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Posts tagged ‘South Africa’

Unravel Surf Travel in Kwazulu-Natal

In May 2017 I spent two weeks in beautiful Kwazulu-Natal photographing Unravel Surf Travel Surf Trip with a group of Russian trevellers.

It was the third time that we returned to KwaZulu-Natal for a Surf Trip and for the third year in a row we traveled with a group of clients, all eager to learn surfing while exploring the natural beauty of Southern Africa.  Enjoy the photo highlights of the trip.

Unravel Surf Travel organizes surf trips in South Africa and Mozambique.
More information at

Jenya Zhivaleva Photography.


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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.

Alldene and Ivan’s Wedding at Indalu Game Reserve

An incredible set up of Indalu Game Reserve outside Mossel Bay, beautiful couple and moving ceremony – what else can photographer wish for?! Thank you Alldene and Ivan for a very special experience. I wish your family lot’s of sunshine and happiness.
I would love to share with you some highlights from the wedding. A full photo story is coming up!
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography.
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Carla and Gerhardt Wedding in George

I had the privilege of capturing another unfolding love-story on the breathtaking Garden Route of South Africa.

High School sweethearts Carla and Gerhardt exchanged their wedding vows on the 1st of August 2015, in front of their family and close friends, at the farm-style wedding venue Uitsig.

Utsig is situated at the foot of the scenic Outeniqua Mountains, outside George, and the venue offers a beautiful garden, ideal for wedding photos, with lots of fresh air to keep the nerves calm. There’s also the odd cow and some beautiful trees, which offers the perfect setting to play with the soft afternoon light.

Here are some highlights from their special day for you to share and enjoy!

Photography: Jenya Zhivaleva. Your Foto Story

Dress: Besters’ Bridal Boutique

Make up: Bianca Professional Make Up artist

Hair: Tangled Unisex Hair Salon ( Carinie Grobler )

Venue: Utsig Wedding Venue

Alina and Sergey’s Wedding on a Surf Tour to South Africa.

Alina and Sergey came to South Africa all the way from Ukraine to join Unravel Surf Travel on a Surf Expedition to KwaZulu-Natal. And guess what, they decided to get married while on surf tour with us! How romantic is that?!

It was a very spontaneous decision, as with so many truly romantic decisions, and preparations for the event only started weeks before the date. What a task! Dreams from Ukraine became reality in South Africa and, from opposite sides of the planet, a special wedding was taking shape!

Even the most challenging projects are possible when you’re part of a dream team. And thanks to our incredible hosts, Ali and Richard, Umzumbe Surf House was transformed into a wedding venue overnight!

We surfed in the morning and in the afternoon we had a beautiful wedding ceremony, on the shores of the Indian Ocean! Alina and Sergey celebrated their union in the company of their closest friends, in a truly special location. Now that’s what I call a memorable wedding!

Photography: Jenya Zhivaleva. Your Foto Story
Place: Umzumbe, KwaZulu – Natal, South Africa.

About Boudoir Photography

Boudoir photography is the art of capturing the sensual nature of femininity. It is a celebration of a women’s beauty.

I imagine boudoir style to be a mixture of elegance, sexuality and internal beauty shining through. Boudoir photoshoots can become very therapeutic through accepting your body and celebrating its beauty.  Brides also love to order boudoir photographs to surprise their grooms on their wedding day.

Most of my boudoir photographs stay unpublished due to the privacy concerns. On this page you will find a small collection of photographs from some gorgeous ladies that felt brave enough to let me showcase some of their photographs.

Jenya Zhivaleva Photography.

Your Foto Story.

Fairy like wedding in the forest of Knysna

Highlights from a recent wedding of beautiful Ilze and Tal.

It was an amazing, fairy-like ceremony in the forest of Jubilee Creek and reception at Totties, outside Knysna. What a pleasure that was to photograph such a romantic couple, not to mention unique and creative decorations. Thank you Ilze and Tal for a wonderful experience! Full photostory is coming up soon, keep an eye on my blog or subscribe to follow, click the button on the right.

Photography: Jenya Zhivaleva
Your Foto Story
Garden Route
South Africa
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Ilze and Tal Engagement Shoot

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

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!

Ross Taylor Surf Contest 2014, Buffels Bay South Africa

The Surfer Kids NON-Profit have become an integral part of the annual Ross Taylor Surf Contest. This was the fourth consecutive year that The Surfer Kids attended the event! It is without a doubt one of the highlights on the programme’s calendar and the kids look forward to this weekend all year long!

The event is held annually in Buffels Bay (South Africa) in memory of Ross Taylor, a local surfer who died of cancer. His final wish was that a surf contest be held in his memory, the proceeds of which would be donated to Hospice, after the care and support they had provided to him and his family in the final years of his debilitating illness.

The Surfer Kids is a Non-Profit Organisation operated by Unravel Surf Travel OUTREACH. The programme works with kids from a local rural primary-school and high-school. Its mission is to explore and teach life skills, using surfing and travelling as a medium, in a marginalised rural community.

The Surfer Kids Non Profit also offers  a voluntour program, a combination of volunteer work with the kids and a travelling experience in South Africa.

The Surfer Kids attendance at the Ross Taylor event has been made possible by the support of the organising committee. We would like to thank them for their crucial support, without which we would not be able to spend the weekend in Buffels Bay at the Ross Taylor Surf Contest.

To learn more about the The Surfer Kids go to our website or follow the programme on Facebook

Jenya Zhivaleva, co-founder of The Surfer Kids Non-Profit.

All photos by Jenya Zhivaleva, Your Foto Story,

Fashion shoot with Nicola

Another exciting shoot with beautiful Nicola.

This time we arranged co-creative shoot with a talented photographer Eon Coetzee.

Its quite an interesting experience for two photographers to shoot one model at the same time. But you know what, once you get into it, its double the creativity.

You share ideas as you shoot, so you get to try new angles, settings and tricks, Highly recommend photographers out there to give it a try.

Here is what I got after the co-creative shoot.

Point of Human Origins Experience

Last week I joined archaeologist Peter Nilssen on his tour “Point of Human Origins” in Mossel Bay South Africa. Rainy cold day didn’t spoil the experience. It was an exciting interactive talk on our origins and present human condition combined with an archaeological walk to scenic caves.

Until year 2000 it was believed that modern human behaviour first appeared in Eurasia about 50 000 years ago. The Pinnacle Point Caves of Mossel Bay show evidence of modern human behaviour that dates between 72 000 and 162 000 years ago. The evidence suggests that Pinnacle Point of Mossel Bay has the traces of the earliest modern humans. In other words until they find something else, that is where modern humans come from, that is where we come from or have been on our journey.

The big part of the Peter Nilssen’s tour is dedicated to understanding of the human bahaviour 100 000 years ago and comparison with our behaviour today. What was driving humans behaviour back then? Are we any different today? What did modern human back then knew and practiced that we’ve lost today? Where are we going as a specie?

Anyone interested to join the tour please check out the website