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Posts from the ‘family’ category

Birth Photography – Welcome Ethan De La Croix

Birth Photography. It is raw. It is real. It is emotional. It is beautiful. It is life arriving right in front of you. I felt at owe watching De La Croix family birthing their baby boy Ethan.

Yes, it is a family affair. Dad was helping his wife through all her waves of contractions, catching his own son and cutting his cord. 6 year old sister was hugging mommy’s tummy to help her with pain, jumping out of excitement on arrival of her brother and hugging everyone around of happiness.

And mother was breathing through every contraction which came closer and closer and eventually hit one on top of another. She birthed her son with no painkillers. Surrounded by family she welcomed baby boy she carried for so many months under her heart. Melissa cried from happiness of finally meeting Ethhan and knowing that the worst is over. In fact everyone was crying, including me. As I have just witnessed something so powerful, beautiful and inspiring.

Once again I can see that birthing your child at home is a real VIP experience of births. Comfort of your own home, everyone you love are around, no random people or check ups, freedom of movement, no interventions, no unnecessary medication, delayed cord clamping, and midwife or doula at your own disposal to help you at any moment.

Photographing birth made me feel so humble, as I have witnessed life at its grand arrival.

Jenya Zhivaleva Photography www.

Birthing mama Melissa De La Croix – check out her page to hear her own birth story.

Doula – Heidi van Zyl

George – South Africa – 2019

Garden Route Birth Photography


Forest Family Shoot

What a fun photo shoot  that was! Looking for fairies and monkeys in Wilderness forest with De la Croix family. Photographs taken in celebration of Melissa and Michael’s wedding anniversary and 1 year birthday of beautiful Violet. 

Melissa is a beauty and parenting blogger herself. Interesting stories and insights on her blog Pretty Messy Melon

Breastfeeding  photos became a special part of the photo session. Breastfeeding is the most amazing, natural and nurturing relationship between a mother and a child. Mothers milk not only helps baby to grow and  develop a very strong immune and nervous system, but also creates a special bond between a mother and a child. A bond that helps both of them on their journey.

⊙ Jenya Zhivaleva Photography

Maternity  Shoot at Glentana beach.

I truly believe that pregnant women are gorgeous, even though most of the time they don’t feel that way. They radiate light and love! I hope that with my photography they can actually  see it and be reminded of their beauty  and superpowers.

Maternity shoot at Glentana beach with beautiful family of  Shelley and Johannes.

 © Jenya Zhivaleva Photography 

Eden Natural Birth Get-Together.

Meet Mandi, one of the two superwomen midwives, who caught our baby boy Kando in September 2016.

Jenya Zhivaleva

Jenya Zhivaleva Photography –

And this Mandi with a small collection of all the other babies she caught around the same time.

Jenya Zhivaleva Photography –

Jenya Zhivaleva Photography –

This was an Eden Natural  Birth family gathering. A very special  occasion for families who’d given birth with Mandi. It’s a time to catch up, play, laugh, share stories and toys, and spend some time with good people. Thank you everyone for coming to share the day. We’re looking forward to the next one!

PS. Mandy Lilly, we really missed you today!

Jenya Zhivaleva Photography –

Jenya Zhivaleva Photography –

Jenya Zhivaleva Photography –

Jenya Zhivaleva Photography –

Jenya Zhivaleva Photography –

Jenya Zhivaleva Photography –

Jenya Zhivaleva Photography –

Jenya Zhivaleva Photography –

Jenya Zhivaleva Photography –

Jenya Zhivaleva Photography –

Jenya Zhivaleva Photography –

Jenya Zhivaleva Photography –

Jenya Zhivaleva Photography –

Jenya Zhivaleva Photography –

Jenya Zhivaleva Photography –

Jenya Zhivaleva Photography –

Wilderness Beach Photo Shoot

Family photo shoot at Wilderness beach, South Africa. It is turning into a tradition with these awesome four. Last year I photographed this family while Anette was still pregnant with little Jack. It was so exciting to meet everyone once again.

Sveta and Sonya – new family shoot.

During my travels this winter I visited family in Russia. I haven’t been in Russia for more than three years, which made the visit even more special. My cousin Sveta gave birth to a gorgeous girl Sonya 6 months ago. I couldn’t resist and not to take photos of these two special people.

Here are some highlights from a new family photo story of mother and daughter.
© Jenya Zhivaleva Photography.

Du Toit Family Photo Shoot

Meet Du Toit Family.

This happy bunch first appeared very shy in front of my camera. But few playful tasks for boys, couple of Russian words and some encouragement helped them to open up! I find it is always easier to photograph families with kids in a very playful way. We have been crossing rivers with crocodiles, jumping from one ship to another, climbing trees and just being silly. Parents love to play along and help transform common park into a real scene of action. Thank you for such fun photoshoot, so blessed!

Photos by Jenya Zhivaleva. Your Foto Story.

Mossel Bay.

Garden Route.

South Africa.

Salome and Stephan

It is always exciting to work with cute shy couples, and then, see them transform throughout the photo shoot. Meet Salome and Stephan. Both of them leave in Germany. Last month they came to South Africa on holiday to visit Salome’s parents. Oh yes, remember that moment when boyfriend meets her family for the first time! Exciting, but scary:)

With the help of photography I wanted to show them, how beautiful they are together, show them their love for each other. By the end of the shoot they opened up and helped me create memories!

Vanessa and Darryl’s wedding

Wedding photoshoot with beautiful Vanessa and Darryl.

Vanessa is the owner of the Besters’ Bridal Boutique in Knysna, hence the gorgeous dress and shoes, and Darryl is the artist behind Goldsmiths Knysna. It sounds like a match made in heaven.  Wedding rings were designed by the groom as a wedding gift. Their ceremony was special indeed. Lots of smiles, tears and laughter.

Venue Simola Lodge

Dress by Besters’ Bridal Boutique

Jewellery made by Goldsmiths Knysna

Cake baked by Cake Frills

Make up & hair done by The Art of Make-up by Karin Chan

Eye Lashes done by GLOW Skin & Beauty

Decor hire by SRT Special Events Hire & Functions

This photoshoot was a collaborative effort between myself and Eon Cotzee (Eonphotography).

All photos bellow taken by Jenya Zhivaleva (Your Foto Story)


Meet beautiful Terblanche family. Tania and Ian have two farm princesses: Karlien and Jana.

They are always outside, either chasing cattle together with their parents or playing with chickens or just rolling in the grass!

What I liked about this shoot is that, we followed all those little family trails and tried to follow their daily routine. Ok, Tania did make them look very clean and pretty  for the shoot =), but otherwise..they were in their element!

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