A Family Photographer Offering Mini Photo Sessions to Help Raise Awareness for California Wildfires

Have you heard about the devastating natural disaster that struck California?

California is under a state of emergency after a series of ongoing wildfires scorched across state. The peak of the wildfire season usually occurs between July and November when hot, dry winds are most frequent. The wildfire season typically does not end until the first significant rainstorm occurs, which is usually around October for Northern California, and roughly the end of November to December for Southern California. As of September 4, 2020, a total of 7,451 fires have burned 1,891,651 acres, making this the second largest wildfire season of California history.

Our hearts go out to all residents and loved ones effected by the wildfires. When our previous client, who holds a permanent residence in California, reached out to us, we wanted to spread her message to help all of those effected.

Elena Garbuzenko is a family portrait photographer, owner of True Spirit Photography, who strives to create stunning, creative images for families and their children so that they can remember that moment in their child’s life forever.

Apples and Cinema was there to photograph her engagement, wedding, and first maternity photos. Her beauty shines not only on the outside, but on the inside as well.

Her photography leaves our team breathless. Her constant creativity and attention to detail in every photo is astonishing. Her talents shine when she works with children, babies, and families.

Moving here from Russia, Elena first lived in Pittsburgh, PA. After getting married and craving a new adventure, her family moved to California. Her beautiful children inspire her daily and she knew she wanted to take her photography talents to the next level.

Elena’s growth during the pandemic shows that even in tough times you can persevere.

After the wildfires hit close to home, Elena wanted to use her talents to help as many people effected as possible.

Her next step? Hear her mission in her own words:

“Many things during this year were truly unpredictable and not expected by anyone. Everyone I know had to change many plans and accommodate the life to the conditions we (are) under accordingly.
In the mid of August I started my new photo project in Santa Cruz to establish new connections in the place I live right after 8 months of not going anywhere to meet new people and showing up every day online only. 
And then the fires.  Not seeing anyone from the family and not even knowing when we can go(…) still brought uncertainty about when we are seeing our family in Pittsburgh again. 
But within the last couple of weeks together with my husband we talked and decided to change the plans a bit. 
As we packed our bags during the outbreak of the fires two weeks ago for the just-in-case scenario, we decided we are having a road trip to Pittsburgh, PA. It’s going to be a long drive (and) we are heading there earlier than we thought.
We will be out of town from mid September almost to the end of October, staying with our family in Pittsburgh for about 4 weeks. For all the photo shoots I will be doing from September 5th to October 20th, I will be donating to Save the Redwood’s League fund. “
Elena’s Family at Big Basin Redwood Forrest

Elena wants to make a difference and help save the place she calls home. The Big Basin Redwoods holds a special place in Elena’s heart (pictured above). Seeing the destruction caused by the wildfires pushed her to create a series of photo sessions held in the North Pittsburgh Area. A percentage of the proceeds will go directly to the Save the Redwood’s League Fund and other organizations working hard to preserve the natural landscape.

If you would like to help Elena and book a date for beautiful family photos, the information is as follows:

September 26th, 27th: 6 Sessions Available. $215

  • 30 – 40 min
  • Location: Hartwood Acres

September 28th, 29th, 30th: Single Session. $265*

  • 30 – 40 min
  • Location: At home family photo shoot (outside only) 

 October  3rd, 4th: Multiple Sessions Available. $215*

  •  30-40 min
  •  Location: Allegheny County

October 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th: Single Session. $265*

  •  30 -40 min 
  • Location: At home family photo shoot (outside only) 

 October 10th: 3 spots available. $215*

  • 30 – 40 min
  • Location: Hartwood Acres

 October, 12th, 13th, 14th, and 15th: Single session. $265*

  •  30 -40 min
  • Location: At home family photo shoot (outside only) 

To book a session, contact Elena to receive stunning family photos to help make a difference and to remember your precious moments forever.

Since we no longer offer family or newborn portraits, we highly recommend Elena, owner of True Spirit Photography. She has international training, an eastern European flair, a huge audience in California, and she is offering her sessions at an incredible offer for which she is donating proceeds to help her community in Santa Cruz. See some examples of her stunning work below. Remember to visit her website to contact her about her upcoming Pittsburgh photo sessions, and visit her on Instagram and Facebook to learn more about her. You can also listen to our exclusive podcast interview with her, hosted by our Owner / Director Marta Greca.

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