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

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Category Archives: engagement & lifestyle

FLORI & MO | SOFIA, BULGARIA

Let’s take it back to the year 2000 today! I had recently graduated from high school in small town Minnesota and moved to Fargo, North Dakota to pursue my degrees in Architecture and Interior Design. I was going to be living in the dorms and was randomly placed with a international student from Japan. Luckily, the new roommate and I hit it off very well and since she was a sophomore (and I knew exactly 0 people at NDSU) I started hanging out with her and her friends. She was a member of the International Student’s Association, which just happened to have a very cute Bulgarian president! This Bulgarian president and I seemed to cross paths often. I don’t remember specifically meeting him, but we had mutual friends, worked at the same on-campus job, and saw each other at parties and events.

This randomly placed roommate turned out to be so serendipitous. I met so many international students from all over the world which sparked my love for travel and exploration. But most importantly, it led me to my now husband. After a couple years of running into this cute Bulgarian boy, we eventually started dating, eventually tied the knot, and now we will have been married 9 years in July. (HOLY CRAP!!!) As soon as we started dating we fell head over heels in love and it wasn’t long before he invited me to Bulgaria. It wasn’t exactly your typical “meet the parents” scenario. I had to fly 5,000+ miles to meet them. Of course, we were poor college students, so we had to purchase the cheapest fares ever, and if I recall correctly, we had about 15 connections to get to Bulgaria! I remember showing up at the airport, nervous as can be, jet lagged beyond belief, feeling like I desperately needed a shower. We made our way to my in-laws home, and there waiting was a sweet, little, wide-eyed girl named Florina. Flori was only 15 at the time (heck, I was only 22!). I wasn’t engaged yet, but I was pretty sure this girl was eventually going to be my sister-in-law and I was so nervous to meet her. Maybe more nervous than meeting the parents. Flori studied English and spoke pretty well, but back then communication was more limited. We bonded over painting our nails together and our mutual love of her brother!

The next time I saw Flori (and my in-laws) was at my wedding. After that, Flori moved to the Minnesota to study, and eventually she met a boy too. He was from Tanzania and they fell in love. Before we knew it, we found ourselves celebrating at their wedding, 1 day before our own six year wedding anniversary! Anyone who sees Flori and Mo together can immediately see how in love they are. (Or if you’re on Facebook, you can just check out Mo’s annoyingly sappy Facebook status updates!!! ;) I’m really happy my little sis found a man who loves her so much and treats her so well. Our family time together is limited since we live on three different continents, but it was so good to be in Bulgaria in last month. I captured a few photos for Flori and Mo. Miss you guys so much!

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Inga - Lovely couple! But those trees are out of this world :)

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PATTI, BRIAN & BABY | MINNEAPOLIS IN-HOME SESSION

When Patti first reached out to me and told me her and her husband wanted to do an in-home session featuring the remodel of their 1930′s South Minneapolis home, I was immediately ecstatic at the prospect of our session! Architecture and interior design are my first loves, and the focus of my studies as an undergraduate. As a child, in addition to playing with my parents’ film cameras, I had a little toy architecture set complete with faux blueprints, furniture, and fixtures that I could arrange and rearrange, and compile into the home of my dreams! I am smitten with good design, and “good design” would be an understatement when it comes to describing Patti and Brian’s gorgeous, light-filled home.

They painstakingly remodeled the lower level, turning their garage into a beautiful, crisp, bright kitchen that opens out into a patio and a brand new detached garage- perfect for summertime grilling and an indoor/outdoor space. When I first walked in their house, without exaggeration, my jaw dropped. My first thought was, quite literally, “can they adopt me, so I can live here forever?” The kitchen is any foodie or cook’s dream. The design choices unique, yet perfectly fitting, and the entire remodel feels true to the history of the home. They even kept the original garage windows, and the abstract photographs on the wall highlight the construction process.

Patti & Brian, thank you for welcoming me into your home, and for the opportunity to document the space you’ve created. I hope your growing family has many wonderful years together here.


























Sarah Wu - Such a beautiful house. Love the sweet and beautiful shots

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CHELSEA, BRIAN & ADDISON | ENGAGED!

Happy Valentine’s Day!! I’m so excited to share a small snippet from this engagement session! We began the day at my studio in Northeast Minneapolis, with the future bride and groom and their adorable pup, Addison! It’s no secret that I love dogs, and I was completely smitten with little Miss Addy! Chelsea & Brian are full of joy too! They are so sweet together and I love the way they laugh and joke! I can’t wait for your big day, you two!!








“Whoever said diamonds are a girl’s best friend, never had a dog.”

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