Hi all! I just wanted to wish you a Happy Happy Valentine’s Day! Thanks for all the love you’ve allowed me to share with you, and for your kind words and comments – it all always makes my heart swell with happiness!
As a thank you to all you lovelies, I’m offering a $50 discount on portrait sessions booked today! (They can be scheduled for the future but need to be booked today to be eligible for the discount.) The discount is applicable to either your session fee or print collections of your choosing.
Call me today to book your session! (406.240.3469) And don’t forget to tell your friends, too! Happy, Happy Valentine’s Day!
One more thing, a post wouldn’t be a post without a picture – here’s a lovely little meadowlark singing his tiny lungs out for all the world to hear! I photographed him last May, and the little bugger was very tricky to capture! (He was a bit camera shy.) I love this photo because 1. I heart birds. 2. He’s Montana’s state bird. And 3. He just embodies the happiness that is spring. And guess what? It’s just around the corner!
I spent the last several days at the Big Sky Photo Summit, in Big Sky, Montana, learning from fabulous photographers Dane Sanders, Mike Colón, and Tamara Lackey. To put it simply – this photo summit was wonderful. Absolutely and completely. (Thank you Tracy Moore!) Not only because we were learning so much from our presenters, but because we all made great friends with the photographers who attended this workshop. We inspired one another, we laughed, we cried (yep, we cried), and we had a blast.
For me personally, I was launched back to a time in my life when I was working at Lone Mountain Ranch in Big Sky as a lowly housekeeper. I did this during my summers in between undergraduate years at Carleton College. The job…eh, not so hot. Housekeeping is in no way glamorous especially when you’re wielding toilet brushes on a daily basis. (As a side note: Be nice to your housekeepers! We really appreciate it and notice when you are kind to us. And being kind is as simple as saying “hi.”) But I wasn’t there for the job. I was there to be in Montana and to get back to my roots. I was there to push myself and step out of my comfort zone. I went to the ranch not knowing a soul, and ended up meeting some of the most amazing people I have ever met. It still holds true to this day.
The summers working at the ranch were some of the very best in my life. My friends and I would drink tea and draw beautiful pictures in the warm sunlight. We’d drive to the green bridge along the Gallatin, and leap off the steel edge into the frigid water, laughing and yelping from the cold. We’d explore waterways, find secret plank diving boards, and eat ice cream still soaked from our water adventures. We’d hike and backpack and camp and witness shooting stars so big and beautiful and glowing, we wondered if what we’d seen was actually something real. We’d talk late into the starry, starry nights about our dreams and hopes and fears, wrapped in cozy blankets sitting on the porch of crew housing. We’d get caught hiking in thunderstorms so violent and awesome that we’d be soaked through, wringing our braids out as we ran back to the car pelted by fat, warm raindrops over muddy trails. We’d cry with one another as we helped each other through personal tragedies. We’d sit in the ranch hot tub after hours, late in the evening, and run giggling to jump in the nearby creek to shock our systems with the freezing mountain water. We lived life to its very fullest.
Every. Single. Day.
Those summers awakened me in a way I had never dreamed of. They also awakened me to the need to document what I was experiencing. I tried. But I didn’t have the knowledge at the time to make great images. Those memories aren’t lost to me. They still exist in my mind, and I hope always will. But I don’t have the ability to share them with others except through my words.
This is why I chose to pursue photography. And I did. I took classes in film at Carleton. And I awakened something even greater – the knowledge that this was what I was supposed to do in life. I graduated with a BA in English, knowing I needed something more. I went to grad school for photojournalism. I worked at some amazing newspapers and met more wonderful people along the way. And then I started this business officially.
And here I am. Stirred by my own nostalgia and memories and grateful to be doing something I love so you can retain your memories and nostalgia in a tangible way.
Thank you to everyone at the workshop who helped me re-remember these things. I can’t tell you how much it means to me.
And now for a few of my favorite photos from our time together at the summit. We participated in a bridal shoot with Mike Colón and a fantastic local model, we were witness to Tamara Lackey’s wonderful interactions with adorable little kiddos (and noticed the irony of a paparazzi sign in the lodge), and we photographed alongside Dane Sanders for an engagement session.
Life is good. Thanks for sticking with me through this lengthy post. On to the photos!