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 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 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 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 15, 2021

Glacier National Park Elopement, Brittany & Jon

Brittany and Jon's July 4th elopement was special for several reasons. One is that I consider any time I get to document such an intimate and important part of anyone's life that is a special thing. Secondly, they're close friends of Marina & David's who might sound familiar from the blog post immediately preceding this one! So it was great to see them again the day after their wedding and spend some more time with them and Sarah Harding who officiated both weddings. Finally, it was just great to get to know Brittany and Jon and spend some time with them in such a special place.

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

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