Hannah is a kindred spirit that I was lucky enough to stumble upon in my central NY life. Absolutely smitten by her dark and moody photos, I followed along with her instagram and fell in love with a dreamy tree landscape she had posted. We became fast friends after she stopped to drop off said print that I had purchased and I bombarded her with two shoots I wanted her to participate in with me.
I probably speak to Hannah at least once a day to share a funny story, vent, and also find inspiration. She even credits herself with the start of my relationship :) It's an amazing thing to connect with other creatives and encourage and support one another wholeheartedly. We've collaborated on multiple shoots together with so many more to come, and it's wonderful to see her grow on her photography journey.
Hannah has a deep love for natural light and nature and it's so evident in her photos. I asked her to be the April Bridal Check-Up as she truly captures couples in the intimate settings of their homes. Read more below:
Q: Hannah, as a natural life photographer, you truly capture in home sessions and the beauty that is in “being home.” What draws you to these moments?
Ahhh, in-home sessions are one of my favorite things to photograph. It's the intimate moments between two people who love to be around each other that I cannot get enough of. It's almost like... You know how everyone takes selfies? Usually it's just a planned, face forward, smiling picture? The in-home sessions really give you a chance to relax. It gives you a 'still life moment' when you may look at your partner a certain way after they kiss you on the cheek, or that real, authentic belly laugh after they say something ridiculously silly in your ear or the touch of your partners fingers through your hair... I absolutely love when the couple forgets I'm there and they are simply, home.
Q: For those that are interested but nervous about having a photographer in their home, what do you suggest? What’s the best way to capture those relaxed, candid moments?
LIQUID COURAGE! (just kidding... kind of.. ahha) A lot of people are nervous in front of the camera, let alone in your house trying to be cute, in love and intimate with your partner. I try my best to talk to people like they are truly my friend. Like we've known each other for so long and we are just hanging out while I snap a few adorable photos.
I also explain to people not to have this idea of what the perfect picture is suppose to look like. When I start, I usually just say "Ok let me test the exposure to see if everything's looking right" and I snap a few photos. This "breaks the ice." I can tell when people are uncomfortable and if we get shooting and they aren't really feeling the pose, or their hair is stuck behind an elbow, I'll crack some jokes to get them laughing again! I'll also sit there and make fun of myself to get the awkwardness off them and put it on me and beeeelieveeeee me, there is plenty of ammo in that department.
Q: Do you offer direction or styling?
Absolutely! Once we get reallyyyyy going it gets easier and easier, but in the beginning I'll get them in the most comfortable pose possible. When I start shooting I gage how 'intimate' or touchy feely they want to get... and usually it feels silly when I say "just a lil closer.. ok ... yep just like half inch closer to her nose...yep! Perfect! right there!' and they start to laugh because they are like "ummm ok I'm pretty close now" and then you get those cute laughing moments with their noses touching, looking down, etc. I'll typically keep them in a pose for about 20 shots and i'll move around them while slightly adjusting their pose for the best possible shot. If something looks totally awkward and weird, I will definitely tell them! Sessions tend to take on a life of their own and I let them flow but with some correcting here and there.
Q: What are some of your favorite photos?
Hardest. question. ever. but I'll try haha! If I HAD and I mean, life or death situation HAD to choose... It's gotta be when the couple forgets I'm there for a second after I tell them to go in and kiss each other. I've had people peck on the lips, and I've had couples full on make out for a few minutes... I just let them go with the flow. I just love when people forget I'm there! Ok but my second favorite is when I tell them something like.... "okay, whisper your partners favorite vegetable in their ear in the sexxxiest way possible" that always gets a good laugh and the next ten shots are GOLD because they are truly laughing and close and in love and ahhh.. all the feels.
Q: Do you offer other sessions other than in-home?
I do! I absolutely LOVE photographing families, content for local businesses and events!
I love families because it's a time capsule for the parents. I photograph in a very journalistic way, letting the session take it's own course. I love how fun kids are and I tend to tell the parents to just let them do their thing and let me take care of the rest.
Content for local businesses is also a huge passion of mine. Giving a business a gallery of images that they can use for promos, social sharing and content for their website is an amazing feeling!!! And events? That's just a ball. I once photographed a high school reunion and it was probably the hardest I've laughed at a session, ever. Everyone was in such a good mood and ready to have a good time that it made my job easy!
Q: What kind of camera do you use?
CANON BABY! I have two bodies, a 40D that I've had since college and I recently bought a 6DMII and OMG i am in love with this bad boy. I also shoot with a fixed 50mm 90% of the time, but also have an 85mm and a 24-105 lens.
Q: Anything else?
Being able to work creatively and express myself through photography is literally a dream, a ten year old dream in fact. I never thought I'd have the guts to work with real people... or have people even like my work... I thought I'd be too awkward or people would not how I operated, etc. When I hear people compliment me – its still a shock. I just love what I do and I want people to have amazing pictures. That's all.
Hannah, thank you for being a wonderful person, artist, and friend. I can't imagine not being on this journey together. Visit Hannah at her website here.