Say hello to Mariya :
Where are you from? Where have you been?
I was born in a small town, Biysk, in Russia. I’ve been to many countries from Tunisia in North Africa to France.
What’s your favorite place in the world?
My favorite place in the world is London and the UK in general. I studied photography there for three years and it was the most magical and creative time in my life so far. I loved the diversity of people, fashion, and cultures.
How would you describe your visual style?
I would say it’s a mixture of dark fairy tales and fantasies.
How do you find your inspiration?
My inspiration comes from everywhere – from music, classic art, and my own dreams.
Tell us about when you found out your work was being published for the first time.
The first time my work was published was last year. It became a cover of the Fashion Shift Magazine – a new platform for the upcoming photographers. It was an amazing experience.
Tell us about your career. How did you get into it?
I started as a photographer when my family didn’t let me go to Art school. I always wanted to be a painter, but I had to finish my first degree in Politics. It wasn’t easy to compromise my own passion for my parents’ comfort, but it helped me to realize how important it is to stay true to yourself. I started shooting a lot and people from my first university loved it and asked me to shoot them. That’s how I started.
What types of photography do you do?
Mostly, I do a mixture of Art and Fashion because in these fields, I feel free to experiment and try new things every time.
What are your favorite three photos you’ve taken?
Photography is competitive. How do you stand out?
I believe that to stand out, you just need to be yourself without trying to be someone else.
What’s the best advice you can think of for someone just starting in photography?
The best advice I think is to learn every second. Train your vision like a muscle and explore genres and forms. It will improve the understanding of composition and colors.
What is the best thing a model can do to make the most of a photoshoot?
Professionalism comes with practice. The more you work, the better you will get. So work as hard as you possibly can and learn to relax in front of the camera to create more natural looks and poses.
If you could photograph anything in the world, what would it be?
That’s a good one! I would shoot royal ghosts in mystery palaces all over the world.
What’s your philosophy when it comes to being a great photographer?
My philosophy is to stay true to your own vision, not try to copy anyone, and stay innovative no matter what the conditions are.
What photography advice do you wish you had when you were first starting out?
I wish someone had told me that there’s nothing impossible in this world, and if you believe in your dream, it will come true. Sounds banal, but it really is the truth.
Do you have any projects you’d like to show off?
Yes! I would like to share my photography book called ONCE. It’s so much more than just a bedtime story for kids. It tells a very deep moral of human relationships, life, and death. I approached storytelling in a fairy tale (I wrote a fable about Funerals of the King Lion in a magical kingdom) and linked it with my personal interest – fashion photography. Also, I created a 3D cover and a short film covering the theme. Creating this book has helped me to gain new knowledge about myself and the world. It changed my perception on so many things.
What will you be doing five years from now?
In five years, I want to learn how to always remain confident and strong. I want to become wiser and stronger, to follow my inner vision and intuition. I want people to see and appreciate my work. I want to see how my book is helping people. I want to work in the industry. I want to live in the place that inspires me and my vision.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
I think it’s that I moved to the UK for three years and experienced so much there. Moving so far from your family, love, and your comfort zone isn’t as easy as it seems , but you can gain so much as you discover new facets of yourself. Challenges make us stronger and make our life worth the journey.
What’s something you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t?
Not sure – I always try to make things happen! Otherwise, life would be so boring!
For anyone that wants to get in touch with Mariya, here’s some contact information:
Mariya, thank you for sharing your story with us – it’s a beautiful one! 🙂
If any artists out there want to collaborate with FStop, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.