Man, I love the summer time! I’ve been making tons of family portraits and the wedding season has been in full swing. In addition, I’ve been puppy training and traveling so much that I’m just now finally getting around to posting some recent photography work of mine. Back in late May, I had the pleasure of photographing some friends Lacey and Rory for their maternity portrait session here in Bozeman, Montana. These two were so excited to have their photos created. We will be doing part two later this year when their little one gets a little bigger. For this part, we decided to hike around the “M” Trail at the edge of the Bridger Mountains just outside of town. The evening light made for not only a lovely walk but also prime light for making some cool photographs. We had a great time. Here are some of my favorite images from the day. So excited for your new family you guys! -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.

Over the 4th of July weekend, I was up at the Whitefish Mountain Resort in Whitefish, Montana photographing the summer wedding day of Tim and Jill. These two Bozeman locals wanted a destination feeling for their wedding celebration without leaving the Big Sky state. Northwest Montana was the perfect answer. There are so many more great photos to show you all. For now, here is a preview of a few favorites so far from the wedding day. I’m hard at work editing the rest. My congrats to the newlyweds! Stay tuned for more awesome. -Mike

Happy 2016 everybody! After celebrating the holidays with friends and family here in Montana, I jumped right into my 2016 wedding photography season to photograph and document Kiera and Collin’s Gallatin River Lodge wedding day outside Bozeman, Montana this past weekend. I had a great time getting to know these two lovebirds during their downtown Bozeman engagement photo session back in early December with me. This past Saturday, the wedding day finally arrived. A small gathering of their loved ones braved the chilly 10 degrees Montana winter weather to help them celebrate their union at the comfortable, top-rate fly fishing lodge. Here is a preview of a few favorite photographs I made during their wedding day. I’m hard at work editing through the rest. Congrats on getting married you guys! More awesome is on deck. Stay tuned… -M

 

I’m a big believer in giving back to one’s community and I try to do so as much as I can throughout the year. Yesterday, I headed over to Red Tractor Pizza, a local, organic farm to table, pizza to plate restaurant, in Bozeman, Montana where I photographed the 1st Annual Harvest Hoedown fundraiser for the Gallatin Valley Farm to School program. It’s a pretty cool program here in town that I believe is important for my community to embrace. The local non-for-profit strives to cultivate healthy kids through education in the classroom and in school gardens while supporting vibrant local farms that bring healthy food to the cafeteria. Thinking local. I dig it. The Harvest Hoedown was a community gathering and fundraiser for Gallatin Valley Farm to School, featuring live music, family activities, delicious local food, beverages, generous raffle items donated by local businesses this past Saturday. It was a great time and a great first showing turnout. Here are some photos I made from my time there. To learn more about supporting the Gallatin Valley Farm to School please visit their website here. Glad I could be apart of it. -M

This past Sunday afternoon I had the pleasure of photographing Courtney and Jordi’s wedding day at The Woodlands in Bozeman, Montana. I’m just thrilled for these guys. A beautiful calm early Fall day amongst the pine trees. We had a great time earlier in the year when we made some engagement photos. These two are a lot of fun and I’ve been looking forward to their wedding day celebration. I’m busy editing through all the great moments from their wedding day but for now, you can check out a preview of wedding photo standouts so far. Many more wedding photos to come. Stay tuned… -M

Last weekend 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. I’ve picked out a couple images that caught my eye during my day documenting these two. Good times with great people and a great dance party. So many more great photos to show you all. Congrats to the newlyweds! Stay tuned for more…. -M

Montana! I love it! Especially when it means I get to make a road trip through the state to photograph a wedding up near Glacier National Park. A couple weeks ago, I headed north towards Bigfork, Montana where I photographed Cierra & Brian’s wedding day festivities at the Cougar Trail Ranch. These newlyweds have been making a life together working in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania but decided they wanted to marry closer to home, their friends and their family and opted for a Montana wedding. The place they found, the Cougar Trail Ranch, was in a classic northwest Montana setting complete with dense, surrounding lodge pole pine forests that opened into golden grass pastures bordering the property line. The big fancy house offered tons of space for the wedding party staging and it’s huge big windows offered this photographer great light to work with. Cierra, an old college rugby friend of mine, contacted me about a year in advance to book my wedding photography services and it was great to finally watch her walk down the isle to marry the boy of her dreams. It never gets old photographing the weddings of old buddies. The day went off without a hitch. As the festivities turned to dancing, I struggled to hold in my laughter at the sight of seeing some of the wedding guests cut loose and begin tossing kids into the air as they danced, celebrated and sang the words to every DJ song. It was one big, awesome Montana party! Such wonderful energy throughout. I had a blast documenting these guys. I wish them all the best for many years to come. -M

 

To see Cierra & Brian’s entire wedding click here.

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.