April 5, 2024

West Glacier National Park Engagement, Spence & Kristen

This has been the winter and spring of engagement portrait sessions for several lucky couples. Or should I say I've been the one lucky to be working with them?

Spence reached out to me weeks ago as he and his now-fiancé Kristen would be in the area and he was planning on proposing. While he wasn't trying to capture the actual proposal itself as part of a portrait session, he wanted to commemorate the occasion with a portrait session the following day.

We spoke on the phone a couple of times, he asked dozens of really great questions, and we settled on a time and place for the session. All we needed was confirmation of Kristen's "Yes!" and we were off and running.

We experienced a perfectly magical evening with clear skies and warm sun in West Glacier and Glacier National Park resulting in some epically beautiful photos.

March 13, 2024

Surprise Glacier National Park Winter Proposal, Melanie & Bryan

I told Brian—after he'd successfully asked for Melanie's hand in marriage on the shore of Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park—that I think my heart was probably pounding as quickly as his heart was. Surprise proposals are such an honor to be a part of but man can they be stressful. What if I'm in the wrong spot? What if I'm focussing on the wrong couple? What if I have a camera failure at the key moment?

Thankfully, choosing a winter proposal here in Glacier means it won't be super busy, and with the proper preparation—something Brian and I began discussing three months prior—a lot of the risks can be minimized. Photographing a proposal is also an adrenaline rush for me not unlike the start of a race, where I quite literally have one opportunity to get it right, and there are no true do overs.

February 21, 2024

Whitefish Engagement Portrait Photographer, Gabrielle & Christian

Gabrielle and Christian had two prerequisites for their engagement session. They wanted to include their dogs, and as winter sports enthusiasts they wanted it to be snowy.

Including the dogs was the easy part, but the snow was not so much. This winter has been so strange—and more like spring than winter for most of it if we're being honest—so we kept pushing the session date. Thankfully, Mother Nature finally delivered with almost a week straight of snow, and temperatures low enough to where it stayed pretty and didn't turn to slush. We also lucked out by avoiding the weekend when it was -28 degrees. However, we still dealt with single-digit temps as it was.

I cannot wait for these to get married next fall at Star Meadows Ranch!

November 17, 2023

West Glacier Engagement Photographer, Abby & Kyle

When Abby and Kyle first booked me for their wedding and added an engagement session, we always planned on scheduling it in the Fall. Partially because the Fall colors in Northwest Montana are amazing, but also out of necessity. Kyle is a Wildland Firefighter, and during the summer his schedule can be extremely volatile.

Thankfully, things worked out tremendously weather-wise. We did have a heavy dusting of snow that provided a lovely contrast with the Fall colors. I am so looking forward to their wedding this spring.

November 15, 2023

Glacier National Park Adventure Engagement Photographer, Lauren & Wade

Lauren and Wade's wedding is this coming summer, but they wanted some portraits taken in Glacier National Park for their save-the-date cards. If you saw my last blog post, you already know what the Fall colors look like right now. As luck turned out, Going-to-the-Sun Road closed until next year the day before our session. No worries, it encouraged us to explore a handful of less-traveled areas, and it meant we practically had the park to ourselves. As soon as the road closes for winter, the crowds truly disappear, and it's a really special time to be in the park.

Cannot wait to get these two married next year.

February 15, 2022

Winter Engagement Portraits in West Glacier, Ashlyn & Patrick

Ashlyn & Patrick were recently engaged and in the area so naturally, they wanted some portraits taken in and around Glacier National Park. February weather and all. And like the vast majority of people that find themselves in front of my camera, they claimed to be totally helpless in photos. I had to vehemently disagree, however, as they absolutely nailed their session, especially the in-between moments where I simply take photos while not necessarily giving any direction at all. Just them being their natural selves. Which is actually a big pro tip. Just be yourself if you're having portraits taken, pretend the camera isn't there.

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.

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.

September 8, 2021

Glacier National Park Engagement Photographer, Niva & Vishal

While Northwest Montana—and Glacier National Park in particular—do have a tendency to make the lives of photographers rather easy at times it doesn't mean this vocation isn't without its challenges. For instance, we make up for our lack of sunshine and short days in winter with extremely long summer days. That means scheduling your sunrise session that starts on the East side of Glacier means a 4:00 am or earlier alarm clock wake-up.

All of that said, even when contending with uncooperative weather, and hazy, smoky skies Glacier rarely disappoints. This August morning with Niva and Vishal was no different. I got to hang out with these two for a couple of hours early one morning starting on the East side of the park and heading West and we had a great time discussing Taylor Swift, the differences between Texas and Montana, and the unreal scenery we were surrounded by.

September 4, 2021

Kalispell Engagement Photographer, Sarah & Dom

This was a really special engagement session for me. While they wanted to naturally get photos of just the two of them for their engagement, it was also important to Sarah and Dom to include Sarah's son in the portrait session as well, and he made it so fun. It was an unseasonably hot day here in Northwest Montana, even for July, but he was a real trooper, and was super happy to cooperate, especially after he got to play art director for some of the photos. We met up at Lone Pine State Park and then headed over to Woodland Park closer to downtown Kalispell.

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

Copyright ©Matthew Wetzler 2008–2024