Love in Montana: Jenn & Adam

Sometimes people can't keep their hands off of each other and I love photographing it.  

And suddenly a team of wild horses was getting moved out to pasture.  I love when special things just happen that make wedding photos even more fun and exciting.

Big Sky Journal and The Red Lodge Clay Center

When the Big Sky Journal asked me to photograph The Red Lodge Clay Center I jumped at the opportunity.  For the past 25 years I have been photographing weddings, portraits, and stories for various publications.  I get inspired to do jobs for magazines because it lets me delve into some new subject, meet new and interesting people, and explore something visually in great depth.  Being behind a camera detaches you slightly from reality and in my experience gives you a perspective that allows you to become very intimate with your subjects.  Being a photographer and working for a publication has its benefits because the subjects of the story really want you to do a good job and go to great lengths to make sure you are welcome and that you can do your job well.  When I walked into the studio at the Red Lodge Clay center all of the work tables and stations were immaculate.  Each of the artists' studios were tidy, and were a window into the particular artist's creative process.  Everyone was gracious and welcoming and I was allowed to walk into each artists studio which was like reading someone's creative diary.  In each studio you could see objects of inspiration, sketches hung on the wall, and their pottery projects were in various states of creation.  It was magical.  I loved creating this visual story of the magic that is happening in a Red Lodge, Montana, tiny town at the beginning of one of the National Scenic Byways All-American Road's that climbs into one of the most beautiful areas in Montana.

 

Read other features in The Big Sky Journal

Maura & Andrew exchange vows with the Grand Tetons in the distance

Brides wrote:  "The time was 6:30 a.m. on an unusually warm September morning. The sun was already high in the sky, lending a vivid blue backdrop to the Crescent H Ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where Maura Kearney, 29, and Andrew Marshall, 28, would celebrate their wedding among 175 friends and family. With horses galloping alongside, the bride took her last jog as a single woman, noting thankfully that the 200 “just-in-case” umbrellas wouldn't be needed. Hours later, in a log church in Teton National Park, Maura and her groom exchanged traditional Catholic vows, led by a deacon whom they'd gotten to know over the past year—and who, just as important, had gotten to know them.

Then it was time to trek back en masse to the rugged Crescent H, where guests dined under tents at rawhide-covered tables decorated with wildflowers stuffed in Mason jars and barnwood boxes. “No two tables were alike,” says Maura, whose event designer, Cecelia Heffernan, also wrapped the dinner napkins in rustic leather strands. Celebrating the couple's shared love of Wyoming fare (and fishing!), Maura and Andrew's menu featured elk, fresh trout from the Snake River and a favorite David Bruce Pinot Noir that the pair had shipped in from Sonoma. Fittingly, it was the Johnny Cash tune “Jackson” that got everybody on the dance floor. No better time—or place—to hear it."

View the whole story online at Brides.

6 Elements of Wedding Photography

I have photographed hundreds of weddings over the past three decades and every celebration is distinctive, creating a artistic representation of those differences is what inspires and challenges me.  There are 6 elements of Wedding Photography which include details, preparation, ceremony, candids, portraits and the reception.  When you approach each wedding with a fresh eye and respond to the personalities of the bride and groom, capture the unique style of details and sense of place of the venue you create a personal history of one of the most memorable days of a person's life.  Creating a familial history fulfills me. 

Below you will see a variety of story boards from each of the 6 Elements of Wedding Photography.  They depict the sometimes subtle nuances that make each wedding extraordinary.  Every photographer has her own personal style and vision, looking at the different ways they photograph all elements of a wedding, allows you to see their artistic vision.

I feel a sense of great satisfaction when a bride writes: "...our story, and every detail of the story of the day, is with us forever in the photos.  Looking at them now, and experiencing the flood of emotions they bring back, makes me wonder if she took those pictures by seeing not through her eyes, but instead through our hearts.'

Closing the Deal: Interview with the Science of People

I found out about the Science of People on CreativeLive and have been obsessed with the the actual science of people ever since then.  I have had the honor of chatting with Vanessa through emails and am proud that she featured me on her blog.  If you want to learn how and why people tick check out what she does.  It is fascinating.  Click on the link to read the Science of People blog post.   

 

Vanessa Van Edwards is a Huffington Post columnist and her groundbreaking work has been featured on NPR, the Wall Street Journal, the Today Show and USA Today. She has written for CNN, Fast Company and Forbes. Her science of people approach has benefited both readers and corporations as Vanessa has consulted for multiple Fortune 500 companies including American Express, Clean and Clear and Symantec.

The Knot: The Summer Issue Photo Feature

When I photographed Erica Diermerier and Steve Rivera's wedding I knew the photographs would turn out lovely.  Erica was sweet and beautiful, and the arbor that the Ritz Carlton had created for her was beautifully covered in orchids that had a subtle beauty to it that I fell in love with.  When I was taking this image I knew that I was creating the most angelic image that I had ever created. 

So happy that Rebecca Crumley from The Knot loved the image too. 

 

 

Fundy Album Builder/Top Images of 2013

Several years ago I started using Fundy Album Builder and continue to be impressed by their genius ways of making album building and branding so user friendly.  Their simple interface allows you to focus your time and energy on creating album designs that highlight the beauty of the images instead of wasting time on the technical aspect of album design. 

 

A few months ago Cheryl asked me to submit a few images from 2013 and they decided to primarily use Peter Mueller and Alex Johnson's photographs.  They had a simple but love filled wedding at Chico Hot Springs in Pray, Montana.  Thank you Fundy, Cheryl and staff for having me be a part of your incredible product and process!

http://www.fundysoftware.com/2013/12/top-2013-melanie-nashan/

Source: http://www.fundysoftware.com/2013/12/top-2...

Part Two of their story: Their Wedding Day, October 17, 2005

Hilary & Ryan were married in downtown Bozeman, Montana and wanted to have some photographs of the Bridger Mountains in the background of their photos.  The wind was incessant and incredibly strong, but at least it was blowing in the right direction.  Here are some of the photos that bring me back to their wedding day. 

Doting bridesmaids. 

Doting bridesmaids. 

Published in Martha Stewart Weddings under One Thing I Learned... 

Published in Martha Stewart Weddings under One Thing I Learned... 

My favorite image from their wedding.  It captures their love and grace which over the years I have been able to document as they grow stronger and even more graceful. 

My favorite image from their wedding.  It captures their love and grace which over the years I have been able to document as they grow stronger and even more graceful. 

Hilary & Ryan's History....

Almost a decade ago I met Hilary and Ryan and started what was to become a long relationship.  They asked me to photograph their wedding and it all started with their engagement session.  I would never have guessed that almost a decade later I would have photographed Hilary while she was pregnant, all three of their babies and Ryan's business photos.... 

Their engagement photo... 

One of my favorite weddings is featured on Colin Cowie' s web site

I had the pleasure of meeting Colin a few months ago and we immediately hit it off. I had always admired his creative spirit and am so happy our paths crossed!  I look forward to working with him in the future and am so flattered to have my work included on his site!

The featured wedding was designed by the bride with the help of her friends.  They created a wonderful and celebratory carnival inspired celebration the also ran in Brides magazine. 

Transient

Environmental portraits of my brides & grooms.

Creating environmental portraits comes naturally to me.  I love going to new locations because I am able to explore for a few minutes and find that spots that relate the essence of the place.  In my mind people choose a place to be married because they connect to it for various reasons. I love combining the beauty of the place that I am in, the personalities of the couple and the intimacy that they have with each other at that particular moment to create portraits that I hope they will cherish forever.  I hope you can capture a glimpse of their personalities from these photos and the love that they feel for each other.

Happy Flag Day.

Happy Flag Day.  Photographing flags is one of my past times, getting to photograph a couple is even more of a treat!  When I spoke to this couple before their wedding the bride said that the groom didn't like to have his photograph taken and wanted it to be done quickly.  On the wedding day with the help from the ladies at WED in Charleston the wedding party and I hopped onto a trolly, went to this fantastic location, the beach and the marshlands.  After the wedding I spoke to the bride and she told me that her husband's favorite part of the wedding was the time we spent together taking photographs.  It is because of moments like this that I love my job.

Branding. One of the things we love about living in Montana.

Every spring we brand our calves which is a tradition we have been a part of for over 15 years.  Our dear friend Farrell Lloyd introduced our family to the western lifestyle of ranching and it has been a significant part of our lives ever since.  Branding is one of the western traditions that brings friends and family members together for a little bit of work, some good food and time to catch up on each others lives.  Thank you to all of our friends who help out each year.....