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For Belle and Angel’s West Yellowstone Couples Portrait Photographic Experience, we decided to drive back to their hometown of West Yellowstone, Montana to explore the place that fostered the roots of their relationship.

These two have been dating since high school – over seven years ago – where they first cultivated their relationship through their shared love of basketball.

While a lot has changed since high school, their relationship has never been stronger.

In Belle’s opinion regardless of where they are, Angel’s presence in her life is an immediate sense of home.

They now live and work in Bozeman, Montana – him as a chef and her as a caregiver.

Time together has helped them discover not only their love for each other but their shared passion for exploring the outdoors.

Now, as they work to finalize their wedding plans for Summer 2020, they wanted to celebrate this time in their lives by giving a nod to their shared love of camping and hiking in their old Yellowstone National Park area stomping ground.

We headed over to Black Sand Spring, a small spring creek west of town where we explored the area making photographs of them. Here are some favorites from their experience. Congrats on your engagement Belle and Angel! -M

With all the couples and family portraits I’ve been making this Spring, I got a break in the action and took the opportunity to spend a week with my family up in Anchorage, Alaska.

Their official Anchorage Alaska Family Kids Portrait Photographer was back for more.

It is so much fun being an uncle!

We were celebrating the 1-year-old birthday of my nephew Paul and I wanted to see the look on his face as he bit into his first chocolate birthday cake.

Not having any kids of my own, it’s been such a fun experience for me to watch my younger brother Eric as a father and a caring partner to his wife Brandy. Household laughter sums up the experience every time I visit. He is so good at playing and engaging his children. It doesn’t take much for him and Brandy to get their kiddos to giggle.

There is a lot of love in this Alaska home.

I feel grateful that the flexibility of my work schedule allows me to travel up to see them a couple of times a year. I want to be a part of these kids lives and what better way than to be present and document them.

As a photographer uncle, I want them to be able to look back at their candid selves in pictures years from now and see all the love that was and is all around them.

Photographing my family has become a fun, personal project for me where I get to observe how these little lovable humans process their world and continue developing their different and unique personalities.

It means something to be there on that lazy morning to capture the pure joy in the face of Molly, my niece, as she cruises down the hallway on her scooter with “Jones”, the family Labrador in stride.

Laughing and watching smiling Paul, who is just months away from taking his first steps, currently opting to carry all sorts of items in his mouth and utilizing his new crawling habit.

The kid can move.

For me, the best gifts from these experiences are being present for the little things.

Watching them helps me receive the world in a whole new way. A glimpse into the perspective of all things a new.

Here are some favorite moments from my time with my Alaska tribe. I can’t wait to return. -M

 

On the final evening before the annual Spring road closure going up to Hyalite Canyon, I had the pleasure of photographing a stargazing portrait photographic experience for Aysha and Brad this past weekend.

For Aysha, her love of Brad’s spontaneity and ability to make her laugh won her affection over quickly. Both are dedicated to their craft – for her helping run the family plumbing business and for him working as an electrician apprentice – their relationship grew closer through their LDS faith, love of soccer and live music, and being together stargazing with each other in their Montana backyard.

Brad summed up Aysha as nothing short of amazing and kept commenting on how much he cherished how every day, she gives everything her all.

After dating for seven months, they were engaged a few weeks back while next to a campfire.

During our discovery call, we decided to highlight some of their favorite loves they share together and scheduled to meet up at the Hyalite Reservoir for their night time, stargazing photo experience.

With clear skies, plenty of s’mores, cups of hot chocolate, a warm campfire and the arms of each other created a perfect mountain atmosphere to showcase their relationship and made for a fun night.

Here are some of our favorite photographs we made from our evening together.

I’m so excited for these two and the good fortune that lies ahead for them. Congrats to Aysha and Brad! -M

To view all of their photographs from their Hyalite Canyon Stargazing portrait photographic experience, click here.

Last week I met up with Samantha & Jonathan for an afternoon winter engagement photo session here in Bozeman. These two Manhattan, Montana natives hired me to photograph their wedding day this upcoming August and wanted to showcase the winter Montana landscape into their engagement photo session. We decided to take advantage of the wonderful winter evening light we’ve been having lately here in the Big Sky country and walked around the historic Story Mill area and Gardner Park in Bozeman for a couple hours. This time of year, the outdoor color palette yields a lovely mixture of golds, oranges, and blues and I wanted to maximize it. These two had a great attitude and were up for a fun adventure. Our photo session time went quickly as we enjoyed exploring the landscape and getting to know each other. These two are great. I’m thrilled with how their photographs turned out and I’m looking forward to photographing their big day later this summer. Congrats on your engagement you guys! -M

 

Yesterday the news spread around the State of Montana that a U. S. District Court Judge struck down Montana’s same-sex marriage ban which effectively made the Big Sky country the 34th state to allow gay marriage. I was so happy to hear it. It has been a long time coming. Positive change. So this morning as I was sipping my late morning coffee reading the Bozeman Daily Chronicle newspaper article about the court decision, I got a surprise call from a friend letting me know that my two friends MichaelAnne and Shannon had decided they had waited long enough and we’re going to quickly tie the knot at the Gallatin County Law and Justice Center at 11:30 am. I had about ten minutes to get to the other side of town. I wouldn’t miss such a special occasion. I grabbed my camera gear and rushed out the door.

Sprinting up to the second floor, I arrived to find the Rev. Nina Grey, of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Bozeman performing free wedding ceremonies to LGBT couples in the hallway as they lined up to the County Clerk’s office to get their new marriage certificates. It was a beautiful and emotional scene to witness. There were many tears of joy. Sweet beautiful victory. I photographed a few couples and then waited to see my two friends finally join in union. MichaelAnne and Shannon met in Eugene, Oregon has been together for the past 15 years. It was so special to see them finally tie the knot surrounded by close friends. I’m so excited for them and all the other LGBT couples that finally got their big day. Today love won! Congrats to all! -M

 

 

For those of you who might not know, when I’m not making images of brides, I am a full time photojournalist at a San Francisco Bay Area newspaper. I wanted to share a recent story I had the pleasure of covering at my staff newspaper job in Fairfield, CA. I don’t tend to share many blog post between my wedding business and journalism website but this story was too good not to share. Also, Greener Visuals Wedding Photography is happy to announce that we are now accepting bookings for the 2012 wedding season! We would love to be apart of your wedding day. Once the end of the year celebrations subside, we would love to hear from you. Give us a call. Happy Holidays everyone! -M

Yesterday evening I covered a tear jerker of a story for my newspaper. We found out late in the day that a Travis Air Force Base military dad was going to be surprising his 4-year-old daughter and wife by coming home early and show up at the daughter’s dance recital here in downtown Fairfield. His plan was to sneak into her recital and then once she finished, he would walk out from the crowd and go to her on stage. I decided to camp out behind the curtains stage left and then when the moment came, rush out onto the stage to make my frame. It was pretty special to watch the daughter finish dancing then see her eyes grow big and tear up as she yelled out “Daddy!” and ran to hug him. Soon after, wife came up on stage too and there was a great family moment with the crowd applauding. I knew going into it what side of the stage he would likely walk up so I set up a strobe on the overhead balcony shooting down to the steps. I was thinking the moment could happen either on stage or down in the crowd. I compensated by aiming my flash so it would hit both. I got lucky that they were facing away from the audience and towards me. I think it worked out pretty well. I like how I can see the crowd in this image. The first image in this post is from when the daughter stopped her initial hug to look her father in the eyes. I think she was a bit stunned. Rightly so. It ran big on the front page of our paper this morning. You can read the accompanying article here. The local broadcast stations covered it as well. The rest are some other images from the event that I liked. It’s times like this that I feel really lucky to be working as a journalist. It warms the soul to see a young military family like this getting to spend Christmas together. Happy Holidays everyone! -M