Ahhh have we got some gorgeous photography to share with you this morning, I think so! If you’re a bride-to-be based in the Manchester/Lancashire area, listen up! Hannah Dornford May (also known as HDM) Photography is an absolute talent and will seamlessly mingle with your guests, capturing your wedding in a natural, effortless way, while leaving you guys completely at ease when taking those so-often-dreaded couple shots!
Grab yourself a brew, put on some socks (’cause man is it cold today?!) and let’s have a good old chin-wag with the lovely Hannah…
Tell us a little about yourself…
Hi, I’m Hannah (or HDM as most people call me!). I live in South Manchester with my other half, Trev, and our rather eccentric little cat, Phoebe. Before moving to Manchester I was lucky enough to spend a year travelling the world, camera in hand, documenting charity work. It fuelled my love of discovering new cultures, meeting new people and telling stories.
When I’m not hanging out at weddings taking pictures of people, I’m a big fan of music, exploring new places, country pubs and if I have a gin or red wine in my hand then I’m one happy lady! I’ve also got a new found, rather geeky, love of The Archers on Radio 4 and tend to edit photos with the omnibus playing in the background…
If you had a chance to go to any music festival, which one would it be?
As a big music fan I’ve been to a fair few festivals in my time, but one I’m really tempted by at the moment is Festival No. 6 in Portmeirion. A great range of acts and a beautiful location, what more could you want!
What made you decide to start Hannah Dornford-May Photography?
I graduated with a first class degree in film and media production and, having spent three years making short films, discovered that photography and still images was where my heart really lay! I began working in music photography, taking photographs of bands onstage as well as documenting their lives offstage as well. I then got asked to shoot a friend’s wedding…yikes! I used my documentary, storytelling approach to photograph the day and the rest is history.
Tell us a little bit more about your photography…
I like to describe myself as a photographer who takes pictures of people, those people just happen to be at weddings!
I‘m a big fan of people and everything that they bring to a wedding day so I spend 95% of your day mingling with your friends and family and ‘documenting from within’. I’m a big believer that the only way to really tell a story is to be part of it so I won’t be standing on the sidelines with a huge, paparazzi style lens, I want to chat to your guests, listen out for their laughter, see where all the emotion is coming from. At most weddings I get asked if I’m a friend of the couple and I see it as a huge compliment!
I also love to spend a bit of time with you both, away from everyone and getting some really natural photographs of you both together. This is your ‘breather’, a chance to have time out together (ignoring the photographer who is pointing a camera at you…) All of my couples start by telling me how much they hate having their photograph taken but as long as you can laugh together, hug each other and maybe even have a sneaky kiss or two then you’ll be absolutely fine, I promise!
What’s your favourite thing about your job?
It’s such a cliché but literally everything! I get to spend one of the happiest days of people’s lives with them and I come away from each wedding feeling like I’ve been at a party with new friends. As an extra bonus I get to spend weekdays blasting out music (or the aforementioned Archers omnibus…ahem) while I edit photographs.
How would couples know if Hannah Dornford-May Photography is right for their wedding?
If you see your wedding day as a big party with your favourite people in the world around you, love laughing together and aren’t too fussed about having the traditional, very formal photographs then we’ll be perfect for each other!
What’s your best piece of advice for couples who’re trying to choose their photographer?
Most importantly book someone whose work makes your heart sing and who you get on with. Your photographer is with you more than anyone else on the day and it would be so awkward if you felt uncomfortable around them.
Finally, what’s your life quote/motto?
It’s a quote by the rather brilliant Roald Dahl “If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely”. Or my own interpretation of it which is “Just be f**king nice!”
It takes a lot of effort to be cross or think badly of people, life is so much easier and happier for you and others if you are kind. Plus kindness is free and a smile really can make someone’s day.
We love Hannah’s style and timeless images she creates, so if you’re on the look out for a lovely photographer you’ll find her in our wedding directory now!
We’ll see you back here tomorrow for February’s final instalment of 10 Ways to Make Life Lovely!
Peace + Love