Romantic Evening Wedding in Sacramento - Luis & Joanna

Romantic Evening Wedding in Sacramento - Luis & Joanna

This wedding is special. Not only because it’s a wedding but because how I ended up their wedding photographer. I got a phone call from Joanna. I was referred to Joanna from another client Ana Foksha as I shot their engagement in Yosemite. Joanna was in quite a pickle. Their photographer was re-diagnosed with cancer so she had to cancel their engagement and wedding. Although I wasn’t able to photograph their engagement the day after I got her phone call, I managed to switch some things around and book their wedding. Being in a situation where things are out of your control is both mentally and physically difficult. I don’t have an update for their other photographers, but I pray everything is good.

Little did I know - Joanna and Luis were one of my favorites! I met up with them to talk some stuff over and sign some papers. I love to meet up with my clients. Most of my work is local - but if it’s someone that I can’t meet - FaceTime is a must! I love meeting people and getting to know what they’re like in real life.

Their friends and families were very hospitable and nice! From the moment when I walked into the prep rooms, I felt like I wasn’t an outcast. I felt like I belonged there.

While Luis was getting ready in Midtown Sacramento with my really good friend Eugene, I took off to Kimpton Sawyer Hotel in Downtown Sacramento where Joanna was getting ready. It was my first time at the hotel and it was one of the best views to experience in Sacramento. Definitely a place to revisit once opportunity strikes.

Once everyone was ready, we took off to the ceremony which took place at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament which was a few blocks down east of the hotel. It was my first time shooting at the Cathedral - it was beautiful! After the ceremony, we took off to the State Capitol Park World Peace Rose Garden for the formal photos. After doing some formals - we took off to the reception. It was my first time shooting at the Antiquite Maison Privee in Midtown Sacramento. The wedding was really fun. I would not stop filling up cards, as this wedding was the most photographed weddings I have ever shot at 7500 photos.

I picked out my favorites for you guys to check out. Please, let me know what you guys think below!

Intimate Sacramento Wedding - Wedgewood Wedding & Banquet Center / The Sterling Hotel

Intimate Sacramento Wedding - Wedgewood Wedding & Banquet Center  / The Sterling Hotel

Paul and Natalie had a very short and intimate wedding.

Their wedding took place at the Sterling Hotel in Sacramento.

Though it was very short, though it was very memorable. It's always an awesome feeling being able to document a wedding of my dear friends. 

Paul & Natalie, I wish you nothing but the best in your journey ahead together.

Intimate Beach Destination Wedding In Honduras | Parrot Tree Plantation

Intimate Beach Destination Wedding In Honduras | Parrot Tree Plantation

I never, in a hundred years, thought that I would be invited to photograph a wedding somewhere outside of California. The groom and I first met a few years ago in Ensenada, Mexico on a missionary trip with Bethany Slavic Missionary church and their Amistad Ministries Project. I got a phone call from Ben asking if I photograph weddings and I was asked for my availability on a specific week. I didn't know this was a destination wedding in the beginning, but he mentioned that I needed to be in New Orleans, Louisiana. I told him that I was available and things went on from there. I asked Ben if he was looking for photo or video as well? He said photos but told me that he will talk to his fiancé to see if they wanted to include video. I contacted my good friend Val from LuxFilms to ask him if he was available that week for a wedding. I surprised him when I told him it's a Carnival Dream Cruise Wedding and we were to shoot a wedding in Honduras. As always, Val was down with the idea. *Note: I didn't want to be alone with strangers so that's why I was really hoping Val would come with me.*

Stylish Summer Backyard Wedding | Northern California Photographer

Stylish Summer Backyard Wedding | Northern California Photographer

Bethany Slavic Missionary Church was kind enough to allow people to create a “backyard” wedding on their property. I do not know who it was, but I can definitely say that it was a terrific idea for a church property to be used as a wedding venue.

Roman and Victoria were members of the church for quite some time. It's very nice to see how the church gives back in such opportunities to the community. Location provided free, secure and easy parking. You often do not see this. Thanks to the California sunsets, we were able to experience a very romantic evening, celebrating both the bride and the groom.

Their wedding was super cute! Knowing them both personally, it was very fun and simple to photograph their wedding. It always feels good knowing your location, your customers and knowing that they trust you.

An Elegant Sacramento Engagement Session | NorCal Photographer

An Elegant Sacramento Engagement Session | NorCal Photographer

It hasn't even been three weeks ago that I was out on a dock taking pictures of my brother popping the knee on a dock in South Lake Tahoe, and here I am writing a blog post about their engagement session that just happened a couple days ago. It all started with a brunch to Black Bear Diner. After getting some food, we made our way to Dixon, CA to a specific orchard that my brother and his fiancé wanted to go. With the help of clouds, we were able to play with different lighting and managed to get some really colorful shots. After Dixon, we made it back to the city. Downtown Sacramento was very welcoming! Thanks to my girlfriend Oxie, we managed to get rooftop access to her work parking garage for some really one of a kind photos from a place that doesn't provide public access. Let the photos tell the rest.

Dreamy & Romantic Forest Proposal in Sly Park, CA

Dreamy & Romantic Forest Proposal in Sly Park, CA

I have been friends with Nazariy for many years. Just recently, Nazariy found the love of his life, Tanya. Anytime I look at his Instagram or Snapchat story, they're always out and about enjoying each others' company. Whether it be biking, having dinner, getting their photos done by other photographers or Tanya making a double chocolate cake, they really know how to have fun together. 

This proposal was quite unique. We had to convince Tanya that this is a typical photoshoot that they've done with other photographers. Nazariy and I have planned this for quite some time. We ended up going to the curves of Stinson Beach to find a location to propose, to Mt. Davidson, to Sly Park. Sly Park really fit with what we've been looking for. 

Nazariy had his brother Alex set up the area for him with their little sister, and the rest was history. Allow these photos to speak for themselves.

Intimate Yosemite Hiking Engagement Photoshoot | Northern California Wedding Photographer

Intimate Yosemite Hiking Engagement Photoshoot | Northern California Wedding Photographer

Alex & Ana really wanted their engagement photos somewhere special and unique. What better place than Yosemite, just a 4.5 hour drive from Sacramento. Once we got there, we stopped by Lower Yosemite Falls.

Alex & Ana had the spotlight. Everyone near by stopped and turned their focus to the photogenic couple. Alex & Ana made my job extremely easy, leaving me with no task other than little posture instructions and capturing their cute moments!


We finished up at the waterfall and made our way up to taft point. We had some doubt upon arrival due to some heavy snowfall but, nonetheless, we were determined to get the scene we came for. We came prepared to hike, complete with full hiking gear, backpacks, and extra bags of spare clothes and other props. It was a short 30 minute hike compared to the other hikes Yosemite offers.

Once we arrived at taft point, Alex and Ana quickly dressed up and we went from there. We made it just in time for the most beautiful sunset, a perfect way to end the night. Shoutout to our new friends from orange county that were there with us and helped us navigate our way out of the snow and another congrats to Alex and Ana!

Romantic and Decorative Lake Tahoe Proposal | Northern California Photographer

Romantic and Decorative Lake Tahoe Proposal | Northern California Photographer

I want to congratulate my brother Vitaliy and his fiancé Alona (weird that someone from our family is now engaged!) It was an honor to be able to surprise Alona with my paparazzi skills. Special thanks to my girlfriend Oxie and Eugene for tagging along and keeping me company during the drive and the shoot itself.

It was VERY cold and windy in Lake Tahoe. It almost felt like I was hiking Mt. Everest and the frostbite is something that you just have to deal with. We managed to pull it off and thanks to all the friends that came out to assist the proposal, thank you.

Here are some photos from the day!

Intimate wedding creative session in San Francisco | San Francisco Wedding Photographer

Intimate wedding creative session in San Francisco | San Francisco Wedding Photographer

Shooting with Paul and Olya was really fun. We didn't have too much time to shoot as we planned for an all-day shoot. Little did you know that in our Slavic culture, hardly anyone is ever on time. We met up at the golden gate park in San Francisco, ca at around 3pm and only had an hour to shoot there before we had to go to half moon bay. I hate being rushed. I like to take my time and perfect a shot. But sometimes you have visitors, dog walkers, tourists, and nosy people that won't let you have your way. Being on a time crunch was one of the hardest things. It's sure one heck of a responsibility to fulfill when there is no "Second chance." with the help of my girlfriend Oksana Kambur we managed to knock this out quite easily. The bridal party was well behaved and listened to my every request. Here are some of my favorites from this day.

Summer Engagement Session in Yosemite, CA - Taft Point | Northern California Wedding Photographer

Summer Engagement Session in Yosemite, CA - Taft Point | Northern California Wedding Photographer

I really think this engagement session will be a difficult one to top. It was simply beautiful. So beautiful, that I finished editing the photos within the first two days.

I loved the clients and spending time with them. Serge and Kristina are two amazing individuals and one beautiful couple. 

We drove to Yosemite from Sacramento around noon, and met up with Kristina and her friend tanya there for the surprise. (disclaimer: she said yes!) we finished the evening with some photos at Glacier Point and went to our hotel. The hotel was about an hour and a half away from Yosemite with a Denny's nearby, so the first thing we did was go and eat! We finished the evening there and the real adventure began the following morning.

We woke up at 4:30 A.M. And made our way back to Yosemite by 5:00 A.M., just in time for sunrise. We arrived at Taft Point at around 6:20 A.M. Only to spend the next half hour hiking in pitch black, 30 degree weather. The hike got our blood pumping enough to forget about how freezing we were. From there, these two love birds gave me their best shot at their most intimate poses ;)

It looks like all the driving, hiking, and freezing was worth it:) enjoy.