Hanel was born in NYC and grew up in Moscow, Russia, where he performed on the violin with his sister for legends including the late Rostropovich. He later moved to Charlotte, NC, where his love for photography began more than 10 years ago when his grandfather handed him his fully-manual vintage camera. As fate would have it, despite not having a clue about what he was doing, the beauty of his first roll of prints created a life-long love for photography.

In 2004, he transitioned fully to digital and has since traveled throughout Asia working on personal projects including one on Cambodia and another on China. Through these projects, he has found his passion for documenting people, their cultures, and human relationships through portraiture. Over the years, this passion extended into a love for capturing the warmth and tenderness between engaged couples. His wedding photography portfolio is available at weddingsbyhanel.com.

Being an English major, his style is heavily influenced by the literary world and the power of story-telling. His main focus is to create images that tell his clients’ stories through poetic visual narrations. Although not formally journalistic, his style incorporates elements of journalism and editorial form.

He is available for assignments anywhere world wide.