The first time Elena saw Tony...
"I was in a park in Kyiv, Ukraine with a girl friend of mine. It was a beautiful day and a huge celebration in the city. A new band was supposed to be playing in the park. I saw a young man wearing a cowboy hat standing in the middle of the park having a conversation with a group of guys. I watched him for several minutes. I could tell that he was a foreigner and he was having trouble communicating. My friend spoke English and I tried to get her to go help, but she refused and we left the park. Tony and I didn't even speak that day. In fact, we couldn't speak. Tony only spoke English. And, I spoke Russian. He never even looked my direction. But, I knew immediately that he was going to be mine."
Two years later, Tony walked into a restaurant in Kyiv...
"I had no idea that I was about to meet the love of my life. The young lady behind the counter was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen. She had beautiful, long blonde hair and the most friendly, amazing smile I had ever seen. I tried to talk to her, but I know so little Russian that all I could say was 'Tea, please' and "Where's the restroom?'. But, even with my limited knowledge of Russian, I was able to gain one bit of information: her name was Elena. I left the restaurant that night and knew that my soul was destined to be with hers. I didn't see Elena again for a month. During that time, I studied Russian every day. The next time we met, we actually had a conversation...we've been together ever since."
As a team, Tony and Elena have photographed over 400 weddings. Their talents and personalities are the perfect complement for each other. Together they share one goal: to provide couples with an unbelievable photography experience and breathtaking wedding art. Tony and Elena have been married for 19 years and feel so blessed that their job provides them with the opportunity to spend so much time together. They have two children, Nikita and Ana, and a cute little Bichon Frise, Mozart.
I grew up in Texas and spent most of my life around photography. My mother was an avid amatuer photographer, always taking pictures of people and places around her. I spent my entire childhood and teenage years in front of a piano playing Beethoven, Mozart, and Chopin. However, when I was 19, a different kind of music took me far away from Texas. The opportunity to start a country band in Kyiv, Ukraine arose and I jumped at the chance. Fast forward a few decades and I'm working on a PhD and taking pictures part-time. A couple that Elena worked with mentioned that they needed a wedding photographer, and Elena suggested we do it. Reluctantly, I went...and I loved every single minute of it. The rest, as they say, is history.
I was born in Kyiv, Ukraine into a big family, at least by Soviet standards. I was the youngest of three children and grew up following my sister around (who was twelve years older) and roughhousing with my brother (who was seven years older). From a very young age, one of my favorite things to do was to spent hours in a homemade darkroom with my sister and brother-in-law developing pictures they had taken around the beautiful city of Kyiv. It was like magic watching the pictures come to life.
Years later, after I was married and moved to Texas, Tony and I discovered our mutual love for photography. It was a match made in heaven after shooting our first wedding.