Got a call four weeks ago requesting a portrait session with some twists. First off, the family planned to get together to get some family pictures for Mom’s upcoming surprise birthday party next month.

Secondly, Andy and his wife Alex are expecting to deliver their first child a week or two before their brother Zach arrives from Southern California to meet the latest addition to the family and have some pixs taken.

Well, as it often goes baby Amara did not arrive in what was hoped to be a well timed event. Calling Andy early Monday to confirm the session and excited to hear about the baby’s arrival I was greeted by a tired but elated Papa who had not gotten any sleep the night before as he and Alex welcomed Amara into the world only hours earlier.

And finally, there was the weather…spotty at best with the second of three big storms lined up to hit us straight on.

Little sister Meaghan took over the planning of the session as it was ultimately decided in light of their busy schedules we would travel up to Walnut Creek and keep the new family close to home.

Springtime, caught in between storms and newborn feedings with the Karabatsos Family at Castle Rock Park in Walnut Creek was far more than expected. A lush rich terrain was bursting with color. The sun even managed to get out long enough for the shoot. The dirt road heading into the park proved to be an inspiration for a family that is headed down a new road in their journey together. We had a blast with their shots. Amara gave us a brief window to get some shots before she decided for all of us that it was time to head home.


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There is no doubt that love is the key to a successful relationship. Having a back drop like majestic Lake Tahoe and towering Sierra Nevada mountains to contrast that love with 60 of your family and closest friends just enhances the experience.

From the lakeside rehearsal through the ceremony everybody in attendance was able to watch the beginning of something special as Kate and Tyler began their married life together.

As in life, there were some challenging moments nearing the start of the ceremony. Everyone was in place yet the pastor had not arrived. After some frantic calls we were informed that the pastor had been involved in a car accident on the way to Zephyr Cove. Although his injuries were not life threatening he would be unable to perform the services. After a few calls a replacement was located and en route to the venue.

I point this out because many times things don’t go exactly as we have planned them. Both Kate and Tyler handled this situation with the maturity and experience of a couple that one would think had been married for years…a testament to the parents for raising children with this ability to manage and adapt to the ever changing topography of day to day life.

As the pastor arrived to a hero’s welcome we were off and running. It was a beautiful service that was filled with tears and genuine emotion.

After dinner Jayne and I had the opportunity to pull the couple away for enough time to capture their comfortable love along the shores of Lake Tahoe. Super easy to work with we truly enjoyed the chance to “play” at our craft with them.

The evening weather was a little cool so the DJ provided tunes that got many on their feet generating heat. A great time was had by all.

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