Ivy + Donald | Billings MT Anniversary Photographer

I asked her if there was a romantic story behind their meeting. She said no… I kind of beg to differ!

They were introduced through a mutual friend and suddenly their paths began to cross much more often. They loved to laugh together (which is still so true to this day. Their energy is simply magnetic and their laughter is contagious.) Finally Donald decided it was time for their first official date, but they had to clear it with Ivy’s parents first. Classic young love! Straight out of a romantic comedy.

After her parents gave the all-clear they were home free. They spent the day at the lake, or “Lake Day” as Ivy calls it! The water was still frozen, but their hearts were melting.


Best friends. No truer example than Ivy and Donald. They got married at the lake, and this week celebrated one year of happy marriage. They already have four kids… dogs that is! 😉

We had so much fun on this anniversary shoot. It’s my honor to know these two and call them my friends!

This was by far everyone’s favorite on Facebook. It went viral within a few hours and boosted my traffic by over 400% during that time.

OK… uhm, wow. I wish that always happened!

I decided that it was worth a few minutes to consider WHY this shot was so popular.

  • Contrast – There are a few points of contrast here. Monkey vs. Beautiful woman, Dark shirt vs. White shirt, Sepia grain filter vs. Modern digital … Roberto Valenzuela taught me that people are innately drawn to contrasts. It makes them stop for a moment and ponder.
  • Personalization – Upon first glance you immediately know that this is an anniversary shot. Why? Because it says “Happy Anniversary” in giant letters. When shared across Facebook, and particularly within their close social circles, the picture can be used as a fun way to inform people of an important event. Just like when someone’s wall is covered in Happy Birthday posts. Leverage the hivemind.
  • Personality – The most common comment that I got is, “Oh, that’s SO them!” — it’s so important to allow the personality to shine through, or perhaps even inspire, the image. We went shopping for Halloween gear right before the photo shoot, and Donald picked the Monkey mask. He was excited to take a few pictures incorporating the mask, so I rolled with it. I’m so glad I did! Even if they had turned out to be trash photos (which they didn’t) it is essential that the client feels in control and part of the artistic process.
  • Content – I’m a firm believer that content trumps technical execution every time. That’s why my style leans toward photo journalistic. In fact, this photo was slightly underexposed. The sun was down and I was already working at ISO 1600 at this point, so I brought up the shadows in Lightroom and applied some heavy noise reduction. This was one of the last shots of the day, and we were all quite tired and hungry, but it was important to me to finish off on a good note.

Here are a few more of my favorite shots from the day.

She is so GOR-GE-OUS!

I love this. They are so candid!

This was taken on the evening of Day 2. We did some jumping after we had all STUFFED ourselves with pasta from the Olive Garden. Now that’s dedication.

Check out this session on Facebook, including more wacky pictures with the monkey mask.

Click here and be sure to Like the page!



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