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About a month ago, this Montana destination wedding photographer ventured out to Murrieta, California to photograph the wedding day of two artistic friends Rex and Tandy.

There are few things in life that bring me more joy than being able to photograph the wedding celebrations of dear friends. This wedding was particularly special for me to document.

Rex and I have been close childhood friends since elementary school. What started as a shared love of artistic endeavors, would go on to foster countless visual creative collaborations in our formal years growing up.

It was with Rex at my side where I first discovered the possibilities of what could be created with a camera. Together we explored our surroundings and even going as far to build a darkroom in my mom’s spare closet. Soon we were off to the races chasing this new creative rabbit hole. Little did I know then that those times with him would be the beginning of my life-long pursuit of exploring the photographic medium. I wouldn’t be the same person without knowing him in my life.

Rex also followed his creative muses through life. He went on to graduate from art school and now makes his living in the Vancouver, Washington area working as a video game designer. A few years back when I heard he had found himself an equally talented creative partner in Tandy, a successful illustrator, I knew he had found his person.

I could not have been more honored when they asked me to photograph their wedding celebration on Tandy’s family property in Murrieta, California a few weeks back.

Their California wedding day was a lovely, intimate DIY wedding staged at Tandy’s mother’s home where friends and family worked together to transform the newly renovated yard into a special and memorable wedding atmosphere. Cute, homemade gray and yellow decorations added a lovely pop of color the green surrounding landscape.

As the sun set over the valley, they said their vows witnessed by their close loved ones and their cheers as they kissed to seal the deal. The rest of the night we laughed, told stories, ate homemade pies and danced the night away.

Here is a selection of favorite photographs I made throughout their day.

To view all of their wedding photos, you can view them here.

I could not be more excited for these two. I wish them a lifetime of happiness! -M

I’m still buzzing with excitement after photographing the Springhill Pavilion Wedding Day of Allison and Matt outside Bozeman, Montana a few weeks back. I’ve gotten to know these two Montana transplants over the past year and have been looking forward to documenting their wedding day for some time now.

And it’s all because they happened to meet by chance.

At the time, both were getting their Ecology graduate degrees from UC Davis in Davis, California but didn’t know each other.

One night after class, Allison was planning to catch up with a friend, but there was a location mix up and she ended up in the wrong bar. As fate would have it, it was in that wrong bar where she met Matt and they instantly hit it off.

Davis, California was a place where I used to live back when I was a newspaper photojournalist and a place that is close to my heart. Having them into my studio to learn more about their wedding day plans, we bonded immediately over Davis stories and the realization that we knew many of the same people.

Sometimes you encounter certain people in your life that you know will instantly become friends. These two are wonderful, hilarious goofballs.

Their Montana wedding day was everything you would hope one could be – lovely Spring-like weather, the perfect setting, and a gathering of friends and family that were ready to get down on the dance floor. Their wedding day was an absolute blast to photograph. Here are some of my favorite photographs I made throughout their wedding day. Congrats to the newlyweds! -Mike

To see all of their wedding photos, click here.

I’m still buzzing with excitement after photographing the Springhill Pavilion Wedding Day of Allison and Matt this past weekend. I’ve gotten to know these two Montana transplants over the past year and have been looking forward to documenting their wedding day for some time now. Both got their Ecology graduate degrees from UC Davis, a place where I used to live and a place that is close to heart. We bonded immediately over Davis stories and the realization that we knew many of the same people. Sometimes you encounter certain people in your life that you know will instantly become friends. These two are wonderful, hilarious goofballs. Their Montana wedding day was everything you would hope one could be – lovely Spring-like weather, the perfect setting, and a gathering of friends and family that were ready to get down on the dance floor. Their wedding day was an absolute blast to photograph. As I begin editing through all of the photographs, I wanted to share a preview of them. Many more to come! Stay tuned… -Mike

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

I’m excited to post these wedding photos. About a month ago, I traveled to Chico, California from Bozeman, Montana to photograph the destination wedding day of Sara and Jason. These two lovebirds booked me well over a year out after her work friend found me and showed my photography to Sara during a internet search for Northern California wedding photographers during a long overnight emergency work shift (Sara is a veterinarian). Talking with with Jason and Sara on the phone we quickly bonded over discovering a mutual love of the outdoors, fly fishing and the occasional craft beer. These were my kind of people. I had been looking forward to their wedding day for a while. Our first time meeting was in the morning of their wedding day but it was like being reacquainted with old friends. I met up with them as they were getting ready at the Hotel Diamond in downtown Chico and photographed them as the day unfolded.

Their wedding was a fantastic DIY (Do it yourself!) event hosted at his mother’s farm property outside of town called the Double R RanchIt was put together with the help of friends and family who were successful in creating a charming garden farm themed wedding celebration. Dinner was served in the garden amongst the sunflowers and squash on wood tables made by the groomsmen. The barn itself had been just finished by the wedding party in time for the event. Everywhere you looked there was a personal touch. It was a beautiful day filled with warm weather and smiles. A fun weekend with great people! I am just thrilled for these two! Congrats to Sara and Jason and many years of continued happiness! -Mike Greener

To see all of their wedding celebration photos, click here.

 

Just got back to Bozeman, Montana after spending the last four days traveling to Chico, California to photograph the destination wedding day of Sara and Jason on their family farm. Such a fun weekend with great people! This was a fantastic DIY (Do it yourself!) wedding. I’m excited to show you more of the fun. Here is a quick preview of their wedding celebration photographs. Many more to come! Congrats to Sara and Jason! -Mike Greener

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.

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

 

To see all of the photos from the weekend and for print inquiries follow the link here.

 

Reviews of the Day

Greener_Mike_042614_EmilyMattZeffermanWedding_2193-2-950x635“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

Greener_Mike_042614_EmilyMattZefferman_WeddingPhotobooth_SisterReview“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

 

 

 

Just got back from a trip to Davis, California where I photographed the wedding weekend of Emily and Matt on the beautiful UC Davis Arboretum. So many photos to show. I’m hard at work editing through them. This is a mere taste. I can’t wait to show you all. Stay tuned…-M

One of the surprising twists and wonderful honors I’ve been fortunate enough to experience as I grow my wedding photography business is returning clients. In the wedding industry, that rarely happens. Much like age has brought some wisdom my way over the years, outcomes of how I once thought my path would play out, rarely in fact, did so. I’m so grateful. I have been fortunate in ways I never thought I would have had a chance to be. I photographed Gillian and Jeff’s wedding day years ago in Sacramento, California and ever since they have continued to bring me back into their lives to document their special events over the years. For those of you who may not know, weddings are just one of many facets to my creative photographic outlets. Years ago, Gillian expressed to me just how much I made her feel comfortable in front of a camera. I feel privileged that I can continue come back into their lives to document their celebrations. Without even realizing it, I find myself in the role of a documentary family photographer. These two have been huge supporters of my photography from early on in my career.

A month ago, I left Bozeman, Montana and hopped a plane to San Francisco to spend a Sunday afternoon with my old friends/clients to document the new addition of their daughter Miriam. I spent the day documenting a traditional Jewish naming ceremony at their home and the celebration afterwards complete with the portraits of numerous family and friends. Gillian was very clear in what she wanted – as many photos of her little girl as possible. I was happy to oblige. What a cutie. It was a wonderful time. I recognized many familiar smiles from the wedding years ago and realized I had seen many of Gillian and Jeff’s coupled friends back then early on in their relationships. Fast-forward five years and now I had this new window back into their worlds seeing them with kids in tow. Add some good caterer BBQ with sunny weather to boot and you’ve got all the ingredients for a beautiful San Francisco Bay Area fall day. It was fun for me to spend time with these good folks again. My, how time flies. So glad I could be a part of it. -M

To see all of the party photos and portraits 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

God I love photobooths! In addition to documenting the fun throughout the day at Jenn and Chris’ Wedding, they wanted a fun way to entertain their guests at the reception. The Greener Visuals Photobooth was the perfect answer. They provided the fun costumes and toys while I set up my remote photobooth so that their guests could take the picture themselves throughout the evening. It’s always a riot editing through them because you never really know what you are going to get. I could only hold out for so long before I hopped in the booth myself. Here are some of my favorites from the reception. Cheers and congrats to the bride and groom!

To see photos from Jenn and Chris’ Wedding Day you can view them here.

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.

I came to know Molly and Brian through a referral from my friend and wedding planner extraordinaire Fearon, of Fearon May Events. The two were looking for a destination wedding photographer who specialized in a candid documentary photographic approach for their wedding photography and Fearon put us in touch. From our very first conversations about their wedding day back in November of 2011, we hit it off right from the get go. I love Midwesterners. Both of them are living in the Chicagoland of my youth working as financial advisory consultants, a job that allows them to travel all over the country. All the traveling has helped to develop their love of fine dining and good wines which they where sure to incorporate into their wedding celebration. Coincidentally, they met at a work happy hour and after dating for the past two years when the time came for them to choose a place to get married, these two foodies had their hearts set on a Sonoma wine country wedding. They could not have picked a prettier spot. So about a month ago, I traveled out from my new home in Bozeman, Montana back to lush, green vineyards of Sonoma, California for a weekend documenting their wedding festivities at the BR Cohn Winery.

Other Vendors:

DJ, Lighting, Officiant: Extreme Productions

Catering: Grapevine Catering

Florist: Sonoma Flowers

Dessert: Sift Cupcake

Rentals: Wine Country Rentals

Limo: Royal Coach Limo

Here are some of my favorite photos from my time with Molly and Brian. I have had so much fun getting to know these two. I wish them all the best! -M

To see all of their wedding photos and more, you can view them here

I love wine country weddings! I’ve been working hard to finish up Molly and Brian’s wedding day photos taken at BR Cohn Winery in Sonoma California and I wanted to give you all a little sneak peak of the goods. I’ll be posting the wedding photos soon. So many more to come. Stay tuned…

About a week ago, I left the mountains of Montana to head over to Sonoma, California to photograph the long awaited wedding weekend of Molly and Brian. Back in mid May, I made the same journey to photograph their engagement session. Sonoma is a truly beautiful place. This time of year the famous grapevines are starting to bear their fruit and the surrounding valleys are covered in multi-layered shades of green. Molly and Brian live in Chicago, Illinois, not far from my old stomping grounds of my youth. Rather than soak in the midwest humidity, they decided to have their wedding out west and bring out all of their friends and family out to California for their big day. I met up with them Friday evening at the famous El Dorado Kitchen Restaurant in the heart of downtown Sonoma for their rehearsal dinner with close friends and family members. Here are some of my favorites from the evening. I’ve been busy working on all of their wedding day photos and will post them soon. More goodness to come. -M

To view all of the images from Molly and Brian’s Rehearsal Dinner at El Dorado Kitchen Restaurant go here.

I’ve been excited to share these photos for a while now. Three weeks ago, I had the pleasure of hanging out with my engaged clients Molly and Brian during our engagement photo session in Sonoma, California at Jack London State Historic Park. Having recently moved back to Montana, the trip was a fun adventure back to sunny California for my first engagement session of the 2012 wedding season. The spring California weather was predictably gorgeous as we ventured out for an afternoon of exploration and portrait making. Molly and Brian, by way of my sweet home Chicago, were looking to have a California wine country wedding and engagement photo session and found me and Greener Visuals Wedding Photography through a recommendation from a local wedding coordinator friend of mine Fearon, of Fearon May Events and Engaged Now What , (an up and coming wedding resource website) when they were looking for a photojournalistic styled wedding photographer in the Sonoma Wine Country. We got in touch and hit it off from the get go. When we met for the first time, I recommended we check out the ruins of the famed American writer Jack London’s mansion and state park just north of Sonoma. It was a pretty surreal place to photograph and it would make a perfect starting place both to avoid the harsh mid day sun and it presented beautiful shade with interesting directions of light shafts. Back in 1913, a fire destroyed the famous writer’s dream house deemed “Wolf House”. The stone walls still stand with an ancient, architectural beauty surrounded by old growth redwood trees. It’s a truly beautiful place. From there we drove south towards Sonoma and explored the sights and sounds of the wine capital’s downtown streets and photographed the gorgeous afternoon golden sunlight illuminated the buildings. These two lovebirds were just awesome. Together we made some creative images that I think turned out great and I am really looking forward to returning to California in June for their wedding day shoot. Congratulations on your engagement you guys! See you at your wedding in June! -Mike Greener

To see more photos from the engagement shoot go here.

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

The 2012 wedding season is here! This past weekend I returned to California to document the wedding celebration of Michelle and Brian at the beautiful Cornerstone Gardens in Sonoma, California. They were such a fun couple to work with. For the next couple of weeks I’ll be toning up all of the great images I made of their big day but I couldn’t help share a couple on here. So many more photographs to come. Stay tuned….

I’ve been meaning to post these pics for a while now. A couple months ago, some friends of mine, Ben and Charlotte, approached me about making some fun portraits of them that they could send to their families both here and overseas in Germany and Belgium. They had never had professional portraits taken together and wanted photos that would accurately show their relationship. I really enjoy going out and making photos of friends. Having watched their relationship blossom over the past couple of years I was excited to try to capture it in a formal portrait setting. We ended up checking out the trail along side Putah Creek on the outskirts of Davis and as a added bonus, they brought their puppy Timo along for some entertainment. I find having dogs on a shoot can either be hit or miss. At times they can be very distracting to the subjects but more often than not they can be a fun addition to bringing out the best in my subjects by helping to make them laugh. Timo behaved perfectly and I think added a nice touch to their portrait session. Another fun afternoon with friends. -M