A few weeks back, I photographed my 2023 wedding clients Riki and Lee for their Butte, Montana Engagement Photography experience.
It’s been wonderful to get to know these two this year. Right from the start, the shared, rich intellect and loving kindness of Riki and Lee were a clear, magnetic force.
Lee and Riki met four year ago back when they were pursuing their PhDs at Northwestern University. They are now both budding powerhouse chemists on the East Coast.
In our first conversations, Lee shared what they admire most about Riki. They love how Riki is so good at truly seeing people. Riki is kind and doesn’t hesitate to help others. “Whether it be her colleagues, students, friends, or their community of loved ones, Riki shows me how to be a better partner.” Lee said. They also admire Riki’s intellect, “She is extremely smart and was the best in her class. I love how she challenges me.”
Riki feels the same – she loves Lee’s mind. This couple’s roots began first as friends. Riki immediately felt that she could be herself around Lee and with their first conversations, they dove deep. Riki, who describes herself as straight-edged, admires the diversity of Lee’s rich life experiences. Lee’s adventurous approach to life makes it easy for Riki to walk outside her comfort zone, in all the best ways.
Visiting Lee’s hometown in Butte, Montana has quickly become a favorite annual destination for them. It’s a place they really wanted to showcase in their Butte Montana Engagement Photography experience.
With their excitement growing the closer we got to their photography session date, Lee and Riki elected to book a second hour for their Butte Montana Engagement Photography experience. They wanted to really explore this historic place which means so much to them. I was happy to oblige.
With so much to see in a old industrial town like Butte, Montana, this additional hour gave us more creative freedom to take our time and investigate our curiosities.
If you know Butte, you know that its heritage and history runs a mile high and a mile deep.
By the end of the 19th century, The Butte copper mines had become the largest copper producers in the world. They would operate until their closure in the late 1940’s. Old stone skyscrapers and the steel engineering relects of another time have now perfectly blended with the weathered Montana landscape. The result is a mountain town with a lot of soul.
We all agreed it would be a perfect, rustic Montana landscape for us to play in. We began at the Original Mine and explored the industrial bones of the headframe and the character of the surrounding buildings.
Next, we shifted from the playground of the Copper Kings and went off trail to Lee’s beautiful family home. Tucked back in the Butte foothills, their family property offered a more intimate landscape to explore thick aspens groves, dramatic rock formations, and catch the sunset views of the Pintler Mountains.
In all, this couple’s warmth, adventurousness, kindness, and focus on each other created such an incredible energy to be around. In their photos, smiles came naturally. Their excitement for each other was uncontainable. I love the photos we created together and I can not wait to photograph their wedding day June 2023! -M
A few weeks back, I traveled to Missoula to photograph the Missoula Engagement Portrait Photography Experience of Eric and Emily.
Eric and Emily met at the River City Roots Festival in Missoula, Montana a year and a half ago. Their shared love of live music has been a foundation of their budding relationship.
When the pandemic was sweeping across the country these two were just moving in with one another.
Despite the uncertainty of this past year, their relationship has continued to flourish and grow into something really special.
Eric loves how Emily is able to find the fun in any situation. He is so grateful for her encouragement that helps him find the joy and boundless potential within himself.
“She loves me through my worst times,” said Eric, who is finishing up a degree in Resource Conservation at The University of Montana. “It’s been game-changing for me. I can show up as I am and that’s okay with her. She accepts me.”
Both of them commented separately on how incredibly grounding each has been for one another in these challenging times.
By the same token, Emily loves Eric’s compassion and his thoughtfulness toward her.
“During our very first argument, rather than get mad, instead he genuinely wanted to understand me. It was so refreshing to be in a healthy relationship with him. Calmly, we worked it out,” said Emily. “He’s an amazing communicator and is so in tune with my feelings. I feel so lucky to have him.”
For their Missoula engagement portrait photography session, these two wanted to celebrate their relationship in one of their favorite places. Years ago,
Happy to oblige, we walked around and explored the fleeting Fall colors within Greenough Park in the Rattlesnake neighborhood. I attended college at the University of Montana and had a good knowledge of places we could check out along Rattlesnake Creek.
Here are a few favorite Missoula Engagement Portrait photographs from our time together.
I could not be more excited for these two lovebirds. -M
I recently photographed the winter engagement portrait photography of Kate & Dylan at their Bozeman family property overlooking the Bridger Mountains.
Kate knew right from the start after connecting online and on their first lunch date, that Dylan was a man unlike any she had met before.
The immediate comfort in their own skin around each other, matched with good conversation, inspired them to play hooky the rest of the day. They ended up spending the afternoon walking around, riding a carousel, and being complete goofballs.
For someone like Kate, who has dedicated her whole career to how humans learn through play, seeing Dylan’s forthright invitation to make a fool of himself sparked an immediate connection for her.
Dylan was a partner who had a willingness for silly, goofy fun. It’s a character trait that had been missed in Kate’s previous relationships.
As Kate recalled, “Dylan is the most earnest of people she had ever met. He is nerdy in the most wonderful ways.”
As their relationship grew, Dylan’s kind heart and inspiration around creativity solidified her love for him. It was a big deal. He was the first partner she ever invited to her family home for the holidays.
For Dylan, Kate is such a natural fit for him. She complimented him in every way.
“Kate’s smile is so genuine. It has an uncanny capacity to instantly get me excited and always lifts my spirit,” Dylan said, “It’s her ability to always find positivity in the world around them. Her willingness for adventure, good humor, and her sense of morality made him feel seen, recognized, and cared for.”
Kate gives him hope for a better future.
It has been a true pleasure getting to know this engaged couple over the last few months.
For their winter engagement portrait photography session, we wanted to celebrate all of those playful, creative traits that each one brought into their relationship.
We decided the perfect place to meet up for their photo session was at her parent’s house outside of Bozeman.
We had such a fun time exploring the Montana property of Kate’s youth. With the man of her dreams, we created fun portraits that reflect all that they cherish about one another.
Here are a few favorite photographs I made during their couples portrait session.
I am so looking forward to photographing these two on their wedding day later this year. Congrats on your engagement Kate & Dylan! July can’t come soon enough! -M
I’m proud to share my Best of 2019 Portrait Photography!
I’ve been looking back on this past year and the photos from my Best of 2019 Portrait Photography with so much gratitude for the couples, families, and business professionals I had the privilege to photograph and build relationships with.
As a destination family photographer, I was lucky enough to travel to Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, many parts of New England, and all over Montana this past year for my portrait photography clients.
Everyone had so much to celebrate in their lives.
I harbored so much fulfillment in helping each one of my photography clients rediscover what they valued most in each other and their relationships – in turn helping to bring out the best versions of themselves.
This year I chose the photos for my Best of 2019 Portrait Photography that showcased the photographs that meant so much to my clients.
For me, 2020 is shaping up to be another great year of celebrating the best in life.
Thanks for the continued support everyone! Happy New Year! -M
Matt and Allison’s Couples Portrait Photography Session at Rat Lake in Gallatin National Forest was quite the adventure.
When this newly engaged Bozeman couple, hired me to photograph their 2020 wedding celebration we got to talking about all the things they treasured in their lives and their relationship.
They met through a friend of a friend and while quiet at first, he had all of those amazing attributes like her father – a hard work ethic, compassionate and always willing to stick up for others.
As Allison reflected back on the things she really cherished about Matt, what stood out was his loving patience and his uncanny ability to liven up the mood by just being so much fun to be around.
Laughing as she thought back on it she said, “After dating just 10 months, I knew he was going to be the one.
Ever since they have built their lives together here in Bozeman.
Along the way, they have fostered a shared love of the Montana outdoors often opting to go fishing, off-roading in their 4 x 4 and spending time camping outside with their two dogs
After five years of dating and endless, fun adventures, Matt proposed.
For their Couples Portrait Photography Session, we decided to visit one of their favorite places – Rat Lake tucked up in the Gallatin National Forest outside of Bozeman.
It was the perfect setting to showcase through photography all of the things they love about each other and their relationship.
Here are a few favorite photographs from our time together. I can not wait for their wedding celebration coming up in July 2020. -M
Back in August, I photographed the Seattle Washington couples portrait session of my wedding clients Allie and Chris.
This past year I’ve had the pleasure of traveling to make Seattle Washington Couples Portraits of my wedding clients. As a destination wedding and portrait photographer, it’s always such a joy to take photos of my clients in the places that matter most to them.
These two love their city life together in Seattle.
Allie is coming down the final stretch of obtaining her law degree from Seattle University and Chris works as an aircraft engineer. These two are passionate and driven in what they do. Above all else, they really value the time they have with one another in their relationship.
For their Seattle Washington Couples Portraits, they wanted to explore some of their favorite places in Seattle where they love to spend their free time with one another.
We walked through some of their favorite neighborhoods, explored parks near their home and checked out some of their favorite places for a good drink.
I can not wait to photograph their wedding day celebration in 2020. Congrats on your engagement Allie and Chris!
For Belle and Angel’s West Yellowstone Couples Portraits experience, we decided to drive back to their hometown of West Yellowstone, Montana to explore and photograph the place that fostered the roots of their relationship.
These two have been dating since high school – over seven years ago – where they first cultivated their relationship through their shared love of basketball.
While a lot has changed since high school, their relationship has never been stronger.
In Belle’s opinion regardless of where they are, Angel’s presence in her life is an immediate sense of home.
They now live and work in Bozeman, Montana – him as a chef and her as a caregiver.
Time together has helped them discover not only their love for each other but their shared passion for exploring the outdoors.
Now, as they work to finalize their wedding plans for Summer 2020, they wanted to celebrate this time in their lives by giving a nod to their shared love of camping and hiking in their old Yellowstone National Park area stomping ground.
We headed over to Black Sand Spring, a small spring creek west of town where we explored the area making photographs of them. Here are some favorites from their experience. Congrats on your engagement Belle and Angel! -M
A few weeks back I had the pleasure of photographing the Washoe Theatre Couples Portraits of Amanda and Harley in Anaconda Montana.
Amanda and Harley met ten years ago and were high school sweethearts.
I had an amazing time discovering all that they cherished in each other and their relationship.
It has been such a fun time getting to know these two high school sweethearts over the past year.
They met at the age of 16-year-old. From the get-go, they shared an easy-going sense of humor and appreciation of the little things in one another.
Harley, usually a shy kid, recalled how profound it was that she could always bring him out of his shell and how to completely be himself around others.
Thinking back on what was a difficult childhood, Amanda loved that meeting Harley showed her the possibility of a better life and how to be a kid again.
More often than not, this usually takes the form of dancing and singing to music while cooking together.
Over the next ten years, Amanda and Harley’s relationship flourished.
“We were able to develop around each other and made up for each other’s perceived “faults”, Amanda said.
It was a wonderful, mutual balance of support, love, and acceptance. Each knew they had found their person
For them, it was those times growing up together around Butte and Anaconda, Montana where the foundations of their relationship and support for one another really solidified.
As their relationship grew, some of their fondest memories were going on dates to the historic Washoe Theatre in downtown Anaconda and then dining at one of their favorite restaurants in Butte, the Pekin Noodle Parlor – the oldest Chinese restaurant in the country and housed in a formal brothel.
We wanted to highlight these two places that held a lot of wonderful memories for them.
We decided to recreate an ultimate date night for them!
Here are some favorites photographs from their Washoe Theatre Couples Portraits photographic experience.
This January, they will be getting married here in Bozeman and the Gallatin River Lodge. I can’t wait to celebrate with them. Congrats on your engagement you two! -M
A few weeks back I had the pleasure of photographing the Morel Mushroom Hunting Couple Portraits of Brianna and Kyle.
Brianna and Kyle are two foodies who are planning their September wedding celebration later this summer.
This engaged couple has made a life together fostering their shared love of the outdoors and wild foods. They work hard for that lifestyle. Both are on the talented staff at the Gallatin River Lodge. Kyle works as a sous chef and Brianna is the kitchen, garden, and reservations manager for events.
Working in the service industry often requires long hours, especially in the summer. It can make personal time challenging to harness especially when your partner might not have the same schedule as you.
Through our numerous conversations leading up to our photo session, we discovered that it’s the little things that they shared together that help make their relationship so strong and satisfying.
For their couples portrait photographic experience, our conversations focused on all the things they love about each other, their relationship together, and their 8-year-old English Pointer dog named Speck.
For this engaged couple, life doesn’t get much better than when they walk the banks of the Gallatin River near with their dog and find wild morel mushrooms to turn into fancy meals.
The more we talked, the clearer our theme became. Their Morel Mushroom Hunting Couple Portraits would be the perfect recipe for their couple portrait theme – highlighting their passion for the outdoors and cooking good food.
I traveled out to their home west of Bozeman where we explored the Gallatin River banks together. Within an hour, we found a heaping bowl full of blond morel mushrooms and made some really fun, personal photos of Brianna and Kyle in their happy place with their pup.
Being an aficionado of foraging and cooking wild game meat myself, I joined them for a riverside campfire dinner. I loved photographing them creating together in their outdoor, fireside kitchen with uncontrollable smiles on their faces. These two were in their creative culinary zone. Kyle sautéed our prized morel mushrooms with garlic, spices, and asparagus then artistically dished them onto a perfectly grilled moose backstrap (donated by yours truly) prepared by Kyle.
We ate like kings and queens that night.
With our bellies full of delicious food and a couple of microbrews, we savored the moment. To close out our time together, I had these two snuggle up into their hammock. Kyle is also a musician and he played blues riffs on his guitar for us as the sun set over the mountains. It was a perfect way to enjoy a relaxing Montana summer evening.
I love the energy and the life these two have created together. I think their bond really shines through these photographs.
Congrats again on your engagement Brianna and Kyle. Wishing you two a lifetime of happiness! -M
The other day I drove from Bozeman to photograph the Ousel Falls Engagement Portraits of Taylor and Josh in Big Sky, Montana. I love a couple that is game to get outside even in early Spring weather.
In fact, it was their love of games and hiking in the outdoors that brought them together. This engaged couple met playing an intense game of parchesi at a friend’s place where Josh won on the last roll. As the Denver Bronco football season went on, they cheered and bonded over their shared passions and growing connection. He made her laugh and always knew how to cheer her up. She was loving and helped him open up and out of his introverted tendencies.
In Taylor’s words, “Our weirdness meshed well.”
These two have been dating for five and a half years and they were engaged in early March.
For their Ousel Falls Engagement Portraits session, we decided to check out Ousel Falls which is one of their favorite places to hike in Southwest Montana. The contrast of the light snowfall and ice intermingled with the lush green of the coming Spring made for the perfect backdrop to their couples portrait session. Here are some of their favorites from our adventure in Big Sky. Congrats on your engagement you two! -M
I photographed the Hyalite stargazing engagement portraits of Aysha and Brad on the eve before the springtime road closure to Hyalite Canyon.
For Aysha, her love of Brad’s spontaneity and ability to make her laugh won her affection over quickly. Their relationship grew closer through their LDS faith, love of soccer and live music, and being together stargazing with each other in their Montana backyard. This couple is dedicated to their craft. Aysha helps run the family plumbing business and Brad is also working there as an electrician apprentice.
Brad summed up Aysha as nothing short of amazing and kept commenting on how much he cherished how every day, she gives everything her all.
After dating for seven months, they were engaged a few weeks back while next to a campfire.
For their Hyalite stargazing engagement portraits, we decided to highlight some of their favorite activities they love to experience together. We made a plan to meet up at the Hyalite Reservoir just outside of Bozeman for their nighttime, stargazing engagement portrait experience.
Upon our arrival at the snow-covered Hyalite parking lot, we were greeted with clear skies and a setting sun. We started by exploring the quiet, cold winter landscape with antique oil lanterns that lighted our path. As the stars came out over the frozen mountain scene, I made some long exposure photographs to make the sky really shine. Afterward, Brad made us a warm campfire to sit around. This couple came prepared with plenty of s’mores, cups of hot chocolate, and the arms of each other. We had found a perfect mountain atmosphere to showcase Aysha and Brad’s relationship.
It made for a really fun night.
Here are some of my favorite photographs I made during our evening together.
I’m so excited for these two and the good fortune that lies ahead for them. Congrats to Aysha and Brad! -M
I photographed the Fairy Lake engagement photography session of Jennie and Mark in the Bridger Mountains outside of Bozeman, Montana.
Fairy Lake, in the heart of the Bridger Mountains, is one of my favorite places in Montana to take destination wedding couples for their engagement photography session.
A few weeks back, I met up with my childhood friend Mark and is lovely wife-to-be Jennie during a stop on their Rocky Mountain road trip in Bozeman, Montana and took them out on an adventure.
The first time I talked with Jennie and Mark was during a video chat and instantly we reconnected over similar interests and many laughs reminiscing about stories from our youth growing up playing hockey together in the Chicago suburbs. It was clear to me from our online visit that these two were the perfect match for each other.
Mark’s tribe has been good family friends with my family for many years now. Despite going our separate ways almost eighteen years ago after high school, we kept tabs on each other through the parental telegram over the years and where I learned of this awesome woman named Jennie he had met. Suddenly here we were picking up where we left off years later planning out their Montana engagement session and the intricate details of their wedding day this upcoming summer in Springdale, Arkansas.
It’s always such a treat for me to photograph old friends. This was going to be fun.
Upon their arrival into Bozeman, we all saddled up into my 1984 Land Cruiser and made our way up into the beautiful Bridger mountains for our couples’ engagement portrait session at Fairy Lake. The Montana Fall colors were in full array and we took full advantage of them.
Here are some of my favorite images from our time together. I’m so excited for these two and can’t wait to celebrate their wedding day next October! Congrats to the newly engaged! -M
The other day I photographed the Middle Cottonwood Canyon Engagement Portraits of my wedding clients Lisa and Noah in Bozeman Montana.
Lisa and Noah wanted to feature a special place as the setting for their engagement session.
It was here that Noah brought Lisa on their second date for a hike up Middle Cottonwood Canyon.
These two have been living in their new home in Washington for the past year. Lisa works as a software engineer and is Noah working away on his pursuit of a science graduate degree. They were home visiting family and wanted to have their Middle Cottonwood Canyon Engagement photos to remind them of their Montana roots.
When it came time to plan their wedding day, choosing their Montana home as the backdrop was a no-brainer for them. These two will be tying the knot tomorrow up Kelly Canyon! I’m so excited for these guys! Stay tuned for their wedding photo preview! -M
Capitalizing on a recent break in the rainy weather, I met up with my wedding clients Allison and Matt for their Hyalite Canyon Engagement Photography Experience.
Over these last few months, I’ve really enjoyed getting to know these two.
They recently moved to Bozeman from Davis, Montana where they attended school as Ecology grad students. Back during my time working in California newspapers, I too lived in the city of Davis. As we got to know each other, we quickly realized we had many overlapping UC Davis friends and shared outdoor leisure activities. We quickly hit it off and had a blast exploring the scenic local landscape during our Hyalite Canyon Engagement Photography session.
These two are wonderful humans.
And their big wedding day is quickly approaching. I’m looking forward to documenting and celebrating them at their Springhill Pavilion wedding day in a few weeks! -M
I had the pleasure of photographing the horseback riding engagement portraits of Sam & Melissa outside of Norris, Montana.
These two horse-loving locals packed up their truck and trailer with their animals and followed me out to a beautiful spot near Norris Montana on the edge of the Madison Mountain range for an evening of horseback riding engagement portraits, sipping cowboy coffee, and enjoying a sunset campfire.
During my couples portrait photography sessions, I love discovering what my clients love about each other and their relationship. By understanding all the things that they cherish in one another allows me to create photographs that celebrate those loves.
For Melissa and Sam, working with horses is a passion between them and a lifestyle that these two fully embrace. What better way to capture that love than by creating our own trail ride to photograph them in their happy place. Our mountain spot was the perfect setting for their photographic experience.
These two were quickly at ease in front of my camera lens. We ended up making some great horseback riding engagement portraits that encapsulate their lifestyle with their animals.
Below are some of their favorites from our time together.
These two are set to marry this summer. I couldn’t be more thrilled for them. Congrats to the newlyweds! -M
The other day I drove out to the banks of the Madison River to meet up with my friends Sky and Tara for their evening Madison River Couple Portrait Photographic Experience.
I’ve known these two for years and the news of their engagement had been a long time coming. It’s so exciting to see them together as their wedding date approaches and their love and excitement grow.
I would be hard pressed to find a better match of personalities.
We decided to photograph their engagement photos in a spot near and dear to them, the Madison River.
Both Sky and Tara are love fly fishing and spending their free time being close to the rivers around Montana. As friends, we’ve we have all spent many a day together trying to entice the Montana trout to eat.
We loaded up Sky’s drift boat and cast off into the current.
As we floated downstream, we stopped to take photos along the way. It was an absolutely fine way to spend an afternoon – floating a blue ribbon trout stream and documenting the love. This couple tie-the-knot in two weeks! I am so excited for them. Congrats you guys! -Mike
To see all of their Portrait Photographic Experience, click here.
A few weeks back I drove out to create a Helena Montana Couples Portrait Photographic Experience of Marissa and Tyler, my wedding clients.
With the building excitement of their fast approaching wedding day in Virginia City, Montana, we wanted to create fun couples portraits of them, highlighting their life in Helena together.
In between their busy jobs working at our state capital for the governor of Montana, they frequently take walks around the various trail systems around Helena and they wanted to have their portrait experience in one of their favorite outdoor settings. We decided to check out the Old Shooting Range Trailhead just outside of town.
We spent a couple of hours exploring the hillsides, playing with their pup and making some fun photos of them in the beautiful wooded mountainous scenery.
Here are a few of my favorite photographs from our time together. I can not wait to celebrate these two in August. -M
A few weeks back I had the pleasure of heading over to the Three Forks, Montana area to create the Missouri Headwaters State Park Portrait Photographic Experience of Dani and John.
These two were the winning recipients of my Portrait Photographic Experience contest at this year’s 2017 A Montana Wedding Event at The Commons in Bozeman Montana. After learning more about them and their relationship together, we decided to have their portrait experience at one of their favorite places to hike.
It’s a beautiful spot with a mixture of rocky cliffs and grasslands that overlook the confluence of the Jefferson and Madison Rivers where they form the mighty Missouri River.
These two are all set to be married in the summer of 2018 and I couldn’t be more excited for them.
Here are some of my favorites from our time together. -M
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