Los Angeles based commercial & documentary photographer Sasha Leahovcenco believes in giving back. He’s been to the end of the world (where, people, fleeting moments of social media are non-existent) and photographed the first portraits ever of a small Tundra tribe. Sasha was deported by the Russian authorities 3 times while pursuing that project. Still, he is determined to travel back there to continue his work as soon as he can regain entry. He also runs 2 businesses along with his brother-in-law, a creative brand agency Flosites & a photography Wordpress theme Flothemes.
1. What is life to you? What it should be?
Life is given to us to figure out what we like; what we are good at; and use that to serve people around us. I don’t think our talents, abilities or skills were given to us for pure selfish reason. Giving back, making people’s lives around us better - that’s what matters to me. That’s the life I want to live.
2. What do making images mean to you?
It depends on the images I take, but if we are talking about my personal or humanitarian work - I want to tell a compelling story as well as make sure those images impact and help the situation.
3. Do you have a “second profession” or passion?
Second profession would probably be entrepreneur which includes multiple other business ventures I’m involved in. My brother-in-law and I run a creative brand agency called Flosites, and also another company which specials in Photography Wordpress themes, Flothemes.
And when it comes to passion - cars. That’s my favorite hobby of all.
4. What movie did you love recently?
My last favorite movie would probably be Interstellar.
5. Is/Are there any project(s) you wish you could do - or might do?
Yes. I’ve been traveling to Chukotka, Russia (Northernmost part of Russia which is above the Arctic circle) with an idea to make a documentary about reindeer herders who live extraordinary lives in extremely difficult and cold conditions. I’ve been there twice but due to the weather conditions and Russian authorities (which deported me out of the country for 3 years) it was hard to finish the project.
But hopefully next year once my status will be back to normal I will go again.
6. Is there a big difference between your personal work and commissioned work?
Visually and artistically - probably not. But when it comes to the story and meaning - absolutely.
7. Do you shoot with your left or right eye?
8. Are there any unseen experimental images in your attic you’d like to show us now?
Not at this point in time :)
9. Who do you respect - in photography or elsewhere?
Jeremy Cowart, my good friend, who is an absolutely phenomenal photographer but even better human being.
10. If you were to start all over again, is there anything you would do differently? Why?
I would look at other’s photographers work less, and would try to discover what really matters the most for me in photography.
Bonus: Do you think the gear you use affects the way you photograph? Why?
No. I still use a beat up 5d mark III and have no idea what other new gear is out there.