Darrin Hackney Photography bio picture
  • Welcome!

    My name is Darrin Hackney and this blog is where I'll be posting what I'm up to. I live in Wichita, Kansas, have two Beagles (Steve & Maggie) and I like bacon. I love photographing people and I'm a sucker for any assignment that gives me the opportunity to travel.

The house seems pretty quiet after Maggie had been laid to rest. Either she just snored that loud or she had more of a presence in the house than I realized. Something new for Steve is he now sleeps next to my bed in my bedroom. This is new because he would never sleep in my room unless it was thundering out or kids were still lighting fireworks outside. Steve likes to spend time with me out on the front porch while I catch up on emails. He also gets to pee on his new favorite tree out by the street. These were things that didn’t happen when Maggie was around. Could we have done these things when she was around, yes, but that wasn’t our life back then.

I believe we’re both still a little sad she’s not around but life goes on.

And life gives Steve a new tree to pee on



Steve watching life go by

  • July 22, 2014 - 9:56 am

    Michele - Lucky Steve – a new tree to pee on!! Hard losing a loved pet…

  • July 22, 2014 - 10:27 am

    Darrin H - Thank you, Michele

  • July 22, 2014 - 9:32 pm

    Undrell - Maggie was so special, I know you miss her but you have lots of awesome pictures to remember her by.

  • October 21, 2014 - 10:39 am

    Darrin H - Thank you, Undrell

I’ve had Maggie for almost 14 years, her 14th birthday is in July, and for the past 9 years she’s had to endure being my test model for every camera, lens, and studio light I’ve ever purchased. She would sit there and patiently wait while I figured out whatever technique I was wanting to practice on and she knew there would be a treat or a quick game of tug o’ war with her favorite toy after I was done.

The photo of Maggie in black and white was taken on a makeshift home studio setup I made consisting of a white sheet, and one light on camera left. The image was taken in 2007. The image on the right was taken in my dining room in front of the steps to the den about a month ago.

One of the best things Maggie helped me get better at was looking for eye connection from my subjects. Definitely, not an easy task with a dog. Squirrell!

So a big high-five to Maggie and her support. She’s helped me more than she’ll ever know

Light test model

Maggie has been my light test model since I first got into photography back in 1995

I often get asked if it’s necessary to bring along studio lighting to my outdoor portrait sessions and I always answer with a solid “yes”. I look at all types of lighting and lighting modifiers as tools in a toolbox. No mechanic just keeps a set of pliers in his toolbox when a screwdriver, a hammer or a saw could also come in handy. I feel having a variety of modifiers (tools) allows me to have options. When I’m on location, light is usually always available but what is it’s quality? If I don’t like the quality, what do I have in my lighting “toolbox” that I could use to make the photo that much better? In the image below I was on location with Omar & Kacie for their engagement session and I was working with 7pm harsh light. To bring the sky back, a reflector wouldn’t have been powerful enough and my SB900 speed light at full power wouldn’t have been powerful enough. That’s when my 1,000 watt strobe light comes to the rescue to help overpower the sun and help bring the sky back. In crazy lighting scenarios like this I get out my light meter to help determine the quality of light because now I’m surrounded by the sun on one side of my couple and a strobe light on the other.

Natural light is nice but I feel it’s flat. I like vivid images and I like texture and studio strobes help me achieve that

Using strobe lights outside for portraits

Strobe vs Natural Light

  • May 9, 2014 - 9:08 am

    Susane Gruning - Thank you.

  • May 9, 2014 - 9:21 am

    Darrin H - You’re welcome!

Abode Venue may have been a furniture store back in the day but now it’s one of the coolest wedding venues in town. Wedding? Yes, weddings. Most people only know Abode Venue for their ability to hold lavish receptions and concerts but the front area can be converted into one of the coolest wedding halls in town.

Want to be married in a huge circle with all your friends and family surrounding you as you and your loved one exchange your vows? No problem. Here’s a sample setup of what that looks like:

Abode Venue Circular Wedding Set-Up

Abode Venue Circular Set-Up

circular wedding set-up

The Not Wedding featuring a Circular Set-Up

Circular Wedding Chair Setup

Circular Wedding Chair Set-Up


You can also have your wedding ceremony on the south side of the venue where you’re in the front and all your family and friends are in rows watching. Here’s an example from John & Robyn’s fun wedding:

fun wedding photographer in Kansas

Abode Venue Straight Chair Set-Up


In both scenarios the wedding party and the bride enter in thru the big black curtains that separate the front room from the back room:

fun wedding venue in wichita kansas

The Brides Entrance

Call 316-267-1330 and talk to Kyle if you have more questions.


When I walked into the hotel I could hear Jazz music coming from the bar area off to my left. Two musicians were playing smooth jazz to a small audience that included the clients I was meeting for a small elopement portrait session.

The photo session was going to be small and would consist of photos with the attending family members and then a quick 30 minute romantic photo tour of Old Town.

The weather was perfect and so were they. The love they had for each other showed and made it easy for me to capture them at their best. Below is a highlight reel from their photo tour. Choose 720HD for best video results.

F a c e b o o k