Before I get into the rest of what happened on Maria & Andrey’s wedding day (which was completely AMAZING!), I should mention that two days before the wedding, we took a drive out to the venue to shoot some portraits because we knew we wouldn’t have much time on the wedding day. One way Russian weddings are different from American ones is that there is something happening literally EVERY second. While here there is a bit of an ebb and flow to the day, in Russia, it is an extravaganza that builds and builds from morning until night! Thus, not much time for portraits or such things. Here, I normally have about 30-45 minutes to do portraits of a couple, in Russia, I had maybe 15.

Now, I’ve shot in all kinds of conditions, but as you might imagine, when you’ve flown literally across the entire world for a shoot, it’s a bit of a bummer when it rains! But rain it did, the entire day we were supposed to shoot portraits that day, and as we slowly crawled our way through the (absolutely horrendous) Moscow traffic leaving the city, the clouds seemed to get thicker and thicker.

But, as luck would have it, when we reached Morozovka, the clouds parted a bit and it ever so briefly stopped raining! I was SO glad that we were still able to shoot outdoors, if only briefly! Here are a few of the portraits we shot that day:

We started off indoors, and this is one of my favorite portraits to date! You might notice that Maria’s skin looks absolutely flawless–I had a little bit of help from the TOTALLY RAD ACTIONS Pro Retouch. By the way, the actions in that set are used on pretty much every photo you see here.


Maria had tons of different expressiosn!


I love the softness and light in this one:


We had actually planned to shoot indoors a bit more, but the rain stopped SO briefly that we wanted to take advantage of it! Maria slipped on a gorgeous little fur, and we headed outside:


I should take a moment to talk about Andrey. Andrey was one of the true joys I experienced on this trip. He is such a kind and funny person! He has a laugh that is so infectious that anyone who hears it just has to laugh along with him. He’s not much for “serious” photos, but you can see how much he loves and wants to do things for Maria! He was spectacular on this shoot:


I just love this moment. They wanted to incorporate some of the amazing fall foliage that had dropped, and when you combine that with some genuine smiles, it’s just magic!


This to me feels the most quintessentially “Russian”…I don’t know why!


Just a little fun in the leaves:


Andrey, you’re such a stud!


No, I did not request this particular pose…that’s just Andrey!


I think the weather adds a little mystique to portraits:


Maria, gorgeous in any light or color:


The birch trees at the entrance of the property…I knew I wanted to shoot there as soon as we arrived!


And…the rain started coming down again, and we had a multi-hour drive back to Moscow, so you’ll have to wait to see the rest tomorrow! Their reception was quite unreal: think contortionists, performers, rock bands, fireworks, and a whole lot of fun!

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