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Well, the changing tides of the media world reached us here yet again in Bozeman, Montana. For the past 2 1/2 years, I’ve been a staff photographer at the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Last Friday morning, I was called at home by my editor and told that I and a few other employees throughout the newspaper had been laid off. Budget cuts by our parent company that was effective immediately. Ugh. Not easy news to hear. It’s been a great run documenting the people of Bozeman and surrounding communities through pictures for the newspaper. A ten year run as a newspaper photojournalist. Not bad. Crazy how all that time flies. It was a good run. I had a lot of fun telling stories, meeting people and taking candid photos. I won’t be putting the camera down anytime soon. I look to the future and I’m optimistic. Now I can focus other photographic endeavors. Plans are in the works. For a while now I’ve been growing my Greener Visuals Photography business and I plan to continue developing that as one of many creative outlets. Here are my favorite photos from my last couple of weeks with the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Here I go. Onward to new horizons. More to come on that front. Stay tuned. -Mike Greener

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Some favorite photos from the 5th Annual Montana State University Cat Walk in downtown Bozeman Montana I photographed for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.

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Some favorite photos from my time photographing for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle from July 2014.

Here we go. Another year in the bag. I feel thankful. The year 2013 was another year of positive growth though at times I fought it kicking and screaming. The evolution of my photography continues and my love for Montana continues to grow. I’ve really been enjoying life here in Bozeman, Montana. Here are some favorite images from 2013. Looking forward to the new adventures of 2014. Happy New Year everyone! -M

A big marathon portrait session I just completed published today in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. I had little time to come up with a concept so, in a pinch, I opted for color and a homemade ring flash. These were a lot of fun to make. There are a lot of awesome talented folks living around these parts. Be sure to check out the stories on the Business Journal website. Color! Boom! -M

Fall has arrived in Montana and I have been loving it. It is easily my favorite season. As you can see it is also very busy. I’ve been having fun. Here are some favorite photographs from assignments I did for my staff position at the Bozeman Daily Chronicle during the month of September. Thanks for looking. -M

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

A sampling of some favorite images from the past month working at the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.

I’ve been excited to post this project for a while now. Over the past six weeks, I documented the journey of a young couple who just had their second child here in Bozeman. I was looking for a long term photography project. Something that would challenge me to slow down and really tell an in depth story through pictures and sound. Upon meeting Rosie, the sister of Knikka (the mother) at the Bozeman Film Festival, I was able to introduce myself to the rest of the family and get the okay to start documenting their lives. It started sooner than expected. That night Knikka went into labor and I met her and Chris at The Birth Center in Bozeman, Montana at 1:30am to watch their new daughter Ryleigh be born. What an amazing thing to witness…the birth of a child. I began this project because overall I was drawn by the sense of family these guys all had. Rosie had just flown out from Connecticut to help her sister and her husband Chris become adjusted to life with a 3-year-old and a newborn. For the parents, Knikka and Chris, it was balancing the needs of their children while juggling their own relationship. Each are working on their degrees while attending college at the Montana State University. The running theme in my head was “It takes a village to raise a child.” I had many different facets to document and I put no limits on myself. I also had no agenda or a deadline. This was a different approach to storytelling that I am used to documenting. So much of what I do at the newspaper is rush around making deadlines. The growing trend of small editorial staffs, budget cuts and big workloads prevent us from doing more of these in depth documentaries. This was a intimate, personal story. One with no clear end or direction in sight. Having a family isn’t anything new. There weren’t any big news hooks to it. It was just their story and their life. A story I felt was worth telling. Through the countless hours I spent watching and documenting this family, I came to learn a lot about them and realized there path in life could easily have been a very different darker one. I focused my approach on telling the journey of the parents Chris and Knikka. I wanted to show how their unexpected journey into parenthood changed them, derailed their previous path of substance abuse and switched course to give their kids the best life they could give them. This multimedia video is the result. I hope you enjoy it. -M
-To read the story and see more photos you can view them on the Bozeman Daily Chronicle website.

Happy New Year everyone! I ended my 2012 on a high note and have been working hard to keep the momentum going into the new year. As always, I’m looking for ways I can develop and grow in my photography and I hope to improve on some things for the new year. So far so good. Here are some of my favorite images I’ve made so far in 2013. Thanks for looking, -M

What a year! Looking over the photos I made from this past year, I found it difficult to pick favorites. How do you narrow down the very best photos after such an interesting year? For me 2012 was a new beginning. I started my year in a new place after having been hired at the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and spent most of my time in a state of creative reconnaissance, exploring all the beauty southwest Montana has to offer.

In the end, I chose photos that made a personal connection. I wanted to show you all photos that make you feel something. So much of what photojournalists do everyday is bring readers into the lives of their subjects through captivating, storytelling images, to quote SI Photo Editor Jim Colton, “that reach down your throat and give your heart a tug”. Whether they succeed is in the eye of the beholder.

As I was editing down this year’s take of images and trying to pick out ten for the printed newspaper, I realized that trying to capture the essence of the Gallatin Valley in a handful of photos was a fool’s pursuit. Thankfully, the people in this community that make it such a great place are too vast and rich in culture to show in its entirety within a select few favorites within my “Best of Photography” slideshow. I have much more exploring to do.

I look forward to what the new year will bring. Thanks so much for all of your support and I hope all of you have a bold, adventurous new year! -M

 

Here are some of my more successful images from the last couple of weeks working at the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. The battle continues. Thanks for looking. -M

About a month ago, I headed over to Missoula, Montana to spend the day documenting the locally famous “Empanada Lady” for Montana Quarterly Magazine. These are the kind of assignments that I really love to do. Shooting for the magazine is a way to continue the long form journalism that we don’t get to do that often at the daily newspaper. For these I get to spend more time with my subjects and try to show more of what they are all about. The story was about Kimberly Olson who with her young daughter Lucia, has created a buzz around the local Missoula farmers markets as the “Empanada Lady” and has turned the small South American snack into a popular foodie favorite around town. What is unique about her business is that she uses all organic, local ingredients and operates her empanadas business all from the back of her bicycle. It was my goal to try to show her process of running her small business and give the readers slice of her life through images. When I was traveling down in southern Chile, my brother and I lived off of empanadas so this was a bit of a trip down taste bud lane for me. This woman is a talented chef and a hard working single mother. Her empanadas are delicious. If you are ever in Missoula during a weekend, be sure to swing by her food stand and try them out. Cheers! -M

So one of my favorite things about my new staff photographer gig at the Bozeman Daily Chronicle is that the newspaper also publishes 20 or so magazines and tabloid papers throughout the year. This is awesome because they often times present an opportunity for me to think of cool concepts for portraits or dive into a long term photo story about whatever featured topic we are covering. It feels like working at a big metro newspaper except our photo department has more of a say with how the photos are laid out. In the latest issue of Balance, I had the opportunity to photograph a local writer here in town for the release of her new book. The editors and I were kicking around ideas for conveying that she is a humor writer (and sometimes columnist for our paper) and that her first book was like launching into a new direction for her career. I came up with an idea of using paper airplanes made of newsprint. With the help of my sister Katie, we folded over 300 airplanes. They gave the desired effect. With me lucking out with the writer’s beautiful home and window light, I made numerous images I was really happy with. Below is how we ended up running the story. Thanks for looking. -M

Well the final hours of my last day as a Daily Republic staff photographer have come and gone. I’ve had a great 3 1/2 year run covering the Solano County community here near the San Francisco Bay Area. I did a lot of growth here as a shooter and now I look to the horizon towards my new staff photographer gig at the Bozeman Daily Chronicle working in the mountainous paradise of Bozeman, Montana. Four words: Epic Fly Fishing Country! I’m pretty excited about it. Montana is where I began my journalism career and I’m looking forward to returning to it with lots of experience under my belt and excitement to document the culture that I love so much. I’m already thinking of some great story ideas to tackle out there. Here’s to new beginnings! -Greener

The final hours are counting down for 2011. What a year. For me it was a rebuilding year both professionally and physically. I started out the year with being hit by a car while out on assignment for my newspaper and the result has been an intensive year of doctors visits, pain management and rehabilitation. I’m finally starting to feel better but my recovery is far from over. The car accident was a pretty derailing experience for my year and it has taken me a while to get back on the tracks. My priorities this year have been to heal my body and continue to form the foundation for my future in the business of photography. Right around the time of my accident, I had a series of pretty intense/ego bruising photo edits from some very talented and respected editors in the journalism industry. It’s always good to have that reality check to put you in your place and make you re-evaluate what you are doing with your craft. It forced me to do a lot of soul searching with how I approach my photography and my maneuvering through the rapidly changing journalism industry. It was good for me to hear and I think down the road I will be a stronger photographer for it. I still haven’t quite figured it all out but I can say confidently that I made some progress this past year and that I have high hopes for 2012. I’m looking forward to it. Happy New Year everyone! -M