Hannah Nielsen » Documentary Family Photographer Seattle Portland and Worldwide

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I’ve had lots of requests for sessions in Oregon this fall, so let’s do this!  Introducing my very first Fall mini-sessions!  The sessions will be held just outside of Salem, and are perfect for couples, just the kids, or the whole family!  More information is below.  Please contact me to book or with any questions!  (And if you’re wondering, yes Seattle sessions will be coming soon!)



Really important stuff. Please read.

Contact me for available times.  I will ask you for your top three choices in able to schedule everyone appropriately.
Location will be released upon booking.
Payment is due upon booking and reserves your session time.
Your gallery of images will be available within two weeks of your session.
All orders must be placed by November 20th to ensure delivery by Christmas.
Event only pricing ends November 20th.
Holiday cards will be a choice of three templates (that I’m still working on).
You do not need to choose your package prior to your session.
There will be no exchanges within the packages.
Clients MUST arrive 15 minutes early to their sessions.  Late arrivals will forfeit their session fee and will not be rescheduled.



When Grace was three she started telling everyone she was having a baby brother or sister…explaining that no, her mom was not pregnant, was an kind of awkwardly funny.  Then one day she told me there was a baby in Mommy’s tummy and it was true! I’ve never met a kid more excited to have a baby in her family.  She came up with all sorts of names for the baby, including Brother Fudge (I think we’re glad that one didn’t stick!).  One of her favorites, Jack, grew on everyone.  On June 15th at 4:49pm Jack Albert (after his grandpa) was born.  He weighed 8lbs 3oz and was basically just perfect.

I felt so blessed to be there when Grace met him for the first time.  “I can’t believe I’m a big sister!”  followed by singing…so sweet.  She really wanted to hold him all by herself.  Katie and Josh, I think you’ve got the makings of a great big sister on your hands!  Congratulations to all of you on your perfect baby boy!  And thank you for letting me be there.


Also, Grace used to tell me she wanted to be a “pratographer”.  Here she is with her “REAL camera” from Grandma and Grandpa, taking pictures of Baby Jack.  So cute.

  • June 28, 2012 - 1:59 pm

    Nina Cordova - How very special and precious. Congratulations on your new baby and family addition. Thank you for sharing your family – great pictures!ReplyCancel

“Can you drive my car home?”  We had spent the evening playing cards and sipping on beers with some of our guy friends.  She had one too many and decided to walk the 8 blocks home to her house.   I had a test in the morning and had been taking it easy.

“No problem! Which one is it?”  She pointed to her greenish Toyota Tercel.  I hugged her said I’d bring her car home safely.  We only lived a block away from each other.

I hung out for awhile longer, dreading going home to study.  I already knew the information, but also knew too many beers wouldn’t help my test-taking skills in the morning.   Around 8pm I said goodnight to my friends and hopped in her car.  I threw my purse in the passenger seat, put the key in the ignition, and “Oh crap”.  Reaching down to put the car in drive I realized…it was a stick.

Oh crap oh crap oh crap.

I had driven sticks before, but during the day…and with someone talking me through it…and at one point I think I gave my little brother whiplash trying to figure it out!  It was a short drive home, but we also lived in a college town where the police had nothing better to do than pull over college girls who didn’t know how to drive their friends’ cars.

I quickly dialed another friend, Jenn, who I knew drove a stick.

“Hang on, let me pass you to Chris.  He’ll know how to explain it better.”

Her friend Chris got on the phone, and with his charming English accent talked me through driving the car.  I was a little bit embarrassed having never met him before, but I was grateful for the help.  “You should probably just drive here.  We’re at RoyPac.”

RoyPac…RP…Royal Pacific…one of our most frequented bars.  Pool tables, dart boards, the best staff, and the grossest bathrooms.  We loved that place.   My friends and I went there all the time for cheap drinks and entertaining evenings.   I briefly thought about my test, but brushed it aside.  I had already studied and knew I wasn’t going to learn the information any better at this point.  I also knew I had the car to get home, so it wouldn’t be a crazy night.  I agreed to come by.  Chris stayed on the phone with me until I got there.

Walking in the door I saw Jenn with a whole group of people playing darts.  She introduced me to Chris and I thanked him, but my eyes and mind were somewhere else.  I am pretty sure she introduced me to the rest of the group, but I was wasn’t really listening…just waiting for  her to introduce me to the blonde guy with the great smile.

And that was the night I met my husband.

I often think about what would’ve happened if my friend hadn’t asked me to drive her car home…or if it was an automatic…I probably would’ve gone home, studied for my test, and gone on with my life.  Instead, I met the guy I would obsess over and maybe casually stalk for the next 3 months.

I didn’t stay out for long that night.  I had a test in the morning and a car to drive home…when I got there I said to my sister, “I met the man I’m going to marry.”


(Please excuse the quality and faces in this image.  Photos were few and far between back then…we hardly knew each other.  This one isn’t from that night, but within a month or so.)

The three months that followed he was all I could talk about.  I didn’t have his phone number (and frankly, I would’ve been to shy to call him if I did), but I knew Jenn would hang out with his friends on the weekends and that there might be a chance that he would be there.  I found myself going out a lot…just hoping to see him.  Most weekends I’d run into him one night and we’d spend time together as a group wandering from college bar to college bar, playing pool and darts, dancing, and talking.   I liked him.  I liked him a lot.  I found him to be charming and sweet, funny, and a lot of fun.

In June, a week before graduation, I started getting nervous.  I felt this great connection with him, but we had never hung out minus the comfort of darkness and beer.  What if he didn’t like me?  What if he wasn’t interested?  What if I never saw him again?  That last weekend I went out Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night hoping to see him one last time before we graduated and moved away.

He didn’t come out.

I was feeling really down, like I had missed my opportunity.  I was afraid I’d never see him again.  Trying to cheer me up, my roommate, Nowal, and my sister took me to get a milkshake at a fast food restaurant in town.  We were standing around waiting for our treats when my sister’s mouth dropped open.  She was looking out the window.

“You’ll never guess who is about to come in here.”  I turned around and there he was…in the daylight.  I instantly turned bright red.  He came in and I prepared myself.  I looked him right in the eye and said…


That was it.  Hey. Hey? HEY!?!?!  That’s it?!  He said hello. The guy behind the counter called our number.  We got our milkshakes, and we went home.  I may have actually literally banged my head against a wall out of frustration.  I hadn’t been expecting to see him there.  Even more I hadn’t expected to get so nervous, to have nothing to say, and to walk away.  Now I had really blown it.  Graduation was in two days, and now I was sure.  I was never going to see him again.  I could’ve cried.

After pouting for a day or so, I decided I had to let it go and just be excited for graduation and this new step in my life.  I was reluctant to let myself feel happy, but this was a big deal.  Nowal was graduating as well and we decided to have a party.  The families and our closest friends would be invited back to our house immediately after the graduation ceremony for a BBQ and then after the families left the rest of our friends would come tap the kegs.  (Hey, it was college.  Don’t judge.)

The big day came.  We picked up the kegs and got the house ready.  Our families came into town.  Everyone was excited.  The weather was great.  It couldn’t have been a better day.  We put on our caps and gowns and made our way to the quad to find our places in line.  They had us arranged by major and by last name.  There was no one near me that I knew and we had to wait for what felt like forever.  I was so bored.  Nowal and I were texting each other from opposite sides of the quad trying to keep ourselves entertained.  Finally the lines started moving and merging together.  We were walking at a snail’s pace, and the stadium was still a half mile away.  Plenty of time to text and walk…and twiddle my thumbs.

Everyone looked the same in their black gowns and caps.  I had given up spotting anyone I knew by this point.  I don’t know what made me look up, but I did.  And there he was.  To my left.  Walking right next to me.  His blond hair sticking out just a bit from the cap, eyes shining, and that great smile.  Our lines were moving separately and in spurts, so the conversation did too.  Quick hellos, congratulations, is your family here, what are you doing tonight…we had a long walk, but not much time to talk which melted my shyness away quickly.  It didn’t hurt that I was able to text Nowal between bits of conversation.

It turned out his little brother was in town (and not yet 21) so he had no plans to go out to the bars to celebrate.  I invited him to our party and he accepted.  I explained that the families would still be there until about 6 and that they could come any time.   Our lines separated and we were off to our seats.  I lost him in the crowd, but kept looking for him throughout the whole ceremony.

I didn’t know when he’d show up at the party…or if he even would, but at 6:00 almost exactly there he was.  He met my whole family before we’d even been on a date.

Later that night, most people had left.  He pulled me aside and said, “I think it’s about time I ask you on our first official date.”  I couldn’t have been more thrilled.

Two days later, he picked me up for dinner.

So why am I telling you this?  That dinner was 8 years ago today.  I know it sounds cliche, but it gets better every year.  We’ve grown so much together.

And so, to my husband, who I love more than anything: thank you for being you.  Thank you for being supportive and thoughtful.  Thank you for being silly and laughing with me.  I know I say air guitar is never cool (and it’s not) but thank you for doing air guitar in the car while I sing too loud.   Thank you for always asking me if I need anything, for holding my hand, and for snuggling up next to me while we sleep.  Eight years ago I knew I had found someone special, but I didn’t know just how amazing we could be together.  You keep me sane.  I love you so much and look forward to all of the years to come.  You’ll always have my heart.


Left: Us at the graduation party (notice the sunburn lines on our foreheads from our grad caps).  Right: 7 years later on our wedding day (Photo by Bb&Company)


A little back story: over the last 2 1/2 years I’ve gone from not running AT ALL (we’re talking can’t even run a mile without keeling over) to running two half marathons…and back to not running at all.  (If you want to read more about that journey you can here)   I’ve been feeling sedentary lately and not just that, but lazy too.  It’s amazing the difference in the way you feel when you treat your body with respect!  Anyway, I’ve been on a mission to find something to kickstart me back into healthy-land.  When I saw the Color Run I couldn’t resist!!  We meant to have a big group, but it sold out in 3 hours in Seattle!!!  So it ended up just being my sister and I running together…which was kind of cool and special in itself.

So the premise of the Color Run is this:  everyone starts out dressed in white.  As you run there is a different color at each kilometer.  For us it was blue at 1k, yellow at 2k, green at 3k, and orange at 4k…at the finish line there is a party where everyone throws their bag of color at once…and you end the race decidedly NOT in white.


I was DYING to have my camera there (although I would’ve been terrified of ruining it!), but was thankful to have my husband there to grab a couple of shots for us from the sidelines.



And for the record, I’ve been kickstarted.  Thank you, Color Run!

  • May 16, 2012 - 3:12 pm

    Hilary mercer - Man. I totally wanted to do it. Dang for it selling out.ReplyCancel

I have memories of my mom singing to us.  In the car, in the kitchen, instead of talking.  Somewhere along the line it became a bit of a joke to the family.  “Mom’s singing again.”  But really, those memories are good ones (even the ones of being a teenager and being mortified that she was singing along in the car with my friends there. Oh my God, Mom, you are SO embarrassing. Haha.)  And now guess who sings all the time?  I’m sure my husband is mortified.

I’ve been thinking about getting a tattoo forEVER, but I could never decide what I’d want to put on my body permanently.  Sometime in the last year my sister or I (we can’t remember who!) had the idea to get matching tattoos…of the lyrics of a song my my sang/sings to us…in her handwriting.  It took a long time to coordinate, but my sister gave me a gift card for Christmas and then it was just a matter of time.  Last month we finally pulled it off.

She came up to Seattle to visit.  We hadn’t made an appointment (thinking it was a weekday and we’d probably get in…it was Spring Break) so we drove all around the city visiting different tattoo shops trying to find one who could do what we wanted…within a day or two.  Finally we found Pierced Hearts.  The guys there were SO nice!  They answered all of our questions and told us to come back in 3 hours.  That three hours was a looong wait.  I was super nervous.  My sister already has a couple of tattoos, but it was my first.  She was building it up to be really painful and every minute of that wait ticked by like an eternity!

Finally it was time.  Our artists, Lance and Jay, were laid back and made us feel comfortable (even if they did make fun of me a little bit for being nervous).  And for those of you who are thinking about getting one and want to know…it didn’t hurt that bad!

Here is our mom’s handwriting, forever on our arms:


  • June 15, 2012 - 2:20 pm

    Anne Moore (mom) - Awwww…love you!ReplyCancel