Halloween 2013 | Heidi Hanson Photography

Those of you who know me, know that when it comes time for costumes for the Hanson clan, the kids have to match or at least have the same ‘theme.”  One year we did pirates, one year Spiderman and SpiderGirl, another year Power Rangers…the only exception was one year we did a Swamp Monster and a Devil just because the Swamp Monster costume was AMAZING and the devil costume was too cute.

So this year when Stryder said he wanted to be a Vampire (no blood – LONG story) and Berkeley originally said she did too – I was like sweet!  This is easy.  Then of course she changed her mind. So we searched online for hours and hours and finally found something that was suitable – Baterina – Aka Bat Princess

Which totes works because Vampires turn into bats……..

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Even Gage was a bat with his LED blinking bat wings

The Walking Dead | Heidi Hanson Photography

No, not the TV show, in fact I’ve never even watched The Walking Dead.

The Walking Dead refers to what my husband called me as I mustered up enough energy to crawl myself out of bed, stumble down the ridiculously long hallway and stagger into the kitchen and grab some orange juice this morning after being sick for the last three days.  The Walking Dead he called me, the kids just sort of looked at me and said mommy why don’t you go back to bed daddy’s got this.  However clearly daddy didn’t get this.  With today being Halloween parade day at school and party day, there were clear definitions of what could and couldn’t be worn/done at school.  I had everything labeled ready to go, the night before. Kids and I had multiple conversations on what they were doing, wearing, carrying on the bus, etc.

Well of course no one listened.  As I barely made it back down our lengthy hallway and back into bed chugging the orange juice, apparently as a zombie, I was interrupted at least seven times with questions on what Miss B was wearing and what her costume was again.  Because she couldn’t wear her “real Halloween” costume to school (mommy’s orders) she is too much of a hot mess and I knew it was going to get chocolate or dirt or something spilled all over it and be a disgusting mess for real Halloween tonight and even if I felt 1000% I wasn’t going to wash a Halloween costume…no thanks.  Two minutes before they had to walk down to the bus, Stryder asks me if he can get his costume over his ridiculously thick sweat shirt that he is wearing, I tell him no way. So I tell him to go and get a long-sleeve shirt on. I’m not sure how these kids made it on the bus…however I give up trying to go back to bed and decide to go and take a shower because it has been a few (okay 3) days since I have taken a shower…so I guess I may have looked like this…

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Which I thoroughly have to disagree with…the kids would’ve bolted out the door

But really I think I looked more like this….

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Ironically though, they did leave every light on in the house and the TV on…something my husband does get quite annoyed at for me if that happens (which it NEVER does)….

Happy Halloween everyone

9 months, 28 pounds and three hair colors | Heidi Hanson Photography

I know it has been a while since I blogged, but that means I’m busy right?  Sure, let’s go with that 🙂  Really I have been busy, three hair colors right?  Let’s see I started with a reddish/brown hair color, then went blonde so I could go blue, then the blue faded really fast then I kept the blonde and the summer at the beach made it a nice blonde (according to my husband) then I got sick of that and went to a walnut blonde (which now is just gross) so it will soon be another yet to be named color.

So here I am 9 months after making the decision to go full-time into this crazy world of photography.  Do I have any regrets?  No, not yet?  I’m loving my freedom, from my psycho ex-boss, who get this….has been even more psychotic, but also get this…is gone in two days because her interim-ship (is that a word), is over in two days!!  Her position is being replaced by an actual person that knows how to run a non-profit organization, WOW imagine that!  Anyhow, since leaving those 9 months ago, the stress of that chaotic world, has caused me to refocus and loose 28 pounds, well not just the stress, I’m eating better and working out much more.  But the stress of not seeing that let’s call her a witch because it’s Halloween time, is AMAZING!

Plus I’m doing what I LOVE!!!  I have the freedom to be creative everyday.  What’s not to love?  I get to capture people at the most amazing times of their lives – getting married, creating families, sharing family moments – the list goes on.  I don’t know everything about photography, don’t claim to be the best, but I am learning, striving to be the best that I can and trying everyday to succeed.

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Justin Bieber, BFFs and School | Heidi Hanson Photography

After a very long (way too long?) summer, I was very excited for today to come.  The first day of school.  Like many kids, mine were planning their outfits ahead of time, well Stryder did a little, but Berkeley knew right away three weeks ago, what shirt she was wearing, Justin Bieber….she knew if she wore this shirt that everyone, I mean everyone would absolutely love her and instantly become her BFF!  So like many other towns our bus was late, about 15 minutes late and we are the 2nd to last stop before school, which made the kids late to getting to school…and made for lots of fun photos….enjoy!

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Six Months | Heidi Hanson Photography

Wow, has it been six months already since the decision has been made to move into photography full time.  To say it has been hard is an understatement.  But all things worth working towards should not be easy right?  Luckily I have had some amazing support to get me through this time including my husband and my amazing clients.

Unfortunately it has been really difficult six months, especially this last month. There is never guaranteed income, a shoot can be cancelled at any given moment, even weddings that are booked with contracts aren’t set-in stone.  In fact two of of my 2014 couples recently broke up (which makes me sad for them) but also not so great for the business.  Then there were weddings that I was sure couples were going to book based on the amazing emails they sent and the awesome meeting we had, but they chose someone else.  So hard to take.  Makes it even harder to stay positive.

Six months = 182 days, 1/2 a year, enough time to make an impact?  I’m not sure?  Enough time to decide to continue to invest in this venture?  I don’t know?

Then I’ve kind of had two roadblocks as well since June (aka my kids), which has made it even harder for me to network, market and really focus fully on my business.  So I need to stop being so hard on myself and know that in 5 days I will be able to re-focus (hopefully) and go back to thinking big and rebuilding my 2014 year.

So please send me good luck vibes, high fives, whatever you can spare I am hoping to stick it out for another six months and then reevaluate…..and definitely have a new hair color….so tired of this blonde……

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9 Days, Worm Guts, A Yak Encounter | Heidi Hanson Photography

This may have been the best weekend of the summer, which is kind of sad considering summer is almost over, well it isn’t officially over until September, but kids are going back to school in 9 days (who’s counting) although I have noticed some leaves are starting to change color and actually fall off.

This weekend was Stryder’s official weekend, as we had promised him he would get an entire weekend this summer because his sister at Pageant weekend.  I had made a decision to not blog about pageant weekend due to personal reasons, however I will give you one quick photo.

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Berkeley in her pageant production outfit

So needless to say Stryder carefully thought out his entire weekend, wrote out everything on a piece of paper, mind you he had enough activities on this list for 12 days, not two!  So it started out with camping! We camped out in the official Hanson campground (our backyard).  Right before that we had s’mores (also on the list). Which is always a fun filled evening.  If you follow my blog you will notice that I don’t sleep, ironically, that was the only night I slept and Justin was up all night!  Perhaps I should officially move to the Hanson campground.  Although my husband wouldn’t like it because we would have a permanent brown spot on the grass, oye. I was hesitant to do it, and the kids almost didn’t want me to sleep out, they know I have back issues, and I think they genuinely didn’t want me to hurt my back, either that or they thought I was going to yell at them for staying up all night.  All I know is last year when I slept in the tent, I woke up with Berkeley on my face, it was not a pleasant experience.

Next on the list was fishing, so out to the back yard to dig for worms.  Luckily Berkeley is an expert worm catcher. That girl can find worms in seconds, and not small little puny worms, I’m talking night-crawlers.  We went to our usually spot in Fairfield, unsure if the fish would be biting this late in the season, but hoping they would be for each kid to catch a fish, as any parent would be, because it has to be even!  First cast out to the running water and boom a hit, Berkeley helped me reel it in and it was nice little brook trout, yeah she was done!  Literally, she lost interest and began digging for more worms, again this girl was destined to this this, amazing how she just finds them!   Stryder kept feeding the fish with his worms!  Luckily we had plenty due to our little worm finder.  We actually had to break them in half they were too big for the hook.  No worry says Berkeley, as she literally rips the worm in half!  After baiting his hook a few more times, luckily he caught one, it had to be the smaller trout ever, but it still counts! Cross fishing off the list!

Then it was off to lunch and ice cream!  (We washed our hands at lunch, promise)! After that we set up his arts and crafts table!  Where we made necklaces, keychains and bracelets from his rock tumbler which was utilized earlier in the week.  Glitter, glue, scissors, construction paper, beads, etc.  everywhere, luckily we did it outside so the mess was easily contained.

Once that was cleaned up it was inside for some technology time, while I got ready for my fun shoot at Silver Hill Hospital, which the family joined me at.  This was an amazing experience where 7 Monks from the Tashi Kyil Monastery in Tibet were creating a Sand Mandala.  Before laying down the sand, the monks drew the design and then applied the sand granules using small tubes, funnels, and scrapers, until the pattern over-top is achieved. Sand mandalas traditionally take several weeks to build, due to the large amount of work involved in laying down the sand in such intricate detail. However, these seven Monks were only here for a few short days and were to finish the design on Tuesday.  It is common that a team of monks will work together on the project, creating one section of the diagram at a time, working from the center outwards.  A sand mandala is ritualistically destroyed once it has been completed and its accompanying ceremonies and viewing are finished to symbolize the Buddhist doctrinal belief in the transitory nature of material life.  This specific mandala will be placed in the Silvermine River with a special ceremony this week.

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Along with viewing of the monks making the mandala, the community was able to “Travel to Tibet” to learn about the culture and religion of Tibet through chanting, song and dance.  The show was amazing, even my kids loved it!  However the show was a little hazardous for me to photograph.  I made the mistake (not once, but twice) kneeling (in a skirt, reason #1,000 why I never shoot in a skirt) of being up front in the aisle to try and get some great action shots of the Snow Lion and the Yak…and um yeah I got ran over by a Yak….bet you can’t say that has ever happened before?  Luckily there was a nice older man next to me that I literally jumped on didn’t mind!  Here are some photos from last night’s performance.  For more information about how to support the monks of Tashi Kyil Monastery please visit www.tmbcc.net/info/tour/tk_index.html

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Tashi Shoelpa Dance – Village Dance of Tibetans. White Beard mask symbolizes long life and good health.
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Giant Panda – special animal of Tibet
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Snow Lion Dance – Celestial animal of Tibet is symbolizes fearlessness, unconditional cheerfulness, the East and the Earth element.
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The Yak Dance – Unique animal is symbolic of the Tibetan spirit of rugged strength and playfulness. And yes it ran me over!

Mea Sky | Heidi Hanson Photography

This week I had the pleasure of photographing little 7 month old Mea Sky.  Needless to say she was pretty much all smiles.  I could not believe how adorable, silly and smiley she was the entire session…given the fact that she hadn’t napped all day.  I guess she was equally excited for the session as I was!

Mom and grandma had picked out the cutest outfit to go along with her awesome personality.  And how about that name, Mea Sky…absolutely love it!  Without further ado, meet Mea Sky.

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Check out the face on these next ones – freaking love!

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Who Needs Sleep? |Heidi Hanson Photography

Apparently not me.  That’s right insomnia.  Going on week four now.  Week four of an hour or less of sleep a night.  I feel like a zombie, not like I want to eat flesh kind of zombie, but like how they walk in slow motion with their arms out and drag one foot, that’s how I feel. But on a side note, what do you think flesh tastes like?  Chewy probably, right? Okay gross.

sleepThis is not my first time suffering with insomnia, in fact I’ve never been a great sleeper.  I’ve always been a light sleeper, hence sleeping with a sound machine.  My husband and I usually fight over the volume of the sound.  Right now it is on rain, I like really loud rain, he likes quiet or no rain…but I usually win.

Insomnia sucks, but you eventually get used to it and it becomes your ‘normal.’ I think the most frustrating part is when my husband’s head hits the pillow he is out.  Or he’ll be like, don’t worry just think of a dream you just had and it will help you fall asleep.  Yeah okay, well I don’t ever remember my dreams, so that advice doesn’t work!

I’ve tried every over the counter natural sleep remedy there is, along with Tylenol PM, Advil PM every other PM thing there is….nothing works and you build up an immunity to that stuff pretty quickly.  I don’t like tea and the thought of warm milk makes me want to vomit.

So besides being lethargic, having difficulty making decisions, being moody, irritable and feeling unmotivated – I’ve actually lost weight due to the insomnia!  So that’s a plus right?

So in this insane world of life there is always an upside – plus I will sleep when I’m dead right?

Meet Rebecca and Mark |Weddings & Engagements by Heidi Hanson Photography

Contagious.  Communicable. Infectious.  Three words often associated with something icky, but not with these two lovebirds!  These two scientists fell in love while studying infectious diseases in Pennsylvania.  That’s right something many of us may find unpleasant, or gross think Outbreak with Dustin Hoffman, (remember the movie theatre scene, now you get the picture), these two found love while studying such a unique thing what a truly cool love story.

Rebecca and Mark will have a perfectly, pink princess wedding next May and I cannot wait to capture their wedding.  Here are some of my favorite photos from our shoot at the amazingly beautiful Wickham Park in Manchester from a recent super hot day.  Enjoy.

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