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About Justin

Photograph 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’m an award-winning photographer who travels around the world documenting the happiest moments in people’s lives. I’m pretty decent at making beautiful photographs, but I’m amazing at holding your hand through this whole chaotic experience. (It’s all going to be okay, I promise!)

Photography Experience

Journeyman Distillery Three Oaks Michigan Photographer

From lively, 700-person extravaganzas to intimate, 2-person elopements, I’ve photographed hundreds and hundreds of weddings over the past 19 years. 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. Read more about my approach »

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.


My work has earned Accolades 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 fourteen 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 »

Best Wedding Photographer in Virginia

Giving Back to the Community

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.



Before Photography

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.



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.


Random Quickfacts

Sleeping Bear Dunes in Autumn

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.


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. 🐼


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.


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.


Speaking of flying: I’m a big aviation nerd and my most bragworthy moment was making a successful instrument landing during my very first lesson.


This is the most flattering picture of me.

Recently on Instagram…

Congratulations on your engagement!

Hi, there! My name is Justin Hankins, and I’d like to photograph the happiest day of your life. I have a reputation for taking incredible care of couples just like you, and can’t wait to surprise and delight you!

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