July 15, 2021

Columbia Falls Family Photographer, The Wagners

I had such a great time photographing the Wagners in Columbia Falls this past month. They were celebrating their parents' 40th Anniversary and converged on the Flathead Valley from all over the country to spend time together and do some quality hiking. It was honestly one of those family sessions I didn't particularly want to end, they were all so friendly and sweet, and I probably could've chatted with them all day if they—and okay me too—didn't have other plans that day. It really is always a pleasure getting to meet these multi-generational groups spending time together on vacation, and one of my favorite things I get to do as a photographer.

June 7, 2021

Columbia Falls Family Photographer, The Fishers

Repeat customers are probably one of the most favorite things a family photographer can have, and that is especially true with this family. You may recognize them from a post late last summer, or possibly Nick from his video series "Small Business Every Saturday" promoting Flathead Valley small businesses that he invited me to be a part of this winter. Their daughter also happens to be one of my daughter's best friends! But unfortunately, they're having to move away from Northwest Montana but wanted to document their time here one last time prior to moving out of their house. It was such an honor to be the one documenting it, and I was sure not to actually say "goodbye," but leave them instead with a "see you around."

June 2, 2021

Whitefish Family Photographer, Debbie’s Family Reunion

Debbie contacted me through my Instagram page in hopes of getting just a handful of photos of her family's spring visit to Whitefish. It was the first time they'd all been together in several years and was especially important to her parents. Multi-generational family sessions are always such a pleasure to do because there are always special moments whether it's between a dad and his daughters, some sibling tomfoolery, or grandparents and their grandchildren. Because of the toddlers and their diminutive attention spans to match their size, and the fact that Debbie is a pretty great photographer herself, I created a custom 'multi-generational family session' and we knocked these out in just 30 minutes.

February 15, 2021

Whitefish Montana Family Photographer, The Ahmads

I'd hate to speak for other photographers, but for this particular photographer, repeat business is one of the best feelings ever. I met the Ahmad family this past fall when they were paying a visit to Northwest Montana, and I was extremely stoked to get a text from them again this winter asking if I was available for some portraits this February as they were here for some powder turns at Whitefish Mountain Resort.

While it was certainly chilly we did manage to sneak in before an arctic system moved in and temperatures plunged below zero. We were also blessed with the most perfect light snowfall, something I've been wanting to have for a portrait session for the last three years but had never materialized until now!

Ahmad Winter Family Portraits in Whitefish Montana at Riverside Park
Ahmad Winter Family Portraits in Whitefish Montana at Riverside Park
Ahmad Winter Family Portraits in Whitefish Montana at Riverside Park
Ahmad Winter Family Portraits in Whitefish Montana at Riverside Park
Ahmad Winter Family Portraits in Whitefish Montana at Riverside Park
Ahmad Winter Family Portraits in Whitefish Montana at Riverside Park
Ahmad Winter Family Portraits in Whitefish Montana at Riverside Park

January 11, 2021

West Glacier Family Photographer, The Connellys

My wife and I both come from a long line of teachers, with current and retired teachers on both sides of our respective families. As such we've got an immense amount of respect for those individuals that choose such a noble profession. So whenever I get an opportunity to work with one of my daughter's teachers it's always an honor. This winter I got to reconnect with her first grade teacher who had a profound impact on my daughter, and by extension us. She and her husband have three boys so it seemed appropriate to schedule the session in a location with an epic sledding hill to close out the photos.

January 6, 2021

Glacier National Park Engagement Photographer, Sofiya & Collin

Living in the Flathead Valley—an area small in population but big on epic views—means the majority of the couples I work with tend to be from far away. This means there isn't often the opportunity to get together for engagement photos prior to the wedding. And while there are always phone calls, texts, emails, and yes videoconferencing that just about everyone grew accustomed to during 2020, there's just no better way to get to know each other than a pre-wedding photoshoot.

So when Sofiya and Collin, who live here in the valley, booked me for their wedding next year and asked for an engagement shoot I couldn't have been happier. The weather was bitter cold, but that's nothing a blanket, some snuggles, and okay plenty of hand warmers couldn't combat.

We had so much fun traipsing around West Glacier and Glacier National Park, I can't wait to party with them here in 2021.

December 11, 2020

Glacier National Park Wedding Photographer, Kaylee & Braxton’s Post-Wedding Portrait Session

Kaylee and Braxton didn't actually elope, bu they were celebrating their honeymoon here in Whitefish. And what is that saying "When in [Whitefish] you do as [Montanans] do." You put on your wedding attire and you book a portrait session in Glacier National Park!

Okay, maybe not everyone does that, but I am so happy these two Texans—by way of D.C.—ended up contacting me for said portraits. Kaylee is a photographer herself so it was really fun to talk a little shop. It was also a little different working with someone who knew just about all the prompts, and what those prompts were trying to accomplish. It made things super quick and efficient which was ideal given that it was below freezing. But I was once again blessed with a couple that was all smiles for miles.

Incidentally I'm so glad my wife insisted on buying a box of the little hand warmers to keep in the car to use for photoshoots. They've come in super handy this winter.

December 9, 2020

Glacier National Park Engagement Photographer, Michelle & Alex

Michelle and Alex were visiting all the way from North Texas and like any couple with taste, they wanted some engagement photos in Glacier National Park. They were actually my second of three Texas couples in the last eight weeks which has been really nice. It's always a pleasure to show people from the state where I grew up the area that has since captivated me. It wasn't snowing, unfortunately, but it was definitely more chilly than a couple of Texans were used to. It was actually a bit dreary this particular day, but you'd never know it from the laughter and the jokes shared during the session.

I may not be any relationship expert, but I like to think that laughter is an awfully solid foundation from which love grows. If that assumption is correct, these two are primed for many, many years of happiness. Congratulations to Michelle and Alex!

December 4, 2020

West Glacier Elopement Photographer, Ana & Steve

One thing I love about our wedding and event community here in the Flathead Valley of Northwest Montana is you often get to work with the same vendors on repeat occasions. One such occasion was getting a text from officiant Kate Berry just a couple of weeks after working with her on Ashley & Scott's perfect intimate wedding. Ana and Steve were on their way to Whitefish—with their two pups in tow!—to officially elope after a weeks-long, cross-country road trip complete with staged elopements with their respective families. Upon arrival in Montana, they encountered a freak blizzard which wasn't the most fun thing to drive through, but they made it safe and sound to the Hidden Moose Lodge, which is where I got to meet up with them for some getting ready shots and a first look. It was then off to West Glacier for the big event, some shots, and then portraits!

Lodging: Hidden Moose Lodge / Officiant: Kate Berry / Florals: Mum's Flowers

December 3, 2020

West Glacier Portrait Photographer, Somer & Friends

I'll admit that as much as a photo-taker as my dad and other members of my family were, and as much travel as my wife's family has done throughout her life, it wasn't until I began focusing on photography and booking people for vacation photos in this amazing place called Montana that such a thing ever occurred to me. But it's honestly such a great idea. What better way to remember your vacation, particularly in a place that isn't the kind of place that is super easy to make repeated trips too without copious amounts of time off and sometimes great expense. And what's more why not do that and share the experience with a close friend as well, because after all, memories aren't only for the family you're born with, but the family you choose.

Somer booked me—thanks to a referral from the ever so kind Jennifer Vernarsky—for such a session as one of her best friends made the drive from the Northwestern coast to meet up in the last best place as she was working in Central Montana. And I'm so glad she did. And spoiler alert, but if you want to get silly during your portrait session, I will only encourage you to do so. Do not ask me if I care if you don squirrel pajamas expecting me to talk you out of it, because I'll basically demand that you do so. The only bummer is there was one other photo prop idea that would've been killer, particularly with this session taking place just before Halloween. Alas, the props were left in the hotel. Maybe next time!

I'd also like to give a shout out to Somer's teenage son, because if there is any group that is "too cool" for family portraits it's the teenagers, but he was a great sport about everything.

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

Copyright ©Matthew Wetzler 2008–2021