Location: Bozeman, MT
How did you get into photography? Are you self-taught or formally trained?
I started in photography due to my passion for capturing the beauty of my home state and my love for adventuring in the outdoors. I do both photography and videography, and my interests started with capturing nature/travel, editorial work, music, and extreme sports. Starting at the University of Montana, I studied Media Arts, where I took courses in film and video editing, and then later transferred to Montana State University where I majored in Sociology and minored in Photography, and I studied film photography, digital photography, and photo editing. I have also worked for Bella Baby Photography doing newborn photography, I am currently a photographer for the Bozeman Community Food Co-op, and a videographer for Montana’s largest wedding video company, Bonafide Filmhouse.
Describe your style in one sentence.
My style would be considered documentary, candid, and editorial photography. I enjoy assimilating into the crowd that I’m with and creating an environment where I’m no longer seen as an outsider. I make a point to talk to the friends and family attending each wedding, which allows me to capture the moments in a more natural way. This helps in getting a more true and realistic representation of the bride and groom with the people that they care about most.
What’s been your favorite experience as a wedding photographer?
Meeting amazing people that have a passion for life, and also simply that it takes me to the beautiful places of my home state of Montana. Instead of coming into the situation like a job, the freedom of doing what I love allows me to actually be there because I truly want to be, not because of what I will earn from the gig. I have walked away from wedding photography gigs with new friends, and some of the most meaningful relationships I’ve yet to have.
What do you love most about photographing weddings? Why do you photograph weddings in particular?
I love being there on the big day when couples make the biggest commitment of their lives together. Being able to capture those fractions of a second where so many emotions are transmitted to each-other is a big deal for me. I have felt some of the most real emotions from being behind a lens while good friends of mine are committing themselves to each other for the rest of their lives.
Where is the most interesting or unique place you’ve photographed a wedding? Was there anything especially challenging about it?
My most unique ceremony was at the base of Two Medicine Lake in Glacier National Park. This was actually rather easy because in national parks we weren’t allowed any props, and minimal attendants, so I was able to move around and photograph the event with a lot of freedom. The reception was held at the Izaak Walton Inn on the west side of Glacier, and after spending the night in this amazing historic hotel, I definitely recommend!
Do you have a favorite, must-capture moment for every wedding?
I always try and find a monumental landscape to photograph the couple in front of, often including several candid shots, and one of them looking off into the distance and imagining their future and what that would look like. One of my “must-have” shots is definitely with the veil draped over the couple, creating a small and intimate environment with them looking at each other in admiration and kissing.
As a photographer, what has been your biggest wedding day challenge?
From seeing a variety of wedding venue sizes and configurations, I always scope out the aisles, and the left and right wings of the ceremony to make sure that I get the vantage point that I’m looking for. After trial and error, I have my staple points that I use, and I will change them according to each venue.
What piece of advice would you give brides and grooms to ensure that they get wedding photos they love forever? (This can include tips about preparation, choosing a photographer, or anything else.)
Know what you want. A great photographer can get photos that you enjoy, but they can get photos that you absolutely love if you tell them what you want to see in the photos. Structure is big for me, so I have a master shot list and I always go through it with the bride and groom to make sure that they are getting exactly what they paid for. Also, look at their style, whether it’s their composition or editing style, and go with your heart on which one best represents you and your lifestyle. In today’s age, there is a lot of variety in how photographers stylize and edit their photos, so make sure that you pick one that is accurate to you as a couple.
What are your favorite wedding trends to photograph right now?
I enjoy the ceremony ritual a lot because it comes in many different fashions. I also enjoy photographing the reception and dancing, because I feel that with social media and cultural trends, dancing has really been revived.
How do you think an app like Joy can help make weddings better?
I love organization, and I honestly don’t think you can ever have enough. A tool like Joy will ensure that your day goes flawless, the details are tied down, all of your attendants are on time and know where they are going, and ensures that you will be comfortable and content on your big day. It will also help everyone to familiarize themselves with the wedding party, and even share the photos that they get with everyone else. I feel that it is a great resource in making your day more cohesive and smooth overall.
If you weren’t a wedding photographer, what would you be doing?
On top of being a wedding photographer, I also enjoy my travel and nature photography, and I also do a lot of commercial work for businesses, and editorial work for magazines. I also have my own online magazine with my business partner Max, called The Hyalite, where we focus on the culture of the local region and write about art, music, food, and the outdoors. So no matter what, photography and writing.
At Joy we believe that even though a wedding lasts a day, joy lasts forever. What does that mean to you?
Even though the event only occurs on one single day, the moments and happiness that occurred will last forever. Being a photographer, my goal is to make sure that every couple I work with can look at each photo and travel back in time and relive those feelings that forever changed them as a person.