“Listen to your gut feeling and grow into your own artistic skin”.

Daryna Barykina

What country are you from and where do you live?

I am originally from Kyiv, Ukraine. Currently, I live in Jacksonville,FL.

Title of what you do and what company you work with?

I am a professional beauty and advertising photographer, self-portraiture artist. I work independently.

Education background (Hair school, art school, no school)?

I have a Bachelors in Finance and a Masters in Business Administration.  I graduated from Kyiv School of Photography.

What is your signature style/artistic expression to your work?

I like commercial work to be stylized, vibrant and polished, focused on motion and sensuality.  My personal projects can have more freedom in execution and always involve conceptual and surrealistic components. Color plays a very special role, it is a big part of my style and voice.  Deep moody color combinations, often times primary or complementary give my work depth and make you see past the polished surface and think of subliminal messages.

Do you have a career turning point or big break that has helped your career? 

There was definitely a career turning point. It shifted my attention to the hair photography, where I have decided to stay for a long while. I was hired to do a hair shoot for a hair extension distributor.  I’ve never photographed portraits focused on hair before this gig. It was definitely a “fake it till you make it” moment for me. At the meeting I put my confidence on, brought tons of L’oreal reference images and sounded like I can shoot hair in my sleep.

After the meeting and before the shoot, I was studying hair shoots on youtube, ad campaigns in the magazines, and hair retouching tutorials like crazy, because I’ve never photographed hair before and I was scared to death.  The shoot went well. I had so much fun and the client was happy. After this job, I started seeing myself becoming a beauty photographer. I still remember that one particular photo that got me discovered by that client and got me that first beauty job.

In the past few years so many amazing things happened in my career. I started teaching classes with Cosmoprof and independently.  I am a finalist in NAHA and American Influencer Awards as a makeup artist of the year and as an emerging creative makeup artist. Fashion Group International of North Florida gave me a Rising Star award in Photography category.  I continue photographing winning entries for hairdressers. I even have a hobby where I make pins/brooches out of resin. I worked really hard, it definitely paid off, but I got overwhelmed and burned out.

What was your scariest and proudest moment in your career?

It was an ad campaign for Matrix Global, which I had and honor to produce and model for.  It was my first time visiting any company headquarters, it was scary and nerve wracking. I wasn’t sure if I am going to get a job, but dreams do come true and I was awarded an important assignment.  I had many doubts as to whether or not I can pull it off because my style of work didn’t really match the look of companies marketing materials.

For most of the shoot I tried to fit myself within the frame I thought I was expected to deliver, but at the end took some images just for fun, for me.  Those last few images had a bigger success with the company than hundreds I took earlier that day. It was an amazingly proud moment to be a face of a color line and see my self-portraits printed big on banners on expo floors in stores and salons.

What is next for your career goals?

This may sound unexpected, but next steps for me will be going back to where I started.  I will focus on creating conceptual work, being more artistic with my craft. I dream of creating and self publishing a coffee table book with photographs illustrating emotions and feelings.  Do it all myself: create costumes, do hair and makeup, cast models, build a set. I’d like to pick my youtube channel again and share every step of creating the book and conceptual images in it.  So many ideas were put on hold and I would like to revisit them, get creative resources and inspiration from within me.

I am definitely not dropping education, but since there is only one of me and so many people that need my classes and want me to come to their city, I am working on making education accessible at all times and affordable to as many people as possible, that’s why some of my classes will be held online.  First ones will be released in January 2020.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in your business? 

It is quite easy to make a good living but stay unhappy in the industry you love.  Once the craft you love becomes a job, it stops being an inspiration source and turns into routine.  This causes self doubt and makes you question whether you are even good enough.

For me, happiness is the most important indicator.  By asking myself whether or not I am happy with my life right now, I am able to spot and level out areas that need attention and improvement.  Authenticity of myself as an artist plays a tremendous role. I want my internal creative world to be seen on the outside, it has to be natural and congruent.  It is a long route, but goal is achievable, when you accept the kind of artist you are at heart and not what industry promotes, or what’s trending, or what everybody else is doing, or saying you should be doing.  Grow into your own skin.

Instagram @daryna_barykina

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Website www.darynabarykina.com