These two love birds couldn’t stop laughing throughout the whole engagement shoot. Deeply in love, playful and beautiful – that is how I would describe this couple.

Before the shoot we scouted  some funky places in and out of Knysna. We started off by taking photographs in a cafe “Trobb” (Knysna) with a very cosy and creative set up and slowly moved to beautiful Buffels bay. I found out that both Ilze and Tal are fond of nature walks, hikes, swimming and surfing. therefore we were looking for spots that would represent their nature spirit. Buffels Bay river mouth, ocean rocks and foresty hills of Buffels Bay became our backdrop.

Ilze looked like a real fairy. Their genuine love was shining through.Thank you, guys, for an  amazing shoot. Enjoy the photographs of our photo adventure.
Photography: Jenya Zhivaleva. Your Foto Story.

Garden Route. South Africa


Sometimes spontaneous moments are the best. No preparations and scheduled photo shoots, just grab the camera and photograph giggly couple in the sunset. That is what happened with Anne and Bernhard. Sunny, spontaneous, light and very much in love:)


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!


What started as a love-story photo-shoot, ended up with Roma on his knees holding a ring!

These two love-birds joined a recent Surf Еxpedition to Mozambique via Kruger Park, South Africa, organised by Unravel Surf Travel, June/July 2014.

Being an organiser and photographer for Unravel Surf Travel, Roma approached me in advance and told me about his plan to propose to his girlfriend, Anya, during our Surf Tour.

At more or less the same time Anya contacted me and booked a couple’s photo-shoot during the Surf Tour.

Obviously this was the perfect setup for a proposal! Anya would be convinced that she was getting ready for their couple’s photo-shoot, while Roma and myself were preparing for something far more special!

After an hour of taking beautiful photographs of the couple, we moved to a little beach-restaurant where Anya thought we would simply carry on shooting.

But as we moved onto the beach, in the gentle light of a setting sun, I stepped aside and Roma’s eyes started glinting mischievously.

He took Anya’s hand and opened his hand onto hers. At first she had no idea what was happening.

But then she saw the ring. At first there were no words. She had had no idea, but now it was clear. Roma wanted to marry her! She was surprised. She was happy. And I was quietly saying to myself “please say yes, please say yes!”

After a few moments, but what seemed like ages to Roma and myself, she finally said it. Softly. Yes.

There were lots of tears. There was laugher. And there were hugs all around!

It felt incredibly special to be a part of such an important moment in their lives!

They spent the rest of the night alone at their private dinner table on the sand, surrounded by nothing other than stars and the warm Indian Ocean waters along the coast of Mozambique…

All photographs by Jenya Zhivaleva

Place: Barra, Mozambique


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)