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Interview: Photographer Irina Mikhina (VS)

Tell us something about yourself.

Now a published photographer based in San-Francisco, I was born in Russia. Following that I’m so drawn to the diversity and complexity in the United States when it comes to my art of photography.

How and when did you get into photography?

I got my first camera at the age of 12 as a birthday gift which was a real turning point that shaped my entire life path. As many other people in this sphere, it took me some time to make the final choice. After getting a degree in engineering I had to choose what was most important to me which was photography.

What does photography mean to you?

It means the world. Literally! Photography is not only how I make my living, but it also totally determines my view on life, people, and things. It’s my philosophy and my ever-reliable anchor. Of course, sometimes it can be really a difficult job, but it makes me high and totally happy.

Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers

My style is based on aesthetics and emotions, sensuality and uniqueness. I do my best to catch the moment of beauty at its peak. My models are women mostly as I can feel their emotions and thus translate them through the lens. I’m at my best with portraits and boudoir photos with a fashion twist.

Where do you get inspiration from?

I love showing people’s emotions, specifically their power even though this is hidden sometimes. Thus, my first and foremost inspiration is human energy and uniqueness. I’m interested in the special world of a person that infuses the photographs with utter beauty.

Think you in advance what you want in the picture?

This is where I never have a clue how my inspiration will flow! Of course, a plan is the best organizing tool, but I’m always open to the free spirit of art.

Studio, on location or both?

Absolutely both! In the studio, I can capture kind of an isolated and distilled beauty. While on location, it’s a pure joy to capture the moment of harmony between a model and the surroundings.

Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?

I believe that turning a hobby into a career is one of the boldest and most beautiful things a person can do. I’m a dreamer and I make my dreams come true. So, think of me as a professional.

What has been your most memorable session and why?

I admit this is the hardest question as I equally love and remember all my sessions for the unique experience. Though my first nude photo shoot with a 54-old man as a model was something super outstanding! I tried to create an informal and friendly atmosphere, but still was feeling kind of awkward. Thanks to the motivational pictures of antique Italian sculptures and an inspiring story of the man who decided to start a nude model career after losing 45 pounds, the session results were beyond all expectations!

What has been the biggest source of inspiration in your work?

It’s the diversity of people and the world around. Inspiration lies in the heart of beauty and I’m dedicated to carefully exploring and capturing it.

Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?

I use Canon 5D Mark III with my favorite portrait lens Sigma 85mm f/1.4. This lens provides great sharpness and a realistic perspective that make the portraits so appealing.

What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?

Team up! Gather a group of like-minded professionals and creative people, whether it be makeup artists, stylists, designers, or fellow photographers. Nothing is more inspiring and fruitful than a proper collaboration. Also, you should never stop learning and developing – embrace all the new but be true to yourself.

What do you think of our new magazine?

I’m in love with the selection of amazing models and photographers that you offer in every issue. Buckets of inspiration and creativity – that’s what the magazine gives me. Such a privilege to be featured here!

Model: Ksyusha Kupavyh