Tahoe Family Portraits

Tahoe Family Portraits | Valhalla Estate | Crandall Family

Although our spring temps are lingering in the realm of brisk this week, summer is on the horizon and that means summer vacationers will fill our beaches, campgrounds, rental houses and bike paths.  The welcome change in temperatures will surely pave the way for more outdoor adventures.  I’m personally ready to get on my bike!  Summer vacation is also the perfect time to take your Tahoe family portraits.

The Crandall family hailed from Texas so I felt right at home with this large loving laughing crew.  We did some large and small group shots, as we always do, but then the family trusted me enough to let their kids play and enjoy themselves in some outdoor exploration, which made for great candid photo opportunities, which I love.  Valhalla Estate is always a fantastic choice for your South Lake Tahoe Family portraits session because it offers such a wonderful mix of forest, meadow, lawn, pier and beach.

If you’re looking for Tahoe family portraits for your summer Tahoe vacation, get in touch!

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what to wear in your family portrait

Tahoe Family Photos | LTCC Demonstration Garden | Poth Family

Last fall, shortly before their second daughter was set to be born, my friends the Poth family hired me to celebrate their growing family with some Tahoe family photos.  We met early in the morning at the LTCC Demonstration Garden, when their spitfire of a child Zada would feel extra sparky and accommodating.

Since then, their family has grown to include their new daughter Ayah, but not without quite the journey.  Baby Ayah was born premature, blind, and with holes in her heart.  She is a little fighter and this family has been air-evaced back and forth across the Western US for more surgeries, hospital stays and emergencies than any one family should endure.  They are doing well and trying to be as normal as a family can be under the circumstances they are in.

If you are interested, you can donate to Ayah’s Go Fund Me.  In addition, the Poth family urges you to donate blood.  Donated blood is one of the only reasons Ayah is still here today.  Get information on donating blood in your area here.  If you are a Lake Tahoe resident, there is a blood drive in our area on May 23rd and you can register to donate here.

If you are not a member of a medical flight network, especially if you participate in any sort of sport, then both myself and the Poth family urge you to join one.  Our local networks for the Reno Tahoe area is AirMedCare.

The Poth family also requests that you contribute to medical and scientific research.  It saves lives.

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Tahoe Maternity Photos

Winter Maternity Portrait | Valhalla | Deibert Family

A winter maternity portrait at Lake Tahoe is a great way to celebrate your growing family.  The Deiberts contacted me on a whim – they were coming up with family to visit and as luck would have it, I was available.  Valhalla is one of my favorite places to photograph family photos in Lake Tahoe.  It offers such a wonderful mix of forest, meadow, and beach for fantastic variety.  You almost always get that nice golden CA glow that everyone wants there as well!  I really loved how Erika’s scarf complemented the fading meadow grasses.  Congrats to this growing family!

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Tahoe newborn photography

Tahoe Newborn Session | Blasser Family

“You feel like family,” my friends told me after I photographed the birth of their first child.  The experience wasn’t without some complications that left me driving back and forth between the three of their separated family from our homes in Tahoe to both Reno and Carson City, but in the end, and many miles and sleepless nights later, everyone was able to return home together for some sleepless nights there, as nights are apt to be when you have a newborn.

I’m proud of my friends, who also feel like family to me, and their newest addition.  They are already parenting like pros (or, at least, the type of parenting pros that I prefer).  Their kid is pretty damn cute, but then again, I’m biased.

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Sand Harbor Family

Sand Harbor Family Portrait | Breaux Family

Sand Harbor State Park is an amazing location for your family photos at Lake Tahoe.  The depth and and interest that the boulders of the park lend to photos really creates awesome images. There are so many options at the park for great locations that offer a ton of variety: the cove, the beach and the forest are all within walking distance and perfect for variety.  To really set your photos off from anyone else’s, I also recommend including a dog in a coat.  Because why not.

Note: for a Sand Harbor family portrait there is an additional $50 permit fee for the location.

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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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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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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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Family Photos at Lake Tahoe

Family Photos at Lake Tahoe | Hyland Family

Who ever would think that you’d find a ladybug infestation in the sand at a beach in Tahoe?  Not I.  Certainly not these adorable kids.  This awesome family from Northern CA really wanted some family photos at Lake Tahoe to commemorate their vacation together.  The end result were some fantastic family photos and an adventure in millions of ladybugs (and one snakeskin).

This was a veritable gold mine for the candid family photos that I love and while the kids were distracted by tiny polka dots and their parents were pleading with them to look at me, I was silently very happy that they were refusing to accommodate the wishes of the taller folks around them.  If you love candid family photos, make sure you get down and dirty with your kids!  The more you naturally interact and play with them, the better the photos you’ll get.  Photo sessions can be stressful for children and requires a lot of concentration and sometimes a little break for play offers great opportunities for wonderful family memories just like these.

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