The first time I talked to Kayla and Nick on the phone I knew they were my people. With stories of bird hunting, boat building and all around good fun – there wasn’t a question we’d get along.
When it came time on their wedding night to do portraits, I knew they would be down for the cause to hike up the beach a ways to a private dock (ask for permission later…?) and it ended up being a GREAT call:
I will never question myself about sneaking somewhere I’m not supposed to be – sooo worth it!
Kayla got ready for her West Shore Cafe wedding on property which allowed for a relaxing morning creating images of Kayla and her closest friends laughing and goofing off as the boy got ready next door.
Nick spent his getting ready time sipping whiskey with the boys – but when it came time to clean up, he did so in style and with ease.
Tahoe is all about adventures and one of those is boating. While they didn’t go for a ski session after their ceremony, Nick and Kayla did take a wood boat ride after their West Shore Cafe wedding.
Did I mention Nick’s buddy’s brought some whiskey? (yes, I tried it, it was good!)
About that dock and not asking permission? Yeah.
Sometimes asking a couple to dangle their feet off a dock 20+ feet above the water is just what you need for an epic series of photos.
Thanks so all the awesome wedding professionals who came together to make this a perfect wedding:
Bonnie with Summit Soiree
We had an amazing day yesterday photographing Evan and Emma’s wedding at Soda Rock Winery in Healdsburg.
Can’t wait to get a full blog post up about their wedding day!
Laurent and Thomas’ passion for wine has taken them on adventures around the world exploring Bourdeaux, living in London and having their wedding in Sonoma Wine Country at Soda Rock Winery. Soda Rock Winery is a gem in the Alexander Valley of Sonoma Wine Country and boasts views, history and details perfect for intimate weddings.
When choosing which couples to photograph for my wedding photography, I’m seeking those who share my sense of adventure and gregarious nature – Lauren and Thomas are exactly that fit. How Lauren constantly smiles when she is around Thomas, their love for wine and travel, it’s all there and seeing them together you know they would be the perfect travel/adventure buddies.
Lauren’s sister Katie was so happy for her sister and was in tears during the first look. How much she cares for her sister was abundantly obvious throughout the entire wedding.
Soda Rock winery gives wedding couples the perfect location for their first look – a rustic wedding barn on property provides seclusion and amazing light.
Elegant and charming – Lauren and Thomas had style to envy at their Sonoma wedding.
Thomas and Lauren could easily be models for my next styled shoot.
Sometimes I ask my couples to do silly things, this time I was having Lauren spin around in her dress when Thomas decided to mimic her in action with his suit.
This barn!! Rustic barn weddings are always for the win, but at Soda Rock Winery, even if you don’t want a barn wedding, you can still use their barn for formal and posed wedding photos.
Lauren and Thomas’ ability to relax and enjoy the day and share in some laughter with their siblings/bridal party made the day breeze by. (I don’t trust those who don’t smile, thankfully there was a lot of trust going on here)
Soda Rock offers several wedding ceremony sites at their wedding venue in Sonoma.
Not only did Lauren and Thomas smile the whole way down the aisle at their Soda Rock winery wedding, but they danced down the aisle!
It’s the small details, the little moments that set each couple apart for me – in their own world having a moment all to themselves yet immersed in family and friends.
Ssshhhhhh – don’t tell anyone, but we snuck into a nearby winery for some beautiful wedding photos and a mini adventure nearby to Soda Rock winery.
The ability to goof off and be playful together is a trait I value in all of the couples I choose to work with.
By this point I’m pretty sure I was laughing as much if not more than Lauren and Thomas with all their goofing around.
When planning the perfect backpacking trip I like to try and push the limits just as far as they’ll go. So, even though the Western States Trail is best known as an ultra-marathon that runners finish in less than 24 hours – Jesse and I thought we’d turn the same trail into a challenging backpacking trip at about 25 miles per day.
Adventure for me is all about pushing limits – be it skiing out of bounds, backpacking for a month, or in this case, pushing 100 miles of high sierra in 4 days.
Jesse taking a rest while climbing up Squaw (Lake Tahoe in the background)
Looking out over the Western States Trail and the terrain we’d be covering over the next few days.
As a photographer I probably shouldn’t post this photo – but…. the Western States Trail is not the most well marked trail, it really only sees use 1 day a year. So, probably 5 times each day we would lose the trail, either to hike 9 miles out of our way (that happened) or in this case, wander aimlessly through a forest hoping to cross the trail again at some point in the near future – this was in the middle of having bush wacked for nearly two hours and still having no idea if we were any closer to picking up the trail again.
California is known for it’s fires – the last big fire of the year in our area ended up halting our hike at one point and sending us in one huge loop out away from the original trail and basically killed all hopes of finishing as we’d hoped.
Thankful for being careful scanning the trail when backpacking – this littler rattler didn’t make a single noise as we approached. (really glad that Phil wasn’t with us or there might be another video of me screaming like a girl)
I brought my roller on this trip as I was having some knee issues coming into it and was worried about locking up and being stuck in the middle of nowhere.
This was probably the best campsite the entire trip (also I think there was a sign to the left saying camping isn’t allowed…. hmmmmm)
As we got a bit closer to the end of the trail my ankle started to feel a bit funny… on the last day as we tried to push hard to get out to civilization and we sat down for a quick lunch break, this was what I was looking at:
This cabin in the middle of nowhere was the first place we got lost. I blame the dirt bike trail (it was calling to me to follow it)
Thanks to my wife for making the amazing beanie for the trip! so warm, so colorful – and thanks to Jesse for snapping a shot me me happily eating dinner before falling asleep only to wake up to a bear walking into camp (yes, that happened, and yes, we spent most of the night trying to chase it away)
Backpacking is a weird mental game for me – I can’t wait to go, I LOVE the gear, and once on the trail, I’m 80% miserable the whole time, but I LOVE it. After I finish a trail, I have no interest in going back – but give it a few months and I always find my mind wandering back – and seeing as the fire chased us off the trail, and as Spring starts to try and make an appearance in California – I’m beginning to make plans to push this trail again this year, possible in 3 days, but more realistically in 4 – now to get someone to push the miles with!
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We have created images of Ray Charles, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, Kenny Loggins, Regie Miller, Scott Weinger,
Andrew Firestone, Billy Baldwin, Nia Peeples, Ray Bradbury, Motley Crue, Jethrol Tull, The Scorpions, MXPX...
As a destination wedding photojournalist focused on adventurous couples, and indulgent weddings in
Napa and Sonoma wine country, I love connecting those who are also mischievously minded.
I regularly photograph weddings in Napa and Sonoma wine country region, Lake Tahoe, across the US, abroad
and look forward to learning about your wild and adventurous sides and seeing if we would be a good fit for each other.