Lake Tahoe Photographer

Boho Styled Wedding | Studio Fourteen | #communityovercompetition | Reno - Lake Tahoe Wedding Photographer

Who’s seen the hashtags #communityovercompetion or #collaborateovercompetition? Have you ever wondered what they mean? What’s the rage all about?

Let me tell you a little story…

I started this photography adventure in 2012 before Facebook got big with the communities and groups. When creatives kind of stuck to themselves, because heaven forbid a newbie ask them questions. Before it was cool to hang out with other creatives because apparently we may poach others’ clients, locations or trade secrets.

Being a community of creatives just wasn’t the thing.

Fast forward to 2015 when The Rising Tide Society started, and really started taking off in 2016 with the motto “community over competition”. What did it mean? Why were they encouraging creatives to hang out with each other? Aren’t we each others’ competition?

The answer? Yes we are but we are all our own creative individual. Our goal is to attract our ideal client. Jane’s ideal client is different than Joe’s ideal client. We all have our own ways of doing things - camera settings, posing, editing, customer service, etc.

So what does someone gain from mingling with other creatives?

Ummm…SO.MUCH. There is nothing better than networking. Having a group of creatives to lean on. Have someone inquiring about a wedding date you already have booked? Refer them to a trusted fellow creative friend! Client asking who you would recommend for floral for their wedding? You know just the person!

THAT is #communityovercompetition. Working with fellow creatives. Learning from them. Leaning on them.

So what’s #collaborateovercompetiton? Well, it’s when a group of creatives work together and create a vision. It means multiple photographers working together and creating badass photos. Each one creating their own unique frozen moment. Each one’s frozen moment looks different than the others - even though they were there shooting, posing and creating at the exact same time.

So what’s the whole point of this blog? Well, it’s an intro into the photos I’m going to share - lol. Recently, I participated in my first local photographer meetup. A badass local photographer, Casey Simon, has been organizing these Reno Photo Meetups for a couple months now, and I finally went to one! The theme was an in-studio boho styled wedding at Studio Fourteen - a space for fellow creatives to come together and create shit.

…and create we did!

It was magical watching other photographers pose, talk to each other, share IG handles, laugh when we realize that we’re already following each other, etc. I learned so much just by watching others - cues, lighting, poses, and things that happen when you think outside the box.

We all shot the same thing, but seeing other’s photos, we all created something different. We all brought our own unique style to the same thing.

That is #collaborateovercompetition

Thank you Casey and all the amazing vendors who contributed to this photo meetup! I enjoyed meeting and putting faces to folks I follow on IG. It was a blast and I cannot wait to go to the next one!

Quick shoutout to all the amazing vendors…

Coordinator: Casey Simon
Floral: nvlwood
HMUA: The Savvy Beauty Bar
Dress: Swoon Bridal
Jewlery: Micah Blank

Now to the amazing couple!

Oh, and I can’t forget Nova - the adorable pup who stole the show and everyone’s hearts.

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Rainbow Brite First Birthday Cake Smash Session | Reno - Lake Tahoe Photographer

I had my first couple shoots in the new studio space this weekend (I’ll post a blog once it’s completely done and setup)! This shoot was a great way to break in the new space!

I had a Rainbow bright lunch box and matching thermos (anyone born in the 80’s knows what I am talking about). I also had a Twink and Rainbow Brite character pillows that my mom made me along with a couple other character stuffies.

When Chantelle told me that she wanted Miss K’s cake smash to be Rainbow Brite themed, I have to admit - I did a major happy dance! I couldn’t wait to put this one together with the bright colors, star confetti and an adorable cake from Delicious Designs!

Miss K’s outfit was AMAZING. Like I want one in my size - please and thank you! Miss K was pretty dainty about her cake, but that’s okay - we still got some amazing shots of her. I am super jealous of her amazing blue eyes and lashes (ladies, she has lashes we pay money for).

Thank you Chantelle for trusting me in capturing Miss K’s one year milestone! I had such a blast! She is such a doll and I look forward to capturing more of her as she grows!

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Winter Engagement Session | Donner Lake | Reno - Lake Tahoe Engagement Photographer

Ahhhh! Winter shoots are awesome - even when it becomes white-out conditions and we have maybe a 15 minute break in the storm. We will rock it! Donner Lake is one of my favorite spots to shoot - it’s incredible through all the seasons - which makes it even more awesome. Donner Summit is breathtaking, but in the winter, it’s impossible to shoot out on. So we are left with the piers down at the lake. No complaints here though!

I’ve known Wil and Ashley for several years. In fact, Wil is my husband’s best friend! They met in Forest Service back in 2008 and worked on same crews/engines as each other for quite a few years. They are both giant boys and when you get them together, the goofiness is strong. So incredibly thankful to have him as a friend and even consider him family.

I am so excited about this wedding and so honored to be capturing (most) of their day! I have been told I have to put my camera away after the first dance. Think I can sneak in a couple shots after that? Challenge accepted guys. Haha.

Roughly 6 weeks and counting for wedding day for these two!! Lookout for that blog.

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Snowy Winter Couple Session | Tahoe Meadows | Reno - Lake Tahoe Photographer

We’ve been buried here in Northern Nevada/Northern California this winter! This didn’t stop Pete and Jessica from making their way from the Sacramento area up to Tahoe for a snow shoot with their pup Sierra (FYI - if you have a puppy please bring them with). This was Sierra’s first snow adventure and she did amazing - other then being a little unsure about sitting in it. Thank you Pete and Jessica for making the trek! It meant so much to me to capture you guys and puppy Sierra!

Snowy winter sessions are some of my favs. Even though it’s cold as heck, they always turn out amazing - especially when you have the most gorgeous golden light. Tahoe is truly a glorious place year round. It’s gorgeous all the time, and perfect for sessions. Let me know if you want to schedule a winter shoot - lets go have some fun in the snow! Contact me today for your session!

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Ghosting: Why It's So Disrespectful | Reno - Lake Tahoe Photographer

Tonight I had a wedding consult scheduled for 6:00 pm. I had arranged it with the couple earlier this week. I sent over my consult questionnaire and wrote out a nice little email with it letting them know where to go, what time their consult was at, and asked that if something were to come up that caused them to be late or reschedule - to let me know.

I emailed them this morning to confirm our meeting as I had not received the questionnaire back. It was viewed 2 hours after I sent it. Crickets. I emailed again with a “Hey! Sorry to bother you, but please let me know if we’re still meeting as it kinda dictates my evening” email. Again, crickets.

I get off of work at 5:00 pm and the meeting was set for 6:00 pm. I’m faced with the choice of - do I just go home and hope they don’t actually show up -OR- Go to the studio and prep for the consult as planned and hope they show up? I of course have to go to the consult as planned as what if I don’t and they show up and I am not there. Then I look like the asshole who stood them up.

I show up to the studio and prep. I put out my canvases, layout prints and my album. I go through the questions I need to ask as they’ve failed to fill out the questionnaire. I keep checking my email and still have no response. 5:30 pm comes and goes. 5:45 pm comes and goes. 6:00 comes and goes. It’s now 6:15 pm and there has been no word from them. At that point I put everything away, pack up and head home. By the time I get home, it’s now 7:15 pm. I got off of work 2 hours and 15 minutes ago.

I still haven’t heard from the couple. I’ve been ghosted.

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What is ghosting?
It’s when someone avoids your phone calls, emails, etc. They don’t give you any reason why they are ignoring you. They just disappear.

Pretty rude, huh? When it comes to the wedding vendor world, it seems to happen quite frequently. It’s quite frustrating and downright disrespectful!

Why do people ghost vendors?
I am sure there are many reasons, but these are some of the ones I can think of…

  • They decided to go with a different vendor

  • They realize you are outside of their budget

  • They forgot

  • They just aren’t interested anymore

I get things come up. You realize that you may be over your budget or you find someone else that you want to go with. All of those reason are okay! I truly don’t mind if you went with another vendor or realized I wasn’t in your budget. It’s OKAY! What doesn’t make it okay is not letting the vendor know. They take time away from their family for these meetings. Since Monday, I have seen my husband a total of 3 hours. Tonight, I could have come home right after work and spent time with him before he went to work. I could have cooked my family a nice dinner. Now, since I got home at 7:15 after being stood up, there is no time to spend with my husband or to cook a nice meal (unless we want to eat at 9:00 pm). So we’re having mac n’ cheese and hotdogs. I get to see my husband as he runs out the door for work.

I lost time with my family because someone was too disrespectful to let me know they weren’t going to come to our scheduled meeting.

Don’t ghost your vendors. Just don’t. It’s rude and disrespectful. It’s taking their time and wasting it. It’s causing vendors to not want to do these one-on-one personal meetings with potential clients. Instead they just communicate through email.

It comes down to this. Don’t be a dick. Don’t ghost vendors. If you’re not interested anymore - tell them! I can assure you - they will totally understand and will hands down appreciate you letting them know.

Classic Fall Wedding | St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church | Reno - Lake Tahoe Wedding Photographer

Last wedding of 2018 did not disappoint!

I met Gregory and Kristy at a My Wedding Library Wedding Fair. They were actually there as a vendor, Tahoe Slow Motion Booth, and were across the room from my booth. Seriously check out their booth - it’s so much fun! They came over and talked to me and Gregory instantly started complimenting my editing tones. At that point I had no idea he was into video. Kristy was the sweetest and they setup a time to come chat with me.

At their pre-consult we laughed a lot and I think it was my longest pre-consults. It was so much fun getting to know them and find out their story (Kristy was Gregory’s landlord - great story). They love to travel and they gave me some travel pointers as my husband and I were in the beginning stages of planning a trip. I was so stoked when they decided to book me for their day!

Their October wedding was beyond perfect! The weather was amazing and we luckily didn’t have any of the crazy Tahoe wind. Gregory and Kristy got married at St. Francis of Assisi in Incline Village, NV. I have shot at this church before, and it’s gorgeous. It has a wall of windows behind the alter that overlooks the amazing trees of Tahoe. Father Bill is a crack up, too. As I was shooting down the isle trying to be as inconspicuous and ninja like as possible, he came down from the alter and tapped me on the shoulder, and goes “get in the middle there, get the good shot”. I had a good chuckle.

The ceremony was a classic Catholic ceremony. It was gorgeous and so full of love. What I loved most about the ceremony is hearing the couples who have been married for awhile give advice to the couple. It’s always nice to hear what has worked for those with 20+ years under their belt.

After the ceremony, Kristy asked that we go to Sand Harbor for some formal photos. I of course couldn’t turn that request down! It was gorgeous out on the rocks and the water was so calm. It was the perfect setting for these twos’ formal photos.

The reception was in Gardnerville at the Douglas County Community & Senior Center. What a great location for a reception. We were able to get all the group shots out back and then go inside and party. The reception was a blast, and I am super stoked about the garter toss. One of the groomsmen dressed up in an amazing dress (that looked like it was from the 80’s), the groom was blindfolded, and the groomsmen ran out and switched spots with Kristy. It was so funny to watch. Hahaha.

Thank you Gregory and Kristy for trusting me to capture your special day! I had such a blast and so thankful to have met you guys! Cheers to many years ahead of you!

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Same Sex Fall Engagement Session | Rancho San Rafael Park | Reno - Lake Tahoe Photographer

Fall means it’s engagement session time for my 2019 couples!!

When I met with Roza and Jessica in April, they knew they wanted fall colors for their engagement session. We don’t get much of that around here in the desert, but there is one park that is always on fire with fall colors this time of year. I hadn’t shot there in the fall as I try to avoid it due to it being a hot spot for fall sessions with photographers. I think I am going to have to break my rule on that though. The fall colors are to die for!

How stinkin’ adorable are they?! There is so much love between these two and they are such gentle souls. I cannot wait for their May wedding at the Buddhist temple! It’s going to be amazing!

Thank you Roza and Jessica for trusting me in capturing your adventure! I am so excited for you two and I cannot wait for your special day!

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Tahoe Fall Family Session | Tahoe Meadows, NV | Reno - Lake Tahoe Family Photographer

Fall sessions have been underway for several weeks now, and I have been having so much fun with them! I’ve met so many new families and the kids have been nothing short of amazing - they’ve kept me laughing the entire session!

The Malone family braved the cold morning with me up at the Tahoe Meadows. They just moved here 2 weeks ago from Texas - I was impressed with how well they handled the 22* temperature, and little Mr. J didn’t complain once about the cold - he was a rockstar! He also was amazing at “cheese” and helped me make sure I got everyone’s photos taken. He even helped me direct Mom and Dad’s photos together - thanks Mr. J, you’re hired!

Thank you guys for letting me capture your first family photos in Reno! I hope you guys settle in nicely and enjoy what the area has to offer! You’re going to love it!

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End of Summer Engagement Session | Donner Lake | Reno - Lake Tahoe Wedding Photographer

It’s engagement session season! I am starting my engagement sessions for my 2019 couples and I am soooo freaking excited for them! They’re all so amazing!

Heidiee and Emmil were an amazing couple to shoot and to kick off my fall season! They sure set the bar high. All we did was laugh and giggle - it was so much fun. We decided on the Donner Lake area for their setting because…well…why the heck not?! It’s a stunning view and there are so many gorgeous areas to shoot. They did an amazing job on their outfits! I loved the colors and coordination with each other and the backdrop. Great job guys!

Thanks guys for choosing me to capture your moments. I am so excited and cannot wait for your gorgeous June wedding!

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Lakeside Proposal & Engagement Session | Donner Lake | Reno - Lake Tahoe Wedding Photograper

I looooove proposals!

Rob contacted me end of July about capturing his proposal to his girlfriend, Jhana. I of course was super stoked about it and agreed to capturing it. Rob was working with Lisa from L Squared Affairs to plan the perfect moment. Perfect it was!

Lisa snagged a dock on Donner Lake and decorated the end with flowers and wrote "One Day". Rob and Jhana started at the Little Truckee Creamery and made their way down the shore of Donner Lake. When they crossed paths with us, Rob asked if they could look at what we had been doing (we acted like we had just finished up a shoot). The moment Jhana saw what it said at the end of the dock, she knew something was up. She turned around to Rob down on one knee. We couldn't hear what he was saying, but I knew it was something perfect by the smile on Jhana's face.

She of course said YES!

The ring? Holy moly! Rob did so good on the ring! It's perfection and goes perfect with Jhana's outgoing bubbly personality.

We of course had to do a quick little engagement session - the light at Donner Lake with the smoke settling on the horizon was perfect. I had so much fun capturing Rob and Jhana's first special moments as an engaged couple.

Thank you Rob for trusting me to capture your special moment. It truly was perfect! I am so happy for you two and wish you many many years of laughter, love and happiness!

Happy wedding planning!

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