Mateo Nikolav is a photographer and creative director based in Los Angeles, California.
Born in Quito, Ecuador, Mateo became passionate about the complexities of cultural identity by living in three different countries during his teenage years. These experiences shaped his perspective and affinity for people, networking through his love of travel and working with countless individuals from all walks of life.
In his work, Mateo enjoys portraying the collective human experience through photography, film and other collaborative mediums. Upon relocating from Bogotá, Colombia to Washington DC in 2015, Mateo created his first business Cinematica Moments which focuses on event & portrait photography/videography services that tell riveting stories.
After moving to Los Angeles in 2018, Mateo launched Decoded Studio, a creative agency that produces original entertainment content and offers marketing services for independent film productions. In 2020, he founded Decoded Artists, an online initiative to uplift disadvantaged communities with free workshops and grants that provide the necessary tools to jumpstart their filmmaking journeys. Decoded's first "Mobile Filmmaking Masterclass" was a great success, with over 15 short film submissions and sponsorship support from companies like LumaTouch, Filmic Inc, Moondog Labs and Final Draft Inc.
Mateo currently works with the American Film Institute on many of their thesis projects as a digital imaging technician, marketing director and BTS photographer. He also studies at UCLA where he is perfecting his craft and recruiting BIPOC to mentor and help Decoded Studio grow.
He is pursuing his dream to become a full-time filmmaker and artist that inspires the world to find community in our differences.