Spotlight Series: Hannah Bjorndal Photography

Please describe your service in 3-5 sentences. 

We provide wedding photography to engaged couples who want lasting memories from their wedding day that are both beautifully artistic and capture the authentic moments from the day. Unlike other photographers, we place an emphasis on building a relationship with our couples so that we can photograph their day in a way that is both joyful and meaningful. Our team consists of three dynamic, unique photographers - Hannah, Cassie & Sarah - who each serve couples as lead photographers on wedding days.

Favorite flower (to work with): Anemones & garden roses!

Complete this sentence.  A wedding can never have too many floral installations! (we agree)!

Best describe your style: Timeless, classic & artistically refined

Champagne: Rose or Classic: Classic!

What trend are you happy to see in the past? What trend are you excited about? I’m very happy to see that rustic/barn weddings are going out of style. I’m obsessed with white jumpsuits for bridal reception wear - wish I would have worn one for my own wedding! (me too, so chic)

What (if ever) is the most thoughtful or romantic gesture/surprise a client has planned for his/her spouse? I have so many thoughtful, sweet and unique gestures that clients have done for their spouse, so it’s hard to choose! Based on reaction by the spouse, the best surprise was when a bride re-wrote an entire rap for a groom and did the rap in front of everyone at the reception. It sounds ridiculous, right? But it not only totally shocked and delighted the groom, it was also incredibly impressive!

Have you ever had to say no or steer a client away from a crazy ambition? This is a great question! One of the things we pride ourselves on is the way we care for our couples every step of the way. So basically, we are pretty proactive about helping the couple plan a wedding that is going to photography beautifully and also be totally authentic to who they are as a couple!

Why should people hire an event planner?   When shouldn’t they? A wedding/event planner is ALWAYS a good idea. A lot of times, couples think, “I want to have creative control over my day. I want to decide on the details and the style and the theme.” What couples don’t typically realize is that a great wedding planner will actually help you realize that vision without making style decisions for you! Planners have access to all kinds of decor and rental companies, vendor lists and organizational strategies. They are going to be able to create a day that is way more “you” than even you could (because you’re going to be enjoying your wedding day - not setting up the table arrangements or managing vendors!). For couples who really want their wedding day to be unique, stylish and a reflection of their personal taste, I cannot recommend having a planner highly enough!


Bonus question: When planning an outdoor wedding, how often do clients comment on the challenge of wearing heels in grass? Do you suggest Solemates Heel Protectors? Yes, walking in grass is totally a challenge for basically ANY outdoor wedding. I always recommend Solemates, it is literally a no-brainer and so necessary to walking in heels in the grass! There literally is no better solution to getting around!

Tips of the trade: please provide 3 tips or tricks for each event category: 

  • Outdoor (wedding or any other celebration).  What are 3 things everyone planning an outdoor wedding should consider:

    1) Plan your outdoor ceremony according to the light. Ideally, the sun will be behind the bride and groom, but not directly behind them - if you think of it like a clock, the altar is at 12 o'clock, and the sun is at 10 o'clock or 2 o'clock. The best time for a ceremony to begin is 2 hours before sunset, which gives you enough time for a beautiful ceremony in lovely light AND portraits as the sun is setting afterwards.
    2) Consider the comfort of your guests. Weather is going to affect the comfort of your guests. If you’re getting married in the summer in the Deep South, make sure you’re in a shaded area and provide fans. If you’re getting married in the late fall further north, consider provided blankets or heaters. And if the weather is going to be a little more extreme, keep your ceremony length shorter (think less than 20 minutes).
    3) ALWAYS have a strong Plan B/rain plan. The last thing you want to worry about int he days leading up to your wedding is a bad weather forecast. Even if you live in the desert, make a really strong rain plan that you absolutely love months in advance from the wedding. This way, if it does rain, you’re not completely devastated, but can enjoy your ceremony in the second location! Also, if you are getting married outside, it’s even more important to have a wedding planner who can implement your Plan B should the weather force you to another location!

  • Indoor (hotel/event space). What are 3 things everyone planning an indoor wedding/event should be mindful of:
    1) Avoid mixed lighting. If you’re getting married inside, do your very best to avoid mixed lighting - meaning a combination of window/natural light and indoor, electric light. This photographs terribly and will make your skin tones look very strange!
    2) Ask your venue the right questions. If certain ceremony details are important you (having lit candles or certain hanging decor, for instance), then make sure that your indoor ceremony location allows it! Many venues have strict rules about decorations and customizations of their space, and the last thing you want is to find this out after you officially book only to be disappointed!
    3) In low light, have realistic expectations for photography. If you choose a location that is really dark (i.e. a historic church with a lot of dark wood and stained-glass windows), then there is only so much a photographer can do without using flash to create beautiful photos. Low light without flash results in photos that are grainier and less true-to-color. If this is totally fine with you, no problem! If you’re concerned about this, ask your photographer to see some examples of his/her work in low light situations before booking them.
  • At home. What are the 3 things everyone planning a “simple wedding” at home should consider:
    1) At-home can be incredibly elegant and tasteful. Simplicity is often misunderstood as bland or plain. However, an intimate, at-home wedding can be incredibly elegant and classy. Honestly, it can be any style you want it to be. The fact that you’re keeping it simple with the details will allow you the flexibility to splurge a little bit on details that matter the most to you.
    2) DIY doesn’t always mean cheap. If you’re trying to do a lot of do-it-yourself projects, consider that these projects often end up costing more than if you had just hired someone to do it, and there is way more of a risk that it won’t turn out as you had hoped. Not only that, but you’ll also have spent a lot of time on it! If you do want to do some DIY projects, keep it to 1 or 2 that you’re confident you can do well.
    3) Your wedding portraits don’t have to be on the day-of. If you’re planning a short, small, simple celebration, you may find that you don’t want to spend a portion of the day off taking portraits with your photographer, and that is totally OK! Many photographers offer “day after” sessions or wedding portrait sessions before/after the wedding day. This allows you to totally focus on the celebration and then enjoy a more relaxed day of portraits on another day!
  • Destination (remote).  What are the 3 things everyone planning a destination wedding (in a hard to reach place; ie, not a major city), should consider?
    1) Consider your guests. If your guests are traveling from afar for your celebration, then you’ll want to consider what their whole experience will be like. Think about where they’ll be staying and what activities apart from the wedding day you can plan for them. A destination wedding is an experience - often spanning more than one day and including multiple festivities and celebrations! If your guests came this far for you, they’ll want that experience!
    2) You absolutely need to hire a planner. Planning a wedding locally is a lot of work. But planning a wedding from a far is virtually impossible without a planner! Spend a lot of time researching and finding a planner who is the right fit for you so that your wedding vision can truly come to life. He/she will make the whole process a breeze!
    3) Choose a location that has meaning. As destination weddings have become more and more popular, there seems to be a million possibilities as to where you can go to get married! If you’re interested in a destination wedding, choose a location that has significant meaning to you and your fiancé. Whether it be a place you traveled together or have always dreamed of traveling, a location with history that is meaningful to you, or even a place with family history/origins, make sure it’s not just a random selection!


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Hannah and team

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