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  • Writer's pictureMegan

Engagements in a Ghost Town? YES PLEASE

Recently Engaged? Pick an EPIC location.

Here is a story about an EPIC location, couple and love story.

Morgan + Dustin

I had the opportunity recently to shoot in Bannack, one of Montana's hidden treasures. The quaint little ghost town was dusted in fresh snow and ready to be explored. The diverse, empty buildings, chalk full of history, made an amazing backdrop for engagement photos. Bannack, Montana, is located in southwest corner of the state, just short drive from Dillon. Despite it's remoteness, and only being reachable via the Montana Trail, a gold discovery in 1862 caused the population to explode to nearly 10,000. Bannack was even the capital of the Montana Territory for a short period before the decision was made to move the capital to Virginia City in 1864.

The abandoned hotels, saloons, blacksmith shops, and school now provide a rich history and a beautiful backdrop. If you are a nerd for Montana history like Morgan & Dustin are, you will not only love your photos but love the experience. Each individual building is filled with unique windows, layouts and wallpaper that are guaranteed to make your engagement photos as different and unique as your love story.

My day with Morgan and Dustin began in a cozy bar in Dillon, Montana, where we indulged with an ice cold microbrew to say hello after our long trek west, and to shake their nerves. This was the first time I had shot in Bannack, and I had gone early in the morning to scout out some spots and prepare for the day. After indulging ourselves with a pint, we left the small bar and set out for Bannack. That's when the snow set in. Most couples panic at the sight of snowfall, but it is my favorite weather to photograph in... everything becomes MAGICAL. There were three spots I had handpicked for Morgan and Dustin - a hilltop coated with sage grass and pine trees, a beautiful, rustic, wooden teepee, and the ghost town itself. As Morgan, Dustin, and I trailed through each building in the middle of a blizzard, we found ourselves lost in the beauty and history. We started creating moments as we wandered through historic schools, houses and saloons, not even noticing we were being soaked by the heavy snowfall. I loved capturing Morgan and Dustin's joy as they eagerly explored, enjoying each other's company and celebrating their engagement. After exploring all Bannack had, we ventured back to Dillon to warm up, and since Morgan and Dustin fell in love over beer, that's how we ended our day in Bannack State Park, enjoying another pint together.

Despite it's remoteness, Bannack is very close to many outdoor activities and locations - including Elkhorn Hot Springs, where I stayed the night before my photoshoot. About 30 minutes away from Bannack State Park, Elkhorn Hot Springs was a quaint, affordable hotel and hot spring, that included a free breakfast with my stay! There are a number of nearby locations that I would still love to explore with majestic mountain backdrops and sage covered hills. The Beaverhead River and Grasshopper Creek provide even more options.

Morgan, Dustin, and I loved Bannack State Park because #1 Nobody was there--meaning creative freedom was in my hands! #2 Old Rustic Buildings go perfect with making you stand out-- just look at her red dress! #3 UNIQUE #4 Couples Playground-- from saloons to merry go rounds you can be romantic yet your true self.

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