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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

A few weeks back I had the pleasure of photographing the destination wedding of Zachary and Elizabeth in Yellowstone National Park. These two lovebirds traveled to Montana from Kansas City with their relatives in tow to celebrate their wedding day celebration in America’s largest national park. It was a classic DIY wedding complete with 1,000 paper cranes, paper flower bouquets and a small festive reception at their parent’s place in West Yellowstone. Their small collection of family and friends came together to make their wedding day special. After driving around YNP, we arrived at Artist Point to have their wedding ceremony overlooking the Yellowstone Lower Falls in Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone National Park. What a special day it turned out to be. It’s always so inspiring to be around a couple so completely in love with each other. I was so glad I could be apart of it. Here are some of my favorite photographs from the day. Wishing the newlyweds all the best. -M

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

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

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

 

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

A few weeks back 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. Their destination wedding brought 150 of their close family and friends to the historical hot spring wedding venue in Paradise Valley. It was a fantastic day-long celebration with warm weather mixed with the occasional feisty wind gusts. Just the right amount to kick up a wedding dress in dramatic fashion. Soon into the reception, the wedding guests took to the dance floor in droves and celebrated with the newlyweds late into the evening. Good times with great people. I had a fun time meeting everyone, hearing the stories and photographing the festivities. Congrats again to the newlyweds! Wish you guys a lifetime of happiness. -M

To view all of the photos from Elizabeth and Ryan’s wedding day, click here.

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

I had the pleasure of documenting the wedding day of Julia & Peter out at Chico Hot Springs outside of Pray, Montana a few weeks back. These two were so much fun. The historic venue is located in the heart of Paradise Valley in a beautiful setting backed up towards Emigrant Peak. It’s a perfect place to tie-the-knot in Montana. These two lovebirds along with their friends and family took over the historic venue for a night of celebration, laughter and get down dancing. It was a wedding of mixed cultures and influences. I like how the bride and groom melded her family’s Jewish traditions together with their own style to make a wedding celebration all their own. After the walk down the aisle and the family toasts to the newlyweds, the whole wedding party took to the dance floor in force. Such great energy from the lot. I had a great time documenting their special day. My congrats to the newlyweds! -M

To see more photos and purchase prints from their wedding day, click here.

Last week had the opportunity to venture out into the surprisingly mild Montana winter weather with my wedding clients Julia and Peter for a fun afternoon engagement photo session around Bozeman. These two have had this great park near their home in Bozeman where they often walk their dogs and we started our photo outing there. I loved the winter color palette of blues, greys and oranges standing out from the white snow blanketing the ground. I was really pleased with the results. These two are great. A fun day outside in the Big Sky. Looking forward to photographing their 2015 wedding day at Chico Hot Springs in June. Stay tuned. -M

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

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.

I returned yesterday from Idaho after photographing the country garden wedding of Hope and Jeffery this past weekend. I had such a great time hanging out and photographing these two awesome families. There many more photos to show you all! These are a mere glimpse of a few photos from their wedding day. I have my editing work cut out for me. Just wanted to say “Congrats again!” to these two newlyweds. Stay tuned for more awesome. -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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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

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

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

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.

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

After a relaxing evening photographing Ali and Drausin rehearsal dinner at the base of the Vail ski mountain at the Manor Vail Lodge Friday night, I turned my attention to documenting their big wedding day. The two Yale alumni chose to have their wedding day at this cute ranch called 4 Eagle Ranch outside of Vail, Colorado. For many of my clients, choosing the venue is a big decision. The venue is the keystone in which all other vendors and wedding task fall in line behind. Once you have it, everything else tends to fall into place a lot easier. For them Ali and Drausin, who were simultaneously planning/executing a long distance destination wedding, moving from Philadelphia to New York City all the while figuring out their honeymoon plans to China, picking their venue was as easy as seeing the background landscape in a photograph on the website and asking where to sign the dotted line. Go figure. I appreciate working with a couple that knows what they want. Getting hitched surrounded by their loved ones while engulfed in the beautiful surrounding Colorado rocky mountains scenery was a recipe for a great time. You could not have asked for a prettier day. With the help of my assistant Josh Couper, we were able to document the fun well into the night including a surprise flashmob dance party coordinated by Ali’s sister. I am so excited for these two. I wish them all the very best and many years of laughter and happiness. -M

To view Ali and Drausin’s entire wedding, you can view them here.