My Story

My name is Michelle Hanson.  I was born and raised in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  I lived in Oregon for almost one year, spent 3 years on cruise ships, and have been in Anchorage, Alaska since July 2021.

6 continents and 83 countries later, I have accumulated a variety of photos, stories and experiences that I wish to share with you in hopes of making a positive difference in your outlook towards life and humanity.

This site is meant to provide summarized, photographic insight to a variety of locations as well as inspirational guidance for seeking travel, adventure and dream chasing. 

I understand circumstances may prevent you from being able to dive right in, but even living vicariously can be equally as effective and fulfilling.

Please feel free to reach out or follow me on social media if you are interested in obtaining any more information or would like to see more of my travels.

All photos, unless otherwise noted, are property of Michelle Hanson and mhphotoco. 

From as far back as I can remember, I have always had a soft spot for nature's beauty. 

Sunsets, animals, rainbows etc have always prompted me to want to preserve that moment in time - that moment of awe, inspiration and disbelief. 

This is what began my love of photography and wanting to share these moments with the world.

Moments that not only capture your eye, but awaken your soul.

I will be sharing these moments with you.  

This is my purpose.  

Growing Up

One of my earliest childhood memories dates back to sleeping downstairs by the fireplace, so I could get pictures of Santa and his reindeer when I heard him come down the chimney.  After waking up to footprints in the soot and half-eaten cookies, I was absolutely devastated. 

Needless to say, I didn't get my picture but the feeling to capture anything and everything that is unique, incredible or worth sharing continued to thrive within me.

Growing up, my parents lived on opposite sides of the country but they both exposed me to all forms of adventure and travel.  Road trips were the main source of transportation and reaching our destination was always a journey.  There is a special sense of freedom on the open road, with time to absorb your surroundings and time to reflect. 

I also started flying at a very young age, which taught me not only be fearless, but to be independent.  I met many people along the way, one of which I'll never forget.  Read about it here.

Back then, it was usually my mom capturing these experiences and providing me with the memories I will cherish forever. 

I now see that I can attribute a lot of this passion, skill and drive to her. 

Thanks Mom!

Ship Life

what its like working on cruise ship photographer

Ever wonder what it would be like to take a cruise, or better yet, work on a ship? 

There is something about waking up somewhere new every day that is very different, special and neat.  It really is a great way to travel, especially for those who like variety in their destinations without the hassle of coordinating all the logistics.  The only downfall with this is that time is limited and you may end up feeling like you didn't get to see/experience everything you wanted.   

This opportunity not only allowed me to "taste-test" a good variety of the world, but it provided the most transformational experience of my life. 

I lived in a fantasy; all the while being constantly reminded of reality.

I was introduced to new cultures, concepts and conclusions about what this life is capable of providing.

Starting out as a photographer, I shared a cabin with a fellow colleague.  The space was tiny and there was barely enough room for one person, let alone 2.  You quickly learn to work through your differences, and if you're lucky you'll walk away with a lifelong friend.

You work hard, you hardly sleep, and you never get a day off.  Based on your role, you may not make the same monetary value you could on land, but all your essentials are covered, and you are traveling the world.  This benefit alone made it completely worth it to me.

Food is available at every hour of the day, and you'll soon start to feel this on your waistband.

Internet connections are poor, and eventually you'll forget what day of the week it is. 

Holidays are only celebrated according to demographics, and season changes may or may not exist. 

It seems as if you are living in a bubble, as you begin to travel port by port, around the world.

My role as a photographer not only allowed me to escort many tours and excursions free of charge, but I was granted special permission in capturing some very memorable moments. 

Some of these moments include crossing the Panama Canal, and fetching ice from the arctic waters of the Polar Ice Cap.  Read about them here.

If you are interested in more details about becoming an on-board cruise ship photographer, click here.  

It could change your life.