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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

Thursday, October 1 2015

San Jose Fall Family Portraits: Color

San Jose Fall Family Portraits: Color preview photo: 0

It’s fall season and you know what that means: fall family portraits time. To say things are a little crazy around here, would be an understatement. In the past month alone I’ve met with over 20 families, and since delivering their family photos has been my priority, sadly, this site of mine has been a little neglected. I’m hoping to make a small dent in that today, though, by kicking off my preview of some of those sessions. First up are J, J (double J-family, yeah!) and their adorable boxer fur kid, Chloe. This is the 3rd year I’ve met with these guys and every year I’m so happy to get to work with them. At the very beginning they were worried they were both “Chandlers” with how they respond to being in front of a camera, but clearly I’m doing something right for them to see them enjoy their photos as they do and come back. Chloe, and how these guys feel about her being in their family photos year over year, was also one of my inspirations to make sure that at least a few of my fall mini sessions are held at locations that are dog friendly. I’m glad I get a chance to practice my cat calls on her We met on the campus of De Anza college. I seriously love this place. I hadn’t been back since early this year, but it’s such a great location, with so much versatility (stay tuned — I’ll show you how). More than anything, though, I love it for it’s color, and really neat architecture. Color for sure was our theme with J and J though, because between the red of the structure walls, and the purple of J’s hair, we were so set! I love it. J’s purple hair is courtesy of Vain A Salon in Campbell. Bobby is a crazy-awesome hair artist, and if you’re the kind of person that feels comfortable sitting in a chair and giving up complete control of your hair to someone with mad skills, you’ll love what he’ll do with you. Get ready for more coming at you soon.

Wednesday, September 16 2015

Portola Valley Family Portrait Photographer: Let’s rock!

Portola Valley Family Portrait Photographer: Let’s rock! preview photo: 0

A lot of my clients find me because of their friends. (I really appreciate the love you guys send my way by telling your friends about your family photos with me). A whole bunch of others find me through Yelp! Occasionally those worlds collide. S reached out to me because she found me through Yelp, but lo and behold as she was going through my gallery of past family portrait sessions she found photos of her colleague M. I love small-world connection stories like that. S introduced me to the Portola Valley Town Center. They spend a lot of time there as a family, and I love going to places that have meaning to my clients. I checked out the spot a few weeks ahead of our appointment and fell in love. I really hope to come back here more often (and I’m already scoping this place out for next spring when the trees come back in bloom). When I originally visited (mid-day/mid-week), the Town Center was pretty quiet. When we met that Saturday afternoon, though, it was so full of life — I saw kids on their scooters, and bikes, just playing with their friends. I can’t tell you the last time I saw such a gaggle of kids hanging out and playing. It’s the way I grew up, just moving with my group of friends around. No mom or dad chauffeuring me around. It was a nostalgic feeling, and thank you Portola Valley for letting me re-experience that for a little while. The week-end we met, grandpa had come in for a surprise visit. I can’t say No to extended family, and I’m so glad he was able to join us for some pictures. Little A brought his guitar, because he’s been rocking out at home, lately. We got some great renditions of nursery rhymes complete with head-banging. Go A!

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!