Hannah Nielsen » Documentary Family Photographer Seattle Portland and Worldwide

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We are moving back to Oregon!!! Kyle got a new job within Microsoft and we’ve got a house in SW Portland. Both of our families are in the area and we’re just so excited for Bennett to grow up near his grandparents, aunt, uncles and (hopefully!!) cousins!

But in our excitement, there is also some sadness. We’re leaving our “village” here. We’re leaving many of the people who have gotten us through our first year and a half of Bennett’s life. The home he was born into. His nursery that I spent so many hours working on while we waited for him to arrive. Our friends. Bennett’s friends. Our routines. Our comfort places. All this is reminding me of the importance of documenting the every day. I am so so happy that I’ve been taking photos of Bennett’s life every single day since he was born. I’ve got visual proof of the place he first crawled, the spot where he tasted his first “big boy food”, his happiness in the sandbox just down the street from our house. I also had a session recently in our home documenting Bennett’s and my morning routine (I’ll share more soon!). I never want to forget this piece of our life.

So what is it you want to remember?

To celebrate our move, I’m giving one Portland area family a 4 hour Day in the Life session including digital images AND a slideshow to share with friends and family (over $900 value…but priceless really, right? :))

All you have to do is “like” Hannah Nielsen Photography on Facebook, and finish this phrase: “I want to remember my family __________.” Tell me what it is you’d have me capture if I came and spent 4 hours with your family.

The fine print: Session to take place before July 1st, 2016. You must be located within a 30min drive of SW Portland or be willing to come to me or pay a travel fee. A signed model release is required. To enter, “like” Hannah Nielsen Photography and comment on this post. Tagging local friends in the original Facebook post will gain you additional entries. Contest ends Oct 15th at midnight PST. Winner will be chosen Oct 16th.

And just because posts are no fun without images, here are a few favorites.

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  • September 17, 2015 - 4:26 pm

    Ashley Dahlin - I want to remember my family on a lazy Saturday morning: pancake breakfast, playing in the living room, and going for a walk to the playground ReplyCancel

  • September 17, 2015 - 4:52 pm

    Gina - I want to remember my family loving and laughing. Raising brothers requires a lot of intercepted rough housing and often it feels like the only thing I can remember at the end of the day. I know the love and laughter is there!ReplyCancel

  • September 17, 2015 - 6:29 pm

    Michele - I want to remember my family enjoying each other and enjoying nature. Like a picnic and playing at a park.ReplyCancel

  • September 17, 2015 - 8:58 pm

    Heather - I want to remember the way my husbands eyes crinkle when he smiles at our daughter. The way our daughter hugs our cat. The way the light comes in our living room on a slow Saturday morning. I want to remember these moments as a family when daily life feels like dreams coming true and wishes granted. slow coffee as we begin a day together, chasing our daughter in the park, reading books – I want to remember all of it.ReplyCancel

  • September 18, 2015 - 2:53 am

    Alex - Congratulations, Hannah! That is so exciting – I cannot wait to see what life brings in this next chapter of your lives =)ReplyCancel

  • September 18, 2015 - 9:39 am

    Cara Keenan - I want to remember my family as I saw them last night. Sitting around a dinner table with guitars and full bellies, three kid musicians and their teacher, my very patient partner. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • September 18, 2015 - 9:41 am

    Megan - Welcome to Portland! Such a wonderful gesture. I’d love the opportunity to remember my family as they are, and to give that gift to my family so they can always remember us as we are.ReplyCancel

  • September 18, 2015 - 10:46 am

    lotti - i want to remember my big pregnant belly and my 2 year old staring at it in wonder!ReplyCancel

  • September 18, 2015 - 11:27 am

    Cara Bartel - i want to remember my family in this moment. Before the little ones aren’t so little any more. Playing, cooking, sleepy-eyed fresh from bed. Exactly as they are right now.ReplyCancel

  • September 19, 2015 - 12:29 pm

    Vanessa Smith - I want to remember the enthusiasm and excitement my 3 year old has for life. Whenever we tell him we are doing something he wants to do, he says “OK! Really?! Oh ho ho! Let’s go guys! Let’s do it!” I’d love to see the look captured on my face and my husbands face when our son does something to surprise us. I want to remember that my family is always growing and changing. If you spent four hours with us, you’d see me cooking breakfast, my son playing on an elaborate train set up, my husband reading, a walk around our neighborhood and nearby school/playground, and maybe the farmers market. This would be so fabulous! I’ve always wanted a day in our life captured.ReplyCancel

  • September 21, 2015 - 2:52 pm

    Dusti Arab - I want to remember my family as we’ve learned how to rebuild our lives with just the three of us. I want to remember what it feels like to wake up after being kept in darkness for so long. To remember what it felt like when I became a person again – and how my kids responded to that.ReplyCancel

  • September 21, 2015 - 3:33 pm

    Jessica - I want to remember our life as a family of three before our little girl arrives next year!ReplyCancel

  • September 21, 2015 - 4:55 pm

    Becky Stephens - I want to remember the chaos that is my daily life with my two sweet, spunky girls! I would love moments you wouldn’t typically think of. The moments before headed to school, or picking her up from Kindergarten. The making of a rushed dinner or when we just stop to have a dance party in full dress up clothes.ReplyCancel

  • September 21, 2015 - 6:46 pm

    Garett Chong - I want to remember my family doing just a normal day. Every moment with my family is precious. thank youReplyCancel

  • September 21, 2015 - 6:51 pm

    Taylor B. - I want to remember my family laughing with each other!ReplyCancel

  • September 21, 2015 - 8:22 pm

    Jamie Valenzuela - I want to remember my family all together- with my stepdaughter up from California and playing with my daughter, and all 4 of us enjoying lazy mornings together.ReplyCancel

  • September 22, 2015 - 4:30 pm

    Molly Marxum - I want to remember my family out watering the garden, picking apples and wandering around our little piece of heaven each night.ReplyCancel

  • September 22, 2015 - 4:41 pm

    Katie - I want to remember my family during holiday dinners! The problem is that you would need to be in the photos too…ReplyCancel

  • September 22, 2015 - 6:08 pm

    Tasha Robinson - I would gladly pay your travel fee to take you to our families happy place—Seaside and a family beach house right on the ocean that has been in the family for nearly 50 years. So many memories there. I’d love to have my parents, aunt’s and uncles all in town and do what we do best there laugh, cook, eat and have it all centered around the most adorable 6 year year old that literally is the light of my life. Thank you for this chance to even dream it!ReplyCancel

  • September 22, 2015 - 7:15 pm

    Sarah Dalisky - I want to remember the way my children adore each other. The way my two year old looks up to his big sister and the way she protects and guides him as they play.ReplyCancel

  • September 22, 2015 - 7:59 pm

    Kelly Cox - I want to remember the joy for life in the faces of my 4 little boys. Their ferocity of play and curiosity for everything around them. I want to remember the hope and love (and dirt) on their sweet faces and be reminded when I look back that it’s crazy but it’s our crazyReplyCancel

  • September 22, 2015 - 9:31 pm

    Tasha A - I want to remember my boys with their amazing zest for life with their goofy sides as well as their serious, sweet sides. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • September 22, 2015 - 9:44 pm

    Carrie Wilsie - I want to remember the way my daughter’s eyes turn into half moons when she’s really smiling. I want her to remember the way her dad’s eyes reflect awe, joy, and melancholy all in one glance. I want to remember my son’s amazement with the world around him in his toddler years. And most of all I want them to remember the beauty of our family for years to come. Thanks for the opportunity!ReplyCancel

  • September 22, 2015 - 10:04 pm

    April - I want to remember the noise of their tiny feet and their giggles. My daughter will dress up and twirl around while telling you all about her brothers. Although our boys are both tiny they aren’t twins. We have a unique family with two adopted kiddos. Our boys are 4 months apart and explore the world side by side. One is walking and the other crawls right behind. You may see the 1 year old waving his arms with excitement when he hears his favorite song or the 8 month old with a smile ear to ear playing peek a boo with mom. Our daughter is 4 and she is a fighter for life and that is how she has come so far from a rough start. She has a contagious smile and a heart of gold. She will show you how she writes her name, how she can flip and how she can build a house with her blocks. We sing we dance we laugh we cook we paint we splash… We make memories. Since our house is so full of growing little ones the time passes by all too fast and it would be a blessing to capture that.ReplyCancel

  • September 23, 2015 - 8:00 pm

    Karie Bourdet - I want to remember my family and the busyness of life with a toddler. I would love to have documentation of the ins and outs of our days, how many neat adventures we go on, and how those adventures then turn to tenderness as we slow down for snuggles. I want to remember the joys and the tears, both the easy parts and the challenges of life right now.ReplyCancel

  • October 1, 2015 - 2:06 pm

    anne - i want to remember my family – the generations of women – my mother who has had a stroke and lights up seeing her great-grands, my daughter and her two daughters. the five us before we become four.ReplyCancel

  • October 9, 2015 - 8:40 pm

    Sibyl - I want to remember my family being young and happy and constantly in a state of growth and transition. I want to remember my son kissing and hugging his baby sister who is quickly outgrowing her space in my belly. I want to remember rainy puddle jump walks that are so exciting and hilarious. I want to remember this house, that I have lived in for over years. The house that my son has lived his first two years in and my daughter will be born in. I started here as a single college student, barely in my twenties. And in the next year or two we will move from here as a family of four with new careers, new businesses, and a whole new amazing life.ReplyCancel

  • October 11, 2015 - 10:31 am

    Courtney Helms - I want to remember this incredible time of my life! Married to the most amazing man, welcoming our first baby this month, just finished my Masters program and turning 30!ReplyCancel

  • October 11, 2015 - 9:40 pm

    Anndrea Moffett - I want to remember the little moments. Funny things Colton says. The way he truly adores his sister. The way my husband looks at Caitlin and I see the joy of having daddy’s little girl.ReplyCancel

  • October 12, 2015 - 4:54 pm

    Jess Roth - I want to remember my family farm while the girls are little.

    I’m looking forward to seeing more of you around Hannah!ReplyCancel

  • October 12, 2015 - 10:57 pm

    Courtney Harper - I want to remember my family on a walk to the park, exploring everything from the front steps to the sidewalks to the playground and back again, with a curious little mind setting the pace.ReplyCancel

  • October 13, 2015 - 2:08 pm

    Katie Raia - I want to remember my family laughing and playing together on a weekend afternoon. It is so fantastic to capture a family in their natural element.ReplyCancel

  • October 14, 2015 - 8:39 pm

    Aaron BIL - I would love to capture the love of my family, not yet with a human child but rather a canine. The world’s best dog! And best friend. I would love to have pictures with my beautiful wife and my partner in crime.ReplyCancel

  • October 15, 2015 - 3:38 pm

    April Barratt - I want to remember my family of 5 and the sweetness of a big brother with his sisters and the fun they have with each other!ReplyCancel

  • October 15, 2015 - 3:49 pm

    Alisha Morto - I want to remember our family in this house. We became engaged, got married and grew our family since we’ve been here. We live in SW Portland and love our neighborhood – Maplewood. So many great memories. It would be wonderful to have professional photos to capture the love we share in this home. Thank you!!!ReplyCancel

  • October 15, 2015 - 3:49 pm

    Sarah - I want to remember my family just the way we are. I want to capture every day life, the good and the bad. It’s so important to remember these moments with my littles as they are growing too fast. Being able to take the images will give us a glimpse at our lives just as they are happening!ReplyCancel

  • October 15, 2015 - 3:57 pm

    Tiffany - I want to remember my family when we left everything and everyone in Texas to come to Oregon and raise our two littles in a world filled with nature and adventure. ITS BEEN A BLAST SO FAR (different but I wouldn’t have it any other way)!!!!ReplyCancel

    • October 15, 2015 - 4:12 pm

      Tiffany - Can I change my answer? I wrote mine and then I was like I should’ve been more honest….
      I just want to remember my family HAPPY! There are so many times I feel like I’m struggling with my 2 littles, being a good mom, and balancing a relationship with my husband. There are moments I want to take back and redo and there are moments I want to cherish forever. I just want pics to show the LOVE we really have for another even though it’s a day by day process!ReplyCancel

  • October 15, 2015 - 4:08 pm

    Marquelle Hartman - I want to remember our family playing , learning and growing together. Our family is in its very earliest stages, and I never want to forget how my boys acted in their first months to a year together.ReplyCancel

  • October 15, 2015 - 4:16 pm

    Michael Barton - I want to remember my family going for a nature walk in our neighborhood.ReplyCancel

  • October 15, 2015 - 4:16 pm

    Brianna Swan - I want to remember my family in the little things. I want to capture the beauty in the everyday. In the way my son loves group hugs and the way he growls like a bear. I want to remember the love in my husband’s eyes when he looks at his “mini-me.” I want to remember how our family knit tight together to get through the grief of losing two babies to miscarriage in the last year. And to see the thankfulness in our hearts for our miracle little man. My family is full of love and support, even in times of grieving. And there is beauty in the gentle way we get through the day-to-day.

    Thank you for considering 🙂ReplyCancel

  • October 15, 2015 - 4:17 pm

    Michael Barton - I want to remember my family enjoying the nature to be seen in our SW neighborhood.ReplyCancel

  • October 15, 2015 - 4:30 pm

    Christina Harp - I want to remember my family because we’ve waited 8 years for this baby. Our first baby boy was a complete and utter surprise at the age of 20. He’s the most perfect and amazing little ginger in the whole world, and he happens to be autistic. We waited a long time to complete our family to make sure our little man could understand what was happening and be ready to embrace the new addition. He couldn’t be more excited for the baby brother in mommy’s tummy and we’re so excited to expand our family. Memories are easily made but not so easily captured with our redhead being constantly on the move, opportunities to save moments in time are cherished.ReplyCancel

  • October 15, 2015 - 4:45 pm

    Marilyn Hayes - I want to remember our life with our son still as a teeny baby. With a baby comes lots of stress, craziness and difficult days, but there is so much joy and happiness in it. That’s what I want to remember.ReplyCancel

  • October 15, 2015 - 4:48 pm

    Marilyn Hayes - Correction: I want to remember our my family in all of its messy glory. Our life with our son still as a teeny baby. With a baby comes lots of stress, craziness and difficult days, but there is so much joy and happiness in it. That’s what I want to remember.ReplyCancel

  • October 15, 2015 - 4:55 pm

    Lynsey - i want to remember my family of four in all our craziness and awesomeness!ReplyCancel

  • October 15, 2015 - 7:09 pm

    Brooke Moser - I want to remember my family exactly as they are today. A spunky almost 3 year old who is growing up way too fast, our sweet dog that is so good to all of us even through the chaos that is sometimes reality, and my amazing husband who has stepped up to the plate by being a SAHD and supporting me through thick and thin. I love your work! Welcome back to Portland!ReplyCancel

  • October 15, 2015 - 7:48 pm

    Cat Gerstenschlager - I want to remember my family hiking together and playing now togetherReplyCancel

Kalina’s mama, Sara, is one of my favorite clients turned friend. I was so excited when she came to visit me when Bennett was born and told me that she was pregnant too! Several sessions later and Miss Kalina is creeping up on a year old already!!! Life goes too fast. I was so happy to get to photograph the whole family this time, including Sara’s sweet parents who just adore Kalina.

Thanks family for coming out to play with me!

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  • September 14, 2015 - 2:11 pm

    Alex - Precious photos, Hannah! They are going to love them!ReplyCancel

  • September 14, 2015 - 6:40 pm

    Oana - What a sweet session. I just adore Kalina’s smile.ReplyCancel

Stories in Seven is a blog circle made up of documentary family photographers who have committed to telling a story in 7 images on the 7th of each month. This is the story of his first trip to the farm.

Animals + being outside + Mama + Dada…Bennett couldn’t have been happier (unless I gave him some extra pretzels to go with all the fun…which I did). It was a super rare day where we had nothing on the calendar, so on a whim we headed out to Kelsey Creek Farm in Bellevue. Twenty minutes from our house in the middle of Seattle, and we were out on a peaceful farm almost completely on our own. We saw cows, horses, ducks, chickens, rabbits, sheep, goats and a cat. Apparently I was too busy taking pictures of my little boy to remember the animals. He was in awe, then he was giddy, then curious. It was so much fun to watch him explore this little piece of paradise on a beautiful crisp day that felt just like fall. I loved our little family day. Here’s a peek. (And yes, I cheated and put 9 photos…my Story in Seven…and then two that prove I was there too!)

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He didn’t want to go home. Poor buddy.

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Be sure to follow the Stories in Seven circle to see other photographers’ September storytelling! You can start by clicking here: Tiffany Roberts Photography

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  • September 7, 2015 - 9:23 am

    Sara Maximoff - So cute! I love his overalls, of course, and that molar! So many teeth! (Also, putting this farm on the to-do list. Have you been to Fox Hollow Farm out in Issaquah? It’s terrible cute, and kind of bizarre. It’s near that hill where the hanggliders go, and there are exotic birds flying free-range. Weird but very cool.)ReplyCancel

  • September 7, 2015 - 11:01 am

    Andrea - How cute! I love that you included yourself too! Really important (speaking as a child of a hobbyiest mom-tographer)ReplyCancel

  • September 7, 2015 - 2:47 pm

    Alex - This is one of my favorite sets in your series!! Love these glimpses into your day!ReplyCancel

As I’ve mentioned before, when another photographer contacts me for a session I get kind of nervous. When another photographer contacts me to photograph her family including two older kiddos, then I get even more nervous. But this particular photographer happened to want to shoot at my all time favorite location. She also happened to have a couple of the coolest kids I could ask to work with. I loved everything about working with this laid back, fun and loving family. Thank you, Annie, for trusting me.

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  • August 26, 2015 - 3:56 pm

    Conchita Medel - Geeat session, Hannah! I love that Discovery Park has so many looks to it, definitely a fun place to shoot at!ReplyCancel

  • August 26, 2015 - 6:04 pm

    shannon - These photos are beautiful you have really captured the joy and love in this family.ReplyCancel

  • August 26, 2015 - 6:42 pm

    Alex - Oh, Hannah, I know how nervous you might have been going into this session but you did a fabulous job! They are going to love these!ReplyCancel