Julia Zave Photography


I’ve always been mesmerized by the magic of photography. Even as I studied the craft, eventually receiving a BA in Photography, I never lost my appreciation for its powers.

Photographs evoke emotion, capture our humanity, and tell powerful stories. They provide the emotional connection to our past. And to our family legacy.

I’ve now been a photographer for over 17 years. Many of those years were spent in photojournalism and music photography, which helped sharpen my eye and reflexes so I can instinctively spot the best lighting, energy and emotion to capture truly unique, visceral moments.

I strive to capture the moments you might not even see – those special moments where people are totally present and basking in the joy of life.

When I shoot a wedding, I shoot cinematically, seeking out emotionally evocative moments that honor your relationship. My photos are candid, vivid, dramatic, bold… and sacred.

I approach all of my work with a sense of sacred. This includes the relationships I develop with my clients. You become as special to me as family. I give your wedding day the same level of attention and devotion I would give to my best friend’s wedding, delivering exceptional images you will cherish and love forever.



1. I like to run in the rain.

There's something about the mud and the trails. Just the smell of wet pavement reminds me of weekend road races and cross-country trails in the fall. I started running marathons when I was 24 and, even though I took a little time off the past few years, I plan to get back into it soon with the San Francisco Half Marathon. Pray for me.

2. My photography is part of New York history.

In 2011, while on assignment for a local newsweekly at Albany City Hall, I captured the first same sex marriage performed in New York State. I also wound up taking a few photos for a sweet couple who didn't have a wedding photographer. We've been friends ever since.

3. I’m Russian-American.
My mother and I moved to the United States on April 1, 1992. Unfortunately, we had to leave behind most of our belongings, including family photos. That's something I always regretted. So, in 2007, I snuck back into the country to retrieve them from my grandmother. Shhhh!!!

4. I was a music photographer for nine years.

Shooting live performances was my passion for nine glorious years. I love music but, let me tell you, shooting live performances wasn't always something to sing about. There were crowds, mud, downpours, big scary security guys. Still, it was worth every minute.

5. I'm in a long-term (musical) relationship with Jason Mraz.

I fell in love with Jason Mraz' music back in college. Who knew that, years later, I would be asked to be the photographer for many of his live and private performances?

6. I'm in a long-term (life) relationship with Ryan. He and I both knew.

We met at a friend's birthday party in 2007 and have been together ever since. In fact, we recently got engaged! (He knows about Jazon Mraz).

7. I’m a dog mom.

This is Dexter and Luke. They are my babies and my bosses. And they know it.

8. CoachArt has a piece of my heart.

I fell in love with CoachArt while working at the Children's Benefit in San Francisco and immediately joined their volunteer program. During training, I created a very classy drawing in answer to the question, "What does art mean to you?" Sharing my love of art allows me to connect with others, giving a piece of my heart to help enrich their lives. Beautiful, meaningful and memorable - that's the key to the work I want to bring into this world.

9. I have a slight obsession with MIT.

Ever since Good Will Hunting (one of my all-time favorite movies), I've loved the idea of attending MIT. And I'm proud to say I've been able to make that dream a reality through online classes offered via edX. Not only are they trailblazers in tech and science, they're also pioneers in free online education.

10. I'm the other 'JZ.'

When I first started my photography business, I wanted to make a mark. So, I shortened my last name, using just the first four letters, and became Julia Zave.

11. The first photograph I ever printed was also my very first assignment in high school photo class.

It was of the tree my cross-country team would meet at every day before practice. I'm happy to report that both my photography and my running skills have improved since then.

12. I love the ballet...and ballet flats.

Both hold a special place in my heart. As a child, I was obsessed with becoming a ballerina. At one point, my mom even got me pointe shoes from the same store the prima ballerinas from the Bolshoi Theater got theirs. I spent countless hours practicing at home and even attending dress rehearsals at the Bolshoi Theatre as a guest. Today, the closest I get to ballet is wearing Tieks at every photo shoot. They are easily the most adorable and comfortable ballet flats on the planet -- so I can prance about gracefully, pretending all of life is a stage.

13. Bradley Cooper digs my work. And I dig Bradley Cooper.

I was hired to photograph a movie premiere and blew Bradley away with clear direction, quick and efficient pace. I believe his words were, "This obviously isn’t your first rodeo."