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I'm fun-loving, I'm darn handy with a camera, and I've got photo-ninja-like qualities...basically, I'm invisible but everywhere. Above all, I believe in people, and I believe weddings are a fantastic place to honestly and authentically document the magic of what makes us human - what makes YOU human. I live for the reality of eye-crinkles, belly-laughs, tears, nerves, surprises, and connection. I live for the hilarity of misplaced shoes, spontaneously jumping into lakes, a father's quivering chin, giggling escapee toddlers, stolen kisses, silly socks, weathered hands, sparkly eyes and dancing feet. I live for all of these things and more. Why? Because your wedding is so much bigger than just a gorgeous dress, or pretty flowers or a dashing boutonnière. Your wedding is filled with love, life, and laughter - all packed into a day about you and your honey, and all the people you both hold most dear to you.
And I'll be there for all of that, and won't miss a beat.
I like you for you! Stiff, awkward poses aren't in my vocabulary, and, since most folks have never done this before, I'll certainly help you along the way. What I'm looking for is genuine interaction, your real laughter and smile, and light in your eyes. And if you're more reserved, we'll keep things soft and intimate. But if you want to run through a field and whoop and holler it up, by all means, let's do it. I'm all about showcasing your best self in the most genuine way possible to make sure you receive images that you love.
You invited your friends and family for a reason, and if they're kicking up their heels, then you bet I'm going to capture that for you. Is your nephew spontaneously doing the worm? I'm there for that. Are you and your best friend belting out Celine Dion songs at the top of your lungs? Oh heck yeah, I'm there for that. Did your new husband just get thrown into a lake by his best buddies? I'll be there for that and I'll be so close my feet will be wet. Yeah, I love the fun stuff, big time.
I want this to be an easy experience for you. I believe in good communication and simple steps so you don't have to stress. I also believe in helping you out on your wedding day. Need a hug? I've got one for you. Need some water? I'll make sure it gets to you. Need me to help you finish sewing your wedding dress? I've done it! Need a moment to yourself? I totally dig it. This day is about you - and I want to do everything I can to make sure my photography and my service reflects that. And I'll keep on doing that after your wedding day too.
I once had a bride shyly ask me if it was ok that her wedding decor wasn't as fancy as Pinterest makes weddings appear. Say whaaaa?! I wanted to hug her and say, of COURSE that's ok! Decor can definitely be pretty, but in my book, "high end" or "low end" classifications are meaningless. What's meaningful is YOU and who you invite. Pretty things are all just icing on the wedding cake, so to speak. I, of course, enjoy documenting this too because that's also part of the story of your day, but my main focus is always you.
You have no IDEA how many horror stories I've heard from people who come up to me at weddings and confess to me that they've been made to stand for portraits for 3 to 4 hours. Umm, nope. Not gonna happen here. We'll certainly build in enough time for fun portraits, but I sure as heck am not going to make you and your family stand around for hours in the hot sun (or freezing cold!) for your images. I believe in moving things quickly and keeping folks happy while simultaneously ensuring they don't lose that true smile in their eyes.
As a trained and working photojournalist, it is IMPERATIVE that I allow things to happen naturally. Photojournalists cannot under any circumstance manipulate the moment to get an image. So I am well-versed in being flexible and ready at all times for whatever comes my way. If your timeline changes a little, I can think on my feet and can work with that. Need to move your ceremony inside due to funky weather? I can work with that too - and I'm PREPARED for whatever comes my way. Truly.
We've probably all heard those tales where a couple doesn't get their images for (shudder) years, or (the horror) they just don't get them at all. That's certainly not the case here. I'm just as giddy about your images as you are, so you can be assured you will receive your images as quickly as I can humanly get them to you. That said, I'm not sloppy, and I believe in delivering quality products to you. But you will always get your images as lickety split as possible.
Chances are, this is probably your first time getting married. (And if it's not, that's cool too - no judgment here!) So it's a huge plus that I've got more than a few of these under my belt (read: I've been doing this for over 10 years). I'm familiar with how things typically go on a wedding day, and can trust my instincts to guide me in the best direction. And if you'd like to tap me as a resource if you've got questions, by all means, do it. I am more than happy to help! As Bill Withers so eloquently sang, "lean on me!"
I've seen photo and editing trends come and go over the years, which is why I've stuck to a reality-driven shooting and editing style. What this means is that years down the road you won't be looking at your images wondering why on EARTH your photos all look strangely "yellow," or all the greens look desaturated despite the lushness of your June wedding, or...you name it. My work is honest and human, so your photos and memories are the focus, not the editing.
Whether you're getting married in Montana, New York, Arkansas, Idaho, California or Cancún (just a few places I've photographed), you've picked your location likely because you love it. And I get that, big time. (It's one of the main reasons I stay in Montana - location, location, location!) So it's extremely important to me to show that love of place in your imagery, too - be it a mountaintop, your friend's backyard, or a church or a children's museum. It's important to you, so it's important to me too.
I don't spend time concocting "styled shoots," submitting to blogs, setting up cheesy displays at wedding fairs, or angling to get featured in bridal magazines. What I spend time on is making pictures. And working on pictures. And spending time on you. I want you enthusiastically shouting from the mountaintops about just how much you love your photos, and spreading the word far and wide, so yep - you're top billing in my book, always.
I'm a Missoula-based wedding and portrait photographer in Montana who loves to help you be your best self in front of my camera. The number one thing my clients tell me is that working with me is like hanging out with a friend - which is one of the biggest compliments I can receive! We'll talk as we walk, and as we swap stories we'll share some great laughs together, and get your photo jitters out of the way. In between learning about you, you'll likely hear a bit about my silly little bird, Flash (he likes to talk - one of his favorite words is "Peekaboo!"), get to know a few of my favorite things (I love to cook and really love to bake - cakes and pies make my sweet tooth happy), and we'll probably get to chatting about some of the best brews found in downtown Missoula (because there are a lot to choose from!). But most importantly, we'll have a great time hanging out with each other as people - one of whom just happens to have a camera in her hand documenting the real, awesome you.
I was born in Montana (so I totally understand the love for this big sky state and all things that celebrate western beauty), I spent a wonderful childhood in the Midwest (which has given me a great appreciation for genuine, hard-working, down-to-earth folks), and I completed my undergraduate degree in English at Carleton College (but fell in love with hand-processed film photography there - remember film?!). Knowing that the west is my true home, I moved back to Montana to earn my master's degree in photojournalism from the University of Montana and worked in Seattle at the amazing Seattle Post-Intelligencer (while it was still a printed paper and one of the best photo newspapers in the country), and eventually landed back here in Missoula, where it was clear I'd found home once again.
I love being able to explore all the beauty the west has to offer, and often venture out on photo expeditions just to have fun exploring with my camera. I also occasionally teach photojournalism classes at the U of M as an adjunct professor and delight in watching students' excitement grow. People are so interesting to me, and I find it completely rewarding to meet and photograph those who enthusiastically love their lives. Pulling from my photojournalism background, it's no surprise that I enjoy photographing weddings and portraits because there's nothing better to me than people in all their uniqueness, and I find it truly fascinating to be able to tell people's stories in a reality-driven way.
Have a hankering to learn a few more random facts about me, and take a peek at a couple more photos? (Because, hey, I'm a photographer - why not include a few more pics, right?) Get to know a little more about what makes me tick over here! I'll bet we share some of the same interests!
Our pictures are GORGEOUS!!!!! I cannot tell you enough how much I am in love with these pictures!! You captured everything. Every smile, every tear, all the laughter, and all of the love that everyone shared with us from afar. And that is exactly what I was hoping for when I picked our photographer and looked at my pictures. Real life. Nothing forced. Thank you again for being a part of our wedding day. I cannot thank you enough for the wonderful job that you did :) It was truly a joy to have you there :)
We were already following Kristine on Instagram when we got engaged. She was the very first, and one of the best decisions, we made for our wedding. After the first meeting with Kristine we were completely sold, not only by her beautiful photos and albums, but also by her genuine and caring personality. We instantly felt comfortable with her and she left us even more excited for our big day.
We were both pretty nervous for our engagement photos, but one of us in particular was not looking forward to it at all. He has never felt very comfortable in front of a camera before, but as soon as we met up with Kristine all of that went away. Her excitement and laughter rubbed off on us and it was the most fun either of us had ever had with a camera. We didn’t want it to end!
In between our engagement photos and the day of our wedding Kristine kept in touch with us to make sure our plans were running smoothly and to offer any help she could. She even offered suggestions on timelines and had us fill out checklists to ensure the day ran smoothly and we got everything we wanted out of it. She was always quick to answer any questions we had.
On the day of our wedding, Kristine was absolutely incredible. She was with the wedding party before the ceremony and she felt more like a friend than a hired photographer. She was completely patient, creative, and so much fun! The photos she took weren’t like the usual wedding photos we often see that are stiff and boring. They were candid and real. She accommodated all our requests for specific shots and surprised us with memories we will get to enjoy for the rest of our lives. Kristine added so much more to our day than we thought possible.
On top of all that she was able to get our pictures and photo album to us within only a few months after our wedding day! Thank you Kristine!!
There is nobody who exudes a greater energy, love, and artistic ability for their craft than Kristine. Every step of the way in our wedding photography journey her passion was evident. Kristine repeatedly went out of her way to make sure our experience was everything that we wanted it to be, from the planning, engagement session, and wedding day, no detail was lost. She was approachable and answered any questions we had and always put our minds at ease. The photographs that Kristine captured of our wedding day greatly exceeded our expectations. She truly captured the essence of our joy and the beauty of our surroundings in a way that we will forever cherish. The whole experience was a true delight.
One of the best decisions we made for our wedding was hiring Kristine! During the beginning stages of planning, we were living outside of Montana (though having our wedding in Missoula) which made looking for local vendors a bit difficult. I spoke with half a dozen other photographers who seemed disinterested in talking about their experience or answering my questions. It was like a breath of fresh air when Kristine and I got to chatting. She is so genuinely nice and personable, and really knows how to put people at ease. She is super responsive and just plain fun to be around. Our wedding guests loved her and she captured so many beautiful moments from the night. We will be cherishing our photographs for years to come!! We highly recommend her!
Our daughter Sarah spent quite a bit of time looking for the perfect photographer for her wedding. I kept adding input, but once she had found Kristine Paulsen, she was no longer shopping price or interested in other people's recommendations, but convinced that Kristine was unique in the market place. She could not have been more right. Our experience with Kristine Paulsen could not have been any better. Kristine's warm friendly, and sincere presence would be very hard to duplicate. She was absolutely great to have around, took amazing pictures, and was never in the way. How she did this so effortlessly is beyond me. Having her there was like having a good friend doing the photography. We could not be more pleased with the photographs which she took, both in terms of thoroughness and quality, as well as the ongoing service she has provided during the time since the wedding. Thank you, thank you, thank you Kristine!
Hi Kristine, we are obsessed. It's going to be hard to focus in class today, when all I want to do is look at these photos over and over again. Thank you so much for the long hours you put into not only taking, but editing these photos, so don't think your extra hard work has gone unnoticed. We truly appreciate everything you have done for us! We could not be happier with how the pictures turned out. And thank you for the kind words in your blog! You're 100% right - it was a perfect wedding. We feel so blessed that you were able to capture it all!
Kristine, oh my God! We have no idea where to start for all our thanks. We are so blessed to have found the most gifted, personable, and professional photographer to capture the best day of our lives. We had such a great time with you at both our engagement session and the wedding, and couldn't have asked for more beautiful photos! We still need to grab a beer! Love, Rachel and Mark
Kristine was great to work with! Neither of us are very comfortable being photographed, and she did an awesome job making us feel comfortable. The photos (engagement and wedding) came out just beautifully - I teared up a bit when I was going through them both times! She also was great about being flexible - we had flown up to MT about 4 months before the wedding with only had a few days to sort out wedding details and she worked with us to work around a rainstorm to get our engagement shoot in. Definitely worth the money!
First and foremost, Kristine took excellent pictures throughout our wedding celebration. She was always professional and responsive to emails and phone calls. Everyone in the wedding party enjoyed her presence (many people made a point to mention that to me in the weeks after our wedding). My husband resists, and kind of outright hates, having his picture taken; Kristine managed to get several of him that will probably always be my all time favorites. I hate that we've moved from Montana, but if I ever get the chance to have her photograph my new little one or our family, there is no question that I would hire her again and again. She is WONDERFUL!
My husband and I found Kristine Paulsen surprisingly on Instagram and fell in love with her there. She did our engagement and our wedding photography and could not be happier! We live out of state and Kristine was super helpful in finding locations to shoot for our engagement photos and super accommodating with our last minute changes of dates and times.
Kristine was professional, helpful and responded quickly to our questions and concerns. She took our idea of what we wanted for our pictures and did an amazing job! The feelings I got after looking at our wedding photos weeks later was the same feeling I had on our big day. Love love love everything she did for us.
Kristine was absolutely AMAZING! We got married last summer in Missoula, MT. We wanted a photographer who could capture the happiness of our big day, without having to pose for pictures for hours! She listened to what we wanted and the result was beyond our expectations! We love love love our wedding pictures and we LOVED working with Kristine!!!
Dear Kristine, Thank you so much for photographing our wedding. The photos are absolutely stunning, so stunning that it might take months to choose my favorites! I have to thank you for more than just your talent as a photographer, though. Your warmth and happiness were almost tangible, and you added even more sunshine to an already amazing day. By the end of the night, Kevin and I agreed that you were less of a photographer and more of a cherished guest. You’ve helped us preserve the memories of one of our most precious days, and I just can’t thank you enough.
Kristine was absolutely amazing to work with. My photos are so much more than I could have ever imagined. The smile they bring to my face each time I look at them is priceless. I smile bigger and bigger about the photos each day.
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
Kristine, I just had to send a quick email letting you know how wonderful our experience with you was. You have a gift not only for your photography but your people skills are stellar. We were all so at ease and honestly, didn’t think twice about the fact that the party was being photographed. You were capturing the fun and the story telling moments as fast as they were happening and I couldn’t have been more pleased. Thank you for your sweet demeanor and for sharing your gifts with us.
Kristine was great to work with - she is very organized and made the wedding photography process very easy. She is so fun to work with and makes everyone feel comfortable, which was evident in our portraits. She captured the most beautiful and unique images - we were so happy to have her capture our wedding day!
Kristine! WOW. That is all Cameron and I can say, is wow! We cannot thank you enough for our gorgeous wedding photos! We cannot believe how beautiful and fun all of them are, and can’t stop logging in to look at them. Thank you, thank you, thank you! They took our breath away, and (speaking for myself) I can’t go to bed at night without looking through them again :) You are THE best and have made this wedding/engagement time the absolute easiest, stress-free, and FUN time of our lives. I hope you know just how highly we think of you and the amazing work that you do :)
Kristine, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! I am bawling looking at the pics that are on your blog. You are truly amazing and extremely talented. Thank you again, you are simply the best. :)
From your first contact with me to the final delivery of your images, I want your wedding photography to be everything you've dreamed of, and for it to be an easy, smooth experience that you enjoy - all without taking up too much of your time! I know how busy you probably are!
For that reason, I've designed wedding photography collections that are tried and true and that have been tailored over my many years of photographing weddings to ensure fantastic coverage and leave you with tangible, well-loved memories you can cherish for years to come.
Please fill out my contact form with your wedding information and location and I'll be happy to send you detailed investment and wedding photography information. My pricing is simple. Basic collections include coverage and files. If you'd like, you can choose a pre-built collection or you can add products/prints/sessions/additional coverage, etc., either at the time of booking or you can always purchase them any time before or after your wedding. Easy as pie!
One of my favorite things to create for my couples is a beautiful album that tells the story of your day. Your memories deserve so much more than to be left forgotten and lonely on a hard drive. And your album is just the ticket to get them out of that no man's land.
I personally and thoughtfully design your album, just as I do when creating your images. Each is handcrafted, customized to your preferences, and will truly make your jaw drop. They're beautiful, and your photos deserve to be highlighted in one. Let me do the work, so you don't have to!
Looking for more? Most of my couples don't alter the wedding collections I offer, but if you need to customize things a bit, just be in touch and I'll be happy to discuss your needs in detail with you.
First and foremost, it's reality-driven and photojournalistic. My style is to cover the goings on of your wedding day with as little intrusion as possible. I specialize in candid, modern photography, and work to make sure I capture the details, emotions and natural expressions that make each wedding unique and special. People find me friendly, easy-going and pleasant to work with, and I am nearly always smiling while I work because I love what I do. (Case in point, my face usually hurts after a wedding because I've been grinning all day!)
Yep! I'm the one whose photos and style you like, so I'm the one who shoots your day. If you'd like two photographers to cover your wedding, I'm happy to discuss that with you, but I shoot 99% of my weddings solo and my couples have always been more than happy with the results.
My home base is in beautiful Missoula, Montana. I do travel, though - check out the next FAQ question below.
Yes indeed, and I love it! Montana has my heart, but I also adore traveling both in the states and internationally! So if your wedding is taking place somewhere particularly awesome or remote or beautiful or exotic or meaningful to you, then by all means, take me with you so I can help capture it all for you. For weddings requiring accommodations and/or airfare I quote on an individual basis and make all travel arrangements myself. (The only additional cost for destination weddings is the travel costs and any permits needed to photograph legally, otherwise destination weddings are priced the same as Montana-based weddings.)
Yep! Lifestyle portraiture is a favorite of mine, I always have a great time telling stories via the multimedia realm, and I have a soft spot for pretty food photography. I also freelance as a photojournalist for various publications around the United States.
For sure! For smaller, more intimate wedding and elopement information, please pop on over to my page that addresses those celebrations!
Absolutely! I subscribe to the belief that we're all human and love is love, so yes indeed!
Yes, absolutely! Engagement sessions are so much fun! If you are traveling elsewhere for your wedding, but would like your engagement photos done in Montana, I can definitely make that happen. However, that being said, I also travel for weddings, so if you'd like me to cover your wedding outside of Montana, I can certainly make that a reality! See above for travel details.
Yes, for sure! I like to refer to them as rock the dress sessions because my portraits are more about celebrating your dress, not ruining it. (However, if you want to hop in a river or have a little extra fun with it, then by all means, let's go for it!) Sessions most often take place a day or two after your wedding, but many of my couples enjoy having their session at a different time of year or even as an anniversary treat. Your partner is absolutely welcome to participate as well - the more the merrier! You can see examples of some rock the dress photos here.
Please fill out my contact form with your wedding information and location and I'll be happy to send you detailed investment and wedding photography information. My pricing is simple. Basic collections include coverage and files. If you'd like, you can choose a pre-built collection or you can add products/prints/sessions/additional coverage, etc., either at the time of booking or you can always purchase them any time before or after your wedding. I give you a few great options to best suit your needs and style.
I sure do! Family photos are important, too, and I'll make as few or as many as you wish. But please remember, you have hired me for my candid, photojournalistic eye, so we'll make a list ahead of time and stick to it to keep things manageable and fun. The same goes for wedding details - they're a part of the story of your day, so they'll be captured as well!
Absolutely! Believe it or not, I know exactly how you feel and the majority of my couples feel this way too. Most of the day I'll be blending into the surroundings and letting things flow naturally without any interruption, so you won't even have to worry about striking a pose. For portraits, I aim for a relaxed, happy feel that shows closeness and love and interaction, and we'll keep it natural and fun, but it won't be awkward or forced. I'll help direct you enough so you know what to do, but not so much that you won't recognize yourselves in the images.
The number of photos I make varies greatly depending on how many hours I'm shooting and what is taking place during your wedding day. I shoot as much as I can without sacrificing quality for quantity, so my couples generally receive anywhere from 500 to 800 images. I retain copyright of your images, but you will receive personal usage rights, which means you can print to your heart's content and share as much on social media as you'd like! Just please print your images and don't let them languish on a lonely computer hard drive - your beautiful memories deserve better than that! If you don't foresee yourself getting around to doing that, ask me more about the albums and wall art that I offer. Treat yourself!
Once I send you my investment and photography guide, to answer any further questions and get to know you both, I like to schedule either an in-person meeting at my Missoula location, or we can set up a phone call too if you're not in the Missoula area. Many of my couples are very busy; I understand that and am happy to accommodate a day/time that best suits the two of you. This meeting isn’t about selling my services or upgrading your collection - it is simply to see how you like me, to get to know you and your vision, and to see if we’re a good fit. I want you to be beyond sure I'm the right photographer for you and want you to feel completely at ease with me. Trust is so important, and the more you trust me, the more you will be able to ignore me on your wedding day (which is a good thing!) and feel free to completely and utterly be present in each and every moment.
Take a peek at what's in my bag over here.
Absolutely! I'm a stickler about having backup gear, backed up cards, and always carry insurance (both equipment and liability), and then I back it up all over again to multiple places after your wedding day.
To provide the best possible service and turnaround to my awesome couples, I photograph a limited number of weddings per year. If you think you'd like to book with me, it's best to be in touch sooner rather than later to ensure I can get you on the calendar before the year fills up.
After I've sent you my investment and photography guide, and after we have a moment to chat about your wedding day plans, I'll send you an online contract to sign. Once that's been signed and I've received your retainer payment, I'm officially your photographer! I do book my dates on a first-come first-serve basis (as I haven't yet figured out how to clone myself ;) ), so I do not hold dates until I actually receive the retainer and signed contract. If someone else is asking about services on your date, I will be in touch with you to inform you of their interest and make it as fair as possible for all parties.