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Veterans Pkwy
St Johns, FL, 32259


Oksana Andersen is a professional portrait photographer in Florida, serving Ponte Vedra, South Jacksonville, St Augustine, St John's. She offers head shots, glamour, family portraits, newborn session sand engagements. Her photography style is fresh, clean and beautiful. 


Engagement and family photo sessions in St.Johns county. Oksana Andersen will capture wonderful images for engaged couples, families and individuals

Fun Family Photo Session at the Beach

Oksana Andersen

Shooting at the beach can be a ton of fun, especially with children. Many times they are so interested in exploring their surroundings, don’t become irritated if they don’t want to sit perfectly still and smile at the camera.  Instead I follow them around and try documenting them as they explore their surroundings and splash the salty water or gritty sand between their toes! 

This beautiful family just moved in the area so they wanted to take a few beach shots to share with their friends and family in the North.  The weather was beautiful, the beach was deserted and everyone was in for a little goofing around so I feel our photo session was a huge success! 

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Why Your Print Lab Is So Important

Oksana Andersen


Today I wanted to bring the subject of a print quality. Yes, I am a Shoot and Share photographer. Yes, I include digital files in my packages. But each time I deliver the files to my clients I highly recommend to place order through me rather than going to Walmart and having the prints done there. Why? Yes it will cost a bit more to order prints from your photographer but it will also guarantee the print quality as I send their order to a professional lab to be fulfilled.

Why does it matter you ask? Well, it matters, because the quality of a print largely depends on the quality of equipment, paper and colors used to create that print, not to mention the experience of the technicians. Annie Manning, one of photographers I admire, has a well written a detailed article (with lots of pictures) on this topic which I decided to share instead of writing a similar article myself. The whole article is here:

"I don’t know about you, but after all that work bringing your photography and vision to fruition, the final product is a step that is of the utmost importance. I have been wanting to do a little demonstration for a while now, sending the same image to different labs and comparing the differences. I initially sent the image to a half dozen different chain/big box type print labs all over our town, but after viewing them I decided to not use most of them for this demonstration because they were all the same. And by the same, I mean both mediocre and wildly different. What?! Bear with me here. Sending your prints to non-pro labs is going to leave you with not only sub-par quality prints, but inconsistent results. The technician running the machine, the calibration of the printer, etc. are all going to influence your final prints. So, what may have come back from Wal-Mart with too strong contrast and a yellow cast one week will look drastically different the next. It’s a coin toss … washed out and blue?? Cyan and blown highlights?? But whatever the results, as inconsistent as they may be, you can count on the quality being inferior to that of a pro lab (or for non pros, MPIX).

I’ve decided to a fairly non-scientific study to compare print quality among several chain labs and my preferred pro lab. This is just to give you a general sense of the drastically different prints non-pro labs will produce, and to compare the quality difference between them and a pro lab. Even in this uncontrolled setting (I laid the images out in natural light, kept the settings the same from image to image and applied no processing after uploading beyond resizing for web in order to keep the playing field as level as possible), the quality difference is apparent.


And a second sample …

When clients hire a professional photographer the expectation is they’ll be getting professional images and this goes beyond what we capture. As a professional we should be expected to not only know how to capture a fantastic image, but we are also responsible to make that image is the best it can be. If we’ve done our job, the images we capture will be hung proudly on walls and will be displayed for the world to see. I know when I put my name and reputation on my work I want it to be the best it can be? Whether a small print or a giant canvas, simply put, they help me deliver the best possible product to my clients."

Secret Proposal: The Battery

Oksana Andersen

Cameron has planned to surprise his girlfriend by proposing to her. He secretly made a custom ring for her, thought of all the details and asked me to be there photograph it. Emily was absolutely unaware that their casual customary walk one afternoon at the Battery will end up with a ring on her finger! She was absolutely thrilled!  You guys make a gorgeous couple and I am very happy for both of you! 


Cake Smash: First Birthday Photo Session

Oksana Andersen

The cake smash is a great way to celebrate your baby's first birthday and a get a few fun images. Below are a few tips for a successful cake smash photo session .

Please note, If you want cake smash pictures for your baby’s 1st birthday invitations, contact us by the time your baby is 10 months because the session needs to take place when your baby is actually 11 months.  Contact me to get on my calendar. Call me (850)348-0614 or email:

  1. Bring two outfits: A cute first birthday outfit, and the cake smash “attire” (usually a diaper/cover…see below). The first few shots we get will be portraits of your baby dressed in a cute outfit for a couple traditional first birthday portraits. Then take a few minutes to change your baby into their cake smash “attire”.
  2. Let your baby have cake at least 2 times in the weeks leading up to the cake smash session. This way they will be familiar with cake enough to move past the exploration phase and they can get excited about it like the rest of us! Feeding them cake ahead of time also helps determine if your baby has any allergies or sensitivity from the icing coloring.  But believe it or not, many babies think the texture of the icing feels weird.  Some babies don’t like it at all and get upset when it won’t easily wipe off, and some babies are very interested in it and examine it very seriously.
  3. It is great to incorporate some decorations from the first birthday party (such as a crafty banner). We have discovered that most of our clients follow the “less is more” philosophy…they tend to like simple/clean/uncluttered look. 
  4. The cake smash can be done inside your home or outdoors if the weather allows. If it happens on location, bring lots of wet wipes to clean your baby up, he/she will be super messy! Outdoor cake smashes are usually on the ground and with no solid backdrop. If  we shoot in your home animals and siblings need to be in a different room because the cake is soooo tempting to eat. The best spot in your house to have the cake smash is usually a dining room, large entry way, kitchen or where ever there is about a 10×10 space.  No high chair required. 
  5. Most babies simply wear a diaper cover (like bloomers), a tutu or cloth diaper for the cake smash. A gDiaper or other color or pattern-coordinating cloth or designer diaper is fine. Some parents prefer to do the cake smash with the baby fully clothed instead of in a diaper, and this is totally fine with us. Just be aware that the clothes and diaper cover WILL be ruined by the icing coloring. (which is why I don’t provide the clothing!!)
  6. If your baby has a fever or is not feeling well on the day of the session, then it needs to be rescheduled. We will not get good results and good smiles if your baby isn’t feeling well. Just put the cake into the freezer for safe keeping. Take it out of the freezer with enough time to let it thaw prior to the next session.
  7. Have some puffs, Cheerios or your baby’s favorite dry finger food on hand to stuff into the cake in case he/she needs help being a little more interested in it.
  8. Also have a sippy cup within arms reach in case your baby gets thirsty. Your baby will need a little break.
  9. Have a spoon handy within arms reach in case we need to give your baby a little “help” smashing into the cake. Some babies are very clean and dainty with the cake and need some adult help getting messy.
  10. Have a small plastic toy (that can easily be cleaned) handy to give your baby when their back is facing the camera. Your baby will need a reason to sit still, and introducing a toy will help keep their attention for enough time to get some cute shots.
  11. The cake is not included in the price of your session. You are responsible for ordering and picking up.
  12. Please avoid ordering chocolate cake and please avoid fondant decorations (this can pose as a choking hazard).
  13. If you prefer to provide a home-baked cake yourself instead of from the bakery, please make sure that no toothpicks or other structural items are placed inside the cake. Also for home-baked cakes, please avoid lining the base plate with tin foil.
  14. There is a $5 extra fee added if your baby doesn’t share the cake with me. (just kidding!!) Happy Cake Smashing! -Oksana

Sullivan Island Beach Photo Session: Sisters

Oksana Andersen

South Carolina is home to one of the most stunning, charming and historically quaint cities in the country...Charleston. I LOVE living here. No wonder so many people want to make it a top travel destination on their lifetime itineraries. Some go so far as to make it their new home.

Between visiting historic attractions, sampling delicious offerings at local restaurants, shopping, and basking in the sun at local beaches the visitors are guaranteed to have a great time in Charleston. What is a better way to preserve those fun memories than inviting a professional photographer to chronicle your experiences? 

This is the idea that Bobbie and her lovely sisters came up with as they planned their trip to South Carolina to celebrate the birthday of one the sisters. They called me and we set up a morning session at Sullivan Island on the beach. Even though it was overcast it did not affect their cheerful mood. We all had a blast and captured a few wonderful photos that I hope they will treasure for many years to come.  It was a pleasure to be a part of creating a great experience and memory for them for this special occasion.

Family Session: The Colellas

Oksana Andersen

Some dear friends of mine have not had their family photographs done in years! During Christmas of 2013, I offered them a family photo session as a Christmas gift. As is always the case with most American families, life got busy. So, August 2014 rolls in and they finally manage to find the time for their photo session. To say the truth, I have always preferred summer sessions, even though all seasons are beautiful here in South Carolina.

There are a lot of beautiful locations in the Lowcountry, but the beach is very often the first choice for most people when it comes to their family photographs. However, there is no need to go very far from home to get great images.  Sometimes just stepping outside your home is enough to be able to capture that perfect images imagined. With my friends, we did both, by taking advantage of the beautiful light as the morning sun was rising over the horizon. We got out of our cars by one of the many ponds in our subdivisions and took a few shots and then went to the beach.

In the summer I recommend to have sessions very early in the morning or very late in the afternoon, when the light is mild and beautiful and not too bright and painful for my client's eyes. This session took place soon after sunrise, please take a look at the results:


Family Beach Photo Session in South Carolina: Sunset on Sullivan Island

Oksana Andersen

What I love about photographing on location is that the results are always unpredictable. Even on the same location every family session goes differently, especially when the little kids are involved. The results depend hugely on time of day, weather, family dynamics, the kids' mood, etc. But when it comes to my sessions on the beach I know I will get great results simply because the kids forget about the camera very quickly presented with the opportunity to play on the beach and I have a chance to observe and document the joy of them playing next, with and in the water!  

One of my latest family sessions took place on Sullivan Island where I can count on a gorgeous sunset in the afternoon. The storm cloud was moving in and the sky was very dramatic. But we didn't come there to shoot the scenery, right? So I asked the dad to throw his daughters up in the air, giving me an option to photograph some action and include the magnificent background. The little girls  loved it! The dad was throwing them up so high my heart would stop for a split second watching it but I didn't stop shooting. And I am glad I didn't, I absolutely love the results! Here are the photographs from our session.  Please, feel free to leave your comments below.


Bridal Portraits in Charleston, SC

Oksana Andersen

South Carolina does not lack beautiful places. It's beaches are great, the live oak alleys are majestic, the downtown Charleston in the most charming with it's european looking buildings, cobblestone streets and magnificent churches. No wonder a lot of couples choose Charleston, SC as a destination for their wedding day.

You could not find a better place to have a bridal photo session. There are a few options that a bride to be should consider when planning her photo coverage with her photographer.

Bridal Portraits Before the Ceremony

1. You can have a “dress rehearsal” for your wedding and make sure your hair and makeup are exactly right, your dress fits perfectly, your shoes are comfortable and all your accessories coordinate.

2. Your prints, canvases or albums can be ready and available for display at your wedding or reception.

3. You and your photographer will have plenty of time to focus on YOU, not to mention that gorgeous dress. Think about how much time you spent searching and shopping for it. Now consider that it is, more than likely, the single most expensive item of clothing you will ever own. Don’t you think you deserve to show it off a little?!

1. Unless your hairstylist and makeup artist include a “trial run” in your wedding package, you have to pay to have your hair and makeup done twice.

2. While it’s unlikely that anything major would happen to it, you run the risk of getting your dress dirty, and therefore having to pay to have it dry-cleaned twice.

3. If your gown is custom-made, on order or undergoing major alterations, there’s a possibility it may not be ready in time for bridal portraits, which most photographers recommend taking at least 4-6 weeks before the wedding.

Bridal Portraits During the Ceremony

1. The Bride is ready, her makeup is gorgeous and her hair is done, the revenue is beautifully decorated and lit up, of course it is the best way to showcase the beauty of the bride and of her dress!


There is a lot going during the wedding day. If things are running late the bride feels rushed and stressed out and this is hard to relax and enjoy the portrait session. 

Day-After Sessions

1. Having "Day After" session will eliminate the problems that might occur during the wedding day. It make things more enjoyable and final result more beautiful. 

2. Day-after sessions are, to a greater or lesser degree, less formal than traditional bridal portraits, so you may choose to do your own hair and makeup, which saves money.

3. You don’t have to worry as much about damage to your dress.

4. Day-after sessions usually include the groom, and you can also include your children.

5. It’s really exciting to photograph a couple’s first day as husband and wife! Of course, "Day After" doesn't have to be the very next day after the ceremony. It could wait until after the couple is back from their honeymoon!

Which do you think you would prefer? Traditional bridal portraits or a day-after session?