Jessica and Ben's elegant Mill City Wedding in Minneapolis by Bradley Hanson

Jessica and Ben had me come to Chicago for their engagement session photos, and we spent a couple days together. We started feeling like friends, which was extended when they invited us to a Minnesota Twins game and party the night before their wedding. Nearly a year later, their beautiful wedding in Minneapolis at the Mill City Museum (elegantly transformed by the talented Amy Fuerstenberg), was even more elegant than I imagined, and my wife and I left the wedding feeling like family. 

Documentary style family portrait in Seattle by Bradley Hanson

I have photographed these two sisters every year since 2008, since they were babies. They are now 9 and 11, and they are extremely active and energetic. With the same approach I take to weddings, I let them be themselves and do exactly what they want, and I look for key moments of interaction that reveal their strong connection and their individual personalities.

Weddings and families, birth and babies by Bradley Hanson

Although I do not market myself as a birth or baby photographer, I regularly photograph for families I've met at one of the 600+ weddings I've photographed. As a father of three myself, I know how powerful the experience of birth is, as well as the indescribable joys of parenthood. I love that photographing weddings put me in the middle of such joyful events, and that connection often continues a few years later when the same couples become parents themselves. This can mean that after photographing their wedding, I photograph the birth of their children and later the family. I take the same approach I take with weddings and portraits: the role of silent observer rather than active director. Reality is always more beautiful than anything posed or scripted. There are several families who I photograph yearly in Seattle, allowing me to actually watch these same children grow up. I just photographed a Bat Mitzvah for one of these same families, images from which will be a blog post for a later date...

Nikki and Brett's Snowy wedding at Swiftwater Cellars Winery in Washington State by Bradley Hanson

I just finished editing this beautiful wedding from Swiftwater Cellars Winery in Cle Elum, Washington, an hour east of Seattle. I met the groom 10 years ago when I photographed his big brother's wedding at the Woodmark Hotel in Seattle in 2007. It was a beautiful sunny day, and at the altitude of the Cascade Mountain range, it was so intensely windy that Nikki's veil went flying while we were walking outside in the snow. There were 10 bridesmaids and 10 groomsmen, and they were surrounded by friends and family, as well as what might be the world's cutest dog in a tux. A great day.

Image published in current issue of Mpls St. Paul Weddings Magazine by Bradley Hanson

This wedding image, the kiss from Christina and Ben's wedding ceremony at The Bachelor Farmer restaurant in Minneapolis, was featured in the current issue of Mpls St. Paul Weddings Magazine's "Kisses We Love" section.

Images published in current issue of Minnesota Bride Magazine by Bradley Hanson

Minnesota Bride Magazine asked me to share advice on how brides can look more comfortable in front of the camera. Since my focus the entire day is shooting spontaneously, being as invisible as possible and keeping people at ease, I was happy to give my perspective on what has worked for me. I find that letting couples merely spend time with each other and working around that yields a much truer portrayal of their connection, and they appreciate that reality much more than if I were to run them through the same series of poses that can be seen at every other wedding.