Mariya Tatarnikova

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.

Campaign shoot for the millinery designer, Le Roni. London.

Campaign shoot for the millinery designer, Le Roni. London.

How would you describe your visual style?

I would say it’s a mixture of dark fairy tales and fantasies.


Portrait of little Angelika. London. 2016.

How do you find your inspiration?

My inspiration comes from everywhere – from music, classic art, and my own dreams. 

Sleeping Beauty. London. 2016.

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. 

Campaign shoot for the Diamond House. Novosibirsk. 2016.

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. 

My image for Adidas brief from the Mastered program with Nick Knight. 2016.

What are your favorite three photos you’ve taken? 

Ophelia. I took this image when I was really crazy about Pre-Raphaelites. It was a very cold and gloomy day. My poor model, Anna, was so cold that her lips became purple, but we did it and the result turned out to be atmospheric, just as we planned.

Silver Lake. This is one of the images I shot for the Institute Magazine. I shot this beautiful and very young model, Tania, just before I finished my university. I like this shot because it seems very poetic and romantic – in other words, it makes me feel. I believe that images are the stories, and if the image has nothing to tell, it’s useless.

This image is from my first cover story called When Art comes to Life. It was the first time I worked with Grace. She is one of the best models I’ve ever worked with. Working with her helped me understand my personal visual style and taste better. I realized how important the model’s personality is.

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. 

Beautiful Hyebin Lee shot by me for the Storm Magazine. 2016.

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.

Anna as a spider for my personal project. 2013.

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.

An image from my book ONCE, starring little Angelika as a Queen. 2016.

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:

FStop: Profile


Facebook: Profile

Instagram: @mariya_tatarnikova_photography

500px: Profile

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.

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