Jane and Carlos | — Vesta Irene —

Jane and Carlos


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Carlos and Jane got married up at stunning Lake Tahoe, in a gorgeous little wedding chapel. They rented a cabin on the lake, because they wanted to turn their wedding into a once in a lifetime vacation. And, it seems, the lake conspired with the weather to make everything perfect for them. They had a beautiful wedding, with picturesque Lake Tahoe as their backdrop.

Vesta and I drove up to the lake a month or so before the wedding to check out the venue and also that cabin by the lake and we fell in love with the place. So much so that we rented one too. Oh, we weren’t going to crash the newlywed’s honeymoon, but we wanted unfettered access for the day before and the day of their wedding. And besides, there is no rule which says a wedding photographer can’t make a mini vacation out of a wedding.


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So when the bride and groom showed up at Nevada’s mountain blue lake, we were already there. We like spending time with the happy couple before their special day, because if we get to know them and them us, we generally get much better photos.


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Their cabin was on the California side in South Lake Tahoe, less than a quarter mile from Nevada and it was right on the lake and surrounded by gorgeous pine trees and if you were in the mood to pickup pine cones, they were here galore, big ones, just like the ones we have by our fake fireplace (what a coincidence).


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Jane wanted a few photos of her getting her hair done and we did that, then we spent about a half hour sitting outside with a couple of her bridesmaids, looking over the lake. It was very peaceful. The lake was flat calm and absolutely beautiful, as it always is. It was a perfect day for a wedding.


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When Jane’s hair was finished, we took a few pictures of her getting her makeup done and that’s when she told us that they’d actually rented two cabins and that Carlos was in the one next door and that he would probably be getting ready soon.


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This is why a wedding photographer needs to ask all the right questions beforehand. For reasons, I don’t know, we forgot to ask where Carlos was going to be getting ready and we didn’t ask where he was when we got there. I think we just assumed he was out and would be coming back soon. Duh.

“He hasn’t started yet, has he?” I wanted to know, afraid that I might have missed an important part of the wedding day photos.


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“No.” Jane laughed, sensing my agitation. “I’ll call him.” She did and than told me that I had about fifteen minutes before I had to go over there. So, I took a few more shots of Jane, had a cup of coffee and then went next door. Once there I found Carlos and his best man, sitting around drinking coffee themselves.


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“Would you like a cup?” Carlos said. A man after my own heart. I’m somewhat of a coffee addict. Can’t help it, I love the stuff. The taste of it, the smell of it and how it makes you feel at 6:00 in the morning. Coffee, it’s a very good friend of mine. Now, throw in an early morning bear claw, like Carlos did, and you can really steal my heart.


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Coffee and bear claw finished, it was time for Carlos and his best man to get into their wedding attire and all of a sudden, as his best man was fixing his tie, Carlos turned serious. He asked my how long I’d been married and I told him longer than he’d been alive. Then he asked me the secret.

“We only have one rule,” I said.

“And that is?”

“Never argue in public.”

“How do you define public?”

“Anybody but us. We never, never ever argue when anybody else is around.” He looked quizzical, so I went on. “Most of the time when one half of a couple manages to upset the other, it’s over something little and stupid and usually someone else is there or within earshot, so if you have to hold your ire, till you’re in the car or home, you’ll find by then you’ve oftentimes forgotten all about it. And it’s those little arguments that can grate on a couple and turn into big arguments. And, you know, because of this silly little rule, Vesta and I never seem to argue.”

“Really?”

“Yeah. I think it’s because once you learn to not argue in public, it just seems to carry over to when you’re not in public.”


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“That’s good advice,” he said as I was shooting him through the mirror while his best man was working on his tie.

I spent the next twenty minutes or so, taking photos of him and his best man getting ready and mentally patting myself on the back. Wedding photography, it’s not only about taking pictures, sometimes it’s about advice giving.


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Carlos and Jane's ceremony took place in a pretty wedding chapel on the Nevada side of Stateline Road and shooting a wedding in our wedding chapels isn’t always easy for us, because a lot of them have their own in house photographer, often the wife, daughter or son of the officiant and onetime we did a wedding where the officiant was the photographer as well. Talk about an all in one deal.

And the chapel where Jane and Carlos got married was no exception. And like a lot of the chapels up at the lake, they were required to have a photography package. The took the smallest package, because they had us.


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We met the chapel photographer when we got there and unlike some others we’ve met in the past, she wasn’t the least bit protective of her turf. She told me she was expected to take about a hundred shots or so during the ceremony and that we could work side by side. She did, however, think three photographers might be too many and Vesta didn’t like that, but the room was small and their photographer lady had a point. So Vesta compromised and agreed to stay in her seat and shoot from there. Which wasn’t so bad, because Jane just had her sit in the front row.


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The view from throughout the chapel was gorgeous. We like being photographers in Reno a lot, because there are so many places that offer photogenic backgrounds. Per capita, I think, Reno has more parks than than most cities. And they’re not far apart. From Rancho San Rafael to Idlewild Park to the greenery at Caughlin Ranch to the rustic Bartley Ranch and so much more, we have it all in Reno.


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Well, not quite, because as pretty as Reno is, photography wise, Lake Tahoe is prettier and lakeside weddings are always gorgeous. Even inside ones in one of the lake’s chapels, because they offer a stunning view of Lake Tahoe in all her glory. At least this one and the few others we’ve been in do. 


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After the ceremony, Vesta and I took the formal photos with the bridal party and their family and friends in front of that chapel window, because Jane wanted the blue lake in the background. We did too, what photographer wouldn’t, because Lake Tahoe is always stunning and there is no better way to enhance a wedding or even an engagement photo, then having blue water in it, especially on the kind of perfect day that was going on just the other side of that glass.


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Lake Tahoe is a wedding photographer’s dream. Yes, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, when God made Lake Tahoe he made it a perfect place for weddings and wedding photography. Reno has its parks and the Truckee River which flows right through downtown and those make wonderful photos. But as I said above, there is just something magical about Lake Tahoe. Just being there makes you feel good.


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We probably took two or three hundred photos with that sky blue lake in the background. Everybody who attended the wedding wanted to be photographed with the newlyweds and the lake, especially Ester, the bride’s mother. She was just plain giddy and over the moon with excitement. Everybody, actually, was pretty gosh darned happy, but Ester took the cake in happiness this day and we didn’t mind, because happy people in front of our cameras warms our hearts. So us and Ester were like a match made in heaven.


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From the chapel, we went with Jane and Carlos and all of their guests to the Blue Angel Café on Ski Run Boulevard for the reception. The Blue Angel folks have a large room above the café, which they rent out and cater for receptions and they do a wonderful job. Vesta and I have had lunch there a few times, so we knew the food was going to be great and the Blue Angel people lived up to their excellent reputation.

The reception is where the bride and groom let their hair down and have fun with their guests and with us, because by then, we are like family.


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