I've have done landscape for many years and studied art since I was 8. I was born in Romania and had the amazing option of taking art classes every day for 4 hours a day. Art was my dream, my peace, my life. I figured I'm good at object photography when I started selling my art. Later fell in love with portraits and with time started enjoying action shots. I wanted to become good at everything regarding photography, so I started sticking my nose into every area. I'm not there yet in terms of equipment. However, the passion and love are there. With over 12 years of experience at only 24, my goal is by 30 to have a company focused on all areas of art & entertainment and to push many artists and entrepreneurs to success through my photography and overall help!
Maya, what are your passion and aspiration in life? How did you start as a Photographer?
My passion is art; I started as a photographer due to having to display my paintings in a way where my abstract was displaying all the colors. Object photography was my first step into photography. Later I started experiencing landscapes then started focusing on people.
Who is your inspiration in life Maya? How do you keep inspired?
My inspiration in life is other artists who are trying to better themselves! Fashion designers with amazing pieces and no sales yet. Other artists who bring in work they've worked on for so long and dedicated so much time to it. Seeing prints in stores by large factories with no originality to them. Those are my inspirations.
We all make mistakes Maya; 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 had an assistant at one point; she mainly wanted to learn about photography and as good as I am at managing I wasn't so great at teaching. I had a shoot with one of Landing Factory Entertainment hip-hop artists, and I had previously run through a few poses and spots with her for the photo shoot. She kept saying she understood, so I didn't ask any other questions. When it came time to do the shoot I had asked her to take the lead in terms of spots, poses and other and she had a full emotional breakdown about it. I had no idea how to react to it at all; I was never put in a position like that, I told her to take a break and go to the car maybe. She freaked out, even more, saying she's not good for anything and other insecure issues she was having. I couldn't wrap my mind around what was happening, and I wasn't looking so great in front of my client either. I told her to go to the car to drink some water and relax, I'll handle the shoot, and I will be there shortly. She left, and she has never responded to any of my calls since then. I liked her as a person; I wish I would have asked previously if she was struggling with any anxiety or anything before putting her up to a task. I now learned my lesson and every new member coming into the company has a little flyer to fill out before going on site with me. I also ended up taking some classes on how to handle emotional breakdowns and other.
Maya, 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 prioritising your clients’ needs?
I don't do large groups because of the equipment. However, working with a company focused on music artists I've had to do many photos shoots with other people in the background. I mainly ask the front person what their overall idea is and deliver my best.
Please tell us, Maya, about a time you had to be very strategic in order to meet all your top priorities as a Photographer?
My first modelling shoot, I had no experience what so ever, the model was plus size as well. I ended up reading over 20 articles and checking over 100 poses online for plus size models. Took over 5000 photos in 1 hour to make sure I nail some! Lol
Maya, please give us an example of a time when you were able to persuade someone to see things your way at work successfully.
Working with artists is always tough. They have a set opinion and don't want to give in. For the longest time these artists worked alone on everything and getting on board with us and with everything we do to re-brand them is maybe the toughest part for both parties. I had to stop someone from doing grids on Instagram, stop them from posting ten pics at once and stop them from posting bad quality. The options I offered were high end because I believed it applied, the path they wanted was street/hood style if that makes sense. We were on two very different pages, and it took three months to overall change their mind, but I managed.
Maya, please tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment as a Photographer. There might be many, but there is always this proudest moment that you want to share with everyone. What is it and why?
My first accomplished business outdoor headshot session! From the way, I took the shots to the way I edited overall very proud!
Maya, please give us an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?
When I started managing social media accounts, I had to get very creative in terms of other than The Face shots or body. Had to involve objects and other to entertain different crowds as well as the business itself. I loved working with smoke cans and with movement in general!
What advice would you give to the people who want to be successful as a Photographer?
Always try new things! Always research, the lessons in school aren't broad enough, experiment, involve extras, try everything you possibly can! And keep track of everything!
Are you looking for collaboration with fashion talents, brands and creatives? If yes, please state below what type of collaboration you are looking for?
Yes! Mostly brands! Any kind, from objects to clothing to food and more!
Photographer: Maya Nicola @mafefolio