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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.

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

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.

To listen to the bi-weekly photography podcast I do with UK photographer Ian Weldon, visit https://www.outerfocuspodcast.com or search for Outerfocus on Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts.

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.

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.

To listen to the bi-weekly photography podcast I do with UK photographer Ian Weldon, visit https://www.outerfocuspodcast.com or search for Outerfocus on Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts.

Natalie and Nils Autumn Wedding In St. Paul And Reception At International Market Square by Bradley Hanson

Natalie and Nils were married at House Of Hope church on Summit Avenue in St. Paul, then we stopped at Irvine Park in St. Paul on our way to the International Market Square/Minneapolis Design Center in Minneapolis for their reception.

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.

To listen to the bi-weekly photography podcast I do with UK photographer Ian Weldon, visit https://www.outerfocuspodcast.com or search for Outerfocus on Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts.

Jess And Mike's Edina Country Club Wedding In Minneapolis by Bradley Hanson

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.

To listen to the bi-weekly photography podcast I do with UK photographer Ian Weldon, visit https://www.outerfocuspodcast.com or search for Outerfocus on Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts.

Jessica And Ben's Elegant Mill City Wedding In Downtown 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. 

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.

To listen to the bi-weekly photography podcast I do with UK photographer Ian Weldon, visit https://www.outerfocuspodcast.com or search for Outerfocus on Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts.

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, and was happy to hear from the family again when Brett got engaged to Nikki. 

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. Even though it was snowy and relatively cold by Washington State standards, the snow and altitude made the temperatures feel warmer than reality.

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.

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.

To listen to the bi-weekly photography podcast I do with UK photographer Ian Weldon, visit https://www.outerfocuspodcast.com or search for Outerfocus on Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts.

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.

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.

To listen to the bi-weekly photography podcast I do with UK photographer Ian Weldon, visit https://www.outerfocuspodcast.com or search for Outerfocus on Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts.

First Place Winner In 2016 PDN "Top Knots" Wedding Photography Contest by Bradley Hanson

First place in "Wedding Day" 2016 PDN Magazine Top Knots wedding contest

I am honored and excited to announce that for the 4th time, I have a winning image in the PDN Magazine (Photo District News) Top Knots international wedding contest. I had a winning image in the 2004 issue and two images in the 2005 issue, but because of a number of life changes including relocating my business from Seattle to Minneapolis, I didn't enter again until this year. The selected image was one of my favorites of all time, taken from a late 2015 wedding in Taylors Falls, MN during what felt like a nearly perfect day.

May 2016 issue of Photo District News "Top Knots" wedding contest gallery

A link to the contest portfolio, and all winning images can be see here

Abbe + Tony: The First Wedding Ever At Heyday In Minneapolis, Featured In Minnesota Bride Magazine by Bradley Hanson

Minnesota Bride just published a wedding I photographed at Heyday in Minneapolis. Heyday is one of the best and most inventive restaurants in the city, and this was also the first wedding ever there! They did a stellar job with everything, particularly the catering and making sure Abbe and Tony had everything they needed to realize their vision for their wedding. Abbe, the bride, is an artist and made all of the decorations herself. The talented Dawn Dacut did double duty as both the officiant and wedding coordinator. I can't wait to go back...

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