Take one look at this engagement session and tell me with a straight face that being a photographer in Northwest Montana—particularly one who does weddings and engagements—isn't one of the best jobs you could possibly have if you love the outdoors. I mean, is it really "work" if what I do is hang out with awesome couples, in some truly awe-inspiring settings, and document momentous occasions? Whatever it is, it is truly humbling and I can't thank Lauren's mom enough for contacting me about my availability to venture to the St. Mary Lake area on the east side of Glacier National Park for a quick engagement session after Conary popped the question the day before.
While they're regular visitors to the area due to familial ties, Debra and Christopher were planning their wedding day from the East coast. Naturally, in the best of scenarios, this can make planning and coordinating a wedding without a planner difficult. And when a permitting snafu scuttles plans for a wedding in the Many Glacier area of Glacier National Park you're forced to fall back to a plan B. Of course when your fallback is family land on the shores of Lower Saint Mary Lake, your plan B is better than many people's plan A!
From getting ready, the first look, the wedding ceremony, and then a family hike in the Two Medicine area the day after the wedding, I really got a chance to get to know both of them and their children, and it couldn't have been more fun. It is so humbling to be included in such a special day.
This multi-generation family portrait session was big helping of "it's a small world after all." If only because many of the individuals either grew up or still currently live in Austin, Texas, which is of course where I moved to Montana from. Odd that it would take a cross country move for me to meet people who live less than five miles away from my old address and other parts of Austin I frequented in my youth.
I'm fortunate that Northwest Montana isn't just a destination for weddings, but also family vacations and reunions. And one of the absolute best parts of being a photographer is it provides me the opportunity to meet such awesome people from all over the country.
The Flawn's were staying in Bigfork at Sentinel Pine, a beautiful rental with a neat history on Swan Lake and it was so fun to hang out with them for a couple of hours grabbing family portraits as well as candids as they enjoyed lake activities.
When I first met Kathryn for coffee at Coffee Traders to discuss the possibility of photographing her and Justin's wedding I had to really try to contain my excitement. While I wasn't able to meet Justin ahead of time, here was an awesome couple—both of whom are pilots—and the plan was for Kathryn to arrive at The Lodge at Whitefish Lake in a floatplane. How cool is that?! Seriously, in my mind, I was almost thinking "Can I pay you to photograph your wedding? Because this is something I have to do." Thankfully for my own personal livelihood, it didn't come to that and last month, despite gusty winds threatening to scrap the most epic bride's entrance ever entirely, the evening ultimately went off without a hitch. Congratulations to Kathyrn & Justin, thank you so much for including me in your special day, I had a blast with everyone.
I was contacted by the Fenoglio family to join them out at Finley Point in Polson to capture some family photos as a surprise gift for their mom. And I'm so glad they did! They were predominantly visiting from Colorado, so they were no strangers to how awesome the Rocky Mountains can be, but they got to experience the Northern Rockies and all they have to enjoy. We shared lots of laughs, jokes, and I can't believe I get paid to hang out with amazing families on vacation and document the occasion for them.
The nice thing about engagement sessions is it gives me a chance to meet the couple face-to-face. And after Kelly and Adam's session, I feel like we're old friends, and I can't wait for their intimate wedding at Adam's dad's house next year. We spent a couple of hours exploring the shores of Flathead Lake in and around Somers and Lakeside on the Northern part of the lake. They're such a fun couple, and Adam's dad is really turning his yard into a truly unique and beautiful venue.
Congratulations you guys, we'll pick up this party where we left off next summer.
Kelly's hair and makeup were done by Raj Salon in Kalispell.
Over the Memorial Day weekend, I had the opportunity to work with and learn about the non-profit Shining Honor Project Shining Honor partners with local organizations that serve adults with developmental challenges to provide job training and employment through a program that sees the participants clean and restore the headstones of our nation's veterans and their families.
This particular event took place at Glacier Memorial Gardens in Kalispell and featured Montana Congressmen Steve Daines and Greg Gianforte, as well as a representative from Jon Tester's office.
While it doesn't happen at every race, it sure seems like the purpose-built Formula 1 track has a knack for being the setting for history-making events of varying degrees. The IndyCar Classic was no exception, with Colton Herta taking the checkered flag, and becoming the youngest driver in IndyCar Series history at age 18.
I don't think I was even aware this was a thing, but I'm glad it is! Two Bright Lights is a website for wedding vendors to post their work for the opportunity to be published in magazines and on wedding blogs all over the place. With my recent focus on my photography business as a full-time job versus a side-gig, I began using it to see if I could get my name out there. And perhaps it is working!
I've been fortunate to have my work featured on Zola, Modern Weddings, AisleMemories, and published in Austin edition of Premiere Weddings magazine. Of course, none of this would be possible without the amazing couples I get to work with! So thank you most of all to my couples, and also to the aforementioned publications for deeming my work publication worthy.
This was a fun shoot for Club Bed Tanning Resort here in Whitefish that happens to be a fellow My Montana Wedding Association member. They needed a new ad to run in the My Montana Wedding magazine to promote their spray tan offerings. They lined up the model and borrowed a dress from Mimi's Bridal in downtown Kalispell and we met up at Whitefish City Beach on a cold, 32-degree day. It was probably more fun for me than it was for our model Brooke since I was able to keep my hoodie on the whole time and she had to stand there with bare arms.
This past weekend I participated in my first My Montana Wedding Expo. It was a great event and I had the opportunity to meet so many newly engaged couples and discuss their wedding day. I was also part of the crew responsible for documenting the style show produced by Ty Nykole featuring fashion from Mimi's Bridal.
This impatient tiger probably enjoys handing out candy as much or more than actually trick-or-treating, but we didn't get too many takers. Probably a combination of damp weather, and the several community-wide events that may have burned out the kiddos—and parents—prior to any neighborhood trick-or-treating.
A couple of weeks ago I was fortunate to once again return to Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas to cover the 2018 Formula 1 Pirelli United States Grand Prix for Texas Highways magazine The weekend narrative was Lewis Hamilton's impending fifth driver's championship making him one of only three drivers to reach that number. However, despite starting the race on pole, it wasn't meant to be. Kimi Raikonnen ultimately took the win—his first since 2014—giving the crowds something to truly be excited to see, even if it wasn't the history they were expecting to see.
Here's a selection of photos from the weekend, but to see the full photo essay you'll need to head on over to Texas Highways.
I was lucky to receive a "last minute" email from Eric days before he and Holly would be venturing into Glacier National Park for several days of hiking, where he was planning on popping the question. Even better, I got the email the day after their final hike proclaiming "She didn't say no!" and the reason he requested she bring a dress on a hiking trip was made clear. We met up early on their final morning in Montana for a quick engagement mini-session and they couldn't have been more sweet, friendly, and fun to work with. Congratulations to you Holly & Eric and thank you so much for letting me document your Glacier engagement.
What to say about these two. They've got just about the most amazing "meet cute" on earth, and they couldn't possibly be any sweeter than they are. From the moment I arrived Leah Lamberson and I were treated as family by everyone from the couple to the entire guest list. The Barn at Finley Point provided an idyllic setting, with rentals from Barn Door Rentals.
I don't think I could've asked for a better couple to share a wedding with for my first "Montana Wedding" than Jaimee and Gavin. From our first correspondence to their wedding day, they couldn't have been sweeter, or more welcoming. It was soon very clear myself and the rest of the vendors were going to be treated as if we were guests of the wedding, so the initial rain that threatened to put a damper on the evening quickly became a distant memory once it stopped, giving way to a beautiful ceremony and one breathtaking sunset to close out the night. Congratulations Jaimee and Gavin, and thank you so much for including me in the evening!
Last week I had the distinct pleasure of capturing a surprise vow renewal ceremony for Kathy & Robert on their 50th anniversary. They're children put everything together, writing the vows and each taking turns as the officiant. The weather was perfect, the setting at The Lodge at Whitefish Lake provided an amazing backdrop, and they were all the absolute sweetest people you could ever want to meet. We could all be so lucky to share such a life of adventure with someone for so many years, and to have such a wonderful family to boot! Congratulations on 50 years Kathy and Robert!
This past fall I had the pleasure of second-shooting for your pal and mine—Dave McLaughlin—for a beautiful wedding out at Prospect House in Dripping Springs. I'd never shot there before and was really happy to get my first opportunity to do so, it is one of the more unique Texas Hill Country venues I've had a chance to shoot at with a great combination of intimate rooms and grand vistas. Congrats to Morgan & Billy, and thank you to Dave for bringing me out there for the assist!
I very nearly botched any chance of shooting Jana and Michael's wedding in my very first correspondence with them. In my initial response to Jana's inquiry, my phone autocorrected her name to my Mom's name—Jane. I caught the error as soon as I hit send and realized I'd better send an immediate follow-up, explaining what had happened. Thankfully this frankness endeared me to them and I couldn't be more happy about it. Meeting them for lunch before the wedding I knew the big day would be extremely special, and it was. A relatively simple, reasonably intimate wedding with really just their close friends and family meant lots of hugs, smiles, and laughter. The wedding was at The Vineyard at Florence a nice drive North of Austin. A big thanks to my second shooter Jakobeit Photo and a huge congratulations Jana and Michael!