Photo Studio

When we saw these behind-the-scenes outtakes of one of our favorite photo assistants, Niko, helping to calibrate the camera (and entertain the talent) between shots, we knew: The guy is a pro-caliber small-talker, ice-breaker, and joke-cracker. All of which are skills that will come in handy on your own romantic outings this evening—whether you’re still in the make-or-break wooing phase, or heeding the call to remind your old lady why the heck she picked you in the first place.

Scroll down, get inspired by Niko’s on-set shenanigans, read a few tips from the man himself, and above all else—keep the lights dim and the mood lively tonight.

MEN’S SHOP DAILY: What’s your job title on-set?
“I’m a photographer, but being in your mid-20s doesn’t offer as many clients as one might like—so I photo-assist to make ends meet as well. I enjoy it though, it’s taught me a lot that I’m thankful for.”

What’s your favorite thing about your job?
“Meeting new people on a regular basis and traveling.”

What’s something you’ve learned about models or the modeling profession, that a layperson might be surprised to hear?
“We are all humans.”

What’s your favorite way to break the ice on set?
“Introducing myself. We live in a world of needed introductions…Get past that, and you won’t be the awkward guy standing by himself.”

A lot of men might be hesitant to talk to tall women with statuesque cheek bones (models or otherwise). Any advice?
“Get in there. If you want to talk to someone, you really should. Unless they’re wielding an axe, you really have nothing to lose.”

Let’s not call it a pick-up line—but do you have a preferred method or topic to strike up a conversation with a stranger at a bar or party?
“Every person and situation is different, so unless you’re insanely smooth, which I’m not, I think the chances of a pick-up line working are slim to none. Meeting someone you’re genuinely attracted to is all by chance, and it’s better not to force it.”

Today being Valentine’s Day—do you have a go-to gift or favorite date destination?
“I think the holiday is a good reminder to do something nice for the love in your life—but honestly, you should be doing something special for your significant other every day. That said, there’s nothing wrong with a spa day and cooking dinner at home—two things women seem to love.”


Happy Valentine’s Day, Kind Readers.
If you’re still pondering what to do for your boo tonight,