My hope is

you have the time of your life at your wedding.

That you enjoy and savor each and every precious moment.

And I’d love to capture this for you.

 

I’m a documentary storyteller. For me, it’s the emotions of the day, the people who share in it, the relationships, and the little details that make your wedding unique and special. It’s the way your husband-to-be looks at you across the room when you are not paying attention and how he unconsciously rests his hand on the small of your back. It’s the special relationship you have with your mother, how proud you make your father, and the way your grandmother watches you adoringly from the front row. And it’s all the years of inside jokes and life experiences you share with your best friends. I am poised to capture both the scripted and the unscripted moments… and from there I let the magic unfold.

I love the big moments, the little moments, and the moments you might not even notice. I see beauty in it all. In the uncontrollable-throw-your-head-back laughter, in the single tear running down your face, and in the nose crinkling smiles.

I love the funny unexpected moments. Like when your groom fumbles the rings and has to dig them out of the grass, or when your maid of honor’s toddler insists on showering her with kisses in middle of her reading.

I love the sweet intimate interactions with your family and friends. The heartfelt hug that leaves you both in tears, and the few encouraging words your father whispers in your ear before he walks you down the aisle.

I love the endearing gestures you do without even thinking about them. The way you loosely intertwine your fingers into his, and the way he pushes your hair behind your ear before he leans in for a kiss.

I love the little telling details. Like your groom wringing his hands while he anxiously awaits for you to arrive, and the high heels piled on the edge of the dance floor at the end of the night.

I love the thoughtful touches you include that make your wedding uniquely you. The multi-tiered popcorn cake you created because you share a love of movies, or the grand entrance your groom makes airing into the ceremony on his mountain bike.

I love the real, the raw, the authentic… and to present it all in an elegant way. My images are carefully composed to draw you right to the beauty, there, in the moment. I capture the day from the inside out and make you feel, I hope, like I’m another trusted friend.

I care passionately about your photos. And even more than that, I care about your experience of your wedding day.  Because I know, when you’re having the time of your life, your photos will show it. And you won’t need to worry about them one single bit.

And, the best part is, when you truly have had the time of your life, your photos will take you right back to how you were feeling. You can relive the anticipation, the excitement, the joy, the gratitude, and the love you felt on that day, any day you like, for the rest of your life.

 

Hannah Hardaway Wedding Photographer

 

 

 

I knew it the second that I took this photo that it was going to be one of my favorites photos from the day, and it is.

Wedding Elopement Photography by Hannah Hardaway Photography at the Wedding Tree just north of Jackson, Wyoming

Why? Because it was a beautiful moment. Ross, Julie and I were standing on top of the mountain, a light breeze was blowing, the faint smell of sagebrush hung in the air, birds were chirping excitedly after the storm clouds had passed, the Tetons were looking stunning as usual off in the distance… and I was taking more photos of the newly married couple.

Who knows what they were thinking the moments before I took this photo, it could have been something along the lines of, “Wow, she sure is taking a lot of photos of us… Didn’t we already get a photo like this?… Wow, she is getting really close to us with her camera… What should I do with my arms? Head? Hands?” Or whatever other random thoughts might cruise through one’s head as they are being photographed and trying to act like you aren’t.

Maybe not, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they were because I have had my own photo taken plenty and being in front of a camera can feel pretty intimidating at times–especially when you are getting your photo taken ALL DAY LONG. Furthermore, let’s face it, being out in the mountains, dressed to the nines, and being asked to be affectionate with your one-and-only while you both know you are getting photographed is not exactly the most normal or romantic of circumstances.

But you want great photos from your wedding day! You want photos that you can look at and remember how excited you felt when you saw your groom (or bride!) for the first time looking more handsome than you ever could have imagined; How your heart swelled with gratitude when you looked out at all the people that you love most in the world sitting in the audience looking back at you; How overwhelmed with joy you were when you walked back down the aisle arm-in-arm as husband and wife; How sweet it felt to have his arms wrapped around you during your first dance; How touched you were by your father’s words as he toasted you two and your new life together;  How your heart felt like it could literally burst from all the love you felt all day.

How do you make sure that your photos are going to be able to transport you back to all those precious moments?

By being present. And soaking it ALL in… every last little detail, as it is happening… And by not thinking about the photos at all (at least trying not too!)

If you are in the moment, fully experiencing whatever you are feeling, your photos will be amazing.

So why is this image so powerful? Because Julie was able to (however briefly) forget about me and my camera and just really soak it all in. I remember it clearly, I said something simple along the lines of, “Just close your eyes, and really savor the moment,” and I could see any unsureness just melt away as she softly closed her eyes and relaxed into Ross’s arms.

It looks a beautiful moment because it was one.

Hannah Hardaway Wedding Photographer

 

 

So life is really busy… and sometimes it seems like one wedding season rolls into the next. For the last 7 summers (and hopefully for many more summers to come!) I have had the incredible privilege (and responsibility!) to photograph amazing weddings all over Jackson Hole and Teton Valley (and some phenomenal weddings across the country and beyond which I really love as well, but that is for another post :-) With the majority of weddings here in Wyoming taking place between June and September, my summers are primarily spent preparing, photographing, and editing. Of course I try to sneak in as much hiking, mountain biking, and camping as I can, but what I am getting at is that I often don’t have much time to revisit and reminisce about all the spectacular celebrations that I am graciously invited to be a part of until weeks or months after the day.

When I do finally have a little break in my shooting schedule (usually during the slower winter months here in snowy Wyoming,) I LOVE pouring back through my images and remembering all the sweet/funny/touching/tear-jerking moments that I got to witness and be a part of… and more than anything, I get the absolute best warm fuzzy feelings hearing from my couples what photographs they treasure the most from their day.

I was inspired by a photographer friend of a photographer friend (David Clumpner) who used to do a blog series where he featured his bride’s favorite image next to his groom’s favorite image. Here is the first post of hopefully a long and heartwarming blog series drawing on my inspiration from David and sharing some of my couples’ highlights from their days with a short snippet about why they love their chosen image so very much and followed by my favorite image from the day.

Gabbie and Harry… Gabbie met Harry in kindergarten! How sweet is that??? They went to school together until 2nd grade (Gabbie even remembers having a crush on Harry!) They ended up in separate schools after 2nd grade and lost touch, but they become friends in high school and eventually started dating in college. They have been together ever since.

Gabbie’s Favorite Image

The Couloir Restaurant at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is a very unique wedding venue in Jackson Hole.  A late night image from Hannah Hardaway Photography of Gabbie and Harry

“Well first, clearly, I really enjoyed our dance [Gabbie had the idea for them to learn a short choreographed dance number for their first dance and was very excited that Harry actually agreed to do it.] If you know Harry, you know he does not like to dance. Or be the center of attention. So this was a big deal. I also love seeing him smile, and this is such a natural smile (both his and mine). I can just see how happy we both were in that moment and how much fun we were having, and that’s what it’s all about for me.” –Gabbie

Harry’s Favorite Image

Sunset wedding photograph outside the Couloir restaurant at the top of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort taken by Jackson Hole wedding photographer Hannah Hardaway

“Because Gabbie looks so pretty!” –Harry

I totally agree Harry! (This was actually in my top 5 favorite photos from the day too :-)

My Favorite Image

Black and white wedding photography by Hannah Hardaway outside the Couloir restaurant on top of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

It was really tough for me to narrow down my favorites to just one image, but Harry’s vows were definitely a highlight of the day. Especially for a man of few words, he really outdid himself with the vows he wrote and had all of us laughing as he shared so many of the things he loved (and the few things that he hoped to learn to love!) about Gabbie. For me, Gabbie laughing and looking adoringly up at Harry says it all.

Hannah Hardaway Wedding Photographer

 

Oh my goodness, I can not believe that I forgot to include Cate’s “Boo Candy” on my blog post last week as one of my tips for staying healthy this winter! I learned about this great concoction from my dear friend Cate Stillman during her 9 month Living Ayurveda Course that I took last winter. “Boo Candy” is super easy to make and kids love it. You can adjust the ratios listed below to make it palatable for their (or your) tastebuds and then work up to mixing in more of the spices to increase the effectiveness as their paletes expand.

Cate’s Recipe for Boo Candy

Get out a cutting board and a wide knife.

  • Add 1/2 cup raw honey to the cutting board.
  • Add 1/3 cup turmeric powder (you can dry roast it first in a skillet for added benefit).
  • Add 1/2 tsp. ginger powder.
  • Add 1/4 tsp. black pepper.
  • Cut the spices into the honey with the knife until you have a smooth texture. Add more spices for desired taste.
  • Store in a small tin or small glass jar.
  • Put on the kitchen table in reach for all ages. Little ones like to roll it into pea-sized balls.

“Boo Candy” should be taken at the first signs of snot, bad breath, or a coated tongue.

To read more about “Boo Candy” and to see a ridiculously adorable video of Cate feeding her daughter Indy (the inspiration behind it all) “Boo Candy,” you can check out Cate’s blog post about Snot-Free Kids on her website Yogahealer.com.

And since blog posts are always more fun with photographs and I just happen to have lots of cute photos of Indy, here she is :-)

Hannah Hardaway Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Teton Valley ChildrensIf you want to learn more, please check out my post from last week Hannah’s Tips for Staying Healthy During the Winter Months.

Thanks for reading!

Hannah Hardaway Wedding Photographer