Hannah Nielsen » Documentary Family Photographer Seattle Portland and Worldwide

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Mister and I have been talking a lot lately about doing things differently.  As far as dates go we’ve kind of gotten stuck in a rut of tv, dinners out, and drinks at our local bars.  It’s easy to come home and just do what we usually do.  It’s comfortable and requires no thought whatsoever…but although comfort is nice, sometimes it’s boring.  So the other day we sat down with a glass of wine and made a list.  This list is somewhere to turn to when we know we want to do something different, but don’t know where to begin.  We’re adventurous, creative, love the outdoors, live in the city, but appreciate the country.  We were looking for dates in every category we could come up with.   It took us a long time to put together, but here’s our list (plus a few).  Have something to add?  Comment below!



  • March 28, 2012 - 10:45 pm

    Stacey - *Make a difference… Go visit random elderly people at an asisted living facility that don’t have family.
    *Or volunteer at a soup kitchen for the homeless
    *Day road trip to a state park you haven’t been to
    *Wine tasting in Woodinville
    *A ferry ride to one of the island you haven’t been to yet or haven’t been to in a long time.
    *Movie at the iPic theater in Redmond and get the fancy seats (looks really cool… I’m having a date night there tomorrow)
    *Go to the theater… “Cats” is coming to town soon (in May I think)
    *Skydiving 🙂 Or a Hot Air Ballon ride.
    *On your horse back riding idea… you could take a riding lesson together!

    OK… that’s all for now 🙂 Makes me jealous of your lack of kiddos at home (sort of)… I wanna do a bunch of those things you have listed above… Have fun!ReplyCancel

    • March 29, 2012 - 11:29 pm

      Hannah - Oooh I had volunteer but it got lost somewhere. All good ideas! Thanks for adding!ReplyCancel

  • March 29, 2012 - 11:35 pm

    Stacey - Oh just one more… A Thunderbirds Hockey game… so fun 🙂ReplyCancel

Today I almost didn’t write a post.  I’ve been stressed this week.  Super busy, constantly rushing, never stopping to enjoy what I’m doing, just trying my best to get it all done…and still do it well.  Tonight I decided to skip it all and go have dinner and a glass of wine with a girlfriend.  We talked about all kinds of things, funny and serious, big and small.  We laughed and even told bad jokes. (Well she did.  I forgot the punchline of mine.  Oops!)  And it hit me.  Sometimes in order to get myself to a place where I can be productive, I have to take a step back, relax, and do something just for me.

You might be thinking, “Hey, she said no fluff posts”.  Although this is short, it isn’t fluff.  This is one of the most important things I can think of to share with you.  Sometimes you have to do something for YOU.  Sometimes you can’t do your job well or be a good wife or be creative or even sleep unless you let it all go and just be good at being you.  So now I’m home.  I still taste the red wine.  My cheeks hurt a little from laughing.  I “wasted” three hours.  But here I am, writing the post I didn’t intend to write.  Listen to that voice inside you that tells you it’s time to take a break.  Listen when it says to curl up with your loved ones and watch a movie. Listen when it says to spend time with your girlfriends.  Listen.


(This is not the friend I went out with tonight.  We were so busy giggling we didn’t take a picture.  This is from my 30th birthday wine tasting with my friend Nowal and my sister…but the theme is the same. :))


This shoot reminded me what joy there is in creative collaboration.  It reminded me to shoot for me.  For fun.  It reminded me to set aside  the must-do’s, the should-do’s, and the need-to-do’s to instead occasionally dive in to the desperately-want-t0-do’s.

I’ve known Bethany since she was about 5.  Her sister was my best friend in 2nd grade.  Besides my wedding, Bethany and I haven’t seen each other in about 15 years.  I thought it might be awkward, catching up, but the hour plus drive to our location was full of stories and laughs.  We talked about our killer location, Northern State Hospital in Sedro Woolley, and came up with lots of fun ideas on our way.

Below is just a tiny sampling of the fun we had.  We ran out of light well before we ran out of ideas.  Thank you, Bethany, for reminding me how much fun collaboration and shooting for me can be.   I plan to do much more of it in the upcoming months!!


She’s so beautiful!



If you’re interested in collaborating on a project, get in touch!  I’d love to work with you.


Laura is one of my closest friends and one of the kindest most generous and funny people I know.  I am so lucky to have her in my life…and so is Brian!  They have been together for almost 2 years and are just about the most perfectly matched couple I can imagine.  They balance each other just right, and they both adore the other equally.  Just for fun we scheduled a shoot in the snow at Snoqualmie Pass.  The ride up was rain, rain, rain…but we turned a corner right before our exit and beautiful big fluffy snowflakes came drifting out of the sky like a dream.  Perfect weather for the perfect couple.  We had a great time giggling and being silly and I’m love with the images we captured.  Thank you Laura and Brian for an amazing shoot!


My favorite. <3





Ahh Pinterest…A feast for the eyes and the creative soul.  I can spend hours pinning, pinning, pinning.  So many hours that my husband may or may not be concerned that I’m going to leave him for an internet boyfriend…kidding.  But really, I LOVE Pinterest.

If you don’t already know, Pinterest is a virtual pin board which allows you to “pin” pretty much anything you find on the internet.  You can create different boards with different themes (home, recipes, style, etc.) and pin articles, photos and videos you find on other pages.  You can also re-pin other people’s pins onto your boards.  The every day practical application could be as simple as, “Hey what’s for dinner?  Let me check my Pinterest recipe board”.  Where you would then go to your board, choose a picture of a meal that looks good to you (because they all look good to you, because you pinned them!), which would then, when clicked on, take you back to the original website with the recipe.  Pretty cool, eh?   You can also share boards with your friends to collaborate and share your pins on Facebook.

One concept I find extremely interesting is planning your wedding on Pinterest.  When I got engaged in February of 2010, “pinning” wasn’t really on the map.  I had magazine clippings, a pile of “bookmarks” on my browser, and a ridiculously huge folder of “wedding inspiration” photos on my desktop.  It was difficult to maneuver and even more difficult to narrow down.  By the time Pinterest really hit it’s stride most of my details were already planned.  That didn’t stop me from browsing the thousands of wedding related pins though!

The good news is, if you’re reading this, you’re probably in a better place than I was to start planning your wedding on Pinterest!  I’ve got a few suggestions.

1. If you’re just starting your planning process, it feels SO overwhelming, I know.  There are so many options.  So many details to choose.  I suggest that you pin everything that appeals to you on one general “Inspiration” board.  Some of my favorite resources are Style Me Pretty, Green Wedding Shoes, Junebug, and OnceWed.  When you’ve got a good start, I think you’ll see a general style start to emerge.  Go with it! Let it lead you towards what you really want.  I tried to fight my instincts in the beginning and ended up starting (and discarding) a couple of projects that weren’t really “us”.

2. Once you can see your style, name it.  If you name your vision for your big day it makes decisions much easier.  If I know my theme is “soft, vintage, and floral” then maybe (as cool as it may be) the blinged out monogrammed cake topper may not fit anymore.  That’s okay.  I promise there are a thousand more cake toppers that will fit your vision so much better!  This is the very beginning of your narrowing process.

3.  Make individual boards for your style, the bridesmaids’ style, the guys’ attire, the reception decor, the ceremony decor, flowers, stationery, vendors, and anything else that you feel needs it’s own category.  Then go through and “re-pin” the pins from your general inspiration board into your categories.  If the pin doesn’t fit your overall vision, just leave it on the inspiration board and move on.  From now on, anything you find and want to pin, compare it with your vision.  If it fits, pin it to one of your category boards.  If it doesn’t fit, let it go.

4.  Share your boards with your friends and family.  If your mom, sister, and bridesmaids want to be involved you have a choice.  You can either invite them to be a collaborator on your board or you can just send them the links to your boards where they can “like” and comment.  I recommend inviting them to collaborate on your general inspiration board.  This way they can contribute, but they aren’t pinning to your more edited down boards.  You have the choice whether their pins make it to those boards.

5.  Share your boards with your vendors!  If your florist asks you what your general vision is, tell her in words, but send her to your board! Want to show your photographer some shots you love?  Your board!  Trying to design your invitations? Board.  This is a fantastic visual to really give your vendors an idea of your style and vision for your day.

6. Please, please, please make a board of your wedding after your day!  Share the love!  We want to see what you came up with (in fact, email me if you do this! I’d love to see!!!).  Just make sure you check with your photographer before pinning their images.  Here is ours: http://pinterest.com/hannahdetails/my-wedding/ (Just a note that this is my “real” Pinterest. The other was a mock wedding planning page.  If you want to follow me, please follow me here.)

Feel free to email me if you have any questions! Happy Pinning!!! (Just be careful, it’s addictive.)