A few weeks back I returned to Chico Hot Springs in Pray, Montana to photograph the wedding day of Elizabeth & Ryan. When it came to these two New Mexican residents planning their wedding day, they opted to return to their old stomping grounds of southwest Montana. Their destination wedding brought 150 of their close family and friends to the historical hot spring wedding venue in Paradise Valley. It was a fantastic day long celebration with warm weather mixed with the occasional feisty wind gusts. Just the right amount to kick up a wedding dress in dramatic fashion. Soon into the reception, the wedding guests took to the dance floor in droves and celebrated with the newlyweds late into the evening. Good times with great people. I had a fun time meeting everyone, hearing the stories and photographing the festivities. Congrats again to the newlyweds! Wish you guys a livetime of happiness. -M

To view all of the photos from Elizabeth and Ryan’s wedding day, click here.

Last weekend I returned to Chico Hot Springs in Pray, Montana to photograph the wedding day of Elizabeth & Ryan. When it came to these two New Mexican residents planning their wedding day, they opted to return to their old stomping grounds of southwest Montana. I’ve picked out a couple images that caught my eye during my day documenting these two. Good times with great people and a great dance party. So many more great photos to show you all. Congrats to the newlyweds! Stay tuned for more…. -M

For the past 7 weeks, I’ve been making a weekly trek to the outskirts of Bozeman to the Gallatin Valley Botanical farm with my girlfriend Lora to scope out her new puppy and best friend. Ten puppies equals awesome. Our Wednesday visits quickly became the best day of of the week for us. Lora’s friends Matt and Jacy, owners of the local Bozeman farm, had a litter of ten puppies and one would soon come bouncing into my life. During my youth growing up in Illinois, my family bred labs on our five acre wooded property. I have some good family memories growing up around labradors.. Now by association, I would get to be around one again. Awesome indeed.

Before the puppies all went to new homes, I ventured one evening over to the Bozeman organic farm with my camera and made some fun family photos of Matt and Jacy along with their kids and an army of labrador puppies. It’s not often an opportunity like this happens. We had a great time. In the end Lora got a yellow male and is calling him “Timber”. This will be fun. The dog adventure begins. -M

Jessica 2014 Bozeman Montana Maternity Photos

A few weeks ago, I got a call from my friend Jessica asking if I would make some maternity photo portraits of her. This will be her first child and she wanted to have herself and her belly documented. Having never photographed a maternity session before, I was intrigued and happily accepted. It was a fun challenge. We got together in the morning. I brought my mobile photo studio to her apartment and we spent our time sipping coffee and experimenting with different photo set ups. I wanted to simplify things, eliminate distractions and make the photos all about her.  I’m all about versatility in my photographs and I want to give my clients options from their photo sessions. From her place we ventured outside and walked around downtown Bozeman chatting, collaborating and looking for interesting backgrounds. It was so fun to see her excitement. Two weeks out from having her life completely change into her upcoming motherhood. I’m excited for her. Congrats to the mama-to-be! -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.

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.

I’m almost finished with my latest wedding photo shoot where I returned to the Big Sky state to photograph Christina and Ryan’s Montana wedding. Stay tuned for a big post soon.

border: 2px solid black; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;

You know you’ve done something right when one of your past wedding couples refer you to their friends. I consider those gestures one of the highest complements a photographer can receive. It lets me know that I am doing my job well. Back in 2006, Abby and Johnny asked me to photograph their wedding in western Montana after hearing about my photojournalistic style through their friends and my former clients. It was the ultimate picturesque Montana cowboy wedding. Their outdoor wedding was held at this cute little ranch where the men were decked out in their cowboy boots and hats twirled the women in their summer dresses as they danced to the upbeat rhythms of bluegrass music. Summer was ending and with it the days grew longer. Because of it we were blessed with beautiful afternoon sunlight that made the dried wheat fields glow with a golden hue as the sun set over the Bitterroot Mountains. What more could a photographer ask for.