Portrait of a Lady… er, Lake

Whenever I post a photo of Lake Tahoe on one my social streams, there’s this one fella who always pipes up, “You sure like to photograph that lake!”
Now I ask you… wouldn’t you, if this were 30 minutes from your home? I mean, seriously!

I consider myself blessed. When I’m home, I actually DO go lots of other places around Tahoe area to shoot… but there’s just something so otherworldly and awesome about catching Lady Tahoe herself bejeweled in her aquamarine finest.


(And yes, you can purchase this print, just click on this link. I’m so glad you asked!)

Lighting Her Properly is Key

Lake Tahoe doesn’t always look like this. It’s a matter of catching her at the right time of day – and in the right weather and lighting conditions. If you managed to score those.. I’m sure you’d do what I do and take a TON of photos to save for another day! This one was from a little over a year ago.

Truthfully, although the lake is 72 miles around, she only offers a few choice locations for photographing. For a good shot of a large body of water like this, you really need a good foreground. Otherwise, you might as well be standing by the ocean and shooting a big expanse of water-into-sky blankness. There’s no scale, no variation – nothing to anchor it, create a story or make a viewer marvel at this glittering jewel.

With Tahoe, the areas that DO offer those things are pretty jaw-dropping. So you see lots of those from the folks who come with their cameras to pay homage to our Lady of the Mountains.

The Lady Shows Her Best IF Certain Criteria Are Met

If you DO find an incredible lake like this in your travels and want to capture her… be sure to include the elements that will show her off to her best advantage, if at all possible. Those would be…

Good light: probably morning or late afternoon is going to be best. She’ll wash out at midday. Ladies hate that.
Interesting foreground: she needs proper scale. No proper lady wants to look too big or bland in her photos. It’s all about making an impact.
Good clouds: plain blue skies CAN work, but some nice clouds to frame her loveliness will make her want to give you her best – and YOUR best shot.

Have fun out there!