At one point I thought we might be struck by lightning. A few moments later, we retreated into our cars as the rain blew sideways and jagged flashes lit up the dark clouds. Although I often reschedule shoots in these conditions, Taylor and Jordan’s stormy Lake Tahoe engagement photos taught me some things. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Isn’t that the saying? Donner Summit is not a good place to be during a lightning storm. But if you don’t try, you miss out on some incredible light. And even though gusty winds always produce a few crazy hair photos, I love the energy in a photo when you can see things in motion.

Taylor and Jordan are planning a Resort at Squaw Creek wedding, one of my favorite North Lake Tahoe wedding venues. Since Lake Tahoe will be just out of view, I suggested Truckee engagement photos near Donner Lake. Thunderstorms are not a daily event in the Sierra Nevada mountains. But we occasionally we get cycles of afternoon storms in the summer months. Fortunately, they are localized and tend to move through quickly. When I saw stormy conditions in the forecast I wondered if a rain check was in order. But since they both flew from out of state for the session, it made sense to head up to Donner Pass and give it a go.

Within the first few minutes of shooting, I knew we had some incredible conditions. Warm sunlight in the foreground contrasted with dark, rain-filled skies behind. As Taylor and Jordan walked across a granite dome, thunder rumbled and lighting flashed behind them. The wind gusted to 20mph+. We grabbed a few photos and drove west, away from the storm. Not long after reaching our next spot, the rain caught up with us. In retrospect, some of my favorite photos happened during these exciting moments.

Explore More Lake Tahoe Wedding Photography

I am a Lake Tahoe wedding photographer, also available for Truckee engagement photos like you see here. If you think I might be the right photographer for your wedding, I encourage you to explore my previous work. Click the button here to see a beautiful, multi-cultural Lake Tahoe Ritz Carlton wedding. Every wedding is different, but there are common themes in the kinds of photos I believe you will want to have, years after your big day. This Grays Crossing wedding, also in Truckee, is another example of special moments that capture the experience of the celebration.

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