Post # 1
In an effort to get this Montana forum going, I will also share some of my reviews!
I recently retained Bärbel (pronounced like "babble") from Nashan Photographers (http://www.nashan.com). I have not yet had the pleasure of meeting her in person, but she came highly recommended from a sorority sister who hired her for her wedding photography last year. I also like her work, from what I can see online, and enjoyed speaking with her on the phone.
This is a majorly oversimplified generalization, and based solely on my research and personal opinion, but–with that said–here it is anyway: I found that I kept coming across two "categories" of photographers in the Billings and Bozeman area. Category I are real artists and their end products are amazing–very nice albums and beautiful pictures. I would say the packages start at about $3500 and can easily go above $8,000. Category II artists are more about the function than the form. They cover all the bases and represent a more affordable price point, but there is just something lacking… in my research, some were unprofessional, or lacked creativity (i.e., I am not artistic at all, but sometimes my photos turned out better than the majority of theirs), or maybe were very inexperienced and so you couldn’t really assess them. I would say these photographers tended to fall in the $1000 – $2000 range.
The reason I was so excited to find Bärbel is because (a) she was recommended by someone whose opinion I value (this is huge, for me); (b) you can tell by her pictures that she has real talent; and (c) within Category I, her rate is very reasonable.
Has anyone else in Montana hired their photographer yet? I would love (and I am sure others would too!) to hear about your experience.
Post # 3
We are getting married about two hours away from Billings, in Wyoming and are getting a photographer from Denver. I looked forever to find a Wyoming photographer and seriously could not find a decent one. So Denver (and the added price!) it is!
Post # 4
A friend of mine is getting married here in Bozeman this fall and is using one of the Nashan photographers (I’m not sure which one). They did their engagement photos a couple of weeks ago and they are gorgeous! I’m excited to see how my friends photos turn out in September!
A sorority sister of mine from college has turned her hobby for photography into a business. She’s more into photographing baby photos, but she’s done weddings too, and they’ve been great. Her name is Kelly Kuntz and the website is http://www.kellykuntz.com Be sure to check her personal and professional blog. They have a 10 month old son Aiden who is very photogenic!!!
Post # 5
MoSnow–are you getting married in Sheridan (I only ask because I know that’s about two hours away). Fun! I have several relatives (aunts, uncles and four cousins) that live there. How beautiful! If you are ever looking for other vendors, feel free to contact me and I’d be happy to share my research with you.
In my experience, many (if not most) of the Billings wedding vendors do not have websites or ones that are very helpful. It’s really frustrating to plan from afar. Bozeman vendors seem to have a more prominent online presence.
CHK–I am so excited to hear about your friend’s engagement pics! I really want to arrange for Bärbel to come out to Seattle (where we live) to take ours, but my FI says that’s too expensive (since we’d cover her flight and rental car). I am really excited about it, though, so I may insist 🙂 I suppose if we have to do them in Montana, they’ll still be gorgeous.
The name Kelly Kuntz sounds very familar. I looked at her site, and in the first wedding that came up that she had photographed, the groom was a guy I knew in college–small world!
Also, do either of you know anyone else planning Montana weddings, or recently married? It would be awesome if we could recruit more people to use this forum to share research and other information. I have tons to share, but I would also love to hear other peoples’ ideas and reviews.
Post # 6
I know it’s a little farther away, but I’m getting married in Jackson Hole, WY and my photographer is absolutely amazing. She was one of the big reasons we picked JH over having the wedding in Colorado or Tahoe. I know she travels for weddings in Montana – check out her website.
Carrie Patterson – http://www.carriepattersonphotography.com/
Blog – http://carriepatterson.wordpress.com/
Post # 7
we are using larry stanley – he’s based out of livingston but basically covers the whole state for a minimal travel fee outside of the bozeman/livingston area. his portfolio just looks gorgeous – and i love love love the wedding albums he creates!
Post # 8
The first thing that I did after getting engaged was book Nicole Wickens to do all of our photography (i.e. engagement pictures, rehearsal dinner, day-of, and day after). She’s located in Missoula, but she travels all over the world (though I’m sure that’s not cheap!). She’s so talented!
Post # 9
Our wedding is in Hamilton MT ….about 45 minutes south of Missoula. We have hired Kayla Rivette. She does fabulous work…. her website is kaylarivettephotography.com
Good luck! I reside in Missoula so let me know if I can help with any suggestions.
Post # 10
I went to school with Nicole Wickens – she is fabulously talented! Even as an undergrad student, she shot fabulous weddings 🙂
Post # 11
Chellbell- my family lives in Hamilton 🙂
Post # 12
@Mandyrosy: That’s so awesome! We’ve wrapped up all of our sessions with Nicole, but I haven’t even been awaiting the pictures very anxiously because I already know that they’re going to be amazing.
Post # 13
Might I recommend Cindy Cieluch? She’d totally be shooting my wedding if I weren’t broke-ish. 🙂 http://cindycieluch.com/