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Springhill_Pavillion_Bozeman_Wedding_Photography

Spring in Montana is a sight to behold and yesterday could not have been a better setting for my couple Camille and Matt’s wedding day celebration at the Springhill Pavilion just outside Bozeman, Montana.

The warm spring rains promised in the weather reports failed to dampen the day. Not that it would matter. Instead, the wonderful combined family energy of Wisconsinites and Montanans raised the level of a wedding celebration to a new high bar.

This was a group that shrugged off uncertain weather, raised their Coors Light libations with smiles and focused on the task at hand, celebrating two special people through hugs, laughter, songs, and dance.

I met Camille at a fishing friend’s house over ten years ago when I was working weekdays at newspapers in Northern California and spending my weekends chasing steelhead in the multitude of incredible Pacific Coast streams nearby. She was raised splitting time between Montana and Alaska, where she’s spent every summer since she was a little girl at her family’s fishing lodge on the Nushagak River in Bristol Bay. She began guiding at a young age, enveloping herself in fly fishing and the great outdoors. When I met her, Camille was about to graduate high school and buzz in the fishing circles was that she was already quickly becoming one of the most successful women anglers in the United States. Presently, she is dominating the internet dividing her time advocating to protect against the Alaskan Pebble Mine efforts, working as Alaska & Christmas Island Program Director for Yellow Dog Flyfishing and living her dream traveling the world with a fly rod in hand.

It was only natural that she would find a partner with the same passion for the outdoors. Through her I got to know Matt – a kind, caring and incredibly talented hunting and outdoor lifestyle photographer based here in Bozeman. As I’ve gotten to know them both more over this past year, I am convinced. Anyone would be hard-pressed to find a better pair of people so perfectly suited for each other.

Their shared love of the outdoors helped influence their wedding day style. Yellow flowers intermixed with whitetail deer antlers accentuated the venue as their wedding guest dined on wild game appetizers and sipped local Montana wine and microbrew. Their mutual love of fishing was noted by cute artwork details of fly fishing files for the table settings and bridal party flair. The day was a wonderful, complete representation of all that was important to them in their lives.

I could not be more thrilled for these two newlyweds! Congrats Camille and Matt! Thank you so much for letting me and my photo team be apart of your special day! Wish you guys a lifetime of happiness! -M

To view the entire wedding day photos and purchase your own special memories from the day, follow this link to see all of the goodness.

View the entire wedding

 

125th-Lake-Hotel-Round-GreenerVisuals

This past Friday I had the pleasure of photographing the Lake Yellowstone Hotel 125th Anniversary Event in Yellowstone National Park. The event was in conjunction with the 1ooth year anniversary of the National Park Service. To celebrate the National Historic Landmark designation of the “Grand Old Lady” a great party was held Friday evening in the historic building which recently received a two-year, $28 million facelift in which the 153 guest rooms, public spaces, dining room, and much of the interior were renovated. I was hired to document the evening festivities and distinguished guests. It was a lovely time complete with live music, a seven course meal and a celebration amongst good people dressed up in traditional black tie affair. So glad I could be apart of it. -M

To see all the images from the event and order prints click here.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Gallatin County 2015 Holiday Party Photos

As a young business owner, I believe it’s important to give back my time and skill sets to enrich and benefit my community. It was one of the many things I took pride in over the last decade photographing for community newspapers across the company. Telling the stories of others in my community. It is one of my passions. Now as a full-time self-employed wedding, editorial, and commercial photographer, opportunities to interact with the public, like my time working as a journalist, don’t come around as much. Supporting and donating my photography skill set to benefit local non-for-profits is a service I am grateful to provide.

About week before the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Gallatin County‘s 2015 holiday party for the kids, their families and the mentors of the program, I was contacted by Valerie Erwin, Marketing and Outreach Coordinator of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Gallatin County. She was in a bind, short on time and needed a photographer to document the fun in photos at their annual holiday party. I was happy to help. I headed over to the Gallatin County Fairgrounds and set up my portable photo studio, setting the stage for the party attendees to have some fun. This crowd was a hoot. I love documenting humans at play. We all had a great time and I came away with some fun photos from the event. Here are some favorites. Happy to support such a great local organization. Merry Christmas everyone! -M

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

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

Last Tuesday I had the pleasure of photographing the January 2012 Sacramento NACE (National Association of Catering Executives) meeting at the Hyatt Regency at Capitol Park in downtown Sacramento. I’ve been a member of this wonderful organization for the past year now. Like all NACE events, they are held monthly at a different venue throughout the Sacramento area where wedding vendors from around the area come together to network, socialize, laugh and learn. It also presents a great opportunity to try local food vendors dishes, hear the talents of local DJ’s like Music and More Entertainment see a variety of floral arrangements from Ambience Floral Design and different table setting designs from our member wedding planners. Tuesday’s event took place on the 15th floor of the newly redecorated Capitol View Room at the Hyatt while where we wined and dined while learning about the new wedding trends for 2012. Guest speaker, trend expert and wedding planner Jason Diavatis, President of San Francisco NACE, is a Wedding and Event Designer with nearly 20 years in the event industry. Overall it was a great night out on the town. Here are some photos I made during the event. Cheers! -M

I can’t believe it is the 4th of July already. I’ve been so busy with weddings and photographing events that the patriot holiday snuck up on me this year. After a long fun weekend in Denver photographing the wedding of an old high school friend, I returned home exhausted but satisfied. Since my return, it’s been nothing but one hundred degree heat and barbecues with friends in Sacramento and Davis, California. It was a treat to slow down and enjoy a relaxing afternoon. I decided it would be fun to set up my Greener Visuals Wedding Photography photo booth for the event. It was a great excuse to play and draw with sparklers. It reminded me of my youth growing up catching lightning bugs and celebrating the Independence Day fireworks in northwest suburbs of Chicago. Happy memories and just like that…summer is halfway over. Time flies when your having fun. Happy 4th of July everyone! -M

A couple weeks back I was emergency hired to document a family reunion of Plush Wedding & Events planner Michaela Rodgers. Her former photographer backed out at the last minute and she was left scrambling to find a replacement. Through the great wedding network of Sacramento, Michaela was able to track me down and asked if I could help her out. Being a professional photojournalist at newspapers for the past six years, I’ve often been thrown into a photographic situation at the drop of a hat where I’ve had to roll with it and make captivating images. I was happy to offer my photographic services and a couple days later, I found myself hired and driving eastbound towards Lake Tahoe for my Saturday with the Rodgers documenting their family festivities.

The Rodgers Family gathering was focused around the birthdays of the grandparents Donna and Kirk and their kids wanted to celebrate the event with a surprise weekend in Lake Tahoe. Michaela married into the family with her high school sweetheart now husband Cameron, the youngest of the six children. The two have known each other since their junior year of high school.

Coming from a smaller family of three kids, my eyes were definitely opened to a whole new family dynamic of six children and ten grand children. There are eighteen grand children now,” said Michaela Rodgers about life as a Rodgers family member, “It’s never a dull, or quiet, moment.  I knew right away that this family was special and they have taught me a whole new meaning of what being a family truly is.”

The whole idea of their special surprise weekend began months earlier stemming from Cameron’s older sister, Tawna (third oldest sibling).  Their parents, Donna & Kirk both recently turned sixty-years-old this past year and their kids and grandchildren wanted to do something meaningful for them. The kids figured since their parents had taken care of, supported and loved their children and grand children every day of their lives their recent birthday was a good excuse to celebrate in style. So Tawna gathered the family members together, gave us each tasks and assignments to get the planning underway.

I’ll let Michaela describe how the weekend went with a letter she sent to me.

Everything about this weekend was a surprise to the parents.  The first day, we put together a scavenger hunt that began in Lincoln, CA and led Donna & Kirk up to the cabin in Lake Tahoe.  They were welcomed with a huge gift basket of their favorite treats: Popcorn, Hot Tamales, Diet Pepsi, Pellegrino, M&M’s, all their favorites along with beautiful fresh flowers to brighten up their room.

The second day, we surprised them with our fabulous photographer, Mike Greener of Greener Visuals Wedding Photography.  The idea of having Mike share our weekend celebration with us was so that he could capture the everyday silly, goofy, emotional and special moments that we have with one another regularly. It’s those special moments that we rarely are able to capture because we are always “in the moment”.  We wanted Mike to document our day with his beautiful pictures and he delivered above and beyond what any of us had envisioned.

First, let me back and up and mention how we came to find Mike…and let me say too that he was our savior for this weekend!  We actually had another photographer lined up, but she canceled two days before our departure!  Needless to say, I was in a panic, and happened to call a dear friend/colleague of mine in the wedding industry, and she gave me Mike’s name and information and said I have to give him a call.  I was a little hesitant at first, being that I had never met him before, and we all know how important pictures are, right?  So, I checked out his website and was blown away!  I gave him a call and his kindness, compassion and eagerness to help us in our oh-so-desperate situation was more than I ever could have ever asked for!

So, when Mike arrived at the cabin, we had our picnic lunch all packed up and we headed out to the beach!  There we ate lunch, played some football, volleyball and baseball and simply hung out and enjoyed each other’s company.  Mike was awesome!  He captured everyone in his or her truest state of being and living.  We gathered all twenty-three family members for a family picture in front of Lake Tahoe and let me note there were two families that weren’t able to make it.  We have a huge family!

After the beach we made Donna & Kirk one for their favorite meals, Mexican food galore and each family member around the table shared a special memory that we had of them.  Needless to say, the room was filled with an immense amount of emotion, love and tears.

Following dinner was the biggest surprise of them all!  Tara (second oldest) wrote and directed a play for her parents.  This play was a representation of Donna and Kirk’s life together, beginning when they first met in 2nd grade, their marriage at 16 (just juniors in high-school) and they re-played each child’s birth.  The twelve grand children that were there played the parts of their parents as they were growing up, high-lighting extra special events and moments that occurred throughout their lives.  Having such special meaning only to our family, watching stories being acted out that we have heard throughout the years, the amount of laughter and tears that were shared during this moment, were indescribable.

And thanks to Mike, he captured it all flawlessly.  Because of him, we will forever have these intimate memories of this weekend to look back on and reminisce about and forever smile upon.

Thank You! Thank You!  Thank You!”Michaela Rodgers

Upon my arrival at their snow-covered, cabin doorsteps it was immediately apparent that this was a loving, tightly knit family. I had so much fun watching and documenting the Rodgers family play and laugh together. I quickly felt right at home. One after another there were jokes and stories of the family’s past being retold and laughter and hugs ensued. You knew it hadn’t always been smooth sailing for them like most families I know but here they all were older and wiser laughing till their stomach hurt, recounting all of the antics and struggles big and small that they endured over their childhoods. This was a family that had grown strong together. A family that had supported each other through thick and thin and now were here to honor and celebrate the two parents that had given them that unwavering foundation and guidance along the way to adulthood. It was a cool thing to behold…laughter, tears and all. Here are a couple favorite images from my time with them. It was yet another fun weekend photographing in the mountains. I was glad to help them out. –Mike Greener

The first weekend in May I had the pleasure of photographing Gillian and Jeff’s wedding day at the beautiful Firehouse Restaurant in Old Town Sacramento. You could not have asked for a nicer day. The comfortable mid day California sunshine warmed down on their outdoor wedding where big oak trees gave a lovely cool shade over the festivities. I met Gillian and Jeff back in February through a wonderful wedding planner I’ve been working with named Catrina Arcularius of Catrina Maria Designs. Right from the get go of our first meeting in Sacramento, we hit it off. We talked for a solid hour and I learned all about their story. Gillian through the encouragement of her good friend Bianca (who would eventually be her maid of honor) and Jeff upon the suggestion of some friends met through the online dating site called JDate, a jewish community online for dating jewish singles. Neither of them had ever used the online dating service before yet on their first date back on July 9th, 2009, they found an instant attraction to each other and have been dating ever since. The two have made a life together in the San Francisco Bay Area Gillian as a lawyer and Jeff as an entrepreneur while sharing a love for each other and dogs. They were quick to tell me all about the antics of their two border collie/chow mix dogs Lila and Maggie. The way these two talked, joked and looked at one another during our meet up it was apparent that they are just crazy for each other. I had no doubts that they would be a great fun couple to photograph on their wedding day.

And they did not disappoint. It was the first time I had ever photographed a Jewish wedding ceremony. It was great to see how other faiths celebrate the union of two individuals. The wedding was beautiful. Between my assistant Brad Zweerink and I we ended up talking over 6300 photographs from the wedding. With so many smiling faces, great finger foods, friendly guests and plenty of dancing that kept everyone entertained throughout the afternoon, it was hard to stop photographing all the great moments in front of me. Catrina along with Shannon and The Firehouse Restaurant staff created a beautiful outdoor atmosphere and layout across the brick patio while flower arrangements from florist Cheryl Sage of Accents by Sage added just the right amount of spring colors to the mix. Subtle yet elegant. To see more photos from their Sacramento wedding you can seeing their wedding story here and their entire photo take here.

Yet another fun day celebrating with and photographing some new friends. I wish Gillian and Jeff all the best. -M