In one week I will be returning to Austin, Texas, and Circuit of the Americas to cover my fifth Formula 1 United States Grand Prix for Texas Highways magazine! I also recently passed 500 followers on Instagram apparently and wanted to mark that occasion in some way. So I've decided to do a giveaway that includes a 16"x20" print of your choice and an enamel pin of your choice from Expletive Apparel Co. (my silly clothing accessory side-project.) The print you get can be chosen from my National Park collection, or if I have photographed/will photograph your wedding it can be a wedding photo of yours, and finally, you can choose an image from any of these motorsportgalleries (including the gallery from the 2019 USGP once published).
Comment on this Instagram post with your guess of how many steps I will take over the course of the race weekend—Friday through Sunday. As a reference, on previous race weekends, I have walked anywhere from 16 to 24 miles over the course of the three days. Step counting will be done via Apple Watch and the Activity app on iOS. These are also not "The Price is Right" rules, the winner will simply be the person closest to the final step tally whether they go over or not.
And that is it! I would be remiss if I didn't mention that the concept of guessing steps in inspired by giveaways done by the man with the best hair in the photography business, Tyler Schmitt who you should be following on principle, though it is not required for purposes of this giveaway.
Thank you to everyone who enters, and good luck!
Also, for some light legal text, it probably goes without saying this giveaway is sponsored by no one but myself, and any trademarks mentioned above in the text are the property of their respective trademark holders.
Did you know that you don't have to be recently engaged in order to get some portraits taken in a beautiful place? It's true! And Windy & James are here to prove it. They came all the way from a "small-town" in Texas—which just happens to be the same small-town my wife grew up in—to spend some time in Whitefish and wanted to commemorate their vacation with just the two of them. They were an absolute delight to work with as briefly strolled through downtown Whitefish and spoke of our favorite places in the Texas Hill Country.
I was so fortunate to be included in this wedding at the summit of Whitefish Mountain Resort. Norman & Tyler had a small wedding with 70 of their closest friends and family who experienced a gorgeous day where clouds and rain stayed in the forecast the day prior and returned the day after. As you can see that was absolutely not the case during the ceremony. Instead of traditional formal wear, they wore traditional philippine barongs wich injected real color into the proceedings and made it difficult to deliver too many black and white photos because the colors were just so great.
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!