Ridge Golf Course Weddings

Auburn Wedding Photographer | Amy + Alan | Sneak Peak

These two are darlins’.

Literally: it’s actually their last name.

But really, they are darling.  Amy is sunshine and smiles and absolutely stunningly beautiful.

Alan used to play a variety of sports in both college and semi-professionally and he is All American and clearly smitten with his gorgeous wife.  I had such a blast as their Auburn wedding photographer at the Ridge Golf Course and I can’t wait to share more photos from their day!

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Gar woods wedding

North Lake Tahoe Wedding | Gar Woods | Brooke + Blake Sneak Peek

I started my Sunday this past weekend with a sunrise wedding in Markleeville, CA and I finished with an epic dance party at a small intimate wedding in North Lake Tahoe at Gar Woods in Carnelian Bay!

Congrats to Brooke and Blake!

Sunrise wedding

Markleeville Wedding Photographer | Sunrise Wedding | Amanda + Jason Sneak Peek

When Amanda first contacted me about her 7 AM wedding, I thought for sure that it was a typo.

It was not.

Amanda wanted to get married at sunrise at her “secret spot:” Indian Creek Reservoir Campground in Markleeville, CA.   It was one of the most unique weddings I will probably ever shoot, not only because it was at sunrise but also because it was at a campground.  It was memorable and stunningly beautiful. I can’t wait to share the other photos with you, but in the meantime, here’s an image to tide you all over.

Congrats Amanda and Jason!

Murphy's Ca Engagement Photographer

Murphys CA | Engagement Session | Brittney + John Sneak Peek

So this one time, this couple arranged to meet me in a clandestine way in a parking lot in Jackson, CA, where they then drove me hours outside of civilization, where we ate a picnic lunch in a stranger’s van, drank a bunch of wine, and then tromped around in the meadow and took photos.

Oh, and it ended in a library.  In the woods.  In the mountains.  In the middle of nowhere.

Next year, I get to photograph their wedding.

It’s going to be awesome.

Wine Tasting in Amador County

What’s better than a weekend wine getaway at friend’s ranch in the Amador County Wine Country for Easter weekend?

The answer: a weekend wine getaway at a friend’s ranch in Amador County Wine Country for Easter weekend where we have an adult Easter Egg Hung and roast a lamb.

Pleasantly warm temperatures, abundant sunshine, good friends and a lot of wine equal quite possibly the best weekend ever.  Add some charcuterie and cheese plates to the mix and the whole weekend becomes as delectable as burrata on toast.

Want your own Amador County wine weekend?

STAY:

PLAY:

  • The roads in Amador County are perfect for road biking so bring your bikes along and tour the wineries in the best way possible.  There is a limited amount of road routes available at this site, but from what I can tell, most of the roads we were on, including the main highways, would be amazing to ride on.

EAT:

  • Taste has a rotating menu of seasonal ingredients and you can get an appetizer and beverage pairing for $13 at Thirteen Dollar Thursdays at the Wine Bar.
  • Andrae’s Bakery is heaven from the tables of cookbooks outside the door to the breads, pastries and sweets that line the glass counter inside.  Make sure you pick up some of their specialty sea salts while you’re there.  The Mediterranean Blend is great to coat on grilled fish, chicken or veggies and the Durango Hickory Smoked Sea Salt can’t be beat for steaks and burgers.

DRINK:

  • Holly’s Hill is my most favorite winery of all time. It’s not on the fastest road to Amador, but you should totally take the long way to Plymouth and Sutter Creek vie El Dorado County and stop into Holly’s Hill. Their staff is unbeatable and their grounds are gorgeous.  Nearby Madroña Vineyards is also always a clear winner.  I love their zinfandel.
  • Helwig has beautiful grounds with an amazing outdoor amphitheater.  Large groups can reserve the private tasting room for a true tour of what Helwig has to offer.  Check out their summer concert series schedule – buy a bottle (or three) of wine and take a picnic to enjoy the summer nights.
  • Cooper Vineyards is a favorite.   The owner, the grounds and the atmosphere are relaxed and unpretentious.   Locals love to visit on the nights they host their “Old-Timers’ Music Jam.”
  • Turley is one of my most favorite wineries of all time.  I can still remember the first time I ever took a sip of their wine.   Their wine is hard to come by and a must order when I find it on restaurant wine lists.  The tasting room is open daily from 10 AM to 5 PM.

Tahoe Event Photography | Women’s Wellness Weekend at Granlibakken

I had such an inspiring and educational weekend accompanied by wine and amazing food at the Granlibakken Resort’s Women’s Wellness Weekend.

The Women’s Wellness Weekend focuses on providing the fusion of Western practices with Eastern philosophy to provide women with information, inspiration, activities,  and great female company.  This is an awesome opportunity for any woman, but especially for those in the medical field.  For an additional $75, healthcare professionals can earn nine hours of CE credit at this amazing weekend getaway in the stunning Tahoe basin.

Granlibakken is a gorgeous resort.  Conveniently located in picturesque Tahoe City, CA, it offers tons of trails for hiking and mountain biking in the summer, a tree-top Adventure Park, a spa, and, in the winter, nordic skiing.  There is a plethora of rooms, units, condos and even large houses available for everyone from the single occupant to an entire family to come stay and enjoy the Tahoe area.

Although I was there to photograph the event, I learned so much from the presenters and I found more than a few of them to be fascinating.  Tahoe City based nutritionist, dietician, and triathlete Jill Whistler specializes in sports nutrition and really reinforced my own personal thoughts regarding nutrition and the best eating habits to fuel your body.  Nueropsychologist Suzanne Aberasturi, Ph.D provided us with a hilarious guide to how your brain develops and grows with age.  Mel Pohl, MD, FASAM is a family practitioner and the ice President of Medical Affairs and the Medical Director of Las Vegas Recovery Center.  His presentation on the disease of addiction was enthralling, surprising and peppered with humor.  I had the pleasure of dining with who is now going to be my new dermatologist: Dr. Jennifer Janiga.  She was a refreshing, gorgeous person who gave a fantastic presentation on healthy skin.

My favorite presentation of the weekend came from Joyce Mikal-Flynn, Ed. D, RN, FNP, MSN, a marathon runner and triathlete, who survived a sudden death in 1990 requiring 22 minutes of CPR.  She released a book, Turning Tragedy into Triumph MetaHabilitation: A Contemporary Model of Recovery which presents her system of rehabilitation.  Mrs. Mikal-Flynn spoke about what happens to people when they suffer life changing events and why some are able to turn their tragedies into triumph when others cannot.   I found her presentation to be particularly inspiring.  As an athlete myself, I wonder how I would react if faced with a similar circumstance.

In addition to the lectures and presentations, the weekend also offered various physical activities such as yoga, zumba and ki gong, as well as, social hours, lots of wine, a health expo, and shopping from local artisans.

The 2014 Women’s Wellness Weekend will be held on November 8 and 9, 2014.  If you register before the end of 2013, you can lock in this year’s super reasonable rate which includes all the Women’s Wellness Weekend Activities, one night lodging, hot buffet breakfasts, 2 lunches, and use of the pool/sauna/hot tub.

Lockeford, CA Wedding | Stephanie + Garrett

Stephanie’s mother found me on the internet and I’m so happy she did.  On the day of the wedding she said that she picked me because I did “something different” than the others.  It was a nice compliment and an even nicer way to cap off a wonderful evening with this family and their friends.

This Lockeford, CA wedding was held at St. Joachim Catholic Church, just outside of Lodi.  Lockeford is a rural area with vineyards and expansive rolling ranch land to show off.   The family has deep roots here: Garrett was baptized in the church and now, as an adult, he was married here.  The wedding was a DIY affair with plenty of friends lending their hands to help with the fall decor.  The cake was absolutely stunning and made by Garrett’s own mother!

Stephanie’s mother is a bit like me: obstreperous and boisterous with a laugh that rings through the hall.  Her daughter, however, is a bit more reserved: calm, collected, and quiet.  My favorite part of the evening happened during the best man’s speech, during which it was disclosed that the reason Stephanie and Garrett are together is because her mother hounded him at his workplace to date her daughter.  I’m not certain how many boys this tactic was attempted on before Garrett, but it seems to have worked out for everyone!  

 The young teenage son of Garrett’s boss stood up and also gave a hysterical speech during which he lamented the loss of a the “best one” off the market.   I was actually in tears on the floor I was laughing so hard.

I was briefly concerned that no one would be dancing, since the dancefloor is my favorite place to be, but thankfully my fears were unfounded.    Here’s some of my favorites from my day with Stephanie and Garrett.

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 Venue: St. Joachim Catholic Church | Dresses: David’s Bridal | Florist: Cosco | DJs: Every Era Entertainment | Caterers: Tin Roof BBQ | Cake: Mother of the Groom | Decorations: DIY | Rentals: Giuffra’s Party Rentals