Spring Weddings

Spring in Montana is a sight to behold and yesterday could not have been a better setting for my couple Camille and Matt’s wedding day celebration at the Springhill Pavilion just outside Bozeman, Montana. The warm spring rains promised in the weather reports failed to dampen the day. Not that it would matter. Instead, the wonderful combined family energy of Wisconsinites and Montanans raised the level of a wedding celebration to a new high bar.

This was a group that shrugged off uncertain weather, raised their Coors Light libations with smiles and focused on the task at hand, celebrating two special people through hugs, laughter, songs, and dance.

I met Camille at a fishing friend’s house over ten years ago when I was working weekdays at newspapers in Northern California and spending my weekends chasing steelhead in the multitude of incredible Pacific Coast streams nearby. She was raised splitting time between Montana and Alaska, where she’s spent every summer since she was a little girl at her family’s fishing lodge on the Nushagak River in Bristol Bay. She began guiding at a young age, enveloping herself in fly fishing and the great outdoors. When I met her, Camille was about to graduate high school and buzz in the fishing circles was that she was already quickly becoming one of the most successful women anglers in the United States. Presently, she is dominating the internet dividing her time advocating to protect against the Alaskan Pebble Mine efforts, working as Alaska & Christmas Island Program Director for Yellow Dog Flyfishing and living her dream traveling the world with a fly rod in hand.

It was only natural that she would find a partner with the same passion for the outdoors. Through her I got to know Matt – a kind, caring and incredibly talented hunting and outdoor lifestyle photographer based here in Bozeman. As I’ve gotten to know them both more over this past year, I am convinced. Anyone would be hard-pressed to find a better pair of people so perfectly suited for each other.

It is was only natural that they fostered their love of the outdoors to help style their wedding day. Yellow flowers intermixed with whitetail deer antlers accentuated the venue as their wedding guest dined on wild game appetizers and sipped local Montana wine and microbrew. Their mutual love of fishing was noted by cute artwork details of fly fishing files for the table settings and bridal party flair. The day was a wonderful, complete representation of all that was important to them in their lives.

Their wedding celebration at the Springhill Pavilion was such a fun experience. These photos are some of my favorite highlights from their big day.

To view the entire wedding day photos and purchase your own special memories from the day, follow this link to see all of the goodness.

View the entire wedding

I could not be more thrilled for these two newlyweds! Congrats Camille and Matt! Thank you so much for letting me and my photo team be apart of your special day! Wish you guys a lifetime of happiness! -M

Spring in Montana is a sight to behold and yesterday could not have been a better setting for my couple Camille and Matt’s wedding day celebration at the Springhill Pavilion just outside Bozeman, Montana. The warm spring rains promised in the weather reports failed to dampen the day and the energy of Wisconsinites and Montanans was a raised to a new high bar. It was such a fun day. So much so, that I have my work cut out for me editing through all the 10,000+ awesome moments taken throughout the day. For now, here are a few of the many favorites photographs that stood out. I could not be more thrilled for these two! Congrats Camille and Matt! Thank you so much for letting me and my photo team be apart of your special day! So much more goodness to come. Stay tuned! -M

I’ve gathered up my Best of 2017 Wedding Photography by Greener Visuals Photography images that made during this recent trip around the sun. As the last days of the year tick away, I find myself reflecting back on all of the fun photos I made of my wedding couples over the course of this past year. 2017 was a lot of fun! Lots of growth, new places explored, new challenges overcome, new faces met and many good times were had. I feel blessed for all the new relationships I made throughout the year and for being able to tell candid, creative stories through photographs! I look forward to what “adventures in documenting the love” await me in 2018.

If you or a loved one you know is in need of new family portraits, business portraits, headshots, engagement photos, boudoir or an epic wedding photographer, Greener Visuals Photography is available for all your professional photographic experiences in 2018! I look forward to hearing from you!

Happy New Year everyone! -M

El Western Resort Wedding Photos Becky and Kyle

This past Saturday I had a great time photographing the lovely Spring wedding of newlyweds Becky and Kyle at the El Western Resort in Ennis, Montana. Sometimes in life, you can’t always plan for the unexpected. I got an early morning message from a photographer friend of mine that had become quite ill on the morning of her client’s wedding day and was unable to work it. That is a nightmare situation for any working creative. God forbid that I ever find myself in that position. But knowing I have a pool of talented photographer friends in the industry here in southwest Montana to call upon, makes handling that situation a little easier. I was able to help take over the reins for her and photograph her client’s El Western Resort wedding without a hitch. I’m proud that I live amongst a community of wedding professionals that go the distance for their clients and to help each other out, working together to provide the best service possible for wedding couples here in southwest Montana. While not an ideal news for bride Becky and groom Kyle to find out on their wedding day, they understood and I stepped up to make the best wedding photography experience for them that I could create. The result was a fun country wedding celebration filled with good people in the heart of horse and fly fishing country just outside of Ennis, Montana. A great time was had by all. I have a lot of great photos to edit through but I wanted to share a few favorites so far that have stood out to me. I’m excited to show them all the goods from their special day. Stay tuned for more wedding photos! -M

 

Rocky Creek Farm Styled Wedding Photo Session of Tara and Sky

These wedding photos are from a recent fun wedding themed project that I organized in a pinch the other day. Last Tuesday I was talking to my friends Jacy and Matt, owners of Gallatin Valley Botanical, a local organic farm here in Gallatin Valley. I’ve been photographing and supporting their family farm here in Bozeman for years now. They mentioned that they would soon be taking over management of the popular Rocky Creek Farm (another farm down the road from theirs) and in addition to farming the increased acreage, would also be pushing to make it a successful new farm wedding venue. As she was gathering material together for their wedding advertisement for this past weekend’s Bozeman Bridal Walk,  they realized they would need some new photography to showcase their new endeavor to potential wedding clients. I told them I could help.

We decided to have a Rocky Creek Farm Styled Wedding Photo Session.

Time was short. We set a photo shoot time for 2 pm the following afternoon and after hanging up the phone, I sprung into action. I got in touch with my engaged friends Sky and Tara and invited them to be my models for the afternoon. Regardless of our short timetable, if we were going to do a proper photos shoot, we would need to do things right. Quickly needing a fine suit and beautiful wedding dress for my couple to flaunt, I called upon the talents of Persnickety Formal Wear owner Anne Porter. In between all of her fittings for her prom season busyness, she got Sky and Tara looking just top notch. For their hair and makeup, I stopped into Indulgence to have my friend the lovely Deirdre Quinn see to it that Tara looked just radiant as a bride for the photo shoot.

It all came together so well. In all, we organized our impromptu wedding photo shoot in under 24 hours and it turned out awesome.

Our shoot lasted about two hours and we had a blast. By the time of our photo shoot, the Wednesday morning rain clouds had subsided and we were given a nice window of an early Spring day to utilize. Rocky Creek Farms has a lot to offer both in capacity and scenery. We played with an assorted canvas of old barn wood backdrops to open fields accompanied with views of the Bridger Mountains in the distance to even photo opportunities along the on-property spring creek. I could have created there for hours. Together we explored the property grounds and made a lot of fun photos of two friends in love complete with baby lambs and I even brought along my new labrador puppy Tippet to be featured in the shoot. It was a perfect way to spend a Montana afternoon. This photo session could not have happened without the hustle and team effort by all the vendors who worked together to make something special on such short notice. A great time was had by all. Congrats to Sky and Tara on their engagement and well wishes to Matt and Jacy and they grow their new wedding venue out at Rocky Creek Farms! -M

To view all of the photos from our styled photo shoot, click here.

Winter has arrived and it’s snowing in Montana now. I’ve been reminiscing about the past year. It’s funny how time flies when you’ve been having so much fun. 2016 was another great year of documenting the fun memories of my client’s wedding day. I kept busy this year photographing over the Spring, Summer, and Fall. Southwest Montana offers up so many beautiful places to get married and I feel thankful that I was able to continue to explore the hidden pockets throughout. It was such an honor to be a part of my client’s wedding celebration.

I feel so grateful to be doing the candid wedding storytelling photography that I do.

My travels this year took me all over Montana. Traveling up to Whitefish down to Yellowstone National Park and as far away as downtown Chicago, Illinois. I even got to witness a wedding in northeast Mongolia.

In addition to having fun documenting the love, one of my favorite highlights of the year was moving into my new photography studio inside of Gallatin Event Rentals. It has been a wonderful place to house my wedding and portrait photography business. Having an inviting, comfortable space to host my clients and hear their wedding story has been such a pleasure. If you haven’t stopped by already, I’d be happy to give you the dime tour and geek out on photography with you.

Here are a few of my favorite wedding images that stood out to me from this past year.

I am now booking for the 2017 wedding season and I travel all across the country. I’m looking forward to the new smiles and faces I’ll meet and photograph in the new year.  Wishing you all a fantastic new year ahead! -Mike Greener

One of the best perks of documenting the love is that every once and a while, I get an opportunity to travel to photograph the wedding of friends. At the tail end of April this year I had the honor of flying back to my old stomping grounds of Chicago, Illinois to photograph the wedding day celebration of my old family friend Matt and his lovely bride Liz. Growing up in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, I grew up knowing Matt and his family through our local church and the family social circle. A few years back I was able to photograph the wedding of his brother Nick in California so when I learned that Matt and Liz were to be married, I was completely honored when they asked me to photograph it. It is such a treat for me to be able to document the weddings of old friends.

These two lovebirds decided to marry in style in the heart of The Windy City. We started the day getting ready at The Godfrey Hotel and from there took a trolley around the city taking in the sights, dodging the spring rains and making creative portraits along the way. Their wedding ceremony took place at Holy Family Church one of the oldest Catholic churches in the city. A beautiful gothic looking building. As the day transitioned into the celebratory reception, we finally landed at Salvage One, a 60,000 square foot vintage Chicago warehouse covered in fantastic antiques. Great food, laughter, and some epic dancing made the night truly one to remember. I was so grateful to be a part of it. Here are some of the highlights from their wedding day. What a fun weekend. Wishing these two a lifetime of happiness. -M

To see all of their wedding photos click here.

 

Had a blast photographing the fun at the destination wedding celebration of Kim and Preston this past Saturday at the Big Yellow Barn in Belgrade, Montana. Warm weather, a couple in love, great people, excellent Montana barbeque, and cupcakes and an assortment of epic dance moves made the day not only memorable but one heck of a good time. I’m hard at work editing through all the wedding photos of the day but wanted to share a few that have stood out so far. Congrats to the newlyweds Kim and Preston! So many more fun photos to show you all. Stay tuned…M

When Heather and Andrew booked me to photograph their 2016 Montana destination Chico Hot Springs wedding day last September, I was half expecting to photograph their early Spring wedding in the snow or rain. After living in Montana for some combined twelve years now, some assumptions regarding annual Montana weather patterns tend to hold true and planning wedding in April can at times be a bit of a gamble. When the big day came, we were blessed with the first sunny 70-degree day of the year in Montana. A perfect stage to welcome all of their out of town guests into the Montana experience. Photographing their wedding day was an absolute pleasure. Having already spent some time with the newlyweds during our winter engagement photo session, I knew their wedding day would be a wonderful joyful celebration. Despite a little wind, the warm weather added to the already lifted spirits of the wedding attendants. Laughter, smiles, and stories were present everywhere you looked. It made for a really fun time making photographs. Heather and Andrew are an amazing couple and their family and friends welcomed me with open arms. It was such a fun day. Wishing these newlyweds all the best! -M

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

Whew! What a weekend! I just flew back from photographing Matt and Liz’ Wedding Day in downtown Chicago a few days ago. Despite a little midwest precipitation, the day was a fantastic celebration, a wonderful reunion with old friends and spirits were high. I had a lot of fun with these two exploring “The Windy City” with their crew of close friends. I’m hard at work getting all the awesomeness edited and toned but I wanted to share a quick preview of some images that have stood out to me thus far. I’m excited to show you all the rest. Stay tuned. Congrats to the newlyweds! -M

 

My 2016 wedding season is revving up! A few weeks ago, I drove east of Bozeman over to Paradise Valley to the small town Pony, Montana where I had the pleasure of photographing the destination wedding celebration of Heather and Andrew at Chico Hot Springs. Such as the case with early spring weddings in Montana, I was expecting to photograph this wedding in the snow or rain. Alas, when the big day came, we were blessed (by some miracle) with the first sunny 70-degree day of the year. You could not have asked for better weather…well perhaps a little less wind. That’s always a fun challenge. Spirits were held high by all in attendance. Heather and Andrew are amazing people and their family and friends welcomed me with open arms. Such a fun day. Here is a preview of some photo favorites that have stood out in my editing thus far. Many more photos to come. Wishing these newlyweds all the best! Stay tuned for more photos. -M

In addition to photographing Emily and Matt’s wedding celebration, they also hired me to set up my photo booth at their reception at the Odd Fellows Hall in Davis, California. Photobooths are a great way to add some fun to the wedding reception. It’s amazing the positive energy it can bring to a wedding celebration.  Their wedding guests were able to trigger the booth remotely themselves which meant I could continue to photograph the festivities elsewhere. The results are often a surprising and hilarious discovery and random creativity. I’ve made it a rule now never to have beverages around my computer while editing photobooth images. Too funny. You never quite know what you will get. This crowd did not disappoint. What a fun evening! -Mike Greener

To see all of the photo booth images, follow this link.

Greener_M_10082011_NickEmilyWedding_1966-950x630

Stumbled across this gem in a news feed recently. Glamour Magazine nails it on the head for a good wedding toast advice formula.

“Introduce yourself + funny story about your friend and why you love her + why the spouse is such a great match + larger sentimental thought + “Cheers!” + a hug for the couple = a truly killer wedding toast.

I thought it was really good food for thought. I would add with all of that to just be genuine and keep it short and sweet. Check out the full list of tips here. -M

The first wedding of the season is always an exciting opportunity for me. After I’ve having had the time to ferment on my previous 2011 wedding season, I always look forward to how I can push my wedding photography to a new level for the next year. In the weeks leading up to my first wedding of the 2012 wedding season, I’ve felt like a thoroughbred race horse at the starting gates. It’s an anticipation and excitement that I’ve come to relish over the years. So after a long year waiting and planning with Michelle and Brian, I finally had the pleasure to document their wedding celebration at the beautiful Cornerstone Gardens in Sonoma, California a couple weekends ago.

Michelle and Brian met each other two years ago while attending a friend’s birthday party near their home in Los Angeles, California and cultivated a relationship with each other through the social media power of Facebook. Michelle is an elementary school teacher by trade and Brian works at SpaceX as a software developer for a company that is venturing into space exploration roles NASA has handed over to the private sector. After two years of dating, they got engaged, got their ball-o-energy Labrador mix puppy “Ali” and decided to venture north to the wine country to celebrate their wedding day. I made the journey from my newfound Graceland of Bozeman, Montana to my old stomping grounds of Sacramento, California and drove over to Sonoma to find friends and family of Michelle and Brian getting things ready for their afternoon wedding ceremony. The Cornerstone Gardens was really fun place to photograph. It was pure, visual eye candy for this photographer. Everywhere you looked, there were colorful artistic installations, sculptures and decorative gardens created by the world’s leading landscape architects surrounded by the famous grapevines of Sonoma County. The place was quite impressive and I had a blast exploring and photographing in it. I loved the energy this couple and their friends and family brought to the wedding day. Their enthusiasm and high spirits created a fun atmosphere to document in photos. Like all successful wedding days, Michelle and Brian had the help of many fine wedding vendors that helped make their union a seamless, gorgeous wedding event. My job was made all the easier with the help of wedding planner Kelly Cloney, of Kelly & Company Events who worked as the conductor/coordinator of the day making sure that everything ran smoothly. Michelle and her bridesmaids looked fantastic throughout the day. They had their hair done by hair stylist Justina Downs and their make up by Julianne Chai, of Pretty by Julianne. During the reception, the wedding party and guests dined on the delicious food from their caterer Amy Meadows, of Alex’s Catering and nibbled the delicious cupcakes made by Stephanie Scheff, of Kara’s Cupcakes. I’d like to thank my photo assistant Kris Holland for all of his help throughout the day. All the hard work and talent given by these vendors helped make Michelle and Brian’s wedding a memorable, fun day. It was the perfect way to start out the 2012 wedding season for Greener Visuals Wedding Photography. Here are some of my favorite photos from my time there. I wish Michelle and Brian all the best! -M

To see all of their wedding images, you can find them in my photo archive here

Well, this is always a fun email to wake up to. I found out the other day that a photo I made at Christina and Ryan’s wedding last summer placed in the the most recent Wedding Photojournalism Association quarterly photo contest. It’s a shot I made of Christina’s grandmother giving her toast. What a sweetheart. There is an incredible amount of talented wedding photojournalists in the organization and I’m thrilled that my work was able to stand out  amongst them. My first wedding of 2012 is one week from today! I’m getting excited. Sonoma, California here I come!

The first weekend in May I had the pleasure of photographing Gillian and Jeff’s wedding day at the beautiful Firehouse Restaurant in Old Town Sacramento. You could not have asked for a nicer day. The comfortable mid day California sunshine warmed down on their outdoor wedding where big oak trees gave a lovely cool shade over the festivities. I met Gillian and Jeff back in February through a wonderful wedding planner I’ve been working with named Catrina Arcularius of Catrina Maria Designs. Right from the get go of our first meeting in Sacramento, we hit it off. We talked for a solid hour and I learned all about their story. Gillian through the encouragement of her good friend Bianca (who would eventually be her maid of honor) and Jeff upon the suggestion of some friends met through the online dating site called JDate, a jewish community online for dating jewish singles. Neither of them had ever used the online dating service before yet on their first date back on July 9th, 2009, they found an instant attraction to each other and have been dating ever since. The two have made a life together in the San Francisco Bay Area Gillian as a lawyer and Jeff as an entrepreneur while sharing a love for each other and dogs. They were quick to tell me all about the antics of their two border collie/chow mix dogs Lila and Maggie. The way these two talked, joked and looked at one another during our meet up it was apparent that they are just crazy for each other. I had no doubts that they would be a great fun couple to photograph on their wedding day.

And they did not disappoint. It was the first time I had ever photographed a Jewish wedding ceremony. It was great to see how other faiths celebrate the union of two individuals. The wedding was beautiful. Between my assistant Brad Zweerink and I we ended up talking over 6300 photographs from the wedding. With so many smiling faces, great finger foods, friendly guests and plenty of dancing that kept everyone entertained throughout the afternoon, it was hard to stop photographing all the great moments in front of me. Catrina along with Shannon and The Firehouse Restaurant staff created a beautiful outdoor atmosphere and layout across the brick patio while flower arrangements from florist Cheryl Sage of Accents by Sage added just the right amount of spring colors to the mix. Subtle yet elegant. To see more photos from their Sacramento wedding you can seeing their wedding story here and their entire photo take here.

Yet another fun day celebrating with and photographing some new friends. I wish Gillian and Jeff all the best. -M

The California wedding season has begun! A couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of seeing two of my oldest friends tie the knot at a small vineyard-surrounded property outside of Hopland, California. I met Ashley and Trevor back back in 1994 when I was in sixth grader at North Junior High School in my hometown of Crystal Lake, Illinois. It was a big time of transition at that point in my young life. Junior High meant attending a new bigger school with new kids and multiple teachers, all of a sudden girls started being topics of interests for me and the other boys, we no longer had recess at school (a huge disappointment) and instead, we got our daily fun through games in gym class. It was gym class where I first met Ashley. She was this pretty, firecracker red head who had grown up playing softball and now was a lethal force against anyone playing gym class dodge ball. For all the other pubescent boys and myself it was an immediate infatuation. This girl could throw a ball better than most of us. I’ve been luckily to call her a friend ever since that day.

Now all grown up, I have long since left my Illinois roots and I’ve found that there are not many people from my hometown that have ventured out west of the Mississippi. Ashley and Trevor were some of the few who did. It’s funny to me how as you grow older in your life you never really know what friends will continue to be apart of your journey. Thankfully somehow, some way Ashley and I have remained in contact and have stayed friends throughout. I have had numerous opportunities to meet up her and Trevor (once they started dating) over the years. Their wedding day was a long time coming. These two are perfect for each other and I’ve always been impressed with their shared passion for the flavor of life both in cuisine and culture. Fast forward 16 years since the 6th grade, the two have made a life together working in the fine dining industry of San Francisco and many times they have offered up their apartment couch to me during weekend visits to the city by the bay. Trevor has quickly turned into one of the top up and coming chefs in the San Francisco bay area. I had the opportunity to photograph (and sample) some of his first restaurant dishes as he was starting out. I still dream about them. He graduated from California Culinary Academy in 2005 and quickly became the executive sous chef at Umami Restaurant and has since moved on to become the executive chef at Mission Beach Cafe over the last year. Trevor’s big news is that he just recently signed on to this new project, which will be called Chambers located in the Phoenix Hotel, a notorious destination for famous “rock n’ roll” musicians staying in the city. The restaurant is slated to open the first week of May and the food will be California cuisine with a focus on locally sourced ingredients. If it’s anything like his previous restaurants gigs that I have dined in, I have no doubts it will be a huge success. Ashley is balancing her time between being a head server and wine guru at the Betelnut Restaurant in Marina District of San Francisco while finishing up a major in Business Management with a minor in Economics at the San Francisco City College. I would not be surprised at all if these two opened their own fancy restaurant down the road. I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed.

When I got their wedding invitation in the mail, I knew it would be a mini Crystal Lake reunion. They had their intimately small wedding outside of Hopland, California at the Mendocino Hill Event Center. It was really a beautiful ceremony filled with great friends and warm familiar faces. I attended this wedding as a guest but I decided to bring along my camera for fun. It provided a good opportunity for me to experiment and try out different approaches to shooting. Between catching up with old friends, laughing and telling stories over local wine and eating an assortment of fine cheeses and roasted duck, I managed to snap a couple pictures. Here are some of my favorite images I made of their wedding day. You can find more photos from Ashley and Trevor’s wedding here. It was so great to be apart of their special day. I wish them all the best. -M

Yay for weddings! Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to travel back to sweet home Chicago for an old friend’s wedding. Adam and his new bride April called me a couple months ago and asked if I would help document their wedding day. I always feel very lucky to be apart of the wedding day of old friends. This one was no exception. From the moment I arrived, it was literally a blast from the past and quickly turned into a high school reunion. After so many years away, living out in Montana and now California, I don’t get as many chances to make it back to home to visit. Adam and I played football together at Prairie Ridge High School and April attended school with my younger brother Eric. Despite a threatening Midwest thunderstorm, the wedding went off without a hitch. It was so great to see so many familiar faces all grown up. I had an absolute great time documenting these guys. Crazy, summer humidity and all.

Here are some of my favorite images from the day. I’m anxious to hear what you all think. This is a mere small sampling of the 4000 images I made that day. I suppose that is to be expected when you have so many old friends around dancing the night away. There are too many good people to take photos of. To see all of the photos from their wedding day go here. I wish these guys all the best. -M