When family asks us to meet them in a new location, we scout ahead. Mostly because we believe that organization is foundational to a positive experience. We don't want families to stand around while we look for the best angle or lighting or how to avoid a giant power-pole. We're great at quickly assessing a situation for the best composition and lighting. While also respecting "doing our homework." Besides, who wouldn't want a daytime adventure to look at vistas and portrait locales?
So mid-November, we drove up to Truckee, California to visit a few potential sites for an extended family session. We knew that snow is a constant possibility once November begins. So we wanted a Plan A (sunshine), Plan B (sheltered with a view) and Plan C (snow with limited roads). We explored along the new trail along the Truckee River. Which we would still like to use one day because it's a lovely spot especially in the long light of afternoon. Then we visited Donner Lake with multiple options for views from one end of the lake to the other depending on what mood resonated with the family. We were treated to a beautiful sunset.
Then, as happens with the best laid plans, they all became irrelevant :)
This, Friends, is Why to Hire Professionals
What a difference a week makes! Less than a week, actually. Because a storm swept over the sky and all those lovely spots became inaccessible due to snowfall. And the family didn't want to hike through snow to the location. Could we meet where they had brunch reservations?
This is where our skillset can allow me to say, "Of course. We'll make it work." So we brought light kits and snowboots. We watched the weather to make sure that we could drive over the pass. Friday night, the highway closed due to spin-outs. What if it didn't open in time? We woke early and kept checking road updates. We left early because we knew traffic would be slow. Thank goodness for knowing the area and for leaving extra early. We made it just as the family arrived at The Sawyer at Schaffer's Mill. We walked around the dining area and found a massive fire pit which featured in the family portraits. Another area had a sheltered spot with all the trees laden with snow as a scenic backdrop.
We definitely believe in preparation, while also believing that it's important to be nimble and able to shift plans quickly. That combination serves us well and allows us to focus on the people in front of the lens as opposed to fiddling with camera settings for ages.
Then we all enjoyed a cup of cider! And admired the snowy landscape. We stopped on Highway 20 on the way home to admire the view at the Omega Diggins Overlook. Low hanging clouds clung to the valleys below.
We treat every adventure as a gift. What an amazing journey! Where would you like to explore with us? :)