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Welcome! Lenkaland shares my adventures. I create photographs that document adventures. I am one of the bestselling authors of the Forest Fairy Crafts books. I advocate for disabled rights. I appreciate you visiting. Enjoy your stay :)

Senior Portraits at Crystal Hermitage

Senior Portraits at Crystal Hermitage

My goodness the school year goes quickly! It seems like forever in the fall when there’s plenty of time to organize portraits. Then, now, a panic (or resignation) sets in as it becomes increasingly clear that your time is evaporating. But don’t give up! We can take portraits that capture this time of life, about to embark on great adventures.

We visited Crystal Hermitage at Ananda Village, which has a spectacular bloom of tulips. These photos may give the impression that we had the place to ourselves. We most certainly did not. The amount of people enjoying the gardens amazed us.

Senior Photos | Lenkaland Photography | Nevada City, California

We used two techniques to make our portraits (well, three).

One was to look for less popular spots. The path down the hedges wasn’t nearly as crowded as the hillside of tulips. So we kept an eye out for little nooks and spots that didn’t have the immediate attention of the crowds.

Our next strategy was patience. I believe in sharing good energy with everyone around us- not ruining a day for others just to get a “look” for ourselves. So we would get in position, then we would wait. We waited either for people to move on down the path or move behind something. We play a game of catch the moment :). Luckily I have the digital skills to remove some objects from a scene so far off views or someone’s hand didn’t create impossible moments. The idyllic empty scenes though are definitely not how it was that day :). It helped that we all had a spirit of adventure and didn't get too flustered or frustrated by situations like, say, kids playing in a fountain while their parents were not to be seen anywhere. And wondering how long the kids might continue playing….

Oh, and a few more ways that we made the gardens look like we had it to ourselves :). I strategically shot Low or High. Sometimes I crouched down so the flowers and sky dominated the scene. While other times I stood on my tiptoes while she crouched so I could shoot down and create a seemingly remote field of tulips in the background.

The gardens have so many places that speak to tranquility and reflection. We didn’t mind staying beside the gazing pool or lingering under blossoming trees.

Respecting the boundaries of the garden was super important to us. The caretakers have provided plenty of paths and benches and different spaces. Yet we still saw visitors going where they through the best photo might be achievable. So, in the interest of all visitors, please, please respect the gardens and don’t trample, or let children trample, around in the gardening beds.

Ok, rant over :)

Now appreciation for all of the people that work throughout the year to make Crystal Hermitage such a beautiful and magical place.

We had a perfectly lovely time navigating the challenges of photography in public spaces, while discovering so much beauty!

Our area has so many lovely places to discover. Let’s document the adventure!

Oh, and I thought it would be fun to share the first photo we took together alongside one of the last photos in our session. Building trust and laughing together is a big part of my mission as your photographer. Those authentic, gorgeous moments may look like they happen just because, but we share lots of conversation. We collaborate. We create opportunities for the camera to see you the way that everyone around you sees you- as the most beautiful thing in the garden :)

Happy spring 🌸

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