Two Locations, Two Texas Transplants: An Epic Engagement Session with Perri and Tyler

We met Perri and Tyler at one of our new favorite spots to start their engagement session. Still snowy, the bright white made a perfect backdrop for Perri’s stunning green velvet gown, the perfect formal choice for a winter shoot. The snow was still deep in quite a few places, making it impossible to avoid sinking in every now and then (we’re used to it by now).

Thankfully, Perri and Tyler were up for the adventure.

The couple, who are planning to move from Texas to California later this year, are getting married in 2020. (We’ll be shooting their wedding, too and we can not even begin to tell you how excited we are about it!) Fun, outdoorsy, and wonderfully outgoing, the two come to Tahoe whenever they have the chance so that they can enjoy all of the awesome outdoor activities Tahoe has to offer, like skiing and snowboarding this time of year.

Serious travelers as they are, the couple has journeyed together to Paris, Jerusalem, and Italy - just to name a few. In Tahoe, however, their favorite spot is Sand Harbor, which is why we headed there for our second location. Perri and Tyler switched into more casual clothes, creating two distinct looks for their engagement shoot.

We absolutely loved having both locations completely to ourselves, which made the entire afternoon and evening super peaceful and relaxing. At Sand Harbor, we simply walked in a big loop so that we got to go across the beach as the sun set. And what a sunset it was! The water on the beach was so still, it acted like a big, beautiful mirror for that famous warm Tahoe sunset.

One of our favorite parts about the shoot (besides getting to hang out with these two) was the incredible engagement ring the they made. It was crafted by reusing all of the stones passed through her family, making it as stunning as it was sentimental.

We can not wait for 2020 to come around!

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A (Almost Cancelled) Dreamy Winter Engagement Session with Ryan and Nina

If bright blue skies set against a wintry backdrop of white snow isn’t enough to make you fall in love, Ryan and Nina absolutely will. We met this sweet couple in February to take their engagement photos on the trails in South Lake Tahoe, but we almost had to cancel because of all of the (massive amounts) snow! Thankfully, as the sun started to peek out, we decided it was worth it to brave the snow - and Ryan and Nina agreed!

The couple, who met six years ago on a company softball team, got engaged at Lover’s Point in Pacific Grove near Monterey, California. Planning an outdoor fall wedding, the couple is (thankfully) adventurous, which means they didn’t hesitate to trek out into the deep snow with us in order to capture some seriously gorgeous shots.

Although we all fell deep into the snow at some point or another (sometimes all the way up to our hips!), we knew that since this was just a mini session (only 30 minutes) we were all going to be okay.

The couple dressed perfectly for the day - his bright shirt popping against the fresh snow and her gorgeous skirt (which she made herself!) being the perfect amount of statement-making formal you want for such a special occasion. Even Ryan and Nina’s dog joined in on the action (and wore the cutest red doggie sweater).

We loved meeting this fun couple and are so glad they were up for a snowy hike!

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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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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.