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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.

It is was only natural that they fostered their love of the outdoors to help style their wedding day. 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.

Their wedding celebration at the Springhill Pavilion was such a fun experience. These photos are some of my favorite highlights from their big day.

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

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

This past Monday 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. 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 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) 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.

While I’m still working away at editing all the fun photographs, I wanted to share a small preview of their awesome wedding day celebration. Congrats to the newlyweds! Stay tuned for more photo goodness. -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

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

Over the 4th of July weekend, I was up at the Whitefish Mountain Resort in Whitefish, Montana photographing the summer wedding day of Tim and Jill. These two Bozeman locals wanted a destination wedding celebration feeling without leaving the Big Sky state. Northwest Montana was the perfect answer. When their big day arrived, I traveled north to Whitefish, Montana where I was able to join up with Tim and Jill’s wedding entourage at the resort. After a sunset wedding ceremony at the summit, we took the chairlifts down to the reception where we all dined and danced while celebrating the union of the newlyweds. You could not have asked for a nicer summer day. It was a true pleasure for me to be present and to document their wedding day festivities. Wishing Tim and Jill all the best and many years of happiness! -M

When considering their Fall wedding reception at Broken Hart Ranch in Bozeman, Montana, Madeline and Chase wanted to have a fun outlet to entertain their guests. In addition to hiring me to photograph their wedding day, they added my Greener Visuals Photo Booth when booking me. Photo booths are so much fun.  As the night progressed, their friends and family laughed, played and dressed in wonderfully weird costumes to then take their own beautifully lit photo booth photos via wireless remote control. A fun addition to a great wedding day celebration.  -M

To view all of their wedding photo booth photos, click here.

Broken Hart Ranch Fall Montana Wedding of Madeline and Chase

Fall in Montana this year kicked into overdrive and the autumn colors were popping all over southwest Montana. To my delight with the timing, I was fortunate enough to photograph the wedding day of my clients Madeline and Chase at the Broken Hart Ranch outside of Bozeman, Montana at the peak of the season change. Four years of dating has led them to a relationship filled with much gratitude and many great stories many of which were shared throughout the evening. Amongst the fire colored Montana backdrop and Fall inspired theme wedding, Madeline and Chase along with their out-of-town guests danced, sang and raised their glasses in celebration long into the evening. This crowd knew how to celebrate. The wedding couple was totally shocked and thrilled when their wedding guests all busted into a sudden flash mob dance routine. It was a great day with a lot of smiles. Here are some photo favorites from their wedding day. Wishing the newlyweds all the best! -M

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

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

As a wedding photographer, I love traveling to new places where I get to explore, create and make storytelling candid photographs. It is so much fun. A few weeks back I traveled out to the cute little town of Pony, Montana where I spent my day documenting the rustic country wedding day celebration of Samantha and Jonathan at the beautiful (and new) Y Knot Barn in Pony, Montana. Such a cool place for a wedding. I made some fun photos throughout the day and I’m hard at work getting them edited. Here is a couple stand out favorites I’ve liked so far. Stay tuned for more wedding photos from the big day. -M

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.

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

 

 

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.

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

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.

I love it when brides and grooms completely make their weddings unique and their own by doing a “Do-it-yourself” styled wedding. For my last wedding of the 2012 season, Melissa and Brendan wedding didn’t disappoint. I always like to end my wedding seasons with a bang. In the case of photographing their wedding a couple weeks ago, it was a literal interpretation with shotguns. These two Seattle outdoorsy, love birds found me through my connections with the fly fishing industry and flew me from Bozeman, Montana to Seattle, Washington for the weekend. For the groom, an avid hunter and fisherman, what better way to celebrate his wedding weekend but to start with a half day of blasting guns along the Yakima River at the private gun range. It was awesome and the fire powered event would set the tone for the rest of the country styled wedding weekend. Their wedding was held at this cute little fishing lodge called the The Canyon River Ranch along the Yakima River. Friends and family came together to help set up and celebrate these two. I had a great time getting to know them all. What a fun bunch. I wish them all the best. -M

To see their entire wedding photo collection go here.

I love wine country weddings! I’ve been working hard to finish up Molly and Brian’s wedding day photos taken at BR Cohn Winery in Sonoma California and I wanted to give you all a little sneak peak of the goods. I’ll be posting the wedding photos soon. So many more to come. Stay tuned…

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 ago I had the chance to return to Montana, my favorite place on earth, to photograph the wedding of an old college friend Christina and her new husband Ryan. I got to know Christina during my time tromping around the Big Sky state while attending The University of Montana in my pursuit of my degree in Photojournalism. In between my time fly fishing mountain streams and trying to make it to class on time, I came to know her through mutual friends and her involvement in the Missoula art scene. Christina, a Montana native, is a very talented painter and ended up getting her degree in the Fine Arts. From there, it was off to New York City for her where she eventually met her fiancée Ryan randomly at a friend’s apartment. Oddly enough it turns out that they both were from the same western Montana town of Whitefish located up close to the entrance of Glacier National Park. I’m always amazed at the curveballs of coincidence life can through at people sometimes. Two years apart in age, Christina and Ryan never new one another growing up but found each other in one of the biggest cities on earth. Go figure. As they grew closer in their relationship, the two parted ways with the “Big Apple” and have since made a life together living and working in Portland, Oregon. When it came to plan their summer wedding the location was an obvious choice.

On their wedding day, I awoke early to drive north of Missoula (where I had been visiting my parents) past the cherry orchards along Flathead Lake and eventually made my way northeast towards the entrance of Glacier National Park. Christina and Ryan chose a cute little 40-acre ranch just outside of Coram, Montana called Glacier River Ranch that was bordered by the gin clear blue waters of the Flathead River. There are few things in life more picturesque than a Montana backdrop and that day I couldn’t think of any. I arrived early so I could scout around the area and get a feel for the place. As family members were helping to set up, I decided to walk around the grounds for possible portrait locations. As I came around the side of a big ponderosa pine tree I startled a young black bear (about 30 yards away from me) and he quickly stood up on his hind legs to get a better view of the blond haired photographer that had interrupted his mid morning berry feast. Soon uninterested, it sauntered off until the delicious smells of a wedding reception food brought it closer to the wedding location so much so that the ranch owner had to scare it off with some warning shots of her deer rifle. Only in Montana. Love it. The rest of the day mimicked the visions of a good Norman MacLean novel. The late August weather was perfect and their afternoon streamside reception was stunning as the golden Montana light lit up the trees as it slowly made its decent behind Teakettle Mountain. Like any proper Montana wedding the rest of the evening was spent eating roasted pig, drinking fine wine and Montana microbrews and dancing to live music from a local string band. It was so great to spend the day photographing such a fun couple and an honor to be asked to photograph the wedding of a old friend. I wish them all the best. -M

You can view the very best images from Ryan and Christina’s wedding under my portfolio wedding stories section here.     Or…

To see the entire wedding take you can see them all on my Photo Archive here.