October 26, 2020

West Glacier Wedding Photographer, Ashley & Scott

Ashley and Scott had another wedding that was thankfully able to commence as originally planned despite COVID-19 and all the chaos that caused the wedding and event industry this year. From my first contact with them, they had always planned on a very intimate ceremony with just them and their immediate families at Glacier Raft Co. in West Glacier. And from there the plan was always to hop on down the road to Glacier National Park and the Apgar Village area for some "epic Montana scenery portraits," And Montana and Glacier delivered in spades. While the rain did cause the slightest bit of disruption just prior to the exchange of vows, that just meant conditions were ripe for a perfect timed rainbow while we did family photos in the park. And... well just check out the photos, because words simply won't do it justice.

Vendors

Venue: Glacier Raft Co. / Lodging: Glacier Raft Co. / Officiant: Kate Berry / Florals: Mum's Flowers

October 20, 2020

Bigfork Family Photographer, The Nickels Family

This multi-generational family portrait session with the Nickels wasn't the first time I'd photographed people and their pets, but it was the first time I had someone bring their handsome feline outside for some photos. In true cat fashion "Duke" put up with the camera for exactly two photos before he made it clear he was done, but he was a consummate professional up to that point. I also got to meet Penny and her human, and the whole Nickels clan. We spent some time at their new residence and then headed over to Wayfarers State Park for the unrivaled views of Flathead Lake. It's always such a pleasure to explore new areas of the Flathead Valley I've not been to with vacationers and new residents alike.

October 19, 2020

Glacier National Park Portrait Photographer, Chacey & Asia

Having grown up in Texas, hearing a Texas accent can act as an odd sort of comfort blanket. And that is just how it was this chilly morning for these ladies hailing from North Texas. Another referral from the always too-kind Jennifer Vernarsky, Chacey and Asia were on a last-gasp-of-summer anniversary/birthday whirlwind vacation to Northwest Montana and Chacey wanted to surprise Asia with a photo session.

We met up at Apgar Village in Glacier National Park, and while the early morning clouds and fog obscured the mountains, it made the setting no less dreamy and surreal for a quick min-session. They were so fun to work with, and their smiles offered all the warmth needed in the upper-30s temperatures we were dealing with. We lamented the lack of decent Tex-Mex restaurants in Montana—and really anywhere but Texas—and other superior, non-Tex-Mex dining opportunities in the Flathead Valley.

October 14, 2020

Glacier National Park Wedding Photographer, Allyn & Nicholas

Allyn and Nicholas were my first of two wedding couples from Illinois in the span of five days, and my first wedding that actually took place inside Glacier National Park. Though initially, that was not the plan. Originally I should've been making this blog post this past spring. Of course, we all know what happened throughout the world in March. COVID lock-downs for everyone! Thankfully they didn't allow that to completely scuttle their dreams of a Montana wedding and they rescheduled for this fall and it couldn't have been more perfect. Yes, there was intermittent rain, yes there ominous clouds that obscured the mountains occasionally. But without rain, you can't have a rainbow. A rainbow that spanned Lake McDonald just as they said their wedding vows. If that isn't a sign of a blessed marriage, I don't know what is.

While they weren't technically eloping, they had a sort of 'deluxe elopement' with a total headcount of fewer than twenty people with a ceremony at the Apgar Amphitheatre, portraits in that general vicinity thereafter, and finally a dinner to close out the festivities.

I am so glad the pandemic didn't spoil my chance to hangout and get to know Allyn and Nicholas more, and can't wait for them to come back and visit—hopefully often—in the future!

Vendors

Venue(s): Glacier National Park Apgar Amphitheater, Grouse Mountain Lodge / Transportation: Montana Trolley Co. / Bakery: Delectable Desserts & Catering / Hair & Makeup: Brittany Brennan / Flowers: Southern Blooms Co.

October 12, 2020

Whitefish Wedding Photographer, Tasha & Korey

I was fortunate to meet Tasha at the My Montana Wedding Inspiration Expo last fall. She was planning a modest, largely D.I.Y. wedding at North 40 Resort between Columbia Falls and Whitefish, and convenient for me just five minutes from my house!

Thanks to the modest size of the wedding and being comprised of primarily Tasha & Korey's immediate and extended family they were thankfully able to avoid much disruption to their plans due to COVID-19, and everything went off without a hitch. It was so much fun to hang out with them and their families during what was a laid back, fun- and love-filled evening among the trees.

In the not-to-distant future I'm looking forward to traipsing around Glacier National Park with this super friendly couple for an epic adventure portraits session.

Vendors

Venue: North Forty Resort / Catering: Porteus BBQ / Bakery: Cakes by Debi / Dress: Mimi's Bridal / Jewelry: The Electric Buffalo

October 3, 2020

Whitefish Family Photographer, The Ahmad Family

I was fortunate to spend this chilly morning with the Ahmad family at Depot Park and Whitefish City Beach documenting their late-summer family getaway to Northwest Montana. Little A. wasn't super comfortable in front of the camera for a lot of the session, but once she saw the water at City Beach and got to take a little walk with her brother and grandmother she perked right up and started grinning from ear-to-ear. They mentioned that they are planning a potential permanent move to Montana, and I can't wait to welcome them if they're able to make that happen.

September 30, 2020

Glacier National Park Portrait Photographer, Charlotte & Dennis

The great thing about the photographer community most places I've experienced, and especially here in the Flathead Valley, is that its generally a close-knit community where people are quick to refer out jobs when they're already booked. I have Jennifer Vernasrky to thank for the opportunity to hang out with Charlotte and Dennis. Though apparently, it was the inclusion of my Xbox Gamertag in my website bio that actually sealed the deal for Dennis.

The only element of the evening that wasn't according to plan was the smoke from wildfires throughout Northern California, Washington, and Idaho blowing into the area the week they were here. No matter. Smoke or no smoke, Glacier National Park is still a dreamy landscape in which to spend time.

September 4, 2020

Glacier National Park Photographer, Adventure Portrait Styled Shoot

Styled shoots are a great way to build ones photography portfolio. One thing I discovered when I first moved to northwest Montana was I had trouble convincing prospective clients I could take the epic Montana photos they craved when the only examples of photos I had were of the hills of the Texas hill country filled with oak trees. That is nothing against the Texas Hill Country mind you—after all my own wedding took place in a hill country setting and it was an amazing, low-key party enjoyed by all—but the central Texas is lacking in the amazing mountain vistas and alpine forests.

So naturally when I got a call from fellow photographer Cammi of So Striking Studio inviting me to tag along on a styled shoot she'd put together at a couple of iconic Glacier National Park locations how could I say no?!

While it was a tad breezy and our poor model got a little chilly was the sun began to set, I truly don't think it could have gone any better than it did. It was one of those photo shoots where I just couldn't wait to get home to get the images downloaded to start working on them.

Special thanks to Cammi for putting this shoot together, Bridal Bliss Hair & Makeup with Lana for hair & makeup, and The Re-Finery in Kalispell for the stunning vintage white dress you see in the first batch of photos in this post.

September 2, 2020

West Glacier Family Photographer – Fisher-Malle Family

I do a lot of talking about how awesome it is to meet folks from all over the country who come to Montana for weddings, family reunions, or just your standard vacation. What I don't often talk about is hanging out and documenting the lives of the friends we've made here in Montana. But no more! Nick & Skotti's daughter was in my daughter's first- and second-grade classes and they've become good friends. So naturally when Skotti hit me up for some potential family photos I naturally jumped at the chance. Of course it was chillier than expected—it was in the mid-40s on this late August morning—which made it necessary to just power through, but we all managed!

August 21, 2020

Glacier National Park Engagement Photographer, Meredith & John

Meredith & John came all the way from New York to escape the crowds of the city and to document their engagement in the last best place, Montana. It's a shame they only had a few days in Whitefish, as we could've spent so many more hours traipsing around to Glacier National Park's copious amounts of epic views. Alas, with the limited time we had to "make do" with sticking to West Glacier and Lake McDonald. I don't think anyone will take pity on them for that 'restriction.' Meredith and John, thank you so much for choosing me for your engagement photos, and best of luck as you begin the in-depth process of wedding planning. And if that gets overwhelming come on back to Montana and elope! 🙂

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Matt Wetzler is an editorial, motorsport, portrait, and destination wedding photographer based in Northwest Montana.

Copyright ©Matthew Wetzler 2008–2020