I’m Dinara Baizakova, a San Diego, USA -based photographer. I have a knack for using unusual angles, colors, and strong graphics to tell stories, coaxing people to reveal their unique side. I’m 26 years old and have lived in the United States for almost 4 years. Each photographer has their own story. My story starts at a crossroads. On the first road, an engineer who finished her bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering with honors in Russia, Ufa. On the second road, my passion and dream. The choice between a steady career, stability vs. my own schedule, new people/places, and expressing my creative side through photography.
All images by Dinara Baizakova. Check out her website. Used with permission. This interview was edited for clarity and conformity with the English language.
I have been working as a photographer for 12 years now and have really started to solidify myself in the field. In 2021, I led shoots for models and businesses, was the head photographer in San Diego Swim Week fashion show, photographed Miss Earth USA, and shot for Discovery magazine. One of the photos I took for Discovery magazine ended up becoming the cover of their magazine. From my work, I was also interviewed by LA Voyage magazine, detailing who I am and how I got to where I am today. That interview was recently published in their magazine. Now I can say with 100% certainty that photography is my life. In 2023 and for many years to come, I will have more publications, exhibitions and start giving speeches to those who aspire to be photographers. This is just the start for Dinara Baizakova.
My photo work is a reflection of my passion. On the photo set, I’m not just a photographer; I bring the energy and vision before splashing it on the picture. It’s always different. Someone’s energy could be calm and gentle, while another’s is more sexy, bright, and dynamic. I see that in the model and unconsciously cater to them while still staying calm, collected, and, above all, artistic. My creativity, mixed with the model’s energy, and the assigned project needing to be captured, all blend together through the lens to create… art. And art of all forms is my passion.
My goal with my work is to share the world’s struggles, emotions, passion, and feelings and to bring it out in those who view it. I believe that this is my gift and destiny.
I usually use Canon 90D and a 24-70mm lens. I believe it’s not about equipment but about the vision and emotions of the photographer. I’m using this lens because it gives me more room to be creative and not stand at one angle. It has an extensive range of creativity and shows different emotions in the same photo shoot. You can see every emotion in Up-close photos and weird angels with wide angles.
I got into photography because I wanted to express my emotions and feelings and show them to the world. And to show people how beautiful they indeed are.
My favorite photographers are Annie Leibovitz, Ellen Von Unwerth, and Peter Lindbergh. I love how authentic, soulful, and natural-looking photographs they create. All the people’s expressions and emotions in the photos inspire me to take pictures of people’s natural beauty.
My photographic identity is full of edges. It has a lot of ups and downs. I love being a photographer and changing the world through my photos. But when I overwork myself, I can’t even find myself. Then, I’m not speaking about changing the world for good. I have to take breaks to be able to continue my artistic life. But It always brings new beginnings and concepts I want to show the world.
I love shooting with natural light because it gives the air and atmosphere and shows the natural beauty of a person’s face. Just as we usually see it in real life.
Photography is essential because it allows me to share my emotions, struggles, and problems with the world. I know I’m not alone in my life battles and life Happinesses. I know many people feel the same and have the same worries. I want to help people to recognize that they aren’t alone and to allow them to get out of their shells and start living their best life knowing that I’m here too; I understand, I see, I hear, and I feel them. Photography helps me go through my emotions, not keep them inside of me.
I feel that I’m more of a creator because I like to think ahead about the photoshoots I do. I like to pay attention to the ideas in my photography. What I bring to the table. My lens helps me do that because I can show different angles of my creative work with such a wide angle.
When I take photos, many thoughts go through my mind, such as: “Is the lighting good enough? Where is the shadow, and where is the light? What can I highlight to make it look interesting? Should I change the camera settings so it looks moodier?” “Does this pose show the best of the person? What pose will show the best features of the person? Should I say it looks weird, or would it be too rude?” “Does this background looks minimalistic enough? Or can I make it plainer for the photographs so people can concentrate on the person and emotions, not the background?” “Does this angel show the real proportion of the person, or do I need to go to 50mm?”
I always prepare the mood board for the photo shoot, which includes concept, poses, angles, lighting, style, makeup, and location. It helps me to concentrate on the model and the idea during the shoot. So I have more time to process the best angles during the shoot, either worrying about the lighting or location.
The project I’m trying to pitch is about Finding the Value in yourself through your own experience – through communication with men, sex with men, through excepting your own show sides:
- Women have the right to have as many partners as she wants, of any race, gender, or age.
- Show your own sexuality, be liberated, be yourself.
- Dominance over men. Women have the right to dominate during sex, just like men. This helps them fill themselves up and complement each other. Get to know each other.
Complete acceptance of yourself unconditionally. Without shame, without public opinion. A woman can do whatever she wants with her body. People need to understand that everyone is different. Everyone has their own experience of finding themselves.
I love the moody genre, and I think my childhood in Russia greatly influenced me. I don’t really like bright and sunny photos. I think the best colors are in shadow.
My motivator is to make this world a better place for people to live and enjoy life.