Rebuilding Year | Fairfield Connecticut Wedding Photographer | Heidi Hanson Photography

You know how it is March Madness – I’m sure some of you out there know about this right?  Well right now my brackets are horrific, like literally, really bad. Who knew Duke would go out this early? I am in no means a Duke fan, not that that’s a bad thing, or a good thing, but has anyone even heard of Mercer??  Where are they even from??  Okay I’m not sure, but I always love myself a Cinderella story even if it destroys my brackets!  And this dude right here, didn’t score at all, but man can he dance!

And you don’t even want me to talk about Syracuse and how the Orangement have also destroyed any hopes of me salvaging any hope of a win anywhere else.   Yes, I’m from CT and yes I’m a Huskies fan and how could I even thought to choose the Orangemen to go to the final four…I know hanging my head in shame, but for you sports fans you get it right?

Okay, so you are probably wondering why I am even talking sport right now, right?  Well folks this is my re-building year!  It is my year to refocus what I am good at, what I like to photograph and what I LOVE doing.  That’s right it’s all about ME – LOL and in turn it will be all about you!  So I’m happy to announce that going forward I am going to be just photographing engagements and weddings.  I am going to be rebranding the boudoir photography that I do to a whole different look and new website.  I will continue to do newborn and maternity for my previous couples – so don’t worry.

These are major changes for me, and I am really happy about it. It really leaves me a lot of time to really focus on what I love and what I think my individual strengths are and I really think that this will lead me to being less fragmented and more organized.  I am going to be working on a newly updated website (two actually), rolling out a new logo, new marketing materials and am already networking and looking forward to meeting with some photographers that have already reached out to help!  Very exciting things coming my way during this March madness time!

So here’s hoping everyone else’s brackets aren’t as crazy as mine!

 

 

Shea and Frankie a Cabela’s Maternity Session | Heidi Hanson Photography Specializing in Weddings

Shea and Frankie are one of those couples that are up for anything, literally. I think that is why I love them so much.  I had the pleasure of photographing their wedding last year.  And when She found out she was pregnant I was one of the elite few who she told 🙂  Yeah they are those kind of clients, the kind that are awesome friends.  The kind that are there for you when you have a bad day, that you can vent to.  And vice versa.  We text and Facebook often, I wish we could see each other more but life gets in the way, and  we live at complete opposite ends of the state – literally Easton and Vernon.

A week ago I had the pleasure of taking their maternity photos.  With it being March and New England weather, not knowing what it would be like, we needed a location indoors.  We were fortunate in that Cabela’s allowed us to take photos at their awesome store, which was great because Frankie is an avid outdoorsman and I secretly love it there too, but don’t tell my husband!

Apparently they had a staff meeting before we arrived because when we got there all the staff were eager to meet us and said oh wow you’re the pregnant lady and you must be the photographer – so much for sliding under the radar!  But it was a blast. We had so much fun wandering around the store – here are some of our favorite photos….

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Tales of a Tired Photographer | Heidi Hanson Photography

I’ve been trying to figure out a name for my personal segment on my blog for quite some time now.  I went through the Crazy Chronicles, Diary of a Deranged Lady…etc. But I think Tales of a Tired Photographer is probably the best.  This segment is going to be once a week (believe me there’s enough stuff for me to post daily), but I will not bore you with my ridiculous antics on a daily basis.  

So a lot of you that have been following me, especially on Facebook, have mentioned that I should be writing a book for all the silly, crazy things that happen in my life, you know the types of things that I just can’t make up.  The things my kids say or do, that really are kind of unpredictable.  Well sadly, this blog (at least today’s is all about ME)! 

This past week I had some doozies! We have this little blue suitcase of fun things that the kids get to pick things out of after they’ve finished their homework and cleaned their rooms after school.  So last week they picked quiet time in their room with Mommy which turned into a makeover – their favorite thing to do to mommy!  Fast forward to me looking like Tammy Faye Baker and it is time to take everything off.  Well lesson learned do not put the nail polish remover next to the makeup remover.  Can we say burn much?  Wow, the removal of glitter eye shadow with nail polish remover on the eyes, don’t get me wrong, it totally works, but ow!  It freaking burns, like really bad!!

The other day as I’m running around trying to get my kids ready for school, and me ready for my morning run.  I can only find one running sneaker. Literally how does that happen?  Sometimes my dog takes shoes when guests pop over, not to eat them, but just to greet folks, it’s kind of cute, but at the time I was so annoyed.  Then I remembered that I had my son bring his laundry down to the washing machine the day before.  Sure enough I opened up the door and there it was.  So now I have one really pretty clean running shoe, which was soaking wet because I wasn’t going to have time to dry it before I ran!  

Yep so so that’s me, in a nutshell.  Stay tuned for more tales of a tired photographer. 

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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!

Facing Your Fears | Heidi Hanson Photography

Today when I was running (after my husband convinced me at 7:30am that it wasn’t that  humid out, yet….um yeah he was totes lying); I was debating about this blog topic.  We all have fears, some of them were created from childhood like being afraid of the dark or maybe the basement, sleeping with the closet open (yep I passed that one down to my daughter, oops sorry Berkeley).  Some are much more larger and complicated. 

Tomorrow I will be facing a big fear, a fear of failure.  

FAIL·URE  

/ˈfālyər/

  1. Lack of success.
  2. An unsuccessful person, enterprise, or thing.
  3. Me?

As I head back to work one last and time for a job that I left months ago.  In my other life I’m an event planner, I’ll be assisting a non-profit with their fundraising event for 200 people, outside, along the beautiful Long Island Sound.   

So what does my fear of failure have to do with this situation you may ask?  Well, I have to see my old boss.  The main reason why I am no longer employed at said place.  I briefly saw her yesterday when I popped in to go over final details.  The funny part is, she didn’t recognize me.  Once she did a double take with her jaw literally wide-opened, she immediately began grilling me on all the details for tomorrow’s big fundraiser.  I was vague and polite, the best I could do under the given circumstances because I really wanted to reach out and slap her across the face or give her a pile driver.  You know how there’s that one person that has that power over you; to make you feel insignificant, trivial, inconsequential, stupid, etc.  yeah she’s MY one person.  And tomorrow night, I have to deal with her, all over again.  While I won’t be working the fundraiser for her per se, it is for the organization which she is leading, so I will have to please her, perhaps kiss her ass, or at least make sure she is happy, right?  

 

WRONG!  I decided, not only during my run, but since I left this place months ago, I’m going to face my fears head on.  I’m going to do what I need to do to move forward.  So tomorrow night while I’m working, I will make sure the person who hired me is happy, has everything they need to be successful and not care about her and her happiness.  Tomorrow I will make a promise to not feel insignificant, stupid, trivial; I will stand up tall, feel important, valuable and not be afraid of failure. 

Oh and I think I mentioned this event will be right on Long Island Sound, in fact, the event is benefiting clean water, so the back drop is the Norwalk Harbor; so if things start to go south, I am not above pushing her into the harbor, it will of course be high tide and my biggest finale of all time. 

So for those of you out there with fears, no matter how big or small, stand up tall, look them in the eye and face them.  Look under that bed, sleep with the closet wide open, go into that basement with the lights off and push your ex-boss into Long Island Sound.  Because if you don’t you will live in fear the rest of your life.  

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xoxo

4 months and 400 MILES | Heidi Hanson Photography

This weekend I drove over 400 miles and loved every mile of it.  Okay well that may be a little minor lie.  I didn’t love the traffic that the lovely George Washington Bridge gave me both outbound and inbound, but other than that it was awesome.  Weekends like this remind me so much of why I love to do what I do.  Take photos of amazing moments in people’s lives.

 

My first stop was a in Matawan, New Jersey.  A town I literally couldn’t pronounce and had never heard of…but it was the cutest place ever.  I met with this great couple who had just had the cutest baby ever, Sophia. Or as I like to call her a 6 week-old little squeaker.  Her little cries were squeaks.  She was so angelic, very little peeps came out of her, except for squeaks.  Mom had the best outfits chosen, and I couldn’t wait to dive in. It had been a while since I rolled my sleeves up and gotten to see and photograph a newborn.

 

I forget how many amazing sounds, faces, movements they make.  Their tiny toes, fingers, coos, and sounds…all so breathtaking.  Almost makes you want to have another one….ALMOST!  

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Fast forward to yesterday, an engagement session for one of my fun 2014 couples. The swelter of Summer…the sweat I should say.  At the beautiful Wickham Park in Manchester, we trotted around almost all the beautiful gardens, my couple in their gorgeous clothes, and in me in my tank top and shorts, sweating as if in a sauna.  It was so hot, I really think that I was melting, but my couple looked amazing. The heat didn’t phase them, but I was so drenched it looked like I ran a marathon….And boy did it feel like it after walking most of the 250+ acre park via foot! 

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Even though I was soaked and sliding on my leather car seats on the drive home, it really made me reflect (as I was stuck in the horrible summer traffic), on how far I have come in such a short time and how far I have to still go.  So here I am nearly 4 months into this full-time adventure, and where am I at you may ask?  Well I’m still loving what I’m doing, still making it work, still making daily/monthly to-do lists (and trying to stick with them) and still having FUN.  400 miles of fun…

 

Shannon & Frankie Married | Weddings by Heidi Hanson Photography

To say that this wedding was one wedding that I was most looking forward to this year, is an gross understatement.  I literally could not wait to photograph Shannon and Frankie’s wedding day.  Maybe it was because when I met them, we instantly clicked. Or was it that we shared an infinity for peacock feathers?  Or was it that we just laughed our asses off at the engagement session when it was two below zero?  One may never know, but this couple is just so special.  They are just so real and fun!

I think I laughed the entire wedding day, my cheeks hurt so much!  Enjoy!Image

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Last Day | Heidi Hanson Photography

Last Day, wait, I should say the first day! Yes, the first day of the rest of my life! Wow that sounds so cheesy! Well it is, right? The first day of a new adventure, becoming my OWN boss, moving into full time photography (and wedding planning), and rocking it out!  Okay, yes it sounds cheesy.  But I like cheese, really I do, any kind of cheese.  Especially gouda.

So while I’m sitting at my desk, doing very little ‘work’ I’m busy thinking of all the fun things I have planned, writing down all my big ideas, hopes, dreams, wishes, anxieties (of which there are probably way too many), but I am not going to let that stop me.  For too long I have been in the con column (you know the list of pros and cons).  Not today, girlfriend!

Today, I’m rocking it, standing tall and proud at my mere 5’5″, wearing my yoga pants and favorite orange Cape Cod sweatshirt (just to piss off my anti-sweatshirt boss).  With my feet propped up on the desk, enjoying a diet coke.  I am going to enjoy my Last Day, not let anyone stand in my way of this dream that is finally coming true.  And how fitting is it that on this day in 1950, Disney released Cinderella?  Her dreams of meeting Prince Charming came true?  (okay so if you know me you know that my daughter is obsessed with princesses and barbies and them always meeting their price charming) So it only seems fitting that today is the day that my dream starts to come true!

So today, on February 15th this is my last day, I bid you adieu and I am going to leave you with this image of Jaclyn and Rich rocking it out at their wedding. One of my all-time favoritest couples, who inspire me everyday, to be better not just at photography, but at life.

xoxo

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Take This Job And Shove It | Heidi Hanson Photography

Okay so those of you who have been waiting been anxiously awaiting for me to make my decision from last week’s post Decision Day, wait no longer.  After having really digested what my boss said to me last week. I mean really digested what she said.  She essentially said, hey you’re not good for the position, but no one else is, so I want you to  still work here because there’s work to be done and then when I find the right idiot that can do the work, I will kick you to the curb like a piece of garbage without warning and you will be left to pick up the pieces, and be basically SOL.  Ha!

It is still really hard to fathom someone actually saying something like that to me.  But alas she did say it.  So after being strung along like a puppet for over 5 months, You can take this Job and Shove it!  That’s right my friends, this so-called person who calls herself a boss, will have to kick someone else around, find someone else to do her dirty work, find someone else who isn’t perfect to do her menial tasks, a minion to run her paper pushing so-called development work. Ha!

I bid you adieu

While I do love it here, it isn’t my passion and I don’t deserve to be treated like dirt!

So on to bigger and better things. Thinking Bob Ross right now, and happy little clouds!

On to me things.

On to more time for family and fun things.

So from here on out I will be concentration 100% on my photography business and my wedding planning business

And being my own boss!