Last Saturday I had the pleasure of attending my third A Montana Wedding Bridal event at the Gran Tree Inn in Bozeman, Montana. The event is hosted by my former coworkers at the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. I really enjoy participating in these events. It’s a fantastic way for brides to connect with vendors and be inspired. In between chatting with lots of wedding couples about their plans, I wandered around the event and made some images from the day. It was fun to see all the excitement in the bride’s faces. I look forward to attending it next year at The Commons. I was proud to be a part of it. -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
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
As a wedding photographer, I love traveling to new places where I get to explore, create 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. I made some fun photos throughout the day and I’m hard at work getting them edited. Here is a couple stand out favorites I’ve liked so far. Stay tuned for more wedding photos from the big day. -M
A few weeks back I had the opportunity to photograph the wedding of Bobbijean and Chris at the Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone National Park. The two met while working at the park a few summers back and decided to tie-the-knot in a place that was so special to their hearts. While Chris has moved on to work in the logging industry, Bobbijean still is a proud park employee and with her position, was able to gain some perks for her special day – like a visit up to the historic Crow’s Nest high up in the historic log and limb lobby for some portraits and having their first look atop the Inn roof overlooking the erupting Old Faithful geyser. It was pretty special and a great view to say the least. After an emotional ceremony filled with tears of joy and laughter, the wedding celebration transitioned outside the park boundaries to the town of West Yellowstone where the reception festivities filled the historic Union Pacific Dining Lodge. A fun day throughout. I was so glad to be a part of it. Congrats again to the newlyweds and I wish them all the best. -M
About a week ago, I had the pleasure of documenting the wedding day of Julia & Peter out at Chico Hot Springs outside of Pray, Montana. Located in the heart of Paradise Valley, these two along with their friends and loved ones, took over the historic venue for a night of celebration, laughter and get down dancing. It was an absolute hoot to be apart of. It was a wonderful day. So many more photos to show you all. Good things come to those who wait. -M
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
Had a great time meeting the brides and other Bozeman wedding vendors at the 2015 A Montana Wedding Magazine The Bridal Event in Bozeman, Montana last Saturday at the Best Western GranTree Inn. Here are some photos I made throughout the day. Great food, beautiful flowers and inspiration abound for the local brides-to-be. Well done to the advertising staff of the Bozeman Daily Chronicle for hosting such a great event. And congrats to Kerry for winning my free photo engagement session in the grand prize drawing. All the best to all the recently engaged! Looking forward to next year’s event. -M
For more photos of the event click here.
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.
Whew! What a week! Got back from a wonderful wedding of Brynne and Dustin near Whitefish, Montana last weekend. The venue was the Abbott Valley Homestead, a gorgeous northwest Montana horse property with the classic cowboy charm. You couldn’t ask for a nicer Fall wedding landscape. Here is a quick preview of all the awesome to come. Many more photos to post. I have my work cut out for me. Stay tuned… -Mike Greener
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
Whew! What a weekend! I’m going through all of the fun captured from Courtney and Chris’ wedding day at the Springhill Pavilion last Friday. These two were an absolute blast. Here’s a couple sneak peeks at their wedding photos. I’ve so many more photos to show. Check back soon. Congrats again to such a fantastic couple! Stay tuned. -M
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.
Just got word that Greener Visuals Wedding Photography was awarded 8th Place in the Getting Ready category of the Wedding Photojournalism Association 2013 National Q4 Photo Contest. The photo, above, was from Josh and Elizabeth’s Wedding Day at the Creek Club at I’On in Charleston, South Carolina last summer. It is an honor to be recognized in the ranks of so many incredible wedding photographers throughout the world. The judges give their comments under the top ten winning images. I love good feedback. Check out all of the other winning images on their website. -M
Last weekend I had the pleasure of hanging out with Rachel & James and their excited young labrador puppy Deacon to make some fun engagement photos for them. These two lovebirds got engaged this past December and were planning their California Wine Country wedding later this summer from their home in Bozeman, Montana. While their wedding photos would be in the California sunshine, the two wanted to contrast their engagement photos with the beautiful snowy backdrop of Southwest Montana and hired me to help. Montana is no stranger to the cold. This winter has been an exceptionally chilly one here around Bozeman often times dropping into the negative double digits. A good thing if you are a skier, (I am) but it can be a difficult task when you are trying to make pictures of people out in the elements and not have them look like they are freezing. Our photo shoot was scheduled a couple weeks ahead of time and I found myself the day before the shoot looking at a thermometer hover around -10 F and thinking my clients will turn into popsicles. Alas, the weather gods were on our side and as we drove out to the Gallatin River Sunday morning, the sun popped out from behind the clouds to give us a balmy 20 F degrees. Rachel and James, unphased and all smiles, bundled up and were ready to go. I love it when couples embrace the unexpected. I think their enthusiasm shined through in their images. We had a great morning adventure exploring the snow covered landscape and making photos. Such a fun day. Wish these guys all the best! -M
I‘ve been photographing weddings for the past nine years all over the country. Being a destination wedding photographer (now based in Bozeman, Montana) has been the perfect blend of my love for telling stories with pictures and love for adventure and exploring new places. Last year my wedding photography took me from the southern charms of Charleston, South Carolina to the mountains of Vail, Colorado onto San Francisco, California and to the rustic Bitterroot Valley in Western Montana. So much fun. I’ve been blessed to photograph some really wonderful wedding couples. What started out as a fun gigs for friends at weddings, has cultivated into a wonderful creative outlet I want in my future. Over the past decade, my wedding photography business has been running solely on word of mouth and organic searches on the interwebs. In all that time, I’ve never had an opportunity for a physical public display to showcase my wedding photography business. Last weekend given my first chance. I was honored to be apart of the Bozeman Bridal Affaire 2014 held at the Strand Union Ballroom on the Montana State University campus in Bozeman, Montana. It was the first bridal fair that my Greener Visuals Wedding Photography has participated in. It was important to me that it made a good first impression.
Working with a 10 x 10 ft space, we would need to get creative both in design and in how we would transport my photography display booth. Sometimes I can be stubborn. I was not willing to sacrifice visual impact for ease of transportation especially if my booth was to make a big splash with those in attendance. I’m a strong guy. But after a car accident years ago that left me with constant back aches, I needed to consider the weight of it all. My booth would represent my formal “Howdy!” as the new photographer in town to the brides of southwest Montana in attendance but also to all of the other wedding vendors in the area. Which made me ponder some concepts like what should my brand look like? What kind of feeling should my booth convey to wedding couples moving through wedding maze within the MSU campus ballroom? Being able to show fun, wedding photos is one thing, packaging it with the feel of my overall brand was another. I had never done anything like it before.
What a cool opportunity. I discovered it to be a wonderful exercise to get me to think differently. With my logo as the starting point of inspiration, I began piecing together the branding puzzle. I’ve always loved the old rustic feel of Montana that I experienced visiting family as a kid here every summer growing up. The color schemes of Montana are like no other place on earth. Besides the gorgeous mountain streams filled with trout and jagged rocky peaks, what stood out to me was always seeing the old abandoned barns or homesteads worn down by the environmental elements to the point that they grey out and become part of the Montana scenery. Rough around the edges. Beautifully imperfect.
I wanted to replicate that feeling so dear to me onto my future wedding clients. So, I sketched out some concepts and drove over to my parents house in Missoula to seek the assistance of my woodworking savy dad. Bonus that it was a fun father and son woodworking project. Together, we set out to build a display that would catch the eye of engaged couples and give a powerful, first impression showcasing my style and brand of Greener Visuals Wedding Photography. It was a great challenge. The display needed to have a big visual impact in size, great lighting and many large photos. We were still brewing up a concrete design, when we drove down into the valley and checked out Home Resource, an incredible nonprofit building materials reuse center in Missoula, Montana. Having “green” in my name, I decided “being green” would be a cool concept to incorporate into my new brand building project. We ended up finding a bunch of beautiful, old reclaimed barn wood planks, insulated sheet metal heating ducts and some really nice track lighting. Now that we had raw materials, so began our visualization of how it would all come together.
Many questions needed to be answered. How to showcase my wedding photography with a professional look but also make it stand out by being unique in my approach? How could I convey something personal? What feelings would brides experience from seeing my display? I had to figure out what my goals were. I consider myself a wedding storyteller. To emphasize that point, I knew I wanted to show my potential wedding clients an entire wedding story in pictures. The ultimate way to show them exactly what they would expect to get by hiring me as their wedding photographer. That meant I would need to show quite a few photos for just that purpose. Showcasing to Montana brides, I decided to feature Ashley & David’s Montana wedding story, one of my favorite weddings I photographed from my 2013 wedding season at the Teller Wildlife Refuge in the Bitterroot Valley of western Montana. It was also important to highlight some of my best images to show the range of emotion, moments and range of my photojournalistic photography style. All good thinking but I was limited financially. Print costs can add up quickly. Rather than make the investment of expensive canvas prints (a very popular, beautiful option used by photographers for displaying photos), I decided instead to be more versatile and chose to print out regular photo paper images instead. To me there is still nothing more impactful than seeing a physical photograph in print. After all, every picture tells a story.
Over two weekends, my dad and I created a large four panel, self-standing, framed display where I could use rare earth magnets to hold my wedding photos across the framed metal backdrop. It was different and I was pleased. To add to the visual impact of my images, we fastened the track lighting to a reclaimed long barn wood plank and anchored it across the top to link the two large frames. We rigged the whole lighting system to a dimmer switch which allowed me to dial in the perfect light to accent my photography. Add a screw to hang my business sign and like that, a paper concept comes into fruition. I was very pleased with the ending results. The best part is that it all breaks down in size where it can be easily carried and will fit into the back of my Subaru Outback. Score! A big thank you to my dad, John, for all of his assistance and use of his tools.
Last Friday evening, I hauled it all over to the Bridal Affaire, and got it all set up in anticipation for the all day event on Saturday. My booth was a huge hit. Besides my build display I was able to display wedding albums and more information about my photographic services. I had an awesome time meeting a lot of excited, newly-engaged couples and hearing about their wedding plans. How exciting it must be for them. It was a really good feeling to see folks engage with my photography. I got as many complements on my booth as I did on my wedding photography. In the end, I’ll call it a big win for the day and a great stepping stone in my photographic journey. The best news is that my phone has been ringing. I’m already looking forward to the new wedding stories I will get to tell this year. -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