Hyalite Canyon Winter Engagement Photo Session of Heather & Andrew

A few weeks back I got to meet and photograph Heather & Andrew for their winter engagement photo session at Hyalite Canyon outside of Bozeman, Montana. I’ll be photographing their 2016 wedding day at Chico Hot Springs next April and while they were in town for Thanksgiving with family, we found a window of time to drive to the nearby majestic rocky mountain canyon. The snow had just recently fallen a couple days before and now cast a white blanket across the surrounding Hyalite Reservoir and Gallatin National Forest. It was a cool ice covered scene to explore. With the mixed overcast clouds, I was able to play with the cooler winter color palette of the Montana landscape. These two were a lot of fun. I appreciate a wedding couple that is up for an adventure. I’m looking forward to documenting their wedding celebration this Spring. Congrats on your engagement you guys! -Mike

When considering their Fall wedding reception at Broken Hart Ranch in Bozeman, Montana, Madeline and Chase wanted to have a fun outlet to entertain their guests. In addition to hiring me to photograph their wedding day, they added my Greener Visuals Photo Booth when booking me. Photo booths are so much fun.  As the night progressed, their friends and family laughed, played and dressed in wonderfully weird costumes to then take their own beautifully lit photo booth photos via wireless remote control. A fun addition to a great wedding day celebration.  -M

To view all of their wedding photo booth photos, click here.

Broken Hart Ranch Fall Montana Wedding of Madeline and Chase

Fall in Montana this year kicked into overdrive and the autumn colors were popping all over southwest Montana. To my delight with the timing, I was fortunate enough to photograph the wedding day of my clients Madeline and Chase at the Broken Hart Ranch outside of Bozeman, Montana at the peak of the season change. Four years of dating has led them to a relationship filled with much gratitude and many great stories many of which were shared throughout the evening. Amongst the fire colored Montana backdrop and Fall inspired theme wedding, Madeline and Chase along with their out-of-town guests danced, sang and raised their glasses in celebration long into the evening. This crowd knew how to celebrate. The wedding couple was totally shocked and thrilled when their wedding guests all busted into a sudden flash mob dance routine. It was a great day with a lot of smiles. Here are some photo favorites from their wedding day. Wishing the newlyweds all the best! -M

To view all of their wedding photos from the day, click here.

Southwest Montana had an exceptionally long stretch of Fall colors this past season. I was fortunate enough to be able to get out to photograph all of its grandeur with a few late-season weddings and a couple family portrait sessions like these of my friend Beth and her family. An old friend from my days at The University of Montana, she now works here in Bozeman and they wanted to make some fun family portraits before the rains came. We found some time to go out for a walk in a nearby park on the outskirts of Bozeman. The setting sun mixed with the range of green, yellow and orange colors made for some sweet light to photograph in. Fall days don’t get much better in my book. Here are some of my favorite photographs I made from their family photo shoot. Thanks for looking, -M

A few weeks back, I had the pleasure of photographing Courtney and Jordi’s wedding day at The Woodlands at Cottonwood Canyon in Bozeman, Montana. It was a beautiful calm early Fall day amongst the pine trees. I’m just thrilled for these two. I got to know them earlier in the year when we made some fun engagement photos around the outskirts of Bozeman. Finally, their big day had arrived. I had such a fun time documenting their friends and family. It was great to hear all the stories. Here are some of my favorite images I made throughout the day. Wishing many years of happiness to the newlyweds! Congrats you guys! -M

To see the whole wedding, click here.

I had the pleasure of photographing the wedding weekend of Jenny and Ethan at the Rockin TJ Ranch on the outskirts of Bozeman, Montana a few weeks back. September in southwest Montana might just be my favorite time of year to be outside. The weather on their big outdoor wedding day was perfect. The full spectrum of Fall colors in the local flora accentuated the wedding party’s red color theme. I had a lot of fun throughout the day celebrating with these two newlyweds and their out of town wedding guests. I was so thankful to be a part of it. A great day. Congrats again to Jenny and Ethan! -M

The evening before Jenny & Ethan’s wedding day, their close friends and family gathered at the bride’s parent’s house in Bozeman for their rehearsal dinner. The calm Montana evening in early Fall did not disappoint. The sun settled into a fantastic sunset over the Bridger Mountains where their out of town guest snapped photos and soaked up the Montana lifestyle. Rehearsal dinners are great to photograph. Often it’s the first time many of the guests get to see the wedding couple and the atmosphere tends to be more laid back prior to the main event. These two had me come out and document it all. Here are some of my favorite images from their rehearsal dinner. Also, be sure to check out their wedding photos here. I had a great time. Congrats to the newlyweds! -Mike

Broken Hart Ranch Fall Montana Wedding of Madeline and Chase

Fall in Montana this year has kicked into overdrive and the autumn colors have been popping all over southwest Montana. To my delight, last Saturday I was fortunate enough to photograph the wedding day of my clients Madeline and Chase at the Broken Hart Ranch outside of Bozeman, Montana. Four years of dating has led them to a relationship filled with much gratitude and many great stories. These two and their wedding guests told many funny stories about them and went all out to celebrate their union amongst the fire colored Montana backdrop. What a day! Here is a preview of some favorites I come across so far. Many more photos are en route. Stay tuned… -M

 

I wish all Septembers in Montana could be as nice as this years was. A few weeks back, I photographed the wedding day of Sara and Cory at the Springhill Pavilion outside Bozeman, Montana near the base of the Bridger Mountains. In a rare window of opportunity, the smoke from the summer wildland fires eased off giving way to a clear blue sky day and calm warm conditions. It was a perfect backdrop for a classic Montana wedding day. Here are some of my favorite images I made during their wedding celebration. It has been so much fun getting to know these two over the past year. Wishing them a lifetime of happiness. Congrats to Sara & Cory! -M

To see more of their wedding day photos click here.

What a weekend! I had the pleasure of photographing Jenny and Ethan’s wedding rehearsal and wedding day this past weekend at the Rockin TJ Ranch on the outskirts of Bozeman, Montana. September in southwest Montana might just be my favorite time of year to be outside. The weather on their big outdoor wedding day was perfect and the Fall colors were showing up in the local flora. I had a lot of fun throughout the day celebrating with these two newlyweds and their out of town wedding guests. I’m looking forward to showing the rest of the photos from the day. More to come. For now, check out this sneak peek preview of some favorites so far. Congrats again to Jenny and Ethan!

A few weeks back I returned to Chico Hot Springs in Pray, Montana to photograph the wedding day of Elizabeth & Ryan. When it came to these two New Mexican residents planning their wedding day, they opted to return to their old stomping grounds of southwest Montana. Their destination wedding brought 150 of their close family and friends to the historical hot spring wedding venue in Paradise Valley. It was a fantastic day-long celebration with warm weather mixed with the occasional feisty wind gusts. Just the right amount to kick up a wedding dress in dramatic fashion. Soon into the reception, the wedding guests took to the dance floor in droves and celebrated with the newlyweds late into the evening. Good times with great people. I had a fun time meeting everyone, hearing the stories and photographing the festivities. Congrats again to the newlyweds! Wish you guys a lifetime of happiness. -M

To view all of the photos from Elizabeth and Ryan’s wedding day, click here.

For the past 7 weeks, I’ve been making a weekly trek to the outskirts of Bozeman to the Gallatin Valley Botanical farm with my girlfriend Lora to scope out her new puppy and best friend. Ten puppies equal awesome. Our Wednesday visits quickly became the best day of the week for us. Lora’s friends Matt and Jacy, owners of the local Bozeman farm, had a litter of ten puppies and one would soon come bouncing into my life. During my youth growing up in Illinois, my family bred labs on our five-acre wooded property. I have some good family memories growing up around Labradors. Now by association, I would get to be around once again. Awesome indeed.

Before the puppies all went to new homes, I ventured one evening over to the Bozeman organic farm with my camera and made some fun family photos of Matt and Jacy along with their kids and an army of labrador puppies. It’s not often an opportunity like this happens. We had a great time. In the end, Lora got a yellow male and is calling him “Timber”. This will be fun. The dog adventure begins. -M

 

Jessica 2014 Bozeman Montana Maternity Photos

A few weeks ago, I got a call from my friend Jessica asking if I would make some maternity photo portraits of her. This will be her first child and she wanted to have herself and her belly documented. Having never photographed a maternity session before, I was intrigued and happily accepted. It was a fun challenge. We got together in the morning. I brought my mobile photo studio to her apartment and we spent our time sipping coffee and experimenting with different photo setups. I wanted to simplify things, eliminate distractions and make the photos all about her.  I’m all about versatility in my photographs and I want to give my clients options from their photo sessions. From her place, we ventured outside and walked around downtown Bozeman chatting, collaborating and looking for interesting backgrounds. It was so fun to see her excitement. Two weeks out from having her life completely change into her upcoming motherhood. I’m excited for her. Congrats to the mama-to-be! -M

A couple weeks ago I had the chance to return to Montana, my favorite place on earth, to photograph the wedding of an old college friend Christina and her new husband Ryan. I got to know Christina during my time tromping around the Big Sky state while attending The University of Montana in my pursuit of my degree in Photojournalism. In between my time fly fishing mountain streams and trying to make it to class on time, I came to know her through mutual friends and her involvement in the Missoula art scene. Christina, a Montana native, is a very talented painter and ended up getting her degree in the Fine Arts. From there, it was off to New York City for her where she eventually met her fiancée Ryan randomly at a friend’s apartment. Oddly enough it turns out that they both were from the same western Montana town of Whitefish located up close to the entrance of Glacier National Park. I’m always amazed at the curveballs of coincidence life can through at people sometimes. Two years apart in age, Christina and Ryan never new one another growing up but found each other in one of the biggest cities on earth. Go figure. As they grew closer in their relationship, the two parted ways with the “Big Apple” and have since made a life together living and working in Portland, Oregon. When it came to plan their summer wedding the location was an obvious choice.

On their wedding day, I awoke early to drive north of Missoula (where I had been visiting my parents) past the cherry orchards along Flathead Lake and eventually made my way northeast towards the entrance of Glacier National Park. Christina and Ryan chose a cute little 40-acre ranch just outside of Coram, Montana called Glacier River Ranch that was bordered by the gin clear blue waters of the Flathead River. There are few things in life more picturesque than a Montana backdrop and that day I couldn’t think of any. I arrived early so I could scout around the area and get a feel for the place. As family members were helping to set up, I decided to walk around the grounds for possible portrait locations. As I came around the side of a big ponderosa pine tree I startled a young black bear (about 30 yards away from me) and he quickly stood up on his hind legs to get a better view of the blond haired photographer that had interrupted his mid morning berry feast. Soon uninterested, it sauntered off until the delicious smells of a wedding reception food brought it closer to the wedding location so much so that the ranch owner had to scare it off with some warning shots of her deer rifle. Only in Montana. Love it. The rest of the day mimicked the visions of a good Norman MacLean novel. The late August weather was perfect and their afternoon streamside reception was stunning as the golden Montana light lit up the trees as it slowly made its decent behind Teakettle Mountain. Like any proper Montana wedding the rest of the evening was spent eating roasted pig, drinking fine wine and Montana microbrews and dancing to live music from a local string band. It was so great to spend the day photographing such a fun couple and an honor to be asked to photograph the wedding of a old friend. I wish them all the best. -M

You can view the very best images from Ryan and Christina’s wedding under my portfolio wedding stories section here.     Or…

To see the entire wedding take you can see them all on my Photo Archive here.

I’m almost finished with my latest wedding photo shoot where I returned to the Big Sky state to photograph Christina and Ryan’s Montana wedding. Stay tuned for a big post soon.

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You know you’ve done something right when one of your past wedding couples refer you to their friends. I consider those gestures one of the highest complements a photographer can receive. It lets me know that I am doing my job well. Back in 2006, Abby and Johnny asked me to photograph their wedding in western Montana after hearing about my photojournalistic style through their friends and my former clients. It was the ultimate picturesque Montana cowboy wedding. Their outdoor wedding was held at this cute little ranch where the men were decked out in their cowboy boots and hats twirled the women in their summer dresses as they danced to the upbeat rhythms of bluegrass music. Summer was ending and with it the days grew longer. Because of it we were blessed with beautiful afternoon sunlight that made the dried wheat fields glow with a golden hue as the sun set over the Bitterroot Mountains. What more could a photographer ask for.