CONNIE + SAM // HAMILTON, MONTANA MATERNITY SESSION

Social media is such a funny thing: it can be an all-consuming beast that makes you compare every element of your life to strangers' highlights, but at the same time, it has been such a blessing for this introvert. It's given me a way to connect with strangers who become friends, and that's exactly what happened with Connie. We found each other on Instagram, made a pizza + beer date, and instantly clicked. She's a makeup artist in the Bitterroot, so initially, I was glad to have her as a resource for my clients, but I love taking her photos even more.

Connie + Sam are about to have their last baby: sweet little Jax. It's her story to tell, so I won't share all the details here, but suffice it to say he's been a long time coming and the ride has had some bumps. Given all the bumps, we ended up moving their maternity session up two weeks and it was the most perfect day! The snow had melted in town, but Lake Como was still beautifully blanketed. We had a perfectly clear, bluebird-sky day and these two are so adorable together. Sam takes such good care of Connie and their boys and she is so obviously still head over heels for him (like I said before: spend a few minutes around them and she'll almost certainly crack a PG-13 joke about their relationship).

Montana's Bitterroot Valley never disappoints, but I think Connie + Sam stole the show. Scroll on through for a few highlights!

SASKIA + RICHARD // BILLINGS, MONTANA ENGAGEMENT

I "met" Saskia through social media a few years back. As an aspiring competitive bodybuilder, I followed her (she's a well established competitive bodybuilder with several national-level competitions under her belt) not only for her physique, but her heavy dose of "real" on IG. She tells it like it is and doesn't hesitate to shed some much-needed light on the less glamorous side of the sport. Needless to say, I was thrilled when she contacted me after she got engaged.

Anyway, enough fan-girling. Saskia and Richard are two of the most down-to-earth, awesome people I've met. They dated for seven years and he proposed while they were visiting Saskia's sister in Amsterdam! Saskia suspected something was up on that trip: her sister gave her a pair of rose gold earrings, which tipped her off that she may be acquiring a rose gold ring as well. Turns out she was right (and it's a stunner!).

Saskia and Richard opted to start their engagements at their house (I do love a good in-home session) and she had a couple pieces of furniture that have a real story. First, their dining room table is made of the wood from the bowling lanes of the Lucky Strike, where they met. The Lucky Strike was demolished, but Birch + Bennett (an amazing furniture company in Missoula) bought the wood and made a few pieces out of it and Saskia bought the table. It's incredible! Second, the sofa in her office: guys, this piece belonged to her great-grandparents, who lived in the Netherlands. It travelled across the ocean to find it's new home in her office and it is SO cool! Surrounded by pieces that mean so much to them, their home was the perfect place to celebrate their engagement. AND Richard brought home a bottle of the good champagne. Like the really good kind.

After spending a little time in their home, we headed to a restaurant that we had to ourselves for a bit. Richard is a chef and this was the perfect nod to his passion. Once we finished up at the restaurant, we made our way to the rims. If you're ever in Billings, check them out: it's such a beautiful spot with an amazing view of the city. It was also the perfect place to watch the sun set on the most beautiful October day. Scroll on through to check out a few of my favorites from their engagement!