If you know me, you know I love a good sunrise session. Maybe I'm a freak of nature, or maybe I just love the morning light. I'll let you decide. I somehow persuaded Mary and James to accompany me up to the mountains before the sun came up for their peak autumn engagement session. 

We fueled up with some hot coffee before making our trek up towards Hope Valley and found ourselves in the perfect location before the birds chirped. I spotted this location years ago and will talk just about anyone and everyone into going with me because it's just that magical in every season. 

Mary told me weeks after that they had both been so nervous the night before that they barely slept. But as soon as we hopped out into the open valley, they were too busy to think twice about their nerves.

hope valley
couples session
fall mountains
engagement session
south lake tahoe engagement
california fall engagement session
beautiful couple tahoe
fall colors couples shoot
aspens engagement
autumn engagement south lake tahoe
american river engagement session
fall river side engagement
My fiancé Jaime and I had never taken any sort of professional photos before, so the thought of 2 hours of shooting made us cringe. We had just accepted the fact that we had to take these pictures for our save the dates. From the second we met up with Vanessa she made us feel so comfortable with her bubbly and upbeat personality. We arrived at the location and our nerves were going nuts, but she assured us we would be fine. I’ve never felt so at ease doing something so out of my element. She let us be ourselves and made a two hour shoot feel like 10 minutes. Still we wondered how the pictures would look and how awkward we would look in them. It was the longest 2 weeks of my life waiting for the final photos, but when we finally saw the pictures edited we were absolutely blown away. We looked so natural and so much better than I could have ever imagined. Vanessa has a vision like nothing I’ve ever seen before. We loved her and the pictures so much we scheduled another shoot with her a week later. Vanessa is not only professional and talented, but warm and comforting.. We will never use anyone else for our photos and I’m telling the world about her.
— Mary H.