It’s simple.  I photograph. In Montana.

I’m a wedding/lifestyle/portrait photographer who has just moved from Minneapolis, MN to Helena, MT.  Check out my work and if you’re interested in a session, let me know!

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Teagan: Just Because

January 2nd, 2014

What a blast following around this little guy!  We did a nice little session over in Wolf Creek, MT right next to the Missouri River.  Teagan was a ball of energy during the shoot.  In fact, at one point, he yelled out “I want to climb that mountain!”.  Of course, grandma was there to remind […]

 

What a blast following around this little guy!  We did a nice little session over in Wolf Creek, MT right next to the Missouri River.  Teagan was a ball of energy during the shoot.  In fact, at one point, he yelled out “I want to climb that mountain!”.  Of course, grandma was there to remind him to smile for the camera in between the running around.

This was my official Montana photo session as well and I’d say Teagan was the perfect choice for that.  Enjoy the photos and Happy New Year!

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Hello Montana!

November 14th, 2013

Ok enough of that sappy leaving everyone behind news.  I love everyone and miss everyone yada yada yada  Moving on! It’s been a month since I arrived to Helena.  I’m still here!  I’ve never done anything like this ever.  I’ve lived in Minnesota my whole life.  I took a job at one of my company’s […]


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Ok enough of that sappy leaving everyone behind news.  I love everyone and miss everyone yada yada yada ;)  Moving on!

It’s been a month since I arrived to Helena.  I’m still here!  I’ve never done anything like this ever.  I’ve lived in Minnesota my whole life.  I took a job at one of my company’s branches and had never even set foot inside of Montana ever.  I took a roll of the dice and here I am.  And I’m LOVING it!  No seriously, it’s absolutely gorgeous here.  I like to compare it to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in Minnesota, except for the fact that it’s the ENTIRE state of Montana.  Seriously, about 20-30 minutes from my apartment is some of the most beautiful scenery I’ve ever laid my eyes on.  I’ve already started a list for exploring starting next Spring.

So far I’ve learned that life here is…life?  From all the outrageous stereotypes I’ve heard about this state and this city, it’s not really anything out of the ordinary aside from your occasional deer in the neighborhood or 4 wheeler on the road.  It’s easy to settle in this city really.  I mean I guess if you were to move from somewhere like New York, it might be a culture shock.  I’m from Minnesota, there’s city life yes, but get over yourself Twin Cities, you’ll always belong to “The Land of 10,000 Lakes” no matter how much city cred you get eh :).

Now that I’m settled in and have somewhat of an understanding of how to get around this town, shops open folks.  Let me know what I can do for your photography needs!  Oh and enjoy this set I put together of my first month in Helena!

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Here’s a photo of the fun drive through North Dakota.  We drove through 3 down pours and had to get off in Richardton, ND due to 30mph winds pushing us around.  It wouldn’t have been so bad but we were driving against the wind, which was slowing us down extremely with the trailer and on the Element (which is not the most aerodynamic vehicle either) and my kayak was shifting all over the place on top.  One word of advice, Richardton’s only Motel resembles the Bates Motel, so drive down one more exit to Dickinson because there’s a Super 8.

 

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Check out that scenery.  First photo I took in Montana.  I think this was somewhere between Billings and Helena.  Couldn’t remember exactly where, but you sure don’t see this back where I came from.

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Thanks to Peiku and Miki (some of the best family a guy could ask for) I made it to Helena with my belongings safe and sound.

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Oh and I had a local assist my move as well.  An old friend of mine Sam, who lives in Billings now (also of Minnesotan origin), followed us to Helena.  This was taken at the BlackFoot River Brewery.  Great selection of beer!

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Ladies and gentlemen, my first Montana moment.  My neighbor across the street.

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Not far from me is the Spring Meadow Lake State Park.  Literally a 10 minute drive to see this.  You can’t beat that.  Also I’ve been told there’s Largemouth stocked in this lake, which is perfect for me.

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So after being somewhat unpacked and having worked my first week of the new job, what did I do with my first weekend?  Check out the fishing of course!  I’ve been researching the area and it’s fishing opportunities and decided to to check out Hauser Lake.  I launched  nearby the York bridge and paddled downstream.  I’ve never fly fished before (although I do own a setup, never practiced much or caught anything back in Minnesota), so I decided to go with what I know.  I tossed some spoons and in-line spinners on a bait caster and caught my FIRST and SECOND Montana fish (also a first for Rainbow Trout) within 20 mins of launching!  Tiny I know, but I caught them!  Oh and all fish were caught and released in this post.

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Ok, so my social life hasn’t really started off yet due to checking out the fishing in the area.  Another popular spot I read on the local fishing report.  I got there about 8am and couldn’t see anything on the lake until probably 10-11am.  I paddled through while trolling some spoons and thought I was going straight.  Once the fog cleared out, I realized I had paddled in a circle and was nearby the launch site.  That was a good laugh to myself.

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Finally got into some Rainbows with size at the Causeway!

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Another fun shot from the Causeway.  If you haven’t gotten the picture, I kind of like fishing.  Kind of.  A little.

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So I took a little break from fishing and checked out the Helena Fall Art Walk.  There was work from all ages and all mediums!  The majority of the showing was all along Last Chance Gulch St in downtown Helena.  Above is some photography work from students of Helena High.  Inspiring to see a younger generation with such creativity.

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Part of a painting from a Helena High student.  The whole piece was of a Geisha.  Great work!

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Along the Last Chance Gulch Street were what I thought dance students in various shop windows.  Pretty fun concept.

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A few more of the dance students.

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So back to fishing.  I decided to venture a little further out and check out the infamous Missouri River.  From what I’ve gathered from the locals and the internet, this is a premier trout fishing river.  People come from all over the US to toss a fly on this stretch.  This photo was taken at the Holter Dam.

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Another shot down the Missouri.  Again, this is only a 45 minute drive from my apartment.  And I won’t even mention the actual drive to this spot.  Breathtaking is what I’ll repeat over and over and over.  You have to be here to see it.

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New type of boat to me.  Drift boats seem to be a fly fisherman’s boat of choice in these bigger rivers.  From what I’ve read, one guy rows and controls the boat while the other casts.  Definitely don’t see that in Minnesota.  I had never even heard of this type of boat until I started to read up on fly fishing and Montana.

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As you can see, I was still bait casting like a silly bass fisherman from Minnesota.  Hey, it worked and caught fish ;).  The coloration of these Rainbows from the MO (yes, picking up local lingo) seem to be so much more vibrant in color compared to the Rainbows in the Causeway.  Absolutely some of the most gorgeous fish I’ve had the pleasure of reeling in.  Check out the frost that was forming on the guides of my rod.  It was a bit nippy out that day.

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Another FIRST and SECOND.  Got into some Browns a little further down the MO.  The markings on these fish are amazing.

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So I decided to head back to MO armed with my fly setup determined to better my casting and catching a fish.  It’s a little bit of an overkill set up as I had bought it for big Largemouth and Pike back in Minnesota (9ft 8wt).  So here I am, started at 8am, it’s now 2pm.  I’ve been practicing my casting off and on while going upstream far enough to have a decent float down to the launch.  I’ve finally somewhat have the hang of it (casting a decent sized Clouser minnow pattern, a size 2 I believe) and decided to head back downstream and try my luck.  I put my bait caster away and tried my luck with the fly.  About 30 minutes down, I cast towards what looked like a pile of rocks along the shore.  The Clouser dropped in and I noticed some movement on the surface.  At first I thought I spooked off a couple fish.  I started to strip the line immediately after the drop then noticed some fins torpedoing towards where my fly was.  The next 5-10 minutes of my life were one of the proudest moments for me.  This Rainbow absolutely smashed the fly!  I’ve never caught a fish on the fly, so this was my FIRST.  I set the hook and people were right, a fight on the fly is so much different from your conventional gear.  Best fight I’ve had in a while.  I was freaking out to myself that I finally hooked into something on the fly.  What a beauty for a first fly fish.  I’m hooked (see what I did there)!

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Bye Minnesota!

November 14th, 2013

Here’s a little Minnesota from my life.  A selection of memorable moments within a couple months before I headed west. I had the honor of being in one of my best friend’s wedding.  Thanks Becca and Jake!  I must say, being on the other end of the camera is exhausting.  I’ll stick with photographing a […]


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Here’s a little Minnesota from my life.  A selection of memorable moments within a couple months before I headed west.

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I had the honor of being in one of my best friend’s wedding.  Thanks Becca and Jake!  I must say, being on the other end of the camera is exhausting.  I’ll stick with photographing a wedding ;).  Photo courtesy of my friends Janelle and Dave from Studio Jada.  Check out their work, top notch!

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It had probably been a few years since I visited my dad.

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Anyone who knows me will tell you that I have an obsession with kayak fishing.  The one thing I told myself was that I was going to miss the great bass fishing Minnesota has to offer.  This was shot at White Bear Lake in my super secret spot.  Many hours were spent here fishing with my brothers.  This was also the spot where I caught my biggest largemouth bass.

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This was the last float down the Rum River around Andover with my brother Charlie for the year.  This stretch of river is a Smallie factory.  If you ever get the chance to float and fish it, do so.  There are some 5 pounders in there somewhere!  All I can say is, if Charlie and I ever got into bass tournaments, we’d do some work.  One day!

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So I had stopped in to The Source to check out the latest comic book issues and I remembered that Justice League of America (New 52) #1 had variant covers of each state.  Originally I was looking for a Minnesota issue but they were sold out.  While I was looking through, I stumbled upon the last Montana issue.  Meant to be?

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We stood in line for 4 hours and all we got was this crappy photo.  This was at Zen Box’s Ramen Fest where a couple of Ramen chefs were flown in.  Let’s just say they underestimated the demand and we gave up after 4 hours of being in line.  I love your food Zen Box, but your event planning needs some work.

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 Glad I got to hang out with my close friends Ricky and Claire before I took off.  This was the night they took me to The Melting Pot in Minneapolis.  I had never been and I enjoyed it!  Thanks and miss you two!

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Nothing, just my friends Tam and Blair enjoying Fall Con with me.  What costumes?

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Oh hi guys!  The day I decide to wear a Marvel shirt.

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Oh Minnesota, I will miss your amazing selection of restaurants.  Seriously, best diversity of food ever.  Here I am at Dong Yang for some Korean food.  I can’t believe I JUST went to this place weeks before leaving.

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I had a surprise visit from my favorite girl!  Her name is Nala and I looked after her for a couple years.  She was co-captain of the USS Meng kayak.

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Oh yeah, Nala brought her owner Cheng.  He’s the middle brother and he came up from Kansas for my going away party.  Well, I think he came back up for the beer bong, but he made it!

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Here’s a couple awesome group shots of the my going away party.  The theme was simple, wear flannel!  Thanks for showing up everyone!

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And here’s a photo of Mike, my partner in crime of Snap.Grin Photography before leaving.  Take it all in.

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Panhia+Pheng: Engagement

November 11th, 2013

As said before, this was the last shoot I had before I moved to Montana.  I met Pheng earlier this year on my first BWCA trip.  We spent a week together with six other guys camping out, paddling, fishing, and living the good life.  I got to know Pheng pretty well (excellent campfire cook I […]

 

As said before, this was the last shoot I had before I moved to Montana.  I met Pheng earlier this year on my first BWCA trip.  We spent a week together with six other guys camping out, paddling, fishing, and living the good life.  I got to know Pheng pretty well (excellent campfire cook I must say).  He had asked me about doing an engagement session with his bride to be Panhia and seeing if it would fit in before I left Minnesota.  Well, it fit in and I think the photos turned out great!

I’m finally somewhat settled in to my life in Montana so be on the look out for new posts.  I’ll be making one soon about getting settled in.  Thanks and enjoy!

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Claire+Ricky: Wedding

September 30th, 2013

I got the pleasure to take some photos of some dear friends of mine at their wedding in Vegas!  These two have been in my life for what seems like forever and I felt privileged when asked to shoot their special day.  Take a peek!

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I got the pleasure to take some photos of some dear friends of mine at their wedding in Vegas!  These two have been in my life for what seems like forever and I felt privileged when asked to shoot their special day.  Take a peek!

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Laura+Steve: Baby Jameson

September 30th, 2013

I absolutely LOVE this set.  I went about it a little differently with of photo journalistic view.  It’s a great thing to see two young parents interacting with their new born.  Enjoy this set!


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I absolutely LOVE this set.  I went about it a little differently with of photo journalistic view.  It’s a great thing to see two young parents interacting with their new born.  Enjoy this set!

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Helen+Matt: Just Because

September 30th, 2013

Matt’s been doing my tattoos for about a year and I’m sad to lose him once I move.  These two are a fun couple to work with!  Just the goofiest of the goofiest.  When they said they wanted to end up in PJ’s in the snow, I said “Sign me up!”.

 

Matt’s been doing my tattoos for about a year and I’m sad to lose him once I move.  These two are a fun couple to work with!  Just the goofiest of the goofiest.  When they said they wanted to end up in PJ’s in the snow, I said “Sign me up!”.

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Becca+Jake: Proposal

September 30th, 2013

A close friend of mine asked me if I was able to go covert and take some shots of him proposing to his now wife.  I was more than excited!  The shots I got were just genuine and full of real emotions.  Oh and she said yes, which is always a good thing for the […]

 

A close friend of mine asked me if I was able to go covert and take some shots of him proposing to his now wife.  I was more than excited!  The shots I got were just genuine and full of real emotions.  Oh and she said yes, which is always a good thing for the photos.  I even got to be one of the groomsmen!  Fun times!

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SLPHS: Prom 2012

September 30th, 2013

Well this was the first prom shoot I’ve done and I think it turned out awesome.  Fun group to work with.  Check them out!

 

Well this was the first prom shoot I’ve done and I think it turned out awesome.  Fun group to work with.  Check them out!

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Katie+Justin: Maternity

September 30th, 2013

A long time friend asked me if I could do some maternity shots for his wife.  I’ve done a few, but I think I got it down.  Love the set, and it was a great location by the St. Croix river.  Enjoy!

 

A long time friend asked me if I could do some maternity shots for his wife.  I’ve done a few, but I think I got it down.  Love the set, and it was a great location by the St. Croix river.  Enjoy!

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