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2016 Best of Weddings Greener Visuals Photography

Winter has arrived and it’s snowing in Montana now. I’ve been reminiscing about the past year. It’s funny how time flies when you’ve been having so much fun. 2016 was another great year of documenting the fun memories of my client’s wedding day. I kept busy this year photographing over the Spring, Summer, and Fall. Southwest Montana offers up so many beautiful places to get married and I feel thankful that I was able to continue to explore the hidden pockets throughout. It was such an honor to be a part of my client’s wedding celebration.

I feel so grateful to be doing the candid wedding storytelling photography that I do.

My travels this year took me all over Montana. Traveling up to Whitefish down to Yellowstone National Park and as far away as downtown Chicago, Illinois. I even got to witness a wedding in northeast Mongolia.

In addition to having fun documenting the love, one of my favorite highlights of the year was when I moved into my new photography studio inside of Gallatin Event Rentals. It has been a wonderful place to house my wedding and portrait photography business. Having an inviting, comfortable space to host my clients and hear their wedding story has been such a pleasure. If you haven’t stopped by already, I’d be happy to give you the dime tour and geek out on photography with you.

Here are a few of my favorite wedding images that stood out to me from this past year.

I am now booking for the 2017 wedding season and I travel all across the country. I’m looking forward to the new smiles and faces I’ll meet and photograph in the new year.  Wishing you all a fantastic new year ahead! -M

I just picked up some copies of the new A Montana Wedding magazine and was excited to see that the new issue features numerous wedding photos from Greener Visuals Photography inside! The annual publication put out by the Bozeman Daily Chronicle is a helpful guide chocked full of inspiration, tips, and content from local wedding vendors for couples planning their wedding day in and around Southwest Montana. It never gets old seeing one’s labor of love in print. I’m proud to see my photos grace its pages. Check out the goods! Thanks, Bozeman Daily Chronicle! -M

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of meeting dozens of new brides-to-be during the annual Montana Bridal Tour event at the 1915 Barn in Bozeman, Montana. Greener Visuals Photography has participated in the Fall bridal event (run by the talent event planner Abby Turner, of Reed & Lee Event Planning) for the past couple of years and really enjoy the face time connection with all of the excited brides as they begin their wedding planning process. As a whole, the Montana Bridal Tour is a chance for the newly engaged couples in the Gallatin Valley to tour multiple wedding venues around the Bozeman area and meet talented wedding vendors at each location. For a fun-filled day, four buses rotate driving participants from place to place where they get to sample the wares, get inspiration for their own wedding day and ask questions to participating wedding vendors. It’s so much fun to see the excitement on their faces.

In between chatting with brides all day long, I made some photos from the event at the 1915 Barn in Bozeman, Montana. For information on attending next year’s tour, you can visit their website here. What a fun day. -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

Whoo hoo! Big news! I just got copies of the brand new A Montana Wedding magazine and it is full of wedding photos from Greener Visuals Wedding Photography! The wedding magazine is a yearly publication produced by the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and showcases Montana wedding stories and useful tips for couples planning their wedding day in the Big Sky state. The best part is that a photo from Courtney & Chris’ Wedding day was chosen as the magazine cover photo! My first ever! I’m so excited! The publication will be dispersed to wedding vendors and businesses throughout the state for the next year. I’m proud to to see numerous past clients of mine be featured throughout the pages. As you can see from the photos, I got a lot of good photo play. Also, I have plenty of copies. Shoot me an email and I’d be happy to send you one. Check it out! -M

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.

A couple weekends ago I traveled down to the small Idaho town of Rigby near Idaho Falls to photograph the country garden wedding of Hope and Jeffery. I met the two last summer when I was photographing her sister Ashley’s wedding day in the Montana Bitterroot Valley. It was so great to celebrate another wedding with their family again. Hope and Jeffery had their wedding at her grandparents country garden home, a beautiful property covered with flowers, produce, horse pastures and cottonwood stands which left all onlookers to admire the artistic touch of two master gardeners. Her grandparents said they collected over 30 gallons of raspberries alone last year. I love seeing wedding couples take the idea of a wedding and make it all their own. These two were no exception. Hope and Jeffery were able to blend a country wedding with Jeffery’s Japanese roots. His relatives folded 1000 paper cranes and then hung them intermixed with lights all in a large cottonwood tree which made for a beautiful ambience. The food had a wonderful homemade touch. They had many mouths to feed since about 360 guests were invited. The riddle was solved by having a caterer make pulled pork BBQ. Rather then create an exorbitant wedding cake, they opted for a smaller wedding cake from a fancy bakery then the family cooks united and made dozens of homemade pies, a delicious personal touch to a wedding day food menu. Once bellies were full the night entertainment began. Drinks were poured and the moment the DJ cued the music, the dance floor got busy. Yard games, a photo booth and an epic candy bar assisted in keeping spirits and sugar levels high into the late evening. Smiles were seen all around. In all, it was a beautiful day and I was thrilled to be apart of it. I wish Hope and Jeffery all the best! -Mike

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

The Wedding Team:

Cherz & Co. Salon – Hair and makeup by Kellie & Kristie Stolworthy – Idaho falls, Idaho

North Hi-Way Cafe – BBQ catering – Idaho Falls, Idaho

Master DJ – music man Tony Schmitz – Omaha, Nebraska

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

GreenerVisualsInBlissI was doing a little spring cleaning of my email this morning over strong coffee and rediscovered this bit of news I wanted to share. A photo I made from Erin & Ryan’s wedding day in Denver, Colorado back in 2011 was featured on In Bliss Weddings blog in an interesting take on using social media on your wedding day. You can read the post here. I embrace anything that gets others to express their creativity. These new smart phones have replaced the traditional point-and-shoot cameras and have given access to photography for the masses. You can form your own opinion. I say if one feels inspired to snap a quick pic of a moment that inspires them, they should go for it. These days it’s a common sight for me to see guests in attendance or brides maids bust out their phones. Most commonly I’ll have a mob of relatives behind me as I coordinate a large family photo. I’m not worried about them. Have they ever gotten the same image that I deliver to my wedding clients? Nope. It’s not the camera that makes a good photograph, but the photographer behind the camera lens. I bring my own vision to the table. For the wedding couple, the beauty of hiring a talented wedding photographer is so they can simplify their wedding day to focusing on being with their loved ones.

I find that social media use at weddings depends on the crowd at the wedding. Sure. You see folks tune out a second to check their phones throughout the wedding day. It has become common place in our culture. I don’t think this wave of social media is interfering at weddings. It is just changing from the traditional ways we’ve experienced the union of two individuals. In the end, I think most wedding guests and loved ones remain present for what really matters….the marriage of two people in love. The more ways we as a society can document, amplify, share and spread the message of love, I say all the better. Share away! -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

Go here to view their entire wedding engagement photos

Last week I was asked by my chef friend Carrie McCully, of ADOUR Good Food, to photograph a swanky Christmas party she was hosting for the Bozeman Young Presidents’ Organization at the famous Story Mansion in downtown Bozeman. I had just a great time with these folks. My job was to capture the fun and document the details all in the span of two hours. I love a good challenge. Here are some of my favorite images from the evening event. Happy Holidays everyone!

To see of the party photos, click here.

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

A few weeks ago, I got a call from my cousin Kim saying that she, her husband Daniel and their little daughter Adleigh would be passing through Bozeman on a family road trip and they wanted to have some family portraits made. Having a rare break in the action from my busy wedding season, we decided to meet up and head over to Hyalite Reservoir. I’m a sucker for the outdoors and will always default to nature for my portrait backdrops. It just seems more natural. Pun intended. Lucky for me the whole area is one big scenic postcard. After a sunset dinner of Roost Fried Chicken, a new Bozeman favorite restaurant, we started playing with the light of the setting sun. Again, I wanted to photos to be about them and not their clothing. With the help of my assistant/sister Katie, we made some fun images and laughed all evening at Adleigh’s reactions. Thanks for looking, -M

To see all of their photo shoot, go here.

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.

I returned to the rocky mountains of Colorado a couple weeks ago to document the wedding weekend of Ali and Drausin in Vail, Colorado. It was a wonderful crossroad of my past and my future. Ali, has been a buddy of mine for years now. Back in college, while my journalism peers were seeking out newspaper internships, I opted instead to work two summers as a summer camp counselor at Cheley Colorado Camps. Ali was a campfire counselor at the adjacent girls camp. It was a job that paid pennies but rewarded you with an entire summer exploration of the surrounding mountains while sharing your passions, skills and goofiness with great outdoorsy kids. It’s amazing how certain places in your life really leave an impact on you. My two summers in Estes Park, Colorado and the people I met there, like Ali, played a big role in making me a better person. Besides helping to shape me on my path, the experience gave fruit to really great friendships. I was lucky to keep in touch with her.

When Drausin and her emailed me about photographing their wedding rehearsal and wedding day back in the mountains stomping grounds of my earlier youth, I was stoked. I love mountain weddings! The soon to be newly weds decided to have a causal relaxing rehearsal “dinner” at the base of the Vail ski mountain at the Manor Vail Lodge. It was quite the place. Instead of a formal sit down dinner, they had a tapas style buffet and a bar which worked out really well. It allowed everyone to go at their own pace and socialize.

They also spread out the toasts throughout the evening rather than one right after the other. It gave each speaker a chance to really express themselves without feeling rushed. It was so special to listen to the incredibly eloquent speeches from friends and family in such a warm (and green!) setting. There is a lot of love and support for these two newlyweds. Here are some of my favorite images from the evening. I’m hard at work finishing the wedding photos. So excited to show you all. It was quite the weekend. Stay tuned… -M

To see the entire rehearsal dinner photo shoot click here.

What a weekend! I’ve begun editing through and reliving the fun wedding photos of Ali and Drausin’s celebration I made last weekend at the 4 Eagle Ranch in Vail, Colorado. I wanted to share a sneak peek of some of their wedding photos. Many more to come. My work is cut out for me. Congratulations to Ali and Drauslin! Stay tuned. -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

 

To see Cierra & Brian’s entire wedding click here.

This past weekend, I traveled towards the Flathead Valley in northwest Montana to the town of Big Fork to photograph Cierra and Brian’s wedding day held at the beautiful Cougar Trail Ranch. Here’s a sneak peak at some of the fun photos I got to make on their big day! This is just the tip of the iceberg and I’m excited to show you all the rest. Many more photos to come. Check back soon. Congrats you guys! -M