Snow, Snowshoes, and the Sweetest Couple: Allie and Greg’s Engagement Session

Yes, it was freezing. And, yes, we should have had our snowshoes on just a little bit more just so we wouldn’t sink in too deep but we still did. But, this engagement session with Allie and Greg was still nothing but fun.

Accompanied by their two super cute dogs (Jadzia and Riker) and their parents (to help manage the pups), we made our way through the narrow and wintry trails in North Lake Tahoe with the newly-engaged couple. Having both grown up in Truckee, California, the couple has been on the hunt for the perfect venue - one that will match their fun-loving, outdoorsy personalities.

Having settled on Chateau at Incline Village for their big day, we were excited to set the mood by capturing some amazing views on our hike. And, since Jadzia and Riker will also be part of their wedding day, it was perfect to have them with us for this shoot. (Have we told you how much we love dogs?)

Although Allie warned us that her and Greg might be awkward in front of the camera (they’ve never done professional pictures together before!), they were anything but. So obviously in love and comfortable with each other, the couple made getting great shots easy. And, even though it was freezing, we all managed to stay warm by hugging, running and dancing with each other.

We can’t wait to work with these two sweethearts again on their wedding day!

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Love At First Sight: Dez and Taylor’s American River Resort Wedding

To believe in the power of love at first sight is one thing, but to trust it enough to propose to someone after knowing them for just six weeks is something completely different. The probabilities of meeting that person might not be high, but it’s exactly what happened to Dez and Taylor - and their love is proof that it’s real. After convincing Taylor that he was serious about his proposal (and brushing off the response from a child passing by who told him that he shouldn’t ask Taylor to be his wife - not the answer he planned on getting), the couple opted to elope, using their day at the American River Resort in Coloma, California as a chance to celebrate with friends and family.

In lieu of the traditional way most couples do wedding ceremonies, Dez and Taylor went the laid-back route. Their wedding ceremony, much more of a celebration than a huge event, was super cozy and joyful. The American River Resort proved to be the perfect scenic site for the down-to-earth, beach-loving couple - capturing incredible pictures was easy. Not only was the fall weather perfect, but the two couldn’t stop making each other laugh - a photographer’s dream.

From the sunset forest ceremony that overlooked the American River to toasts that made everyone laugh, each moment felt meant-to-be and special. To match the fun-loving vibe, the dessert assortment was out of this world, including doughnuts, s’mores and, of course, cake. The couple and their small group of guests (about 50 in total) danced the night away under the stars.

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5 Insider Tips for Perfect Engagement Photos

For most couples, engagement photos are the first step when it comes to wedding planning. Although we’re sure you already know, these photos are important. Not only do they set the tone for your wedding, but it’s how many couples choose to officially announce their plans to get married, which means they’ll be seen by everyone. In order to have a great engagement photo session experience, there are a few big things to keep in mind.

Here are the top five tips every soon-to-be married couple should consider when planning their engagement photos.

  1. What to Wear. Any search online and you’ll see that couples differ greatly on what they believe to be “appropriate” wedding attire. And, while there’s a way to make most outfits work, the biggest concern is making sure that you and your significant other are comfortable - and happy. Considering how important these photos are (only second to wedding photos), you’ll want to make sure that you love what you are wearing. Whether you choose to go formal (with maybe a long flowy dress and a nice dress shirt) or casual (perhaps your favorite pair of jeans and a t-shirt), above all you should make sure that the clothes reflect who you are - on your best day. Yes, we love casual, down-to-earth couples, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put some thought into the clothes you wear. (And please, don’t wear matching shirts and jeans - coordinate instead.)

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2. When to Shoot. Photographers love working with light when it’s at its most magical, which usually happens early in the morning (sunrise) and just before sunset. Of course, the time of your shoot will depend on the season. While you can (and should) absolutely choose the general time frame for your photos (like desired weeks or month), let us help you decide when is best to shoot depending on location, season, weather, etc. The best advice we can give you is to clear your schedule for the day and make a DAY out of it. Go out for breakfast and spoil yourselves before your session or plan a nice dinner after - you’re all dressed up anyway.

3. Save the Date Cards. Most couples decide to use their engagement photos for their save-the-date cards, which means that the timing of your engagement photos needs to align with when you need to send out your cards. If you don’t have a date set yet, then this won’t be a problem. But, if you’ve already booked a venue and selected a date, you’ll want to be sure that we can get you your final pictures well before you want to send out your cards. Nothing is worse than feeling pressed for time or sending out save-the-date cards too late.

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4. Location Options. Just like what you wear should reflect your personality, so should the location you choose. This doesn’t mean you can’t ask your photographer to come to your backyard or take photos of you at your favorite restaurant. However from our experience, getting outside and into the wild helps to bring couples together in a fun and exciting way. Even if you’re not super outdoorsy, finding a beautiful overlook or tree-filled grove can help to make your photographs feel special. And, if you are super outdoorsy, show it! Most photographers are more than willing to accompany you on hikes (or whichever adventure is your cup of tea) in order to help you capture that perfect shot.

5. The Perfect Photo. Speaking of the perfect photo, movement is absolutely key. Time and time again the best shots are those that capture couples interacting and moving with each other because they are the most natural. Avoid photos that look staged or static at all costs. Have fun together and don’t feel weird about starting a random dance party while you’re out. Kiss, laugh, hug, run, jump, simply have a good time and good photos will follow - guaranteed.

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And, before you book your engagement session, be sure you do a thorough dive into your photographers gallery and portfolio of work. If you don’t love the photographs you see, there’s a really good chance that you won’t love the pictures you get back. In our experience, the more you can connect and relate to your photographers, the more likely it is your pictures will be ones you’ll treasure for years to come.

A Charming Riverside Wedding with Tyler + Channey

Although Tyler and Channey met each other at Humboldt University, it seemed like they had been together forever. One of the sweetest couples we’ve ever had the pleasure to work with, Tyler and Channey’s wedding was perfect from start to finish. From laughter and tears, to dancing and kissing, there’s nothing better than knowing that no matter which moment is captured, it’s going to be the right one.

The couple’s wedding was held at the River Ranch and Lodge in North Lake Tahoe, which was the perfect outdoor, riverside location for this down-to-earth, laid-back couple. The River Ranch and Lodge is known for its beautiful views, especially its nooks that cozy up against the Truckee River - the famous Tahoe mountains in the background.

We loved how Tyler played the guitar for his bride as she walked down the aisle, looking absolutely stunning in her dress. And while we’ve been to plenty of weddings, this was the first where we got to see an actual “tying of the knot” - parents coming up to help the couple. It might have also been the first where we got to see the traditional cake cutting ceremony turn into a full-fledged (yet endearing) food fight between the bride and groom. (Don’t worry, they made up with a kiss that rivaled their first kiss as Mr. and Mrs.)

Plenty sweet and a whole lot of fun, it was the picture-perfect bohemian style wedding that we just can’t get enough of. Oh, and then there was the DJ, who transformed the reception into a full-on nightclub - to say that the wedding was wonderfully fun is a complete understatement.

The whole day was just filled with love, warmth, laughter - and a whole lot of great photos to remember it by.

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PHOTOGRAPHY: VILD PHOTOGRAPHY | VENUE: The River Ranch Lodge |  CATERING: The River Ranch Lodge | CAKE: Lake Tahoe Cakes | FLOWERS: Hazel Castillero |
DJ: Music in Tahoe- Isaac | HAIR/MAKE-UP: Art of beauty | DRESS: Anthropologie | BRIDESMAID’S DRESSES: David’s bridal | JEWLERY: Randels in Placerville |
GROOMS ATTIRE: Men’s warehouse | OFFICIANT: Kelly laCantolla