be held on the grounds as well.

Will and Sara are both huge Doctor Who fans and since Will proposed outside of the TARDIS at Stage Nine in Old Town Sacramento, they specifically wanted to incorporate this into a Doctor Who themed engagement session.  We took it a step further and recreated a picnic scene on the beach on the river in Sacramento and then headed back over to Stage Nine who was gracious enough to allow us to come in after hours and photograph in the TARDIS.

Our day was complete with a stop on the yellow bridge and an amazing dinner and bottle of wine together at Il Fornaio.

Basically, the whole day was like this:

SO MUCH YES.

I can’t wait to do it all over again at their wedding in November.

SF Engagement Portrait

Making the Most out of your Engagement Session

More often that not, couples become engaged and start cycling through their catalog of photos and discover that they have primarily nothing but phone photos and selfies at their disposal.  As such, engagement portrait sessions are extremely popular and one of those photos will certainly end up on your save the date card, wedding invitation, or wedding website.  Paperless Post recently approached me and asked if I’d be willing to share my tips and tricks on making the most out of your engagement session.

1.  Relax and pay no attention to the person following you with the camera.  Every photo that I fall in love with from an engagement session comes from a moment where the couple is so wrapped up in each other, they’ve forgotten I’m there.  In fact, the best sessions happen when couples act like they are on a date and just talk and chat the entire time as if I’m not even there.  I’ve even had couples spend the entire session trying to one up each other with jokes.   It doesn’t matter how you interact, as long as you do.

Los Angeles Engagement Session

2.  More points of contact create more intimacy in photos.  Hold hands, make out, wrap up in each other.  No matter what you do, the more that your bodies are connected, the stronger the image will come across.

SF Engagement Portrait

3.  Be fun and active.  Dance while you tell those jokes.  Hold hands, move around, walk and talk, get playful.   I try to do as little posing as possible, but I will intervene and get posey if the couple seems stiff or isn’t interacting with each other.  The best moments happen, again, when you forget your photographer is there and focus on each other.

Culver City Portrait Session

4.  Kick your session off in one of your favorite places.  I like to start my evening sessions out with happy hour and my morning sessions with brunch.  Starting off your session at a place of significance for the two of you is a great way to begin your session in a relaxed way at a place that feels comfortable.  It will put you at ease (so will that adult beverage) and allow you to get comfortable behind the camera.

Happy Hour portrait session

5.  Utilize negative space.  Negative space appears in beautifully composed images as the blank areas in and around objects.  In a photo with negative space, you’ll have plenty of room to include all the pertinent information you need to give your guests without detracting from the image.

Tahoe Engagement Photographer, Incline Village, Hidden Beach, Tahoe Portrait photographer

Featured Vendor: Paperless Post is passionate about the resources that they provide their community.  If you are seeking a unique invitation experience, head over to their website to see how you can create both online and paper stationary, invitations and save the dates that reflect your individual style.  To date, Paperless Post users have sent over 85 million cards.  You can also check out Paperless Post on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Sand Harbor Engagement Session

Incline Village Engagement Session | Teddy + Janet | Sneak Peek

These two.

They are two of a kind.

Teddy is my brother’s best friend from childhood.  He is smart, witty, fun, bold and driven.  Janet is adventurous and whimsical, gracious and observant.

Janet’s a keeper.  Teddy knows it.  After spending a few days with these two, you can see why they’ve ended up together.  I’m definitely keeping Janet as a friend and I can’t wait for them to come back to Tahoe.

More on these two awesome souls and our adventures last week.  Until then, here’s a sneak peek from their Incline Village engagement session.

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Murphys CA engagement session

Angel’s Camp Engagement Session | Published at Ever Ours

o. m. gee.

I have been (figuratively, not literally) dying to be published on Ever Ours for ever and ever and ever.  All my cool photographer friends are published on Ever Ours all the time and now I’m as cool as they are.

I can think of no better session than Britt and John’s Angel’s Camp engagement session to be published over on Lydia’s amazing site, which celebrates the wedding photography industry and all the amazing images and talent within it.

I’m so excited to be part of the Ever Ours community.  You can also follow Ever Ours on Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

You can see the entire feature over at Ever Ours via this link.

 Northern CA Engagement Photographer

Reno Engagement Photographer

Woodsy Engagement Session | Audrey + Gavin

Oh my goodness how I love Audrey and Gavin – let me count the ways.  1. They are extremely vivacious fun personalities that were overjoyed when I suggested pre-gaming happy hour before their session.  2) They both work in similar industries and we had many a similar story to share about the world of TV, Film and Photography.  3) They are adventurous spirits that recently moved to Reno and wanted to show off their love of the outdoors with a woodsy engagement session.  4) Gavin went to TOWN on that love balloon (you’ll see what I mean).

Basically, I had a blast.  I’m super excited to call these two friends from here on out and I’m even more excited to photograph their wedding in September.  Until then, here’s some of my favorites from their Galena Creek Engagement Session outside of Reno, NV.

Also, FYI, it’s super anti-climatic when you pop a foil balloon.  No where near as fabulous as a latex one.