December 9, 2021

Whitefish Theatre Co.’s “Elf: The Musical”

It's been so great being involved with both theatre non-profits in Whitefish. I've been able to meet so many creative-minded individuals as well as give back to the community at the same time. And let's be frank when your "work" involves photographing a musical based on the Will Farrel movie "Elf," that can hardly be considered work at all. Whitefish Theatre Co. put on such a joyful show it was the perfect entré into the holiday season.

December 1, 2021

Glacier National Park Winter Engagement Photographer, Xaviera & Adam

Xaviera & Adam contacted me sort of last minute as they were visiting Whitefish for a quick vacation and visiting wedding venues for a wedding the following year. It'd been a while since I'd had the opportunity to photograph a winter engagement portrait session so I was thrilled that I was available and we made plans to freeze our collective rear-ends off and pay Glacier National Park a visit. In these scenarios, I always feel a little bit bad for the couple who is trying to be cute and handsome in below-freezing temperatures while I get to bundle up as much as possible. And of course, as is often the case in life, the women suffer more than anyone else, as cute women's clothing is typically offers less coverage, and is just generally not as warm, to begin with.

Xaviera and Adam were troopers about it though, and braving the frigid temperatures was totally worth it.

November 5, 2021

Austin Engagement Photographer, Emily & Logan

Another benefit of being in Austin this fall was the serendipitous nature of being in the same general area as one of my couples for this upcoming summer. Emily and Logan had booked me for a July 4th weekend wedding here in Montana and happened to live in the Austin area. It was the perfect opportunity to meet up, knock out an engagement session and get to hang out before the big day in the coming year.

November 3, 2021

Mother-Daughter Mini Session at Cypress Bend Park, New Braunfels

While I was in Austin for Formula 1 recently I made the short drive to New Braunfels to have dinner with some of my wife's extended family as well as meet up with a former coworker for a quick portrait mini-session for her and her daughter. As you can see, the daughter wasn't into the session at all and was just quiet and shy the entire time. Or maybe she was the opposite of all of that.

October 29, 2021

2021 Formula 1 Aramco U.S. Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas for Texas Highways magazine

After a one-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I was fortunate to return to Austin to cover the 2021 Formula 1 Aramco United States Grand Prix for my friends at Texas Highways magazine. With a number of health and safety restrictions in place, it was somewhat of a different beast covering the race this year versus the prior five F1 races I've covered in Austin but it provided for some forced creativity throughout the proceedings.

I've addressed this before—this being why someone who often photographs families and weddings would photograph motorsports—and some of it is practicing a genre of photography that is outside my norm, which in the simplest terms helps me fight any burnout I might experience. Variety is the spice of life after all. Secondly, there is value in photographing an event where I have absolutely no control over how things proceed, can't stage anything, and can't get a do-over. And finally, it helps hone my culling and editing, as I need to go through thousands of images more or less as I am taking them, edit my selects, write captions, and turn them over to an editor within 72 hours.

The full photo essay can be found here: "F1 Returns to Texas"

The helicopter flyover at the start of the 2021 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
A photo of roughly three-quarters of the Circuit of the Americas complex taken from the observation deck 231 feet in the air near the top of the iconic COTA Tower.
In the closing stages of the 2021 Formula 1 Aramco United States Grand Prix Daniel Ricciardo leads Carlos Sainz and Valetteri Bottasthrogh the final turn.
The American flag is flown by skidivers during the national anthem, accompanied by red, white, and blue smoke at the beginning of the 2021 Formula 1 Aramco United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas.
Daniel Ricciardo's McLaren sheds sparks as the underside of the car scrapes the tarmac on the exit of turn 18 in the tower complex at Circuit of the Americas during qualifying of the 2021 Formula 1 Aramco United States Grand Prix.
The Austin skyline as viewed from the track with the turn 11 grandstands to the left. After early clouds and extreme humidity, race day turned into a beaiutiful if hot day.
Yuki Tsunoda, Kimi Raikonnen, Fernando Alonso, and Antonio Giovinazzi speed down the start/finish straight towards the track's signature turn one.
COTA's "Onederland" area in the new infield viewing area at the back stretch of the track described as a sort of mini-burning man festival.
Fans take a selfie on the observation deck 231 feet in the air on the COTA Tower.
A spectator on the lawn in the tower complex finds respite from the son with a Texas flag umbrella.
International fans and Formula 1 go hand-in-hand, and this year at the United States Grand PRix it was no differen.t
Australian Daniel Ricciardo has a habit of going "full Texan" whenever he visits Austin for the United States Grand Prix having in years past worn UT Longhorn football jersey and a replica Longhorn football helmet as his crash helmet.
Red Bull's Max Verstappen heads up the hill at turn eight during the 2021 Formula 1 Aramco United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel as he exits the pit lane during qualifying session one of the 2021 Formula 1 Aramco United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
Alpine F1 Team's Fernando Alonso speeds through the tower complex, taken from above on the observation platform.
Aston Martin's Lance Stroll navigates the esses—a series of high speed 'corners'—during the 2021 Formula 1 Aramco United States Grand PRix at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
Scuderia Alpha Tauri's Yuki Tsunoda enters turn 19 during the third practice session of the weekend.
Fans from Mexico watching from the pedestrian bridge at turn three.
In the early stages of the race Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel follows Williams' George Russell out of turn one during the 2021 Formula 1 Aramco Untied States Grand Prix.
Carnival rides and attractions abound throughout Circuit of the Amercias to provide a mixture of entertainment beyond the on-track action.
The three year old W Series—an all female racing series—made its debut on North American at the 2021 Formula 1 Aramco UNited States Grand Prix. Previously only racing in parts of Europe. Driver Jamie Chadwick won the first of two races over the weekend.
McLaren's Daniel Ricciardo exits turn 10 with the inonic COTA tower in the background during the first practice session of the 2021 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas.
The iconic COTA Tower with an F1 flag the morning of practice session three.
Naturally when an event takes place in the "Live Music Captial of the World" there's going to be plenty of music performances to be had from Billy Joel, 21 Pilots, Kool & the Gang, to numerous local acts.
For the 2021 Formula 1 Aramco United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas on October 22, 2021, the Honda powered cars of Red Bull and Slpha Tauri sported the Acura logo on the rear wing instead of the usual Honda branding.
Aston Martin Cognizant's driver Sebastian Vettel navigates the "esses" during the first practice session of the 2021 Formula 1 Aramco United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas on October 22, 2021.
Uralkali Hass F1 Team's driver Mick Schumacher exits turn 12 followed by two other cars during the second practice session of the 2021 Formula 1 Aramco United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas on October 22, 2021 with a representation of the Texas flag painted on the run-off area behind him.
Alpine F1 Team's driver Esteban Ocon exits turn one during the first practice session of the 2021 Formula 1 Aramco United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas on October 22, 2021.
McLaren F1 Team's Daniel Ricciardo doing demonstration laps in the late Dale Earnhardt Sr's 1984 Chevrolet Monte Carlo NASCAR stock car with its iconic blue and yellow "Wrangler Jeans" livery. Earnhardt Sr. is in fact why Ricciardo drives under the number '3.' in tribute.
Alfa Romeo Racing's driver Antonio Giovinazzi enters Turn 14 during the second practice session of the 2021 Formula 1 Aramco United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas on October 22, 2021.
One of the numerous marshall stands surrounding the track. Race marshall's are an imprtant part in keeping everyone from teh drivers to fans safe throughout a race weekend and are typically volunteers. It's hard work, but an outstanding way to get a front row seat to a race.
Scuederia Ferrari's Carlos Sainz races under the pedestrian bridge at turn three during the first practice session of the 2021 Formula 1 Aramco United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
Haas F1's Nikita Mazepin crests the hill at turn eight during the first practice session of the 2021 Formula 1 Aramco United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
The crews of Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Checo Perez climb the fence to celebrate their drivers finishing first and third, respectively, for the 2021 Formula 1 Aramco United States Grand PRix.
The throngs of fans in the mian grandstand area as well as the turn one lawn and grandstand. Supports of Max Verstappen have set off their signature orange smoke bombs that are often seen at Grand Prix around the world.
The podium ceremony for the 2021 Formula 1 Aramco United States Grand Prix with guest presenter Shaquille O'Neal who was also DJing a concert after the race under the name "DJ Diesel"
The podium ceremony as seen over the crowd that stormed on the track as part of the "fan track invasion" immediately following the completion of the race.

October 27, 2021

Bozeman Wedding Photographer, Alison & Airam at Firelight Farms

When I spoke with Alison and Airam early in their booking process we were discussing the pros and cons of the varying amounts of coverage offered in my photography packages. They had been leaning toward the longest coverage I offer by default because—and I quote—"We don't want you to leave if the party is just really starting to get going!" It was at this point I knew this wedding was going to be lots and lots of fun. When it came time for their wedding day, all my assumptions were proven correct.

From early on and the "getting ready" photos, to everyone chipping in and helping get everything set up, through a beautiful ceremony and just a tremendous party, it was a stellar end to my primary wedding season, and one I'll remember for years to come.

Venue: Firelight Farms / Catering: Just a Taste Catering / Rentals: Montana Party Rentals / Bakery: Granny's Donuts / Hair & Makeup: Madi

October 22, 2021

West Glacier Family Photographer, The Coxes

I've said it before, I'll say it again, and I'll keep saying it, I really do enjoy doing multi-family, multi-generational family portrait sessions. I get to meet people from all over the country and often get to witness their introduction to Glacier National Park and see their reactions that first time.

October 20, 2021

Bigfork Wedding Photographer, Kate & Ben’s Backyard Wedding

Documenting Kate and Benjamin's intimate backyard wedding was really just like hanging out with longtime friends—and dare I say 'family'—by the way they kept trying to attend to my every need and I had to remind them I was there to blend into the background as much as possible and document the day as it unfolded.

Florals: Mum's Flowers / Catering: Forage Catering / Rentals: Celebrate Event & Party Rental

October 15, 2021

West Glacier Family Photographer, The Highleys

Often times as photographers we talk about capturing memories and moments for you and your family to look back on for years to come. Most of the time those memories are pretty straightforward and along the lines of "So happy we're spending time together in such a beautiful place like Glacier National Park!" However, sometimes they end up "Remember that time you took a rock to the back of the head?" While we took a short break to skip rocks allowing the kids a respite from posing and smiling, that is unfortunately what happened to the youngest male of the Highley family. Of course, I wouldn't be sharing this if he wasn't ultimately fine, but there was blood involved which was a first for me during a family portrait session. But now they have photos to commemorate the occasion, and all-in-all we had a really great time together!

October 13, 2021

Glacier National Park Engagement Photographer, Cassandra & Justin

The Eastside of Glacier National Park is typically far windier than the Westside. Surely it has something to do with geography and the presence of the continental divide running more or less vertically through the park. Regardless of the reason, whenever I have portrait sessions scheduled over there I try to suggest that "flowy" or "breezy" attire be worn. Cassandra very much understood the assignment. Had so much fun traipsing around the park—from East to West—with these two this fall.

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

Copyright ©Matthew Wetzler 2008–2022