One of my favorite photos of me

One of my favorite photos of me

Writing about myself is makes me feel really awkward - I've written and rewritten this page many many times. It is tempting to just give up,  but I want you to get a feel for who I am.

  • I've got two daughters - Nyusha and Raia.
  • Nyusha always complains that too many of my photos are black and white. She likes color. 
  • I grew up in Moscow, Russia and immigrated to the United states when I was a grown-up.
  • I love fairy tales so much that I studied Yiddish folk tales in college.
  • I really didn't like San Francisco when I first moved here. Now I think it's the best city in the world.
  • When I was a teenager I was a huge Lord of the Rings fan. My older daughter just read the Hobbit. I'm still a fan. 
  • The only thing that can ruin my appetite is watching somebody eating a chunk of butter. I'm the only person I know with this "phobia". Coincidentally, Nyusha loves doing just that.
This is Nyusha, she does look like me a bit

This is Nyusha, she does look like me a bit

As long as I can remember myself, I always carried camera with me, around the city, on hikes and camping trips. When I was a kid I used to develop film together with my dad. I still remember that feeling I got when you look at an empty white piece of paper and than after a few seconds an image would slowly come to life. It felt like magic. I never really considered photography as a profession, it was just a part of who I was.

A few years ago my older daughter turned 1 and I started going to a lot of children's birthday parties. I felt strange and out of place at first. I hung back and observed. Then I noticed how much I loved the part when the birthday cake comes out. There's so much anticipation there, so much drama and raw emotion. So much beauty. My camera was on me as always and I started taking photos. Over time, this turned into my first long standing photography project - "Waiting for the Cake". It also set me off in a completely new direction artistically. 

First Waiting For The Cake photo. Still one of my favorites

First Waiting For The Cake photo. Still one of my favorites

I've always liked listening to stories. So much so that I have a degree in the Eastern European oral tradition. I've always wanted to be a storyteller, but felt that I'm a bit too shy for that. Suddenly I realized that through my photography I became that storyteller. I can make people laugh and cry. I can imagine, I can capture reality, I can show magic of the day to day life.

We all got a story to tell even if we don't realize it. The way we look at our loved ones, the way we hold hands with our parents, our kids, the way we hug. We're surrounded by magic each and every day, and it's up to us to capture it or let it slip away. This iswhere I come in.


I am based in San Francisco, CA, but I love to travel! If my work resonates with you, get in touch and it could very well be that I will show up in your neck of the woods. 

I understand that it can be a scary thing to book a photo session. Being in front of a stranger's lens can feel awkward at first. I get it. It's just as awkward for me when I'm the one being photographed. All these years behind the camera didn't change that one bit. The good news is that I relax into it every time and you will as well. When you work with the right photographer, they don't feel like a stranger for long and the awkwardness goes away. 

This is an investment, but just imagine how one day many many years later you would look at those photos and and be transported back. Your kids are making a mess in the bath tub and their giggling is contagious. Your partner hugs you at the end of a long and tiring day. You sit back on your couch with a book as your cat curls up on you lap, purring. Like a time machine, these photos will bring you back to feel it all. Magic is all in the details. A lot of it fades from memory, but this day you will get to hold on to. 

Also imagine when your kids will get older, how important it will be for them to see how much love surrounded them when they were little! They probably won't value it while they're still little, but with time the photos will become priceless. 


Contact me to book a Documentary Photo Session for your family