A Surprise Proposal at Donner Lake

AJ and Katie are one of those couples who just make sense together.  Seriously, though.  They look at each other with equal admiration and respect, and it is so sweet to see.

When AJ asked me if I would be willing to play a role in the surprise, I squealed with excitement!

“Here’s the plan,” he said.  “We’re going to have you show up to the cabin as if you’re taking family photos of everyone together, but my Mom will say they need more time getting ready and ask you to start with Katie and I .  Then we’ll head down to the dock and take some pictures with just the two of us.  Then, I need you to pretend you forgot something in your car and start walking back towards the cabin.  At that point I’ll hand her a letter, giving you time to find a stealth spot to photograph the big moment when I pop the question.”  It was a genius plan, and I was all for it.  After discussing details such as where on the dock they would stand and how I wanted him to try and position her so that her back was to the sun but her face was visible to me, we both felt confident about the plan.

It wasn’t until my big moment, the one where I was supposed to say I had forgotten something, that I freaked out a bit.  What am I supposed to say I forgot? I never forget gear for photo shoots, I go through my checklist like 5 times before arriving. Maybe I can say I need a water break, but that’s weird and I’d never stop a session to get a sip of water.  Ok, I’m going to say that I want to try a different lens, which is in my bag at the end of the dock. Yes, that’s what I’ll do. Ok, here I go.

“Um, ok, so, these are looking great, bear with me though.. I need to, um, get a different lens because, like, I just want to see how that will look…” Stumbled through that one! But thankfully my awkwardness didn’t tip her off to the surprise! I quickly climbed onto some of the rocks on the shore and stationed myself perfectly to capture the main event.

When all is said and done, being able to see the look on her face, the excitement they both shared, and the support of their family members celebrating with them was truly an honor and a joy for me.

Enjoy the final results! 🙂

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Ultra Violet Brunch Themed Styled Wedding Shoot at The Elm Estate

I first had the idea when I heard about Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2018.  Ultra Violet, really?!  Although Ultra Violet is far from my favorite color, I just knew there was a way to highlight this color in an elegant, beautiful way.  Challenge accepted!

Thankfully I had the help of some amazing local artists and together we curated a stunning Ultra Violet display on the modern backdrop of the sleek new design at The Elm Estate, a premier Wedding and Events venue right here in Reno, Nevada.  I had the privilege of speaking with the incredible Designer, Olympia Fuss. She walked me through each gorgeous room explaining the legacy of this historic-house-turned-modern-venue.  After months of planning, it all came together beautifully. Complete with a pancake cake, fruit platter, and yogurt parfait, photographing each detail was like a dream. I’m grateful to the local community of Reno Creatives who helped make my small vision a huge reality!

Enjoy the final product!

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Photography: @hannahmellumphotography

Styling: @ashlynsavannah

Venue: @theelmestate

Florals: @helianthusfloral

Invitations: @prettylittlepaperco

Cake: @sillysweetmadi

Videography: @zachyoungberg

HMUA: @aprilmarie.beauty

Calligraphy: @chloe.schofield

Rentals: @roundaboutreno

Dress: @swoonbridal

Jewelry: @oliverandbragg

Models: @blondettetahoette @ryander87