High Camp is an incredible mountaintop wedding venue at Palisades Tahoe. This is where you will find one of the most scenic ceremony locations ever. Accessing the venue and its breathtaking views is an adventure of its own. In order to get there, you and your guests ride a tram up the steepest side of a mountain.
Do you love the outdoors and want to share these incredible views with your wedding guests? This could be the ideal venue for you! As a special event photographer who also loves being in the mountains, I love photographing weddings at High Camp. The landscape creates an amazing backdrop that is perfect for photos.
I met the bride and groom in their hotel rooms The Village to photograph them getting ready. Palisades Tahoe offers several wedding venue sites for ceremonies and receptions. Since The Village is close to all of them, this is where most couples stay before and after the wedding.
Below are some of my favorite pre-ceremony photos of the bride and groom. Although the bride’s hotel room wasn’t a particularly interesting space, the view outside was pretty scenic. This photo is actually a single exposure. It combines the bride sitting in the makeup chair with the reflection of the mountains. I was outside on the balcony, shooting through the window in front of her.
I love making artistic wedding photos like this. It is one of the reasons I like to arrive early on the big day. It often takes additional time to see the potential for a photo like this. Then, I have to quickly engineer the special lighting techniques to make it work. But each of these photos is a small work of art. As part of the bigger collection of photos, they help the couple remember the day from a unique perspective.
Most of my photography is very informal and candid. I like this photo of the groom because it has a very relaxed, documentary feel to it.
The Tram Ride
Up next are photos that capture the ride up the side of the mountain in the Palisades Tahoe aerial tram. This is one of the most exciting parts of the day for the bride, groom, and all their wedding guests!
In the first photo, you can see a ray of light illuminating the couple. But all the other passengers are in the shadows. As we rode up the mountain, I noticed sunlight coming through the access door in the roof of the tram. It landed perfectly on the couple, brightening them up to the same exposure as the scenery outside. So, I quickly composed the photo and pressed the shutter!
The ceremony site at High Camp is an incredible place to exchange vows! The large viewing platform at this mountaintop lodge has plenty of space for wedding guests. Panoramic views of the Sierra Nevada and Lake Tahoe make it truly unique.
When I photograph ceremonies at this venue, I use a careful selection of lenses to capture the incredible natural surroundings as well as the laughter and smiles of the couple. I also move strategically from one vantage point to the next, composing images that capture important moments and tell the couple’s story.
Bride and Groom Sunset Portraits
With the whole mountain available for sunset portraits, it helps to know where to go. Depending on the weather and sun position on the wedding day, I have a few favorite spots that are great for these photos.
The Terrace Restaurant and Bar is where most High Camp receptions take place. From the ceremony site, wedding guests simply go indoors and head down two flights of stairs. Huge windows look out over Lake Tahoe and create a breathtaking panoramic view of valleys below and the mountains beyond.
As wedding party and family members toast the happy couple, I continue documenting speeches, reactions, and candid facial expressions. Once the dance floor opens up, I jump into the action and keep shooting everyone’s moves.
Chris Werner Photography
Are you planning a High Camp wedding at Palisades Tahoe? I would love to be there! Go to my contact page and send me a message. If I am available, let’s talk more! To see more photos from this venue head over to my Palisades Tahoe Wedding Photography page. Or, check out my main portfolio page.