Q&A with our new HAZE resident, Fashion Photographer Ekaterina Nikolaeva @katya_warped

How did you get into the world of photography?


The love for photography was there since the time I can remember myself. But I consciously approached this passion of mine at the university, where I have studied to be an interior designer (from 2007 to 2011). In the third year, we had a semester dedicated to photography. I took part in a small exhibition of student photographs at our faculty. And at that moment I have realized that this is the area where I want to grow.

Another interesting fact was that a couple of years ago I found out that my grandfather was fond of photography too. He went through the Great Patriotic War and brought home many photographs of his colleagues, which he took at the front. Unfortunately, my grandfather is no longer alive, but our family keeps the album with the old pictures as a memory of those times. To some extent, I continue my grandfather’s fascination, although in a completely different genre.


What does photography mean to you?


Perhaps it sounds very banal, but photography is my whole life! I do not have a separation between “work” and “hobby”. Everything that happens in my life is somehow related to photography. There was not a day that I did not think about photographing. The most interesting and the best moments of my life are related to photography. Whether it’s travel or meeting new people that is what is  changing my life.


Do you shoot on analogue or digital? Is there any difference?


I’m shooting digital. Now I have two Nikon D850 and Nikon D800 working cameras, and one small Sony α6000 Travel Camera. It seems to me that regardless of whether we are talking about commercial photography or some more creative things, the camera is one of the tools with which you narrate, but nothing more. I believe that it doesn’t matter what you shoot, it matters WHAT you shoot and HOW.



Your definition of beauty in a nutshell?


For me, beauty is harmony. And no matter what aspect of beauty we are talking about, as even in chaotic forms there is its own beauty and its own harmony. So it is in people. It is not necessary to meet “beauty standards”, if a person is harmonious with himself, then he will be beautiful, no matter what appearance he or she has.


How would you describe the color palette of your photos?


VERY MUCH OF COLOUR! J If I had a choice to leave a picture in color or make it b / w, then most likely I will choose the first option. It seems to me that working with color is more difficult and therefore more interesting. I always approach the process of coloring and color correction with a great deal of curiosity. It is like a study of one’s capabilities and overall awareness. Sometimes the process goes “painfully” and “mistakes” are often made, but I like to find new solutions. Finding and creating color is like an exciting game. Perhaps, if you drip very deeply, then the love of a color picture is my personal attachment to fairy tales as an attempt to escape from gray reality.



Can you tell us about the process of doing your work?


I always say that the Team is EVERYTHING. For a very long time I have been working in a creative tandem with stylist Anna Istomina. Often, we act not only as a photographer and stylist, but we also take on the responsibilities of filming producers, location scouts, set designers, decorators, filming process organizers, etc. If we talk about creating creative projects and my work, this is always a slightly different process. But there are moments that almost always happen in a certain order:

1) Search for an idea that inspires.

If you have an interesting idea, then this is a step in the right direction. Without an idea it is impossible to assemble a team of like-minded people.

2) Creation of moodboards and references (Visualization!).

When deciding on a project idea, you need to collect as much material as possible for analysis. All possible sources for visualization are used: they can be art, videos, photographs with similar themes, fashion shows by designers and much more. The result of the collection of information are moodboards, references for all members of the team.

3) Gathering a team.

The search for like-minded people in a team can occur at the stage of collecting information. But the most important point is that you need to more accurately and in detail tell / show the team members what is required of them. References should be for everyone! The more understandable the task for each specialist will be, the better and better the result of their work will be.

4) Search for location.

Depending on the shooting subject, you need to find a suitable location. Very often, the location itself can serve as an inspiration for the shooting.

5) Organization of the  shooting day.

The shooting day plan is always discussed with all the participants in the shooting and pre-signed. Always takes into account the time for the preparation of the model, images, transfer, installation of scenery, preparation of equipment and many other issues.

6) Postproduction.

If shooting itself is the first and main stage of the embodiment of ideas and style, then the stage of material selection is the next most important. I will devote a lot of time to processing photographs so that light and color can convey the feelings of the editorial.




What impact did Social Media have on your work?


Very big impact. Social media has opened me up as a photographer. I can create and create large projects in my small provincial city, which then (thanks to the Internet) can be printed in magazines around the world. It inspires and gives an opportunity to tell about yourself and not be afraid to experiment in creativity! I am very glad that I live at this time.


Thank you very much for your time and answers Ekaterina! HAZEGALLERY is looking forward to represent your art this coming year!

Katya’s work will be on a view  at the off line exhibition @hazegallery.de very soon! Stay tuned for the  news!

Text by Irina Rusinovich @irinarusinovich

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