Peter and Kelley Gibeon take us behind the camera at a creekside lodge in Montana.
They met as photography students at Colorado Mountain College near Aspen. Now married, Kelley and Peter Gibeon—who together started Gibeon Photography in 2003—base their operations in Whitefish, Montana, and Basalt, Colorado. Their stunning work has been featured in the pages of our magazine, which led us to wonder, How do they do it?
At Noble Lodge, outside Bigfork, Montana, the couple captured warm, golden hues radiating from the property’s natural surroundings and wooded interiors. Located on 25 acres, the property includes a 9,000-square-foot main house of natural peeled log, a 1,500-square-foot guest cabin of timber frame, even a “toy barn” comprising 2,400 square feet. That’s a lot of house. All told, there are 7 bedrooms and 9 bathrooms at the secluded outpost not far from Flathead Lake and Whitefish Mountain Ski Resort.
Click the slideshow above to see images of the Noble Lodge guest cabin.
We asked Kelley Gibeon to walk us through her favorite aspects of shooting rugged and rustic homes like this one.
Cowboys & Indians: What is your favorite part of a home to photograph?
Kelley Gibeon: Any space that feels inspired, personal, and has great balance.
C&I: Does that differ for homes with Western style?
KG: We appreciate variety, and respect the honesty of authentically curated space whatever the style.
C&I: What was your favorite room at Noble Ranch?
KG: The large scale, hand detail, and texture of the custom dining furniture and chandelier create an intimacy at the table. With meadow view, the colorful art, and connection to the great room, the dining room is an inviting communal core to Noble Ranch.
C&I: Do you have a number one rule when photographing homes out West?
KG: Respect what the house is communicating to us. Is it rustic, contemporary, traditional? And how does it engage its outside setting? All of these direct our choices of angle and time of day.
C&I: You have a friend looking to sell their home, what advice do you give them when it comes to getting it photographed?
KG: Minimize your stuff. We all collect tidbits we love to live with; still, it’s easier to see a few key pieces in photos. Also, fewer personal items make a room feel bigger, while inviting a buyer to imagine their own life in that space.
C&I: How do you handle darker homes with lots of wooden or stone elements—like the stairway or dining room at Noble Ranch?
KG: Time of day and lighting techniques—as well as simple styling—help bring life and coziness to a richly toned space.
C&I: What affects your ability to capture surrounding views or natural elements?
KG: Weather, level of exterior and landscaping completion, surrounding structures, and power lines, etc. all up the ante for making great exterior shots. So, we identify the home’s strength (architecture, setting, time of day) to best showcase the property.
C&I: What about smaller or confined areas, like bathrooms?
KG: Because they’re usually small or have challenging angles, we focus on a key element to communicate the story of that room.
C&I: Most people want to make their house look bigger, but do you have tricks for making big homes seem cozier?
KG: Focusing on part of the room, maybe a seating area as opposed to a whole living room, can bring the viewer into a more textural and intimate viewing experience.
C&I: But how do you give it that glow?
KG: Noble Ranch has beautiful custom tungsten lighting, which we supplemented with our quiver to highlight coziness and warmth.
Click on the slideshow to see photos of the Noble Lodge main house.
Photography: (All images) Courtesy Gibeon Photography