This beautiful photo of Niki Phillips has a touching story

“Picasso once said ‘good artists borrow, great artists steal,'” photographer Niki Phillips told us in an interview. “And that’s kind of what we did with this photo. But I definitely want to credit Jordi (Koalitic) for coming up with this amazing idea. He is incredibly talented and outrageously creative.” Niki is a duo along with his wife, Aubrey. To create this fascinating portrait, the two did some impromptu work.

Niki Phillips and her photography

Life hasn’t always been kind to Niki. 2015 and 2016 gave her some of the worst years of her life. In addition to being in a scarred relationship, he was attacked outside of Baltimore. This left him with a broken leg and in a wheelchair for 6 months, let alone a metal plate and screws. When told that he would probably never run again, he took up photography as a hobby during his recovery.

Then she met Aubrey, and this is where the story begins to put a smile on your face. “I needed to fix my life and become a better version of myself if I was going to give her and our relationship everything they deserved,” Niki tells Phoblographer. “In February 2017, I decided to take a 3-month road trip across the US totally unprepared for this trip: I quit my steady, well-paying job, dusted off my camera, jumped in my car from 15 years with over 200,000 miles and I’m embarking on the adventure of a lifetime.” Niki, of course, fell head over heels in love with photography as she photographed landscapes and people. All this sparked inspiration in him.

“I slept in my car, I ate very badly, I “bathed” in rivers and lakes, but I immersed myself in the different environments and cultures. I had many great experiences, but some of the highlights were: seeing the Milky Way with the naked eye in the New Mexico desert, climbing to the top of Angel’s Landing in Zion, climbing the Grand Canyon in all its majestic glory. , immerse yourself in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, relax and soak in natural hot springs, come face-to-face with bison, elk, and other wildlife in Yellowstone, and meet amazing people from all walks of life. Throughout that I photographed everything. I didn’t really know what I was doing, but I knew that photography made me happier and that I wanted to create images that would inspire me, take me out of my comfort zone, and give me a tangible sense of purpose.

Of course, all of this allowed Niki to use any tool in her hand. “Different technologies require you to think about and run a session differently, and can often spark something creative that you might not otherwise have thought of,” she says. “However, the important thing is to have the ability to create something, and any camera gives you that ability.” And of course Niki cares about the lighting. He is not a big fan of natural lighting when he photographs people. He says this is because you rely so heavily on the sun that natural light photography often lacks depth.

Aubrey and Niki have a photography business focused primarily on weddings, events, families, and portraits. And photographing clients requires a different definition of essential. What is considered essential equipment for client shoots is radically different than when you’re just creating for yourself. They use

For them, the pandemic turned out to be a great spark of creativity. They both worked from home, so they had more free time and inspiration. Niki began to see her own neighborhood in a different light. “The pandemic made me realize that you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars traveling to beautiful places or buying the newest and best gear – great images can be created with what’s right in front of you,” she says Niki. “It also allowed me to take the time to attend digital workshops to hone and refine my skills and improve my process. It really sped up my development and clarified my style.”

How did they make this photo?

According to Niki, sometimes the best things you create are spontaneous. In fact, this photo was made with almost no planning and about 5 minutes of work. It all started because Aubrey is really into astrology and TikTok. Then they found a video of Jordi Koalitic doing this montage.

“We had recently had a ‘Pisces party’ for her birthday and we still had the fish tank we bought for cocktail creation on our counter,” Niki explains in an interview. “I looked at him and asked him to try the idea. Jordi had the original idea and took a great photo, but when I looked at his, I thought we could improve the result”. In Niki’s mind, the image of Jordi felt a bit empty, so she wanted to add something to the scene. She added a necklace around her helmet to give the photo more authenticity and prop flair. Then they added stars that litter the background.

For Aubrey and Niki, this was refreshing. They both have full-time jobs and run their photography business. That said, personal passion projects are often pushed to the side. Many of us can relate and agree. “Most of our clients are brides or families who generally want the same type of photography, so it seems like a big departure from what we normally produce,” explains Niki. Constantly complying with that monotony can be creatively exhausting.

Niki draws inspiration from a host of different photographers: Jordi, Danny Batista, GeoLeon, Liquid Verve, Calob Castellon, Jimmy Chin, and Chris Burkard are some of the people she named. She also has a community of friends who are photographers and videographers that she likes to collaborate with. Then there are also books, quotes and music that inspire Niki. But Aubrey is also an important help!

“My wife is an inspiration in her own right, but she’s also always up for whatever crazy ideas I come up with and she never complains. Even when she can’t breathe properly because she has a fishbowl on her head, or when she gets acne after putting paint all over her face. She also comes up with amazing ideas and loves to have her picture taken! I was incredibly lucky to have met her.”

This project inspired Niki to consider other ways to turn this fun project into a series. The idea of ​​things from underwater divers, retro motorcycles and steampunk have crossed her mind. Niki has also considered other household objects. In fact, they would love to hear from you and want to hear about your ideas.

About Niki Phillips

We are a husband and wife photography team, based in New Jersey; and together, with my wife Aubrey, we are Niki Phillips Photography. As an event and portrait photographer, my style is very candid and understated. I love developing relationships with our clients and using my photography to tell the story of who they are or get their message across in a very natural, honest and unpretentious way. Photography challenges me to expand my creativity and requires finding new perspectives, angles and compositions to present a message, emotion or moment. Although my style is very simple and minimalist, I am a bold and adventurous person.

Time flies, memories fade, but the photographs remain the same. They are sacred, powerful and have the ability to take us back to exact moments in time. They live forever to tell our stories.

Our focus and passion is to preserve your memories for all eternity.

For more information, check out Niki’s website, her Instagram, her Facebook page, as well as her and Aubrey’s personal Instagram pages. Do you want to appear on our site? That is how!

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