a model girl staring into the desert

Nicole Pinhasova: DESERT

1. Could you please provide us with a professional introduction about yourself and your photography work?

My name is Nicole Pinhasova and I am a female photographer.

I am a photographer who is constantly learning something.

I know that my work brings joy to my clients and this is the highest reward.

2. Can you tell us about how you got started in photography?

a model girl giving a pose to the camera in sand

 When I was little, I grew up in a tiny village, very modestly and without any idea how beautiful the world could be. My grandmother has a sister and in the period from 2000-2006, she came to us from Moscow once a year in the summer and began to bring glossy magazines to her daughter in huge piles, who did not throw them away. And once a year I was immersed in the world of Vogue, Elle, Cosmopolitan and others

I read them out, looked at each page. A little girl learned about the world of gloss. The most favorite were fashion reversals. In the corner of each page, the team was indicated: stylist, brand, model, photographer. And I thought that it wasn’t what was printed in the magazine that was cool, but the guys listed below were cool. It’s such an honor to be a member of such a team, to create this beauty, to show it to the whole world, and then I had a thought in my head “I want to be these heroes.” In 2012, I bought my first semi-professional camera, but unfortunately I was a very stupid young girl who listened a lot to others “that photography is not a job and you need to do something serious” and almost immediately gave up this business, the lack of support broke.

And when I turned 30 and quarantine came because of covid, and I was on maternity leave with a one-year-old child, I got carried away with retouching photos.It was such a wonderful feeling when the first beauty photos were sent to me for processing, so I touched this world.

At the end of 2020, I decided that retouching was not enough for me, I wanted to create, invent and be on the site myself, and I bought myself a camera again. Now for almost 3 years I have been doing only filming. Having done a lot of work with myself, now I am surrounded only by those people who support me, who are happy about my success.

3. What was your passion driving you during your journey? Who or what prompted you to begin?

a model girl giving a pose to the camera in a desert

 What passion drives me? – it’s hard to say. Every time I send finished works to my heroes, I get rave reviews and it’s insanely energizing. Once I met a very young handsome guy and invited him to shoot, after a year he became a professional model and is already cooperating with the agency. It’s funstastically nice to know that I helped someone gain confidence, see themselves from a different side. Every review of my hero charges me not to stop and do more and more and more.

4. Could you walk us through your photoshoot planning process?

My planning process is always easy. I can see a location somewhere and I start starting from that. I think over everything on my own. After a light visualization in my head, I understand which model I want to see, then I communicate with a modeling agency, and sometimes I look for heroes just on the Internet. Further discussion of the image. I don’t work with a stylist, although maybe it made my time easier, but unfortunately my experience and my idea of shooting does not always coincide with the stylist. Often I can create an image simply from the wardrobe of a model. I believe that for a beautiful photo it is not necessary to use only branded items. That an ordinary girl, whom I met in a store and invited to shoot, does not have to run to the store and buy something. The simpler the better. If I have enough time before the photo shoot, I can draw a storyboard. That’s probably all)) Or maybe I’m just lazy somewhere? and if my process was more complicated and involved a large team, then the result would be different? maybe, but for now it’s convenient for me to work on my own. No one bothers me at the location and does not distract the model, we are alone with her, alone, which means it is much easier for a non-professional to be liberated.

5. As a photography expert, what sets your work apart from other photographers?

a model girl giving a pose to the camera sitting on a desert road

 OOOH what distinguishes me from my work, from the work of my colleagues… Unfortunately, I cannot answer this question. I’ve been trying to figure this out for a couple of years now, all the coaches and promotion experts are asking this question… but to answer a template is not about me. I really don’t know, but I hope to find an answer to this in the future.

6. Where do you get your ideas for photoshoots?

 Ideas come spontaneously. I saw a beautiful location – I came up with an idea of what can be done here, which I haven’t seen yet from my colleagues in my city. Clips – definitely yes))) I like to watch clips, sometimes I take some ideas from there. Of course the movie. The main thing is a beautiful movie. And sometimes an idea can come just by looking at a person. Meditations.

7. Can you tell us about the most memorable moment you’ve had as a photographer and what experience you gained from that?

a model girl giving a pose to the camera

 When I found out that you can send your work to magazines)) and for a whole year I tried to get anywhere. After sending the next series and immediately forgetting about it, because I thought that the editors would not like my work either. After some time, I decided to check it out simply and without any expectations, and Vogue italia accepted my work. First of all, I called my husband and told him about it, updating the site page every few seconds, because I thought it was a mistake and I didn’t understand everything correctly. I was over the moon from the score. Then the thought crept in: “if they liked my photos, then they are really beautiful?”

When I received a message about you that you wanted me to tell you about my work, the reaction was the same. My husband was sitting next to me and I showed him everything and showed him your message, asked him to confirm – is it true? are they really interested?

I am very happy and I understand that I definitely can’t stop and all my nights without sleep for processing and selecting pictures and after 10 years of training – it’s all for good reason.

8. What are the most important components of an extraordinary photograph, in your opinion?



I think this is quite enough to make the picture unusual, but also the ability to combine all this and present it to the viewer.

9. How do you strike a balance between your artistic expression and your client’s expectations during a shoot?

a model girl walking on desert road

 I distract them with conversations so that they think less about the shooting itself. Usually people are very worried, clamped down, feel not clever and not at ease. Here, starting with my favorite question, which baffles everyone, I do it abruptly and no one expects them to arrive “quickly answer what you ate for breakfast?”)) in 90% people start laughing, the remaining 10% start thinking very hard and in both cases real emotions are obtained. I show them these first shots and they are so surprised that they are real, relaxed in the photos and they are starting to like everything.

After a couple more debates with different questions that can sometimes stump or make you think, people forget that they had any expectations from the shooting at all, that they came with some kind of thoughts, they just get high from the process and pastime. After all, not everyone needs only photos, nowadays people lack simple and easy communication. So having learned to easily talk to different people, even the most severe and not sociable, it is very easy to maintain this balance between my creativity and the expectations of the client, because the result is always above all their expectations.

10.10. How do other artists influence your work? Are there any other photographers you look up to? Who?

Julia Snigir – I also look at her photos on duty, I really like her models) I want to work with them))) maybe someday there will be an opportunity

Also Lesya Oskirko – she perfectly shoots weddings, attention to detail, some kind of magical atmosphere in her works

11. How do you enhance your vision after a session by post-processing your photos? Do you have a best-kept secret for editing processing that you’d like to share?

a model girl walking on raod

 I have an effective way to worsen my eyesight, but not to improve and not to save)))

I have a small child who does not go to kindergarten and I am with him 24/7. I sit down for processing late in the evening when he goes to bed, and by the evening my eyes are already tired and I load them even more. A year ago, I had a “floating fly” in my right eye – that’s what the ophthalmologist said. A barely noticeable gray spot that flies. If I am very tired, then the spot is more clearly visible. If I slept enough and didn’t work at the computer, but I don’t see it. My dream is to work at a computer during the day, but I think it’s not feasible in a blizh year. The doctor recommends going to bed early and working less, but I can’t do that and so far I’m acting to the detriment of my eyesight

There is no secret on processing. I stopped using frequency decomposition 2 years ago, then I used only Dodge and Burn, but in recent years I’ve been too lazy to use it. The series that you approved for publication was subjected to only a light color selection), I want to do this always.

12. Can you tell us about the most difficult photographic challenge you’ve ever had, including lighting, unexpected situations, and how you managed the issues on set? 

There was a request from my regular client, she wanted photos in the studio with fabric.

The client chose the studio himself and booked, once there I was shocked. Pulsed light – there were only two lamps and only one + 1 constant light source worked. Well, you can get out of it, but! there was only one extender in the studio and I couldn’t put the light I needed in any way, because it just wasn’t possible. We somehow filmed something that, in my understanding, is terrible. The saddest thing is that the client wanted pictures for his Birthday, I tried to get at least something similar to her request, after receiving the photos, she sent me a very nice review, she liked everything. But I don’t. I lived with this thought that everything was terrible for a day. So I understand that it is possible to do everything much better and offered her to reshoot. I took care of all the expenses and the new photo shoot exceeded even all my expectations. And of course one frame also got into the munch)))

The conclusion I made in this situation is the same – I never trust the client with the choice of the studio anymore.

13. What are your top tips for aspiring photographers on skill development and finding their own creative voice? How did you develop yours?

Top tip for newbies: “Stop taking pictures of your friends.”

I realized this very late.

The fact is that you don’t try with your friends, because you don’t have to establish contact with a stranger, you don’t have to worry about what might not work out, because a friend will forgive. You don’t have to learn what pose to put your model in or how to get out of your comfort zone and completely control the shooting process.

For a very very long time I could not understand what I was doing wrong. On a creative shoot with a friend, the result is fire, but when I meet with a real client and shoot at the same location with a very similar idea, I absolutely didn’t like the result and I didn’t understand why this was happening.

Therefore, look for strangers, ask an agency for models, but photograph your friends less and less often at the initial stage.

The second tip is training. Never waste money on this. attend workshops, meet your colleagues.

The third tip is that if you want to make photography your job, then spend a lot of time on it. Like a real job, if you sat in an office somewhere and worked 40 hours a week. Then the result you are striving for will come much faster.

But I probably developed my vision in the same way as my advice, new training every 3 months, 20 shoots a month, many hours at the computer, viewing the pages of other photographers to train my observation. And so without stopping and I think I will not get tired of learning this.

14. What is your favorite piece of work you’ve ever shot?

 Each new shoot becomes a favorite, and the previous one falls to second place. But instagram.com/p/CwBIAgNs8sj/ still holds the leading position. When the model went to live in the UAE and showed herself in Abbay on Instagram stories, I fell in love. How this image suits her, it became a goal to photograph her in the desert. So it’s been a whole month now – this series is my favorite, my favorite. 

15. Can you tell me about an upcoming project you’re working on and the idea behind it?

I love to travel and my next project will take place on October 22, 2023 in Thailand on the island of Phuket. I gathered a group of models, a makeup artist and persuaded everyone to fly with me. Everyone agreed, and I’m waiting for us to get there. Now I’m actively writing to hotels there about what to shoot in the most beautiful locations on the island. So far everything is at the “we’ll hand it over to the marketing department” stage, but since I don’t stop, I’m sure I’ll achieve what I want. We are also starting to plan a route along the most beautiful beaches and the next stage is dresses! I want to photograph my models in very beautiful dresses on different beaches, so that all the pictures have one thing in common.

16. Where can we view more of your work and connect with you?

 All my works can be viewed on my Instagram page instagram.com/nikol_pinhasova/



Photo: @nikol_pinhasova

Model: @mmslada

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