This Fall we have been blessed with the most absurdly nice weather. Normally by early October, we'd be expecting much cooler temps but we've been enjoying highs in the upper 60s. Maybe not the best thing in the grand scheme of everything, but it sure is awesome for portrait sessions. Jena booked a simple one-hour portrait session before dinner while they were visiting the Flathead Valley, so we hit up Whitefish City Beach and Riverside Park, two of my favorite locations right here in Whitefish.
Shout out to Tanner for all of the pre-planning on this one. Way back in June, he contacted me after booking a private tour with Whitefish Outfitters for October. Over the coming months, we touched base periodically to make sure nothing had changed, and I liaised with Whitefish Outfitters directly to be sure we were synced up on the timing when they would be arriving at Lake McDonald.
As you can see from the photos, everything worked out great, and she did in fact say yes.
I was fortunate to meet Taylar at Jared at the My Montana Wedding Expo & Style show this past January and was so honored to be included in their lovely fall wedding at Jewel Basin Weddings. They invited their closest friends and family for a lovely evening that felt more like a family reunion or a backyard get-together among friends. It is one of my biggest honors to be included in such gatherings, and record them for posterity.
Some of my friends and fellow wedding-industry colleagues started an all-woman-owned business collective to provide all-inclusive elopements here in Northwest Montana. It's simply and effectively called Elope Montana.
One day Lindsey asked if I'd be open to doing some updated portraits for the growing team, and I of course jumped at the opportunity. As stressful as it may be working with other photographers, it was a blast to turn the champaign-popping shenanigans on those that often make others do so.
When Lauren and I first touched base they still had not nailed down all of their wedding plans. They were either going to get married here in Whitefish, or in Northern California. What they were certain about was wanting portraits in their wedding attire, in Glacier National Park. I was more than happy to oblige.
This family session, while maybe a little out-of-the-ordinary was such a delight. It was more along the lines of what you might call "a day in the life" session. We did a handful of posed photos, but the vast majority were really me fading into the background and documenting them sharing some family time. Whether that was reading a book, drawing dots, riding bikes, or going on a little family hike and building fairy houses.
So let this be your reminder that it's always okay to slow down, and take time for fairy houses.
The Buescher family from Alabama! We had a fun connection when I correctly pronounced their last name thanks to it being the same as a State Park in Central Texas. We talked about the 'Bama game against The University of Texas the previous Saturday where UT almost pulled off the upset, and I enjoyed attempting to get a smile from the very serious little toddler.
A lovely weekday portrait session with the Sperandio family getting together before daughter Madeline was going to be on deployment for several months. Rivers Edge Park is such a lovely, surprisingly secluded park right near downtown Columbia Falls that is perfect for portrait sessions and family picnics.
Weddings are like snowflakes in that no two are exactly alike. But you can expect them to be amazing in their own way. Julia & Javi's wedding at Abbott Valley Homestead in Martin City was in fact incredible, but not in any of the ways anyone expected it to be.
Sustained heavy rain storms seem to be a rarity here in Northwest Montana, especially towards the end of August. When thick dark clouds loomed nearby I assured Julia that while yes the storm looks bad, it's unlikely that it'll last very long. Boy was I wrong. Once it began raining that Saturday, it kept raining. It would stop for a few minutes, and then rain hard again. It really seemed like we'd get a nice break in the weather, just long enough to get the ceremony in which was to take place in a beautiful open field.
Alas, as soon as everyone got into place to begin the ceremony, the skies opened up, and it began just absolutely pouring rain. Everyone involved made the difficult call to move the ceremony under the covered barn back to the reception site. Was it what anyone had initially planned? Absolutely not, but there was something truly special about everyone crowded under the old barn, sitting around the couple as they exchanged their vows.
After the ceremony, we got a wonderful reprieve when the clouds parted, the sun came out and we had a beautiful evening for the formal portraits and dinner. But once dinner ended the skies once again opened up to another downpour. Everyone huddled under the barn again and it turned into a Brooklyn basement party as the couple's musically inclined guests performed songs written for the occasion and covers of songs important to their relationship. And despite the hundred-plus people in attendance, it felt so intimate and special, it was such a humbling moment to be a part of.
It's always such an honor when a friend asks me to take photos for their family. No matter the type of job, and when I know they have an enormous list of other photographers they could ask who would be overjoyed to do the work.
This was especially the case when my friend Sarah asked if I was available for senior portraits for her daughter Alma. Alma wanted something outdoors, and just pretty relaxed. So that's what we did.