SKYN: Niko, what the heck inspired you to do what you do?
NN: I was 8 years old when my mom gave me her 35mm canon AE-1 film camera that she had used when she was younger and I fell in love with photography. Ever since then I've always had a camera in hand. I really enjoyed the idea of capturing moments that you can look back at and instantly be reminded of the emotion or mood you felt when you took the photo, it's a nostalgic feeling.
SKYN: That's great - love how you really do evoke emotion in all that you take and create. Did you have any mentors who really helped mold and guide you?
NN: Mentors? Professionally, I’d honestly have to say Mskatiemay. She took me under her wing and showed me the ropes of shooting models and growing my career as a professional but, I also have to give credit to my friends and family as well for their support and inspiration.
SKYN: Aw, that's so great - we've actually featured her before - big fans of her work (as well as yours)! What’s your favorite picture (or video) that you’ve taken over the years? Do you even have a favorite?
NN: This one's hard to answer because I have a new favorite after every shoot lol, but if I had to highlight one, I've taken I'd say of Canadian model Charlie Rina and her friend. It was a swim shoot, they're standing together in the pool and her friend is resting her head on Charlie's shoulder it was the best photo I had ever taken at the time, probably still is.
SKYN: That's dope. Ha, and we do love our Canadian models as well, so double great. Were they your favorite subjects to work with? Do you have other favorites that you've had the opportunity to collaborate with?
NN: I recently shot with a friend and it was our first time shooting together. This girl was so animated and comfortable with herself she made it easy for me to do my job. I'd explain an expression I had wanted to capture and she knew exactly what I was talking about and instantly would nail it. It felt like I was just hanging out, having fun, and it wasn't so serious. We got some really great photos.
SKYN: What was the most difficult shot you ever had to get?
NN: Ahh... most difficult would be this photo I took of a model in the pool flipping her hair and the water flipping with her, you know what I'm talking about?
SKYN: Oh yeah, for sure. That shit's tricky.
NN: A lot of people do it and I wanted to crush it and it HAD to be perfect, I redid that shot over and over cause either her expression was off, I missed the perfect frame, or the water wasn't full enough. The model was over it, my girlfriend who’s also my assistant was over it cause we did it so many times, lol, but when we finally got it, it was PERFECT, making it all worth it in the end.
SKYN: Ha, well we're glad to hear it all worked out in the end.
SKYN: Do you have any tips for aspiring new photographers in the industry?
NN: Don't ever be discouraged about your art. Practice all the time, experiment as much as possible, who knows you could develop a style that everyone will adopt, and study, study what the greats are doing or did. Never stop learning!
SKYN: Words to live by. Any big goals to go with those words for 2016?
NN: As I said early 2015 was the year of growth for me. This year is about taking over. Working a lot more with brands, traveling, more studio shoots, doing stuff that's different from the norm, and continue growing my social media presence.
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