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.

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 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.

September 13, 2021

West Glacier Family Maternity Photographer, the Flemmings

I met the Flemmings thanks to my involvement with Alpine Theatre Project and I couldn't be more thankful for that fact. They were in town performing and teaching as part of ATP's Broadway Summer Camp and seeing as how Jennie was expecting, they thought they should get some family maternity photos taken in and around Glacier National Park before returning home. I was fully supportive of this plan and had such an amazing evening with them. The weather cooperated and the smoke cleared out just enough for the day and it was just the perfect conditions.

September 10, 2021

West Glacier Family Photographer, The Ritters

My evening with the Ritters was—as you'll see in the photos—very much maligned with August's signature wildfire smoke. What I think you'll also see is that West Glacier and Glacier National Park are still beautiful, and it did nothing to detract from the fun had. It's funny that parents of really young children often apologize if a toddler has a meltdown, won't focus, or is just hyper and crazy. But I'll be honest I think hyper toddlers are usually easier to deal with—and frankly more fun to photograph on the photographer's end even if the parents don't think so—than moody teenagers. All of that said, these older children were great sports and obviously found that there can be fun in family photos, and it was fantastic.

August 26, 2021

Whitefish Family Photographer, The Feinbergs

Like the majority of my family portrait clients, each summer the Feinbergs were visiting our amazing corner of the country and wanted to be sure to sneak in some family photos in order to document the occasion. We actually split their portrait session into basically two portrait sessions, with the first being focused just on the children in and around downtown Whitefish, and then family photos—sneaking grandma into some—at Whitefish City Beach at sunset. As you can tell, Montana was showing off on this amazing mid-summer evening.

August 24, 2021

Glacier National Park Family Photographer, The Zeliskos

What do you do with pre-teen boys for family portraits? Promise them the opportunity to splash around and get dirty in their nice clothes at the end of the session! I enjoyed spending time with this family from Texas, discussing their large road trip that mirrored to some degree my own family's road trip that ended up with ultimately moving here to Montana. I can't say that the Zelisko family will do the same, but I do think they enjoyed their time spent here, and it was such a pleasure to document a tiny slice of that.

August 21, 2021

Whitefish Family Photographer, The Schram’s

This was such a great evening spent with the Schram family at Walking Bear Resort on the South end of Whitefish. It's said so often by photographers here in the Flathead Valley that one of our favorite parts of our jobs is meeting people from all over the place that come together here in Northwest Montana, but it's really true! It's also fun to witness families with multiple generations spending time together, something that culturally in the United States anyway seems to be more normal than it is now with people living more spread out than they may have historically.

July 29, 2021

East Glacier Family Photographer, the Lewis Family at Glacier Park Lodge

For some reason, I'd not had the opportunity to make it over to Glacier Park Lodge in East Glacier but I'm so glad I got the opportunity to document the Lewis family's vacation stop there. Yes, it was sort of a miserable day, with gray clouds and reasonably persistent rain, but they were very open to working around that and didn't let it spoil the fun—and plenty of shenanigans from the teenagers and the grandads—of the evening.

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.

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

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