I wish all Septembers in Montana could be as nice as this year has been. Over this past weekend, I photographed the wedding of Sara and Cory at the Springhill Pavilion 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. A perfect backdrop to a wonderful wedding day. I’m busy editing through all the awesome. Here is a preview of some photos that have stood out to me so far. Many more wedding photos to come. Stay tuned… -M
Weddings by Greener Visuals Wedding Photography
As a wedding photographer, I love traveling to new places where I get to explore, be creative and make storytelling candid photographs. It is so much fun. A few weeks back I traveled out to the cute little town of Pony, Montana where I spent my day documenting the rustic country wedding day celebration of Samantha and Jonathan at the beautiful (and new) Y Knot Barn in Pony, Montana. Such a cool place for a wedding. It was a gorgeous venue with a great expansive 360 degree Montana view. These two were all smiles. It was a classic DIY cute country wedding. These two newlyweds were also up for a little adventure. With the help of the generous Y-Knot Barn owners, we were able to acquire a couple four wheelers and rode them (wedding dress and all) to an overlook in the valley where we made some pretty epic portraits. We returned to the barn for an evening of BBQ, laughter and country dancing. A fun Montana wedding day. Wish these two all the best! -M
I recently photographed Bobbijean & Chris’ Wedding Day in Yellowstone National Park. What a cool experience! It’s not every day that I get to photograph a wedding in the most famous national park in the country. I’m excited to show the full celebration but for now, I give you a preview of a few favorites so far. I’m hard at work editing the whole lot. Many more great wedding photos to come. Stay tuned… -M
There is something so therapeutic in the aesthetic beauty of the Bridger Mountain Range near Bozeman Montana. At any time of year one can look to the mountains, sometimes capped with snow, and see them showing off their beautiful depth of dimension and color giving the beholder a feeling of resounding peace and calmness. The Bridger Mountains like many other mountain ranges all over Montana balance the juxtaposition of topographical majesty and serenity of nature giving one’s wedding day an inspired rustic charm while bringing out a natural beauty so stunning, it can take your breath away.
Weddings in Montana should never be about competing with the rustic beauty of the landscape, but about harmonizing with its natural inspiration. The very nature of the Montana landscape elicits a beautiful rustic charm and a sense of timelessness. It can also be unpredictable. Often the changing weather patterns in and around the mountains hold no tolerance for the perfectly primped and planned-out outdoor wedding. Sometimes things don’t always stick to the plan.
With that in mind, I encourage my wedding clients to embrace the unexpected on their wedding day.
You never know when a flash rainstorm might occur. It’s not unheard of for a sudden flurry of snow to happen in June. It is the imperfections and those impromptu moments that can create an authentic, untouchable beauty to one’s own wedding day. Those are the moments that could never be planned for or prevented, but only accepted and enjoyed. Such was the case for Courtney and Chris’ wedding at the Springhill Pavillion last summer.
The wedding venue sits at the base of the Bridger Mountains just 20 minutes north of Bozeman. It’s a beautiful place and was a spectacular setting for their Montana wedding. Alas, there was a little precipitation on Courtney and Chris wedding day. Despite the rain, the newlyweds kept a positive attitude throughout the day. No amount of unexpected weather could stop their celebration. Their constant smiles and laughter made the hiccup of rainy weather insignificant and it shows in their wedding photography.
Partnering with a Montana wedding photographer who knows how to utilize the unique mixture of scenes and rustic environment (while juggling the unexpected and unforeseen circumstances) helps to create stand out imagery all the while keeping things refreshingly candid and natural. It is the best way to make the most of your Montana Wedding. As a photographer, it’s what I strive for during every wedding I photograph.
The ability to capture candid photos that tell the story of a couple’s wedding celebration is paramount. It’s the beginning of their adventure through life together surrounded by their friends and loved ones. For those who seek to utilize the rustic charm of the rocky mountain landscape, having your wedding in Montana can provide the most vivid of backgrounds and creates a truly unforgettable wedding experience. Rain and all. -M
Special thanks to my amigos at The Social Den for assisting on this post.
Another year gone by and another chance for reflection on all the blessings and celebrations I was fortunate to experience and photograph in 2014. Time truly flies when you are having fun. My passion for photographing destination weddings brought me all over the country this year including Davis and Chico, California, Idaho and numerous wedding celebrations throughout Montana. All were unique and special. I was thrilled to learn the news that Montana this past year joined the ranks of 35 other states to allow same sex marriages. A long time coming. I believe all should have the opportunity to love and marry who they choose. Progress march on. I am so thankful for all of my wedding couples who trusted me to deliver a fun, photographic experience. It was an honor to be apart of your special day. Here are a few of my favorite wedding images I made from the past year. Looking forward to the new smiles and faces I’ll meet and photograph in 2015. This wedding photographer is open for business! Now booking for the 2015 wedding season. Happy holidays everyone! -Mike Greener
Yesterday the news spread around the State of Montana that a U. S. District Court Judge struck down Montana’s same-sex marriage ban which effectively made the Big Sky country the 34th state to allow gay marriage. I was so happy to hear it. It has been a long time coming. Positive change. So this morning as I was sipping my late morning coffee reading the Bozeman Daily Chronicle newspaper article about the court decision, I got a surprise call from a friend letting me know that my two friends MichaelAnne and Shannon had decided they had waited long enough and we’re going to quickly tie the knot at the Gallatin County Law and Justice Center at 11:30 am. I had about ten minutes to get to the other side of town. I wouldn’t miss such a special occasion. I grabbed my camera gear and rushed out the door.
Sprinting up to the second floor, I arrived to find the Rev. Nina Grey, of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Bozeman performing free wedding ceremonies to LGBT couples in the hallway as they lined up to the County Clerk’s office to get their new marriage certificates. It was a beautiful and emotional scene to witness. There were many tears of joy. Sweet beautiful victory. I photographed a few couples and then waited to see my two friends finally join in union. MichaelAnne and Shannon met in Eugene, Oregon has been together for the past 15 years. It was so special to see them finally tie the knot surrounded by close friends. I’m so excited for them and all the other LGBT couples that finally got their big day. Today love won! Congrats to all! -M
A few weeks back I drove over and up to northwest Montana to photograph Brynne and Dustin’s wedding day near Whitefish, Montana. Fall is by far my favorite season of the year and my excitement grew as I made the drive through the mountains landscape littered with bright reds, oranges, and yellows of the changing leaves throughout the Flathead Valley. You couldn’t ask for a nicer Montana Fall wedding landscape. Brynne and Dustin’s wedding celebration was held at the Abbott Valley Homestead, a gorgeous northwest Montana horse property with the classic cowboy charm. This was the second time I had the pleasure of photographing her family. After meeting the couple last year when I was photographing her sister Cierra’s wedding in Big Fork, Montana, we hit it off and they booked me over a year out for their own wedding day. Needless to say, I had been looking forward to their wedding for a while. And what a wedding it was! These are a fun bunch of folks to celebrate with. I had a blast documenting the day and the happy familiar faces. Here are some of my favorite images from the day. Wish these two all the best! -Mike Greener
To see all of their wedding photos from the day, click here.
A couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of photographing the wedding day of two amazing people here in Bozeman, Montana. Courtney and Chris had their late summer outdoor wedding at the beautiful Springhill Pavilion just outside of town. It’s funny how some people come into your life. I first met Chris during a friendly (but intense) game of garage ping pong with mutual friends at my old place in town. Little did I know that a few months later I would run into his bride-to-be Courtney at the 2014 Bridal Affaire Bozeman Montana last February and we hit it off. From the get-go, I loved the energy these two brought to the table. Such endless positivity and smiles. I love a wedding couple that takes the traditional concepts of a wedding and instead go in their own direction to make it entirely an unique experience. Such was the case with them. Their wedding honored their friends just as much as the day was meant for them. They had all of their friends contribute and participate in some way to make their wedding day special. Some performed songs, others read poetry, spun fire and gave blessings. They even had a friend perform numerous AC/DC songs on a cello. By the time DJ Missy O’Malley cranked up the beats, everyone celebrated into the night dancing their faces off. It was a wonderful celebration and I was so thankful to be there to document the fun. A big thank you to Time Of Your Life Events wedding planner Genevieve Burmeister and crew for making it all flow so smoothly. I wish these two all the best. -Mike Greener
Wow! Is it August already? Time does fly when you are having fun. Looking back on my summer, I’ve been keeping busy photographing weddings and spending the remaining free moments mountain biking around the mountains of Bozeman, Montana. Life is good. I feel lucky to have found such happiness and fulfillment in documenting the love of others with my camera. It’s a continual reaffirmation that fills me with gratitude daily. The only thing better than documenting the big day of my new wedding clients are those times when an opportunity to document a good friend’s wedding comes around. A couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of watching my buddy Levi marry the love of his life Christina in a beautiful and intimate ceremony on a family friend’s property outside of Manhattan, Montana. Levi and his family have been dear friends of mine for many years running. Having grown up in Bozeman, Levi was the guy who introduced me to great people and many places to explore when I first moved to Bozeman and I didn’t know a soul. It was a kindness extended at the time to the new guy in town that I will always be grateful for. I had been looking forward to them tying the knot for some time now. These two love birds met at a kundalini yoga retreat and quickly fostered a strong bond with each other. When it came time to planning their wedding, they decided to have a small ceremony with close friends and relatives contributing food in a potluck fashion. It worked out great. Their wedding day was simple but elegant collaboration. It’s was a great feeling to watch my friend be filled with such joy at having found a wonderful woman and partner in Christina. Here are some favorites from their wedding day. I wish them a lifetime of happiness! -M
To see all of their wedding photos and to buy prints, go here.
To see their Photobooth photos, go here.
A couple weekends ago I traveled down to the small Idaho town of Rigby near Idaho Falls to photograph the country garden wedding of Hope and Jeffery. I met the two last summer when I was photographing her sister Ashley’s wedding day in the Montana Bitterroot Valley. It was so great to celebrate another wedding with their family again. Hope and Jeffery had their wedding at her grandparents country garden home, a beautiful property covered with flowers, produce, horse pastures and cottonwood stands which left all onlookers to admire the artistic touch of two master gardeners. Her grandparents said they collected over 30 gallons of raspberries alone last year. I love seeing wedding couples take the idea of a wedding and make it all their own. These two were no exception. Hope and Jeffery were able to blend a country wedding with Jeffery’s Japanese roots. His relatives folded 1000 paper cranes and then hung them intermixed with lights all in a large cottonwood tree which made for a beautiful ambience. The food had a wonderful homemade touch. They had many mouths to feed since about 360 guests were invited. The riddle was solved by having a caterer make pulled pork BBQ. Rather then create an exorbitant wedding cake, they opted for a smaller wedding cake from a fancy bakery then the family cooks united and made dozens of homemade pies, a delicious personal touch to a wedding day food menu. Once bellies were full the night entertainment began. Drinks were poured and the moment the DJ cued the music, the dance floor got busy. Yard games, a photo booth and an epic candy bar assisted in keeping spirits and sugar levels high into the late evening. Smiles were seen all around. In all, it was a beautiful day and I was thrilled to be apart of it. I wish Hope and Jeffery all the best! -Mike
To see all of their wedding day photos, you can view them here.
The Wedding Team:
Cherz & Co. Salon – Hair and makeup by Kellie & Kristie Stolworthy – Idaho falls, Idaho
North Hi-Way Cafe – BBQ catering – Idaho Falls, Idaho
Master DJ – music man Tony Schmitz – Omaha, Nebraska
A few weeks back I had the honor of photographing the spring wedding weekend of my good buddies Emily and Matt in Davis, California just outside Sacramento. I hopped a flight from Bozeman, Montana and flew back to my former stomping grounds of Northern California. Before moving to the mountain paradise of Bozeman, Montana, I lived in Davis for three and a half years photographing weddings and working at a newspaper in the San Francisco bay area. At the time, Emily and Matt were attending UC Davis as Ecology PhD graduate students. Over the years as our friendship grew, I watched their relationship blossom and flourish. Early on, it was apparent to most onlookers in our friend circle that they were a close match and soon it was not so much a question of if they would ever get married but a matter of when. Surrounded by hundreds of friends and loved ones, these two finally made it official with their beautiful ceremony in the lush green scenery of the UC Davis Arboretum. The following evening their reception kicked off in the heart of downtown Davis at the Odd Fellows Hall. Rather than have the run of the mill wedding, these two tapped into their love of dance, performance and the decor of the Burning Man scene – a place and experience both bride and groom hold in high regard- and shaped their reception into a colorful exotic ball. The end result was a wedding unique and beautiful unto itself. The way all weddings should be, a complete representation of the wedding couple’s own awesome style. As it turns out, these two were able to source many talents from friends and family -from helping to plan out the wedding, to DJ’s to florists to foodies to yours truly behind the camera- everyone came together to help make their colorful California wedding a reality. Even the onset of spring rains that at the last minute forced a wedding ceremony to be held inside couldn’t keep anyone’s spirits down for long. It was a wonderful weekend full of laughter, love, feathers and a copious amount of dancing. Don’t believe me? Check out the photo booth these two had at their reception. Yes, those are custom made bride and groom super hero costumes they are wearing. My friends are awesome. So glad I could be there to photograph their wedding day. I wish them a lifetime of happiness! -Mike Greener
Reviews of the Day
“My husband and I met Mike in Davis, CA, where we had the privilege of getting to know Mike as both a friend and a talented photojournalist and burgeoning wedding photographer. When it came time for our wedding, there was no question that we wanted Mike to be our photographer, despite having to fly him out to CA from Montana.
We have zero regrets. I appreciated that Mike talked with me before the wedding to get a sense of our vision, and share some of his own ideas. When our plans for a fun photo shoot didn’t work out the day of our wedding, Mike just rolled with it and rescheduled it for later that weekend. He made a point of making sure that he wouldn’t add any extra stress to the event. Far from adding stress, Mike’s positive energy and supportive attitude made him a blast to work with, for my husband and I as well as our guests. At the end of the weekend, I kept hearing the same words from my friends and family, almost as though someone passed them a political talking point: “Best wedding photographer EVER!” And that was before we saw the photos…
Mike’s photojournalism background is evident in his approach to wedding photography: rather than doing round after round of boring posed portraits, Mike keeps the focus on candid shots, making people look their best while also looking REAL (though he snaps a nice portrait as well!) While looking through our wedding photos, I feel like I’m reliving the events, seeing genuine happiness and love in the faces of our friends and family. We now have the story of our wedding captured in beautiful photographs, and we will treasure them for a lifetime.
It’s hard to say what I appreciate more about Mike as a photographer- his positive energy and downright charming manner, or his fabulous photographs. It’s rare to find a person who is both easy-going and fun, AND extremely professional. Mike is both of these, and I highly recommend him to anyone who needs a wedding photographer!” – Emily & Matt, married 2014
“May I just say how thrilled I am that my sister hired Mike Greener as her wedding photographer? His warmth, energy, and enthusiasm made the day all the more wonderful for all of us. Mike was able to capture so many details, expressions, and special moments without ever getting in the way. My sister, friends, family and I couldn’t have been happier to have him with us to document the weekend-long occasion. When the bride endured some wedding stress, Mike helped her re-focus on the positives of the day, keeping her laughing and making her feel beautiful. His pictures were a reflection of that positivity. No matter how rushed or stressful things got (which, you know, often happens at weddings!), Mike kept his focus, rolled with the punches, and extracted joy from every subject. The vibrant, creative, beautiful photos he captured that weekend will be a permanent reminder that my sister chose the right photographer. We can’t recommend Mike Greener highly enough!” -Laura, sister of the bride
Happy 2014 everybody! What a year! I feel very fortunate. Rounding off my second year being based back in Bozeman, Montana, I feel like I have really come into my own on many fronts – creatively, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Most importantly it was a year for me to realize just how much I love doing what I do. I had the great fortune to photograph weddings in Charleston, South Carolina, Vail, Colorado, and through out Montana. A big thank you to all of my wedding clients from this past 2013 wedding season. Wish you guys all the best and thank you for letting Greener Visuals Wedding Photography be apart of your wedding day celebration. Here are a few of my favorite wedding images from the past year. Looking forward to the new smiles and faces I’ll meet and photograph this year. Stay tuned! -Mike Greener
Hot off the presses, I just got some copies of the brand new 2013/14 A Montana Wedding Magazine wedding planner. I’m pretty excited about it because it is just littered with my wedding photography. If you are looking for some Montana inspiration for your wedding day, this wedding planner guide will be a great resource for ideas, tips and info to find top notch Montana wedding vendors. I’d be happy to send any of you a copy. Shoot me an email if you are interested. I have extras. I was really pleased that the editors of the magazine just ran wild (and BIG) with my storytelling wedding images. It’s the quickest way to bring a smile to this photographer’s face. As you can see they made full use of photographs. I highlighted a couple above but there are so many more to see. I went big myself and invested in a three-page advertisement for my wedding photography business. I think it will be a great boost to get the word out around Montana and beyond that Greener Visuals Wedding Photography is open for business and accepting bookings for the 2014 wedding season. Psyched. If you or a friend you know is in need of some kick ass wedding photography, I know this great guy they should talk to. I look forward to hearing from you. -M
I’ve been excited to post these photos for a while now. A couple of weekends ago, I drove over to western Montana to photograph the wedding day of Ashley and David at the fantastic Teller Wildlife Refuge Slack House and Barn in Corvallis, Montana. Ashley has been a longtime friend of mine since our time together attending The University of Montana and the two are making a living in Butte, Montana as social workers. You would be hard pressed to find a cuter couple. I had an awesome time photographing the fun throughout their wedding day. Thinking back on it makes me smile. The entire time I was hanging out with them, you could tell their excitement by the big grins they had on their faces all day. It’s such a fun thing to witness two people completely head over heels for one another. I think that emotion really shines through in their wedding photos. Having photographed at the refuge years ago, I had a pretty good idea of where my best images would come from. This place was a Montana wedding photographers dream. I used the rustic Montana farm backdrop to it’s fullest by exploring the variations of color schemes and trying to capture the feeling of their wedding day. It is such a joy for me to document the union of friends. I’m thrilled for these two and wish them all the best! -M
A couple weeks ago, I saddled up from my home here in Bozeman, Montana and hopped a flight bound for Charleston, South Carolina to photograph Josh and Elizabeth’s beautiful wedding day festivities. I love traveling for weddings! Photographing in new places all over the country is like an artist working with a brand new canvas and I couldn’t wait to start. It was my first time exploring the charming city and my first time being completely submerged in the throws of southern charm, cuisine and lifestyle that the folks in the deep south continue to proudly cultivate. It was pretty surreal walking along the historic streets and adorable old buildings that date back to the Civil War. For Josh and Liz, who hail from the suburbs of Chicago, it was that southern soul that they wanted to incorporate into their wedding celebration. The couple decided to have their wedding at the Creek Club at I’On in the small town of Mt. Pleasant just outside of Charleston, South Carolina. The place offered a perfect setting along the banks of picturesque Hobcaw Creek for both the couple’s wedding ceremony and reception. A huge convenience not to be under estimated if you are ever planning your own wedding day. Despite ninety degree temperatures and full-on humidity, the day was packed with all the right ingredients of a gorgeous southern wedding day and the couple’s small gathering of friends and family celebrated their union well into the night hours. It was an incredible weekend with these two and I wish them all the very best! -M
To see Josh and Elizabeth entire wedding day photographs click here.
Happy New Year everyone! Well, I finally got around to editing down my favorite wedding images from 2012. It’s great to look back and relive all the fun memories of my wedding clients celebrations. I feel privileged and proud that I got to be apart of them all for that, I raise my glass to all of my brides and groom’s continued happiness. 2013 is already shaping up to be my best wedding year yet and the bookings are pouring in. If you know of any friends or family members that are looking for a unique way to have their wedding day documented, I hope you send them my way. Hope everyone had a great holiday and that you’ll continue to support my storytelling wedding photography in the new year. I feel very blessed. Cheers! -M
Whew what a ride! The last month has been busy with weddings and traveling back and forth to California. It’s great to have a little destination wedding photographer adventure on my weekends and it allows me the challenge of photographing in new places. Northern California never ceases to amaze me with all it’s buried treasures. I just finished up my latest photo story of Jenn and Chris’ Wedding Day that took place two weeks ago at the Ralston White Retreat in Mill Valley, California. These guys were a riot and were an absolute blast to photograph. It was also one of the most unique weddings I’ve ever attended. Jenn and Chris found me through the recommendation of some good friends of mine that saw me in action at a wedding a couple years ago. We talked about what they wanted out of their wedding photos and were looking for my documentary approach. These two were a wise couple who booked me early almost a year in advance and it was exciting to finally get to photograph it. As their website boasts, The Ralston White Retreat, “Is an old 1913 wedding venue for group retreats or special events nestled in the slope of Mt. Tamalpais which is located on 43 acres in beautiful Mill Valley, California.” It was a place of so much old fashioned character. I totally geek out to photographing in places like this. It was a very personable wedding to attend. The two had their ceremony outside in the front lawn which was followed by a relaxing cocktail hour that flowed into a lovely dinner inside the large house. Right away the group had great energy and I give personel props to their friends for their creativity as a pirate/ninja attack skit ensued forcing the groom to fight back “nerf style” for his fair maiden. It was totally random and awesome all at the same time. You got to love a group who still use their imagination and can play like kids. As the evening progressed I documented the guests laughing and playing in the Greener Visuals Photo Booth or get heavy into playing late night Garage Band video games. A great time was had by all and it was a pleasure to be apart of their wedding celebration. Wish you guys all the best. -M
To see all of their wedding photos, you can follow this link here.
Just found out my Greener Visuals Wedding Photography photo shoot from last spring’s Lavish and Fabulous Couture Bridal Event was just blogged about from my friends at Real Weddings Magazine. Behold the awesome colors of the Moroccan Lounge. What a fun event. If you are in the Sacramento area next spring be sure to check the event out. You can view their blog post here. Cheers, -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