Posts

Montana native newlyweds Lisa and Noah got married on his family’s property in Kelly Canyon just outside of Bozeman Montana last weekend. The perfect sunny weather blessed the day where these two celebrated their Quaker wedding with their close friends and family. I’m working hard to edit through all of the fun photos I made throughout their wedding day. For now, check out a preview of some favorite photos I made for them. Stay tuned for more… -M

A few weeks back, I had the absolute pleasure of photographing the Livingston Montana Wedding Day of Erika and Josh near the banks of the Yellowstone River at the Livingston KOA. For newlyweds Erika and Josh, it was all about returning to the source of where they met. Little did they know after a chance encounter over a foosball game table in Livingston, Montana, two years later they would be celebrating their wedding at the Livingston KOA in the beautiful Paradise Valley just south of town. Both being well versed in hospitality (Josh as a chef at Feast Raw Bar & Bistro and Erika as a former wedding planner now operations manager for the Shane Center for the Arts) wanted to have their wedding day be “about letting their friends and family know how much they’ve impacted us in our lives.” Great food, meticulous decorations of 1,000 paper cranes and rock cairns, homemade booze-infused cupcakes and the right tunes to keep the dance floor busy. It made the day a true delight. Not even the constant rainfall throughout the day could dampen the spirits of those in attendance. As the background sounds of the consistent rain and the high waters of the nearby Yellowstone River serenaded the evening, the big pavilion transformed smoothly from the ceremony, on to dinner and then into an energetic dance party. Happiness, smiles and good times abound. What a day!

Here are some of my favorite highlights from my day photographing their wedding celebration. Congrats again to the bride and groom Erika and Josh! Wish you guys a lifetime of happiness! -M

See all of their wedding photos here.

My 2016 wedding season is revving up! A few weeks ago, I drove east of Bozeman over to Paradise Valley to the small town Pony, Montana where I had the pleasure of photographing the destination wedding celebration of Heather and Andrew at Chico Hot Springs. Such as the case with early spring weddings in Montana, I was expecting to photograph this wedding in the snow or rain. Alas, when the big day came, we were blessed (by some miracle) with the first sunny 70-degree day of the year. You could not have asked for better weather…well perhaps a little less wind. That’s always a fun challenge. Spirits were held high by all in attendance. Heather and Andrew are amazing people and their family and friends welcomed me with open arms. Such a fun day. Here is a preview of some photo favorites that have stood out in my editing thus far. Many more photos to come. Wishing these newlyweds all the best! Stay tuned for more photos. -M

06.20.15_JuliaPeterWedding_GreenerVisuals3453

06.20.15_JuliaPeterWedding_GreenerVisuals2044

06.20.15_JuliaPeterWedding_GreenerVisuals2071

06.20.15_JuliaPeterWedding_GreenerVisuals1315

06.20.15_JuliaPeterWedding_GreenerVisuals0694

06.20.15_JuliaPeterWedding_GreenerVisuals2538

06.20.15_JuliaPeterWedding_GreenerVisuals2636

06.20.15_JuliaPeterWedding_GreenerVisuals1180

 

About a week ago, I had the pleasure of documenting the wedding day of Julia & Peter out at Chico Hot Springs outside of Pray, Montana. Located in the heart of Paradise Valley, these two along with their friends and loved ones, took over the historic venue for a night of celebration, laughter and get down dancing. It was an absolute hoot to be apart of. It was a wonderful day. So many more photos to show you all. Good things come to those who wait. -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

WPJAWinGreenerVisuals01

Just got word that Greener Visuals Wedding Photography  was awarded 8th Place in the Getting Ready category of the Wedding Photojournalism Association 2013 National Q4 Photo Contest. The photo, above, was from Josh and Elizabeth’s Wedding Day at the Creek Club at I’On in Charleston, South Carolina last summer. It is an honor to be recognized in the ranks of so many incredible wedding photographers throughout the world. The judges give their comments under the top ten winning images. I love good feedback. Check out all of the other winning images on their website. -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

Greener_M_10082011_NickEmilyWedding_1966-950x630

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

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.

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.

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

I’m happy to announce that one of my go to wedding photo assistants and long time friend Brad Zweerink just found out that a photo of his from our coverage of Gillian and Jeff’s Wedding last May won and is a finalist in the Photo District News (PDN) “Top Knots” wedding photography competition. We had such a fun time photographing these two. The winning photo is of Gillian being hoisted up on a chair during the horah dance of their Jewish wedding. Gillian had a great surprise reaction on her face that I think really adds to the success of the image. It’s a big, national photo competition and I’m thrilled for his good news. Way to go Brad!

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….

Well, this is always a fun email to wake up to. I found out the other day that a photo I made at Christina and Ryan’s wedding last summer placed in the the most recent Wedding Photojournalism Association quarterly photo contest. It’s a shot I made of Christina’s grandmother giving her toast. What a sweetheart. There is an incredible amount of talented wedding photojournalists in the organization and I’m thrilled that my work was able to stand out  amongst them. My first wedding of 2012 is one week from today! I’m getting excited. Sonoma, California here I come!

God…I love what comes across your path on the internet. I found this great unique wedding toast the other day and wanted to share it with all of you. I hope my friends are this creative when it comes to my wedding day. So awesome! Give it a second to load then watch it all the way through. Too funny. I’m getting excited to start my 2012 wedding photography season. If you know of anyone looking to hire a fun, talented wedding photographer, send them my way! All the best, -M

Whew! I’ve finally started to decompress from my fun, but busy 2011 wedding season. In my new found free time, I’ve been able to go back through my back log of vacation images and a few wedding assistant gigs that I have been meaning to process. Despite my busy wedding schedule this past summer in Sacramento,  I did actually get to attend one wedding as a guest. In between my Montana wedding and trip to Colorado for a Geekfest photojournalism summit back in early September, I hopped a flight to Chicago O’Hare Airport to return to my old stomping ground of Crystal Lake, Illinois for the wedding of my good ol’ high school buddy Karisa. I’m at that age now where more and more of my close friends are tying the knot especially all of my friends from high school living in the Midwest. It’s one thing to witness and photograph the wedding of my clients and another to witness the union of someone you’ve known since adolescence. Karisa is one of the few people I’ve managed to stay in touch with since graduating from high school. When I sought out the outdoor recreation bliss in the Rocky Mountains of Montana for college, she headed east to attend Dartmouth College to pursue her love of acting on stage. As the years have progressed, I’ve watched with excitement and pride as she has climbed that ladder of success in her craft. She is a Renaissance woman whose acting pursuits have branched into small movie roles, commercial shoots, on stage plays and comedy improv troops in the Chicago scene. So it’s only natural that the man she would fall in love with would be from that creative environment. Karisa met Scott when they were cast together four years ago on an Chicago improv group together called Counterproductive Lover. “We make each other laugh, so that’s absolutely a cornerstone in our relationship,” said Karisa. The group continues to regularly rehearse and perform long-form improv together and I even managed to catch a show of theirs a few years back. These days the two stay pretty busy working full time as actors. Scott is coming of his recent success with a show he was in at the famous Second City comedy club and Karisa recently finished up a commercial shoot for US Bank. From what I can tell, acting is not an easy road to venture so it give me a lot of joy to see these two making waves.

I was looking forward to their wedding day. It would be a good opportunity to visit with past friends and also because it would be the first time in a while that I could actually celebrate a wedding properly without having the obligations of producing wedding photos for a client. Karisa wanted to make sure I would enjoy the party properly and not be working it. Alas, you can’t take the photographer out of the boy. I couldn’t resist bringing along a camera and lens just in case I came across a scene worth documenting. And I found many scenes. In between socializing, dancing and drinking in celebration, I made a few wedding photographs that stood out to me during my editing session. I used the occasion to experiment a little but mostly I used it as more of a snapshot approach. Some things worked others not so much. But that was okay. I was thoroughly enjoying myself.

Karisa and Scott decided to have their ceremony and reception in the beautiful backyard of her parents home in Cary, Illinois. When planning their big day, the emphasis was to have it feel very personable and reflect their style. Much of it was put together with the help of family and friends. Karisa designed the wedding invites and all other paper stuff which were then assembled and printed at home. The bouquets were made by family members. Instead of a DJ, they opted for the do it yourself iTunes playlist where they picked their favorite songs. This worked for a while until their computer crashed. (Something to think about for your own wedding entertainment). Luckily, there were no shortages of personel iPods around and her friends took turns spending the rest of the evening choosing songs to play and dance to. For other items at their wedding, they went for the professional approach. They had their wedding photography shot by Chicago based photographer and fellow WPJA member Allison Williams and their photo booth set up by their friend Rob Strong. Karisa and her bridesmaids had her hair and make up done by Jennifer at Jen J Style. The wedding was catered by a great Mediterranean buffet-styled grill called Roti. They also had the great idea for having a local food truck which allowed guests to make after dinner smoothies, wild game sausages, and coffee drinks. You could not have asked for a nicer day. I am so glad I was able to see it. Here are a couple photos that I made from their wedding day. I wish these two all the best! -M

A couple weeks back I was asked by my friend Catrina, of Catrina Maria Designs and The Venue Vixens, to photograph the social meet up of the Association of Bridal Consultants Sacramento chapter meeting. The quarterly event brings wedding planners from throughout the Sacramento area together for educational and networking and was held at new CAVERNA 57 wine cellar in Sacramento. My job was to document the evening while also photographing the new venue for an upcoming Venue Vixens review. The place was so new that much of it’s landscaping wasn’t finished so I was forced to get creative about how I composed my shots. Once the venue shots were taken care of, I started to document and socialize with the guests. I love these types of events for numerous reasons. It’s a very welcoming educational scene, it allows everyone to experience the different, new concepts of floral displays and venue set ups, it’s a good opportunity to sample the foods and beverages of the local vendors (which can be a good reference when suggesting food vendors to potential wedding clients) and best of all it is a perfect place to network and to meet with like-minded friendly people in the Sacramento wedding industry. Overall the evening was a lot of fun. The CAVERNA 57, when completed, will be a great little venue for small intimate weddings or social events. Definitely worth checking out. -M

I’ve been excited to show this wedding for a while now. How appropriate that my last wedding shoot of the year was spent documenting the union of an old family friend. Nick and Emily hired me to fly down to greater Los Angeles area to photograph their wedding weekend festivities. I’ve known Nick and his family my entire life. Growing up in Crystal Lake, Illinois, his family and mine were close friends who attended the same church where the kids shared in the same childhood mandate of singing in the church choir. Nick and his brother Matt were partners-in-crime with my brother and I every Sunday as we played games of hide and seek around the church sanctuary often times managing to get into trouble as young boys tend to do. The tradition of mischief continued throughout adolescence through countless celebrations and BBQs together and our families’ annual road trip westward towards the mountains of Colorado for a week of skiing every spring. So, needless to say, when I heard that Nick was getting married and his family asked if I could photograph the celebration, I jumped at the opportunity.

Nick and Emily met on the job. Nick, upon graduating from high school, moved out to Los Angeles to pursue his dream of becoming a Hollywood actor. He was supporting himself at that time by working in numerous positions at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company restaurant from dancing in a shrimp suit to being host. It was there that he met Emily during a work training session three years ago. Emily, a Los Angeles native, has since found her calling as a talented pastry chef working at Rivera Restaurant in Los Angeles. “It wasn’t exactly love at first sight with Nick,” joked Emily when recalling how they first met, “Our relationship started off as friends but he was the persistent type and kept trying to ask me out on a date. I didn’t want to risk losing the friendship.” But thankfully, persistence pays off and after asking her out four times with her answer being no, it was the fifth time that she finally said yes to a date with him and as the saying goes…the rest is history.

When it came time to plan their wedding things got a bit complicated. Nick was cast in a lead role for a new television show and would spend the four months leading up to their wedding filming in Prague within the Czech Republic. Emily was busy trying to finish up her schooling as a pastry chef. Being resourceful, they were able to defy the hurdle of the time zone difference and plan out the wedding through the power of Skype and with the help of their family members. It all came together really well with a good mix of professionalism combined with a do-it-yourself feel. Above all, they were adamant that they wanted candid, high quality photography for their wedding day and that’s where I came in. The wedding festivities were to be held on Saturday around noon. I flew down Friday evening to Burbank where I met the wedding party and watched as the last minute preparations were made. The outdoor ceremony and reception were held in the courtyard of The Castaway Restaurant in Burbank, California. It was a beautiful warm, southern California setting overlooking the De Bell Golf Course and the surrounding Burbank hills. These two families know how to celebrate a union! Their ceremony went off without a hitch and then the celebration began. Like all great receptions, there was plenty of dancing. Food was provided by the venue and when their wedding cake plans fell through a couple days prior, Nick’s grandmother Ann was able to whip up a beautiful homemade cake for the event. All in all it was really great to be apart of and document the celebration for an old family friend. I wish them all the best. -M

To view more of their wedding images you can check out their wedding story here

and to view their entire wedding photo shoot and purchase prints you can see them in the photo archive here

I’ve been working hard to finish up the wedding photos of my friends Nick and Emily Wedding photos. Pneumonia be damned. They are almost done but I couldn’t wait to show some of them. They will be up here soon. Stay tuned.