If you’re not a stranger around here, it should come as no surprise that one of my biggest passions and hobbies is wine – not making it, mind you, but drinking it. A day rarely goes by that I don’t have at least one glass of wine. It’s one of my favorite things about living in California. That being said, while California has a global reputation for wine due to Napa and Sonoma, I am personally partial to the Sierra Foothills, which boasts a distinct mountainous microclimate and hundreds of vineyards, producing exceptional wines that showcase the region’s unique character at a great everyday value.

California winemaking is a fiercely competitive market, and while wineries in the Sierra Foothills aren’t exactly trying to compete with Napa and Sonoma by any means, they also understand the importance of establishing a distinctive brand identity to thrive in the tourism market.  This identity is going to reflect my backyard: the region’s unique characteristics, values, and personality, which are infinitely more relaxed than the hustle and bustle of California’s larger cities. Crafting a compelling brand identity is essential for fostering consumer trust, loyalty, and recognition. I was recently hired as a Sierra Foothills winery photographer to help position the wineries of El Dorado County as a sought-after destination.

Sierra foothills winery photographer with commercial photography at Skinner Vineyards
Commercial Lifestyle Photography in El Dorado County at Chatueau Davell

The El Dorado County Winery Association came to me last year with a big project: they intended to upgrade their website and they desired a suite of high-quality photographs to not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of the website and their marketing materials but also create cohesiveness across all their content so that they could reinforce brand messaging. In today’s visually-driven digital landscape, investing in professional photography is essential for wineries seeking to stand out and establish a strong brand presence and I was excited to come on board as their Sierra Foothills winery photographer.

Lake Tahoe actually sits squarely at the edge of El Dorado County and as such, the Sierra Foothills wine region is near and dear to my heart: many of my wine clubs are located there.  The area itself is historic and dates back to the Gold Rush era.  The wineries of the region, in addition to those in the neighboring counties that are also considered Sierra Nevada foothills wineries, all boast a unique terroir characterized by the rugged mountainous terrain, with elevations ranging from 1,000 to 3,000 feet.  Thanks to their geographic location and their proximity to the ski resorts of Tahoe and the wilds of Yosemite, the wineries up and down the foothills offer a wide variety of microclimates.

When El Dorado Winery Association hired me for a subscription in order to meet their goals, we handpicked a number of notable wineries to take commercial lifestyle images at. These wineries included my oldest wine club, Holly’s Hill Vineyards, renowned for its Rhône varietals crafted with passion and precision by winemakers Carrie and Josh (who I absolutely adore).  We also photographed at Chateau Davell, known for its elegant Bordeaux-style wines and wonderful summer evening parties.  Our third shoot was at local favorite Skinner Vineyards, celebrated for its historic legacy (there were 7 generations between it’s first winemaker and it’s second in the family) and epic location on top of a beautiful hill with 360 degree views of the valley and Tahoe mountains.

Commercial Lifestyle Photography in El Dorado County at Holly's Hill Vineyards
Commercial Lifestyle Photography in El Dorado County at Chatueau Davell

While the Sierra Foothills region presents immense opportunities for wineries to distinguish themselves in the market, it also poses certain challenges in terms of branding and recognition. As a lesser-known wine region compared to renowned areas like Napa Valley, their branding needs to stand out and be cohesive, emphasizing the distinctive attributes and strengths that we offer in our backyard.

In today’s visually-driven market, the significance of hiring a Sierra Foothills winery photographer to create a clear, coheasive and custom marketing plan and and brand identity cannot be overstated. For wineries or small businesses seeking to maintain a consistent visual narrative while navigating budget constraints and evolving needs, contracting me for my subscription plan is a budget friendly and strategic solution.

  • It’s cost effective: By transitioning to a subscription model, there is significant cost savings compared to traditional ad hoc hiring and it offers predictable monthly fees over 6 months or a year, which allows budgeting to be more manageable, allowing you to allocate resources more efficiently.
  • It’s consistent: Regular photography sessions allow you to not only have consistent and quality imagery aligned with your marketing goals, but allows you to shift priorities as you go, editing and refining goals over the course of 4 photo shoots.
  • It’s flexible: tailor your photography needs to match evolving seasons and marketing initiatives. El Dorado Winery Association is planning having me photograph their major event of the year, Passport, so that they have images that are consistent with the other’s I’ve provided them so far for event marketing in future years.
Sierra foothills winery photographer with commercial photography at Skinner Vineyards
Sierra foothills winery photographer with commercial photography at Skinner Vineyards

In short, my subscription-based photography arrangements allow me to be your Sierra Foothills winery photographer in a cost-effective, consistent, and flexible way.  By prioritizing long-term partnerships and strategic planning, wineries can maximize the value of my subscription plan. Bring a little bit of visual excellence into 2024 and let’s elevate your marketing game together! You can see additional examples of a few clients, including Loopy Cases and Jess Tonahill Nutrition, who have hired me for flexible photography subscriptions on my blog and read more about what I offer here.