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Tahoe Donner at The Lodge
Truckee, California
Adventure Wedding Photographer
Charleton Churchill

I met Marcy and Zach with a similar passion for the outdoors and adventure who wanted their wedding in the mountains, specifically just north of Lake Tahoe. I had photographed their engagement photos in south Lake Tahoe.  For their wedding day, Marcy rented a nice vrbo home to get ready in while many friends and family stayed at the Lodge at Tahoe Donner. Zach and the groomsmen rented a cabin on Donner Lake where they prepared and dressed, as well as skinny-dipped the evening prior. The drive to north Lake via highway 80 is always beautiful and quiet, mountains everywhere, blue lakes, rivers, creeks, tall rocky mountains, vast space and openness. Then to arrive at the Tahoe Donner Lodge for the first time, a beautiful property for weddings and wedding photos, besides lodging, playing golf, and of course, enjoying the views and the surrounding areas. I’m happy to have photographed their wedding last year, a great couple. And then I saw them again recently at their friends wedding (Megan and Jessie) whom I photographed in December in some crazy, way back yonder, 4wd country in Reno during the cold winter, which was another adventurous wedding. I’m honored to have been chosen to document their special day together and see them drive off in a Shelby Cobra. Congratulations to Marcy and Zach.

 

Tahoe Donner Lodge wedding photography along with alder creek adventure center bride getting her hair done in a rented vrbo or airbnb cabin near a truckee wedding venue bride getting her makeup and hair done at a cabin in tahoe before her big event rustic tahoe cabin in the woods with bride getting ready to marry in truckee lodge donner lake groom getting ready with groomsmen on the dock with deep blue skies on his wedding day groom photos in tahoe, donner lodge, black suit in the green forest, amidst pine and oak trees of northern california bride photos in tahoe donner outdoors, stylish, beautiful smiles, fashionable and good skin tones first look in the surrounding forest before the ceremony, natural smiles and expressions, no posing here lake tahoe couple creative wedding photos near the northwoods clubhouse and alder creek creative mountain wedding photography in truckee with couple blowing on dandilions wedding venue Tahoe Donner lodge wedding photos walking in the woods in Truckee, Ca. Tahoe Donner wedding photos just before a wedding with natural light and candids, and also flash bridal party photos at the lodge golf course in the forest of trees and landscape bridesmaids photos at the truckee wedding venue at the lodge in the woods of northern california Donner Lake wedding groomsmen photos on the dock of the cabin with deep blue skies and pine trees father of the bride escorting his daughter bride down the high sierras of tahoe wedding ceremony at the Lodge tearful bride during a truckee wedding ceremony up in the mountains with the bridesmaids and groomsmen wedding ceremony at the Lodge Tahoe Donner at the Pavilion venue surrounding the golf course the bride and groom kissing at the lodge pavilion in truckee surrounded by the forest brides candid bridal photo with young boy ring bearer after the ceremony, natual light, smiling, with bouquet Tahoe Donner sunset at the Lodge wedding photos of bride and groom in forest of Truckee area in front of trees and the sun romantic groom holding bride in the moment wedding photos in tahoe, the lodge during the sunset wispy sunset light off lake tahoe wedding couple with flair, romance, natural light, and authentic expressions married couple off in the timber of Tahoe north lake truckee after the ceremony with the sun going down epic groom and bride creative photo in the backwoods during a sunset landscape in tahoe donner wedding venue married couple holding hands on a romantic stroll for photos at the golden hour mute color wedding details in the Paviliion tent at the Tahoe Donner wedding site a photo of the Tahoe Donner Lodge with a wedding going on with a large white tent by the golf course, the pavilion candid photo journalistic wedding photos of flower girls running wearing white dresses entrance of the ceremony under the white tent pavilion one of the options the Lodge site toasting coupe in the wedding tent enchanging toasts and tears with a shiny gold table top decoration using flash inside tent father sharing his toast to the couple getting married in the high sierras first dance of the couple in then pavilion tent outside the golf course groom dancing with his mother father dancing with his daughter reception event dancing at the nor cal venue cake cutting with donuts, cake, and other treats in the tent that is white bride and groom dancing with umbrellas in the tent while everyone waving a white rag top tahoe lodge sparkler photos of bride and groom exiting white tent in truckee near Donner Lake bride and groom leave in a classic convertable sports car
Hair and Makeup: La Di Da Beauty, Reno, NV.
Ceremony & Reception Venue:  Tahoe Donner, The Lodge, Truckee, CA.

Alaska Adventure Winter Wedding Photo Shoot.

Ice cave adventure wedding photos alaska glacier by photographer Charleton Churchill

 

This all started with an idea. I needed to get out of my studio where I was stuck working non-stop. I needed to leave and shoot a personal project for me, to grow and stretch myself. I decided to fly to Alaska. I called my good friend Kevin who lives there and who was a climbing partner on our Denali expedition. I asked him to scout a location for me, which he kindly did. I had other ideas, but wasn’t quite sure what was possible. So, within three weeks, I put the word out on Facebook seeking a couple and makeup artist/hair stylist to travel to Alaska with me on their dime.

I honesty didn’t know what kind of images we would get, how our team would perform in cold weather (in the 20’s), or even if we could get anything worth our time. I did have a fear of failure, that I might return only with few nice photos in the snow. I even hesitated announcing it on Facebook, but I knew better than to let fear have a voice. Plus, no matter what, it was going to be an adventure. I had also never worked with my engaged couple before, Kyle and Caitland, as I didn’t want any professional models for this shoot, but rather a real couple. All these variables kept me guessing.

When we arrived in Alaska, a chilly snow storm dumped on us. My own breath came out like smoke. Arriving to my hotel made me want to sink in a hot tub and make excuses why we can’t shoot. But we came for a purpose, regardless of whether it would rain or snow, and we were packed.  We had a small window of light to travel and shoot.  We hiked into the mountain seven miles round trip while it was snowing off and on, quickly setup for our ice cave shoot, and then headed back. The remainder of the shoot was photographed at another location where we saw quite a few bald eagles while it snowed. I even photographed under my gortex jacket for some of it.

I’m excited to have worked with such a great team on this adventure and I will continue to shoot more. I’m also thankful to BHLDN who sponsored us with an amazing dress and accessories. The dress is the Calla Gown, the sash Pearly Primrose, the headpiece Honeysuckle Halo , and the Monterey Shawl wrap.

Also, I brought along my powerful Profoto B2 Light, which is portable when you’re hiking, as I did on our Everest Base Camp wedding. I bring the B2 light almost everywhere I go.

Couple: Caitland Brooks + Kyle Wolf
Makeup/Hair: Amy-lynn Hair Design
Dress and Accessories: BHLDN
Lighting: Profoto USA
Friend and Assistant: Kevin Sellers
Photographer and Project Leader: Charleton Churchill

(The first six images were taken with my Apple iPhone 6plus. The rest were taken by my Nikon D750.)

 

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Ice cave adventure wedding photos alaska glacier by photographer Charleton Churchill

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Here are some behind the scenes images…

Alaska-wedding-photographer-32

Above: My friend Kevin and climbing Partner on Denali, Alaska, assisting us for our shoot!

amy lynn hiking out

Above: Amy-Lynn, who joined the team for Makeup/Hair, worked hard and hiked hard.

amy lynn makeup artist

Above: Amy-Lynn staying warm while assisting with makeup and hair.

checking out the glacier and testing strength

Above: Testing the edge of the lake to make sure we have solid ground.

Assistant Kevin testing glacier

Above: Burnt orange stands out

Alaska photography assistant Kevin with bride and groom

Above: Kevin, Caitland and Kyle at the end of the shoot.

charleton and Kevin in the Ice Cave

Above: Me and Kevin hanging out

  • Clarissa Stadnick - These are so cool! If only I were recently engaged, I would have loved to do it 🙂 Such an adventure, and what a beautiful couple!December 3, 2015 – 7:31 amReplyCancel

    • Charleton Churchill - Oh Clarissa, I know you both would definitely be up for something like that, miss you both.December 3, 2015 – 4:15 pm

  • Harry Who - These are just amazing. What a fantastic work. I don’t think anyone can pull this off like you did, Charleton.December 3, 2015 – 7:59 amReplyCancel

  • Billie Wilson - As an aspiring photographer, I commend you for pushing outside of your comfort zone! These are fabulous shots. Amy, you’re the best! I can’t wait to hear about it when I see you next!December 3, 2015 – 8:46 amReplyCancel

  • Dana - Over the top amazing Charleton. I love that you strive for something more challenging with each project and you never let obstacles get in the way. God Bless you my friend.

    DanaDecember 3, 2015 – 9:21 amReplyCancel

  • Devin Robinson - Wow bro! You killed this! Great job! What a cool couple and what a great shoot! SOOO GOOD!December 3, 2015 – 3:19 pmReplyCancel

    • Charleton Churchill - Thanks man, much appreciated, hard work pays off.December 3, 2015 – 4:18 pm

  • Mary Kraft - Absolutely breathtaking and awesome – well worth your trip. God has certainly blessed you with this adventuresome talent.December 4, 2015 – 11:25 amReplyCancel

  • Proud to Partner with BHLDN on their advertising - […] wedding project as well as for our Mt. Everest base camp wedding this year. Check out more of the Alaska wedding photography on the […]December 17, 2015 – 2:44 pmReplyCancel