If there is one thing this neverending limbo of “unpreceded times” made us realize, it’s that even though we feel like things are stagnant, everything is, in fact, moving. And ultimately, it’s up to us to decide whether we want to move with the tides or stay on the shore, unsure of what comes next. Even though it may feel daunting at first, it’s important to stay afloat by doing what you love and what you know best because true authenticity somehow always manages to steer us in the right direction.
When we finally decided to join TikTok and see what the kids are up to these days, we were flooded with, well, everything: from wiggling babies and 100 ways to cook oats, to clips from “Friends” and angry chihuahuas. But in that whole bizarre mixture of content, we found Niki Victoria, a bubbly blonde that showed us the answer to the age-old question: “What the hell should I do with my hands in photos?” Niki’s engaging and entertaining TikTok content has attracted over 400K followers, and counting. But that’s not where Niki’s talents end: she’s a model and photographer, specializing in fashion, beauty and portrait photography. We are thrilled to have Niki share her journey in our Cool Faces of Bastet Noir Series, so keep on reading to find out more!
Who is Niki Victoria?
I am both a photographer and model who has a huge love for fashion, beauty and creating. After modelling for a few years, I found a passion for being behind the camera instead of only in front of it, and have been doing photography for 3 years now. Photography has introduced me to so many amazing people, which I am beyond grateful for as I’m what you call — a social butterfly!
What’s your morning routine like?
My goal in the mornings is to start the day off quite productively. I aim to read, work out and eat breakfast before 10 AM, so I usually get up around 7:30. A big tip that helps me get out of bed is putting my phone on the other side of the room so that I have to get up in order to turn off my alarm. Then I wash my face with cold water to ~refresh~ and make a cup of coffee. Coffee in hand, I grab my current book and read for 30 minutes. Since being a recent dropout, I’ve decided to allocate my extra time to reading fictional philosophical books (so I can still learn valuable things when not in school). I follow up with a morning stretch, leg toning exercises, and an ab workout (sometimes a jog if it’s not too cold). Then I shower, make breakfast, and scroll on Tiktok for a bit, before finally starting the workday remotely at home. Yes, I do have my lazy mornings sometimes, but I find it’s all about balance and daily improvement!
Your following on TikTok has amassed over 400K which is wild to think about, but we totally understand why — your content is fun, innovative and engaging. How did your journey on TikTok begin, and what was the initial inspiration to create the type of content you are known for?
I started taking TikTok seriously around a year ago when I wanted to share more of my photography online. Since it is pretty difficult to get discovered on Instagram, I found that showing the behind-the-scenes and then my final photos on TikTok was the exact video idea I needed. I eventually began to get clients from TikTok, which helped push my name out there as a photographer. After gathering an audience who enjoyed my photoshoots, my comment section under my videos would be filled with people saying they were too unphotogenic to be like the models that I shot. So my plan was to help them out! I started making short and simple posing videos that would show what to do when someone takes pictures of you. These videos ended up doing super well and I had finally found my niche!
Your photography manages to capture the inner and outer beauty of your subjects, creating an intimate connection that can be felt through the screen. If you had to rank the three general areas you shoot in: beauty, fashion, and portrait, which one would come out on top as your personal favorite?
My personal favourite category to shoot is fashion photography. I think my love for fashion comes from when I used to style my Barbie and Bratz dolls as a kid. Interestingly enough, I find that the actual clothing part of a fashion shoot is less important than the model. You see, since the model is posing in full-body framing most of the time, they are free to pose however they’d like with their body. I often look for models with who I’m either friends with or who I can become friends, as a way to get them to pose very comfortably in front of the camera. My main goal is to capture an actual emotion that they can express through the photo, so oftentimes I tell the model to just act weird and wild while posing and I let them do their thing!
Three things you wish you knew before starting out?
Now, this is a great question because honestly, it’s pretty hard to answer. I like to believe that everything that happened in my career so far, happened for a reason. If I were to do something differently, who knows if it would’ve worked out the same.
One thing I wish I knew though, was to not seek validation from others. I used to be so dependent on everyone’s opinions that I’d forget what I truly wanted. It would often impact my work in a negative way and limit my creativity. I also wish I knew that creative career paths are not a “wrong” choice to pursue. Everyone makes it a huge deal when you decide to not go to college or drop out. That is either because they’re afraid to take that risk themselves or they’re used to the traditional way of life (a.k.a. going to college, getting a job, marriage, kids, etc.). As a creative, I’ve learned to live life exactly how I want to. Anything is possible as long as you work for it and remember, “failure is the key to success”. Yolo :)
Biggest setback in life and what you’ve learned from it?
The biggest setback I have had was Covid happening during the biggest transition period of my life. It happened just as I was about to graduate high school and transition to college. I learned so much about myself during that period of quarantine and isolation from everyone, that I became comfortable and happy to spend time alone and enjoy my own presence.
What’s in your Bastet Noir cart?
Oh everything! Bastet Noir has the cutest jackets, I love their fashion.
If you liked Niki’s story, there’s plenty more to come, just hit that sign up button to get in our inner circle of coolness and never miss a thang!