Nikolai von Bismarck was born in London in 1986. Nikolai’s first job was working for Mario Testino. This was followed by his first photo shoot commissioned by Isabella Blow, at which time he was the youngest photographer to have shot for a Conde Nast publication. Nikolai went on to attend Parsons School of Design. To further his knowledge and understanding of photography, he began to work for Annie Leibovitz and remained there for two years. In a recent interview, he described working for Leibovitz as “an education”. Vying to explore his own photographic projects, both personal and commissioned, Nikolai travelled widely around Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia. He has photographed; prostitutes in Mozambique, cockfights in Cuba, gypsy colonies and trash collectors in Romania, and amongst many others, the Naga Tribe in Northern Burma. One of Nikolai’s most cherished projects was spent in Ethiopia. Engrossing himself in the country for an initial period, closely studying the Ethiopian people and culture, he returned and embarked on a nine-month reportage project. This resulted in a successful exhibition in London in 2015. Nikolai’s reportage work has been featured in The Times and The Daily Mirror. As well as this, Nikolai’s fashion and portraiture work have also appeared in numerous publications, including Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. In October 2014 Franca Sozzani, then Editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia said, “I’ve never made a mistake on a photographer, now you have to put your money on Nikolai. Years ago it was Bruce Weber, now I’ve found Nikolai.”
Currently, Nikolai is living in London and working from his studio on an upcoming portraiture project.