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northern california wedding photographer

Chelsea + Jesse // Elopement in Redwood National Park

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Chelsea + Jesse // Elopement in Redwood National Park

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When Chelsea first described how she envisioned her elopement to be with Jesse, she really emphasized that she wanted the day to be about the two of them and not about having all of the “extras” that so many wedding seem to come with. There is truly something to be said about simply spending your wedding day with the one you love. Call me crazy, but I think they are on to something! ;)

Chelsea and Jesse chose to say their vows and exchange their rings on a secluded beach in Trinidad, Ca, where they could be free of onlookers and quietly enjoy their ceremony. After a quick champagne toast that immediately followed the ceremony, we ventured to the redwoods where they saw the giants for the very first time. We explored the park (my favorite national park!), stopping only to take in the beauty of it all. It was truly a perfect day!

A few days after the wedding, Chelsea surprised me with this:

Vanessa, you are FABULOUS! You made our day EXTRA enjoyable, perfect fit, can't imagine how the day would have gone with anyone else. Felt like we were a trio the moment I dropped my robe and hopped in the bath. I LOVED that you GOT him from first dad joke. I know that made it way more fun for him to have 2 people to pick on instead of only 1.
Professionally you gave good, subtle direction. Never made us feel awkward. Created and kept the timeline with no stressing or rushing. Handled communication with the officiant. Cool with last minute ideas. Had Kacey Musgraves ready to go. Totally willing to hold the go-pro even though the battery was dead. Also willing to get down n dirty all up in the wispy bushes. Brought an extra sweater 'with tags on' cause you knew I was gonna freeze my ass off. Offered to keep going even though we tapped out. Dealt with 107493874 questions before we even met...

The first look mishap, almost running out of gas, and forgetting the rental car made the experience an adventure. Wouldn't have wanted it any other way.”

CONGRATS, YOU TOO! Your day was so special to me and I’m beyond grateful to have been a part of it <3

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Amber and Camden// Arcade Underground

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Amber and Camden// Arcade Underground

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Amber and Camden’s big day felt like a giant party with all of their best friends that just happened to include them getting married. If you know them personally, you also know that you can’t help but have a goooood time right alongside them. I instantly knew when I met with Amber that we were going to jive (I don’t think I’ve ever said that word before?) and was so excited once the wedding day finally came.

I talk a lot about finding a good getting ready space for brides - preferably one that has really good natural light: think big windows. Amber was able to find the perfect Airbnb to rent for getting ready just a few floors up above her wedding venue, so it was really efficient to have everything all in one place. Then, when it was go-time, she was already on site!

The day truly went off without a hitch and the night ended with some Backstreet Boys and Spice Girls. Like I said, my kind of people. <3

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Photography: Vanessa Lynne Photography

Day of Coordination: Tin and Twine Events

Makeup Artist: Alexa Dias

Bridal Shop: Miosa Bride

DJ: DJ Casualtee

Wedding Venue: Arcade Underground

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Amanda and Jon// Hope Valley Maternity Session

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Amanda and Jon// Hope Valley Maternity Session

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It’s really no secret that Fall is my favoritttte season. Every year, I play the “how-many-sessions-can-I-squeeze-in-during-peak-fall-season'‘ game, and every year gets a little crazier. I will say that, even though peak fall colors changes every year, I’ve gotten pretty darn good at the game. There really isn’t anything quite like the bright yellow, orange, and red hues that fall gives us, except for maybe Amanda’s gorgeous yellow dress that so perfectly complimented it so perfectly.

Amanda and I worked together back when we were teens at my very first job where we were Starbucks baristas. 12 years ago, people. So to say I was excited to capture this new chapter in her life would be an understatement. We hopped around Hope Valley, finding some new favorite locations along the way.

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Kelly + Florian // Elopement in the Redwoods

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Kelly + Florian // Elopement in the Redwoods

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Kelly and Florian contacted me all the way from Belgium back in March about photographing their elopement in Redwood National Park. They were planning on spending two weeks in California and wanted to start their trip off in Northern California by tying the knot. I immediately felt like we were long friends and was so excited to capture their special day.

We started by exploring around Patrick’s Point, then headed over to Redwood National Park to stand under the Redwood Giants while they exchanged vows. We finished the day frolicking amongst the ferns and it was pretty darn magical. <3

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Engagement Session: From the Sierras down to the River

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Engagement Session: From the Sierras down to the River

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We've had Lauren and Jason's Engagement Session on the books since January. They picked a day in late April, hoping for some blue skies and the chance of wild flowers. We went over location ideas and Lauren settled on both the Sierras and the American River. 

When the day finally came, we set off for the mountains in Jason't truck, not realizing he was on E. When we got to the next gas station, the pumps were down (What??!!). We were baffled but at the same time it was a completely laughable scenario. We made the safe choice to go back down (losing about 35 minutes of time) and fuel up at the last gas station. Once we were finally back on the road, Jason started talking about a super cool look out spot. Normally, I have the general locations more or less picked out, but the way his eyes lit up when talking about this amazing spot, I knew we had to go.

As we pull off the highway, I was beyond excited to realize that this was a place I've always wanted to go, but never really had the chance to explore. It was fate! We hopped out and got started shooting right away, having the spot to ourselves.

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From the epic view of Lake Tahoe, we drove all the way down to the river in Coloma - one of their favorite places to spend time together.  Even with the gas mishap, we still had plenty of light left and hiked up to get a good view of the sunset over the river. 

We literally ran around in the wildflowers and chased the sun going down. If this doesn't epitomize adventure, I'm not sure what does. 

Cheers to Lauren and Jason. I canNOT wait until your wedding next year; I'm already counting down the days.....only 525 to go....

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American River Newlywed Session in Foresthill

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American River Newlywed Session in Foresthill

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Julie and Will both have hectic and sometimes opposite work schedules, so we had planned their engagement session months in advance to be sure they both had it off. Julie is a nurse and Will is a firefighter, and with all of the crazy fires we had last fall, Will was putting in some major over time. So, with many rescheduled dates and the wedding day approaching, Julie proposed to me that we do a newlyweds session during the off-season. "Heck yes!" was my immediate response. Count me in.

They wanted to stay close, since they just got a new puppy (adorable!), so I dreamed up this shoot at a new location I've been dying to bring a couple to. It's a bit of a hidden gem and I knew I'd need a super adventurous couple who would be up to sort of explore the area with me. It ended up being so fun, we just followed the light and enjoyed the sunset over the American River.

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The Magic that is Yellowstone

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The Magic that is Yellowstone

In the middle of a crazy hot July, my dad and I managed to pull off in a road trip to Wyoming. My dad already had the trip planned for himself, so in typical Vanessa Fashion, I invited myself! We visited extended family and spent a few nights camping in Yellowstone. It'd been about five years since I had last visited and this time around I wanted to spend more time exploring. We traveled from Upper Falls to the Grand Tetons and pretty much everything in between. And I even made a few furry friends while I was there, too! 

Three days was just the right amount of time. We strategized, somewhat, to make sure that we wouldn't miss out on anything. I had seen the big, touristy attractions the last time I was there, so this time I wanted to explore the lesser travelled areas. If I could go again, I'd love to go in the fall. No real explanation other than I think it would be pure magic and there would be waaay less people. A win win.

Yellowstone Creek
Upper Falls, Yellowstone
Yellowstone's Grand Canyon
Upper Falls
Yellowstone Flowers
Yellowstone Bison
Wyoming Buffalo
Mammoth Hot Springs
Mammoth Hot Springs
Mammoth Hot Springs
Deer Yellowstone
Yellowstone River
Yellowstone River
Grand Prismatic
Yellowstone Sunrise
Bison Yellowstone
Caribou in Yellowstone
Grand Tetons
Grand Tetons

If you made it to the very end, you're my hero. Which one struck a chord with you? Which one made you stop and stare? Which one should I print and put in my new apartment? I need your vote since I only have room for ONE PRINT and it needs to be the right one. 

Also, in case you missed it: Taken nearly 80 years apart, both my grandma and Yellowstone will forever hold a most special place in my heart. I love you and miss you everyday, Grandma.

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Cliffside Surprise Vow Renewal

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Cliffside Surprise Vow Renewal

Kelly approached me months ago with a photographer's dream of an idea. His ten year anniversary with his wife was approaching and he wanted to somehow surprise her with a secret renewal of vows.

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