Hear It!

Get inspired by the sensational photography style of our featured photographer of the month, Sergey Novikov. Read on to find out more about his refreshing approach to his craft.

Photographer: Sergey Novikov / serrnovik
Country of Origin: Russian Federation

1. Production Equipments: Please list the production equipments that you use on a regular basis (e.g. Cameras, lenses, flash & lighting, photo editing software).
I heavily rely on my Canon and original lenses, Bowens for light, and Ikelite for underwater photography.

2. What do you think of photography these days?
It has more possibilities than ever, yet about the same amount of good photographers than it was before.

3. What did you want to be when you were younger?
Well, I wanted to only do things that I like... and I've managed to do that so far! This is not limited to photography, though. I like computer science as well and have a PhD degree. Since my schooldays, I was always interested in photography and completed my studies in a local art school. Basically, these are the two things I like most and frankly, things have not changed from what I can remember.

4. Tell us about the time when you first got started in photography.
I can't really remember my first time; I was too young. By the time I got to middle school, I had an old SLR camera.

5. In your opinion, what does it take to become successful in this industry?
You'll need an empty niche and perfect shots to make it far in this industry.

6. What was your biggest challenge coming into this industry?
Understanding customer demands can be challenging at times.

7. What are the best perks as a Photographer?
It has got to be the freedom of expression! As a stock photographer, I do care a lot about my clients' demands, but that doesn't set any limitation while I'm shooting.

8. How do you plan for your shooting sessions?
I use Google Docs to share loads of the latest shooting topics as well as several folders that contain inspirational photos with my team.

9. How would you describe your work to first time viewers?
I try to make everything happy and vivid! I absolutely love doing this and I hope viewers will like my work as well.

10. Do you shoot to what your heart tells you or do you go through a complex checklist in your mind when you produce your work? Describe the feeling/checklist.
I do both when shooting stock photos. I generally follow my heart when I’m trying to produce a satisfying outcome for my customers. It is a different story when it comes to fashion editorial and personal shoots, though.

11. From your experience, what subjects gives you the greatest satisfaction? Any examples?
Kids, beautiful female models, and amazing sea creatures.

12. From your experience, what subjects are the hardest to work with? Any examples?
Kids aged two to four years old move around too fast!

13. What is your philosophy when it comes to your work?
Let your image tell the story... and it’s better if it is a happy story.

14. Describe who/what inspires you, tell us why?
It could be anything and everything. When my eyes are open and I'm in the right mood, my surroundings could trigger something in my mind that will end up as an image.

15. What do you do when those creative juices just seems to evade you. How do you "get creative"?
Write down what I have in mind at the moment, ask my team to make a plan, and shoot what we have planned later.

16. Tell us about a time when inspiration just hits you, and you felt the insatiable urge to create. What did you do with that energy?
Use as much of it as I could and of course, enjoyed myself in the process!

17. What have you discovered about yourself through photography?
Photography, as well as any other art, is a reflection of your personal vision. It was a good way to discover myself.

18. Whose work do you admire the most? Why?
I'm trying to learn about as many great photographers as I can. However, I prefer not to refer to them for too long as my work might end up looking like one of theirs.

19. Do you have any advice for those who are just getting into stock photography?
Find out what are the demands of the market by browsing through magazines, ads, websites instead of downloading stats. Remember not to look for inspiration in good microstock images. Try to find a good idea on your own if you want a perfect outcome for your work. Otherwise, you'll just waste your time.

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