When I first got engaged, I thought I had a very simple outlook on what I was looking for in a photographer: Someone who wouldn’t make us look stupid.

Then I started reading wedding sites and looking through photographers’ portfolios, and my wishlist… expanded. What I really secretly wanted was someone who would make me and my now-husband look good enough to be in a magazine, even if we felt uncomfortable AF in front of a camera. Someone would make our venue look epic and magical. Someone who would beautifully document all the details I had been obsessing over, but also capture a ton candids of friends and family having an amazing time—yet also looking particularly attractive and not mid-awkward dance move.

NBD, right?!

close up of bride looking up at groom while dancing

We ultimately did find that photographer, and I’ve tried to pay that miracle forward by sussing out other magical wedding photographer unicorns for you guys ever since. Back in November, I met one such unicorn, Hannah Cohen of HC Love Stories, at Love Union (a really cool convention in Brooklyn for wedding vendors), and the second she showed me her website, it was like, ohhhh… you’re that kind of good. I mean, see for yourself.

groom spinning bride around at Las Vegas Neon Museumhands petting golden retrieverbride and groom in white suit jacket in front of the Andaztwo women in black blazers and red lipstick lying down and looking up at camera and holding hands

(And if there will be kids anywhere near your wedding? Forget about it. )

little girl in pink tutu sitting on the floor laughingthree little girls playing in a yard with a sun flare behind themgroom embracing older man with one hand and holding baby with the other

I asked Hannah how, why, when, her work got this damn good, and she told me:

I’ve spent the past decade working for newspapers, and producing and directing fashion and lifestyle photography, as well as weddings. What I bring to all of my work is a deep love for people and telling their stories. [Editor’s note: The trueness of this is obvious within thirty seconds of meeting Hannah.] I have spent countless hours mastering the art of helping people relax, while capturing experiences and directing (when needed) to create the types of imagery you will cherish for decades to come. I love mirroring the energy of the sweet souls I’m lucky enough to capture to provide a unique experience that truly caters to the pace, style, and emotion of your day. I want to help you slow down on your wedding day so that you can relish in each and every moment. I love to learn about your relationship, your family traditions, and the backstory to your craziest inside jokes so that I can capture the belly laughs and tears just as much as the nervous jittery moments and quiet ones. Mostly, I want to help you celebrate your unique love story and this incredible chapter ahead.

bride picking up groomgroom sitting on a porch railing with arm around bride looking up at himbride and groom holding flag leading parade of guests

And then I asked Hannah her rates, and held my breath, because you know, this is NYC and anything is possible. And you know what she said? “My prices range from $3500 to $5500. Most couples spend about $4500 on my middle collection, which includes nine hours of coverage, a second shooter, and a two-hour engagement session.”

woman with bangs peeking over magazine

Hold the damn phone. Because you guys, in New York City, #MostExpensiveCityOnEarth, for someone that experienced, and this good, well that is a super fair rate for all that stuff. Hannah recently relocated to Brooklyn from Boston, and she happily shuttles between the two for weddings (and she’ll also travel anywhere you want to take her, like eloping at the Neon Museum in Las Vegas OMFG). So if in your heart of hearts you want a photographer who has the exceptional ability to not just “document” all the candid moments, but to make them look like fine art, then HC Love Stories is it. You know what to do, go follow her Instagram, read what clients have to say, and send Hannah an email. And then please, please, please, send us the photos.

HC LOVE STORIES IS OFFERING $400 off to the first five APW couples that book BY FEBRUARY 15, 2018! click here to get in touch.

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