Downtown Reno Engagement

Downtown Reno Engagement | Gabby + Drew

These two love beer so we, of course, kicked off their downtown Reno engagement session with a few pints at one of their favorite haunts, The Lincoln Lounge.  Drew and Gabby met while they were both working in the political realm, so I find it somewhat ironic that we ended up at a pub named after an iconic president.  I totally blogged them out of order and you can see their wedding photos via this link!

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El Dorado Casino Wedding

El Dorado Casino Wedding | Reno, NV | Gabby + Dreu

Oh man, these guys.  I adore them.  They are both incredibly smart, they love craft beer, they work in politics, and, much like myself, Gabby is a prolific reader (in fact, she actually reads way more than I do).  Wedding planning was tough for them and I respect that SO incredibly much.  I struggle so much with the industry that I’m in as I find it to be excessive, rooted in commercialism, and full of unnecessaries.  You know what you need to get married?  You, someone you love and want to be with forever, and someone legally allowed to join you together (it’s pretty easy to get on the internet).  When I find the couples for whom practicality trumps embellishment, it makes my heart sing, because it means that what is important to them is to share a special day with those closest to them.  For me, this means that my most important job is to capture those interactions and less important is the details and all the pomp and circumstance that so often comes along with an American wedding.  Lucky for me, I find that the overwhelming majority of my clients are of this breed: folks who want to celebrate their union with their friends and family and prioritize photos of them and those closest to them over everything else.  For this, I am incredibly thankful.

Gabby and Dreu planned their El Dorado Casino wedding without realizing, at first, that it was also one of the biggest downtown festival weekends of the year: The BBQ, Blues and Brews Fest, held right outside the same casino door where they were to be wed.  I LOVED IT.  It created a chaotic and amazing spot to do portraits.  The streets were PACKED with people and hilarity ensued.  I unfortunately got so busy this summer that I never got a chance to blog their awesome engagement photos, and thought about perhaps delaying this post until after those, but frankly, when I went back over their photos to peek at them, there were too many moments that I loved too much to delay this Reno wedding post any longer!

Venue: El Dorado Casino | Event Coordinator: Liane McCombs | Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas | Florist: Sparks Florist | Catering and Bakery: El Dorado Casino | DJ: Clayton Kimber (DJ Phaidon) | Bride’s Attire: BHLDN | Groom’s Attire: Reno Tuxedo Shop

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River School Farm Wedding

River School Farm Wedding | Reno, NV | Molly + Mark

I have a new favorite Reno venue.  Molly and Mark’s River School Farm wedding was incredible.  The River School Farm, in addition to hosting incredibly unique, lush and beautiful weddings, also offers year-round farming, special events and education and demonstrations on sustainable living, bioregional design and creative expression.  The farm is filled with art, plants, flowers and animals.  They host eco-friendly art camps for kids, grow fruit, flowers, herbs and vegetables and raise poultry.  Tucked just along the Truckee River, the luscious garden offers incredible opportunities and inspiration.  I was in heaven.

Even better: Molly and Mark are both English teachers, which I didn’t realize until I showed up to their wedding and everything was themed around authors and books.  For those of you stalking my blog that don’t know my background, I actually have an English degree in addition to my degree in Radio0-TV-Film, which I got mostly because I like to read and that is not an oversimplification for my reasons, it is the actual reason.  As a child I was a prolific reader, so much so that my fifth grade nun wrote on my report card that I was no longer allowed to bring outside reading to school because I was “reading too much.”

In short, I loved everything about Molly and Mark’s wedding.  I loved the venue.  I loved the theme.  I loved the decor.  I loved loved loved their family.  They are surrounded by smart (and well-dressed, I must say), sassy, loving people with great dance moves.  I, of course, felt right at home, especially once I had a glass of rosè in my hand.

Venue: River School Farm | Officiant: Maggie Byrne | Invitations: Zazzle | Florist: Sparks Florist | Bakery: Isabel’s | Catering: Carson City BBQ | DJ: McClain’s Mobile DJ | Bride’s Attire: Macy’s | Groom’s Attire: Blue Garter Bridal | Rentals: All Occasion Rentals

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Reno Graduation Portrait

Reno College Graduation Photographer | Jennifer

This bright gorgeous young woman is going to do awesome things with her life.  She recently graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno and hopes that she will be admitted into the Doctorate program for Veterinary Science at Texas A&M in College Station, which happens to be where my cousin Melanie recently graduated from with the very same degree!

Jennifer is fun, bright, and vibrant.  She connected with me on Thumbtack and we decided that Galena Creek State Park was the perfect location for her outdoorsy personality.  We had such a blast and I’m so thrilled she chose me as her Reno college graduation photographer!  She was quick to laugh, easy to make smile, and downright fun to work with.  Whether you’re a college grad or a high school grad, your graduation is the perfect time to take professional photos.  They are perfect for everything from more personable head shots to gifts for your family!

Jennifer, I’ve been crossing my fingers and knocking on wood that you are accepted into A&M.  Best of luck, though, I know that no matter where you attend Graduate School, you shall certainly excel.

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Reno Portrait Photography

Reno Graduation Portrait | Jennifer | Sneak Peek

Jennifer is pretty rad and going far.

She’s graduating from UNR this year with her undergrad in Veterinary Science and aspires to attend the Texas A&M for graduation school.

Here’s a sneak peek from her Reno graduation portrait at one of my favorite spots: Galena Creek State Park.

More to come!

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Booknerd Alert: Grassroots Bookstore

I have always been a prolific reader and of literature in particular.  I have a report card from Fifth Grade upon which my nun of a teacher wrote that I was no longer allowed to bring outside reading to school because I was “reading too much.”  I have a particular soft spot for Minority American Literature from authors such as Junot Diaz, Maxine Hong Kingston, Amy Tan, and Jumpa Lahiri, as well as American Literature from the start of the 20th century filled with dramatic irony and the disillusionment of America.  I spent $10,000 on a 2nd Degree from the University of Texas at Austin simply because I like to read.

The last few years I’ve seen a decrease in my availability to read freely, due to lack of time and rearranging of priorities.  Most of my reading time has been spent while traveling.  The Kindle is amazing for this: I can easily read five to ten books on a two week vacation.  That being said, there will always be the allure of a new fresh book and all the promise and possibilities it holds when you are opening to the first page for the first time.  The anticipation of what may come is almost as exciting for me as the thrill and conquest of finishing the novel.

I have made it a priority to read in 2014.  It started with a pledge to finish the tome that I had been stuck on for quite some time by the end of January.  I calculated that I needed to read 20 pages a day this month to complete it.  It was inspired by a wedding client of mine who was pledging to hike every day for 30 days straight.   I finished that book three days ago.

When Boyfriend and I had hours upon hours to kill in Reno, NV yesterday after dropping friends off at the airport and before an early afternoon doctor’s appointment, I forced him to drive me to a bookstore that I found on Yelp.  It sounded amazing.

It was the MOST AMAZING BOOKSTORE EVER.

Grassroots Books in Reno, NV has the best selection of gently used books I’ve ever seen.  The first time you go in, they give you a free used book.  Everything that isn’t specifically priced in the store is either $1.99 for paperbacks or $2.99 for hardbacks.  I was in heaven.  I came home with 18 books for $42 and already started reading Eat, Pray, Love.

I did accidentally come home with one book that’s already on my waiting-to-be-read book shelf but never fear, I can return it for a trade-in.  They’ll give you cash or trade for used books when you bring yours in!

I live in a town that is sadly without a bookstore so it’s refreshing to happen upon a goldmine from an independent amazing bookstore like this and I cannot wait to bust through this pile of books so I can go back for more!