2015 52 Week Project // Week 13: Everything Is Better In Montana. (With Before & After + Video by Colton McCoy)

It really is true, Montana is full of glitter and unicorns and happiness. Oh, and some of the most amazing scenery, too. (These are the kinds of things that come out of my mouth when I try to write a blog post at 1 AM... so you'll all just have to excuse that and prepare yourselves.)

Last Thursday, me, Colton, and Whitney took the trek over to Libby, Montana, home to Kootenai Falls. Kootenai Falls is not just your typical PNW waterfall where hipsters gather to take artsy, VSCO edited, square cropped shots of the landscape and the back of someone trendy, oh no, it is much more than that. Kootenai Falls is home to the clearest, prettiest, bluest water, amazingly photogenic bridges, waterfalls that you can walk out on to and jump from rock to rock between streams, and the greenest, piney-est backdrops. Every 5 steps give you a new view, and every 5 minutes, the weather changes to bring you a new challenge. Yeah, we got sunshine, wind, snow, and rain in a matter of hours. It was a serious whirlwind (Ha! Punny! Hold the applause please.) of an experience.

Before we even reached the falls, we approached this bridge, around 3 in the afternoon. The sun was breaking through the clouds, and the chain linking on this fence created the most amazing shadows! If you know me at all, you know that I'm totally obsessed with this kind of light, and the contrastier, the better. I don't think it would be possible to take a bad photo in this setup. The beauty of this is that I didn't plan anything about it: the time of day, the location, the light, anything. And yet, the happiest accident happened when we came to this spot! It was absolutely just asking to be photographed. This shot of Whitney is one of my first 10 shots of the whole day. Sometimes, you just knock it out of the park right off the bat. Minimal editing was done to this image as well, because I was so happy with the way it looked straight out of camera! Bonus!

We then adventured on to the swinging bridge, which is 100 times more exhilarating than it sounds. As you approach it, there's a sign that states no more than 5 people can be on it at a time. Yeah, it's relatively sketchy. And so freakin' cool at the same time. You can see the river below you through the slats, and the bridge actually swings from side to side as you cross it. 

After the bridge, we went to the falls. The grand finale of the day! We shot next to them, over them, behind them, and from every angle, because we could basically walk out on them. Seriously, this is like the most magical place of life. (Except for a lot of other places, I'm guessing. I'm not the most cultured person you've ever met.) 

Montana basically took my heart last week. If you live anywhere in Washington, Oregon, or Idaho, you have absolutely zero excuse to not explore the amazing scenery that's all around you. Guaranteed, you can drive an hour away from where ever you're reading this right now, and find something awesome. I'm loving all of the sight seeing and photographing I've been getting to do in awesome places lately, and this is just the beginning of it! 

So bonus, Colton filmed an epic video from our time in Montana that I love, and am also low key jealous of because it's better than what I would have done (it's fine, I'm not wounded or anything), so check it out!

And as always, here's a gallery of images from the day, full of both portraits and lanscapes! (And a really bad DSLR selfie brought to you by yours truly.)

Jessica MummComment