Masthead header

Category Archives: business & life

Since the painful loss of my grandfather, my desire to learn more about my family history has grown exponentially. My grandfather’s passing was difficult not only for the loss of an amazing man, but for the loss of a generation, of history…and the realization that my opportunity to learn more about my family was slowly slipping away. Unrecorded knowledge of previous generations seems to fade away.

So, I’ve decided to take a personal project for the winter- scanning my entire family photo archive! I’m talking about everything my grandma has in her possession, which is about 1860 to present. Grandma literally has boxes and boxes of scattered prints- thousands of prints, so this is quite the undertaking! I’d like to scan everything so my parents, aunts/uncles and cousins can all enjoy the archive. I’d also like to create an extensive family tree. Assembling all of this information from boxes full of photos will be a challenge, but something so valuable to understand. I’m still not sure how to organize all of the information. I was thinking of creating books… if anyone has ideas, let me know!

Anyway, as I was browsing through the photos today I realized how important photography is in our lives. I found great comfort in looking at pictures of my grandpa. There is something so beautiful about a printed photograph from decades past, which is why I encourage all of my clients to consider heirloom quality albums and prints!

Here is a army photograph of my grandfather, taken in the fall of 1942. I absolutely adore this image and I think my grandpa looks particularly handsome! Grandpa served in Hawaii and the South Pacific. He was so very proud of his service to our country in World War II:

My grandparents wedding photo, June 12, 1947:

My great grandparents, August + Laura, on their wedding day- May 2, 1919:

My great great grandparents, Fred + Henrietta, on their wedding day- August 7, 1877:


  • Alicia Swedenborg - I just love old pictures! Imagine 100 years from now when someone posts wedding photos on their blog who y.o.u. took – weird and amazing feeling isn’t it?!

  • Glenda - Oh Laura, what a treasure you have stumbled upon!

  • Abby - Laura, these are AWESOME photos. I’m very sorry to hear of your Grandfather’s passing, but it it wonderful to see the important work that you are planning to help his (and your) history flourish. best of luck to you!

  • Emily - Wow! I love this idea. How wonderful to save and preserve these images as well be able to share them with everyone in the family. Brilliant!

  • Tonya Peterson - I love old photos. When my grandpa died I wanted to get some of his pictures scanned so we could all have them but his stupid kids wouldn’t let me have any of them. (he is technically my step-grandpa but he is the only one I have ever known) It was such a painful loss and it would have ment so much to me to have some pictures of him.

  • Stacy Able - These are amazing Laura. I hope you post most photos as you come across. So wonderful to have these memories and even better for you to be archiving them for your children.

  • Jyll - What an awesome idea and beautiful post Laura! I love it. I wish I had old photos of my family. Your grandmother preserved a wonderful treasure. These photos of your family are remarkable. I’m a big collector of old photos myself…I have a box full from going to estate sells when I used to live in Idaho. I always imagine who the people were and what lives they led.

    Well, I can’t wait to see the progress you make on your new journey=)

I can safely say, without exaggeration, that yesterday was the most overwhelming, emotional day of my life.

First of all, you may have noticed some changes around here! On the cusp of a new year, I’m so excited to launch the new branding of Laura Ivanova Photography! My previous brand started out of necessity. It wasn’t necessarily bad, but I didn’t put a lot of thought into it, or the type of client I wish to work with. It didn’t express my business or my style of photography. As my business grows and grows I’ve put a lot more thought into the concept of a brand and the desire to work with inspiring clients who greatly value the art of photography. I love the romance, beauty, and emotional aspects of a wedding and I wanted a brand that reflects that. I hired an amazing designer, Aurora of Red Organic, who turned my mumble jumble of wants and needs into a cohesive and beautiful brand. Aurora worked so hard and really delved deep to understand my business. I couldn’t recommend her highly enough. Although the web brand is (mostly) complete, we are still working on printed collateral and beautiful letterpress which just makes my heart sing! Yay! The entire process has been a labor of love, which started months and months ago.

My masterful plan included launching my new brand on December 9, which is my birthday! Birthdays are the mark of a new year, personally, and I thought it would be a great day to launch the new look of my business. I worked on the new website for weeks and weeks and was getting excited to reveal everything to the world.

However, last Wednesday, I received a call that my 89 year old grandpa had caught pneumonia. Grandpa’s condition was poor and he wasn’t expected to live more than a couple days. This news was devastating and of course, I put business on hold to spend time with Grandpa and my family. I feel so fortunate that I was able to spend so much time with him. The rest of the family came from all over the country to say goodbye. All week Grandpa was so strong, and he held out longer than expected. We all did everything we could to spend as much time as we could with Grandpa.

But yesterday, mother nature had other plans. I woke up to a snowstorm and uncertainty about whether I not I should make the trek to visit my grandpa 70 miles away. My Grandma insisted I shouldn’t drive. I vacillated back and forth on what to do. Grandpa was constantly surprising us with his strength and had really good days over the past week, but the what ifs starting running through my head. I distracted myself by checking my email and was alerted of a feature on Style Me Pretty (new post coming soon!). I browsed the internet and was greeted with a slew of birthday wishes and comments on Facebook, Twitter, and my blog. Countless friends called and texted me to wish me a happy birthday. Each and every comment and wish made me smile.

Mid morning, I couldn’t take sit still any longer and I decided to brave the roads, which turned out to be not all that bad. As I was driving to see my Grandpa, I was only 15 minutes away when I got the call. My grandpa had passed away. It was unfortunate that I missed him yesterday, but I know I didn’t need to be there in the final moment for my grandpa to know how much he meant to me, and our entire family. I am truly blessed- to have had such a wonderful grandpa, with my family, my friends, my clients, my clients turned friends, and my business. The world lost a great man yesterday, but as one of my friends stated, my grandpa lived a rich life- filled with a loving family.

I don’t typically share a lot of deeply personal information on my business blog, but I want my clients to know why emails and phone call responses have taken longer and why things will continue to be slower than usual until final arrangements are made with my family. I also wanted to take this opportunity to thank all the wonderful people in my life for all the comments, messages and wishes yesterday. On a dark day all of your comments really, truly lifted my spirits and made me smile. It’s funny how the little things can really make a difference. I wish to stop more and appreciate the little things EVERYDAY, not just on a day like yesterday. So thanks everyone!

I’ll leave you with a screen shot of my new website! Please be sure to check it out!


  • Glenda - Laura I am so sorry to hear about your Grandpa and yes, he would be so proud of you!!
    Your new site/brand is stunning and I am so happy for you – can’t wait to see the rest!

  • Amber Marten - Laura, prayers and thoughts from Kevin and I are with you today. Happy Birthday, what a wonderful new site (we’re honored to grace it with a few images), and we’re deeply sorry for your loss. Too much for one week! Celebrating life, joys, and sadness. All the best as you remember and rejoice this week!

  • jessica - Thinking of you during this time. You have so many amazing things going for your Laura and I know your grandpa is smiling down at you! He is so proud of what you have become, I am sure of it!

  • Amanda - Oh, Laura. I’m so sorry to hear about your dear grandpa. Is this the one that I met this last summer? It’s so hard to lose a loved one and I know the feeling all to well as I lost my grandmother just this past August. Know that although you’ll miss him tremendously, you will have all the happy memories to keep in your heart. Thinking of you!

  • Katja - Hi Laura,
    I actually discovered your blog. Your work is amazing and i really adore your style. Such a pleasure to browse around. Your grandpa must have been a pround man!

    XoXo Katja

  • Jyll - Laura…I’m sorry to hear the news of your grandfather, but proud that you remained strong and you looked at the bright side of the situation. I’m sure your grandfather was absolutely proud of you. Happy belated birthday by the way…you’re so blessed and talented.


  • Melissa Schollaert - Congrats on all of your success! Sorry that we’ll miss you this weekend, but glad you’ll be with your family. Talk soon!

  • Crystal - Thoughts and prayers to you and your family.

  • Jason Thon - Laura, I am so sorry to hear about the loss that you and your family sustained this week. I’m glad to hear you were able to spend time with him this week.

  • melissa oholendt - I’m so sorry to hear about your grandpa Laura. I am sure he was so so proud of you. xoxo, m

  • Kenzie - Laura – you’re in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Chelsey Skelly - Hey Laura, sorry to here about your Grandpa. For some reason, losing grandpas are one of the hardest, they’re all so sweet and always supportive. Pneumonia is a scary thing, my dad just had H1-N1 and then got pneumonia right after that, so he has been sick for a month. You’re in our prayers, I’m sure your Grandpa would be very proud of you. LOVE the website.

  • THE NEW LOOK OF LAURA IVANOVA PHOTOGRAPHY » laura ivanova photography | MINNEAPOLIS WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER + DESTINATION WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER - […] 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 […]

I recently attended a wedding photography workshop in the hills of Tuscany hosted by the amazing Jose Villa and I was one of the lucky winners of this nifty little Holga camera!! I shot a lot of film in Italy and I am anxiously awaiting the results from Richard Photo Lab. Please, please, please hurry! There is something so exciting about waiting for the results from film!

So, many Holga images coming to the blog soon, along with images from the engagement and wedding shoots at the workshop, AND travel photography from Tuscany, Florence, Cinque Terre and Venice. First and foremost, I’m working on client images, but be on the lookout for all this other fabulous stuff too.

Here’s the camera- isn’t it fabulous?! :)


Hello! I’m back after a 8 day hiatus in the middle of wedding season! It seems crazy to have been gone when things are so busy, but it was a much needed break and I’m so excited for the second half of 2009! I have so many amazing couples this summer/fall/winter and I can’t wait for each and every wedding.

Today my husband and I celebrate our 4th wedding anniversary. It’s crazy to think that it has been 4 years. Time really flies! And, now we’ve been married longer than we’ve been dating. ~2 years as friends, 3 years dating, 4 married. When I think back to our wedding day, there are so many emotions…it’s almost impossible to describe. I know how my clients are feeling!! I love that I get to do what I do and be with couples on one of the most important days of their lives! I literally probably love my husband 100x more than I did on my wedding day, and I hope all my clients feel the same way in 4 (or 12 or 38 years). The wedding day is literally just the beginning…and how AWESOME is that!? :-)

On another note, I have lots of exciting things in the queue. I have a beautiful wedding to blog, and of course, my trip to Peru. Peru is such an incredible place, unlike any place I’ve ever traveled before. The highlight of the trip was definitely Machu Picchu. I know, I know, every single tourist that visits the ancient sight takes this exact picture, but trust me…there is something about this place. It is so incredible, and after first seeing the sight arriving through the sungate after a long, arduous hike on the Inca Trail… I’m at a loss for words. Simply amazing. Here’s one photo, more coming next week.

  • Amanda - Oh…My…God! Amazing!

  • Michelle Bilderback Nilles - This picture you captured of Machu Picchu is amazing and breathtaking! I am in awe and hope to travel to Peru with Doug some day.

  • Jessica - you seriously need to submit this photo to some sort of travel magazine or book on peru…simply amazing! I cannot wait to see more of your trip!

  • Sarah McGee - Like out of a dream . . . what a wonderful trip and photo to remember it by.

  • Sean - Oh my god, I love the MarkII! Love love love! What an amazing photograph, whether it’s done eight million times or not! Seriously sensational!

  • Hussey Photography - DANG!!!!!!
    I gotta go!! That’s amazing!!!


  • John - Laura,
    This photo is incredible!!! I suddenly have this overwhelming feeling to buy a ticket Peru and spend 8 days there. Is this an HDR? Wowsers, the Mark ii is fantastic, cannot wait to see the video!

  • Sherri - Wow – absolutely breathtaking! Gorgeous!!

  • Rachel - That is a beautiful, amazing photo! Way better than any other tourist’s picture of Macchu Picchu I’ve ever seen!

  • Tabetha - Laura, that is amazing! I saw some of Jodi’s pics last night. It looks like you girls had an awesome trip. I can’t wait to see the other pics you took!

  • Kelly H. - Seriously!?!? Welcome home!

  • Erika McCauley - This photo is unreal!! I can’t wait to see more!

  • Sara Montour - Are you kidding me with this photo?! You stole it straight from M.C. Escher’s mind!

  • Matthew Dunn - HI Laura,

    I love your photograph of Machu Picchu. I am going in Sept. with my dad for one of his “bucket list” trips. I am an avid amateur photographer, also with a 5D MkII and assorted L lenses. Can you please tell me about the specifics of this photograph – lens, exposure, etc. I am really intrigued by how you made it. Just beautiful and so expressive.

    Thanks for you enlightenment!

  • PERU | CUSCO + MACHUPICCHU TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY » Laura Ivanova Photography | FILM WEDDING & LIFESTYLE PHOTOGRAPHER IN MINNEAPOLIS & NEW YORK CITY - […] Earlier this month I had the privilege of visiting the beautiful country of Peru- specifically Cusco and Machu Picchu. A special thanks to my amazing friends Silvia + Waldo for being incredible hosts, tour guides, cooks, and companions! Thanks to Jodi too! We all had an amazing time and I can’t wait to go back and see even more! […]

Happy’s Father’s Day to all the great dad’s out there! I am lucky to have the best father in the world (I may be biased!) and I could never thank him enough for everything he has done for me throughout my life. He has sacrificed and given so much and words can’t describe how much I love him! I think this may be the first Father’s Day I haven’t spent with him because he’s on vacation celebrating his 30 year wedding anniversary with my Mom! Also, happy Father’s Day to my two wonderful Grandpas! My Grandpa B. is having a big week; he turned 88 years old AND celebrated his 61st wedding anniversary with my Grandma! Love you guys!

Me wearing daddy’s shirt (and my lil’ bro with his adorable hair, screaming in the background):
Me, sitting on the chair my dad built for me, and Dad circa 1983:
The whole family at Christmas (early 80’s):
On one of our annual 4th of July trips to Dultuh: I swear I was happier than I look in this photo!
Me and Dad at Gooseberry Falls circa 1990:


  • Amanda S. - Jared loves your dad’s moustache :)