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Authentic, personal and timeless photography with Hannah Hughes

At the heart of Hannah’s work is timeless, romantic and in the moment wedding photography that captures the joy, raw emotion, and exquisite details of a day, with imagery that feels as though you are stepping back in time. Her work is thoughtfully composed, while still maintaining emotions as her primary focus – leading her them to capture memories full of life that future generations will forever cherish.

We speak to Hannah about how her love of photography began and the sources of inspiration for her work…

Introduce yourself! – How long have you been shooting and how old is your business?

Hey, I’m Hannah and I am the sole face and name of my business. Photography has been one of my biggest passions since I can remember. I ran my photography business part-time for many years alongside being a primary school teacher, which was my main career. I decided during Covid that I wanted to pivot and make photography my full time job and I haven’t looked back since. I love getting to do this job and I feel so privileged to be trusted with documenting people’s love stories. 

How did you fall into photography?

I asked for my first camera when I was about 10 years old and I have hardly had a camera out of my hands since. I loved documenting my family, my friends, holidays, pets… you name it. Once I got a bit older, I would always have friends ask me to do photo jobs for them such as their engagement parties or maternity photos and then I realised I wanted to make the move to take photography from a hobby to a career. 

What are the sources of inspiration for your work?

The environment and landscapes here in the Otago region and further afield (national and international) are one of the biggest sources of my inspiration. I love landscape and portrait work and combining the two together is a dream! 

Describe your style of shooting in three words?

Authentic, Personal and Timeless.

How early do couples need to book for your services?

Most of my couples are booking 1-2 years out from their wedding date. If it’s a weekday wedding then you may have a chance of booking me with less time. The earlier is always better to ensure I am available to document your day.

Is there an aspect of wedding photography that you find consistently challenging?

I find it challenging when timelines are really tight and haven’t allowed for some buffer time. This can push the day behind and make it tricky to get out for bridal shots when the light is at its best.

What’s your favourite moment during a photoshoot? Which moments are you looking for on a wedding day?

My favourite moment is when you see you’ve made your couples really comfortable and at ease with you and their true colours shine through, the shyness fades and you capture really authentic moments of love. On wedding days, I am always looking for those candid moments and interactions that are so heartwarming for my couples to look back on such as mum tearing up during the ceremony or nanna holding your hand. 

What are a few pieces of advice you like to offer couples to get the most from the photography on their wedding day?

Have a good solid timeline with a bit of buffer in it and choose vendors that align with your values and vibe of the wedding.

What are some of your favourite NZ destination wedding locations from iconic venues to little hidden gems?

I may be a bit biased but I do think Wanaka is the perfect place to get married and show off to your family and friends. I love Glendhu Bay, Dublin Bay and The Venue and The Lookout Lodge as venues for your wedding here in Wanaka. 

What’s next for you in 2023 and beyond…

Investing more into photography education and workshops. I don’t think you can ever educate yourself enough and I believe in always striving to learn new things. I hope to document some more international weddings and take my business to a new level.

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