Laura Ivanova Photography | FILM WEDDING & LIFESTYLE PHOTOGRAPHER IN MINNEAPOLIS & NEW YORK CITY »

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ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE LENS

Happy Friday everyone!! I’m so excited to share this beautiful little blog post with you today! My husband and I (and our pup!) recently had the oppurtunity to be photographed by Kelsy & Butch of The McCartneys Photography. We are so smitten with them and so excited about our gorgeous images!! I thought it’d be fun to share our experience on the other side of the camera and give you some tips for your own session!

1.  CHOOSE THE PERFECT PHOTOGRAPHER.  Take the time to search for the perfect photographer- one who’s vision you love, and equally importantly, someone who you can have fun with!  Browse through potential photographers portfolios and make sure you love their work and you can picture yourself in their photos.  Can you envision them hanging in your home?  Are your styles a good match?  After you’ve determined a good fit, take the time to connect with your photographer on a personal level.  For my husband and I this was just as important as the photos themselves.  We feel awkward being photographed.  It’s just not natural to have someone capturing your every move!  It was really important to us to have a photographer(s) who could help us relax, make us laugh, and make the process light and fun!!  Kelsy and Butch were the perfect choice for us- because we love their work and trust them 100%, we were able to just focus enjoying the moment, and didn’t have to think about where to put our hands, or if my hair was out of place.

2. SCHEDULE YOUR SESSION. I decided on about November 20th that we needed updated pictures for our annual holiday card. This really isn’t adequate time. {I’m hanging my head in shame.}  Do yourself a favor, lower your stress levels, and plan in advance!  It’s never too early to book your session, and of course, be sure to consider what you’ll be using the photos for.  Maybe you’re engaged and want to use them for save-the-dates, which generally go out about 6 months before your wedding date.  Maybe you want updated images for holiday cards.  Consider the date you want the photos in your hands, and be sure to let your photographer know when scheduling so your session date can planned accordingly.  Build in extra time so there is no rush.  Keep in mind that fickle weather may also call for rescheduling.  If this is the case, rain, snow or otherwise unpleasant weather could mean your session occurs later than originally planned.

3.  HIRE A HAIR & MAKEUP ARTIST.  Ladies, trust me, this is a must.  Don’t even think about skimping here!!  I cannot understate the value of hiring a really talented hair and makeup artist to help you look your best.  It’s pretty rare to get your hair and makeup done, but I think a photo session with your significant other is certainly a special occasion.  It’s so fun to be pampered and if you look your best you’ll feel much more confident in front of the camera.  Big, big thanks to my lovely friend Julie of Julie Swenson Beauty for my hair and makeup for my shoot.  Bridal bonus: use this as a time to get to know the artist that will be beautifying you on your big day!!

Also, as a side note, the day of your session is NOT the time for a new haircut or highlights, just in case anything goes awry.  I’d recommend doing these services at least 3-4 days prior to your session unless you really know and trust your hair stylist.

4.  STYLE YOUR SHOOT.  Start planning the overall look and feel of your session.  It’s NOT too early to start a pinboard or begin communicating with your photographer.  Maybe you have a strong vision in your head, or maybe you don’t.  Either way, open up a dialogue with your photographer (and your significant other).  You’ve chosen to hire a professional and they are there to help you!  If you need suggestions, your photographer should have ideas.  Personally, I love when my clients share their pinboards or images they like.  Usually when we brainstorm together, we come up with the best ideas.  It’s always fun to incorporate meaningful locations (if you find them visually beautiful) like your alma mater campus, the park where he proposed, your first date spot, etc.  If your location doesn’t have meaning, that’s ok too.  It’s ok to pick something just because it’s pretty.  After all, the photos are more about the subject, less about the background.

Once you have a general idea for the overall look & location(s) (whether it be urban, farm, grassy fields, lakeside, etc.) start to think how your wardrobe, hair & makeup, (and potential props) will tie in.  For our session, I knew I wanted to do two different looks and I wanted them to be soft and neutral with pops of pattern.

5.  SHOP TIL YOU DROP!  This is the fun part, but it can be stressful if you wait until two days before your shoot.  DO NOT WAIT UNTIL LAST MINUTE to start shopping!  {Again, I hang my head in shame.  Totally guilty.  And it caused me so much stress and scrambling.} Even if you have a vision, you may not be able to find exactly what you’re looking for, so you need to be flexible and give yourself time.  I wanted our two separate looks to still be cohesive so the images from the entire session would flow together.  Unfortunately, the weather on the day of our session was chilly to say the least, so we only had a few minutes with our second look (see #7!).  It’s ok if the two looks aren’t cohesive, in fact, some couples want completely different looks, but for me, I wanted consistency.  Regardless of the look you’re going for, shopping in advance and actually trying on the selected outfits with your significant other will save a lot of stress.  I went shopping with my bestie (a far superior option to dragging my husband to the mall) and we had so much fun picking out outfits.  I found that it was easy to shop for my wardrobe (hello Jcrew), but a bit harder to find coordinating clothes for my hubby.  I ended purchasing several options for him and trying them on together when I brought them home.  (We kept the tags on so we could return the items we didn’t want.)  We were so glad we tried on the items the day before the shoot, because when we stood together in the mirror, some options just didn’t work like I thought they would in the store.  It’s much better to see this in person, at home, rather than on location at your session.

6.  DON’T FORGET ACCESSORIES.  The icing on the cake.  I think accessories add so much to a shoot, and life in general!  This doesn’t just apply to the ladies.  Guys, make sure your shoes coordinate with your looks and don’t be shy about adding little touches like your favorite watch or Ray Bans.  Girls; scarves, jewelry, or the perfect shoes can really complete the look, so don’t forget about styling from head to toe.  Another tip, if you’re going to be walking from location to location, save your strength for looking fab in the photos and bring along a comfortable pair of shoes to walk in.

7.  BE FLEXIBLE.  Things may not go according to plan.  Just laugh it off and enjoy your session.  Relax.  For example, the day of our session it was probably about 30 degrees; quite chilly for fall!  Our second look involved me in an adorable Alexa Chung silk polka dot blouse (there is one pic below).  The wind cuts through silk like a knife, so I lasted about 3.5 minutes outside in that outfit.  Rather than torturing ourselves and our lovely photographers, we decided to be flexible and end the session a bit earlier than planned.

I have lots more tips for a successful session, but I hope these little tidbits help.  If you have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out.  I am happy to share my experience in front of, and behind, the lens!!  It’s good for me to be in front of the camera every once in a while so I know how it feels for my clients.

Here are a few favorites from our session!!  Of course, if you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, you know that we recently added a new (doggie) member to the family, so I’m sure I’ll have new photos to share when the weather gets a bit warmer.  Another big, huge thank you to our friends Kelsy & Butch for capturing these images we will treasure forever!!









Ami @ Elizabeth Anne Designs - You three are precious! What an adorable furbaby you have!

KELSY, BUTCH & PARKER | MY FAVORITE LITTLE FAMILY » Laura Ivanova Photography | FILM WEDDING & LIFESTYLE PHOTOGRAPHER IN MINNEAPOLIS & NEW YORK CITY - […] and business flourish. Isn’t their work incredible?! I’m lucky that they’ve documented my family too. I feel like I couldn’t say more than I’ve already said in the past, so check out […]

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FEATURED | ELIZABETH ANNE DESIGNS

We’ve recently had FOUR gorgeous features on one of my favorite wedding inspiration blogs, Elizabeth Anne Designs!  Sarah & Ryan’s fun engagement session (on matching red Schwinns, no less!) was featured, Elena & Andrew’s fabulous Chicago soiree, and Heather & John’s James J. Hill Library wedding in downtown Saint Paul.   I absolutely adore my stylish, savvy clients who plan such blog-worthy engagement and weddings!!  Lastly, an editorial shoot that I photographed and helped style in Chicago was featured.

Not only that, but I was extended an invitation to be a part of EAD’s exlusive vendor listing!   I’m so honored and excited to be the newest member of such a wonderful community and I want to thank the ladies at EAD for asking me to be a part of it all!  Please check out my really-pretty-thanks-to-them vendor listing right here!!

Be sure to check out these fantastic features and the Elizabeth Anne Designs blog and Facebook Page for prettiness galore!

Ami @ Elizabeth Anne Designs - Thank you so much for the kind words Laura – we love you to pieces! xoxo

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2012 | YEAR IN REVIEW

Best year ever.  How did 2012 fly by so quickly?!  I think I was warned that time starts to go faster as you get older. ;) I wanted to write a little post to close out 2012 and thank you, my amazing clients, friends, and family for your unending support. I know I wax poetic about this, but I am a lucky gal. I absolutely love being a photographer and my heart is filled to the brim with emotion for all the amazing people I’ve met along the way.  I love the beginning of a new year because not only is it the perfect time to plan and make goals (and, boy do I love planning!), but it’s also a great time for reflection.

It’s so hard to succinctly represent an entire year of really important moments in peoples’ lives, but I wanted to share some of my film favorites from 2012.  (I apologize if this mega long post kills your internet!) I’m going to try to do this every year, because even if it’s just for my own personal reference, I really enjoyed looking back at 2011 and 2009 (and wish I would’ve done this in 2010, 2008, and 2007!!).  While I was going through the archives and gathering these images, I thought back to each and every one of these weddings and sessions and I have a HUGE smile on my face because of my fabulous, joyful, thoughtful, stylish clients.  I can’t adequately express how amazing you all are.  Not only that, but you all plan such gorgeous weddings!  WOW!!!

I also have to thank my team, Whitney, Mandi, and Jill for everything they do. I love these gals to pieces and am so thankful for their talent and friendship. Photographing weddings is even more fun with them by my side. In 2012, we had adventures in Minneapolis, New York, Chicago, Mexico, road trips up north, flights to Boston, road trips around New England, and we had too much fun along the way.  We also ate copious amounts of cake, and sweets.  (Brides and grooms, we are still loving dessert tables.  I think we starting seeing these a couple years ago and we seriously hope this delicious trend never ends!!)

Personally, I traveled a lot too (sometimes with my husband, a rare bonus!!) and visited some really amazing places on this little globe like Bulgaria, Paris, Portland, Bayfield, Boston, Cape Cod, Chicago, and New Orleans to name a few.  I have lots of exciting travels and destination weddings planned for 2013 and can’t wait to share.  Big things are happening.

Cheers to a fresh new year and I’m wishing you all lots of love, joy, and light in your life.










































































Helgi - LOVE

Laura - This is the most beautiful year :)

Holly - LOVE LOVE LOVE this! Everything is so beautiful (as always) :)

sarah wu - And you play an important role in my 2012 year! :) You took so many beautiful photos for your clients. You are so talented and lucky to do what you love always. Best wishes Laura
XOXO
Sarah

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ASHLEY & JOSHUA | FALL WEDDING ON FILM

Ashley & Joshua were married on a chilly fall day in rural southwest Minnesota. We started the day at Ashley’s parent’s farm house, where the girls prepped for the big day. Ashley wore her mother’s refashioned wedding dress from the 1980s, which was such a sentimental, beautiful touch. In fact, the entire day was filled with unique details, including Grandpa’s old classic Ford, the cake baked by Grandma and more. Not only that, but Ashley, Joshua and their families are such kind, genuine people. From the moment we stepped in the front door, we were treated like family, and everyone was so sweet and caring throughout the day. Ashley & Joshua, I wish you a lifetime of happiness! Enjoy the preview!





















Amanda - What a small world! My cousin is one of the bridesmaids. Beautiful wedding.

Helgi - I die!!!!! So, so beautiful!!!!

Kayla Illies - Hey Laura!

I wish I would’ve known you were in Marshall!!!! I don’t know the couple personally but some of the wedding party I graduated high school with! And some of the locations you used are very familiar as I too use them! Let me know next time your in the area! We should get together for some coffee! :)

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NICOLE & TREVOR | ST PAUL SOIREE WITH MI MI WEDDINGS

Nicole & Trevor were married on rainy October day.  You know what they say about rain on your wedding day! ;)  Nicole and Trevor don’t need luck though, they are an incredibly grounded couple, surrounded by loving friends and family (who seriously know how to party!) and so sweet and in love.  And, to top it all off, they have great style.  I was enamored with Nicole’s entire look and what girl can resist a pair of glittery heels?!  It’s all about attitude, and Nicole and Trevor were all smiles and joy, despite the less-than-ideal forecast.  We made the most of the rain and found some gorgeous spots where we could take shelter and still get the outdoor images they dreamed of.   Thanks to the fabulous vendors, especially the Amys from Mi Mi Weddings and the girls at L’atelier Couture for styling Nicole to perfection!


























Ceremony: The Cathedral of St. Paul
Reception: 317 on Rice Park
Entertainment: Instant Request
Wedding Gown: Romona Keveza from L’atelier Couture Bridal
Bridesmaid Gowns: Amsale from Flutter Boutique
Flowers, Stationery, Event Design & Coordination: Mi Mi Weddings
Decor & Linens: mi mi weddings and Linen Effects
Cake: Buttercream Bakery
Hair/Makeup: Emily J Hair + Makeup
Bride’s shoes: Kate Spade
Handbag: Nelle
Groomsmen Attire: Jos A. Bank
Wedding Rings: Tiffany & Co.

Caitlin Sullivan - GORGE!

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