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 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 19, 2020

Kalispell Family Photographer, The Brown Family

I probably sound like a broken record, but one of the perks of being a photographer in an area that is such a destination for so many people is I get to meet and hang out with people from all over the country. The Brown family contacted me in hopes of getting some photos to document their trip that took them literally all over the western half of Montana, and culminated in a visit to the Flathead Valley. They made the trip from Mississippi, which was funny because it was the day after Shona & Bradley's wedding, and they live in Mississippi. It's as the song from the Disney ride says, "it's a small world after all."

March 29, 2020

Sandpoint Family & Maternity Photographer, the Stuarts

Like a lot of states around the country, Montana is now under a 'stay-at-home' order in hopes of combatting the spread of the Coronavirus. Thankfully, prior to that happening I was able to escape with the family to the in-laws in Northern Idaho for some extreme social distancing and some maternity photos in anticipation of another nephew!

Family photos can be tricky with a rambunctious two-year-old and a brother-in-law who sometimes acts like a two-year-old (joking!) but here's a little secret. Silly kiddos are infinitely more stressful on the family—and let's be honest, the mom primarily—than they are for the photographer. Oftentimes my favorite photos from family sessions are when the kid(s) are just goofing off and not following my direction or the pleas of their parents.

Anyway, I can't wait to meet the latest addition to our family, with the hope all of this COVID-19 stuff is largely behind us in a few months and life has returned to some semblance of "normal."

January 21, 2020

West Glacier Styled Portrait Session

It's always a delight to get a call or text from a fellow photographer with an invitation to join them on a styled shoot, no matter how low-key it may be. And that is just what happened with this particular shoot.

Amber—of Amber Lynn Photography—texted me to see if I wanted to head out to West Glacier for a quick styled shoot featuring a cheapo $30 sheer sparkly dress, the Northwest Montana Snow, a fellow photographer—also an Amber—as model, hair, and makeup from Bridal Bliss, and florals from Farm-to-Market Floral. How could I say no?!

For my second time doing portraits of an individual in freezing temperatures in the middle of January, I'm really quite happy with the results.

January 17, 2020

Glacier National Park Engagement Photographer, Anna & Lex

Numb hands, full hearts, can't lose. This late December engagement session for Anna & Lex was appropriately chilly—considering the time of year—but that didn't stop us from having a great time. I always look forward to sharing Glacier National Park—if even just the tiniest slice of it—with my couples, especially when they've either not been there at all, or only once before a long time ago.

For this engagement session, we started in downtown Whitefish to utilize the postcard-perfect Central Ave. while it was still decorated for the holidays, and then made our way West Glacier and Apgar Village to take advantage of some of the most iconic backdrops in the state of Montana.

Thank you, Anna & Lex, for hanging out with me on the Saturday after Christmas, and I can't wait to party with you and your families this coming August at your wedding!

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

Copyright ©Matthew Wetzler 2008–2020