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Interview with Max Surikov, Owner of Maxim Photo Studio

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“Max was very easy to work with and everything he did turned out amazing! It’s hard to choose from all the photos you will receive from him!”

Ashley + David, January 2, 2016, Top of The Market, Dayton

What is Maxim Photo Studio’s history?

Over the past 12 years, Cincinnati Wedding Photographers Maxim Photo Studio has become one of the most trusted and award winning wedding photography studios serving Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, and various locations around the United States. The Studio specializes in only Weddings, Engagements and Photo Booths. We have been voted as the The Knot Best of Cincinnati Wedding Photographers for 7 consecutive years and were inaugurated into the Knot Best of Weddings Hall of Fame in 2015. Maxim Photo Studio has also won the WeddingWire “Couple’s Choice” award for the past 8 years in a row.

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“Max was amazing! He shot our engagement, engagement party, and our wedding in Cabo. We couldn’t be happier with our experiences…”

Jessica + Kelvin, January 21, 2017, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

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 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 photography 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 setup Maxim Photo Studio to provide wedding photography coverage for Dayton, Cincinnati and Columbus area couples. It’s hard to believe how time flies and that 2017 marks my twelth year of wedding photography.

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“Max is the best and was hands down my favorite vendor! Our wedding pictures are unbelievable; everyone keeps commenting that they’re the best pictures they have ever seen…”

Sarah + Justin, September 24, 2016, Newport Syndicate

What makes Maxim Photo Studio different from other Photography Studios?

Cincinnati Wedding Photographers 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 Cincinnati 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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“We were looking for someone to capture our unique sense of style and somewhat edgy vision of what our engagement/wedding album would look like… and we certainly found him! I can’t say enough great things about Maxim Photo Studio… by far the BEST vendor for our wedding!is without a doubt the best wedding photographer in the Cincinnati area.”

Rebecca + Bobby, November 7, 2017, 21C & Contemporary Art Center, Cincinnati

What are Maxim Photo Studio photography specialties?

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 Unboxed Photo Booths.THAT’S IT!!!

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“Max and his team did such an amazing job. He has a true eye for photography and is very creative. Multiple members of our bridal party commented on how great Max was and how he was so much better then other photographers they have seen in the prior weddings they have been in. We couldn’t say enough about Maxim Photo Studio and would highly recommend them to anyone!”

Kara + Matt, September 19, 2015, St. Xavier Church & The Phoenix

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 last 20 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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“Max was AMAZING!!! He was so professional and on the day of my wedding I had no doubts that I was getting the best photos ever. The guests at our wedding couldn’t stop talking about how great Max was. We were all blown away at how gorgeous his pictures were! 

Brooklyn + Sam, May 24, 2015, Loveland Castle Cincinnati

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 Unboxed Photo Booth Collections
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“We absolutely loved having Max and his associates photograph our wedding day. My husband and I still say the best money we spent for our wedding day was for Maxim Photo Studio to take our wedding and engagement photos!!”

Molly + Dan, May 28, 2016, NCR Country Club, Dayton Ohio

What are your Wedding Packages?

Our 2018-2019 flexible Wedding Collections start at $2850. For complete details about Wedding and Unboxed Photo Booth Collections, please CONNECT with us. You can also call us directly at the studio on 513.620.4750.

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“BEST OF THE BEST!!! The title says it all. From our very first meeting with Max at Maxim Photo Studio we were impressed! His laid back, professional nature put our minds and concerns at ease. I would recommend Maxim Photo Studio to everyone! ”

Jordan + David, June 26, 2015, Cedar Springs Pavilion, Dayton Ohio, 

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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“Max was Fabulous! His expertise, coupled with the high quality of his photography skills set my husband and me at ease for the entire day. Everyone at the wedding commented on his professionalism, creativity, and style. Thank you Max, for making our day perfect!!”

Amy + Jordan, July 10, 2015, The Grand

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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“Max shot our Lake Tahoe wedding in August 2015 and did an amazing job! We couldn’t be happier with the photos – his passion, energy and creativity shows on the day of and in the final photos. My husband and I would definitely recommend Max to any couple looking for a wedding photographer!! 

Dana + Jeff, August 21, 2015, Heavenly Village, Lake Tahoe

What are your turnaround times?

Your Engagement, Unboxed Photo Booth and Wedding images will be available online and on a USB flash drive within 14 days after your wedding.

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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.

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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: 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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Wedding Photographer in Cincinnati

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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.

Wedding Photographer in Dayton

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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.