Or stock, or cheesy, or contrived, or even expected. They can and should be wildly different and unique to you while still retaining a timeless quality. This ensures you’ll connect with your photographs now and on your 50th wedding anniversary. As an added bonus, your family will love them too!
After photographing more than 75 weddings, I’m convinced that it’s impossible for extraordinary images to result from a one-size-fits-all process. That’s why, above all else, I want you to know that I’m here for you. To pay attention to and affirm your vision, then create a carefully-researched plan to bring it to life. To ask questions about your family background, traditions, and deepest wishes, and use what you share to create visuals that reflect your story. And to showcase the diverse beauty of this incredible Pacific Northwest wonderland we call home while we’re at it!
I grew up in Northern Alberta in a family of Russian Orthodox Old Believers. Throughout middle and high school, my sister did a lot of modeling and asked me to take photos of her. While I loved getting creative with my camera, I didn’t really think of pursuing photography seriously since I was on track to become a power engineer.
Duty in the form of a well-paying career path called, and I tried to pick up the phone...but then hung up just as quickly. The life of a power engineer just wasn’t for me.
Oh, yes. It’s a thing. My thing. Here’s a little story about how my right brain and left brain work together to create images that reveal the magic in even the most mundane moments of your wedding day.
I couldn’t imagine spending the rest of my life in industrial buildings and oil fields. Soon after my engineering program flopped, I got married and learned that my husband and I would be moving to Portland, Oregon.
It was time to go after what I was really passionate about: photography. Specifically, wedding photography.
Once your date is officially reserved, we'll send over a few goodies to help you prepare for the big day. We're happy to serve as a resource for vendor recommendations, timeline guidance and more!
Sessions can take place anywhere from immediately following a proposal to just a few days before the wedding. We’ve found that there isn’t a “good” or “bad” time to take your photos.
We check in about two months before the wedding to start chatting about timeline specifics, special details, family formal shot lists, special traditions and anything else we should know about your big day.
It's finally here! The day the two of you say "I Do" and dance the night away surrounded by your family and friends. Just know we're excited to celebrate and capture your wedding day. It's going to be awesome.
You can expect your photos to be delivered via an online gallery within about three weeks of your wedding. At that time, we'll also send over details about preserving your images through prints and albums.
We hope the relationship doesn't end after we deliver your photographs. We want to hear about the adventures of married life. And if you decide to have kids, we'd love to document your growing family.
The internet calls this having a split-brain, but I think of it as having the ability to pour my whole self into every single thing I do. So, what does that mean for you?
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“Marina did a wonderful job on our engagement photos. We headed out early for a sunrise session...she was totally down with waking up at the crack of dawn, she then brought us to a few beautiful spots, and even made us tea to get through the chilly morning. She gave her full self to the session and worked with all of our ideas. The photos turned out breathtaking and I could not be happier with how much detail and attention she put into them.” —Tayiciya
As I mentioned, I’m a Russian Orthodox Old Believer. You’ve probably noticed that I shoot a lot of Old Believer weddings too. My heritage is a huge part of the reason why I place such a high value on photography, both personally and professionally.
A lot of photographers talk about the importance of creating images that will be passed down for generations, but I’ve lived it. I know what it’s like to lack tangible memories of the people and places you’ve come from.
Our family fled persecution in Russia during the 1900s and remained displaced until settling in the United States in the 1960s. Before that time period, documentation doesn’t exist. Parents passed on stories to their children, but without photos to reference, many memories were forgotten over time. Even after the 1960s, enduring superstitions about photography kept portraits to a minimum within our community. The few photographs my parents have are contained inside of a peel-and-stick album that makes it far too easy for images to be lost.
Artistically-composed couple’s portraits make my heart (and shutter) flutter...probably because I know what it’s like not to have them. An embrace near the ocean’s edge. A romantic veil toss outside of a towering cathedral. Setting the scene for moments like these is truly a joy for me. Providing you with enduring memories is my why. And giving you a tangible reminder of your wedding day is the deeper purpose behind my passion for photography.
Maybe you and your fiancé come from different backgrounds, and your family dynamics are...a bit of a lovely mess. I promise to take it all in stride, help you honor your traditions, and make sure everyone feels heard and valued. I’ve lived within the boundary lines of a strict community, and I’ve also built friendships with those who come from a seemingly different world. Thanks to these experiences, respect and understanding are integral parts of who I am and how I work.
Most people meet with several photographers before selecting "the one;" however, I just knew. After seeing the way she made rainy wedding day look magazine-worthy and very large weddings still look sweet and intimate, I knew I wanted April to capture my day... She was very responsive to my preferences and listened to ALL of my wishes... Our images were flawless and of all the vendors I dealt with for our wedding, April was hands down my favorite vendor.
An heirloom album filled with photos that celebrate the journey you’ve shared, hint at the adventure yet to come, and retain their value for generations.
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