Karina Koba: Art of Priceless Memories - the Success Story of a Newborn Photographer
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Karina Koba: Art of Priceless Memories – the Success Story of a Newborn Photographer

By: Sarah Bragg 

For many years, debates have raged over whether photography is art. The truth is evident. The work of a photographer-author is a creative process, and art is the result of that creativity. What more evidence is needed?! Professional shots are not just simple pictures, overflowing on our smartphones and the internet. The photographer’s skill goes far beyond pressing the camera button. A professional captures with the mind, and their photos are filled with meaningful moments and mood, evoking deep and genuine emotions in people.

Every photo master has their own story of ascent to the professional Olympus. Some pave their way to the profession from childhood, while others, like our heroine Karina Koba, a newborn photographer from St. Petersburg, were pushed by chance. But first, there was a school with in-depth study of the English language, then the Department of Romano-Germanic Philology at Kazan Federal University, specializing in “Philologist-translator of English language,” and the Economics Faculty of the Institute of Economics, Management, and Law, specializing in “Finance and Credit,” followed by work in the field and marriage. And all of this was far from photography and creativity. At that time, the girl didn’t even have the desire to take photos.

But in a person’s life, everything happens for a reason. Each event, especially significant ones, inevitably carries further development and specific consequences. For Karina, the peculiar starting point into the mysterious world of photography was motherhood. With the birth of a new life, a new dream of becoming a photographer of newborn babies emerged. This idea engulfed the young mother entirely. She shared her intimate thoughts with her husband, and it was he who bought her the first camera and lenses, paid for the first photography lessons. Thus, thanks to the wholehearted support and belief of her family, a new creative life began for her.

Karina Koba: Art of Priceless Memories - the Success Story of a Newborn Photographer

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After the initial photography courses, many others followed, where Karina explored different styles and directions, discovering new aspects of the profession. She worked as a wedding and family photographer for over two years, often capturing children, but they were not newborn photos. Feeling an internal dissatisfaction and realizing that the dream was slipping away, Karina decided to attend an individual master class on newborn photography with the renowned professional from St. Petersburg, Marina Bartsaeva. The practical mastery lessons became a breath of fresh air for Karina, dispelling all doubts and releasing her dream into free flight.

Before finding her unique style, the girl dedicated herself to learning, worked diligently, and conducted hundreds of photo sessions with newborns, experimenting with various lighting and color solutions while seeking creative ideas for new photo compositions. In 2021, she completed the online course “pro NEWBORN” at Tatiana Gulyaeva’s photography school. Although newborn photography is considered one of the most challenging aspects of photography, Karina quickly made a significant leap in her professional career, becoming a true master of newborn photography. In a short period, she managed to develop her own distinctive artistic signature, setting her work apart from many others in this field.

One of her early photos has long adorned the foyer of the D.O. Ott Research Institute of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductology in St. Petersburg. Many of her original works are featured on the covers and pages of well-known  international magazines. Her photography has also garnered attention in Russian and international photo contests and awards. Over the last two years, her achievements include four prestigious awards: winning the audience vote in the “Newborn” category at the Russian Photo Awards, two third places in the “Emotions. Newborn” and “Family portrait with a newborn” categories at the Best Newborn Photographers competition, and an “Honorable mention” in the “People Newborn/Baby” category at the International Photography Awards (IPA). Her latest award-winning piece has been included in the “Honorable mention” gallery, and Karina Koba’s name will be featured in the IPA Annual Book of Photography.

Her successes inspire the photographer to strive for further accomplishments, explore new locations, compositions, and techniques that make newborn portraits angelic and unique. Karina doesn’t aim to “outshout” other photographers in the same genre; she has a clear position and a conscious goal that she confidently pursues with great success. Today, simply taking photographs is not enough for her. In the coming year, Karina intends to dedicate herself to mentoring and is actively working on creating an online course for newborn photography education. Her plans also include writing a series of guides, organizing workshops, and establishing an online photography school. Karina has defined a noble mission for herself—to ignite love for the art of newborn photography in people’s hearts worldwide, bringing more beauty, warmth, emotions, and magic into our world.

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