Sasha Leahovcenco is a photographer originally from the Republic of Moldova, but who moved to Fresno, Calif., about three years ago. Inspired by Help-Portrait, he traveled to Chukotka, Russia, for a unique opportunity to share the gift of photography with people who live at the literal ends of the earth. Traveling into the very deep Tundra where small tribal groups of reindeer herders live, he stayed photographed them in their everyday life. He calls it “a life-changing experience,” citing his experience at a hospital for children with tuberculosis as “the most memorable.” We talked with Sasha about his experience, his motivation and how everyone can give back with whatever they have in their hands.
How did you get into photography?
It’s interesting, but I never thought I would be a photographer. The only reason I started is because I couldn’t find a job on the campus of the university where I was studying, and the only available position was photographer for the university scrapbook. So I took several pictures send it to my brother-in-law Ross, he edited them and sent me back, and with those pictures I showed up on the interview and presented my portfolio. Next thing I remember, I was sitting reading “DSLR Camera for Dummies.”
What’s your favorite type of work?
I really enjoy photo-journalistic work. For the most time I photograph weddings, and being a wedding photographer allows me to capture a unique story of very important day in life of different couples.
Also, I like editorial work, and this trip allowed me to push myself more in this direction.
How did you learn about Help-Portrait?
I believe first time I heard about Help-Portrait was from my brother-in-law Ross, founder of Flosites, when he started building a new site for H-P.