Jessica Tallman Photography | Blog

Welcome to my photography showcase - and sandbox!  If I'm not posting client gallery previews, I'm sharing snippets from my personal collection of travel, nature, art, and lifestyle photography.   

Feel free to comment on anything you see in here.  All images from my personal gallery are available for purchase in a variety of finishes and formats, so if you see something you like be sure to let me know!

Enjoy :-)

~ Jessica

What a Wedding Season!

July 14, 2016  •  2 Comments

It's barely July and that means wedding season is in full swing.  Some of you have asked what I've been up to since starting my photography journey, so I thought I'd share one field that I'm working in: WEDDINGS!  This year I have had the opportunity to develop my photography skills as a "second shooter," working alongside some amazing wedding photographers, most notably Lisa Richmond of Sunflower Field Photography.  Perhaps the thing I like most about this genre of photography (other than working with Lisa, and the dynamite chicken cordon bleu they serve at the Sequoia Mansion in Placerville) is that I get to capture cherished moments from a couple's big day.  It's a lot of responsibility, but it's also an incredibly rewarding experience to be able to use my talents to provide a lasting memory of a very important life event.    


We don't know how important photography is until a couple sees their images for the first time...maybe its a tender smile during the father-daughter dance, a wipe of a tear from the eye during the vows, a loving gaze during a private moment between bride and groom, a warm embrace from an old friend, or the bridal party whooping it up on the dance floor.  All these moments matter, and it's so wonderful that we have a means of "freezing" it in time with the click of a shutter.  With photography, a moment becomes an heirloom.


More weddings are on the books for summer and fall, and I can't wait to photograph them all!  HUGE thanks to Lisa for including me in the memories and the fun - and teaching me more than a thing or two about running a successful photography business along the way.  The learning experience has been unreal.  And thanks to Ming Yang of Diamond One Photography for the incredible experience at Kellie and Keiko's Grass Valley wedding.  Congratulations to Laura, Matt, Hayle, Mason, Kellie, Keiko, Anna, Justin, Nicole, Tom, Leslie, John, Amanda, and Chris for allowing me to participate in your wedding day - here's to a lifetime of pure happiness!


Take a peek below to see some of the beautiful weddings I have photographed this year.  


I'm currently booking Jessica Tallman weddings for 2017 - if you or someone you know is in need of a photographer with a natural and authentic touch, please drop me a line at!  Please also check out the work of my fellow photographers in the Placerville (Lisa Richmond Photography) and Sacramento (Diamond One Photography) area - their work is absolutely stunning.  


Love & Happiness,








Marianne and Cody's Portrait Session

May 10, 2016  •  2 Comments

On Mother's Day, children celebrate their moms for bringing them into the world, helping them navigate the world, and eventually being that one person who knows them better than anyone else in the world.  It's a HUGE responsibility and an honor to be a mother.  And really, a "mother" can be anyone who shelters, shepherds, and supports another being, providing them with endless opportunities to grow and giving them a place where they feel safe and loved.  People who adopt rescue dogs are some of the best "moms" (and "dads") out there!  And although my own mother is and will always be MY mom, I also have the privilege of sharing her with one fluffy 52-pound brother with four legs. ;-)

My mom Marianne rescued Cody over four years ago.  When she took him in, he had been living on the streets and was skin and bones.  His coat was dull and he had three broken ribs - no doubt an injury from getting booted, literally, from one place to the next.  Naturally, Cody had a lot of behavioral issues, but he also had a lot of LOVE.  Mom fell for him instantly and they have been pals ever since.  I wanted to give my mom something special for Mother's Day this year and thought a portrait session of her and Cody might be kinda cool.  Cody may have had his doubts - he almost made a Bond-style escape into the deep water channel - but Mom was all in, and together they made this a Mother's Day to remember. 

Among the different styles of photography that I enjoy, capturing the relationship between people and their pets is one of my favorite things to do.  It's such a pure and strong bond, without expectations (except to pet and be petted) and without drama (except when they pee on the rug).  It just is what it is.  It's beautiful.  Thank you Mom for allowing me to photograph the special bond you and Cody have.  You and my (*cough*) fur brother are definitely made for each other! 

My mom is so pretty.  And happy!  That little ball of fluff attached to her hip ain't that bad, either. ;-)

Geez, would you just LOOK at the face Cody is giving me?  I catch a hint of sibling rivalry in the air...

Ah, one of my favorites of Cody.  Here he is channeling his inner Lassie against a chambray blue sky.  I feel a Tim McGraw song coming on.

Aren't these two just the sweetest? <3

One of Mom and Cody's favorite activities is nightly brush time.  No wonder his coat is so soft and beautiful.  Technically, our outdoor session was over, but I just had to go and grab my gear again when I saw them getting cozy indoors!  Glad I did, cuz this is super cute.


Denise and Maggie's Portrait Session

May 06, 2016  •  2 Comments

Last Sunday I had the pleasure of spending the evening with Denise and her sweet dog Maggie at a ranch in Livingston.  Both lady and her dog used to live nearby, so choosing this beautiful location for their portrait session held special meaning.  Rain clouds had threatened to spill earlier in the afternoon, but by the time we got started they gave way to a lovely spring sunset.  When the warm sun on the horizon lit the dark rain clouds behind us, it truly was a "golden" opportunity to take some beautiful pictures of these two friends.

Maggie has been with Denise over 2 years now and the two clearly share a strong and sincere bond.  Capturing the love and trust they have for each other was a real joy for me!  Maggie is an active pup, happy to play tug-o-war with her favorite frisbee, but she also has a sensitive side and is at home sitting next to Denise, looking up at her with one of those "wow, you are the most amazing humans in the world!" looks.  She was so cute with her little bandana, and so incredibly soft and cuddly after getting groomed that I couldn't resist squeezing in a few cuddles of my own.  Thank you Denise for allowing me to pay witness to the special relationship you and Maggie share.  Wishing you many more frisbee challenges, glowing sunsets, and of course - rainbows. 



Earth Day in Yosemite Rocks

April 27, 2016  •  91 Comments

Last Wednesday, I went online on a whim and looked up campgrounds in Yosemite for the coming weekend.  Much to my surprise there were a handful of sites available for Friday night, as rain was predicted and some folks had canceled.  Score!  Only problem was, there weren't any sites available for Saturday night (yet).  

I went back online a few hours later, and lo and behold, one site was now open for Saturday!  Double score!!  I hurried and checked to see how far we were going to have to relocate, because moving a quarter-mile away can be a real hassle, especially when you are tent camping.  The odds must have been ever in our favor, as the second night we were staying in the site DIRECTLY ACROSS FROM OUR FIRST SITE.  Seriously, what are the chances??  

I am so glad we got that site and were able to extend our stay.  If we had had to leave Saturday, I wouldn't have gotten to play like Ansel Adams and take this late afternoon pic of Half Dome.

We always tent camp, that's just our style, but decided that for this last minute trip, with heavy rains on the horizon, we'd forgo a wet bed and borrow Steve's parents' motor home.  Mila wanted to help drive the rig, but unfortunately her paws couldn't reach the pedals.

That motor home was a life saver!  We spent a peaceful night indoors, out of the rain, and then awoke bright and early to take the dogs for a walk in the dewy morning light.  It must have rained A LOT because there were waterfalls, rivers, and streams flowing in places where we had never seen water before in Yosemite.

There is about a 4000' elevation difference between the Valley Floor and the upper granite peaks, so sometimes it rains down below and snows up high.  This is exactly what happened Friday night.  It was so beautiful to see the dusting of snow on the trees above us.  Can you make out the giant sequoia on the rock ledge?  It looks so tiny from down here, but I bet it's a big'un.

I just love the muted tones of the mountains after a refreshing spring shower.  This time of year, the old growth gives way to the new buds of spring, and past and future coexist as one within the present.

We had never noticed these side tunnels that are on either side of the old granite bridges - why?  Such a perfect place to hide away from the weather, or pose for a moody portrait in the subtle, shadowy light.  I loved how the moss grew all over them, so green after all the rain the mountains have received this year.  

One attraction we were hoping to see this trip were the blooming dogwood trees, as this time of year is when their short, but lovely spring display occurs.  Although not technically "flowers," these pretty trees illuminate the forest with delicate, pure white blossoms that seem to float in midair.  Lucky for us, they were in peak bloom last weekend, and did not disappoint!

The campground was beginning to come alive when we returned from our walk.  I just love being able to look up at THIS VIEW while having my morning coffee.  Aaaaaahhhhhh.....

What else to do in Yosemite but hike around and explore?  We kenneled the dogs in the RV and headed out for a long midday stroll around the Valley.  When we arrived in Yosemite Village, we discovered it was Earth Day.  Really??  Cool!  There were many booths set up in the Village square with fun outdoor and national park information, as well as a wildlife exhibits and even a celebrity sighting.

To add to the Earth Day festivities, the rangers had parked this restored Power Wagon within view of thundering Yosemite Falls.  

Speaking of Yosemite was pretty majestic.  No words.  Just pictures.

As we left Yosemite Village, we literally stumbled into the cemetery were several dozen of the valley pioneers have been laid to rest.  Now, some of you know this, but most of you don't - I love love love headstones and monuments.  Whenever possible, I find a cemetery and I take a few pictures.  There is just something so raw, authentic, personal, and beautiful about a monument to a loved one.  Each cemetery has a sense of place that can be communicated through the edifices that are erected there.  Take the two headstones below, for example.

We kept walking and ended up at the Le Conte Memorial.  I have never been inside this building, but have always admired its architecture.  Maybe the next time we come up it will be open and we can take a peek inside.

Mid afternoon and it was time to check in on the dogs.  On the way back we passed through the camp entrance, where I couldn't help but notice this cool vintage bike with climbing helmet in the basket, or the old phone booth with its worn Yellow Pages.  Takes you back a few.

Mila is not new to this camping thing.  In fact, she's pretty experienced.  We figure this was her 12th trip or so - and perhaps her favorite.  After camping in an RV, I'm afraid she won't camp in a tent ever again.

That evening, the conditions were shaping up to be pretty nice for a twilight hike on the Mirror Lake trail.  With all of the water, there would actually be a lake to reflect the mountains!  And I simply love the blue light of dusk on a mountain lake.  We packed a little gear and headed out to the trail, which meanders along a river edged with blooming dogwood trees.

On one side of Mirror Lake, you see the reflection of Half Dome in the water.  We accidentally took the opposite trail and had to hike ALL the way around to get to the Half Dome viewing side.  Still, the view of the opposing granite wall in the lake wasn't too shabby.

On that trail, one thing that always gives me the heebie jeebies is the part that passes through the huge rock slide of 2009.  Once, during the winter, on a sunny day when the ice within the rock fissures starts to melt, we heard rocks tumbling down from way up high as we passed through the quarry.  Shivers.  This  time, I felt we were out of the seasonal danger zone, as most of the ice had already melted.  No sooner had those words escaped my lips than I heard a loud rustling from above.  And just about jumped out of my skin.  

It was a BASE jumper deploying his parachute, sounding eerily like rocks tumbling from above.  We watched him glide down and land on a small clearing in front of us.  I wonder which 8000' peak he leaped from?

To get to the other side of Mirror Lake, we had to cross the Merced River.  So good to see it rippin' and roarin' like this.  And so glad I didn't have to cross it by tip-toeing across a fallen log.

Ah, the blue light of dusk and the soft reflection of granite in the calm waters of Mirror Lake.  Although the top of Half Dome was shrouded in clouds, it was still an absolutely gorgeous sight to see.  Peaceful.  Quiet.  There are very few people on the trails this time of day, which really makes you feel like you are at one with nature.  There are still places of solitude, even in a park as heavily visited as Yosemite.  You just need to get off the beaten path, arrive a little earlier, stay a little later, or all of the above. ;-)

For Steve's birthday last month, I gave him a propane-powered fire pit.  I never thought I'd see the day when we'd forgo the smoky, ashy, burning embers of a wood campfire, but I must admit being able to flip a switch and get instant outdoor heat and ambiance is pretty sweet.  And my hair doesn't smell like smoke all weekend.  And you still get the lovely glow of real fire.  Ok, that's it, I'm SOLD!

The next morning we awoke to another fine spring day.  After a double-oatmeal-packet-with-a-spoonful-of-almond-butter breakfast, we headed off for a quick hike of Vernal Falls before packing up camp.  The power of these waterfalls is absolutely breathtaking, and worthy of respect.  I am always on guard around them, especially when hiking the Mist Trail and its slippery, wet steps.  It was all worth it though to get some shots of the waterfall doing its thing.  And what a treat to see a rainbow arching through the spray on our way back!  I think you can only see the rainbow during certain times of the day, standing in certain parts of the trail, as the sun has to hit the spray just right.  Didn't find a pot of gold at the end, but I found my husband standing in the middle.  

And so ends another awesome camping adventure in Yosemite National Park.  Earth Day in Yosemite officially "rocks."  What better place to celebrate nature and the environment than among the natural wonders of California, right?  I've been here many times, and I still can't wait to come back. ;-)



Katie & Brent's "Bun in the Oven" Announcement!

April 15, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Is there anything more special than announcing the happy news of your pregnancy to family and friends?  Katie and Brent are expecting their first child and asked me if I would photograph an announcement session for them.  OF COURSE I said yes, and once we settled on a darling little "bun in the oven" theme I knew I was in for some sweet fun with this cute couple. :-)

I loved the airy, breezy spring sunshine that lit the kitchen in these baking scenes.  It really illuminated the joy and excitement that these two parents-to-be have about the new addition to their family!

Isn't Katie the picture of a beautiful mommy?  So lovely, I can't wait to see her sweet little baby.

Of course, if we're gonna talk BABY, we must show BABY!  Katie and Brent brought their first sonogram picture so we could do some picture-in-a-picture styling for their baby announcement.  It really is a beautiful miracle how a baby can go from a tiny "peanut" at 3 months to a full-grown infant at 9 months.  I bet these two can't wait to count tiny toes and hold those little baby fingers for the very first time. :-)

Katie loves succulents, so we made sure to get a picture of the baby nestled in between some pretty rosettes in my garden.

Katie and Brent have such a relaxed, easy-going style.  It was a joy to capture the love and affection they have for one another - lots of whispers, nuzzles, giggles, and long loving looks.  They are going to make amazing parents!

Here's to you Mom and Dad!  Congratulations on your little bun in the oven.  :-)  I can't wait for the maternity and newborn sessions!  





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