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Category Archives: business & life


I captured this image on my Holga in September. I’m not quite sure what happened to this image (maybe some inadvertent sun exposure) but I sort of like the effect. A happy mistake, one of the many reasons I love shooting film! :) Happy Friday friends!!

Rachel - LOVE the affect! This is a piece of art my friend!



To say I’m obsessed with Pinterest is an understatement of sorts! Let’s just say, if I had to choose between Pinterest, Facebook or a lifetime supply of Dairy Queen Blizzards, it would be a tough decision! If you’ve never heard of or used Pinterest, in a nutshell, it’s a digital bulletin board that allows you to “pin” images that you find online. Users can organize their pins into specific boards and categories. Much like Twitter, you can follow people to see what they are pinning, and likewise, other users can follow you or your individual boards. I know, I know, one more social media application to stay up to date with, but I actually find Pinterest to be extremely useful for my business (and of course, just for fun!).

I wanted to share Pinterest with my blog readers, because in talking to my clients, I’m realizing that many people haven’t heard of Pinterest or have no idea what it is. For the brides out there reading this, I think Pinterest is especially useful because you could use it to organize your wedding day inspirations. I know when I was a bride, I came across so many fabulous ideas online, but had no way to organize things except by saving images to my computer or bookmarking a thousand random links that I could never remember why I liked in the first place. Pinterest would be a perfect place and you could create boards for “dresses,” “florals,” stationery,” etc. Oh divine!! When you pin an image, Pinterest retains the original URL so you can come back to the website if needed. So handy.

Join me on Pinterest!


abby - i’ve been waiting a few days since i requested an invite from the website… do you know how long it usually takes? it looks soooo cool… just from the main page alone, there are so many things i want to pin and repin! :)

Laura - Gosh, Abby, I think it took maybe 3-4 days for me to get approved?! You’ll love it once you get to start pinning away! :-)



My home base in the Big Apple!

Nicki - Pretty photos! I love the old streets down there. Any desire to check out Brooklyn? We still need swap travel stories one of these days!

s h e r r y - My friend and I stayed at a hostel in the financial district when we were there in May. Ahhh, I miss New York SOOO much. Can’t wait to go back! ;D

chelsea - I absolutely love your work! I am the assistant for Staja Studios and have checked your blog periodically since you spoke at the PUG meeting a little over a year ago. Your pictures have such a “fresh-memory” feel to them. Your images are very inspiring and motivating to someone like me who is just peeking in the door of the photography world. Thanks for what you do!!!

McKenzie - I am SOO envious!



Adios dearest friends! I’m headed out of town from Saturday, November 6 through Sunday, November 14. My first stop is Mexico for the Jose Villa Workshop. Oh yeah, I’m so excited! I went to Jose’s workshop last fall in Italy, and it changed my life. My business has improved and changed is so many ways and I met some amazing friends who I connect with practically every day. Like, we plan reunions all over the country, and email, and tweet, and Facebook, and Skype. These ladies are amazing, but more on them coming after our Chicago reunion in early December! :-)

Many are probably wondering why I’d go to the same workshop again… well, there are many reasons, but the main reason is that I’ll be shooting exclusively in film this time around! I’ll definitely be blogging a workshop summary and images, so watch for that in coming posts.

After the Mexico workshop, I fly straight to Jacksonville, Florida to second shoot a wedding with my awesome friend, Melissa, who I met at the Italy workshop last year! Pretty cool, huh? Melissa came up to Minneapolis over the summer to shoot Anne & Noah’s wedding with me (which was featured on Style Me Pretty!), so I can’t wait to work with her again. I’m also excited for warm weather, friends, relaxing, learning and shooting a ton of film! Many blog posts are sure to follow.

While I’m gone, I will not have telephone access and email will be delayed. Thanks in advance for your patience!


PS- Just because blog posts are boring without pictures, here are a few of my favorite shots from Italy last fall!

Shoot Credits:
Coordination- Jose Villa & Gene Higa
Hair + Makeup- Mar of Team Hair & Makeup
Styling- Matthew Johns
Models- Georgia & Omar
Location- Borgo di Fontebussi

Amy - too bad gio isn’t going to be in mexico…will you be bringing a cute spanish senor to wppi this year?

Melissa Schollaert - These photos make me smile. Can’t WAIT for Florida and to see you! Wow, I’ll see you twice in a month! Woohoo! Have a blast in Mexico chica! Adios y buen viaje!

Amanda - I can’t believe that was a year ago already! Congrats on all you’ve accomplished thus far. Looking forward to what you’ll do after this workshop! Oh, and that last pic has always been one of my favs. It looks like they’re standing in front of a watercolor background!

Tricia - I’m so jealous-Jose Villa’s workshop’s look amazing! Can’t wait to see your film images when you get back–your ‘eye’ is simply stunning!



I’m bursting at the seams! So excited to share and officially announce to my blog readers (I hope you’re out there!); I’m fulfilling a lifelong dream and moving part time to New York City!  Of course, I still travel the country (and the globe!) for weddings, but my home bases will now be in both Minneapolis and NYC!

Moving to NYC has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl. I always dreamed of living in the big city, sophisticated and fashionable, some high-powered career woman. Just a small-town girl from the midwest, living the dream. With 8 million other dreamers. It’s funny because I also love the country. I guess I’m an extremist. I’ll either be a hermit in the middle of nowhere, living off the land, or in the midst of the most action I can possibly create for myself. My husband and I have been living in Minneapolis for nearly 5 years now, most of that time spent living in our house, and believe it or not, this feels like an eternity for me. I actually miss the college days where we moved every 12 months. I crave change and I love a challenge. That’s probably why I went from architect to graphic designer to photographer to photographer/business owner all in the span of the last 6 years. I believe in setting goals and going after it. I always want to be the best I can be, push for the best, do big things.

Although I love change, I am feel so content being a photographer! I just want to explore other avenues of photography and creativity. I absolutely, with my whole heart, love my job. I ADORE MY JOB. I am so grateful that I get to do something I love; be with people on one of the most important days of their lives and help preserve family history and memories. I admit, there are times when I feel like I’m in a creative rut, but the feeling is quickly lost the second I see a bride or groom on their wedding day. It sounds crazy, but I somehow become immersed. I am inspired. I love weddings and although I must admit I’d love a Saturday off sometimes, it doesn’t get old! The lifestyle my job creates is just a huge perk- running a business, being my own boss, making my own schedule, connecting with with so many people (clients, vendors, creatives, artists, entrepreneurs). I feel so lucky to spend my life doing something I love. I feel happy!

One of my favorite perks of owning my own business is flexibility. My husband and I love to travel, so I purposely decided not to book winter weddings this year with the intention of moving to South or Central America to study Spanish. I studied abroad in college and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I was 22, not a care in the world… decided to jet off to Spain, with almost no Spanish experience to speak of. I didn’t know a soul. I was terrified to leave my then boyfriend, now husband, but I threw myself in 100%. There are a few things I wish I could go back and tell my 22-year-old self… things I would have done to take even more advantage of the amazing opportunity I was afforded. But no regrets.

Fast forward to 2010. I’ve been feeling landlocked in Minnesota and was coming up with crazy ideas of doing some sort of adult study abroad program while at the same time improving my Spanish language skills. I was going to do it… I still am, maybe in winter of 2012, but a trip to NYC in July altered my plans.

A fire was lit within me. I thought of my childhood dream. I thought about how I already had FIVE MONTHS with no scheduled shoots this winter. I thought, “I could go to Argentina, Costa Rica, Mexico…or, OR, I could fulfill my lifelong dream and go to New York.” Why not? The gears started churning.  I saw this amazing opportunity to expand my business and charge my creativity.

Since then, everything has fallen in place. I’m going to summarize because this post is becoming really long, but my college roommate, who I love to death and don’t see nearly often enough, suddenly had a vacancy in his apartment as his roommate is temporarily relocating. The same exact dates that I wanted to come to NY. People from NY or wanting to shoot in NY have been popping up on my radar left and right. I’ve been building connections with some amazing photographers, stylists, and designers. People have been reaching out and helping me… people I don’t even know. It’s so humbling and amazing. Even yesterday, after a discussion about my business and photography, a random person told me I should move to New York without any mention of my plans! Little signs have been popping up constantly, all telling me that this is the time in my life to do this. I guess the saying is true, “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” The icing on the cake is that I have amazing friends in NYC and a built in support system (here and there).

So, what am I going to do in NY? Shoot a ton of film. Work on a book I want to publish in the future. Assist, learn, and grow. Work on personal projects. RELAX. EXPLORE. I’ll also be Skyping (a lot) with existing and potential clients. I’m so grateful to have so many awesome weddings on the books for 2011 and I can Skype with future potential clients! For my current clients, I’m still there whenever you need me. I’m still working, my office will just be in my fab apartment (with a doorman, and a cleaning lady, and laundry, and a gym, BOOM!) in lower Manhattan. (Sorry, a bit excited! After countless nights stressing about the Craig’s List finds, I really hit the jackpot with the apartment situation.) I’ll be coming back to Minneapolis often throughout my 5 month stay and I already have engagement sessions scheduled with all of my current 2011 brides and grooms.

If you’ve made it this far. Thank you. I appreciate your time. This is a glimpse inside my head. I feel like I’m exposing myself and laying it all out there for the world to see. I may or may not have proofread this a hundred times and I’m sure it’s still full or grammatical errors and typos. During the planning stages of this move, I thought about money, paying a mortgage and rent, not having one single job booked in NYC, all the what-ifs. BUT, after laying this all out here on my blog, I’m strangely at peace. I’m excited for the new opportunities this will bring.

“Concrete jungle where dreams are made of.”

Tiffany - Congrats Laura! I hope you enjoy your new city. :)

Glenda - Ahhhhhh totally excited for you girl!!! I am such a city girl myself and I completely getcha!! Have a blast and please blog us through the winter here with all of your fun and excitement there!! Woo-Hoo!!

Jasmine - My heart is so happy for you and I am incredibly inspired! It’s so apparent that you are meant to be there and wow, what a beautiful adventure it’s going to be! I know I don’t know you very well, but since the day I met you, you seemed to be an NYC at heart and the passion in this post is amazing. You are doing what we all in our heart wish we could – going after the unknown…and I am so jealous! Congratulations and you have inspired us all to take a leap in life! Can’t wait to see your NYC blog posts!

Nicki - Congrats Laura! So exciting, and you sound like you certainly did hit the jackpot with the apartment! Amazing! From a fellow mpls travel addict, transplant in NYC, it’s really odd how living in NYC feels so much like a different country! You can get your travel fix domestically here. I’m sure you’re going to have an awesome winter! Welcome to NYC! :-)

Melissa Schollaert - CONGRATS LAURA!!! I’m so excited for you. Isn’t it amazing when you have that feeling of everything falling into place and a million signs telling you you’re doing the right thing?! Awesome. So happy for your winter adventure. I definitely smell an Italy Girl reunion coming on! I hope you have room for an air-mattress. :)

Amy Rabe - Wow! This is a shock and totally amazing. I love the cravings you have to do new and different things Laura. Garret and I will be excited and looking forward to hearing your stories and for you to be home to shoot August 20, 2011 :-) Good luck! New York is so fab.

kirsten - can’t wait to watch the destiny unfold. and… nyc for nye. holler!

Vilmarie - GAH!!! So so SOOOO very happy for you Laura! This is a fantastic opportunity. I have no doubt that you’ll be making things happen (kickin’ ass and taking names) in NYC. I do hope you keep us all posted on your adventure! Can’t wait to see what amazing things will come of this for you :-)

Emily Steffen - OH Hooray hooray hooray for you! :) I can’t wait to see how NYC treats you….you will soar there Laura…you just will! :) :) :)

Stacy Able - I second what Melissa said– you better have a air mattress as we’ll all want to visit!! SO excited for you and completely understand every word you’ve written! Way to go for taking the leap and may I build the courage to follow your lead!

Mike Jones - Amazing! I have always wanted to live in NYC or even visit, I envy you! Surprised you wouldn’t want to stay.

Tabetha - Laura,
I’m so excited for you!! What a GREAT opportunity for you! You will learn so much out there! And as Vilmarie said, keep us all posted on your grand adventures in the Big City! Chat soon!

Sherri - Oh, Laura! I’m so excited for you! Your raw words are so inspiring and full of ambition and passion. I can’t stop smiling for you – congrats!!

Jessica - I’m so proud of you Laura for following your dreams, you are doing amazing things and your work astounds me every time you post new sessions! I can’t wait to see your beautiful film photos capturing New York over the next few months. Congrats!!!

Helgi - Oh My Goood! Tousand of goose-bumps running up and down rightnow on my whole body! I am even more excited to have you here!!!!!

Joy Lengyel - Very excited for you, Laura! Congrats! Can’t wait to see where this all takes you! :)

Amy - ooohh this just gets me so excited!!! i can’t wait to hear all about your wonderful and amazing experiences that you have in nyc!

Emily S - Wow! Way to follow your dreams. I’ve been so excited for you ever since John told me about this. I can’t wait to hear about your adventures!!

eliesa - That a girl! Congratulations on going big or going home! You are going to LOVE NYC…and I’ll just have to come and visit! :0) LOVEe

Lia Middlebrook - Laura, that is fabulous news! How very exciting. As someone with never-ending wanderlust, I completely understand what it means to follow your heart to the far (and near!) corners of the world. I can’t wait to see photos and hear about your adventures!

Ina D - Sweet news, lady! I am so glad you’re taking the plunge and scratching that itch… you will have a blast, I have no doubt. I am just not sure you would ever want to go back to the Midwest after this adventure :) I think NYC will spoil you big time but I know you will enjoy every second of it. Bon voyage and bon chance, dear! XXX

Mona B - Laura, I am so excited for you! You have done great things and I know you will do even greater things in the future. I love your post here! You’re so inspiring and I can’t wait to read and hear your awesome stories.

2011 WEDDING GIVEAWAY!!! » Laura Ivanova Photography | DESTINATION WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER BASED IN MINNEAPOLIS & NEW YORK CITY - [...] with you and your honey, just you… whatever your little heart desires! Since I’m moving to NYC for the winter, the session will have to take place after April 1, 2011 in the Minneapolis area (or [...]

Briana - That sounds amazing! So exciting! I’m actually planning to move my business from florida to NYC around august of next year, so I would definitely love to hear your advice and or thoughts! I’ll be up for my first planning trip end of January, I’d love to meet up and chat if u are in town. But regardless, I will definitely be checking your blog to follow your progress!