About

Self Portrait of Justin Hankins.

Hi there! My name is Justin Hankins, and I think your hair looks incredible today. Are you using a new shampoo? You can totally tell. 🙂

I travel around the world documenting the happiest moments in people’s lives. I have a reputation for taking incredible care of couples just like you, and can’t wait to hold your hand through this whole overwhelming experience. (It’s all going to be okay, I promise!)

Professional Background

I’m a full-time wedding photographer with over 15 years of experience. I’ve photographed everything from lively, 500-person celebrations to intimate, 2-person elopements. Most of my weddings are destination or out-of-town events, so I’ve got a knack for communicating from afar and for photographing locations sight-unseen.

I’m inspired by the diverse personalities of the families who invite me into their lives and am trusted by a fascinating spectrum of remarkable people, including fellow artists, business and tech leaders, entertainment professionals, US Special Forces, and even the woman responsible for waterproofing your latest smartphone.

Accolades

Best of Wedding Photography

My work has earned an Accolade of Excellence by Wedding and Portrait Photographers International (WPPI), is published widespread in books and magazines, and has won me the Best of Weddings nod by The Knot Magazine eight years in a row. I’m a 2013 inductee into The Knot’s Best of Weddings Hall of Fame, an honor only a few US photographers share. Read more »

Edumacation

I graduated with Highest Distinction from University of Virginia, despite refusing to wear a bow tie or orange pants. My capstone thesis explored economic and human prosperity within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, and will put you to sleep faster than two Ambien. Before that, I played hockey at Western Michigan University (Go Broncos!) before hanging up my skates to serve as Resident Advisor for the most notorious freshman hall.

Before Photography

meticulous

I spent 10 years as Partner and Creative Director at Meticulous Design Group, a design firm I co-founded in Washington DC. The coolest experience was winning 2 VH1 music awards. The most rewarding experience was helping the US State Department fight human trafficking.

Giving Back

When I’m not photographing weddings, I volunteer much of my time to nonprofit organizations in the community. I’ve recently been involved with organizations like the American Red Cross, Jewish Family Services of Tidewater, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the Dominion Derby Girls, the Virginia Beach Jaycees, and the YWCA of South Hampton Roads. I’ve also spent time volunteering around New Orleans, where I’ve provided complimentary family portraits to those who’ve lost everything to hurricanes and flooding.

Random Quickfacts
Sleeping Bear Dunes

I was born in Michigan, raised in Virginia, and now split my time between the two most beautiful coasts of each. My heart is full when I’m driving with the windows down through Leelanau or Pungo.

Three Musketeers

The queen of my idolatry is a classy lady who is a thousand times smarter than I. At one point, we had visited every Giant Panda in the Western Hemisphere. 🐼

Leelanau in Winter - Honey Glazed Salmon

When I’m not taking pictures, I’m busy cooking the heck out of some delicious food and ambitiously working my way through Thomas Keller’s French Laundry Cookbook.

Whistler Mountain Summit

My all-time favorite winter tradition is skiing Whistler Blackcomb’s Ridge Runner at 7:59am, before anyone else has gotten there. Skiing flat-out at 50mph+ is the closest to flying like a bird that I have ever felt.

ILS at KPVG

I’m a big aviation nerd and my proudest moment was making a successful instrument landing during my very first lesson.

Justin Hankins, Artist in Residence

This is easily the most flattering picture of me.