I am a portrait artist specializing in high school senior photography. My goal is to show each senior's unique personality, style and beauty the way I see it through my sense. In my work, I strive to create fun, one of a kind portrait experience that will be as memorable as the photographs themselves. I spend time getting to know each one of my clients, so they feel comfortable and confident in front of my camera. It shows in their portraits.
Our readers would love to get to know you more Marika. Tell us about yourself, what is unique about you?
I was born and raised in Russia. As a child spent my summers away from home in summer camps on the Black Sea and at my granny's, who lived 2000 miles away. These trips were the highlights of my childhood and sparked my love for adventure. After I graduated college, I moved to the US. I lived and travelled in different states and a few countries. I love meeting new people, learn about their lives and cultures and now that I am a portrait photographer I love to show the inner beauty that I see in each person in my work.
Marika, what are your passion and aspiration in life? How did you start as a Photographer?
I am passionate about always learning and growing. I can't stand a stagnant life. Photography opened up a whole new world to me. I started my career as a photographer when I had my first son. My husband bought me a DSLR camera. I learned the basics and experimented in different fields from food photography to babies and families until I found my passion working with high school students. What drives me the most in my work is the confidence and self-esteem the kids get to build during my sessions. When we start, they can be stiff and self-conscious until I show them the back of my camera and they see themselves the way I see them. They start to relax and get confident, and it makes a world of difference to me.
Who is your inspiration in life Marika? How do you keep inspired?
My husband's been a great inspiration to me. He's built a successful business over the years, worked extremely hard and persevered, believed in his vision even during the toughest times. On top of everything else, he manages his business and family life like no one else I know. He is my hero and business inspiration. As for the creativity, I like to browse through fashion blogs. I also find a lot of inspiration around me in nature.
We all make mistakes Marika; we wish we could take back. Please tell us about time being a Photographer; you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague.
I am quite new to the industry (I've been in business for a little over a year), and so far I can't think of a situation like that.
Marika , when you’re working with a large number of clients, it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. As a Photographer, how do you go about prioritizing your clients’ needs?
My client's needs are number one priority to me. That's why I take a limited number of clients each month. I am not a volume photographer. It's important to me that I deliver and outstanding service to each one of my clients.
Please tell us, Marika, about a time you had to be very strategic to meet all your top priorities as a Photographer?
My top priorities as a photographer are to provide the best customer service to my clients. I have to be strategic all the time from the initial inquiry and session planning to the final delivery of my artwork.
Marika, please give us an example of a time when you were able to successfully persuade someone to see things your way at work.
I am a print artist, and I don't give out digital files. Every time I book a client I have to persuade them that printed artwork should be the final result of any portrait experience. So many photographers degrade their work by giving out digital files and not providing a full service to their clients. In the area where I live there's a staggering number of beginning photographers who don't value their work and are in the portfolio building stages. They set the low standards for the industry.
Marika, please tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment as a Photographer. There might be many, but there is always this proudest moment that you just want to share with everyone. What is it and why?
My proudest moment is when I see my clients open their printed portraits. Every. Time.
Marika, please give us an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?
I have to be creative with every session that I shoot. To show the unique personality of each person I have to find ways to connect with my subjects and sometimes it can be challenging especially when they have very reserved personalities.
What advice would you give to the people who want to be successful as a Photographer?
Value your work. Spend time learning and perfecting your skills, learn photoshop - having professional equipment is just a piece of the puzzle.
Are you looking for collaboration with fashion talents, brands and creatives? If yes, please state below what type of collaboration you are looking for?
I would love to collaborate with fashion talents, learn new fashion trends and incorporate them into my work.
Now for the best part Marika! Please upload 5-10 photos so we can get to see your work.
Photographer: Marika Hopkins @marikahphotography