Crazy Train

IT’S BEEN A WILD RIDE.  Catch up on the last two months:

I’ve been meaning to get a blog post up for quite a while now, but I’ve failed miserably!  Two months is too long.  But today, on this crisp September morning, I’m going to get down to business and let everyone know what I’ve been up to lately.  Here goes.

Our family has had a lot going on this summer.  We’ve both been working like mad, and we have traveled far more than usual.  We lost a dear family member, celebrated her life with loved ones, and were reminded to make each day count.  Our oldest child started school, which is a huge milestone for us.  We just passed the one-year anniversary of owning our first home, so projects have been stacking up and getting (slowly) checked off the list.  I’ve been toying with the idea of going back to work full-time, which is stressful and exciting for many reasons.  Our dog decided to start running away constantly.  I started a big garden for the first time.  Our youngest child went from baby to toddler and is absolutely (adorably) insane.  When things get crazy, I escape into photography.  It’s something I can really get lost in, which has been very therapeutic.  Fine art photography has been my focus lately, and my other collaborations and documentaries have been on the back burner.  That is going to change in the coming months, so I’ll get back into my weekly blog habit in order to keep you updated on the latest!

Butte has been an untapped market for me until recently.  We lived uptown for about six months when our middle child was born, and we fell in love with the town.  It’s a little rough around the edges, but the whole place is teeming with potential!  Stunning brick buildings, lovely mountain views, fantastic local businesses and plenty of good, old-fashioned Irish spirit!  My dad’s family roots are deep within the area, and I feel a genuine connection to the Mining City.  I’ve been traveling to Butte frequently for the Montana Artrepreneur Program (MAP), which wraps up in October, and I decided to start displaying my photographs during Uptown Butte’s First Fridays.

My work is currently up at St. James Healthcare (in the Rehab Department) and will remain there for another month or two.  The theme of the exhibit there is “Life: a visual essay.”  All of my pieces are large-scale prints, one printed on metal, and they are available for purchase.

One of five pieces currently on display at St. James in Butte. “Summer Haircuts on the Front Porch” Limited Edition 20×30 metal print.


The next opportunity you’ll have to see my work in Butte is on October 3 (First Friday) at the Imagine Butte Resource Center (IBRC) at 68 West Park Street.  The “Visions and Voices” exhibit is such a fantastic collaboration.  It goes like this:  artists and writers are asked to submit one finished piece of original work to be the source of inspiration for another artist’s work (I chose a piece of writing that inspired me to create a photograph, and someone chose my original fine art photograph as a source of inspiration for a written piece).  My husband is participating in the show as well.  His written work will be on display and some mystery artist has created a piece inspired by his words.  This is our first time participating in a show together, so it’s extra exciting.  If you’re in the neighborhood on opening night, come uptown and say hello! 

“Full Bloom” One of two pieces that will be on display at the IBRC beginning October 3.


I’ve been picking up very few commercial clients lately because our schedule has been so hectic, but I will be taking on new jobs starting this month.  Our oldest child started Kindergarten last week and we’re settling into a routine.  I plan to try out an online scheduling app, so if you’re interested in booking sometime soon keep an eye out for it!  I think it will make things easier for clients, but please tell me if you hate it.  I don’t want to over-complicate the process.  Keep in mind that each portrait session is different, so if you have special requests such as multiple locations or styling we may need to book more time than the standard shoot.

Speaking of technology, starting this month I’ll be accepting credit/debit cards as a form of payment!  You will be able to pay your for your deposit, invoice or print order on the spot with the Square Reader, which is super convenient for me and my clients.  Cash and checks will still be accepted, and keep in mind that all fine art (basically any non-commercial work on my website or elsewhere) is available to purchase in any format.  Soon I’ll be offering postcards and other items in bricks-and-mortar locations around the state, so stay tuned for an announcement!

My Sunday Best documentary project has been on a temporary hold, but it’s firing back up now that it’s fall!  Any of you out there who are interested, please contact me if you haven’t already.  Those of you who have contacted me, rest assured that you’re on the list and you will not be forgotten.  I’ll be posting current info and scheduling on the Facebook group, which can be found here, so keep an eye out for the newest info there.  If you’re still interested in donating to help fund the documentary, the (unsuccessful) Kickstarter incentives for sponsorship at different levels are still on the table.  Contact me or check out the old Kickstarter campaign page for information.  I’ll be applying for grants in the coming months, but at this point I’m bootstrapping the project so any donations are appreciated!

I traveled to Bozeman recently for a meeting with the lovely Celeste Johnson, with whom I am collaborating.  Our fashion project is still on the docket, and we finally got a chance to scout locations!  I have a bunch of amazing new vintage clothing and Celeste has been collecting plenty of goodies herself.  Our project is moving forward slowly, but surely.  Soon we’ll set a shoot date and I’ll update you once things are finished.  It’s going to be gorgeous.

I’ll be back next week with a new blog post about what’s going on with M. Helm Fine Photography.  Thanks for your support, everyone!