Our Photo Library Looks a Little Different than Most

If my years as a blogger for Southwest Montana have taught me anything, it is that Montana is unendingly photogenic. This year we are celebrating the irresistible photographic charm of the region with a photo contest. What is it that you love about Southwest Montana? What building, lake, river, or view makes you stop and sigh with contentment? What socially distanced activities have you embraced in the last months? (Cross-country skis and poles make ideal social distance measurers).

There are still 9 days left (Submit by December 20th!) to submit your favorite Southwest Montana photos to our competition, and the prizes this year are great! You can submit 6 photos to the contest. One must show a socially distanced activity, see the contest page for the list of themes for the other five photos.

And remember, there’s no need to be a professional photographer with all the latest gear. Take a pic on your phone, the beauty of Southwest Montana welcomes amateurs!

Over the years of blogging, I’ve accumulated a huge library of photos. Some of them are timeless, and I use them over and over again.

Others require a bit more by way of explanation and context.

And there are some that no amount of explanation can really justify.

There are also a surprising number of non-Montana photos in my folder. I have an image of the Alhambra palace in Granada, Spain, probably because I was working on a post about Alhambra Hot Springs, south of Helena. But why did I download pictures of Venice? I really don’t remember.

A lot of the pictures we use on the blog come from the really beautiful SWMT videos. But, if I’m honest, the pictures I love the most aren’t necessarily those. The pictures I love the most are the ones I’ve taken myself. Not because I think I’m a great photographer (I’m not) or because I have great equipment (unless a 5 year old cellphone counts), but because of the memories attached to them.

I love the picture above of Hell’s Canyon Forest Service Cabin because it reminds me of one of my favorite weekend adventures with some of my favorite people. And this one, below, from Philipsburg, which combines two of my favorite things – cool buildings and breweries.

They were both taken by my very amateur self and for me, they capture some of the magic of Southwest Montana, because they capture my memories. What are your memories of the region?