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.
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!
You never know where a potential client/friend opportunity may present itself. I met Jake while we were waiting to pick up our daughters from kindergarten and I noticed his St. Louis Cardinals hat. I had to say something because it was the first such hat I'd seen in Whitefish. I mentioned I was a photographer, and he mentioned his family had been looking to get some new family portraits done. And the rest, as they say, is history!
Living in a new state, in a new city, lends itself to some very definitive “firsts” for myself and my family. This year was I got to experience my first Whitefish Winter Carnival and several of its related events including the Skijoring competition a week prior, the penguin plunge—benefitting area Special Olympics athletes—which I hope to participate in next year, and the Winter Carnival Parade.
Having never grown up in a small town this sort of community event is reasonably foreign to me. It was really fun to see everyone really get into the event, have people you actually know be in the parade itself, and to run in to people you know from other activities in the course of your daily lives.
The Winter Carnival is loosely based around an area mythology involving nordic deities, yetis, and the encroachment of man on wilderness areas. Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards served as the guest of honor this year—the 70th anniversary of the carnival—with the theme of "fly like an eagle."
Last August—as you may have seen—my family and I took a long road trip up to Whitefish, Montana to spend about a week in the area and visit Glacier National Park. Well long story short, we couldn't help but fall in love with it. The people, the businesses, the weather, just about everything really. We loved it so much in fact, that we decided to seriously consider making the move up there! But there was one catch, my wife doesn't particularly care for the cold, and had never really experienced true Winter having grown up in Texas. And while I predominantly grew up in Texas, I originally hail from Illinois, and spent a couple of years going to college there. I love the cold far more than I do days above 100 degrees.
So what to do with this idea? We decided to spend a large chunk of January in Whitefish to see what it might be like to live there in the depths of Winter. And you know what? It was kind of awesome. Below are a handful of photos I took during our stay, as well as a hastily edited timelapse of the drive to Glacier National Park.
So what was our verdict regarding trying to make the move? Stay tuned!