Hello and I am thrilled you are here! My name is Zlata (yes, this is my real name) and I live in Duluth, Minnesota. I was born and raised far away in a beautiful mountainous country of Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia and my native language is Russian. I am a wife and a mom of three beautiful children. My introduction to photography happened when I was 4. One of my most vivid childhood memories are the ones of my dad who has a thing for gadgets getting himself an exciting new hobby: photography. He very much enjoyed the process of shooting and developing film with the old soviet-made “Vilma”. I remember watching him working on negatives in the dark room that he set up in our living room – the magic of black pieces of plastic turning into an image that appeared on photographic paper later on, then drying the prints on a string- yes those were the pre-photoshop days:)
After introducing me and my brother to piano, dance and watercolor my fine art and education-conscientious mom got me a coffee table book – it was full of giant photographs taken by talented children. I remember staring at those images for hours, completely lost in a black and white world trying to imagine myself in the moment that each of them happened, fascinated my light and shade, shape and motion. From the time I got my first film camera I have fallen in love with creating images. There is some kind of magic that takes place in the moment you press the shutter, a magic that nothing else fascinates me more. The world has gone colorful and digital since then and my camera now has fancy buttons on it- but really it is the first one that makes you fall in love. Below are the very photographs taken with my dad’s “Vilma” and developed in our living room:)
As an adult, a friend of ours created wedding photos of me and my husband. The moment I opened up the package and saw the prints I knew that capturing people’s most important day of their lives is what I wanted to do- just like Jeff did for me. My children have been the greatest inspiration on this journey along with some of the best, world renowned photographers, my best friend Marina who has been there for me to teach, inspire and cheer me on as she’s gone the business road of photography ahead of me, and my loving and supportive husband. I discovered my passion for newborn portraiture with the birth of my son Isaac. There is something absolutely miraculous and breathtaking about every single newborn that enters my studio and I consider it a great privilege to be able to capture those precious first moments of life to be treasured forever.
For two years one of my life’s best experiences had been acting in a high school theater lead by a talented actress and an incredible art director in my home town. Her passion and love for acting were undoubtedly contagious. I got my love for acting and modeling from her- and while I’ve never had any desire to make an acting career- I do enjoy being in front of the camera and directing others because I believe that possession of a few acting skills makes telling a story with a photograph definitely more interesting and fun. Please common in, stay for a while and come back often.
Few fun facts about me:
- I am obsessed with paper and paper products.
- My favorite treat is Ferrero Rocher chocolates.
- I am an introvert.
- Every Thanksgiving day I make a turkey from my trusted Martha Stewart recipe. Did I mention I am obsessed with Martha Stewart brand and even considered applying to work for her show?
- I am terrible at remembering names and dates, that’s why I write them down. In two places. LOL
- My Christmas tree could only have matching blue, silver, white and frosted glass ornaments, ribbons and tree skirt – I still get teased about that by my husband.
- I am very competitive.
- I can’t stand watching sports – sorry to all you sports fans 😉
- I love giving and receiving thoughtful gifts.
- My absolute favorite place to shop at is Ikea- followed by Michael’s .
- I am a minimalist. I am drawn to things and designs that are fresh, clean and simple, because simple is classic and classic is beautiful.
- I love God and I hope that my personality and the way I interact with my clients has a little bit of a reflection of Who He is.
- I am a perfectionist.
- I don’t care for chick flicks, rather documentaries.
- I got accepted into a journalism program in university back home after graduating from highschool, but decided to withdraw my application from the program after all. I find telling stories with photographs a lot more compelling.