Missoula, Montana photographer specializing in families, love stories, intimate weddings & elopements. 

San Francisco Coast family session with Stormy Solis

When I began my career as a photographer years ago, I promised myself that I would continually strive to get better each year, through consistent shooting, continuing education, and putting myself in challenging lighting situations. I attended the Evolve workshop in San Francisco, with the hope of gaining insight, new education, and an ability to participate in shoots with other industry leading photographers.

I came to Mussel Rock Park during a windy sunset on the California coast to meet with this sweet family of five. Ten other photographers and I met in the parking lot of the beach and waited for our teacher/mentor of the session, Stormy Solis to arrive. (If you have not seen her work, stop reading this post and go look her up now.)

This family session was a dream to shoot because of the light, the scene, the family, and finally- the teacher. Stormy has such a laid-back yet intentional approach to family sessions- I learned so much from just sitting back and watching how she approaches her clients during a session. My biggest takeaway? Don’t force scenes or frames with families, and don’t be afraid to take that close frame. (That in your face uncomfortable for them, but oh so beautiful image for them.)

And finally- Stormy was so kind, thoughtful, and intentional with us as students.  She was so willing to answer any questions and push us to try new techniques.

I attended the Evolve workshop because I have seen some photographers who have been in the industry for years, and I have seen the burnout, loneliness, and inability to reinvent themselves- and I think a lot of those issues can be avoided by finding mentors, pursuing other education, and collaborating- you will be surprised at what you can come up with in the creative field when you are able to collaborate.

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I photograph adventurous, fun families and couples throughout Montana, including Billings, Bozeman, Glacier, Red Lodge, and Missoula.

Welcome! i'm abby.


abigail maki