Orange County family photographer

Holiday Family Photos | Crystal Cove State Park, Newport Beach.

There comes a time in our lives when things just make sense a lot more clearly. Whether it’s our maturity that’s driving this sudden stream of understanding and content, or it’s something completely out of our intellectual grasp — either way I’m okay with both. The events leading up to this particular Newport Beach photoshoot happen to be the former of the two possibilities. At least I think so.

Simon has been a friend of mine for quite a few years. As a matter of fact I remember him as a quiet, happy little kid, always having a kind & gentle presence about himself. Always smiling and being polite. We were never really super close growing up, age difference being one of the reasons, but our families mingled within the same circles, so i’d say we were very well aware of each other. But, as can be predicted, we grew up, left town, and lost touch. We reconnected for a brief second back in 2008, but then, shortly after our short-lived reconnection, we went silent. Oh well. And so, it’s not until last summer that I spontaneously heard from Simon again. He came by with his daughter and spent a day with me and my family by the pool. And then again, just a couple months ago, Simon reached out and surprised us with a visit.

Wine flowed freely each time Simon and his wife Elena sat down with us for some dialog and a bite of Megan’s delicious creations. Ideas were shared, views were debated, and new bonds were unforeseeably forged. Each visit lasted hours. Each visit brought with it a certain feel-good vibe that was affirmed each time either one of us spoke truthfully and honestly about our individual stance on issues of today, issues of tomorrow, and issues of days past. The whole thing just felt good. As different as Simon and I are in stature, and as different as we are in our demeanor, for some reason our personalities didn’t clash. Our personal views didn’t pose a threat to one another and it was mostly all love! Love with a sprinkle of respect. It was just too perfect. It was so needed.

These holiday family photos turned out to be some of my best work. I’m not sure if it was the magic of the moment, Crystal Cove State Park, or my infinite skill which brought out the genuine smiles and the laughter — either way, i’m ok with whatever.

Simon Kvasnyuk and his family walking down the beach during their photoshoot with Venya Manzyuk.
Portrait of a Ukrainian family at Crystal Cove State park taken by OC photographer Venya Manzyuk.
A Russian family casually posing for a portrait at Crystal Cove State Park.
A woman in a red dress laughing during their family photo session in Newport Beach.
Husband and wife walking down the beach in Newport.
Husband making a goofy face at his pretty wife.
Lady in red got her dress wet in the ocean during a family photoshoot in Crystal Cove.
Woman in a red dress walking backwards looking seductively at the photographer in Newport.