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  • Writer's pictureMolly Price

Ellie | Senior Portraits | Donner Lake, California

One of the things I tell my clients is that they'll walk away from their session with a story. No matter how perfect the day, there will be some entertaining story you get to tell your family and friends as you look over your images.

This is Ellie's story:

When Ellie and I were trying to figure out where to have her session we were all over the place - Lake Tahoe, the woods, the campus of the University of Nevada (since she's headed there next year), or some place urban downtown. Then we found it!

We both had friends who posted on their Instagram accounts pictures of this swing overlooking Donner Lake. That's it - that's where we need to go. We (and a few others) spent a week figuring out where it was - roughly. While we didn't know exactly - its a swing near Donner... how hard could it be to find a swing in Truckee?

On the Saturday of her session we headed up I-80 from Reno towards California in my little mini cooper. On the drive we chatted about her final days as a senior and where she was headed on her senior trip (side note: am I the only person on the planet that didn't go on a senior trip?!) As we exited at Truckee and headed up Donner Pass Road I told her to keep her eyes peeled for "the swing." Lord knows I wasn't looking. There was no way I was taking my eyes off that skinny little road on the edge of a cliff.

We drove all the way up... no swing. Drove down a couple random roads that ended in snow banks... may or may not have ended up at a ski resort...Where the heck was this thing?! I looked at Ellie and told her, "Miss! We've got two options: 1) pick some other beautiful spot 2) call your friend and see if she can give us an idea of where the heck we're going...."

Ellie was on it! Seconds later we were headed back up, then down Donner Pass Road - and there it was. Off the smallest turn out, on the skinniest road, was an amazing vantage point... and the tree swing. Right as the sun was setting she was ready for her final wardrobe change and the swing. Red dress flowing in the breeze, she couldn't have picked a more fitting destination.

As I listened to her talk about her weekend plans and her upcoming travels on the drive home, I couldn't help but think that the secret swing fit her personality perfectly. A natural beauty, its clear to the eye, but even more so when you get to know her. She's strong, and independent and ready for her next challenge.

Watch out world - Ellie's headed your way!


PS - is it me or does she look like Keira Knightley... right?

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