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

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WHY I LOVE SHOOTING FILM… A LOOK BACK

It’s funny how an experience that was once terrifying is now liberating.

In 2009, I made an investment in a photography workshop that, truthfully, changed my business.  It altered my vision.  Maybe I already had the spark in me and the workshop ignited it, but it was a really special experience.  I realize this more 5 years later.  The decision to go the workshop was a difficult one.  Of course, I wanted to, but I wasn’t sure it would be worth it. Did I mention the workshop was in Italy?  There were a lot of ways I could’ve spent a few thousand dollars as a relatively new business owner (just two years in at this point).

But, for whatever reason (can’t really recall now), I decided to go.  The workshop was hosted by one of the leaders in the photography industry, Jose Villa.  If you’re a photographer, you’ve definitely seen his work.  If you’re a bride or groom, you’ve probably seen his work and can appreciate the beauty and draw inspiration for your own wedding.  It’s like SMP over on Jose’s blog!  Jose is pretty much like the Justin Timberlake of the photography industry (I really had to sit and think of a superstar that could accurately be paralleled to Jose.  This was the best I could do!  Jose is famous in the industry, but he’s not a passing trend.  His talent is undeniable.  His work is classic and always beautiful, ethereal, and inspirational.)  But, beyond all that, Jose is a really giving person who has probably impacted the lives and businesses of many. He’s humble and a great guy (as I like to imagine JT is!) and I believe he gives his workshops his all.

At the workshop in Italy, Jose surprised the attendees with a day trip to Florence to explore and take photos.  You can read more about that here.  The catch was that we could only bring one camera and one lens.  Though now I always travel utilizing this method (I’m talking strictly personal trips, of course), when Jose first presented this challenge, it was terrifying.  It was the terrifying experience I was referring to in the opening line of this blog post.  I decided to embrace it and bring a film camera that I received at the workshop.  I could’ve brought my fancy new MkII.  At the time, I was shooting ALL digital.  I didn’t have much experience with film and I only had three rolls at my disposal.  But I took a chance.  And fell in love with film.  I think I subconsciously knew before the workshop that I wanted to shoot film (why else would I spend thousands of dollars on a workshop hosted by a film shooter?!), but the workshop sealed the deal for me.  I slowly started introducing film into my work, but after the workshop I saw a drastic change in my digital work too.

Now I shoot primarily film, and I love it because it forces me to slow down and enjoy the process.  I actually enjoy waiting for images to be processed.  It seems simpler.  I’m all about slowing down and simplifying (in all areas of my life and business).  So film seems fitting.  I love the way skin looks on film.  I love the colors.  I love the latitude.  Each artist has their own preferences and film just speaks to me.  Everything looks prettier on film.

This blog post isn’t an endorsement for film.  It’s not an argument for film vs. digital.  It’s not an endorsement for attending Jose’s workshop, or attending workshops in general (though I do endorse attending Jose’s workshop, for the record!).  It’s just about taking a chance, finding your passion.  Having fun and enjoying the process.  I never shared these first film images I took in Florence that day.  These images are captured on a Holga.  The memories from this day are really important to me.  I was with a group of people that I had only known for 3 or 4 days, but together we ventured to Florence. Little did I know that these people would still be very much in my life 5 years later.

florence_holga_color_01 florence_holga_color_02 florence_holga_color_03 florence_holga_color_05florence_holga_color_07

Renee Trubai - Gorgeous Laura, the words and the photographs. I remember you telling me about the film camera only trip to Florence when we met. I’m so happy to see how your work has evolved, it’s beautiful.
I only remember a handful of people that day (I too was star struck!) but you’re one of the ones I remember best x

Jody savage - I was so excited to see this post!! You are such an inspiration to me and my photography journey!! I cannot wait for Jose’s
Workshop and I am so glad I have met you in my own journey!! Thank you
for posting- lovely work as always! xx

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DOGS ON FILM

It’s no secret that I love dogs! I love spoiling my little pup and it’s likely no coincidence that many of my clients have special furry family members too! I always smile when I’m planning a session with someone and they ask permission to bring along their dog… OBVIOUSLY, YES!! I’ve had countless cute pups in the studio and along for photo sessions. Clients (without dogs!) have jokingly ask if my contract requires my clients to have dogs.  No, really.  I’ve been asked.  I thought it’d be fun to compile photos of some of the cute pups I’ve been privileged to capture on film over the last year- these are only photos from my most recent archives, and I apologize in advance if I missed someone (it’s not easy task going through hundreds of shoots and weddings!)

PS- I’m trying to come up with a hashtag for all the pup pictures I share on Instagram- specifically of pups that come into my studio. Perhaps something with my name/studio/dogs all rolled into one? Suggestions appreciated!












































Patricia - yes – it appears you have a Cuteness factor clause in your contract.

Gorgeous spirit and light here.

Not easy with film manual focus.

Jenny - SO CUTE! Love the Vizsla licking the groom!

Helgs - Ever single face is special! Brilliant images L!

Macailah Maxwell - I love this post Laura! Every dog is special!:)

Butch McCartney - Love this blog post Laura!!! #ivanodogs? #DoguesDeIvanova?

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2013 | YEAR IN REVIEW

2013.  If I could only use one word to summarize the year, it would be grateful.  I am so grateful to my husband, my family, my friends, my team, and my clients who support my business.  My little dream that turned into an immensely satisfying, fulfilling career.  I feel so grateful for the trust my clients place in me.  For the invitation to be a part of such a joyous day in their lives.  It’s a gift.  I feel very lucky.

2013 was also a challenging year.  Personally I faced a loss that still hurts.  But, it brought two new joys into my life. I may have worked a bit too much, and neglected my husband at times! I’m continuously working on finding balance in my life.  I road tripped through the deserts of California, journeyed to Italy (for an incredible wedding), embraced my muffin top (!!!) in Montreal, took my first big solo trip (not counting studying abroad in college), made an emergency trip to NYC for Christmas (to have dental work done, not fun!), and explored a few other little places.  I photographed weddings in Minneapolis, Chicago, New York, Capri, and lots of small towns, and woodsy, up-north destinations in between.  I had a blast with my team.  They make road trips and plane rides way more fun.  Whitney, Mandi, Jesi (and Jill, even though you’re not around as much anymore!)- you’re the best!!

I wanted to share a few images from all the sweet couples we had the privilege of photographing this year.  Heart = full.  Love to you all!!

PS- Check out 2012, 2011 and 2009!




































































Kelsy McCartney - Congratulations on a BEAUTIFUL year, Laura!! Stunning locations, adorable couples with great style, and the most romantic images – LOVE! :)

Emilia Jane - Cheers to a beautiful year! Your work is incredible.

jody savage - absolutely stunning Laura. You are SO gifted! LOVE! cant wait to see what’s in store for you this year!

Annie Wiegers - Lovely… simply lovely! So glad you that you are able to bless these couples with your beautiful gift :)

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ITALIA

While in Capri, Italy for Seth & Nancy’s gorgeous wedding and session, I took a few days to explore the island and shoot some personal work. Thanks to my amazing friend, assistant, and #teamivanova hashtag purveyor, Jesi, for coming with me on this trip and for the pics of myself below!!














jeff denapoli - these are gorgeous! the colors… wow. the one with the boats and hillside in the background is amazing. do you ever sell prints?

Jesi - Love this!!! Xoxo

Andrew Stott - Wow, Laura! No offense to your amazing wedding photography (and clients, heh) but this is some of the most beautiful photography that I’ve seen you blog! What an absolutely gorgeous set of images!

Nancy - I love the lighting on the boats!!! Absolutely gorgeous pictures!!!!

Lacie Schoch - These are SUCH great picture. I’m amazed by your talent!!

2013 | YEAR IN REVIEW » Laura Ivanova Photography | FILM WEDDING & LIFESTYLE PHOTOGRAPHER IN MINNEAPOLIS & NEW YORK CITY - […] brought two new joys into my life.  I road tripped through the deserts of California, journeyed to Italy (for an incredible wedding), embraced my muffin top (!!!) in Montreal, took my first big solo trip […]

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BROOKLYN BOTANIC GARDENS

A few weeks ago I visited the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens for the very first time so I could scope out photo locations for an upcoming summer wedding. It was nearly the perfect time, as the cherry blossoms were in peak bloom. I visited on a afternoon that forecasted rain, so the gardens were quite empty and I was able to enjoy a few quiet hours wandering around and taking pictures on my favorite film camera, just for fun.  Lucky for me, it didn’t rain a drop ’til after I left.  I think this will be a beautiful spot for wedding photos. Enjoy!






Urška Majer - Looks like a really beautiful place :)

Kelsy McCartney - What a beautiful place! I would be in absolute heaven here, coffee in hand :) Gorgeous images, Laura! The purple flowing over that wooden pergola is SO pretty!!

Butch McCartney - Beautiful pictures Laura! Your colors are so good!

Kristen - Wow! What a beautiful place! It looks so dreamy.

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