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Category Archives: business & life

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!

Some iPhone snaps from my bike rides around the great City of Lakes!


  • s h e r r y - Happy Earth Day! :)

  • Sean - sweet! lurrrve those top three!
    been a while laura, great to see you’re alive and kickin’!

  • Jasmine - Happy (belated!) Earth Day! Boy, you can even rock an iPhone to take some amazing pics!! :)

I understand that most couples today want their digital files from their weddings and sessions so they can archive the photos and display images online, but there’s something to be said about a tangible print. After all, photographs are meant to be printed and held, not viewed on a backlit computer screen. With this principle in mind, I wanted to offer my clients an option for beautifully displaying prints in their home. I’m so excited to now offer Heirloom Print Collections.

This Print Collection include a complete set of 4×6 prints from your wedding day or session with elegant white borders. Prints are processed at a professional lab and printed on high-quality paper with archival quality inks, just like all of the prints and products I offer. Prints are also numbered on the back, so ordering reprints (if desired) is easy.

The wedding day proof box holds images upright like a recipe box. The box will accommodate 700-900 prints (every image from your wedding!). This beautiful product is included with some of my photography collections or is always available as an a la carte item.


The session proof box is available for any type of photography- engagement, lifestyle or boudoir sessions. With this type of box, the images lay flat. Both type of boxes include a decorative satin ribbon and close magnetically.


Proof boxes are available in a variety of beautiful silks and coordinating satin ribbons. Both of the samples pictured above and swatch books are available in my studio for viewing. Please contact me for more information and pricing.

If you haven’t been in to see my new studio, you haven’t seen my beautiful new canvases. Just in case you didn’t know, I offer these gorgeous, ready-to-hang wall canvases in a variety of sizes, from 8″x12″ to 40″x40!” Custom sizes are available. Please contact me for pricing. Canvases are thick (1.5″) and don’t need to be framed. They can be printed with black or white edges, or with the image wrapped around the edge. Canvases are a modern, clean and simple solution for decorating your home.

In my studio, I have a cluster of 5 canvases in various sizes hanging to create one gorgeous six foot display above my couch. If you need help determining what would work for your home, I am happy to provide assistance.

Canvases can also stand alone, as pictured on the left. This canvas is 30″x40″ with a black edge.

  • s h e r r y - These canvases look gorgeous <3

  • Rachel - Oooohhhh, I really love those! Your new space looks so inviting, and just perfect. I would love to stop by and see it sometime!

  • Jyll - These look awesome Laura!

  • Amanda - These are incredible, Laura!

  • karen - what are the dimensions of the 5 canvases above your couch?

Hopefully, you’ve noticed, or maybe you’re new around here, but back in December, I launched the new look of Laura Ivanova Photography. You can click here to read all about it. Now that the process is nearing completion (really, will it ever be complete!?) I just wanted to talk a little bit more about my rebranding. My brand is so much more than a logo. Branding is so big right now, but rightfully so! Branding encompasses my web presence, my studio, my facebook fanpage, my tweets, my clothing, my business cards, the way I communicate, my email signature, my style…pretty much everything about me. This especially rings true in this industry, because photography is so personal, and it doesn’t get much more intimate than being with a couple on their wedding day. I can’t put into words how grateful I am to be welcomed into the lives of my clients; to document such a momentous day.

I’m writing this, because over the years, I’ve realized that working with the right clients is very important.  It’s mutually beneficial for my clients and myself. I want the couples who hire me to look at my work and know without a doubt, that my photographic style is perfectly in line with the images they envision. They should feel like they can trust me to capture their big day. They should feel like I’m a friend; like they can be themselves around me. And, I too want to work with couples I love. I want to work with couples that inspire me to give 110% percent each and every time. I know every photographer says this, but I think my clients are pretty damn awesome! It makes sense that every photographer would say this though, because their branding should be attracting the right kind of client. Everything should just click.

Since I already had amazing clients, why rebrand? I feel like the last few months have been a pivotal point in my life and business (perhaps one of many to come, but a pivotal time nonetheless). I feel like I finally know my style; where it is and where I want it to go. For a long time, it was hard for me to describe my style. It was hard for me to grasp where I fit in. When I realized my old brand and my photographic vision didn’t work together, there was a feeling of uneasiness and I knew it would hinder me in driving my business in the direction I wanted to go. So, with all that being said, my rebranding was an investment in my growth. It was a considerable investment; worth every penny. Aurora of Red Organic is the mastermind behind my new look and I couldn’t be happier with her work or the results. It feels so good to have a brand that I love 100%. Nay, 200%. (That’s saying a lot for me, because I am a perfectionist to the core.) Something that represents me and the kind of bride I want to attract. I know a lot of photographers read my blog, so my advice to you is this: do not skimp on your branding! But also, don’t brand before you’re ready. Don’t do it because it’s the cool thing to do. Of course, It would be naive of me to think that this brand will be my brand forever, but a year ago or even 6 months ago, things would’ve looked completely different. I feel like this brand represents my future. And, that is a good thing.

(On a sidenote, I credit a lot of my new outlook on business to the Jose Villa workshop I attended in Italy in October. Jose is so open and giving, and his credo really rung true to me. He is an artist in every sense of the word, an extremely talented, yet humble person. An absolute inspiration to me and so many others. I was so inspired by Jose that I’m attending his workshop again this year in Mexico. It’s already sold out, but if you ever get a chance, attending one of Jose’s workshop is an experience I would highly, highly recommend.)

Anyway! That was a mouthful! If you have any questions about the rebranding process, please feel free to contact me and ask away! Or leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

Here’s a glimpse at the amazing new printed collateral that I love so much!

My gorgeous new letterpress business cards. Swoon!

The lovely trifold brochure:

The new disc holders. Plain old jewel cases just won’t do! I love these letterpress holders tied with a pretty pink ribbon!

All the letterpress goodness: my business card, my envelope and disc holder. Have I mentioned I love letterpress?


  • Kirsten - l.o.v.e. LOVE it, Laura. based on the times we’ve talked about what you’re doing and where you’re going, i believe this is so YOU. congrats on the new look and feel!

  • Melissa Schollaert - WOW! I love it! Everything is so beautiful. SO jealous that you’re going to the workshop. Really wish I could go this year. I’ll miss you guys! :)

  • Molly Michel - seriously beautiful Laura. I’m a big fan of letterpress also. Swoon worthy to be sure!

  • Stacy Able - swoon.. no wait capital SWOON! So lovely and so you! So happy for you and jealous about the mexico workshop Tiene un buen tiempo por mi!

  • diana radoi - Laura!!!!!!!!!!! I ABSOLUTELY LOVE LOVE LOVE IT ALL!
    I’m still trying to find someone to help with my re-branding…might just have to give Aurora a call ;)
    I can’t wait to spend time with you in mexico!!!!! :) yay!! so glad you are coming!

  • Erin - Oh, wow – this is all so lovely!! Congratulations on the rebranding, Laura!

  • Mona B - So beautiful, classy, and sophisticated! This is definitely YOU! I love your advice in your blog post. It is definitely an investment and I’m looking forward to going through the process myself. Congratulations on all your success!!!!

  • Amy - It has been fun to watch you grow and change! I feel that this has been nothing but the best move for you. The look is great and I can totally see that it fits! Love everything!

  • Kenzie - Wow Laura, everything is so lovely! I cannot believe what a beautiful collection you have – it echoes the detail and style of your work so well!

  • jessica - It’s all so beautiful and perfect for you Laura! I absolutely love your brochure!!!

  • Poly - It’s so you! Love it!

  • John Sharpe - Laura…all i can say is wow! I love how everything turned out for you. Your post about branding is spot on. It’s so true…you need to be ready for your branding. Love the new look! Cannot wait to get my stuff looking half as classy!

  • Amanda - I agree with Amy! It’s definitely been fun watching you grow and change. Jared and I came to you for engagement and wedding photos just about 2 years ago and I’ve enjoyed keeping up with you and your blog ever since! Congrats on finding your niche and your beautiful new branding. They’re both gorgeous!

  • Crystal Rose - Yummy Letterpress! They turned out great – so happy for you. LOVE IT.

  • s h e r r y - These are beautiful! :) I love all the letterpress and pink goodness in this post. I really want to make it to Jose’s workshop this year, but it just wasn’t going to work out. But it is definitely something I want to do in the near future!!

  • kristen wood - stunning stuff laura! thanks so much for sharing!

  • Vicki - Laura, its just stunning. I’m totally in love with your new branding, it’s scrumptious!

  • Jessica Barker - Beautiful! Great job. :) You’re making things happen and it’s an honor to be with you during the transformation!

  • Brittney - Just wow! Stunning! Love it all – you have definitely inspired me to start making materials like this for my photo biz

  • Sally - SO beautiful Laura! And you are awesome with words : )

  • Jyll - My goodness Laura…you are on fire lady! I love everything about your new look! I am so impressed. AHHH…and I wish I could be your roomie again for Mexico this time…LOL! I’m proud of you chica…you are so blessed!

  • Jessica - Receiving one of your disc holders in the mail would make me feel pretty special and your clients will love this stuff! Whimsical, beautiful, perfect! Red Organic rocks!

  • Aimee - So lovely! The details are perfect!

  • Jason Thon - Very Nice Laura! It totally matches the vision of where I know you want to go in the future. I’m so impressed with the strides you have taken in your business and thank you for forcing us all to up our game!

  • Alexia Strawn - I love how it has all come together! I am so proud of you!

  • Kelly H. - Just when I thought you couldn’t get any better…BAM, you do it again! Kudos to you and your vision!

  • Emily Steffen - I LOOOOOVEEE the letterpress…makes me melt about everytime I see some! :) And YOURS IS GORGEOUS! :) Love the new brand Laura, love it! :)

  • melissa oholendt - You already know how I feel about this but REALLY I love it. Love, love, love. Letterpress is 100% the way to go!!

  • Ashley McCormick Photography - Hi Laura! I was perusing through your site and saw this post! I just love what Red Organic did for you. Beautiful! I wanted to ask where you got your trifold printed. I have been looking to do something like that for a while now, but all of the printers I’ve looked into have been such small sizes! I would greatly appreciate any info you have :)

    I have been loving looking through your work ever since you commented on my blog about SWmag! Hope you’re doing well :)

  • A NEW LOOK FOR 2012! » Laura Ivanova Photography | DESTINATION WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER BASED IN MINNEAPOLIS & NEW YORK CITY - […] Also, I need to again thank my branding designer, Aurora, from Red Organic. I could never say enough good things about Aurora- she is beyond talented. She designed my complete branding a couple years ago and I still LOVE the look as feel just as much today. This is definitely a case where hiring a professional is worth every single penny and then some. If you’d like to read the post about our branding process from back in Feb 2010, you can check it out here. […]