The Hanlens // Sydney Family Photographer
Four years ago I had the honour of documenting Annika and Ryan’s wedding. It was really the first unscripted wedding documentary I’d ever shot, and boy, did I fall in love. They really inspired me to focus on the human connection and learn to use my craft to translate vibe into pixels.
Over the years despite living in different states we kept in touch regularly. I always delighted in getting photo updates of their babies, and we said we’d meet up again one day. Well, that one day came. This family was moving out of Sydney to the northern hemisphere, and it was the perfect opportunity to photograph the now family of 4 and preserve those moments of sun sand and sea soaked days.
I flew to Sydney, took a ferry to Manly, and the family picked me up at the station. I squeezed into the backseat between 2 car seats, and 3-year-old Jonas and I bonded right away over construction vehicles while playing peekaboo with Mia.
We went for a play at their local beach and we all just did what we did best: they played and I documented.
The bond I have with some of my clients goes beyond the photos that I’m able to make. Sometimes I wish I could take better photographs to really capture the love and connection I can feel, but other times we do better than we expect. But at the end of the day it doesn’t matter because life just happens the way it does, and we do the best we can to soak up the moment, be it in the sand between our toes, or the frame we see through the viewfinder. I’m just grateful for lifelong friendships made through serendipity. If someone told me I would one day be touched by lives and moments like this as part of my job, I would have thought they were joking. But no joke. This is where life took me. And I’m so bloody grateful. <3