Hannah Nielsen » Documentary Family Photographer Seattle Portland and Worldwide

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PINDear Kyle,

It’s been almost 9 years since we first met and almost 2 since we got married. How time has gone by so quickly, I have no idea. What I do know is that when I first met you I was completely smitten. I knew you were the one for me. You were charming and funny and handsome and confident. You were easy to be around and always so much fun.  You still are.

My feelings for you haven’t changed since that first day…and also they have. In the last 9 years our relationship has gotten so much deeper. You push me to be the most vibrant version of myself as I can be and never let me settle for “good enough”. You support my dreams (even when they change a little bit every day). You know me well enough to know when I need a cup of coffee before you talk to me in the morning. And you know when I just need your hand on my knee.  You’ve taken the time and effort since we met to get to know me better than anyone has ever known me.

And I’ve learned who you are in a way I’ve never known anyone before. I can tell how you’re feeling by a twitch of your lip (annoyed), or a crinkle of your eyes (about to laugh). I know what to expect with you, but somehow you also still manage to surprise me.


The last few months we’ve spent training together for the triathlon has been a hugebonding time in my mind. To push ourselves so hard for such a good cause, and doing it together has been such a cool thing and makes me feel so close to you. It’s amazing that this far into our relationship we can still do things that bring us closer together.  I hope that’s always true.

When I look forward in our lives I see a family. I see you rocking a newborn in the soft glow of a nightlight at 2 in the morning. I see Little feet pattering through the kitchen, and you following behind with the vacuum cleaner and a big smile on your face (gotta love a man who loves vacuuming AND kids!).  I see the busy years of the kids’ extra-curricular activities and rushed family dinners. I see school events, graduations, weddings. And I see you and I, old geezers…and your hand still on my knee.

Thank you for being my partner, sounding board, best friend, trouble maker, support system, builder-upper, and my love. I wake up grateful for you every morning (even when you haven’t given me coffee yet). I love you more than I can tell you. Thank you for being mine.

All my love,

Your wife


  • February 18, 2013 - 8:29 am

    Whitney Lane - You guys are too cute. I love your love letter ideaReplyCancel

  • February 23, 2013 - 9:32 am

    Tara - That is so sweet…what a great idea!ReplyCancel

PINDear Mom, PIN

Writing a love letter to your mom is a little bit different. The deep, complicated, history-filled relationship between a mother and daughter is so different than any other relationship. Maybe because there is so much of you in me. When I was 16 I couldn’t imagine a day that I’d call you one of my best friends. There were a rough few years there (as I’m sure most mothers and daughters can attest to). I’m sure you couldn’t imagine it either. But now here we are. When something big (or small) happens in my life, you are one of the very first people I call.  And when I look back at growing up and remember key moments with you, I don’t see those crazy teenage years.  Here is what I do see:

The house where everyone wanted to hang out (the one with the cool parents)
Birthday parties with art “stations”
You reading me chapter books (just one more chapter!) in my bed with all of my blankets and stuffed animals, and eventually me reading them to you (Anne of Green Gables, Heidi, A Wrinkle in Time)
Painting the rainbow and flowers and rain (the rain being the easiest job for a 6 year old) on the wall in my bedroom
Homemade Halloween costumes
Paul Simon on the stereo
Stops at the “health food store”
Snow days and summers with you at home with us
Butts under the Christmas tree
Lots and lots of silliness


Thank you for giving me my love of reading and writing and self-expression. Half of my creativity (the other half from Dad) too. Thank you for teaching me to refuse to settle in a career that doesn’t thrill me and to be willing to try new things. And thank you also (I think) for my tendency to dive into things head first with every thing I have.

In the last few years our relationship has changed so much for the better. I get so excited when we get to visit and spend time with you  and I get jealous that you’re so much closer (geographically) to Jesse and Katie.  And it’s interesting to see how we can be so different but so much the same. I’m so happy and so blessed to have you in my life. I have only the best memories of childhood, which I know is not something everyone can say and I look forward to my kids saying the same about their time with Nana. (No, this is not a hint. Be patient :))

Thank you for loving me, telling me you’re proud of me, and being one of my best friends. I love you!


Your little girl



It’s not too late to write your love letter too! It’s Valentine’s Day! Love on someone! (And enter the contest while you’re at it :))



PINDear Dad,

It’s easy to say I’d never be where I am today without you. That’s true for both you and mom, but isn’t that true for most people’s parents? It’s better for me to say it in more detail. Without you I wouldn’t have my independence, my stubbornness, my love for music, or half of my creativity (pretty sure the other half came from Mom).  I wouldn’t remember to “be reasonable” every time I leave the house. I wouldn’t love to be outside whenever possible or like to try new produce whenever I see something “weird” in the grocery store.

I know a lot of people who weren’t lucky enough to have the kind of involved, interested, and caring dad I had. (And there’s a reason all of my friends called you their second dad.) I know not everyone’s dad would’ve coached their OM team how many years in a row? — Even when we lost horribly 🙂  Or gone on so many field trips (including the one to OMSI where we just ate your chocolate covered espresso beans and rode the elevator up and down). Or come to every junior high track meet.

I never questioned whether or not you’d be there if I wanted or needed you there. You were and are always just there. And I know now how lucky I am.


Some of my most vivid childhood memories are of the tickle monster, being outdoors with you (step where you step and I won’t fall down…), the smell of saw dust, and the feel of your beard scratching my face when you tucked me in at night.  I don’t really notice how quiet my house often is until we’re somewhere where someone is plucking away at a guitar. I loved growing up with real music in our house.  I look back on every bit of my childhood and I’m happy. How blessed we were (and are).

Thank you, Dad, for always supporting me in all of my crazy endeavors, for seeing the best in me, and for always loving me (even when I was an unlovable teenager :))  I love you!!

Happy Valentine’s Day (and happy birthday too!)!


Your little girl


Feel like writing a love letter of your own? It’s not too late to enter my Valentine’s Day love letter contest! Click here for details!


  • February 14, 2013 - 11:54 am

    Mom - Oh my gosh, that is so very beautiful Hannah…and so very true. Best dad in the whole world!ReplyCancel


Okay, here’s the deal.  As some of you know, I’m a sucker for a good love letter.

There was a time when we couldn’t share how we feel with a text, email, Tweet or Facebook status.  When we held each other’s hands instead of smartphones.  When a conversation was had face to face.  And when it couldn’t be, a love letter took its place.  This is my campaign to bring back the love letter!

So here’s the scoop.  The winner will receive not only a free session for themselves with their “loved one”, but also a free session for a friend and their loved one, and a $100 print credit for each session.

Here’s how to enter:

1. Like Hannah D Photography on Facebook

2. Write a love letter. To anyone. Your significant other, your child, your mom, your dog. Anyone you love will do. Take your time and make it a good one (that’s kind of the point :))

3. Submit your love letter and a photo of you with your loved one to me at info@hannahdphotography.com NO LATER than February 14th (Valentine’s Day — writing a love letter is a gift in itself!)

Finalists will be chosen by an esteemed panel of judges (okay, probably my girlfriends :)) on February 14th.  The winner will be decided by public vote on Pinterest (voting will take place between Feb 15th and 21st) and announced on February 22nd.

I’m so excited and can’t wait to read your love letters!! Don’t be shy. I’ll share a love letter of my own this week to get you started.


Legal Mumbo Jumbo:

By submitting a love letter/image you agree that they may be shared on my blog, Facebook, Pinterest, website, and/or anywhere else I see fit. If you are using a professional photo, please get permission from your photographer before submitting.

The prize includes two sessions for two people each and $100 print credit. Additional subjects will be at an additional cost.

This promotion is in NO WAY sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. You will NOT be notified publicly via Facebook if you are a winner. You MUST be 18 to participate. By entering this giveaway, you are providing information to Hannah D Photography and NOT to Facebook. Prizes do not have cash value. There will be no returns/exchanges on any of the items.


A little behind the scenes action from our 1920s styled shootJamie and Jennie (make up and hair) were amazing to work with! I highly recommend them.   PIN PIN PIN PIN PIN PIN PIN PIN PIN PIN


The following images were all shot by Charissa of Woodward 248 Photography. Thanks Charissa!! PIN PIN PIN PIN PIN

I can’t wait to do another styled shoot!  All of the work everyone put in was, in my opinion, well worth this result! A huge thank you to everyone involved!

  • January 8, 2013 - 8:22 pm

    stacy paczan - it was wonderful to work beside so many fabulous people! thank you, hannah!ReplyCancel

  • January 16, 2013 - 12:01 pm

    Whitney Lane Arnett - I love the 20’s! I went to a 20’s party last year ( i have a pic from it on my personal facebook profile :P) I secretly aspire to be marion cotillard in midnight in paris.. sighReplyCancel

    • January 16, 2013 - 12:03 pm

      Hannah - Haha your aspiration is not a secret anymore! 🙂 I love it!ReplyCancel