At Waterfall Portraits, we have been capturing beautiful moments for over a decade. We specialize in creating stunning images in landscapes that tell a story and capture the emotion of the moment. We are California's premier natural light, open air photography studio with a natural forest and private waterfall.
Our approach to photography is to keep things simple and natural. We believe that the best photographs are captured when people are at their most relaxed and natural state. We don't believe in overly posed or forced shots.
We offer a range of services, including wedding photography, engagement, maternity, and family portraits. We also offer custom packages to meet the unique needs of our clients.
The idea behind Waterfall Portraits is to take a wild location, create landscapes which would be photo-worthy on their own, and then add people for portraits within the landscapes. These portraits are suitable to hang on a wall as artwork, more than just a portrait of the people within. We take inspiration from, and attempt to incorporate a painterly victorian feel from historic artworks.
After years of doing portraits in public locations, the 10-acre Waterfall Portraits property was purchased in 2013 to become an exclusive and private location for portraiture work. The first improved photo location was the waterfall which is the only private waterfall on the west coast dedicated to open air studio work. Since then we've cleaned and added other locations for rope swings, flower gardens, and other seasonal settings.
The owner and resident photographer, Nate Feldman, opened up the venue to a limited number of other photographers in 2020.
The Waterfall Portraits property has a long history in the gold country. Two branches of Weber Creek flow across the property, and until the 1990s was exploited for gold extraction. In the late 1990s California Red-legged frogs were discovered on the adjoining property to the west, and today 65 acres on our western border are dedicated as a nature preserve administrated by the American River Conservancy and BLM.
Due to 100+ years of fire suppression, the forests on the property had became overcrowded and many of the older trees began to die. After purchasing the property, Nate Feldman began the process to improve defensible space and return the forest to a more natural state. We are removing the skinny and crowded trees to expose and properly expose the old growth trees. In 2013 it was mostly impossible to see more than 15' in any direction as the forest looked like a giant tangle of sticks. Today the work is ongoing, but every year more locations on the property are being restored to an open forest with healthier large trees.
The Waterfall is located on a portion of the North Fork of Weber Creek which crosses the property. The waterfall runs all year long, however in the winter it becomes a bit too rapid to safely do photos, and if there's snow it becomes unaccessible. Most of the photos you see of the waterfall are taken in the late Spring through Autumn.
To reach the waterfall requires a somewhat short walk along a dirt road, stepping down some stairs, and then following a short path down the slope.
The waterfall is great for couples and small families. It's also a great spot for little elopements for the nature lovers who don't want a huge wedding.