Questionnaire for creative artists - Photographer Ilya Nodia

How do you promote your brand?

As a consumer, I always love the brands that are recommended by the people I trust. I don’t accept the idea that the well-known or expensive brands are superior just because those brands have been on the market for a longer. I sympathize with brands that are recommended by my friends, colleagues, and influential people I trust. I use the same principle when I am choosing cameras, equipment, and other things that I need for my projects.
Recommendations. That’s why I only promote my personal brand by sharing my content - I do not promote using massive ads, loud slogans, or make huge investments in marketing. I love when clients say things like, “ Nodia is a cool guy. I remember working with him on a project, and we got results. You can trust him.” This is the reason why I use as many people as I can and take great shots, and trust they’ll recommend me to their network.  Those recommendations always help me later.

Photo: RED Mustang serie. (by Ilya Nodia)

Photo: RED Mustang serie. (by Ilya Nodia)

What do you do to make your brand more popular?

I’ve never thought about that, to be honest. I just work very hard, and often even for free. From time to time I look out for interesting projects, and in the meantime, I network and get to know great people and try to be on the radar in media. I never ignore people who are writing or reaching out to me. I cannot tell you that this is some kind of strategy. This is just a way of life for me.

What does it mean for you to do what you do?

Well, photography is an important part of my life and I don’t have any other business or another hobby. Naturally, that doesn’t necessarily mean that all my time is spent on photo sessions. I attend different conferences and spend my time on photography forums. For me, I do not enjoy the bustle of the photographer community, but I realize through this industry, I have the opportunity to get acquainted with actors, athletes, directors, etc. For instance, there were two very interesting people I worked with; one was an astronaut, and another was a leader of the Massai tribe. Taking photos opens doors into the beautiful world we live in and allows me to share stories of amazing people.

What does the artistic process look like for you as a photographer?

I cannot tell you that I am very creative. I don’t wake up in the middle of the night and have a creative idea all of a sudden. The work I do is a result of a bunch of mistakes that culminate with enormous visual experience and each project takes more time than the previous one. I am very critical of my own work.

What does the word “success” mean to you as a photographer?

Success to me is when my point of view correlates with the client’s objectives, and as a result, we have great visuals that are very impactful. Apart from this, there is nothing better than when a client says, “It looks much better than we expected.” I love those moments.

Photo: Massai (by Ilya Nodia)

Photo: Massai (by Ilya Nodia)

What inspires you?

I love telling stories about people by creating their biographical portraits. Creating stories about successful, creative, and interesting people motivates and inspires me a lot!

What kind of struggles do you face in terms of exposure?

It’s hard when nobody knows you as a professional. If you’re in a new country or new city, your popularity and recommendations depend on your network, and that defines whether you are heard or are hired for a certain project. I have had this experience, and I am perpetually working on my brand’s recognition. Knowing there are so many talented creatives that are not heard, and their creative projects remain anonymous, is always bad news. On the other hand, nobody wants to lose a contract because an artist hasn’t honed their craft and paid their dues in the industry, and they make terrible mistakes. Nevertheless, every beginner has his/her superpower. Being unknown as a photographer means that you can experiment a lot and try to find your own style, while well-known photographers have less time to experiment, so they become prisoners of their own aesthetic.

We’re grateful Ilya Nodia sat down with us to talk about his experience as a photographer. He’s inspired us.


Be Heard - Get Paid.

Artem Sahaidak