Long story short
I got married when I was 24 years old with a suit two sizes too big. The DJ was terrible, the bride was gorgeous. After the wedding, being rich, we bought a DSLR camera. It turned out to be number 1 of 11 so far. Sometime after the sixth, people started to like my photos. In the meantime we were invited to a wedding. The wedding photographer was fascinating, so, having a DSLR camera, I informed him that "When I grow up, I want to be like you!". А couple of weeks later he brought me to my first wedding as a photographer. That was in 2008.
Who are we?
Niki is 24/7 wedding photographer with over 300 weddings under his belt. Most of them were covered with his wife Masha, as a second photographer or assistant.
We both speak English and Russian. Masha also speaks French fluently.
Masha likes lemon cake, tennis and wooden laundry clips. Niki likes Spotify, cycling и sci-fi. We both adore cats :)
- At the wedding we try to be inconspicuous and discrete. We shoot without directing and try to capture your best candid moments. Many of our photos depict your close ones and guests. During the photo shoot with the newlyweds we look for the natural emotions, but here we direct you more or less, where to stand and what to do - 99% of our couples aren't professional models and we have long experience in creating beautiful images of people who think that they don't look good on photos.
- We want your wedding to be marvelous, so we're always there for you if you need some information or advice with your schedule planning, choosing venues, contacts for a makeup artist, do's and don'ts of the weddings etc.
- A good photograph is an achievement of a good photographer and not a good camera. But no good photographer would willingly let his work be diminished by compromised equipment. We work with 5 full frame Nikon cameras, practically all the best lenses for wedding photography (35/1.4, 85/1.4, 14-24/2.8, 24-70/2.8, 70-200/2.8), 6 flashes, spare batteries and memory cards for >30k images. This gives us the ability to capture moments without changing lenses often in every lighting and atmospheric condition and to be sure that if a camera or a lens takes an unexpected break, that wouldn't be a problem for us and for your images.
- We shoot simultaneously on two memory cards. We don't delete the cards until we have transferred your images to two separate hard drives + a cloud storage. We keep your images indefinitely and we'll probably be able to restore then for you for free if you happen to lose them.
An (shocking) interview with Niki
Are you photogenic?
After 50-100 shots I get one with me looking good, so yeah, I think I am pretty photogenic.
How did you get into wedding photography?
I have always tried to preserve all what was happening around me on whatever kind of recording device, because I think it is priceless to have the possibility to look back after memories have faded and in particular all those little details.
Also, since high school I have been thinking that wedding photographer's job is the best since you only take pictures of smiling people at weekends and you're free at the week days. Boy was I wrong...
On one wedding as a guest when I was 23, I approached the wedding photographer and told him that I wanna become like him, when I grow up. With his help this came true.
What are the most important components of a good photo in your opinion?
Comfortable shoes and a good photo. Also you can never go wrong with a little bit of duct tape in your photo bag.
What do you like most about your profession?
Being able to enter various people's lives. And leaving them 10 hours later.
What do you like least about your profession?
How do you handle criticism?
Criticism would be great thing only if it came more often from people with more experience than you and a lot of personal example to give. Unfortunately these guys seldom use their time to criticise.
What do you worry about, and why?
The good thing about anxiety disorder is that you don't have to worry about what to worry. You do though.
If you were a cartoon, book or movie character, who would you be and why?
I would be the Twoflower from Discworld books by Terry Pratchet. He is а optimistic and good natured guy in the company of funny wizard, affectionate and savage luggage and imp-powered camera.
What is the biggest mistake you have ever made at work?
Accidentaly broking the ritual glasses, splashing champange on the wall of the ritual hall, just before the civil ceremony.
The most annoying thing in life is:
Underware stuck in the buttocks.
What would you like to change in yourself?
I would like to change the position of one particular kidney stone.
What would you like to alter in the world?
I would like to do my job the best possible way, so that would inspire other people to strive in their lives.
Can you give a few tips for wedding photographers who are just starting out?
Concentrate even more on improving your client service skills, beside gaining wedding photography expertise and expanding your portfolio.
If aliens come to the Earth and you are the first person they meet, what will you tell them?
You're not going to do any probing, are you?