New Work From Summer 2019 Minneapolis Weddings And Portraits Coming SOON by Bradley Hanson

Exploring Minneapolis art museums with our son Oliver and friends

Bolting from a family portrait at Lake Harriet in Minneapolis

Bolting from a family portrait at Lake Harriet in Minneapolis

Senior portrait session along the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, MN

Senior portrait session along the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, MN

Birthday party in Minneapolis, MN

Birthday party in Minneapolis, MN

Family portrait in Minneapolis, MN

Family portrait in Minneapolis, MN

Baby on the move during a family portrait session in Minneapolis, MN

Baby on the move during a family portrait session in Minneapolis, MN

Outtake during a family portrait at Lake Harriet in Minneapolis, MN

Outtake during a family portrait at Lake Harriet in Minneapolis, MN

It’s the end of peak wedding season. My priority is keeping up with editing wedding photographs for my clients, while trying to get as many wedding album designs as possible completed and off to the album company before the holiday production deadlines. Watch this space for new wedding blog posts, travel images, and personal highlights from 2019.

To see more of my wedding work, click the wedding galleries under the portfolio heading. To inquire about my rates and availability, call me at 206-393-8292, email me at bradley@bradleyhanson.com or fill out the contact form (click the “contact” link on the top right above this paragraph.

I hope you had a great summer and are looking forward to a wonderful fall and inevitably, snow…

Holly And Kyle's Northern Minnesota Lake Wedding At Maddens Resort On Gull Lake In Brainerd, MN by Bradley Hanson

Holly grew up in California and Kyle came from Alexandria, MN. Kyle and Holly spent the first three years of their relationship traveling long distances to see each other. When they first started dating, Kyle lived in Finland and Holly lived in Denver. Within a year, Holly had moved to San Francisco and Kyle to Salt Lake City. Eventually, Kyle ended up moving to Sacramento for work. Holly jumped at the chance to live with him, but that meant a 7+ hour per day commute for her, in order to chase her man and her career. As a result, they learned to cherish each moment together like it might be their last and to make adventures and excursions a constant theme in the life they very deliberately built together.

It was easily one of the strongest bonds I've ever witnessed and a wonderful day all around.

The entire wedding took place at Madden’s Resort on beautiful Gull Lake on one of the ideal summer days on a hot and humid day that cooled down nicely in the evening for a perfect sunset on the lake.

To see more Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN portraits, wedding photography and weddings all over the world, visit my main portfolio on bradleyhanson.com or email me at info@bradleyhanson.com or call me at 206-393-8292 and we can discuss your wedding plans in detail.

Brittany And Ted's Backyard Wedding On The Mississippi River In Northeast Minneapolis by Bradley Hanson

Brittany and Ted got married at film director Phil Harder’s Minneapolis Air BNB on the Mississippi River in Northeast Minneapolis, next door to The Sample Room. They did everything themselves and the rustic setting was augmented by golden sunset off the Mississippi River.

To see more Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN portraits, wedding photography and weddings all over the world, visit my main portfolio on bradleyhanson.com or email me at info@bradleyhanson.com or call me at 206-393-8292 and we can discuss your wedding plans in detail.

Gauthami And Moulin's Joyful 3-Day South Indian Wedding At The St. Paul College Club, Intercontinental Hotel And Landmark Center In Downtown St. Paul, MN by Bradley Hanson

The next wedding in a series of Indian/Hindu weddings this spring was this one in three locations I love shooting at: The St. Paul College Club on Summit Avenue, the Intercontinental hotel on St. Paul’s downtown waterfront and the historic Landmark Center in downtown St. Paul.

I’ve photographed over 600 weddings (25-30 Indian weddings) and this was one of those weddings where everyone seemed to be smiling the entire time. When the bride sent me an email, one of the words that peppered her comments was “joy.” Looking over the highlights, that’s all I see: people having fun and a couple with a great connection, surrounded by loving and supportive friends and family.

This was a south Indian wedding, which has a few different customs. The ceremony is a little longer, and typically starts earlier in the day. The marriage ceremony takes place on the mandap (stage), led by a Vedic priest who chants ancient hymns and verses, recalling the names of three generations of ancestors of both, the bride and the groom before all who have gathered to witness the wedding. The bride and the groom are hidden from each other, then exchange garlands when they are lifted onto the shoulders of their respective uncles.

A little background into the bride and groom: Moulin and Gauthami met in college, taking summer organic chemistry. They were good friends for a long time, then started dating when they were studying abroad in Paris. After college they’ve been following each other from Chicago to Madison to New Haven, finally getting married in St. Paul and now living in Massachusetts. They are both physicians now: Gauthami is in Pediatric Emergency Medicine fellowship at Yale and Moulin is in Electrophysiology fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital.

To see more Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN portraits, wedding photography and weddings all over the world, visit my main portfolio on bradleyhanson.com or email me at info@bradleyhanson.com or call me at 206-393-8292 and we can discuss your wedding plans in detail. I have extensive experience with Indian weddings in Minneapolis, Seattle and even in Rajasthan, Udaipur, India.

Shruti And Erik’s Majestic Washington DC Wedding At The Andrew Mellon Auditorium by Bradley Hanson

I’ve had a series of Indian/Hindu weddings this spring, so I wanted to get a few of them posted.

The day after the Mehndi at the bride’s parents house, Shruti and Erik got married at the majestic Andrew W Mellon Auditorium in Washington DC. As is typical of Indian and Hindu weddings, it was a 3-day event. It rained the entire time except for an hour before the ceremony. It did convert to a little mist during the Baraat, but resumed again during the ceremony. Unfortunately, the bride was feeling a bit under the weather, occasionally sneaking hits of some cough syrup during the day. You’d never know from her energy level, though…

I’ve photographed over 25 Indian weddings and this was probably my favorite Baraat (the processional with the groom on a white horse) of all of them. It began in the beautiful but wet alley of the historic Mellon Auditorium. The old stone building amplified the sound of the music, the drummers and the family and friends clapping in time. Erik, on horseback, really got into it and his gigantic smile was reflected by those around him. One never knows what is coming during the Baraat, so I was pleasantly surprised to see a very stylish couple on coordinated bicycles, watching the whole thing in the alley.

To see more Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN portraits, wedding photography and weddings all over the world, visit my main portfolio on bradleyhanson.com or email me at info@bradleyhanson.com or call me at 206-393-8292 and we can discuss your wedding plans in detail. I have extensive experience with Indian weddings in Minneapolis, Seattle and even in India.

Inspiration: Vertical Images From History That Altered The Way I See The World by Bradley Hanson

To address my feelings about vertical photographs, to share some of my favorite vertical images from history, and to discuss why I regularly shoot vertical photographs with my wedding work, I’ve decided to create this blog post to provide additional insight. The four images above are some of my favorites from my wedding photography career. You can view my wedding images via the two galleries under “portfolio,” or you can view my favorite vertical wedding images through this link here.

With some regularity, I get messages from photographers commenting about the vertical images I’ve posted on Instagram (@bradleyhansonphotography) or on my website. Some of them ask about shooting vertical images at weddings, others are about vertical images in general or “how do I get started when I only photograph horizontally,” etc. I’m happy to share my thoughts as I am very excited about this format. I don’t talk about equipment much because it’s not a priority for doing good work, but to me, there is a sweet spot between 50mm and 90mm that lends itself well to vertical images. Normal to short telephoto focal lengths can assist the photographer in creating compositions that tend to make the vertical orientation easier to see. There are countless exceptions to this, of course, and some of them can be seen in the historical gallery I’ve created below, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Square format images remove this consideration altogether. I photographed weddings for a few years with Hasselblad square format cameras and film. The format was easy to work with, and once you get into the zone with seeing in the square format, everything seems to fit. (The main challenge with weddings with that system was the slow f2.8 and f4 lenses in low light, not the format itself). When I make photographs with my iPhone, I crop them square as a separate discipline. I’ve also created a separate gallery for those, which you can see as a menu option from my portfolio heading on the upper right.

In 1987, I bought Ralph Gibson’s book “Tropism,” from the bookstore at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. I had seen vertical images before, of course. They are not new, and many of the images in the gallery below are from the 50s and 60s, most likely a Leica M3 camera with a 50mm lens. Still, there was something about Ralph Gibson’s high contrast vertical images that made them even more abstract and surreal. While paging appreciatively through the book, I discovered that one of my favorites, the glowing hand at the opening door, was an image I’d seen before on the inner sleeve of Joy Division’s classic 1979 record, “Unknown Pleasures.”

The simple act of buying this book changed my perspective on photography forever. I didn’t suddenly starting shooting only vertical photographs, but I often found myself seeking out compositions in that format and trying to change the way I saw the world to be open to this exciting format. The 3:2 ratio of 35mm film (aka “full frame” in digital format) also lends itself better to vertical compositions because it closely approximates the “golden ratio.” (Click here to read the Wikipedia page about the concept).

I’ve redesigned my wedding portfolio to feature my vertical images, something of an anomaly in this industry that appears to be 99% horizontal. I get it. Walk into a wedding reception and you see the tables spread out wide. Go to the ocean and you see width. Our eyes are side by side, not on top of each other. For these reasons and more, vertical images can be compelling as they are outside of our day to day perspective. Ralph Gibson referred to vertical images as having a “tension” in the way they can make it feel like the frame is compressed. He even had an exhibit called “The Vertical Horizon.”

To see more Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN portraits, wedding photography and weddings all over the world, visit my main portfolio on bradleyhanson.com or email me at info@bradleyhanson.com or call me at 206-393-8292 and we can discuss your wedding plans in detail.

Downtown Minneapolis Snowy Wedding In The Historic Lumber Exchange Building by Bradley Hanson

Illyas walks out on the roof of the Lumber Exchange Building as the snowstorm begins on March 9, 2019.

I’ve been photographing weddings for 20 years now. I’ve personally been to 600 of them. Yeah, I know. It’s gone by quickly since April 1999. Anyway, 13 years of that was in Seattle, the last 7 here in Minneapolis. As someone who grew up in Minneapolis, the feeling is often that there is snow on the ground 6 months of the year. It can start as early as October and it can happen as late is May. We don’t get the kind of heavy snow we used to get all winter when I was a kid, but we are getting wild extremes. This year, we had a bone dry December, then February was 40 inches of snow rather than the average of 7.

Snow gets old when you grow up with it, but it still has a magical quality to me, particularly the first snow of the year. There is a quiet and peacefulness that happens both from the visual minimalism and the sound deadening of the snow itself. It literally absorbs sound and the combination enhances the beauty.

When Anna and Illyas hired me to photograph portraits for them, it was a relatively humid day. They had just gotten a sweet little dog named Louie who didn’t want to be away from them during our time together.

Fast forward to a week ago. The wedding day, March 9th, came quickly and meteorologists forecasted a late winter storm of 8-10” in the Twin Cities. I was excited because I could finally take photographs of a bride and groom in the snow. Well, the serious part of the storm ended up hitting the part of the state south of Minneapolis and while we ended up with more like 5 inches of snow, it was beautiful: large, heavy and dense snow that fell slowly and accumulated quickly.

In a brief moment after the wedding ceremony, Anna, Illyas and I went to the roof of the historic Lumber Exchange Building to take a few photographs it was the opportunity I’ve been waiting for. I rarely use flash, but with snow it highlights every flake on its way to the ground.

I’ll be adding images to this blog post in a few weeks.

To see more Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN portraits, wedding photography and weddings all over the world, visit my main portfolio on bradleyhanson.com or email me at info@bradleyhanson.com or call me at 206-393-8292 and we can discuss your wedding plans in detail.

Indian Wedding Gallery by Bradley Hanson

Since 1999, I’ve been photographing weddings all over the world in a candid, non-posed style. This allows my clients to focus on enjoying their wedding day rather than being directed by the photographer. I’ve found people are infinitely more interested in seeing what really happened rather than the photographer running them through a standard template of photographs that can be seen at any wedding. To me, the best photographs are ones that are moments that are just happening and that cannot be recreated or posed. For Indian and Hindu weddings, which typically occur over a 3 day period, there is a theoretically infinite number of moments to observe and photograph. Things usually begin with the Mehndi, which includes hennas, then the dinner called the Sangeet. The Baraat is the processional with the groom and his family walking and dancing (originally with a white horse, which still happens if the space allows for it) to meet the bride and the bride’s family. The ceremony includes the Saptapadi, which is when the bride and groom walk around the seven stations of fire. The reception has a number of events, including the Bhangra, a Punjab folk dance.

In 2001, I photographed my first travel wedding in Zihuatanejo, Mexico, entirely on film. I had already photographed many Indian and Hindu weddings in Seattle when I was commissioned to photographs weddings in Rajasthan, India and Bangkok, Thailand for the same couple in 2005. Since then, I’ve photographed over 20 Indian weddings, mostly in Seattle and Minneapolis. Clients can see how much I love black and white photographs in my portfolios, so I figured it was time to give these vibrant, colorful weddings their own portfolio as they tend to be significantly more colorful than my usual work.

This link will take you directly to the gallery. Like the rest of my portfolios, click the “+” in the upper right of the first image to scroll through them at full size.

To see more Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN portraits, wedding photography and weddings all over the world, visit my main portfolio on bradleyhanson.com or email me at info@bradleyhanson.com or call me at 206-393-8292 and we can discuss your wedding plans in detail.

WPJA Wedding Photojournalist Association Contest Winning Images by Bradley Hanson

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These were four recent winning images in the WPJA (Wedding Photojournalist Association) wedding contest. It is open to photographers from all over the world, not just wedding photographers from Minneapolis.

There is some continuity between thematic elements in the photographs in that two of the three are backlit and all three contain scenes that were photographed entirely as found, rather than directing the action, which is my preferred method of working. The color scene was the bride and groom’s first dance, in the unusual twist of being outside at one of my favorite wedding venues near Minneapolis, the Camrose Hill Flower Farm in Stillwater, MN.

You can follow me on Facebook, Twitter, VSCO, Pinterest, Instagram, and LinkedIn through the links on the upper right.

To see more Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN portraits, wedding photography and weddings all over the world, visit my main portfolio on bradleyhanson.com or email me at info@bradleyhanson.com or call me at 206-393-8292 and we can discuss your wedding plans in detail. My speciality is shooting family portraits in an unposed, natural style and wedding photojournalism. I photograph weddings as they happen rather than direct the action, which is often referred to as documentary style wedding photography. I’ve photographed weddings in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Seattle and many countries around the world.

Wedding Portfolio Redesign Featuring 75 Vertical Images And NEW Work From 2018 by Bradley Hanson

Back in 1999 when I began photographing weddings, I was shooting only film and I had a website. It was crude, clunky and designed and updated in Dreamweaver software. The images were only 300 pixels tall. My 2nd main website, designed in 2007, and featured images that were 1200 pixels long. It was Adobe Flash based, which meant it was literally invisible to mobile devices. While the portfolio kept evolving, I didn’t really start over with a 3.0 version until 5/10/15, (a date chosen on purpose because I like numerical patterns), with a version of a site that is similar to the one you are looking at right now. In order to allow the photographs to load quickly and at a reasonable quality, the images in the gallery are 1200 pixels tall and 1800 pixels long for horizontals.

The first book of photography that I remember buying was Ralph Gibson’s “Tropism,” published in 1987, at the Walker Art Center bookstore in Minneapolis. I was immediately excited and inspired by Ralph’s minimalist, abstract, high contrast vertical B&W images. I would later do a week long workshop with him in 2003 in Vancouver, BC, after I’d been shooting weddings for 4 years. While my work doesn’t look like his, the seed of seeing images vertically was planted and has remained to this day.

Although I loved my super wide format Hasselblad XPAN panoramic film camera and it remains the one camera I still miss, my eye seems to see the world in vertical rectangles. My old website didn’t reflect this. While I’m still working on sequencing as though I am creating a book of my wedding images, my new website reflects that 50% of my wedding images are made as vertical images.

To see any image below enlarged to 1200 pixels tall, clicking it will bring it up in a new window.

You can follow me on Facebook, Twitter, VSCO, Pinterest, Instagram, and LinkedIn through the links on the upper right.

To see more Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN portraits, wedding photography and weddings all over the world, visit my main portfolio on bradleyhanson.com or email me at info@bradleyhanson.com or call me at 206-393-8292 and we can discuss your wedding plans in detail. My speciality is shooting family portraits in an unposed, natural style and wedding photojournalism. I photograph weddings as they happen rather than direct the action, which is often referred to as documentary style wedding photography. I’ve photographed weddings in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Seattle and many countries around the world.