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Interview with Max Surikov, Owner of Maxim Photo Studio

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About Maxim Photo Studio

Over the past 11 years, Maxim Photo Studio has become one of the most trusted and award winning wedding photography studios serving Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, and destination locations. The Studio specializes in only Weddings, Engagements, and Photo Booths. We have been voted as the The Knot Best of Cincinnati Wedding Photographers for 6 consecutive years and were inducted into the Knot Best of Weddings Hall of Fame. Maxim Photo Studio has also won the WeddingWire “Couple’s Choice” award for the past 8 years in a row. Lastly, we have won the 2014 and 2015 Cincinnati A-list voting as the Best Cincinnati Wedding Photographers.

Maxim Photo Studio is owned and operated by Max Surikov. Over the past 11 years, the Studio has captured over 400 weddings and over 500 engagements.

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What is your photography background?

I originally went to college to get a degree in Accounting and not in a particular visual art medium. After graduating, I passed the CPA exam and worked in corporate consulting for about a decade in Washington DC. During that time I starting taking pictures with a new camera film camera which I used to capture my own wedding. I also started capturing various events ranging from sports to corporate headshots. After about 5 years of photographing as a hobby, my wife in her infinite wisdom suggested that I stop deficit financing our kids retirement and start a photography business.

In 2005 I attended a weekend photography workshop at one of the best wedding photography studios in my then hometown of Leesburg VA. Shortly there after, the studio called and asked if I would be interested in helping them photograph their weddings. Naturally, I jumped at the chance to experience wedding photography. The interesting aspect of my first wedding was that it was on May 20th which is my birthday. So I officially started my wedding photography career and began my transition away from accounting on my birthday.

In 2007 my family moved to the Cincinnati area and I opened Maxim Photo Studio. It’s hard to believe how time flies and that 2016 marks my eleventh year of wedding photography.

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What makes Maxim Photo Studio different from other Photography Studios?

Maxim Photo Studio doesn’t utilize a cookie cutter approach for our weddings where we try to fit our couples into a specific mold. We think “outside the box” to present a unique lighting approach coupled with composition and location elements to make each image unique. We work with our couples to define the particular style and types of images you favor.

We use a 2 person approach for all of our wedding photography. This includes 2 lead photographers and not just understudies. This allows us to be in multiple locations on the wedding day and provide a better coverage.

We provide one of the quickest turnarounds of any Cincinnati wedding photographers with your wedding day images being also be available within 14 days after the wedding.

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In what photography does Maxim Photo Studio specialize?

My Studio specializes in providing amazing Wedding photography coverage. We don’t pretend to specialize in every single aspect of photography such as landscapes, cars, newborns, airplanes or architecture. Although in all honesty I could probably shoot all of these well. To really be good at something, you have to dedicate yourself to it, be passionate about it and that is why we specialize in only Wedding related photography including Engagements, and Live Photo Booths.THAT’S IT!!!

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What is your photography style?

There are three main photography styles: Traditional, Photojournalistic, and Artistic/Contemporary. The Traditional style refers to photography subjects being put into various poses and told to look at the camera. The traditional photographer interacts with his photography subject the most because of the constant need to organize groups/lighting/posing, etc. This approach has been less and less popular over the past years.The photojournalistic (PJ) approach is the opposite of the Traditional approach. The PJ photographer captures what is happening at the moment. The PJ photographer interacts with his subjects the least and act more like a “fly on the wall” and observing and capturing the scene.  The Artistic/Contemporary (AC) approach is a style where the photographer looks for the best available lighting/background options for his photography subjects and then adds or subtracts the lighting elements to create a distinctive lighting which is defines the photographer. The AC style utilizes some of the Traditional portraiture concepts and is practiced by seasoned photographers with appreciation for the quality of light, shadow, and edge contrast.

Over the past 11 years, the Traditional approach has given way to more of a Photojournalistic approach since the PJ photographers aren’t as concerned with the particular lighting of the overall scene. Maxim Photo Studio utilizes a two lead photographer team with the first lead photographer focusing on the Artistic/Contemporary approach and the 2nd lead photographer acting as a PJ photographer.

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What do your wedding collections include?

Our Wedding Photography Collections include:
•    One Lead Photographer and one Lead Photojournalistic/Detail photographer,
•    Initial Wedding Consultation and Wedding Day Planning
•    Engagement Session,
•    Engagement Signature books,
•    High-Resolution flash drive of engagement and wedding images,
•    Flush Mount Bridal Albums,
•    Bonuses on Live Photo Booth Collections and Slow Motion Photo Booths
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What are your Wedding Collections cost?

Our Columbus, Dayton, and Cincinnati Wedding Photography Collections start at $2795 with most couples spending between $3500 – $4500 on their wedding coverage which often includes Album upgrades and Live Photo Booth coverages.

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Will Maxim Photo Studio follow a shot list or do you prefer to have free reign to capture the festivities how you see fit?

My Studio always works with our couples to determine which shots or combinations are important to capture on the wedding day. This helps us establish the perfect wedding day timeline so we can cover as many locations and setups as needed. There are always opportunities for us to think “Outside the box” where we see certain wedding day elements which weren’t known until the day of. In this case we work with our clients to change the photography shots on the fly.

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Do you have a 2nd photographer or just an assistant?

Your wedding photography coverage will always include a second Lead photographer and an assistant. Just as it is important that your first photographer is the one with whom you consult and the one who shoots your engagement, the second photographer consideration is just as important since this photographer needs to be familiar with your vision and style which you prefer on the wedding day.

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What are your turnaround times?

Your Columbus, Dayton, and Cincinnati Engagement photography, Live Photo Booth, and Wedding images will be available online and on a USB flash drive within 14 days after your wedding. When we meet for your Premiere viewing about 2 weeks after the wedding, I’ll present to you the USB drive, which will also contain your Live Photo Booth images, Slow Motion Video Photo Booth. and your Wedding day Montage.

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Do you have formal photography education?

Yes I do. In addition to having a Accounting Degree and passing the CPA exam, I also have a Photography degree from New York Institute of Photography.

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How many weddings does your Studio photograph each year?

Maxim Photo Studio limits the number of weddings we cover to 35-40 each year. This allows us to focus on each couple and provide exception service to our clients and still have a great work/life balance. Couple this limited number of weddings with the around 50 engagement sessions each and you can see how work/life balance becomes an important consideration. Here is a list of our prior clients.

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Are you available on our wedding day?

There is only one way to find out. On average, our couples book us 12-15 months before their wedding date. You can text or call the studio at 513.620.4750, email us: hello@maximphotostudio.com or click on CONNECT to send us a web request.

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How do we book you for our wedding day?

We need your signed contract and a $1,200 retainer to book the date. This ensures that Cincinnati Wedding Photographer Maxim Photo Studio will be covering your wedding. By the way, you don’t have to know which Wedding Collections you want for your coverage when you book. All you need to know is that you want us to be your wedding day photographers. We’ll discuss the specific coverage options at a later time.

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Cincinnati and the surrounding cities offers amazing wedding and engagement venues. In addition to the various wedding and engagement photography venues showcased in the link above, my other favorite Cincinnati wedding and engagement locations include Hilton Netherland Plaza, The Phoenix, Manor House, The Madison Event Center, Cooper Creek Event Center, Norman Chapel, Marriott Rivercenter, The Bell Event Centre, Loveland Castle, Cincinnati Music Hall, The Grand, Lake Lyndsay, Ault Park, French Park, Vinoklet Winery, Pebble Creek Golf Course, Cincinnati Art Museum, Spring Grove Cemetery, Eden Park, Washington Park, Smale Riverfront Park, Roebling Bridge, Purple People Bridge, Devou Park, Winton Woods Park, Riverside Historic District, P&G GardensFountain Square, and Glenwood Gardens.

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Maxim Photo Studio also has a location in Dayton and many of our Dayton based clients prefer to stay closer to home and enjoy many wedding photography locations for their engagement and wedding photography. Here are some of more prominent locations which our clients love: Dayton Art Institute, Canopy Creek Farm, Dayton Racquet Club, Schuster Center, Top of the Market, Country Club of the North, NCR Country Club, Smith Gardens, Dayton Country Club, Masonic Temple, The Willow Tree, Presidential Banquet Center, Cedar Springs Pavilion, Wegerzyn Gardens, Cox Arboretum, Hills and Dales Metropark, Carriage Hill Metropark, and Riverscape Metropark.

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  1. ashtan roberts

    Hi im very interested in your services! Could you email me your prices and let me know if you are available 6-4-16? Thanks!

  2. Meredith Hutson

    Looking to see if your were available for 07/16/16.

  3. Ashley Mason

    I am getting married on May 6, 2016 and I was wondering what kind of pricing I am looking at and also do you do videography as well? Thank you!


  4. Renee Finfrock

    I’m getting married on May 7th 2016 would like to speak to someone about taking photos for us on our special day. Thank you

  5. Nicole

    My fiancé and I are having a private ceremony on April 29th or 30th, just the two of us and a Judge at our home. We need a photographer for an hour or two. Please let us know if you’re interested in photographing our intimate ceremony, and serving as a witness on our marriage certificate! Thanks!

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