WPJA Wedding Photography Contest Winning Image by Bradley Hanson

Although I am buried in the tail end of peak wedding season tasks (shooting, editing, uploading/downloading, backing up files, responding to client calls and emails, meeting potential clients, etc), I decided to enter the WPJA international wedding photography contest because I made my favorite photograph in a long time while at a wedding last month. We are allowed to enter 10 per contest, but I decided to only enter one because I believed in it. It is good to know I am able to trust my gut…

WPJA contest winning image taken at St. Wencelaus Catholic church in New Prague, MN moments before the wedding ceremony. The church was built in 1907.

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.

Katie And Ryan's Elegant Wedding And Reception At The Machine Shop In Northeast Minneapolis by Bradley Hanson

While Ryan was getting ready at The Depot Hotel in downtown Minneapolis, Katie was getting dressed at their apartment in St. Paul. Their wedding ceremony was at Our Lady Of Lourdes, the oldest church in Minneapolis, near the Mississippi River. Their reception was nearby at the lovely and spacious Machine Shop a couple blocks from Main Street. Between the ceremony and reception, we stopped at the Walker Art Center Sculpture Park.

Rather than going on about my photographic perspective of the day, I thought it would be more interesting for the reader to have some background information about the Katie and Ryan and how they met.

This is from Katie:

“It was June 2014, the summer before our senior year at Iowa State University (Ames, IA). I was at home in Wayzata, Minnesota, living with my parents and working at a wedding and event planning company. Ryan was spending the summer in Ames taking summer classes and living on campus.

One week in June, after a tough week at work, I decided to drive the 4 hours back to campus for a few days to visit my best friend, Megan. Shortly after arriving, we decided to go out to the bars. We stopped at a few before landing at Mickey’s Irish Pub around 10:00pm.

We walked up to the bar and stood in line for a drink before I noticed a tall, handsome and red pant-wearing Ryan. In my college years, I was quite set on finding a “preppy” boy. They were fairly uncommon on campus and when I saw his red pants, it caught my attention. Megan encouraged me to talk to him and when I finally introduced myself, I mentioned something about how I liked his pants. He kindly thanked me and our conversation began to flow. Before we knew it, 2:00am had struck and the bouncer was making his rounds to kick everyone out. We exchanged numbers and parted ways.

I can’t explain it, but something inside of me really felt like he was “the one.” It just clicked. In the days that followed, I told my friends all about him. The two of us texted back and forth for awhile before I returned back to school in August. As we started our fall semester, we began to hang out more and more and in October we officially started dating. By February we had said “I love you.”

In the past 4 years, we have grown to love each other more every day. Our wedding day was absolutely perfect in every way and we feel so blessed to have exchanged vows with so many loved ones by our side! We’re looking forward to many more beautiful years together!”

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.

My interview with "So You Want To Be A Photographer" photography podcast by Gina Milicia of Australia by Bradley Hanson

So You Want To Be A Photographer podcast with host Gina Milicia:

“There are wedding photographers – and then there is Bradley Hanson. 

In this episode, we chat with Bradley, who reveals the approach behind his image and the art of photography. He shares his thoughts on starting out and how he felt shooting his very first wedding, essential gear, setting expectations with clients, pleasing the client and pleasing yourself, muscle memory and shooting intuitively, and developing a unique style. This show is all about inspiring and learning from the best in the world – and with 19 years experience and 600 weddings Bradley has lots of great stuff to say in this interview.

I first discovered Bradley Hanson when I stumbled across the excellent photography podcast he co-hosts with UK photographer Ian Weldon called Outerfocus.

I love the way Bradley sees his images and talks about the art of photography. I find myself reading his blogs and wishing I had thought of that!

This show is all about inspiring and learning from the best in the world and with 19 years experience and 600 weddings Bradley has lots of great stuff to say in this interview.”

He shares his thoughts on:

  • Starting out and how he felt shooting his very first wedding

  • Gear

  • Setting expectations with clients

  • Pleasing the client and pleasing yourself

  • Muscle memory and shooting intuitively

  • Developing a unique style

In this podcast, we discuss my Minneapolis, MN based photography business, my photographic history and beginning with film and darkroom experience, how I work and how I developed my documentary, fly on the wall style, and my thoughts on the industry. We talk about wedding photojournalism, mirrorless cameras, my favorite lenses and focal lengths and the importance of setting expectations with clients.

“I learned early on that showcasing a portfolio of images that speak to me will attract the kind of clients who share the same visual aesthetic.”

Link to the podcast and show notes: https://ginamilicia.com/2018/08/ep-212/

Instagram: 

instagram.com/bradleyhansonphotography

Twitter:

twitter.com/bradleyhanson

Facebook

facebook.com/bradleyhansonphotography

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.

Sunset Family Portraits On The Eden Prairie Bluffs Overlooking The Minnesota River by Bradley Hanson

Portrait and wedding photographer Laura Alpizar hired me to photograph her family and to incorporate a maternity session for a birth announcement photo. She and her husband met in Costa Rica and expect their second child soon. Their 4 year old, Oliver, was sweet and energetic like my own son Oliver!

For bookings in the months of September and October, I'm offering a reduced rate portrait session rate of $400 for a one hour session which includes a website gallery of images. I will travel up to an hour outside of Minneapolis (anything else, just ask me). My preferred way of working is to photograph you and your family in a casual, less-formal approach, interacting and hanging out rather than just posing so we can get genuine moments.

To inquire about details or to book me for your family portrait, email info@bradleyhanson.com

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.

Outerfocus Photography Podcast With Martin Parr Of Magnum by Bradley Hanson

With great pleasure, our current episode of the Outerfocus podcast features Magnum's legendary British documentary photographer Martin Parr.

Ian Weldon and I dive straight in and find out what Martin has been working on, and hear about the former Magnum President's new venture, The Martin Parr Foundation in Bristol. We discover how the foundation was born, what it is, and its vision for the future. Martin tells us how he first got introduced to photography by his grandfather at the age of 13 and about his career so far, including how he became a member of Magnum, and didn’t, and then did again, and his slight run in with Henri Cartier-Bresson......

History of photography this week focuses on Walker Evans. Born in 1903, Evans was an American photojournalist known for his work documenting the effects of the Great Depression, and bodies of work such as American Photographs. We look at his early life, his work and the impact his photography has had on others.

You can listen via the link below or by finding Outerfocus on iTunes podcasts app on your phone or tablet.

https://www.outerfocuspodcast.com/podcast/2018/8/7/outerfocus-23-walker-evans-martin-parr

New Work From July 2018 by Bradley Hanson

July has been a busy month, including a 4100 mile drive to and from a wedding in Washington State at Lake Quinault on the Olympic Peninsula. My son Miles assisted me at the wedding, and it was a great road trip with some fascinating audiobooks, sightseeing and restaurants. While I'm sorting out what's going in the portfolio and what's going to be featured on the blog and what's going to be submitted to magazines, here is an assortment of 23 random highlights from the month of July.

Clicking any image below will open it up at a larger size.

St. Paul, MN

Badlands, SD

Lake Quinault, WA

St. Paul, MN

Ocean Shores, WA

St. Paul, MN

Gillette, WY

Ocean Shores, WA

Livingston, MT

Minneapolis, MN

Ocean Shores, WA

St. Paul, MN

Stillwater, MN

Seattle, WA

St. Paul, MN

Minneapolis, MN

Minneapolis, MN

Stillwater, MN

Minneapolis, MN

Seattle, WA

George, Washington

Columbia River Gorge in George, Washington

Badlands, SD

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.

Kathryn And Sam's Wedding At Camrose Hill Flower Farm in Stillwater, MN by Bradley Hanson

Kathryn and Sam got married at the lovely Camrose Hill Flower Farm in Stillwater, MN, about 30 minutes outside of Minneapolis. It was my first time there, but I fell in love with the secluded venue and most of all, the lovely light. The ceremony was outdoors in an area surrounded by trees, so the diffused light from above on the dark, windy morning was like a studio softbox.

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.

3 Winning Images In The Wedding Photojournalist Association (WPJA) Photo Contest by Bradley Hanson

The Wedding Photojournalist Association, created by David Roberts, a newspaper photojournalist, was started to give photojournalists who photographed weddings a forum and to give brides and grooms a resource to find photographers shooting in this reality based unposed style. I first became a member of the WPJA in 2002.

I hadn't entered a contest since 2009, and since I had an unusually busy winter, decided to enter. I was honored to have these three images recognized in the last contest, bringing my total to 22 WPJA awarded images over the years.

Outerfocus Photography Podcast Episode 15! by Bradley Hanson

outerfocus-15.jpg

A little over 6 months ago, UK photographer Ian Weldon asked me if I would co-host his new photography podcast with him. Ian is a funny guy, brutally honest, a talented photographer and an all around good egg. He and I "met" online many years ago through a disagreement. I respected the way he handled himself in sharing his opinion without emotional complications, and we stayed in touch. I respect his work and his approach. 

I had no idea how the podcast would go other than the basic concept: Each week, we invite a current photographer who's portfolio we love to chat with us about their work AND discuss a photographer in history about their role in pushing the boundaries and/or moving photography forward. 

This has had a number of positive benefits, including refreshing myself with the originators of photography from the early 1800s onwards. We started with Daguerrotypes and recently covered Mathew Brady (best known as THE Civil War photographer), as well as Eadweard Muybridge (who dabbled in animation and taught us how horses run through cameras he built himself). 

We talk about everything: the things we love about photography, the photographers and photography books that we found inspirational, and the good and bad about the current state of the industry. Ian and I both shoot weddings, but we have been conscious about getting a diverse group of photographers from other kinds of photography so we can get a wide range of work and opinions.

There is a lot of laughter during conversations that are often highly philosophical, and that's made the weekly ritual even more enjoyable. I don't pretend to have all the answers. While I've had 18 years of experience shooting professionally, I will always consider myself a student of the medium and am always seeking to improve and deepen my understanding of both the craft and the world.

We started a weekly tradition where I ask each guest what photography book was the first one they ever bought, or what was the most inspirational book to them. Ian has been building a "library" of these books on the Outerfocus website, divided between Amazon UK and Amazon US sites. If you buy one of these books through the link, you pay the same price, but we get a tiny reward to help us continue the podcast. It's a great list so far and a useful resource for discovering the work of photographers you might not be familiar with. In a world where more and more things are moving online, physical media, particularly photography books, can be even more rewarding as they don't require power or a password and they aren't subject to obsolescence from being in unreadable formats...

I feel grateful to be a part of this podcast, and while it can be complicated chatting with photographers in 3 separate time zones, it continues to be significantly more engaging and rewarding than I could have imagined.

To listen to the current episode (or any of the 15 thus far), follow this link or subscribe for free via iTunes. If you enjoy the podcast, don't be afraid to leave an honest review and let us know what you liked and what you didn't, including what you'd like to hear or photographers you'd love to listen to.

Thanks for listening!

 

Behind The Scenes: The Role of Lighting by Bradley Hanson

In photography, light is everything, even over composition. Light can dictate composition, control mood and determine where the eye is drawn to in any frame. The difference between a memorable image and a forgettable one is usually the role of light in altering how that photograph is perceived.

There are a number of reasons I didn't use flash in this image:

1. It would have destroyed the sense of depth.

2. It would have removed the most important component: the light on the groom's face, projected from the DJ's spinning lights, as well as minimizing the halo of lights from the ceiling.

3. A little movement is more romantic to me than harsh two dimensional lighting, particularly with dancing. In this case, I was handholding 1/15th of a second at f2.

4. Evening out the light with a pop of flash would have made the bride's back white, losing the importance of the eye light on the groom and the contour of her right bicep.

5. Because the groom removed his black jacket and is only wearing a white shirt, flash would have removed the contrast between his shirt and the shadow on his wife's back.

6. Using supplemental light would have also ended my ability to be invisible to the couple in this scene. The darker the room, the wider the pupils. Low light flash, in conjunction with dilated pupils means your bride and groom are seeing stars after only one shot. This is not a recipe for success or getting a good second shot.

While I prefer to work without flash, sometimes it is not only required, but like natural light, well-used flash can make or break an image.

This film image was used by Women's Health Magazine in April of 2009 as a double-page spread about life after marriage. The editor that contacted me about using it specifically cited the light on the groom's face as conveying the mood she was looking for with the text of the article.

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.