Maxim Guselnikov

Portrait | Last Updated: October 8, 2021

Hello, my friends and all the people passing by! I`m Max – a portrait photographer from Moscow, Russia.

I made my first steps into photography back in 2010. Since then my photography passion has only grown.

I can describe my shooting style as environmental portraiture. In my image series I`m showing connection between character and location; the emotional state of the model and the overall atmosphere. Usually it takes time to bring the ideas to life, so I put a lot of effort into preparations and model selection since everything should fit in. Also, I really love movies and cinematography so I`m doing my best to implement cinematic shooting techniques and movie atmosphere to my portraits.

I shoot 99.9% with natural light since to me it`s the best way to transfer light atmosphere to an image. I don`t even use any reflectors, diffusers and other bells and whistles.

Alongside shooting I do a lot of education activities – lectures, master-classes, workshops, one-on-one coaching sessions and some promotion events.

Also I travel a lot – sometimes just for fun, sometimes due to my masterclass schedule – and I`m really happy that photography has taken me places I`ve never dreamt of visiting before, like Iceland, Japan, USA, Switzerland and many others.

I’m proud ambassador of Tamron Lenses and ON1 Software – both companies doing great job and I’ve been using their products for years.

Since I travel a lot I need a weather-sealed camera and lenses with all other necessary things with me – so here’s the contents of my backpack:

Nikon D750 – my camera for 3.5 years & I still love it. D750 is light and compact body with great ergonomics. The 24MP sensor has great color reproduction and dynamic range. Another big thing to me is tilt-screen which I consider super handy for my shooting style. It is also weather-sealed so it`s not a problem to shoot in harsh weather conditions.

Nikon 24mm f/1.8G AF-S – latest addition to my lens lineup. Fast wide-angle prime is really a must for an environmental photographer like me. When 35mm is too narrow or you need to show some epic location that`s when a 24mm or even wider lens comes in to the game.

Tamron SP 35mm f/1.8 Di VC USD – great lens, one of my favourites. It is sharp, has great contrast, but at the same time it has a soft and creamy bokeh which tends to be a rare thing these days. The weather-sealing and built-in stabilizer are just great additions to this well-rounded lens.

Tamron SP 45mm f/1.8 Di VC USD – this one is my favourite lens. I love the way this focal length feels, I love the tender sharpness, the silky smooth and creamy bokeh, and the near perfect distortion amount which makes shooting environmental portraits pure joy. Yes, there are some 50mm lenses that are sharper or faster but none of them have that cinematic-grade image quality. Thumbs up!

Tamron SP 85mm f/1.8 Di VC USD – wow, this lens is super sharp! Incredibly smooth bokeh with almost no chromatic aberration, vignetting or distortion. Love the built-in stabilizer since it helps me to get sharp images even on 1/40s which is fantastic.

Sometimes I rent a Tamron SP 15-30mm f/2.8 Di VC USD or Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 G2 Di VC USD for some specific shoots. Both are great lenses but I just don`t need them often enough to own.

Couple of Nikon EN-EL15 battery. I prefer original ones since they tend to work longer.

Dell XPS 15 9560 – My go-to laptop. Specs are i7 7700HQ, 16Gb RAM, 512Gb NVMe SSD, GTX 1050 4Gb. I`ve picked Full HD version over 4K since I don`t like reflective screens and 4K for a 15.6-inch monitor is pure overkill. Compact yet powerful notebook that can handle a lot of work – doesn`t matter if it`s PSD with dozens of layers, batch processing, panorama merging or even video editing. I have a DBrand bamboo skin on it to look cool and prevent aluminum covers from scratches.

Wacom Intuos Pen & Touch S Wireless – small tablet with 4 programmable buttons and wireless adapter.

Logitech MX Anywhere 2 Mouse – since I work with tablet only during retouch sessions I prefer to have a mouse with me all other time. Logi is just the best mouse for laptop I’ve found.

Samsung Galaxy S8 – I picked SGS8 due to its bezelless design, gorgeous OLED screen and great camera.

Xiaomi Mi Power Bank 2 – just some juice for my phone during the day.

Manfrotto Active Backpack I – super comfortable backpack that’s been with me since 2015. It`s been in so many trips and never let me down. The bag has two sections – for gear and other stuff. The gear section includes organizer pads to fit your own needs while upper section can store all your personal stuff plus your laptop.

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  1. Wolfgang Daut on April 11, 2023 at 9:11 pm

    From Sacha Leyendecker I heard about your STORYTELLING PORTRAIT SERIES (5hour runtime)

    How can I join?
    Is this available on YouTube?

  2. Anton on March 5, 2018 at 9:27 pm

    I’ve followed Maxim’s work since the LivingLoud days on the micro 4/3rds forum and have always been super inspired by his photographs. Great to see him on here.

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