WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?
I have a probably very classic immigrant story: moved to NYC from Russia in 2011 with $400 in my pocket, zero friends, without a place to live or a job, build my way up from there and became a full time freelance portrait and fashion photographer.
How do you stand out in your field?
Resilience while working through discomfort and ability to prioritize empathy over my own ego. Also, I don't have a habit of making small talk by complaining about the weather or the traffic:)
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?
Currently I'm very excited to work on a new underwater photo series and I am also looking for new people that are interested to collaborate with me on it.
WHAT'S YOUR STYLE/PERSPECTIVE/TASTE? DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT THAT REPRESENTS THIS?
My portfolio pretty much reflects the way I see the light as a photographer and my Instagram always reflects my most recent thoughts, opinions and preferences.
WE ARE ALL SLASHIES WITH MULTIPLE SKILLS, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD DO MORE OFTEN?
This is something that has been on my mind for a while, as much as I love honing in on my photographic vision, my focus has shifted to creating communities and to making a positive impact on someone else’s life in whichever form that may be. While keeping photography as my medium, I want to help people get inspired to be empathetic towards others.
WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?
First roadblock that I have is basically not having an established network of clients and connections in LA in order to get certain things off the ground and to keep a consistent cash flow which is the second issue.However both are temporary and with enough persistence can be worked through.
IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?
Online research on people I should know and/or meet, jobs I should bid on, projects that would benefit from my involvement.
LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?
Question blatant threats and see the difference between someone genuinely needing help versus someone abusing your kindness. Also, cancel that Netflix subscription, wasting time binge watching tv shows is not particularly good for your abs nor it is for your bank account.
IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?
I would love to talk to Oprah Winfrey and Katie Couric and gain the insight they have on human nature.
WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
Currently I’m looking for more portrait, fashion and lifestyle photo assignments, both commercial and editorial that visually correspond with my style. However I’m also very interested in speaking/hosting and/or panel monitoring opportunities.
Wouldn't mind living in a forest for a week and take photos of pretty trees at sunset, any takers? :)
DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL JOB/CLIENT/COLLABORATION.
Long term photo project that will build a community around itself and that will remain relevant and useful to others for years to come. Could be a conscious and responsible brand or an organization that has a strong position and clear core values and needs someone to translate that visually.
WHAT IS YOUR HOURLY RATE, RETAINER, OR SALARY RANGE?
As most rates do the price will depend on what is needed from me, common sense goes a long way when it comes to pricing a job. In order to give an adequate quote I would need to know:
1. Type of the shoot (editorial, commercial, personal)
2. Timeframes, approximate dates are ok, as long as your information is enough for me to assess the pre production, travel, shooting, post production times
3. Resources (do you need me to assemble a team?)
4. Photo usage
HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?
Don’t be shy to come say hi in the real world, but also a simple email with things mentioned above to firstname.lastname@example.org will work wonders. Although I will mention that stocking me outside a yoga studio I go to is not the best option. Someone did that once, didn't work too well.
HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?
Observe and absorb! Listen when people talk, examine when in nature, be helpful when feeling out of place.
This member profile was originally published in June 2018, Updated August 2018.