Last week I photographed some of the activities around town that were giving appreciation for Native American Heritage Day. It was a chance to recognized all of the diverse tribal nations both here in Montana and throughout the country and that unified idea to uphold their native cultures was shown in the multi tribal dancing outfits and teachings to the public. You couldn’t ask for a better weather day. I hung around Montana State University watching fancy dancers, listening to speakers, listening to native music and then ventured over to Chief Joseph Middle School to watch kids learn to put up teepees. Ingredients that made for a fun day in Bozeman and for a festive Sunday Viewfinder photo page in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. -M
In my line of work as a photojournalist, I’m fortunate that I get to experience people and places I would not normally come across in my daily life. The challenge then for me is to document and capture the essence of the story I’m trying to tell through my images. Through these experiences and personal connections with the individuals I meet, I learn not just about their story but they help shape my own for the better. A couple weeks back, after many years of debating and being encouraged by close friends, I finally experienced my first Burning Man festival in Black Rock City in western Nevada and found a part of myself I never knew existed. The week long event has been happening in one form or another since the mid 80’s as counter culture, artistic, self expression annual celebration that accumulates as a city of 60,000+ individuals from around the world in the dried up alkali salt lake beds a couple hours northeast of Reno. It’s a surreal environment to live in for a week complete with white out dust storms and intense heat. It’s hard to put into words exactly what makes the event so special. To the outsider, the event could easily be written off as a bunch of hooligans partying out in the middle of the desert. On the Burning Man website, organizers state that “Trying to explain what Burning Man is to someone who has never been to the event is a bit like trying to explain what a particular color looks like to someone who is blind.” I really had no clue what I was getting into. But what I found was more special to me than anything I could ever have imaged. I danced, I laughed, I learned, I experienced, I dreamed, I loved. I would describe it as the most fantastic lucid dream where acceptance and a sense of community rein as king. For much of the week, I refrained from taking any images with the hopes of absorbing all I saw completely unfiltered. Obviously, that didn’t last long. For someone who was trying to take a vacation from creativity, I found myself at ground zero for creative expression and I soon gave myself completely to it gaining an intense gratification for all the wonderfully weird, creative, intelligent and inspiring group of people I encountered along the way. These photos are but a glimpse of the profound people I connected with for a week on the playa who showed me how to truly celebrate life to it’s fullest. It was an experience I won’t soon forget. -M
Blink an eye and you realize summer is almost over. Crazy. I’ve been keeping pretty busy these days traveling nearly every weekend out of town for magazine assignments for upcoming Montana Quarterly articles and traveling to California for my wedding business. The combination of the two, has left me little time for much else. Though exhausting at times, luckily, I’ve been enjoying the journey. Here are some of my favorite images I’ve made at the newspaper during the last month. Thanks for looking. -M
A couple weeks ago, I decided to spend the afternoon documenting the traditional end of the ski season pond skimming event at Big Sky Ski Resort. You’ll find events like these all over the Rocky Mountain West of skiers and snowboarders going big off a jump into an awaiting pool of water. It’s quite the spectator sport. Here are some of my favorite images from the day.
And I’m back. I took a little break from the blog this month. So much has been going on in my neck of the woods. Here are some of the images I made this month that stood out to me. I felt pretty good about the images I made. I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching in my photography this year. The year started out pretty rough for me with beginning it with being in a car accident and then getting some heavy portfolio reviews from my mentor Alex Garcia and legendary photo editor Mike Davis. The result of these encounters is that the first half of this year has been a big period for growth and reflection both mentally and photographically. I feel like I am finally regaining my rhythm and have started making some nicer images. All for the better. Both of those guys opened my eyes to a lot of things and I am very grateful for their honesty and time. I’ve been working really hard at getting my Greener Visuals Wedding Photography business off of the ground and it is starting to bare fruit. I’ve got five weddings lined up this year and am working on securing a couple more. Things are good just incredibly busy. Always a good thing. Thanks for looking. -M