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.

October 8, 2021

Glacier National Park Wedding Photographer, Emily & Harrison at Apgar Amphitheatre

Emily and Harrison planned an intimate, laid-back wedding at Glacier National Park at the Apgar Amphiteatre. It's one of the locations inside the park that provides for a larger number of guests versus the vast majority of other permissible ceremony locations. Their photography requests were pretty simple. A few getting ready photos at their vacation rentals where they were staying with family and friends, some quick portraits in the "Big Bend" location along Going-to-the-Sun Rd, and of course the ceremony itself. Luck and fate shined upon us all that day, as previous days' wildfire smoke largely blew off providing for clear skies and the weather could not have been more perfect.

October 6, 2021

West Glacier Family Photographer, The Blanks

The Blank family was traveling the country in their fifth wheel camper and hoping to grab some family portraits along with "school portraits" for their kids and I was of course more than happy to oblige. And while I don't think I'll ever get jaded about visiting Glacier all the time, It's really great to be able to visit the national park with "fresh eyes" each time I get to meet a family or couple there for portraits.

October 1, 2021

Glacier National Park Wedding Photographer, Shellie & Ethan at Izaak Walton Inn

Shellie & Ethan at a lovely, intimate wedding at the historic Izaak Walton Inn in Essex, Montana kind of near the southern tip of Glacier National Park as you're driving around the park. It's a lovely Inn with historic train cars dotting the landscape in addition to the main building for a unique lodging experience. It was a particularly rainy August day, and I never know what sort of mental state the couple may be in when I pull up to a wedding on such a wet and gray day. Shellie and Ethan's temperament when I arrived made those concerns disappear immediately. Not only were they two of the kindest people you could ever hope to meet, but they also approached their wedding day with the perfect mindset: "We're getting married today, and that's all that matters."

From the absolutely perfect ceremony delivered by Kate Berry, and a lovely—if chilly—"Day After" portrait session that took place two days after, in Glacier, this was one wedding I'll remember for quite some time.

Venue: Izaak Walton Inn / Catering: Izaak Walton Inn / Bakery: Flitter Bee Buzz Thru / Officiant: Kate Berry / DJ: V-Team DJs

September 29, 2021

Whitefish Wedding Photographer, Brittany & Dillon at Whitefish Mountain Resort

Photographing Brittany and Dillon's wedding at Whitefish Mountain Resort here in Whitefish was like hanging out with a big group of my closest friends where a wedding happened to be taking place followed by a big dance party. From their '90s and early-00s, album-themed seating charts, to constant jokes and laughing. All on top of a mountain in one of the most beautiful places in the country. It doesn't get much better than that.

Venue: Whitefish Mountain Resort / Catering: Whitefish Mountain Resort / Bakery: The Spot / Rentals: Peak Audio Kalispell

September 24, 2021

Whitefish Wedding Photographer, Dani & Shawn at Star Meadows Ranch

Dani and Shawn's wedding was a perfect example of how you can prioritize your day to emphasize what is most important to you as a couple. They had a wonderfully intimate wedding with their family and fifty or so of their closest friends at Star Meadows Ranch outside Whitefish. As it was such an intimate affair, with lawn games and dinner following the ceremony versus a traditional, raucous dance party I worked with them to customize their photography package to focus on the getting ready photos and the ceremony followed by an adventure portrait session at Glacier National Park the following evening. It was a blast spending time with them and their families, followed by showing them around Glacier. Even if the weather didn't cooperate in any way, shape, or form. Though with the delivered photos, I think it was an important teachable moment for all couples. Weather in Montana can often be very unpredictable, but if you just roll with it you will not be disappointed. Whether it's wildfire smoke, a cold and rainy evening, or just cold weather in August, Glacier is and always will be a stunning backdrop.

Venue: Star Meadows Ranch / Planner: Big Day Celebrations / Hair & Makeup: Melanie Hobus, 406 Hair / Videography: Alyssa Jean Studios / Catering: Famous Dave's BBQ

September 22, 2021

Lakeside Family Photographer, The Schneiders

I know I must sound like a broken record with these blog posts, especially for family portraits, but I try to speak only the truth! I may be an introvert at heart, but I truly enjoy getting to meet families from other parts of the country, particularly when it is multiple generations of said families. Being able to see them all together and documenting their time here in Montana through photography really is lots of fun and I am fortunate to be able to do so. The Schneiders were no different, and they were all spending time together at a lovely rental in Lakeside. Smoke unfortunately mostly obscured any views of Flathead Lake we may have had otherwise, but we made do with the surrounding area and I'd say the results speak for themselves. Also, puppies! I will never discourage anyone from bringing their dogs with them for family portraits because after all, they are part of the family. As long as it is legal to do so of course, there are places inside National Parks you are not allowed to bring your four-legged friends.

September 18, 2021

Whitefish Family Photographer, The Oaks

I've had the pleasure of working with Nikki in the past through her son's involvement with Alpine Theater Project, and through school district fundraisers so it was an honor to be asked to do a family portrait session with them this summer. We made a quick trip to Whitefish City Beach on a beautiful summer day here in Northwest Montana for a mini-session and it couldn't have been more pleasant.

September 15, 2021

Whitefish Family Photographer, the Mckissacks

I somehow seem to end up working with lots of families and couples from Texas. I've never felt that I'm particularly Texan, and I didn't even start saying "y'all" until we moved to Montana (I'm still trying to figure that out.) But it's always nice to talk to folks from the areas I frequented throughout my youth and where my wife still has extended family. Anna contacted me because her family, along with her brother and his spouse would be in Whitefish visiting their dad, and it was the first time they'd all been together in a while. The session and photos also served as a bit of a birthday present for her dad which is such a great gift.

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

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