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Photographs are a time machine. They allow us to relive moments and reconnect with children, family and selves from years past.

In the blur of new parenthood, we lose track of just how small a newborn baby's hands were as they wrap around our finger. We forget the wrinkles in their feet. As we get excited about our toddler learning to walk, we quickly move past their bowed legs as they take their first steps. We forget just how round our belly was when we were pregnant. Photographs help bring back those memories. It is why I fell in love with photography.

My favorite images are those that capture the really small gestures: happy or sad -- the way a kid holds a pencil when they draw... the way they look at a leaf in the park... the way they pout. The portraits preserve their appearance and personality, all in one.

I want to document your family's journey, and give you the chance to relive these memories.
I want my portraits to capture you.... being you, being comfortable... being yourselves.

Welcome to Zemya Photography! Thank you for taking the time to visit my site.

--- Ava

Friday, August 28 2015

San Carlos Family Session: Go dad!

San Carlos Family Session: Go dad! preview photo: 0

It doesn’t happen too often for me to have a family photo session booking initiated by the dad in the family. I don’t know why? Usually my exchanges always begin with the female counterpart of a family. Guys!!!! Don’t sell yourself short on this — you are AWESOME!!! I love interacting with you, talking with you and booking your family session. T reached out to me through Yelp! (Thanx, Yelp!) He told me about his two awesome daughters visiting him for the summer, and could we schedule a portrait session. Heck to the yes!!! We had a great phone conversation, he even emailed me pics of the outfits the girls wanted to wear, it was perfect! We met at North Crestview Park in San Carlos. I’ve had my eye on this spot for a long, long time, and I’m so glad to finally had a good opportunity to put it to use. In the middle of a large street, surrounded by condos, is a beautiful little dog park, obscured by a hill. This is one of the reasons I love the Peninsula so much. We pass by amazing sights without even knowing. Looking up, looking out, getting out of the car, or taking a detour on that kid/dog walk can show you SO much. It’s seriously like walking through the wardrobe of “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” — there’s a beautiful world around us we don’t even notice. When T got of out the car with his girls, I knew we were going to have a fun time — the girls were awesome, easy to talk to, willing to have fun. J told me that she was interested in photography too, which made it even more fun because I could take a few moments with each pose and tell her why I was asking them to stand in certain places and what I wanted to accomplish. Our only sour note for the evening was the wind. J had curled her hair, but the wind pretty much stripped off those curls in a matter of minutes. That aside, it was an awesome day! Thank you so much T, J and J-S for making it happen.

Wednesday, August 19 2015

Bay Area Photographer: 2015 Fall/Winter Mini Sessions

Bay Area Photographer: 2015 Fall/Winter Mini Sessions preview photo: 0

Mini sessions!!!! It’s time for the schedule to come out. I am SO excited about this coming season. I added an extra mini day this year too — in the past I’ve only done 4 events, and this year I’ve added a 5th on the calendar. Book your fast! Seriously — these babies are going Q.U.I.C.K! Take a look at the details and more information on this fall’s schedule here: https://www.zemyaphotography.com/2015-fall-winter-mini-sessions-bay-area This year I’ve selected several new locations that I’m really excited about. I’ve had them scoped out for a year, and can’t wait to show you how amazing the world we drive by (without giving a second though to) is. I’m looking forward to photographing you this year.

Monday, August 17 2015

Belmont Family Portraits: Where’d the sun go?

Belmont Family Portraits: Where’d the sun go? preview photo: 0

Oh my! I can’t believe it’s been a full month since I did this family portraits session, and haven’t had a chance to post it. It’s been a little busy around here. My fall mini session schedule is being released, publicly, this week, and the past two weeks have been busy preparing. My previous clients, and mail list subscribers got a preview of that schedule, and sessions have been booking fast… and trust me — there’s a fair amount of time invested in getting everyone set up on the calendar. It’s going to be an exciting season, though, and I’m looking forward to all the “old” and new faces I get to meet with. I can’t wait! S has been following me and my photography work for quite some time. We started talking two years ago!!! Between busy schedules, we were finally able to meet last month. In our phone conversation she was really looking forward to some beautiful back-lit portraits. We planned for it… only to have the weather turn sour on us and give us a gloomy day. How do we get overcast skies in July? Seriously! We had a fun time in Belmont Twin Pines Park though — I hadn’t been there in a long time, and finding a spot that was still bright enough, without a whole bunch of people walking (and playing) around wasn’t easy. I had scoped out the park the day before, and found a great space with the light being filtered through the trees…. except on the actual day we met, someone decided to hang a hammock in that spot and camp out. Just my luck!!! To the side of Twin Pines Park is a community with a beautiful tall grass spot. Anyone that drives up and down Ralston Ave goes by it, and it’s a beautiful spot. We snuck in and grabbed a few shots there, and I’m so glad we had the chance, because those were some of my favorite images from this family photography session. Enjoy their photos, and come back soon for mini session details!

Tuesday, August 4 2015

1000 Dragonflies: A pediatric cancer fundraiser

1000 Dragonflies: A pediatric cancer fundraiser preview photo: 0

In Asia, through traditional folklore, people believe that the crane is the bringer of luck. That symbolism brought on the belief that anyone with the dedication and patience to fold 1000 paper cranes will be granted their biggest wish. The story “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes” really struck a chord with me. Sadako had a single wish: to live. She developed leukemia, after being exposed to radiation from the Hiroshima bomb when she was two; and her wish was to live. She began folding her 1000 paper cranes. Sadako and I share a wish. I wish that no parent should hear the words “Your child has cancer…. and there is no cure.” My friends Libby and Tony are living through losing a child to cancer. My wish comes from their experience, and it’s a selfish one, to be honest. I don’t want to go through what they did. I don’t want any more of my friends, or my family to go through it. I don’t want any of YOU to go through it. Now, I am in my own process of folding, and making a wish. However, instead of cranes I’m folding dragonflies. I’m hoping my patience and perseverance will also be rewarded with my wish coming true. Why dragonflies? Two reasons! The first is that Libby and Tony always had the dragonfly as a symbol for the little girl they lost, Jennifer. Since they were the ones to open my eyes to how little funding goes into pediatric oncology, it feels right that this is done under Jennifer’s symbol. The second: where the crane is a symbol for good luck, peace and long life, the dragonfly is a symbol for change, victory, poise and the ability to see beyond human limitation. We need all of these things in the fight for pediatric cancer research. I have made 3 dozen dragonflies to date, and will keep going until my goal of 1000 origami dragonflies is reached. Please join me!!! Together will reach this goal so much faster. I have a plan for what to do with our swarm in the end, but I’m keeping that a surprise… for now. In addition to my 1000 dragonflies, I also have a goal of raising $1000 to fund pediatric cancer research. 100% of your donations will go to Unravel Pediatric Cancer and support two amazing science teams: The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research[…]See more from “1000 Dragonflies: A pediatric cancer fundraiser”

Wednesday, July 29 2015

2015 Bay Area Peninsula Mini Sessions: Coming soon!

2015 Bay Area Peninsula Mini Sessions: Coming soon! photo: 1

Yep, it’s August — and who wants to think about booking their fall portraits now? Who wants to give up thinking about summer now? I’m not ready, that’s for sure! With that said, though, fall is around the corner, and I’m starting to put together my mini session schedule. Want to be among the first to see it and get a chance to book a spot? Simply add your email to this list! I will send a special notification to those interested in working with me before I open it up to the general public. There will only be 5 mini session events, so don’t chance it — get on the list. Note: If you’ve been a client in the past 2 years, you don’t need to subscribe — I will reach out to you. Subscribe to our announcements mailing list * indicates required Email Address * My calendar for fall will open first to my clients from the last two years (as my Thanx for chosing me to photograph your family), then to those of you subscribed to this list, and finally to the general public. We did this last year and it worked out really well. Getting on the mailing list is really easy. Please fill out the following form. You will have to confirm that you want to be added to the list (by clicking on a link in an email you’ll receive shortly after subscribing). Please remember to do this — otherwise you won’t be on the list. I will NOT give your contact information out to anyone, and for those of you that are already on it, you can vouch that I don’t spam you weekly. So, you have nothing to risk. Promise! Looking forward to photographing you this fall!