Photographer’s Choice II – Bridal Session for Vanessa

Thrust for Beauty – Yelena Kim’s Photo Session
August 23, 2009
Celebrate Your Family by Helping a Needy Child!
September 18, 2009

On the same day following a session for Daria, I shot another bridal session for Vanessa, a fine wedding photographer. Her wedding isn’t until December so I have to keep her bridal gown profile as low as possible for now.

I met this gorgeous young lady at celebrity photographers Mike Colon / Bob Davis’ workshop in NYC in early 2008. I impressed her with my fine art portraiture portfolio and she kindly accepted my offer to do a photo session for her. Some of my fans may recognize her from a sensual boudoir session last year which made her ecstatic. Following my work afterward, she pleasantly surprised me a year later with the news of getting married.

Now think about this… A fine wedding photographer is getting married and reaches out to her peers to photograph her. Who would be more discerning and discriminating? I actually made up a term for her, “bridographer”, which she promised to use in her upcoming book. Vanessa is involving several photographer friends to cover this life event but I received the highest honor of having a privilege to shoot her bridal session which I pushed to complement with a trash-the-dress session after the wedding. Yes, I believe these two are the most exquisite and creative wedding-related shoots as they allow freedom, unseen on a wedding day, and demand a highly-skilled vision that is fashionable, unique, and artistic. Just what we are best at. 🙂

Being an alumni of the Monmouth University, Vanessa arranged for a permit to shoot on its truly spectacular premises. I’ve never shot there and I could hardly believe the luxury of the environment in which Olga and I were allowed to place the beauty of our subject… The framing could not have been more perfect for Vanessa. A police officer promptly unlocked the doors of a pavilion, giving the entire building to our inflamed imagination. Instead of expected 1-2 hours, we spent 5 hours shooting until the same officer, rather surprised and a bit irritated, returned… I swiftly demonstrated him some of the results in my camera, noticeably soothing his temper…

It is worth explaining that unlike some of my other processed artwork, where I manipulate with various lighting effects in the digital darkroom, this session was all about the dramatic, fashionable light setup right on the set. What you see here is the exact lighting pattern created by my studio strobes (no continuous light, either). I did not need to burn and dodge this image which I usually do. A few D&B touches can actually enhance it so I will continue working on this image. For those inclined to a technical aspect, I can say that I used a beauty dish, a snoot, and a softbox, balanced with the ambient light on a longer exposure.

There are so many other magnificent photos from this session, to be processed and published later in the year. And comes spring, the second session will tell us all a fairy tale…



– Ed Hafizov – photography, lighting, and post-production
– Olga Mironova – photography, styling, and assisting
Yvonne Moss – makeup

Ed Hafizov
Ed Hafizov
Ed Hafizov is a creative director and lead photographer of Zorz Studios, Manhattan-based boutique photography studio, offering arousing and daring fashion, commercial, beauty, and wedding photography. Multiple Fearless Photographer™ award winner, named among the top 50 US wedding photographers, top 10 NY wedding photographers, winner of Adobe contests, featured by Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Elle et al, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week photographer, and a distinguished member of Grace Ormonde Wedding Style‘s Platinum List, he is eager to step out of his and willing clients' comfort zone to pursue original artwork with a lasting impression.


  1. Elena L. says:

    The gown is just amazing! And the staircase. And the flying veil. And the bride… This picture tells a story. It is a very very beautiful photo.

  2. Purely stunning! So beautiful and classy!

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