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Cou Cou Studio bio picture

Welcome to Cou Cou Studio ©

Cou Cou Studio is based in Missoula, Montana and provides wedding photography in Missoula and across the state.  At Cou Cou Studio © we believe in modern photos with stories to tell.  Happy, funny, breathtaking, ridiculous stories.  On a scale of importance from 1 to 10 we rate creativity with a 23.  We are obsessed with making clients ecstatic and consistently exceeding expectations.  We believe you share in our love of life, frivolity and fantastic photography.  And a day-in-day-out fascination with color, composition and artistic expression for good measure.

So let's start a conversation.  Let's start talking about what kind of images you believe in.  What kind of moments you want to freeze and how Cou Cou Studio © can be a part of them.  Every story has to start somewhere.  We hope yours starts with us.  You can also follow us on Twitter or fan us on Facebook.

Event Profile: Weddings Inspired Northwest in Cour d’Alene, Idaho

This spring here in Missoula has been really busy so far.  We just wrapped up our taxes and now we are excited to look forward to some upcoming travel and events this spring and summer.  We are excited to head to Cour d’Alene, Idaho in May for Weddings Inspired Northwest, an event bringing together top wedding industry professionals.  Tickets are on sale now to the event which includes lunch, a cruise on lake Cour d’Alene, and a fantastic group of wedding industry speakers.  We are sure to learn from this group and are looking forward to connecting with other professionals in a beautiful setting.



There is a great roster of speakers from around the country.  If you are interested in going or knowing more about the event here is a list of the folks that will be speaking:


Renée Strauss

An industry expert, sought after guest speaker and stylist to the stars, Renée Strauss is not only a renowned specialist in bridal fashion, but a trusted industry expert on all things wedding, from etiquette to planning the big day. Through her hit TV show, Brides of Beverly Hills, and her popular Huffington Post blog, Renée Strauss has been able to connect with fans all across the country as well as internationally.  Renée currently shares advice and imparts wisdom about the ins and outs of bridal through her columns on and The Huffington Post, her articles for Beautiful Brides magazine and her weekly updates to her own blog. She also regularly holds seminars and speaking engagements offering insight to fellow bridal retailers, wedding and event specialists and industry professionals.


Rachel Sandall

Founder and Editor of Apple Brides blog, Rachel created Apple Brides form her experience planning a wedding in Spokane, Washington all the way from Ireland.  After her October 2009 wedding at Spokane’s Davenport Hotel she turned her knowledge into the thriving wedding blog Apple Brides.  The blog has become a resource for inland northwest brides across Washinton, Idaho and Montana.


Misty Ceriello

Fouder and CEO of Cameo-Events & PreVeiled Wedding Wish Grants, and Celebrity Wedding and Event Planner, Misty Ceriello brings over ten years of experience to wedding and event planning. From the small intimate baby shower to a television aired wedding on Fox Network and Gordon Ramsay’s “Hotel Hell”, to annual corporate parties for one of the largest over the road moving companies in the US, Misty has the background, experience, passion, spirit and drive to make every event the absolute best that it can be.  She has expanded her company presence from Denver to a new office in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.


Linnyette Richardson-Hall

Linnyette is the Creative Director forPremiere Event Management in Baltimore, Maryland.   She runs a Baltimore-based firm specializing in  unique, elegant, fun and personality-oriented events for clients. She is also the Special Contributing Editor of the two book series “Going To The Chapel” (Penguin Putnam 1998) and a former Contributing Editor for Signature Bride Magazine and Columnist  Lynnyette is also a featured consultant on  the reality television series, “Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?” on the Style Network.  Her work and expertise have also been featured in publications including  Glamour, Essence & Black Enterprise magazines, The Washington Post and has appeared on CNN, FOX News, CBS and a host of other media outlets.


Shane McMurray

Founder of The Wedding Report, Inc., Shane holds  12 years of wedding industry experience and 21 years experience in sales, marketing and business management.  The Wedding Report has  been mentioned in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Forbes, and SmartMoney.  Shane and his company frequently  provided direct wedding industry insight to eHarmony, Martha Stewart, Conde Nast, Blue Nile, Swarovski, WEtv.


Alexis Jones

Media Personality, Social Entreprenuer, Author,  and Inspirational Speaker Alexis Jones was born in Austin, Texas and now hails from sunny Los Angeles, Califoria.  She has hosted a TV show on the Red Carpet, worked at Fox Sports, ESPN and was a contestant on the hit CBS reality TV show: Survivor. Leveraging her Entertainment background as a platform, Alexis launched I AM THAT GIRL, and quickly became an internationally recognized speaker, media personality, activist and author.  She was recently invited to the White House to discuss a Healthy Media initiative.  Alexis and the I AM THAT GIRL team are trailblazing the women’s empowerment space with a savvy, inspiring, 21st century twist. She has spent the last 4 years speaking to over 100,000 youth in person and over a million people on-line regarding personal and professional development, leadership, activism, social entrepreneurism, and women’s issues.  Alexis Jones is THAT GIRL and she’s on a mission to change the world.


If you decide to go drop us an email and let us know — we’d love to say hello in person!  Idaho — here we come!

** Sponsored Post **

CLOSED: Missoula Area Portrait Session Giveaway Contest! :: Missoula, Montana Photographer

missoula portrait photographer

It’s contest time again!  Since we are new to Missoula we figured the best way to meet some new folks is to run a fun contest.  There are two ways to enter: like our page on Facebook thru our giveaway link or leave us a comment on this post telling us why you want to win a free portrait session with Cou Cou Studio here in the Missoula area.  The contest runs thru today March 6th thru March 12th 2014 at midnight.

missoula family portrait photographer

We will announce a randomly selected winner next week after the contest closes.  Maybe you need a senior portrait?  Maybe you’d like to take a great family photo?  Maybe you just got engaged?

missoula portrait photographer

missoula family portrait photographer

Whatever the reason you’ll receive an 8×10 archival print from our session.  What are you waiting for!?  Head over to Facebook for a chance to win!  missoula family portrait photographer

Top 4 Spots for a Montana Destination Honeymoon :: Montana Wedding Photographers

Lots of attention is put on planning a wedding.  But I know when I got married one of the many things I was looking forward to was the honeymoon!  Travel?!  With my favorite person!?  How can you not get excited about this.  If you are planning a Montana wedding, you might want to consider sticking around after the celebration to enjoy just how awesome Big Sky Country can be.  It’s pretty stunning.  I’ve pulled together a roundup of some highlights for honeymoons statewide that I think are worth checking out.



1. Yellowstone National Park

It’s full of vistas, buffalo, amazing fishing, and geysers.  If you want an adventurous trip this could be just the ticket.  Spend a day exploring the Beartooth Highway or an afternoon fishing in Paradise Valley.  The views are endless and the wildlife is plentiful.  Yellowstone is pretty spectacular and it makes an amazing destination to get away from it all and just enjoy nature and each other’s company.yellowstone honeymoon montana photographer



2. Whitefish, Montana

It’s cute, quaint and a perfect spot to enjoy any season.  Minutes from skiing at Whitefish Mountain Resort or a 30 minute drive to Glacier National Park you can’t beat the location.  Plus with accommodations like The Lodge at Whitefish Lake you can go luxe lodge for your creature comforts between outdoor adventures.  What’s not to love?

whitefish lake lodge honeymoon cou cou studio



3. Glacier National Park

So you want epic views?  This is the spot.  Go on a massive backcountry hike from chalet to chalet in the alps of the west.  Or stay at one of the in park lodges between your adventures.  Either way you can’t beat the stunning views inside the park boundaries.  They are epic.  If you want to go off the grid or see a grizzly bear then this is the spot!

glacier national park honeymoon montana photographer



4. The Resort at Paws Up

You want to trade camping for glamping?  This is the spot.  Need a camping butler?  You got it.  If price is no object and luxury is a must then this is the spot.  Plus it’s a quick drive down from Flathead Lake or up from Missoula.

paws up montana honeymoon


UPDATE 2/17/2014 :  WINNER:

“Cast-Conditioned Ale at Kalispell Brewing Co!”  – congrats to our winner Matt!

We will be sending you an email so you can claim your prize.  Thanks to all our entries — love that we have witty readers to the blog!




So here’s the deal.  We want to show Maggie the Beer Ambassador some love.  With a broken arm and an almost open brewery she’s got a lot on her plate.  The most creative photo caption left below in the comments wins a free t-shirt from Kalispell Brewing Company.  Like the Cou Cou Studio Facebook page if you feel extra kind.  The contest ends at noon on Valentine’s Day.  Show some love!  Be creative!  Share with your friends.

missoula montana photographer

Thanks to Kalispell Brewing Company for generously donating the t-shirt we are giving away.  It’s super-soft and adorable.  Plus it promotes some damn good beer!

5 Things Every Bride Should Have :: Missoula, Montana Wedding Photographer

1. Waterproof Mascara

Happy tears are a wonderful thing.  As a photographer I love seeing people overcome with true emotion.  It’s moving.  Swapping regular mascara for the waterproof kind keeps makeup in tact and photos free from tear stains.

Montana Wedding Photographer, Missoula Weddings


2. Fun

People make such a big deal about all the things you have to do before the wedding, or all the stress of things that can go wrong on a wedding day.  Don’t worry about all that stuff.  Seriously.  Have fun.  You are getting married.  Kiss your husband, dance with your best friends.  Enjoy it.

montana wedding photographer , missoula wedding


3. A Moment to Herself

On a similar note, your wedding day is filled with amazing moments that can fly by all too fast.  Whether it’s a morning yoga session to start the day, or just taking a quiet minute of solitude to soak in everything going on around you, take a minute to yourself.  It’s calming and helps you appreciate the day.

4. A Day of Clutch

It sounds like Mom advice but it really is useful.  It’s a great place to stash tissues, touch up makeup, and maybe a tiny bottle of booze or a sentimental good luck charm.  Maybe you don’t use any of it but it’s nice to have just in case.

5. Permission To Feel Beautiful

I know this sounds like totally cheesy advice.  But here’s the thing — I HATE having my photo taken.  Like dentist-visit-nerves-don’t-like-it.  So I know what it’s like to stand there and have someone photograph you all the while you just want it to end.  Don’t do that.  Take a deep breath and think about your exciting future.  Feel beautiful.  It may sound like silly advice but it’s ok to feel good about yourself and how you look.  It’s one of the simplest things you can do to ensure you actually look amazing in your photos — plus you’ll feel better while the shutter clicks.  Trust me.

montana wedding photographer, missoula wedding

Favorite Photos from 2013 :: Missoula, Montana Wedding and Portrait Photographer

2013 was a great year for Cou Cou Studio.  We have been really lucky to have thoughtful clients that let us spend time with them at special moments each year.  I pulled just a couple of my favorite images from this last year of shooting weddings and portraits.  Thanks to all of our loyal clients who invite us back year after year to photograph their families and loved ones.  We are grateful to work with you each time.


whitefish and missoula family photographerThis shot from the Boh family portrait session.  It happened in between setups of the entire group on the beach at Whitefish Lake.  I’m happy I was able to spin around in time to catch this little guy staring out at the horizon.

montana wedding photographerMoments between mothers and daughters at weddings are often particularly sweet to me.  This photograph from Eric and Sarah’s wedding was caught before the ceremony.  I just thought the image on Mom’s face was so sweet and genuine.

whitefish and missoula family photographerThis second image from the Boh family photo session between the kids was sweet and simple.  You could really tell they were having fun — and they were especially great to work with since it was exceptionally chilly and they still had bare feet.

caseys_portraits0021bwCathy and Walt were kind enough to let me photograph engagement photos of them on the roof of Casey’s Bar in Whitefish, Montana.  I just loved how happy he looks and how content she seems.

missoula wedding photographer

Sarah and Eric’s wedding outside Glacier in Columbia Falls, Montana was a highlight of our year last season.  Their kind and funny families were so fun to shoot.  This photograph from their first look before the ceremony was a nice pause in the middle of the wedding day and all the preparation and festivities.  Plus look how happy they look with each other.  So sweet.

Thanks to all of our clients for a great year.  We are now booking weddings and portrait sessions for 2014.  As usual some weekends are more popular than others, make sure to get in contact with us if you are looking to hire a wedding photographer before we fill up our available dates.

Now Booking for 2014 :: Missoula, Montana Destination Wedding Photographer

missoula montana destination wedding photographer


It’s that time of year : engagement season.  We are currently booking dates to photograph weddings in 2014.  If you are in the Missoula, Montana area and want to meet up for coffee or a drink to discuss your plans we’d love to hear about your celebration.  We love meeting with potential clients in person to hear all about what they have in store on their wedding day and what they are looking for in a photographer.  Lido and I are heading out of town to Atlanta from December 21st thru January 5th.  We will then be in New York for meetings January 6th thru the 9th.  We are happy to meet folks in those cities too if the opportunity comes up.

missoula montana destination wedding photographer

We love the clients we meet each year — they make our jobs easy and beautiful.  We are looking forward to 2014 as our best season yet!

Whitefish Lake Family Photos with Cou Cou Studio :: Missoula, Montana Family Photographer

whitefish and missoula family photographer

What an adorable family. When the Boh family asked me to photograph their family portraits at Whitefish Lake I was thrilled.  They are such a great group and the kids were a blast.  We got lucky as this photo shoot was done just before the weather really did turn cold and everyone was brave enough to stand on the chilly shore in the early morning.  Caralyn did a great job coordinating the colors and clothes for the family.  I love it when things mix and match and still it all works together.  Thanks again Boh family for such a fun family photo session.  Till next time!

whitefish and missoula family photographer

whitefish and missoula family photographer

whitefish and missoula family photographer

whitefish and missoula family photographer

whitefish and missoula family photographer

whitefish and missoula family photographer

whitefish and missoula family photographer

whitefish and missoula family photographer

whitefish and missoula family photographer

whitefish and missoula family photographer


3 Must-See Venues in Montana for Weddings :: Montana Destination Wedding Photographer

Montana offers so many wonderful venues for weddings.  From hotels to national parks, ranches to homesteads, there are no lack of choices for brides and grooms who say “I do!” in Montana.  Here’s a round up some of the best venues Cou Cou Studio has had the opportunity to photograph.


The Lodge at Whitefish Lake

The Lodge at Whitefish Lake is always a spectacular location for a Montana wedding.  The four-diamond hotel is on the shore of Whitefish Lake and offers beautiful views of the water from the outdoor ceremony pavilion.  It’s also great when guests are coming from out of town and want to stay at the same location as your celebration.

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Holland Lake Lodge in Condon, Montana

This historic lodge was built in 1924.  After a fire burned the main lodge in 1946 it was rebuilt in 1947.  The result: a timeless backdrop in a jaw dropping location.  It doesn’t hurt they are known for their delicious food either.  If you are looking for a rustic location with plenty for guests to do before and after the wedding this Montana lodge can’t be beat.
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Green Valley Ranch in Coram, Montana


Green Valley Ranch is just outside of West Glacier in Coram, Montana.  The stunning views are good enough your guests might not even make it into the park.  Surrounded by mountains and with a pond on location, the site is just the thing for couples who want to stay with their wedding party together for the weekend.  Originally homesteaded by the George Green family in the early 1900′s when Glacier Park was newly created, it then operated as a dude ranch for many years.  Today you can rent it out for your wedding and enjoy Montana with your friends and family in a relaxed location.

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Top 5 Tips for Stunning Wedding Photography :: Missoula, Montana Wedding Photographer

Working as a wedding photographer means that I spend a lot of time watching people in love.  Seeing families share emotional moments and couples at some of their happiest moments.  It’s one of the things that makes me love my job so much.  It also makes me feel grateful people allow Lido and I to be there for some of their most emotional moments.  The last 10 years of shooting weddings have given me some insight into what makes for great weddings photos.

missoula wedding photographer


1. Do Your Homework

It can be tempting as you run down the pre-wedding to-do list to let that family friend who is thinking of becoming a photographer shoot the wedding.  Or just pick a photographer from a list you find online. My advice — no matter who you end up choosing is to pick a photographer whose style and personality is a good match for you.  Ask them questions, get a feel for their photography aesthetic.  When it comes down to it the photos are the record of the day you will have forever.  Professionals have spent time learning to be great photographers and capture amazing moments.   It’s worth investing in someone you know will photograph the day the way you want.


2. Stay Connected

I love it when a bride sends me an update on how her wedding plans are coming along.  Even before I eventually get a timeline — getting to know some of the details in advance helps me get a feel for how things will go on the big day and what the bride and groom are planning.  Communicating along the way helps build a better relationship that is so worthwhile on your wedding day.  Keep us in the loop!


3. Timeline

Timelines are a photographer’s best friend.  Once you have one or just start formulating one clue your photographer in on your plans.  Often we can help offer insight into how long we think certain kinds of portraits will take or other parts of the day.  I like running on a schedule that allows for things to run a couple minutes late.  Then you are always on time.  We love being a part of the conversation as you work on your timeline — it helps us figure out what the pace of your day will be like.

missoula wedding photographer4. Trust Us

We had lots of chats, talked about what you want to have happen — maybe even seem some photos you just love.  On your wedding day it’s time to trust your photographer.  You’ve hired someone professional so you don’t have to worry about the photos that day.  Let us do our thing and trust us to make great decisions – -that’s what we specialize in doing.


5. Take a Deep Breath

Seriously.  Something is bound to go wrong.  But at the end of the day you are getting married.  Take a deep breath, relax and enjoy!  People are here to celebrate with you.  After all is said and done you won’t remember that the cake got there late or that one of the groomsmen got a random bloody nose (trust me, it happens).  What you’ll remember is that you got married and are deliriously happy with your spouse, family and friends.

missoula wedding photographer


You can see more of our amazing clients and work on our website.  Good luck out there with your wedding planning!