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Category Archives: business & life

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. […]

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! […]