San Francisco Hotel Wedding

February 18, 2017

Happy weekend everyone!
This Marines Memorial Club and Hotel wedding was nothing short of perfection!

Excited to see Michelle and Michael’s wedding photo included in the last issue of Huffingtonpost Weddings. Michelle’s dress was a two piece by Anne Barge designer. She had a long flowing skirt for the ceremony for her quintessential church wedding. For her reception she changed into a mermaid style dress.

With my love for all things fashion, I fell in love with her attire! If you want to try something different for your wedding, a two piece dress might be up your alley! Stay fabulous, Yuliya

San Francisco

Engagement, Inspiration

Valentine’s Day Inspiration

February 16, 2017

He waved from the corner of the street. I came closer to find my friend carrying a bag of macarons on his way to my favorite coffee shop. “Buying my wife coffee now and we just came from this place that you all ladies like.” I smiled seeing the familiar chocolatier label on the macaron packaging. Moments later I was in the company of my two friends having a quick date while their kids had a babysitter for the night. “This is our early Valentine’s Date,” she mentioned. We exchanged a few words about my trip to Europe, our love for macarons and our favorite coffee shop. It doesn’t take much to make us happy ;).

Whether you had a fancy dinner date dressed up all in red, long stem roses, or a paper bag filled with macarons with rose filling, I hope you’ve all had a Happy Valentine’s Day! Yours truly, Yuliya.

Travel, Weddings

Florence Elopement Inspiration

January 18, 2017

Thinking of eloping in Florence? I love history and art . . . and Florence, in my opinion, is a perfect fusion of those two. Add a marriage celebration. . . and you have a dream wedding. I’m excited to roam the streets of the Renaissance city next week and here is an inspiration board I thought would suit the city well.

Florence Tuscany Elopement Style Board

If you’re interested in booking a session while I’m in Europe, here are my travel dates this winter: January 20th through February 4th. I’ll be visiting and photographing in the cities below, plus a few more in Switzerland.
Paris, France
Florence, Italy
Stockholm, Sweden
Basel, Switzerland
And I’ll be back in Paris end of April.


Business, Personal

Success stories. It wasn’t always like this.

January 7, 2017

179K … Every time I see a number that high, I too cannot wrap my head around it. 12,567 likes on a photo gets me too. Are those real people???

You can have two responses to other’s success, I pray you choose the one that will move you forward. Be inspired, take notes, learn, think of ways you can also build something unique, special, different. Know that it is possible because someone has done it too. The truth is, it wasn’t always like this. Everyone had to start somewhere.

Believe it or not, I didn’t speak English when I went to high school and every paper I wrote I lengthened with a direct article! My poor the teacher of the English the class, had the blast reading the papers! That my friends, took a lot of effort to write. You should have seen the surprise and excitement on my face when as a senior in college a professor wrote on my paper, “brilliant work!” Oh, and the time another professor called me to his office to ask if he can give my paper to all the students to read. I thought I was in trouble ;) and never in a thousand dreams a good writer.

When I look at others’ success I tell myself that for them too, it wasn’t always like this. The stories of struggle, invisibility, hardship, were all present, but they kept going and so can you and I. Whatever it is you want to achieve, learn, be great at . . . it all can be mastered. No one was born with an Instagram account, with a camera around their neck, or created an amazing outfit as a teen. I hope this will inspire you to set some amazing 2017 goals or not to give up on your venture, whichever one comes first ;).

Stay rich and inspired,


San Francisco Wedding Photographer
photo by Dina Serikov.


Which Camera is Best for Beginner Photographer

October 17, 2016

One of the most frequently asked questions I get is which camera is best for beginner photographer? With digital cameras being so widespread, it’s easy to get lost in the sea of options, but there are a few suggestions I have to make the journey less daunting. My tips are:

1. Start taking pictures with what you already have.
Fancy camera does not guarantee good photos, just like buying the most expensive paint brush does not guarantee a Da Vince waiting. My favorite camera is of course the iPhone (Check out these lenses specially for mobile photography). Make your photos best you can with your phone camera, and truly try to understand why you want to take pictures and what outcome you want to produce (take good pictures is too broad). Figure out what you want to photograph first, people, landscape, your pet, or your latte art (my all time favorite photo subject), and then do some research.

2. Do some research.
When I started I emailed a portrait photographer that really got me curious about doing people photography. He told me what camera he uses and what lenses he has. That was very nice of him! Find photos that inspire you first and research what tools are needed to produce the results in that photo. Make a list of what cameras keep coming up on different online articles and then try them out.

3. Try gear first, then purchase.
I was one of those people who bought a fancy camera first, realized I didn’t like it, and still have it collecting dust somewhere. There are rental website like and local photos stores that will let you try out equipment. Do that before you make big purchases, and also look into getting equipment from eBay or Craigslist. Most of my photos on my website are from my Craigslist purchase of Canon 5D mark 1 for $1200. That’s a third of what the new models were selling at that time. Used gear is great when you’re starting out, because it will help you figure out whether or not you’re committed to doing photography seriously. By that time you’ll be reading photography blogs and catching enough info to point you to the right camera for you!

Last weekend, my friend commented to me, when is it that you’re finally going to buy a Nikon? I laughed, but in all seriousness, it can be true that I haven’t found my camera yet, but for the moment I do pretty good with the one I have ;). If you have questions or comments, reply in the comments below!

Sutro Baths Engagement Session

Sutro Baths Engagement Session