July 2017-Photos of the Month

You know it’s summer in Montana when everything is on fire. This month I swear I’ve come home from almost every shift smelling like some kind of smoke: grass fire smoke, camp fire smoke, wild fire smoke and house fire smoke. A friend of mine calls it being covered in “Montana perfume.” I better get used to my new fragrance because fire season is far from over. 

This month I spent a lot of time hopping in and out of my car, chasing fires and air tankers. I saw some beautiful skies in a variety of different places and met some really interesting people. This months images made me realize that my favorite colors at the moment are red and pink. It’s funny how you begin to notice certain themes when making images. Color and scale definitely prove to be prominent for July. I also started challenging myself to only use my fixed 50mm f/1.4 with my assignments. By doing so it forces me to move around, get closer and create a more intimate image (not to mention how nice it is to carry a body with a smaller lens.) Challenges like this are super beneficial for my growth and keep me on my toes as I go from daily to daily. I’ve found it’s super easy to get comfortable with long glass and a wide angle (which are great, don’t get me wrong.) But I definitely encourage challenging yourself to use a length that will force you to move. 

I once put a piece of duct tape on the 35mm line of my wide angle when I shot an event. It made me move way more than usual and minimized the temptation to zoom in and out. That was a lovely little tip shared from a photojournalist I look up to so much, Lisa Krantz

Because I spent a lot of time on the road, I discovered a new podcast that I would like to share with all my visual pals. It’s called No Filter and features interviews with some of the most influential photographers conducted by Robin Moore. I haven’t finished all the episodes yet but I have learned so much through the experiences of these photographers. Their advice and lessons learned have really put in perspective what I do and the importance of taking care of my physical and mental self when pursuing this wild and wacky career. I really recommend Lynn Johnson and Pete Muller to start! 

“The work has to come from that deep place [like a profound experience in your life that gives you purpose]. And then you will learn the tools that you need to do that work. But if you start from the outside – ‘I have to know how to do video, and audio and stills, and I have to know this program and that program’ – you’re starting on that widest circle. Whatever level you are, starting from that interior self and working out is the best way.” - Lynn Johnson

“I would advise younger photographers to put your head down and think about what you are shooting and why. Think about how you can add to the conversation. Think about how to contextualize your work in broader conversations that are unfolding. Try to make yourselves relevant by contextualizing yourself appropriately and situating yourself in discourse that’s interesting and important beyond photography.” - Pete Muller 

Now, back to chasing fires… 


An air tanker drops fire retardant on flames from the Bruner Mountain Fire near Roundup on Friday, July 28.

Flames engulf a group of trees in a field off US Highway 87 East on Thursday, July 20.

The sun sets through smoke from several nearby forest fires near Nevada Lake off Highway 141.

Terry Cook and his sons Cooper and Tanner watch as a helicopter flies above flames from the Bruner Mountain Fire near Roundup on Friday, July 28.

Steven Diller stands for a portrait outside of the Crystal Bar and Lounge.

Larry Nava catches his breath after a round of boxing exercises at Barrio Golden Gloves boxing gym.

A group of fire fighters gather at the base of a hill where flames came within 100 feet of a home near Huntington Hills Road in Lockwood on Friday, July 21.

Becky Bruner and Dan Stusek share a moment during the Reed Point street dance.

Drag strip racer Casey Tehle sits next to her Top Dragster at the Yellowstone Drag Strip in Acton on Saturday, July 8.

From left, Kennedy Krebs, Addy Rich, Bailey Wanberg and Maddy Hanson show off their team name “Goal Diggers” during the opening ceremony of the Big Sky State Games at Wendy’s Field at Daylis Stadium on Friday, July 14.

A group of people gather around a mountain goat on the Hidden Lake Trail in Glacier National Park.

This is my cousin Eddie.

Jon Roy stands for a photo in Princess Lake in the Beartooth Mountains.

Flames engulf a garage in an alleyway near Alderson Avenue on Saturday, July 15.

Kids jump in the bounce house during Summerfest at MSUB on Tuesday, July 18

The Boulder-Arrowhead All-Stars Little League team poses for a portrait at Boulder Arrowhead Field on Thursday, July 27. Front row: Rocco Gioioso, Jalen Vladic and AJ Moser. Middle row: Nathan McDonald, Jaden Sanchez and Keaton Mckelson. Back row: Mitchell Fogelsong, Cooper Tyson, Jace Buchanan, Zach Schlepp, Kyler Northrop, Kade Boyd and Staley Keller.

Adriene Loveridge looks inside of a 1955 Ford Crown Victoria glass top owned by Gene Trudell of Sidney during the 64th annual Mexican Fiesta and Car Show at South Park on Friday, July 29. “I could visualize myself in that,” Loveridge said.

A woman lounges on a duck-shaped float at Lake Elmo on Wednesday, July 5.

Balloon pilot Jeff Haliczer inspects the outside of his balloon “Synchronicity” at Pierce RV Supercenter on Thursday, July 27

Jon Roy looks off toward a remaining slab of snow on the Huckleberry Trail toward Granite Peak in the Beartooth Mountains.

June 2017-Photos of the Month

Inspired by the talented and overall wonderful Dougal Brownlie, I’ve decided to showcase a few of my favorite images each month and the remaining going forward. 

This month I covered a lot of ground from sheep shearing in Logan, Montana to watching the USS Billings hit water for the first time in Lake Michigan in Marinette, Wisconsin. 

After looking over several images from June I’ve noticed I am improving in my portraiture and event coverage. Sometimes I feel bogged down by covering so many events on a weekly basis that I get stuck in a creative rut and lose the energy to shoot that third parade or event we cover every single year… (I know some of you are pickin’ up what I’m layin’ down.) However, in these times when its hot and you’re slinging two camera bodies it’s important to dig deep and get funky with it. 

I’m starting to develop the 5 D’s of dodgeball mentality: dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge to get a shot that makes me happy. 

Go above and beyond that average parade shot or in a recent experience of mine, sometimes you have to get in the water like I did at the Battle of the Little Bighorn Reenactment on Crow Reservation. You’re tired and sweaty editing self will thank you once the job is done. 

After this month Montana summer is in full swing, providing endless opportunities for growth as I tackle larger projects, the daily grind and annual events under the Big Sky. 


From left, ranch owner John Helle, ranch hand Teodoro Taza and founder of Duckworth Robert Bernthal stand for a photo at Helle Rambouillet sheep ranch near Logan on Friday, June 2.

Crow tribal members portraying Sioux and Cheyenne warriors ride through the Little Bighorn River during the Real Bird Reenactment near Garryowen on Friday, June 23.

Sharla Tester practices breaking a bottle of champagne over a makeshift bow during a tour of the USS Billings at Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard in Marinette, Wisconsin on Friday, June 30. During the christening ceremony, Tester will break a bottle of champagne against the USS Billings’ bow as part of a tradition celebrating the ship’s transition from construction, tests and trials to launching into the water for the first time.

Jennifer Ries watches a Highland Game event during the annual Renaissance Fair at ZooMontana on Saturday, June 3. Ries is also a belly dancer from Ember Dance Company. She has been attending the Fair for six years. Reis said her favorite part of the fair is the enthusiastic embrace of art, community and music.

Swedish freestyle skier Magnus Granér of Hörnefors, Sweden skies down the valley at Beartooth Basin Summer Ski Area on Sunday, June 4. Last year Granér won an X-Games gold medal for a video he made in the Real Ski competition.

Swedish urban skiers known as “The Bunch pose for a portrait with their 1996 Chevrolet Suburban in the parking lot at Beartooth Basin Summer Ski Area on Sunday, June 4. Since May, they have been driving across the country and Canada searching for skiable snow.

Brendon Cady rides up the hill toward the finish during the annual Nitro National Hill Climbs on Rapelje Road in Columbus on Friday, June 16.

A line forms up to the upper parking lot before the Garth Brooks concert at Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark on Friday, June 9.

Drag queens from the Fish Stix stands on an ATV during the Big Sky Pride parade in downtown on Saturday, June 17.

Rachel Turitto of the Magic City Rollers dances during the Big Sky Pride parade in downtown on Saturday, June 17.

“Domonique Diva Moore” stands with other members of the Fish Stix Drag Queens during the Big Sky Pride parade in downtown on Saturday, June 17.

Planned Parenthood volunteer Kiara Myron smiles during the Big Sky Pride in downtown parade on Saturday, June 17.

Elder Ferreira watches the speakers during the Big Sky Pride rally in downtown on Saturday, June 17.

A skier stands on top of a cornice at Beartooth Basin Summer Ski Area on Sunday, June 4. It’s been three years since the area has had enough snow to open for skiers.

A sheared sheep stands among several others at Helle Rambouillet sheep ranch near Logan on Friday, June 2.

Laurel Dodgers’ Dawson Cortese stands for a photo at Thompson Park in Laurel on Tuesday, June 20.

A Crow tribal member portraying a Sioux or Cheyenne warrior runs through the Little Bighorn River with the U.S. 7th cavalry flag during the Real Bird Reenactment near Garryowen on Friday, June 23.

Members of the U.S. 7th cavalry run toward the Little Bighorn River during the Real Bird Reenactment near Garryowen on Friday, June 23.

A young boy swims with his horse after the Real Bird Reenactment near Garryowen on Friday, June 23.

A young girl performs a shawl dance during the Crow Native Days Powwow in Crow Agency on June 24.

Two men fish for catfish in Lake Michigan near the USS Billings in Menominee, Michigan on Friday, June 30.

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