Celebrating Mother’s Day

What a beautiful day it was yesterday for Mother’s Day! I can’t wait to hear what everyone’s favorite things are to do to celebrate Mother’s Day! We did something completely different than anything we have done before. It was so much fun! The idea actually came from my teenager who occasionally goes “hammocking” with her friends. She received a hammock of her own as a Christmas gift. My favorite thing to do on Mother’s Day is usually to go kayak my most favorite Montana lake. However this year I just wasn’t ready. Kayaks haven’t been cleaned up and ready to head to the lake just yet. So instead we decided to get another hammock and go check out hammocking in the woods. It was fantastic! We set them up overlooking the lake in our own private spot. We hung out for quite a while enjoying eachothers company and nature. Definitely up for this again in the near future. They were so easy to set up too!

iphone shot of my kiddos on Mother’s Day

View from my hammock!
Another iphone shot of my girls. I think they had fun!

Usually every Mother’s Day for the past few years is spent in Jackson Hole, Wyoming at lacrosse tournaments. Seriously so much fun to spend Mother’s Day watching lacrosse, hanging out in Grand Teton National Park, or grabbing a bite in Jackson Hole or Teton Village. Sometimes I haul the kayaks so we can kayak String or Jenny Lake early in the season when we have it to ourselves. It can be tricky because there is usually snow on the ground still in the Tetons. Trekking through the snow with kayaks is a little bit slippery. I really missed going there this year. All lacrosse was cancelled for both my girls due to covid -19. I guess I will have to wait until next year to see them play again!

iphone shot of lacrosse in Jackson Hole, WY.
My youngest playing lax in Jackson Hole. #37
Another shot of my daughter playing for Missoula Lacrosse Club in Jackson.
She has the ball.
My oldest taking a shot on goal for Spartan Lacrosse. #4

Here are a few images from Grand Teton National Park. If I am going to drive all that way you have to have time to play!

iphone shot of the beautiful tetons!
We sometimes get lucky and see moose and bears. Usually they are too far even with a long lens. This one was taken from the car with a long lens.
Last year at Jenny Lake. Just lovely. (iphone shot)

Spring kayaking in the tetons.
Bluebird day last year in the tetons.

My family lives in the northern suburbs of the Chicago area. I don’t usually get to see my Mom until summer. A couple of years ago we did a joint trip to Cannon Beach, OR with my sister and her family and my Mom and Dad. We rented a house near the beach. It was a blast! Cannon Beach was perfect because we could walk everywhere. And seriously Cannon Beach is beautiful and the little town is adorable. Of course there is so much exploring to do along the coast as well.

Little side trip to Seaside, OR. We did not have the best weather lol!

Here is a little shout out to all the lovely Mom’s that welcomed beautiful babies this past year, before shelter in place hit. I would love to share a few images from some earlier sessions.

Seriously, how sweet is this?
Just adorable!
Sweet image of baby Levi and his Mommy while I was shooting safe sleep images for the Family Maternity Center at St. Patrick’s Hospital.
Love them!
So sweet! This little guy and his sweet Mom were one of the last sessions I had before Coronavirus closed my business down.

I am so looking forward to taking pictures of newborns and kiddos soon! I am currently booking June although it depends on the social distancing standards.

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Little Bear Photography…how it all began

Little Bear Photography was established in October of 2010. The journey to turning a dream into a business was a long one. It started in 3rd grade when my Dad gave me my first film camera. I took a ton of pictures! Pictures of family, friends, everything! I became an avid scrapbooker for a really long time. Although once I had kiddos, it became harder and harder to keep up with. I took even more pictures now of everything we did, everywhere we went. When cameras went digital, my husband bought me my first digital camera, a Canon 20d. I started taking classes at the Lifelong Learning Center. I took every class I could take. Then I knew I wanted more.

Image of my girls in the backyard shortly after starting LBP.

I decided to attend an open house at Rocky Mountain School of Photography. I had received their catalogs in the mail for years but never saw myself actually affording to go. There was a critique lead by Neil Chaput (owner/founder of RMSP) . I was petrified since there was a roomful of people and I knew no one. I almost chickened out but I did it. Neil said really nice things about my images. It made me so happy, I was so honored. I did want to talk to him afterwards, but there were so many people I decided to leave. I was on cloud nine since Neil had said such nice things. A few days later I received a phone call from Neil asking me if I would like to come in and go over my portfolio with him. Oh my gosh I was so excited! Meeting with Neil was very inspiring. I knew I wanted more of photography, I needed more, I loved it so much! Then everything fell into place. My husband, Andy was helpful in finding a way for me to attend the career training program. My parents volunteered to come for the summer and take care of my girls who were 3yrs. and 6 yrs. at the time. I couldn’t believe it! I attended the career training program, adventure lifestyle pro studies, and the advanced intensive that was offered into the fall. I graduated the entire program in October of 2010.

Image taken while practicing in studio at RMSP.
Another image taken while working on my final project.

I was fortunate after graduation to be hired by RMSP as a workshop teaching assistant. I couldn’t have loved this more. I was able to work in numerous national parks helping people with their photography. I had anywhere from 7-11 workshops a year. I loved it. Unfortunately, at the end of 2019, RMSP decided to discontinue their workshop program. I will certainly miss working for them, however I am looking forward to assisting Doug Johnson Photography with his workshops. He has been my coworker for the past 10 years and he is carrying on the workshop program. If you are interested in learning photography in a beautiful place with an awesome instructor you should check it out. https://www.dougjohnsonphotography.com/

Here is an iphone image I took assisting a workshop on the coast of Maine last fall.

Following graduation, Little Bear Photography was born. In the beginning I focused on specializing in children. In the next few years I realized my true photography love was photographing newborn babies. I have taken numerous workshops and education courses on photographing newborns and safety. I love every second of it. I started with a home studio, but a few years into it my husband, Andy convinced me to lease a room in his office. It was the best move ever. I don’t have store front, but I have a great little spot inside the PCI building on Russell St. I love photographing newborns, but having my clients return every year and watching these sweet little babies grow into such adorable kiddos is the best!

Lovely little Anna!
Emery at her 2 yr old Art Session!
Sweet Stella at a Holiday Mini Session

In August of 2015, I started taking pictures of newborns up in the Family Maternity Center at St. Patrick’s Hospital. It is hard to believe I will be there for 5 years this August! Time goes by so fast! I am currently at St. Pat’s Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings. Well I say currently but since covid-19 photographers are not back in the hospital taking pictures yet. Hopefully soon! I certainly miss all the awesome nurses and staff that I am used to seeing every week. Definitely looking forward to being able to work with newborns again soon in my studio and at St. Pat’s!

Photography at St. Patrick’s Hospital
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Thank You for a fantastic 2014…

Thank you so much for choosing Little Bear Photography. It has been a great year and I am very much looking forward to new and exciting things in 2015! I was fortunate enough to sell Adventure Lifestyle images to Five Valleys Land Trust this year as well as Cliff Bar. Excited to take a little more time this year to shoot those kind of images. I worked with Cold Springs Elementary to do school photos for the students this year. It was a great experience and I look forward to working with them in the future. I have had a blast taking portraits of families, kiddos, and newborns. Thank you all for the referrals this year. Below is a little review of the past year! My it goes by so fast! All the more reason to get images taken often! Valentine Mini’s are so much fun and I have to say one of my favorite sessions of the year!!! Here is sweet Lennon! Just adore him!Seriously how cute is he?These boys have been coming to the Valentine Mini’s since they started! Love these two!Definitely a blast…can’t believe the 2015 Valentine Mini is around the corner!Happy First Birthday Orion! What a cutie this little guy is!This year I began making my own cakes for the Cake Smash Sessions. So fun! I really focus on making these sessions customized and unique to you. What a happy guy! He liked his cake too!Love black and white…he looks so sweet here!He was whooping it up in the tub! There was water everywhere!!!Here is sweet Aynsleigh at her cake smash session!She was so dainty! She was not into making a mess of her cake at all! So cute!Here is sweet boy Lennon…look at those eyes!Went on a few shoots this year for Five Valleys Land Trust. So great to work with them! This was on a ranch near Drummond.The Wallace boys…love them! I have known this family for a long time. My girls went to Miss Mykell’s Preschool and before that they went there for day care. My girls love their Mom and now are big enough to help out with the smaller kids. Its amazing to watch these kiddos grow up!Have to have a little black and white here and there!Cuties! The fall colors were amazing too!Often fun to mix it up and shoot some images downtown…Seriously he is the cutest!Here are some images shot for Five Valleys Land Trust in Rock Creek…The Bishop family…such a sweet family!
Griffin. This little man is hard to keep up with!Love.Another super sweet family…the Bay Family.This used to be a bear cage back in the day…kind of neat and crazy.They look amazing and the colors were on fire!Oh my goodness what a precious little boy.
His sister just loves him!Newborn sessions are awesome but you never know how things are going to go! This little guy slept for his sibling shots but was very awake for the rest of his session. Look how cute he is here! Love little babies!Love this black and white of these little kiddos.Love this.
Right after Thanksgiving we did  an extended family shoot for the Bishop family. What a great bunch!Love the Packer flair!My nephew Cody played around with me in the studio while he was visiting over the holidays. Go Griz!Little Lennon…I have taken pictures of Lennon since he was a newborn. He’s getting so big!He brought his little cousin in to get her holiday photo too…This image was taken in the summer of 2010. I had just graduated from the Summer Intensive part of Rocky Mountain School of Photography. We hiked in to Granite Park Chalet for two days with our girls. It was quite the adventure. I hadn’t realized that the reservations fell on the anniversary of “Night of the Grizzlies”. For those of you who don’t know I was stalked by a grizzly while camped at Trout Lake years ago. It was the scariest night of my life and no doubt I am lucky to be alive. I had no idea until hiking out about the night of the grizzlies documentary. Needless to say I was contemplating canceling our reservations. We decided to go ahead and as we headed into the park the weather got worse and worse. Our plan was to hike in via the Highline Trail. However we decided that was a long exposed trail to be on with kids and bad weather. We changed the plan and hiked in through the Loop Trail. Madison was pretty little back then and still in the backpack. It was cold and rainy. Part way up the trail we realized she was becoming hypothermic. Right on the middle of the steep trail trying to keep the rain off of her we had to change all her clothes, get her long underwear on her and luckily that , feeding her, and having her walk for a while worked. I was so thankful when we got there that we were sleeping inside that night. It rained so much it was pouring in the walls of our room! Luckily the next few days were great and the hike out the Highline Trail was bright and sunny. This is the image Cliff Bar purchased. One of my favorites and it is now hanging up in my home. We take at least one trip to Glacier National Park every year. I just love the adventure, beauty, animals, and all the memories that are made there! Happy New Year! Here is to an adventurous 2015!!!

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End of the year holiday puppy cuteness…

As many of you know we decided to get a St. Bernard puppy this year. It was a crazy last minute decision but friends of ours were getting a puppy and I just couldn’t resist after all the puppy talk. Meet our new puppy Hudson and his brother, Soldier. They are the cutest for sure and it has been an amazing experience watching them grow, faster than a speeding bullet it seems! Seriously you tuck him in his kennel at night and the next morning he comes out visibly bigger than you put him in! It is amazing. I believe these two were about 15weeks when we took these images of them. It was quite an adventure. We got a few cute ones for sure but most of the time was spent in a flurry of puppy wrestling! No joke! Look how cute they are here…Here are some more cute ones of these two. Soldier looks so handsome! Hudson looks like an old man lol!This is actually what went on most of the time!!! Hudson has his “surprise eye” out! At least that is what my kids call it! Poor Charlotte she was trying so hard to get their attention and bribe them with treats. It was quite humorous how crazy puppies can be!Then they have these sweet moments…How sweet is Soldier here???Love these two! So fun they get to grow up together!Hope your Holidays were full of fun, family, and friends!

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Cake Smash is a blast!

Orion’s 1st Birthday Cake Smash!

Seriously, this little guy is the cutest. It was so much fun to have him and his parents come for a Cake Smash Session. Such a happy guy!Love this little train he bought with him that spells his name! So cute!

Such a cutie! He did a great job!Love this!Funny how busy 1yr. olds are! We were on the move!I was so excited about his cake! I think he liked it!As soon as his Dad put him down in front of the cake his mouth went right to it! I love it!This is one of my favorites! Just love those little fists! Yum!Mmm…gotta love cake!Love this too…so sweet!The end of the cake!What a sweet face!Hilarious! The bath was fun!Splish Splash he is having a blast in the bath!!!Sweet boy!

More about Cake Smash Sessions…

Cake Smash Sessions are really fun and a great way to capture such an important milestone. I try to customize each session; coordinating colors, backgrounds, and create a custom cake. A Cake Smash Session is 30-45 minutes long. It starts in the outfit chosen for their first year photographs. Clients can bring props they have or special toys etc to customize the session even more. Next is the cake smash which is always a hoot. We finish up with a bath and rubber ducks. Call or email me today if you are interested in booking a session or know someone who would love a session like this!

Happy 1st Birthday Orion!

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3115 S. Russell St. Suite A, Missoula, MT 59801 ~ littlebearmt@gmail.com ~ Contact Jen 406.531.9726