Nichole and Scott | — Vesta Irene —

Nichole and Scott


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It was three days before Christmas and Vesta and I were shopping at Costco for last minute gifts, when Vesta’s phone chimed.

Scott was on the other end of the line. He said he was from the Bay area, that he was going to be in Lake Tahoe on Christmas Eve and he was going to propose to his girl and could we photograph his proposal.

It was going to be a surprise.


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He also wanted to know if we knew of a photogenic spot up at the lake and we suggested Sand Harbor. We always get good photos there and the other worldly looking rock formations make for great backgrounds.

And two days later we were on our way up to the Lake. A trip we’ve made more times than I can count. Fortunately, we like driving, and double fortunately. Lake Tahoe is always a fun place for us to go, even when it’s as cold as the North Pole.

And triple fortunately, we left an hour early, because we had car trouble, which you can read about by clicking on this blue link, if you like.

Despite the trouble, we got to Sand Harbor twenty minutes early. The forecast was for snow and there were two horse drawn sleds with kids lining up to ride around the parking lot. Sadly though, there was no snow. However, that didn’t deter the sledders, they drove those kids around on the asphalt and the kids seemed to be enjoying the heck out of the ride.

Ah, the imagination of a child. Sometimes I’m glad Vesta and I never really grew all the way up, because, like those kids, I saw snow, even though it wasn’t really there. 

We didn’t know what Scott and Nichole looked like and there were other couples up there, so I was shooting away, hoping I’d be on the money when one of the men dropped to his knee and whipped out a ring.


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However, that problem whet away, when Scott texted and told us where a friend of his had set up a bunch of LED candles, surrounded by a giant heart drawn in the sand. We got there before they did, barely, but barely counts.

“They spell out, ‘Marry Me,’” Vesta said.

I looked and sure enough, that’s what it said.

“How Romantic,” Vesta said and I had to agree.

“Here they come!”

“I see them.” Vesta turned away from the candles, pretended to take a picture of the lake as I pretended to take a picture of her.


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Scott and Nicole were meandering toward the heart and candles at about the same speed we were meandering away. When they got there, he turned and faced Nichole, dropped to his knee and though we couldn’t hear him, we had a pretty good idea about what he was saying and I thought Vesta was going to faint with delight when he pulled out the ring.


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Nichole seemed to be pretty gosh darned excited and it was the good kind of excited, so we knew she’d said yes. And then we started toward the candles with our cameras.


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It was chilly cold, but it was way worth braving the temperature, because we’re wedding photographers, Vesta and me, and we do that job, because we like romantic stuff and this engagement was every bit as romantic as a wedding.

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Sometimes we tend to over think and over produce an engagement or a wedding photo and when we do that, we usually keep them to ourselves and that way no one need ever know. If we do something like we did on the above photo for a senior photo, we generally deliver the photo. Kids, they love this kind of stuff.

Adults looking for romance, maybe not so much.

But it was a blustery cold day and so we thought maybe we’d deliver this one and a couple others we might have had a heavy hand with.


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This is a black and white version, obviously, of the last photo. It may be a bit too dramatic, but I like it a lot. It sort of makes Sand Harbor look dark, forbidding, mysterious and alien. I think so anyway.


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On this photo, which isn’t as over produced as the last two, because we toned down the HDR effect in the background, Sand Harbor doesn’t look so dark and forbidding. It still looks mysterious and alien, though.


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And, here is a more normal engagement photo.


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Vesta Irene Wedding and Portrait Photography, 1250 Ralston Street, Reno, NV 89503 
Phone: 775 393-9529